Lezing van Prof. Dr. Peter Gilles (Linguistik, Laboratoire für luxemburgische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft, universiteit Luxemburg)

An overview on the sociolinguistics and linguistics of Luxembourgish

Ever since 1984, Letzebuergesch, which is closely related to the Mosel Franconian dialects of German, is one of the official languages of Luxemburg and the youngest Germanic language to attain the standard status. For the sake of an overview, this talk will present some sociolinguistic and linguistic key facts of the Luxembourgish speech community. Sociolinguistically, after a brief overview of the historical developments, the embedding of Luxembourgish in the multilingual situation will be discussed. It will be shown that the former 'medial' diglossia – French and German as written languages, Luxembourgish as a spoken language – is more an more changed into a much more complex situation, where Luxembourgish acquires also written domains, especially in the digital media. As for the linguistic description, I will concentrate on phonetics/phonology and morphology (sound system,  n-deletion, voicing assimilation, system of the strong verbs).