Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This page covers the Limburgish language, spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium.
|Spoken in:||Netherlands, Belgium and a small part of Germany|
|Total speakers:||1,600,000 (est.)|
|Ranking:||Not in top 100|
|Recognised language in:||Not official in Belgium, in the Netherlands it's recognised as a regional language|
Limburgian, or Limburgish or Limburgic (Dutch: Limburgs, German: Limburgisch, French: Limbourgeois) is a group of Franconian varieties, spoken in the Limburg and Selfkant regions, near the common Dutch/Flemish(Belgium)/German border. Limburgian is recognised as a regional language (streektaal) in the Netherlands and as such it receives moderate protection under chapter 2 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
Limburgish gradually gradates into more easterly idioms of the region of Berg,Germany. This being the case, it is in Germany typically classed as combined with these dialects into a so-called Limburgisch-Bergisch group, this collection of dialects, from which the most often spoken Franconian dialects of the Netherlands and Belgium are excluded.
Limburgish is spoken by approximately 1,600,000 people in the Low Countries and by many hundreds of thousands in Germany, depending on definition. The varieties of Limburgish spoken within Flemish (Belgium) territory are more influenced by French than those spoken on Dutch and German soil.
Unlike most European languages, Limburgish is a tonal language having two tones. Other small European languages known to be marginally tonal are Lithuanian, Slovenian, and some Croatian dialects. Swedish and Norwegian also exhibit tonal distinctions.
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