Luxembourgish

Luxembourgish (/ˈlʌksəmbɜːrɡɪʃ/ LUK-səm-bur-gish; also Luxemburgish,[2] Luxembourgian,[3] Letzebu(e)rgesch;[4] Luxembourgish: Lëtzebuergesch [ˈlətsəbuəjəʃ] (About this soundlisten)) is a West Germanic language that is spoken mainly in Luxembourg. About 600,000 people speak Luxembourgish worldwide.[5]

Luxembourgish
Lëtzebuergesch
Pronunciation[ˈlətsəbuəjəʃ] (About this soundlisten)
Native toLuxembourg; Saarland and north-west Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany; Arelerland and Saint-Vith district, Belgium; Moselle department, France
RegionWestern Europe
Native speakers
c. 600,000[1] (2015)[1]
Official status
Official language in
 Luxembourg
Recognised minority
language in
 Belgium (recognised by the French Community of Belgium)
Language codes
ISO 639-1lb
ISO 639-2ltz
ISO 639-3ltz
Glottologluxe1241
Linguasphere52-ACB-db
Moselfrankisch.png
The area where Luxembourgish (pale indigo) and other dialects of Moselle Franconian (medium indigo) are spoken. The internal isogloss for words meaning "on, at", i.e. op and of, is also shown (Standard German: auf).
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
A Luxembourgish speaker, recorded in France.

As a standard form of the Moselle Franconian language, Luxembourgish has similarities with other varieties of High German and the wider group of West Germanic languages. The status of Luxembourgish as an official language in Luxembourg, and the existence there of a regulatory body,[6] have removed Luxembourgish, at least in part, from the domain of Standard German, its traditional Dachsprache.

Language familyEdit

Luxembourgish belongs to the West Central German group of High German languages and is the primary example of a Moselle Franconian language.

UsageEdit

 
Sign in Luxembourgish indicating the way to walk through a shop during the COVID-19 pandemic
 
Sign in French and Luxembourgish (in italic) in a supermarket. Both, articles labeled in Standard German as well as in French, are displayed.

Luxembourgish is the only national language of Luxembourg and also one the three administrative languages, alongside German and French.[7][8]

In Luxembourg, 77% of citizens can speak Luxembourgish.[9] Luxembourgish is also spoken in the Arelerland region of Belgium (part of the Province of Luxembourg) and in small parts of Lorraine in France.

In the German Eifel and Hunsrück regions, similar local Moselle Franconian dialects of German are spoken. The language is also spoken by a few descendants of Luxembourg immigrants in the United States and Canada.

Other Moselle Franconian dialects are spoken by ethnic Germans long settled in Transylvania, Romania (Siebenbürgen).

Moselle Franconian dialects outside the Luxembourg state border tend to have far fewer French loan words, and these mostly remain from the French Revolution.

The political party that places the greatest importance on promoting, using and preserving Luxembourgish is the Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR) and its electoral success in the 1999 election pushed the CSV-DP government to make knowledge of it a criterion for naturalisation.[10] [11] It is currently also the only political party in Luxembourg that wishes to implement written laws also in Luxembourgish and that wants Luxembourgish to be an officially recognized language of the European Union.[12][13]

VarietiesEdit

There are several distinct dialect forms of Luxembourgish including Areler (from Arlon), Eechternoacher (Echternach), Kliärrwer (Clervaux), Miseler (Moselle), Stater (Luxembourg), Veiner (Vianden), Minetter (Southern Luxembourg) and Weelzer (Wiltz). Further small vocabulary differences may be seen even between small villages.

Increasing mobility of the population and the dissemination of the language through mass media such as radio and television are leading to a gradual standardisation towards a "Standard Luxembourgish" through the process of koineization.[14]

Surrounding languagesEdit

There is no distinct geographic boundary between the use of Luxembourgish and the use of other closely related High German dialects (for example, Lorraine Franconian); it instead forms a dialect continuum of gradual change.

Spoken Luxembourgish is relatively hard to understand for speakers of German who are generally not familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects (or at least other West Central German dialects). However, they can usually read the language to some degree. For those Germans familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects, it is relatively easy to understand and speak Luxembourgish as far as the everyday vocabulary is concerned.[14] However, the large number of French loanwords in Luxembourgish may hamper communication about certain topics, or with certain speakers (who use many French loanwords).

Written LuxembourgishEdit

StandardisationEdit

A number of proposals for standardising the orthography of Luxembourgish can be documented, going back to the middle of the 19th century. There was no officially recognised system, however, until the adoption of the "OLO" (ofizjel lezebuurjer ortografi) on 5 June 1946.[15] This orthography provided a system for speakers of all varieties of Luxembourgish to transcribe words the way they pronounced them, rather than imposing a single, standard spelling for the words of the language. The rules explicitly rejected certain elements of German orthography (e.g., the use of "ä" and "ö",[16] the capitalisation of nouns). Similarly, new principles were adopted for the spelling of French loanwords.

