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Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.650
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Volume 23, Issue 2


Sprache, Grenze, Raum

Peter Auer
Published Online: 2005-07-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfsw.2004.23.2.149


On the basis of a cognitive approach to space in the tradition of Georg Simmel, I argue in this paper that geopolitical (above all, national) borders should be looked upon as cognitive constructs intimately linked to the “imagined communities” (Andersen) they delimit. These “imagined borders” can nonetheless have a strong impact on the dialect continua which they crosscut. Dialect divergence at the national borders of Germany is therefore not due to impeded communication as suggested in traditional dialectology (Verkehr); rather, the borders are the limits (boundaries) of the reach of the national standard languages or of repertoire types which symbolise, in some way or other, nation-state identities. Divergence can be expected to increase to the degree that (in this order) (a) the national standard languages, (b) the repertoire types (diaglossic/diglossic) or (c) the regional dialects differ on both sides of the border.

About the article

Received: 05. März 2004

Revised: 18. Juni 2004

Published Online: 2005-07-27

Published in Print: 2004-10-15

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 149–179, ISSN (Online) 1613-3706, ISSN (Print) 0721-9067, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfsw.2004.23.2.149.

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