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Alemannische Peripherie – Bairisches Zentrum

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It is a well-established fact that trans-regional correspondence was oriented to a certain degree on the receiver's linguistic form in the Late Middle Ages as well as in the Early Modern Period. However, research has been primarily concerned with communication between important writing centers while the surrounding peripheral areas have been more or less assigned to these centers without any debate. For their part, these peripheral areas were in exchange with these writing centers and the degree to which they assimilated to the latters' writing habits could vary considerably, especially when the peripheral area was located in a different dialect area than the center. This contribution thus investigates the workings of the receiver orientation in written communication between center and periphery. To this end, the Austrian Bundesland Vorarlberg was chosen where Alemannic is still spoken today. The Habsburgs whose courts and chancelleries were most often located in the Bavarian dialect area, namely in Tyrol or Innsbruck, have ruled it since the Late Middle Ages. It turns out that the orientation on the written language of the Innsbruck and Habsburg chancelleries, which certainly exerted an exemplary influence, was much less effective than previously thought. Rather, a picture presents itself of a comprehensive flexibility that not only increases with time, but that is also contingent upon the communicative partner and goal on the part of the writer in the periphery. In the center, decreasing flexibility can be observed in this regard. This could lead to a reevaluation of the dichotomy: Center – Periphery. It starts from the premise that peripheral areas do not always and without question just adopt all of the center's innovations, but rather that they adapt these innovations selectively according to their purposes and needs.
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Keywords: ACCOMMODATION; CENTRE; CHARTERS; HISTORICAL DIALECTOLOGY; PERIPHERY

Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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  • Founded in 1900 as the Zeitschrift für hochdeutsche Mundarten ("Journal for High German Dialects"), the Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik has been published under the latter name by Franz Steiner Verlag since 1969. All articles are peer reviewed to ensure a high standard of scholarship. The ZDL also includes discussion papers, conference reports, book reviews and announcements. Contributions in English and German are accepted; abstracts are provided in the other language.
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