Steenkolenduits und die Schwierigkeit, Sprache und Sprachgebrauch zu unterscheiden

  1. Dieter Stellmacher


Hardcoal-German (Dutch:  Steenkolenduits) is a linguistic term for a very simplified form of German used by Dutchmen. The term was created in analogy to Hardcoal-English, a form of Pidgin English used by Dutch sailors on coal barges. First and foremost, a hardcoal-language is a medium for informal communication which attempts to achieve mutual understanding without regard to grammatical correctness.
This article presents and analyses two texts and a number of short sentences as examples of Hardcoal-German. It appears that Hardcoal-German is an infusion of Dutch language elements into German. The result are many ill-formed German utterances which are nevertheless comprehensible to speakers of both languages. This is the main argument of some Dutch linguists who state that every form of global language will be a hardcoal language. In contrast to this assumption, I put forward the hypothesis that Hardcoal-German is not a language in the strict (linguistic) sense of the word; on the contrary, it is a situation-bound tool for simple communication between Dutchmen and Germans. In my view, much more extensive work will be necessary to arrive at a more accurate description and analysis of Hardcoal-German. This article will be the first step in that direction.

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Neerlandica Wratislaviensia

24, 2014

Pages from 143 to 152

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