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Cité Duits

Cité Duits


In the late 1930s and 1940s, locally born children of immigrant coal miners in Tuinwijk, a neighbourhood in the village of Eisden in Belgian Limburg, developed a way of speaking among themselves which they later labelled Cité Duits. Having become coal miners themselves, they continued to use Cité Duits as an in-group language throughout their professional lives when working underground as well as in their private lives. We will show that Cité Duits is a hybrid variety resulting from combining elements of German, Belgian Dutch and the Maasland dialect spoken in Belgian Limburg through focusing and sedimentation. We argue that Cité Duits developed and continues to be employed as a symbolic language for expressing group identity.

Publication available in Open Access (Dutch)

An English version of this article was also published in The Sociolinguistics of Place and Belonging: Perspectives from the Margins (eds. Leonie Cornips and Vincent de Rooij).