This proposed orthography, so different from existing "foreign" standards that people were already familiar with, did not enjoy widespread approval.

A more successful standard eventually emerged from the work of the committee of specialists charged with the task of creating the Luxemburger Wörterbuch, published in 5 volumes between 1950 and 1977. The orthographic conventions adopted in this decades-long project, set out in Bruch (1955), provided the basis of the standard orthography that became official on 10 October 1975.[17] Modifications to this standard were proposed by the Permanent Council of the Luxembourguish language and adopted officially in the spelling reform of 30 July 1999.[18] A detailed explanation of current practice for Luxembourgish can be found in Schanen & Lulling (2003).

AlphabetEdit

The Luxembourgish alphabet consists of the 26 Latin letters plus three letters with diacritics: "é", "ä", and "ë". In loanwords from French and Standard German, other diacritics are usually preserved:

  • French: Boîte, Enquête, Piqûre, etc.
  • German: blöd, Bühn (from German Bühne), etc.

In German loanwords, the digraphs ⟨eu⟩ and ⟨äu⟩ indicate the diphthong /oɪ/, which does not appear in native words.

Orthography of vowelsEdit

Eifeler RegelEdit

Like many other varieties of Western High German, Luxembourgish has a rule of final n-deletion in certain contexts. The effects of this rule (known as the "Eifel Rule") are indicated in writing, and therefore must be taken into account when spelling words and morphemes ending in ⟨n⟩ or ⟨nn⟩. For example:

  • wann ech ginn "when I go", but wa mer ginn "when we go"
  • fënnefandrësseg "thirty-five", but fënnefavéierzeg "forty-five".

PhonologyEdit

Spoken Luxembourgish

ConsonantsEdit

The consonant inventory of Luxembourgish is quite similar to that of Standard German.[19]

Consonant phonemes of Luxembourgish[19]
Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Dorsal Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive fortis p t k
lenis b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless (p͡f) t͡s t͡ʃ
voiced (d͡z) (d͡ʒ)
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ χ h
voiced v z ʒ ʁ
Trill ʀ
Approximant l j
  • /p͡f/ occurs only in loanwords from Standard German.[20] Just as for many native speakers of Standard German, it tends to be simplified to [f] word-initially. For example, Pflicht ('obligation') is realised as [fliɕt] or, in careful speech, [p͡fliɕt].
  • /v/ is realised as [w] when it occurs after /k, t͡s, ʃ/, e.g. zwee [t͡sweː] ('two').[21]
  • /d͡z/ appears only in a few words, such as spadséieren /ʃpɑˈd͡zəɪ̯eʀen/ ('to go for a walk').[20]
  • /d͡ʒ/ occurs only in loanwords from English.[20]
  • /χ, ʁ/ have two types of allophones: alveolo-palatal [ɕ, ʑ] and uvular [χ, ʁ]. The latter occur before back vowels, and the former occur in all other positions.[22]
    • The [ʑ] allophone appears only in a few words, and speakers increasingly fail to distinguish between the alveolo-palatal allophones of /χ, ʁ/ and the postalveolar phonemes /ʃ, ʒ/.[23]
  • Younger speakers tend to vocalize a word-final /ʀ/ to [ɐ].[22]

VowelsEdit

Monophthong phonemes[24]
Front Back
unrounded rounded
short long short long short long
Close i (y) () u
Close-mid e (øː) o
Open-mid (œ) (œː)
Open æ ɑ
  • The front rounded vowels /y, yː, øː, œ, œː/ appear only in loanwords from French and Standard German. In loanwords from French, nasal /õː, ɛ̃ː, ɑ̃ː/ also occur. [20]
  • /e/ has two allophones:
    • Before velars: close-mid front unrounded [e],[24][25] which, for some speakers, may be open-mid [ɛ], especially before /ʀ/. The same variation in height applies to /o/, which may be as open as [ɔ].[24]
    • All other positions: mid central vowel, more often slightly rounded [ə̹] than unrounded [ə̜].[24]
  • Phonetically, the long mid vowels /eː, oː/ are raised close-mid (near-close) [e̝ː, o̝ː] and may even overlap with /iː, uː/.[24]
    • /eː/ before /ʀ/ is realised as [ɛː].[24]
  • /aː/ is the long variant of /ɑ/, not /æ/, which does not have a long counterpart.
Diphthong phonemes[26]
Ending point
Front Central Back
Close iə uə
Mid əɪ (oɪ) əʊ
Open æːɪ ɑɪ æːʊ ɑʊ
  • /oɪ/ appears only in loanwords from Standard German.[20]
  • The first elements of /æːɪ, æːʊ/ may be phonetically short [æ] in fast speech or in unstressed syllables.[26]
  • The /æːɪ–ɑɪ/ and /æːʊ–ɑʊ/ contrasts arose from the former lexical tone contrast; the shorter /ɑɪ, ɑʊ/ were used in words with Accent 1, and the lengthened /æːɪ, æːʊ/ were used in words with Accent 2.[27]

