West Low German


West Low German, also known as Low Saxon (German: Westniederdeutsch, literally West Low German, or Niedersächsisch (in a stricter sense), literally: Low Saxon, Nether-Saxon; Low German: Nedersassisch, Nedersaksies; Dutch: Nedersaksisch) is a group of Low German (also Low Saxon; German: Plattdeutsch, Niederdeutsch, Dutch: Nederduits) dialects spoken in parts of the Netherlands, northwestern Germany and southern Denmark (in North Schleswig by the German minority). It is one of two groups of mutually intelligible dialects, the other being East Low German dialects. A 2005 study found that there were approximately 1.8 million "daily speakers" of Low Saxon in the Netherlands. 53% spoke Low Saxon or Low Saxon and Dutch at home and 71% could speak it.[1] According to another study the percentage of speakers among parents dropped from 34% in 1995 to 15% in 2011. The percentage of speakers among their children dropped from 8% to 2% in the same period.[2]

West Low German
German: Westniederdeutsch
Native toGermany, Netherlands, Southern Denmark
Language codes
ISO 639-2nds for Low German
ISO 639-3Variously:
wep  Westphalian
nds  (partial)
frs  Eastern Frisian
gos  Gronings
stl  Stellingwerfs
drt  Drents
twd  Twents
act  Achterhoeks
sdz  Sallands
vel  Veluws
Glottologwest2357
West Low German area in yellow. This area is also called Low Saxon.

Extent


The language area comprises the North German states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia (the Westphalian part), Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Saxony-Anhalt (the northwestern areas around Magdeburg) as well as the northeast of The Netherlands (i.e. Dutch Low Saxon, spoken in Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel and northern Gelderland) and the Schleswigsch dialect spoken by the North Schleswig Germans in the southernmost part of Denmark.

In the south the Benrath line and Uerdingen line isoglosses form the border with the area, where West Central German variants of High German are spoken.

List of dialects


Germany

Low Saxon language area in the Netherlands

Netherlands

While Dutch is a Low Franconian language, the Dutch Low Saxon varieties, which the Dutch government considers to be Dutch dialects, form a dialect continuum with the Westphalian language. They consist of:

Denmark

References


  1. [Bloemhoff, H. (2005). Taaltelling Nedersaksisch. Een enquête naar het gebruik en de beheersing van het Nedersaksisch in Nederland. Groningen: Sasland.]
  2. Driessen, Geert (2012). "Ontwikkelingen in het gebruik van Fries, streektalen en dialecten in de periode 1995-2011" (PDF). Radboud University Nijmegen. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  3. Noble, Cecil A. M. (1983). Modern German dialects. New York [u.a.], Lang, p. 103-104