Nantke Pecht has been a member of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University since September 2015. Within the scope of her research project, “Speaking Cité Duits in a coalminers’ neighborhood: The construction and reproduction of social identities through language practices”, she investigates the linguistic aspects of identity construction. The focus is on the coalminers’ district of Tuinwijk in the village of Eisden, Belgian Limburg (also called the cité). In this culturally heterogeneous neighborhood with people of more than fourteen nationalities, a hybrid German-Dutch-Limburgian way of speaking surged at the beginning of the 20th century. The project examines how language practices are employed to construct and reproduce social identities among speakers of this former coalminers’ community. The aim is to develop a detailed linguistic analysis of Cité Duits, as well as an interpretation of its use by former miners, their sisters and wives in Eisden, and of former miners who have emigrated in the 1960s to the U.S. and have been in intense contact with the English language.
The language practices of the speakers of the community are investigated by applying a set of three methods: (a) sociolinguistic fieldwork by conducting in-group recordings, (b) ethnographic fieldwork, and (c) analysis of collected archive files. The aim of the project is to gain a deeper understanding of the linguistic effects of migration and mobility, and to make a new contribution to the dynamics of language contact among speakers from a socially and geographically isolated area.
The research project is supervised by Prof. Dr. Leonie Cornips (Maastricht University/Meertens Instituut (KNAW) Amsterdam) and Prof. Dr. Peter Auer (University of Freiburg).
Most recent publications:
Pecht, N. (2015). The postfield in Cité Duits: Syntactic variation in in-group speech. Papers for Anéla 2015. 39-58.
Pecht, N. (2013). “Siehs’ du, du wars (…) besser wie du hast gedacht: Du has’ Französisch gesprochen!” Taal en Tongval 65 (2): 149–169.