GrammarEdit

Nominal syntaxEdit

Luxembourgish has three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter), and three cases (nominative, accusative, and dative). These are marked morphologically on determiners and pronouns. As in German, there is no morphological gender distinction in the plural.

The forms of the articles and of some selected determiners are given below:

nominative/accusative
singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
definite den d'
def. emphatic deen dat déi
demonstrative dësen dëst dës
indefinite en eng (eng)
negative keen keng
"his/its" säin seng
"her/their" hiren hiert hir
dative
singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
definite dem der den
def. emphatic deem där deenen
demonstrative dësem dëser dësen
indefinite engem enger (engen)
negative kengem kenger kengen
"his/its" sengem senger sengen
"her/their" hirem hirer hiren

As seen above, Luxembourgish has plural forms of en ("a, an"), namely eng in the nominative/accusative and engen in the dative. They are not used as indefinite articles, which—as in German and English—do not exist in the plural, but they do occur in the compound pronouns wéi en ("what, which") and sou en ("such"). For example: wéi eng Saachen ("what things"); sou eng Saachen ("such things"). Moreover, they are used before numbers to express an estimation: eng 30.000 Spectateuren ("some 30,000 spectators").

Distinct nominative forms survive in a few nominal phrases such as der Däiwel ("the devil") and eiser Herrgott ("our Lord"). Rare examples of the genitive are also found: Enn des Mounts ("end of the month"), Ufanks der Woch ("at the beginning of the week"). The functions of the genitive are normally expressed using a combination of the dative and a possessive determiner: e.g. dem Mann säi Buch (lit. "to the man his book", i.e. "the man's book"). This is known as a periphrastic genitive, and is a phenomenon also commonly seen in dialectal and colloquial German, and in Dutch.

The forms of the personal pronouns are given in the following table (unstressed forms appear in parentheses):

nominative accusative dative
1sg ech mech mir (mer)
2sg du (de) dech dir (der)
3sgm hien (en) him (em)
3sgn hatt (et)
3sgf si (se) hir (er)
1pl mir (mer) äis / eis
2pl dir (der) iech
3pl si (se) hinnen (en)

The 2pl form is also used as a polite singular (like French vous, see T-V distinction); the forms are capitalised in writing:

Wéi hues du de Concert fonnt? ("How did you [informal sg.] like the concert?")
Wéi hutt dir de Concert fonnt? ("How did you [informal pl.] like the concert?")
Wéi hutt Dir de Concert fonnt? ("How did you [formal sg. or pl.] like the concert?")

Like most varieties of colloquial German, but even more invariably, Luxembourgish uses definite articles with personal names. They are obligatory and not to be translated:

De Serge ass an der Kichen. ("Serge is in the kitchen.")

A feature Luxembourgish shares with only some western dialects of German is that women and girls are most often referred to with forms of the neuter pronoun hatt:

Dat ass d'Nathalie. Hatt ass midd, well et vill a sengem Gaart geschafft huet. ("That's Nathalie. She is tired because she has worked a lot in her garden.")

AdjectivesEdit

Luxembourgish morphology distinguishes two types of adjective: attributive and predicative. Predicative adjectives appear with verbs like sinn ("to be"), and receive no extra ending:

  • De Mann ass grouss. (masculine, "The man is tall.")
  • D'Fra ass grouss. (feminine, "The woman is tall.")
  • D'Meedchen ass grouss. (neuter, "The girl is tall.")
  • D'Kanner si grouss. (plural, "The children are tall.")

Attributive adjectives are placed before the noun they describe, and change their ending according to the grammatical gender, number, and case:

  • de grousse Mann (masculine)
  • déi grouss Fra (feminine)
  • dat grousst Meedchen (neuter)
  • déi grouss Kanner (plural)

Curiously, the definite article changes with the use of an attributive adjective: feminine d' goes to déi (or di), neuter d' goes to dat, and plural d' changes to déi.

