S2E3: Texas German

Texas German is a peculiar and endangered dialect, and time is running out to research it. What is this variety, and how did it come to be? What do Texas German speakers sound like? And what efforts are being made to preserve and record this dying dialect?

In this episode I talk to Hans C. Boas, professor for Germanic Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, and the director of the Texas German Dialect Project. We talk about the history and development of Texas German, as well as the features that make it unique among the other dialects of German in the US and in Europe. We also hear some recordings of Texas German speakers, provided by the Texas German Dialect Archive.

Outro music: Coming Back by Euphoniques.

Read the transcript here.

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About the guest

Hans C. Boas is a professor for Germanic linguistics and the University of Texas at Austin, and the director of the Texas German Dialect Project, a research organisation which aims to understand and preserve the Texas German dialect. Among his many research interests are endangered languages and dialects, historical linguistics, and documentary linguistics.

Email: hcb@mail.utexas.edu


The Life and Death of Texas German
Publication of the American Dialect Society, 2009

This volume presents the first major study of Texas German as spoken in the twenty-first century, focusing on its formation and the linguistic changes it has undergone. This New World dialect, formed more than 150 years ago in German communities in central Texas, is an unusual example of a formerly high-status dialect that declined for sociopolitical reasons. An important case study for dialect research, Texas German is now critically endangered and will probably be extinct by 2050.

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This episode was first released on 15.02.2022.

YOTE theme music by Vincent Tone (PremiumBeat.com)

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