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Document Details :

Title: Wegen seltzamen villen namen
Subtitle: Sprachkontakt in einem historisch zweisprachigen Gebiet: das grosse Walsertal in Vorarlberg
Author(s): BERCHTOLD, S.
Journal: Onoma
Volume: 36    Date: 2001   
Pages: 229-244
DOI: 10.2143/ONO.36.0.563285

Abstract :
The following essay focuses on a number of fieldnames in the Grosses Walsertal in Vorarlberg which show some kind of language contact. Today, the inhabitants of this valley are part of the migration of the Walser which spread from southern Switzerland eastwards into Austria during the early Middle Ages. Even so, there is no early written data that informs us directly or indirectly about the linguistic situation in this area. Exploiting the onomastic material and also utilizing it is a major approach to discover layers of a German and a Romanic language. The fieldnames tell us that there had existed a Romanic population before, with whom the Walser had some kind of contact. At least there is a number of Romanic fieldnames still in use. They have kept their Romanic pronunciation, moreover, a still bigger number of Romanic toponyms can be found in the historical documents.

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