The comparative in Luxembourgish is formed analytically, i.e. the adjective itself is not altered (compare the use of -er in German and English; talltaller, kleinkleiner). Instead it is formed using the adverb méi: e.g. schéinméi schéin

  • Lëtzebuerg ass méi schéi wéi Esch. ("Luxembourg is prettier than Esch.")

The superlative involves a synthetic form consisting of the adjective and the suffix -st: e.g. schéinschéinst (compare German schönst, English prettiest). Attributive modification requires the emphatic definite article and the inflected superlative adjective:

  • dee schéinste Mann ("the most handsome man")
  • déi schéinst Fra ("the prettiest woman")

Predicative modification uses either the same adjectival structure or the adverbial structure am+ -sten: e.g. schéinam schéinsten:

  • Lëtzebuerg ass dee schéinsten / deen allerschéinsten / am schéinsten. ("Luxembourg is the most beautiful (of all).")

Some common adjectives have exceptional comparative and superlative forms:

  • gutt, besser, am beschten ("good, better, best")
  • vill, méi, am meeschten ("much, more, most")
  • wéineg, manner, am mannsten ("few, fewer, fewest")

Several other adjectives also have comparative forms. However, these are not commonly used as normal comparatives, but in special senses:

  • al ("old") → eeler Leit ("elderly people"), but: méi al Leit ("older people, people older than X")
  • fréi ("early") → de fréiere President ("the former president"), but: e méi fréien Termin ("an earlier appointment")
  • laang ("long") → viru längerer Zäit ("some time ago"), but: eng méi laang Zäit ("a longer period of time")

Word orderEdit

Luxembourgish exhibits "verb second" word order in clauses. More specifically, Luxembourgish is a V2-SOV language, like German and Dutch. In other words, we find the following finite clausal structures:

  • the finite verb in second position in declarative clauses and wh-questions
Ech kafen en Hutt. Muer kafen ech en Hutt. (lit. "I buy a hat. Tomorrow buy I a hat.)
Wat kafen ech haut? (lit. "What buy I today?")
  • the finite verb in first position in yes/no questions and finite imperatives
Bass de midd? ("Are you tired?")
Gëff mer deng Hand! ("Give me your hand!")
  • the finite verb in final position in subordinate clauses
Du weess, datt ech midd sinn. (lit. "You know, that I tired am.")

Non-finite verbs (infinitives and participles) generally appear in final position:

  • compound past tenses
Ech hunn en Hutt kaf. (lit. "I have a hat bought.")
  • infinitival complements
Du solls net esou vill Kaffi drénken. (lit. "You should not so much coffee drink.")
  • infinitival clauses (e.g., used as imperatives)
Nëmme Lëtzebuergesch schwätzen! (lit. "Only Luxembourgish speak!")

These rules interact so that in subordinate clauses, the finite verb and any non-finite verbs must all cluster at the end. Luxembourgish allows different word orders in these cases:

Hie freet, ob ech komme kann. (cf. German Er fragt, ob ich kommen kann.) (lit. "He asks if I come can.")
Hie freet, ob ech ka kommen. (cf. Dutch Hij vraagt of ik kan komen.) (lit. "He asks if I can come.")

This is also the case when two non-finite verb forms occur together:

Ech hunn net kënne kommen. (cf. Dutch Ik heb niet kunnen komen.) (lit, "I have not be-able to-come")
Ech hunn net komme kënnen. (cf. German Ich habe nicht kommen können.) (lit, "I have not to-come be-able")

Luxembourgish (like Dutch and German) allows prepositional phrases to appear after the verb cluster in subordinate clauses:

alles, wat Der ëmmer wollt wëssen iwwer Lëtzebuerg
(lit. "everything what you always wanted know about Luxembourg")

VocabularyEdit

Luxembourgish has borrowed many French words. For example, the word for a bus driver is Buschauffeur (as in Dutch and Swiss German), which would be Busfahrer in German and chauffeur de bus in French.

Some words are different from Standard German, but have equivalents in German dialects. An example is Gromperen (potatoes – German: Kartoffeln). Other words are exclusive to Luxembourgish.

Selected common phrasesEdit

 
"Moien" ("Hello"): Sculpture (approx. 2 meters high) in the Justus-Lipsius building during the Luxembourgish EU-Presidency, first half of 2005

 Listen to the words below.  Note: Words spoken in sound clip do not reflect all words on this list.

