Janine Siewert, Yves Scherrer (University of Helsinki)

Low Saxon Internal Variation at the Orthographic, Morphological and Syntactic Level

We investigate similarity in five major Low Saxon dialect groups from both Germany and the Netherlands from two time periods: 1800–1939 and 1980–2022, and compare these to standard German and Dutch.

Like Goossens (2019) observed, the Low Saxon dialects along the border have started to diverge under the influence of the majority languages, particularly at the lexical and phonetic level. However, in our study employing clustering approaches and PCA on tf-idf-normalised n-grams of characters, PoS tags and morphological features, the results are not so clear. In fact, at some levels, even German Low Saxon dialects converge towards Dutch.