Roald Smeets Meuse-Rhenish
08/26/2012 § Leave a comment
Meuse-Rhenish (German: Rheinmaasländisch, Dutch: Maas-Rijnlands, and French: francique rhéno-mosan) is a modern term that geographically refers to the literature written in mediæval times in the greater Meuse-Rhine area. This area stretches in the northern triangle roughly between the rivers Meuse (in Belgium and the Netherlands) and Rhine (in Germany). It also applies to the Low Franconian dialects that have been spoken in that area in continuation from mediæval times up to now.
It includes varieties of South Guelderish (Zuid-Gelders) and Limburgish in the Belgian and Dutch provinces of Limburg, and their German counterparts Low Rhenish (German: Niederrheinisch) including East Bergish in German Northern Rhineland. Although some dialects of this group are spoken within the language area where German is the standard, they actually are Low Franconian in character, do stand on a shorter distance to Dutch than to High German, and could therefore also be called Dutch (see also Dutch dialects). With regard to this German part only, Meuse-Rhenish equals the total of Low Rhenish vernaculars.
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