Dutch Luxembourgish Standard German English
Ja. Jo. Ja. Yes.
Nee(n). Nee(n). Nein. No.
Misschien, wellicht Vläicht. Vielleicht. Maybe.
Hallo, morgen Moien. Hallo. (also Moin in the north) Hello.
Goedemorgen. Gudde Moien. Guten Morgen. Good Morning.
Goedendag. or Goedemiddag. Gudde Mëtteg. Guten Tag. Good Afternoon.
Goedenavond. Gudden Owend. Guten Abend. Good Evening.
Tot ziens. Äddi. Auf Wiedersehen. Goodbye.
Dank u. or Merci. (Belgium) Merci. Danke. Thank you.
Waarom? or Waarvoor? Firwat? Warum? or Wofür? Why, What for
Ik weet het niet. Ech weess net. Ich weiß nicht. I don't know.
Ik versta het niet. Ech verstinn net. Ich verstehe nicht. I don't understand.
Excuseer mij. or Wablief? (Belgium) Watgelift? or Entschëllegt? Entschuldigung? Excuse me?
Slagerszoon. Metzleschjong. Metzgersohn. / Metzgerjunge. Butcher's son.
Spreek je Duits/Frans/Engels? Schwätzt dir Däitsch/Franséisch/Englesch? Sprichst du Deutsch/Französisch/Englisch? Do you speak German/French/English?
Hoe heet je? Wéi heeschs du? Wie heißt du? What is your name?
Hoe gaat het? Wéi geet et? Wie geht's? How are you?, How is it going?
Politiek Fatsoen. Politeschen Anstand. Politischer Anstand. Political Decency
Zo. Sou. So. So.
Vrij. Fräi. Frei. Free.
Thuis. Heem. zu Hause. / Heim. Home.
Ik. Ech. Ich. I.
En. An. Und. And.
Mijn. Mäin. Mein. My.
Ezel. Iesel. Esel. donkey, ass.
Met. Mat. Mit. With.
Kind. Kand. Kind. Child, Kid
Weg. Wee. Weg. Way.
Aardappel. Gromper. Kartoffel/Erdapfel. Potato.
Brood. Brout. Brot. Bread.

NeologismsEdit

Neologisms in Luxembourgish include both entirely new words, and the attachment of new meanings to old words in everyday speech. The most recent neologisms come from the English language in the fields of telecommunications, computer science, and the Internet.

Recent neologisms in Luxembourgish include:[28]

  • direct loans from English: Browser, Spam, CD, Fitness, Come-back, Terminal, Hip, Cool, Tip-top
  • also found in German: Sichmaschinn (search engine, German: Suchmaschine), schwaarzt Lach (black hole, German: Schwarzes Loch), Handy (mobile phone), Websäit (webpage, German: Webseite)
  • native Luxembourgish
    • déck as an emphatic like ganz and voll, e.g. Dëse Kuch ass déck gutt! ("This cake is really good!")
    • recent expressions, used mainly by teenagers: oh mëllen! ("oh crazy"), en décke gelénkt ("you've been tricked") or cassé (French for "(you've been) owned")

Academic projectsEdit

Between 2000 and 2002, Luxembourgish linguist Jérôme Lulling compiled a lexical database of 125,000-word forms as the basis for the first Luxembourgish spellchecker (Projet C.ORT.IN.A).[29]

The LaF (Lëtzebuergesch als Friemsprooch – Luxembourgish as a Foreign Language) is a set of four language proficiency certifications for Luxembourgish and follows the ALTE framework of language examination standards. The tests are administered by the Institut National des Langues Luxembourg.[30]

The "Centre for Luxembourg Studies" at the University of Sheffield was founded in 1995 on the initiative of Professor Gerald Newton. It is supported by the government of Luxembourg which funds an endowed chair in Luxembourg Studies at the university.[31] The first class of students to study the language outside of the country as undergraduate students began their studies at the 'Centre for Luxembourg Studies' at Sheffield in the academic year 2011–2012.

Claims of endangered languageEdit

UNESCO considered Luxembourgish an endangered language as of 2019 and added the latter to its Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.[32][33]

Additionally some local news media also claim that the luxembourgish language is at risk of disappearing, and that it should be considered an endangered language.[34] Even though the government claims that more people than ever are able to speak Luxembourgish, these numbers are absolute numbers and very often include the many naturalized citizens who just recently passed the Sproochentest, a language test that certifies the knowledge of merely A.2. in speaking and B.1. in understanding.[35]

Renowned Luxembourgish language expert and historian Alain Atten claims that not only the absolute number of Luxembourgish speakers can be considered when defining the status of a language, but that the percentage of speakers in a country is very important as well, if not more. Considering that the percentage of native speakers is diminishing since years, he believes that Luxembourgish will inevitably disappear, stating:[36]

"It is simple math, if there are about 70% foreigners and about 30% Luxembourgers (which is the case in Luxembourg City), then it can impossibly be said that luxembourgish is thriving. That would be very improbable."[37]

Alain Atten also points out that the situation is even more dramatic, since the mentioned percentage number takes only the citizens of Luxembourg into its calculation and that the 200.000 cross-border-workers are not even included in the statistic.[38] However, they do play a big role in the daily use of languages in Luxembourg, thus further weakening the percentage of Luxembourgish speakers.

