Wermelskirchen Linguist Bjorn Kunlin says the results of research on the Wermelskirchen dialect are astounding.
When the dialect is spoken in Wermelskirchen’s living rooms, Platt is called. Then one understands the other, shared roots are nurtured, and shared memories come alive. Science usually stays out the door. However, linguist Professor Bjorn Konlin wanted to know for sure – and last year he visited several dialect friends in Wermelskirchen. He listened carefully, made test recordings, examined the lute and finally put it into context.
He presented the result of his investigation Thursday evening in a digital lecture given by Bergisches Geschichtsverein in Wermelskirchen. The association about Volker supported the linguist Ernst in his investigations. 43 listeners participated – to approach the dialect from a scientific perspective. The result: “The dialect in Wermelskirchen is unique,” said Björn Köhnlein, enthusiasm written all over the linguist’s face. He explained to the audience that the development of dialect in Wermelskirchen was “amazing”. This development is probably unrecognizable in any other dialect in Germany.
The main focus is on the effects of the second phonemic shift: about 1,500 years ago, this caused the language to change from the south. The Germanic word “bite” became “bite” and “bite” in High German. While other languages such as Holland or Great Britain have stuck to the T-sound – “bite” and “bijten” – High German replaces the T-sound with the S sound. Except for the people in Wermelskirchen, who are linguistically located in the border region because of the “Benrather line” path. The dialect in Wermelskirchen was given the T sound in the infinitive: everyone who calls “bite” today speaks of “offer”. However, in the past tense, residents of Wermelskirchen went to S-sound: “jebessen”. After a long vowel, the letter T remained, and after a short pronunciation it became the letter S. The same applies to other sounds. The linguist found this to be unique. He says, “The dialect in Wermelskirchen merges very old language stages with today’s High German, and it operates according to its own rules.” This systematically distinguishes it from all the other German dialects known to him.
In his investigation, Björn Köhnlein also considered another question: in 1904, Max Hasenclever of Zurmühle presented his thesis on the topic “The dialect of Wermelskirchen society” – he also found that there are words that are distinguished exclusively by tone-tone discrimination. So stressing a word changes its meaning. In conversation with several “Plattkaller” in Wermelskirchen, Köhnlein went in search of these dialects. He finally stated “I haven’t found them, but no one can remember such tone dialects either.” So it is assumed that pitch dialects have faded since 1904. The loss of accent is often noted in dialects. However, if someone from Wermelskirchen came up with the appropriate terms, he would be very interested, as the linguist emphasized.
In the discussion that followed, the audience was primarily interested in one question: How can dialect be saved after all? Conlin summarizes “many local dialects have been wiped out due to their devaluation compared to High German dialects”. Parents were concerned that the accent would hinder their children’s education at school. “We know today that there are no disadvantages for young people who grew up with an accent and super German at the same time. On the contrary.” However, it seems like it’s almost too late to get the insight. The linguist encouraged “The only thing we can do: We can talk to the kids in the dialect again.” This applies to everyday life, but it is also possible to offer similar courses. Schools can also offer dialect lessons in workgroups – if there are the right professionals who can take over the teaching. In this way, “Plattkallen” can still be saved for the next generation.
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”