What Is Limburgish language

The Limburgish (in Dutch : Limburgs ; in German : Limburgisch ; in French : Limbourgeois ) is a group of languages Low Franconian minority spoken in Limburg (1815-1839) and the Rhine , near the Triple Frontier between the Netherlands , Belgium and Germany , an area approximately within a circle formed by the cities Venlo , Düsseldorf , Aachen , Maastricht, Hasselt returning to Tienen . In some places it is used as everyday colloquial language


In general Limburgish speaking is often described as a dialect of either German or Dutch , both of which share common characteristics. In modern communities in the Belgian and Dutch provinces, intermediate Limburger idiolects are very common and also combine the Dutch language with accent tendencies and grammatical aspects of the Limburger itself. Thus, the so-called “Limburgish Dutch”, a variety of Dutch spoken in the region, is sometimes confused with Limburgish. In the Netherlands it is also known as streektaal , “language of the region”.


The name Limburgs (and its variants) derives from today’s Belgian city of Limburg ( Laeboer in Limburgish IPA: / ˈlæːbuʁ / ), which was the capital of the Duchy of Limburg during the Middle Ages . The Limburger people usually call their language Plat , as Low German speakers do. This plat basically means ‘not elevated’, ‘ordinary’ or even ‘vulgar’, as opposed to High German . The name can also be associated with the word platteland (In Dutch: ‘campo, interior’). The general Dutch term for the language of the simplest people in more remote eras was Dietsch , or Duutsch , as seen in the expression “Low Dietsch” or Plattdütsch .

Scope [ edit | edit source code ]

Limburger in various definitions

Limburguês has partially overlapping definition areas, depending on the criteria used:

  1. All dialects spoken within the political boundary of the two provinces of Limburg.
  2. Limburger according to Jo Daan, the associative method “arrow” of the Meertens Institute.
  3. Southern Lower Franconia, definition with issogloss between the lines of Uerdingen and Benrath by Wenker, Schrijnen and Goossens (University of Leuven).
  4. Western limit of the Limburger tip accent (greater lexical distance from standard Dutch, according to Hoppenbrouwers)
  5. Southeast Limburgese dialect (Wintgens and Frins); includes a part of the Ripuarian language in Germany.

Dialects [ edit | edit source code ]

  • Limburgish
    • Northern Limburger
    • East Limburger
      • Sittard ( Zittesj)
    • Central Limburger
      • Weert ( Wieërts)
      • Maastricht ( Mestreechs)
    • Limburguês Sudeste (superposition like the Ripuarian language.)
      • Aachen
      • Kerkrade ( Kirkröadsj)
    • West Limburger
      • Hasselt ( Hessels)
      • Veldeke

The dialect of Venlo is considered by many as an intermediary between the East and Kleverlandisj.


Presented below based on the Limburger West spoken in Montfort .


Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Alveolar palate Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Occlusive P B t d ɖ ç k ɡ ʔ
Approx. w ð j
Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ ç ʝ x ɣ H ɦ
Vibrant r
Approximate side ɫ

, l


Vowels [ edit | edit source code ]

Monotongs [ edit | edit source code ]

Front Central Later
Closed i iː y yː u uː
Almost closed ɪ
Almost closed and eː ø øː oː o
Average ə ɔ
Half open ɛ ɛː œ œː œ̃ː ɔː ɔ̃ː
Almost open æ æ̃ː
Open a aː ɑ ɑː ɑ̃ː

Diphthongs [ edit | edit source code ]

The diphthongs / iə øɪ andɪ æɪ uɪ ɔɪ aɪ or / occur, as well as the combinations of / uː ɔː ɑː / + / j / . / aɪ / only occur in words of French origin .

Tones [ edit | edit source code ]

Areas (in orange) where the strong tonic accent (with tones) used in Benelux and Germany

Tonal contour “pulling”

Tonal contour “pushing

Many Limburgish (and Ripuarian [ 1 ] ) dialects have a variation in tone, with two different types of tone used in accented syllables. The difference between these two tonicities is used both to differentiate grammatical forms from the same single lexeme and from a minimal pair of tones . [ 2 ] In relation specifically to Limburgish, these two forms of tones are traditionally known as sjtoettoen (“pushed tone”) and sjleiptoen (“pulled tone”). The pulled tone has a lexical function , but the pushed tone does not have this function.

As an example, [daːx˦˨˧] daa ~ g with a pulled tone means “a day” in Limburgish, while in many dialects of the language [daːx˦˨] daa \ g with a pushed tone is the plural form, “days” (in addition, [ daːx ] can also be articulated in a neutral tone in a 3rd possibility, meaning “to be good”).

The difference is grammatical, but it is not lexical. An example of lexical difference caused by the “pulled” tone is the word [biː˦˨] bie \ which in a “pushed” tone means “bee”, forming a minimal tonal pair with [biː˦˨˧] bie ~ , which articulated with pulled tone means the preposition “a”.

Grammar [ edit | edit source code ]

Noun [ edit | edit source code ]

Genres [ edit | edit source code ]

More conservatively than the Dutch , Limburger still has three grammatical genres. The determinative particle is, as in Dutch, “de” for masculine or feminine nouns and “‘t” for neutrals. In some dialects, however, the “de” becomes “d’n” before masculine words beginning with b , d , h , t or with a vowel; in other dialects this form is d’r . In most dialects the indeterminate article is eine (n) for male, ein for female and ei or ‘ n for neutral.n and e .

Plural [ edit | edit source code ]

For some nouns the Limburger uses simulfixes (eg Umlaut ) to form the plural. This way of building the plural is also used in other languages German Westerners, as the German and to some extent also in English ( man – men  ; goose – geese ), which is very rare in Dutch. The further east, the closer to Germany , the more plural and diminutive you see with Umlaut .

  • broor– breurke – breur (brother – little brother – brothers)
  • sjoon– sjeunke – sjeun (shoe – shoe – shoes): note that it can also be ‘sjoon’ with sjtoettoen (“pulled” tone).

The most used diminutive suffix is -ke , as in brabant, or -je / -sje after dental consonant .

Writing [ edit | edit source code ]

The Limburgish language uses the conventional 26-letter Latin alphabet . Also used in vowels A, E, O are the umlauts and accents, acute , low , circumflex (this only in A). As consonants the forms Ch, Dj, Dk, Lj, Ng, Nj, Qu, Sj and Zj are also used .

Sample text [ edit | edit source code ]

Our Father

Oze vader, dae in de hemel ies, eure naam ies oes heilig, laot eur riek van vrae kómme op dees waereld en laot oes handele volges eure wil.

Gaef ederein zien dageliks broad en vergaef oes oes miessjlaeg, zoa wie veer aan andere vergaeve wat ze taege oes miesdege, bring oes neet in verzeuking en verlos oes van alle koad.

I want you to keep me from krach and gelökzaligheid in all ièwigheid.



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