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German, Pennsylvania

A language of United States

ISO 639-3pdc

Population  83,700 in United States (2000 census), increasing. Population total all countries: 98,700. Ethnic population: 200,000 (Kloss and McConnell 1978).
Region  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia, and Florida, and new communities in other states. Also in Canada.
Alternate names   Pennsylvania Deitsh, Pennsylvania Dutch, Pennsylvanish
Dialects  Amish Pennsylvania German (Plain Pennsylvania German), Non-Amish Pennsylvania German (Pensylvanisch Deitsch, Non-Plain Pennsylvania German). Blending of several German dialects, primarily Rhenish Palatinate (Pfalzer) German, with syntactic elements of High German and English. Mostly incomprehensible those from the Palatinate (Kloss 1978).
Classification  Indo-European, Germanic, West, High German, German, Middle German, West Middle German
Language use  Plain community not shifting to English, but maintains stable bilingualism (1987 M. Louden). All domains. Mainly older adults. Only preschoolers are monolingual. School children and adults also speak English.
Language development  NT: 1994–2002.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  Separate orthographies for Pennsylvania and Ohio dialects. Agriculturalists. Christian.

Also spoken in:


Language name   German, Pennsylvania
Population  15,000 in Canada (1995).
Region  Kitchener-Waterloo area, Ontario.
Alternate names  Pennsylvania Dutch, Pennsylvanisch
Dialects  Amish Pennsylvania German, Non-Amish Pennsylvania German (Pennsylvanisch Deitsch).
Comments  Christian.
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