The following numbers are based on statistics by STATEC (those since 2011) and show that the percentage of the population that is able to speak Luxembourgish is constantly diminishing since years (Note that the 200.000 cross-border workers are not included in this statistic):[39]

Year Percentage
1846 99,0%
1900 88,0%
1983 80,6%
2011 70,51%
2012 70,07%
2013 69,65%
2014 69,17%
2015 68,78%
2016 68,35%
2017 67,77%

It has also been argued that two very similar languages, Alsatian and Lorraine Franconian, who were very broadly spoken by the local populations at the beginning of the 20th century in Alsace and in Lorraine respectively, have been nearly completely ousted by French, and that a similar fate could also be possible for Luxembourgish.[40][41] Another popular example of an already experienced replacement of Luxembourgish by French happened in Arelerland (historically a part of Luxembourg, today a part of Belgium), where the vast majority of the local population spoke Luxembourgish as a native language well into the 20th centurury. Today, Luxembourgish is nearly extinct in this region and has been replaced by French. (see also: Arelerland and |Luxembourgish in Arelerland )

According to some luxembourgish news media and members of Actioun Lëtzebuergesch (an association for the preservation and promotion of the language), the biggest threat to the existence of Luxembourgish is indeed French, since French is the predominantly used language in most official documents and most street signs in Luxembourg, thus considerably weakening the possibilitiy for Luxembourgish learners to practice the newly learned language.[42] In most cases this passively forces expats to learn French instead of Luxembourgish.[43]

Learning and using Luxembourgish is made very difficult by luxembourgish administrations as many of them do not use the language in any written documents. For example all official offices of the Luxembourg City administration do not offer any official documents in Luxembourgish.[44] Their website is not available in Luxembourgish, and their monthly magazine City is only available in French and English, getting rid of both, Luxembourgish and German.[45][46] Additionally many official websites, like those of the National Library of Luxembourg or public hospitals to name just a few, offer their services in French only, fueling claims of an ongoing francization of Luxembourg.[47][48] The official Facebook channel of the Grand-Ducal Family, the official head of state of the country, releases statements as well only in French.[49]

In July 2020 the name of the new national stadium was revealed to be called "Stade de Luxembourg", thus bypassing the usage of a luxembourgish language name.[50] In September the same year, the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies rejected a petition to amend the name using the Luxembourgish language.[51]

In 2021 it was announced that public announcements in Luxembourgish (and in German as well) at Luxembourg Airport would cease, the latter will only be using French and English for future public announcements.[52] This makes Luxembourgish disappear from Luxembourg Airport after being used for many decades. Actioun Lëtzebuergesch declared in a statement being hugely upset by this new governmental measure, citing that other airports in the world seem to have no problems making public announcements in multiple languages.[53] According to a poll conducted by AL, 92,84% of the luxembourgish population wish public announcements to be made in Luxembourgish at Luxembourg Airport.[54]

Further fears of Luxembourgish disappearing or being replaced by French have been fueled in 2021 when ASTI (Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés) stated that they would wish to see Luxembourgish be removed as the national language of Luxembourg (as written in the constitution), claiming that the national language of Luxembourg should by law be defined as the one that is most used in the local population (hinting that French should become the national language of Luxembourg).[55]

