Vaals dialect (natively Völser plat [ˈvœlsəʀ ˈplɑt],[tone?] Standard Dutch: Vaals dialect, pronounced [ˌvaːlz dijaːˈlɛkt]) is a Ripuarian dialect spoken in Vaals. It is very similar to the Kerkrade dialect and the Aachen dialect.
One of the big differences between the Vaals dialect and the neighboring dialects (even the dialect of Lemiers, called Lemieësjer [ləˈmiəʒəʁ]) is the pronunciation of ch after front vowels, which is a palatal fricative [ç] in most southern dialects of Dutch. In Vaals, it merges with the postalveolar fricative [ʃ] sj, as in many Western German dialects. For instance, the first person singular pronoun iesj [iʃ] corresponds to ich [ɪç] or iech [iç] in Limburgish.
However, the dialect of Lemiers is much more similar to the dialect of Vaals than the dialect spoken in Vijlen (called Vieleter or Vielender) as the former features the High German consonant shift. In Lemiers, the etymological /ɡ/ (/ɣ/ in Limburgish and southern Standard Dutch) has not fully shifted to /j/ in consonant clusters. Thus, the word for big (Standard Dutch groot [ˈɣroːt]), varies between [ˈɣʁuəs] and [ˈjʁuəs]. A Limburgish dialectologist Will Kohnen recommends the spelling jroeës to cover this variation (cf. Vieleter groeët). In Kerkrade, the shift has been completed and so only the form [ˈjʁuəs] occurs.
- "Cittaslow Vaals: verrassend, veelzijdig, veelkleurig". Retrieved 9 September 2015. The PDF file can be accessed at the bottom of the page. The relevant citation is on the page 13: "De enige taal waarin Vaals echt te beschrijven en te bezingen valt is natuurlijk het Völser dialect. Dit dialect valt onder het zogenaamde Ripuarisch."
- Kohnen (2003), p. 1.
- Bodelier (2011), p. 11.
- Bodelier, Jorina (2011), Tone and intonation in the Lemiers dialect of Ripuarian (MA General Linguistics Thesis), Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam
- Kohnen, Will (2003), Sjpelling 2003 van ‘t Vieleter, Völser en Lemieësjer in ‘t kót (PDF), retrieved 26 December 2021