Serbo-Croatian etc.

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Tue Nov 2 22:41:08 UTC 1999

I erred:  The people are called Bosniacs; the language (now) is called
Bosnian or Bosanski.  A website for the new country lists as languages
"Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian."

>Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 12:14:27 -0500
>To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>From: Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at>
>Subject: Re: 'Schwyzertueuetsch'  (was   Re: Folk etymology) (Was Re:
>Swiss enchiladas)
>Ditto for Bosnia, whose citizens now speak Bosniak (sp?).
>At 11:36 AM 10/31/99 -0500, you wrote:
>>Is German a language (or just a collection of a bunch of High and Low
>>German dialects)? When dialects/languages are related, isn't this always a
>>sociopolitical question (with "right" answers depending on who you're
>>talking to)? Notice how quickly Serbo-Croatian became Serbian and Croatian
>>(without a blink at linguistic facts).
>> >A possibly more definitive solution as to whether Schwyzertueuetsch is a
>> >language or just the overall title for a group of very high German dialects
>> >might be to ascertain what the four official languages are of the Swiss
>> >Confederation: French, Italian, Roumasch (in its various spellings (which
>> >one is official?), and ?  Scott Catledge
>> >----- Original Message -----
>> >From: Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU>
>> >Sent: Saturday, October 30, 1999 2:02 PM
>> >Subject: Re: Folk etymology (Was Re: Swiss enchiladas)
>> >
>> >
>> >I don't know who "they" are, but a former student of mine from die Schweiz
>> >told me the term 'Schwyzertueuetsch' is commonly used (and note his
>> >spelling, with 'y' and a doubled umlauted vowel, presumably to signal
>> >lengthening ['ue'  substitutes for my lack of the umlaut diacritic--how do
>> >you get that, Greg?]).  Trudgill, in his _Sociolinguistics_ (1995 ed., p.
>> >101) uses this spelling also, but he does note that his example is "based
>> >on Zurich speech."  My student taperecorded T's example for me, with
>> >wonderful intonation and very prominent vowel lengthening; I play it every
>> >year for my Sociolx class.
>> >
>> >>Actually, to be more accurate, since you seem to be interested, they tell
>> >me
>> >>there is not even such a thing as Schwizertütsch. There are only local
>> >>dialects each of which is a bit different, e.g., Züritütsch (Zürich
>> >>Deutsch). So they say....
>> >>
>> >>Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing at or gd2 at
>>Dennis R. Preston
>>Professor of Linguistics
>>Department of Linguistics and Languages
>>Michigan State University
>>East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
>>preston at
>>Office: (517)353-0740
>>Fax: (517)432-2736

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