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Note that the letter ⟨é⟩ today represents the same sound as ⟨ë⟩ before ⟨ch⟩. The ostensibly inconsistent spelling ⟨é⟩ is based on the traditional, now widely obsolete pronunciation of the sound represented by ⟨ch⟩ as a palatal [ç]. As this consonant is pronounced further back in the mouth, it triggered the use of the front allophone of /e/ (that is [e]) as is the case before the velars (/k, ŋ/). Since the more forward alveolo-palatal [ɕ] has replaced the palatal [ç] for almost all speakers, the allophone [ə] is used as before any non-velar consonant. So the word mécht ('[he] makes'), which is now pronounced [məɕt], used to be pronounced [meçt]; this is the reason for the spelling. The spelling ⟨mëcht⟩, which reflects the contemporary pronunciation, is not standard.
  2. ^ In the standard orthography, /ɑʊ̯/ and /æːʊ̯/ are not distinguished.
  1. ^ a b "Le luxembourgeois « Sorosoro".
  2. ^ "Luxemburgish – definition of Luxemburgish in English from the Oxford dictionary". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Letzeburgesch – definition of Lëtzeburgesch in English from the Oxford dictionary". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Le nombre de locuteurs du luxembourgeois revu à la hausse" (PDF). Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Law establishing the Conseil Permanent de la Langue Luxembourgeoise (CPLL)" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Mémorial A no. 16 (27 February 1984), pp. 196–7: "Loi du 24 février 1984 sur le régime des langues"". Archived from the original on 3 February 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2006.
  8. ^ Hausemer, Georges. Luxemburger Lexikon - Das Großherzogtum von A-Z.
  9. ^ "What languages do people speak in Luxembourg?". luxembourg.public.lu. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  10. ^ Moyse, François; Brasseur, Pierre; Scuto, Denis (2004). "Luxembourg". In Bauböck, Rainer; Ersbøll, Eva; Groenendijk, Kees; Waldrauch, Harald (eds.). Acquisition and Loss of Nationality: Policies and Trends in 15 European States – Volume 2: Country Analysis. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. p. 380. ISBN 978-90-5356-921-4.
  11. ^ https://www.rtl.lu/news/national/a/1242132.html
  12. ^ https://www.rtl.lu/news/national/a/964594.html
  13. ^ https://adr.lu/walen/walen-2013/eise-walprogramm/eise-walprogramm-op-letzebuergesch/26-letzebuergesch-dei-sprooch-fir-eist-land/
  14. ^ a b Ammon, Ulrich - Die Stellung der deutschen Sprache in der Welt (de Gruyter Mouton); ISBN 978-3-11-019298-8
  15. ^ "Mémorial A no. 40 (7 September 1946), pp. 637–41: "Arrêté ministériel du 5 juin 1946 portant fixation d'un système officiel d'orthographe luxembourgeois"". Archived from the original on 26 April 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2006.
  16. ^ "Et get kèèn ä geshriven. [...] Et get kèèn ö geshriven." (p. 639)
  17. ^ Mémorial B no. 68 (16 November 1976), pp. 1365–90: "Arrêté ministériel du 10 octobre 1975 portant réforme du système officiel d'orthographe luxembourgeoise".
  18. ^ "Mémorial A no. 112 (11 August 1999), pp. 2040–8: "Règlement grand-ducal du 30 juillet 1999 portant réforme du système officiel d'orthographe luxembourgeoise"". Archived from the original on 3 November 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2006.
  19. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 67.
  20. ^ a b c d e Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 72.
  21. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 69.
  22. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 68.
  23. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), pp. 68–69.
  24. ^ a b c d e f Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 70.
  25. ^ Trouvain & Gilles (2009), p. 75.
  26. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 71.
  27. ^ Trouvain & Gilles (2009), p. 72.
  28. ^ Lulling, Jérôme. (2002) La créativité lexicale en luxembourgeois, Doctoral thesis, Université Paul Valéry Montpellier III
  29. ^ "Eurogermanistik - Band 20". web.archive.org. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  30. ^ "Institut national des langues – INL – Passer un examen à l'INL". Archived from the original on 8 May 2015.
  31. ^ "Centre for Luxembourg Studies". Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  32. ^ https://today.rtl.lu/news/luxembourg/a/1311464.html
  33. ^ https://www.luxtimes.lu/en/luxembourg/is-luxembourgish-an-endangered-language-602d462bde135b9236514279
  34. ^ "Lëtzebuergesch gëtt ëmmer méi aus dem Alldag verdrängt". MOIEN.LU (in Luxembourgish). 25 February 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  35. ^ "Examen d'évaluation de la langue luxembourgeoise « Sproochentest » | Institut National des Langues" (in French). Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  36. ^ "Lëtzebuergesch gëtt ëmmer méi aus dem Alldag verdrängt". MOIEN.LU (in Luxembourgish). 25 February 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  37. ^ "Lëtzebuergesch gëtt ëmmer méi aus dem Alldag verdrängt". MOIEN.LU (in Luxembourgish). 25 February 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Lëtzebuergesch gëtt ëmmer méi aus dem Alldag verdrängt". MOIEN.LU (in Luxembourgish). 25 February 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  39. ^ "Lëtzebuergesch gëtt ëmmer méi aus dem Alldag verdrängt". MOIEN.LU (in Luxembourgish). 25 February 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  40. ^ Babbel.com; GmbH, Lesson Nine. "Welche Sprachen werden in Elsass-Lothringen gesprochen?". Das Babbel Magazin (in German). Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  41. ^ admin (12 August 2020). "D'Lëtzebuergescht, bald eng langue morte?!". Guy Kaiser Online. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  42. ^ admin (12 August 2020). "D'Lëtzebuergescht, bald eng langue morte?!". Guy Kaiser Online. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  43. ^ admin (12 August 2020). "D'Lëtzebuergescht, bald eng langue morte?!". Guy Kaiser Online. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  44. ^ "Page d'accueil | Ville de Luxembourg". www.vdl.lu. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  45. ^ "Homepage | Ville de Luxembourg". www.vdl.lu. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  46. ^ "Homepage". CityMag (in French). Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  47. ^ "Bibliothèque nationale (BnL) - Luxembourg". bnl.public.lu (in French). Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  48. ^ "Accueil | CHL". www.chl.lu. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  49. ^ "Log into Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 16 October 2021. Cite uses generic title (help)
  50. ^ https://delano.lu/article/delano_first-stade-de-luxembourg-match-march-2021
  51. ^ https://www.wort.lu/fr/luxembourg/le-nom-du-stade-national-fait-toujours-debat-5f620fd2de135b923686add4
  52. ^ "Findel airport: Public announcements no longer available in Luxembourgish". today.rtl.lu. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  53. ^ http://www.actioun-letzebuergesch.lu/files/artikelen/20210907-al.pdf
  54. ^ http://www.actioun-letzebuergesch.lu/files/artikelen/20210907-al.pdf
  55. ^ "Pressekonferenz vun der Asti: "Verfassung sollt e Spigel vun der Gesellschaft sinn"". www.rtl.lu (in Luxembourgish). Retrieved 12 October 2021.

