Language shift in the Erlangen Huguenot community

Pfäffle A, Schiegg M (2023)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 9

Pages Range: 1-30

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1515/jhsl-2022-0003

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This article examines the language shift and the accompanying changing status of French and German in the Erlangen Huguenot community (southern Germany) during the approximately 150 years following the first French immigrants settling in Erlangen in 1686. Our quantitative analysis is based on a diachronically-balanced corpus of 314 archival sources transmitted from this community and provides an overview of the language shift from French to German over time. The linguistic choices are influenced by the social group of the writers and addressees, the direction of communication and the domain of the texts. Our qualitative analysis focuses on multilingual texts and linguistic practices throughout the time period examined and traces the changing status of the two languages in the community, from French as the dominant language in the earlier years, to the use of German in conceptually oral texts with retention of French in school contexts and by the consistory, to French as a social symbol of the intellectuals in the early 19th century. Our paper provides empirical accounts for an under-researched context of language shift and contributes to historical sociolinguistic research on historical language contact, multilingualism, and linguistic identity.

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Pfäffle, A., & Schiegg, M. (2023). Language shift in the Erlangen Huguenot community. Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics, 9(1), 1-30.


Pfäffle, Anna, and Markus Schiegg. "Language shift in the Erlangen Huguenot community." Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics 9.1 (2023): 1-30.

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