Limburgish is now a language!

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Nov 22 14:48:35 UTC 2004

Members of this list:

I recently received this message with regard to a map and webpage I have
on my language policy site, depicting the transition from German to Dutch
in the Limburg region of the Netherlands. I use the map to show how there
is no clear boundary between language "on the ground" in that area, and no
respecter of political boundaries, since the transitional zone crosses
from Germany, through the Limburg area (and Limburg "dialect") in
Netherlands, and into Belgium.  But now I'm told that Limburgish is a
language, not a dialect, at least in the Netherlands:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Patrick Quaedackers <patrick.quaedackers at>
To: haroldfs at
Subject: Limburgish


I was looking for photos of the Limburg flag on Google and accidently
found [your] site on the transition from German to Dutch
I just wanted to point out that since 1997 "Limburgish" is recognised as
a regional language in the Netherlands (not in Belgium), and therefor
gets protection by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

It isn't a dialect, but a real language with it's own grammar. Unlike
Dutch, Limburgish is a tonal language, like Latvian for instance. (see
also )
The Limburgish word "zie" can mean "her" as well as "side" depending on
the tone of the word. This is not the case in the Dutch.

Kind regards,

 As Joshua Fishman is often quoted as saying, "a language is a dialect
with an army", but I guess in this case, Limburgish doesn't even need an


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