Die Sibilanten des Zimbrischen: Konservativität durch Sprachkontakt
MetadataShow full item record
We investigate a seemingly counterintuitive result of language contact: the maintenance of old German features in the Cimbrian variety of Lusérn, supported by contact with Romance. The sibilants of Lusérn Cimbrian exhibit to date a three-way distinction similar to Old and Middle High German while the German mainland dialects, including Standard German, reduced it to a two-way distinction. We show that the maintenance of the third, typologically marked sibilant in Cimbrian is due to the existence of a phonetically similar sibilant in the neighboring Romance dialects - even though in these varieties it is embedded in a two-way distinction similar to Standard German.