ReferencesEdit

  • Bruch, Robert. (1955) Précis de grammaire luxembourgeoise. Bulletin Linguistique et Ethnologique de l'Institut Grand-Ducal, Luxembourg, Linden. (2nd edition of 1968)
  • Gilles, Peter; Trouvain, Jürgen (2013), "Luxembourgish" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 67–74, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000278
  • Schanen, François and Lulling, Jérôme. (2003) Introduction à l'orthographe luxembourgeoise. (text available in French and Luxembourgish)

Further readingEdit

In English

In French

  • BRAUN, Josy, et al. (en coll. avec Projet Moien), Grammaire de la langue luxembourgeoise. Luxembourg, Ministère de l'Éducation nationale et de la Formation professionnelle 2005. ISBN 2-495-00025-8
  • SCHANEN, François, Parlons Luxembourgeois, Langue et culture linguistique d'un petit pays au coeur de l'Europe. Paris, L'Harmattan 2004, ISBN 2-7475-6289-1
  • SCHANEN, François / ZIMMER, Jacqui, 1,2,3 Lëtzebuergesch Grammaire. Band 1: Le groupe verbal. Band 2: Le groupe nominal. Band 3:L'orthographe. Esch-sur-Alzette, éditions Schortgen, 2005 et 2006
  • SCHANEN, François / ZIMMER, Jacqui, Lëtzebuergesch Grammaire luxembourgeoise. En un volume. Esch-sur-Alzette, éditions Schortgen, 2012. ISBN 978-2-87953-146-5

In Luxembourgish

  • SCHANEN, François, Lëtzebuergesch Sproocherubriken. Esch-sur-Alzette, éditions Schortgen, 2013.ISBN 978-2-87953-174-8
  • Meyer, Antoine, E' Schrek ob de' lezeburger Parnassus, Lezeburg (Luxembourg), Lamort, 1829

In German

  • BRUCH, Robert, Grundlegung einer Geschichte des Luxemburgischen, Luxembourg, Publications scientifiques et littéraires du Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, 1953, vol. I; Das Luxemburgische im westfränkischen Kreis, Luxembourg, Publications scientifiques et littéraires du Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, 1954, vol. II
  • MOULIN, Claudine and Nübling, Damaris (publisher): Perspektiven einer linguistischen Luxemburgistik. Studien zu Diachronie und Synchronie., Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg, 2006. This book has been published with the support of the Fonds National de la Recherche
  • GILLES, Peter (1998). "Die Emanzipation des Lëtzebuergeschen aus dem Gefüge der deutschen Mundarten". Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie. 117: 20–35.
  • BERG, Guy, Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sin: Soziolinguistische und sprachtypologische Betrachtungen zur luxemburgischen Mehrsprachigkeit., Tübingen, 1993 (Reihe Germanistische Linguistik 140). ISBN 3-484-31140-1
  • (phrasebook) REMUS, Joscha, Lëtzebuergesch Wort für Wort. Kauderwelsch Band 104. Bielefeld, Reise Know-How Verlag 1997. ISBN 3-89416-310-0
  • WELSCHBILLIG Myriam, SCHANEN François, Jérôme Lulling, Luxdico Deutsch: Luxemburgisch ↔ Deutsches Wörterbuch, Luxemburg (Éditions Schortgen) 2008, Luxdico Deutsch

External linksEdit

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