Limburgish language

From Academic Kids

This page covers the Limburgish language, spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Limburgish (Limburgs)
Spoken in: Netherlands, Belgium and a small part of Germany
Region: Limburg
Total speakers: 1,600,000 (est.)
Ranking: Not in top 100

  West Germanic

Official status
Recognised language in: the Netherlands (as a regional language); no official status in Belgium
Regulated by: --
Language codes
ISO 639-1LI
ISO 639-2LIM

Limburgish, or Limburgian or Limburgic (Dutch: Limburgs, German: Limburgisch, French: Limbourgeois) is a group of Franconian varieties, spoken in the Limburg and Selfkant regions, near the common Dutch/Belgian/German border. Rougly said it is spoken in a wide circle from Venlo to Cologne to Aachen to Maastricht to Hasselt and back to Venlo . Limburgish is recognised as a regional language (streektaal) in the Netherlands and as such it receives moderate protection under chapter 2 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Limburgish gradually gradates into more easterly idioms of the region of Berg, Germany. This being the case, it is in Germany typically classed as combined with these dialects into a so-called Limburgisch-Bergisch group.

In Germany it is common to consider the Limburgish dialects as part of Zuidrijnmaasfrankisch, which is then seen as belonging to the Low Franconian group of languages; in The Netherlands and Belgium however all these are seen as West Middle German or even simply High German. This difference is caused by a difference in definition: the linguists of the Low Countries define a Low German dialect as one that has not taken part in the first three phases of the High German consonant shift at all.

Limburgish is spoken by approximately 1,600,000 people in the Low Countries and by many hundreds of thousands in Germany, depending on definition. The varieties of Limburgish spoken within Flemish (Belgium) territory are more influenced by French than those spoken on Dutch and German soil.

Unlike most European languages, Limburgish is a tonal language having two tones. Other small European languages known to be marginally tonal are Lithuanian, Slovenian, Swedish, Norwegian and the Yugoslav languages Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian.

Limburgish also shows signs of a possible Celtic substrate which is indicated by a larger number of words that have Celtic origins in Limburgish than in other West Germanic dialects. The area was originally inhabited by Celtic tribes.


Varieties of Limburgish


Noordnederlimburgs (ik-Limburgs) around Venlo in the Netherlands is the form of Limburgish, which in Germany is considered as belonging to the Zuid-Gelders dialect. Centraalnederlimburgs is a variety of Limburgish around Maastricht and Heerlen in the Netherlands and Genk in Belgium. Centraal-Limburgs is a concept used in Germany, which includes the area around Maastricht and stretches further North. In Germany there is a concept of a variety of Limburgish around Genk. There also is the German concept of a variety of Limburgish between Genk and Hasselt. Oostlimburgs-Ripuarisch Overgangsgebied is a concept used in Germany to describe the linguistic area in Belgium around Eupen, including Welkenraedt, Lontzen and Moresnet, in the Netherlands between Ubach and Brunssum and a large area in Germany including Mnchengladbach. Oost-Limburgs is a concept used in Germany, which includes an area from Belgian Voeren South of Sittard in the Netherlands to an area in Germany including Dlken and central Krefeld.

Wesnederlimburgs is the variety of Limburgish spoken around Hasselt and Veldeke in Belgium. In Germany West-Limburgs is a concept including the Limburgish spoken around Hasselt and Veldeke in Belgium and including areas in Dutch Limburg and Dutch Brabant. The border of West-Limburgs and Oost-Limburgs starts few South of the area between the villages of 's-Gravenvoeren and Sint-Martens-Voeren in the Belgian municipality of Voeren.

The at least to the largest extent non-tonal varieties of Oost-Getelands, West-Getelands and Bilzerlands are considered as being parts of Limburgish by German observers. Oost-Getelands, which is spoken around St Truiden in Belgium is considered a variety of Limburgish by German observers. West-Getelands spoken up to the Uerdingen Line, which reaches the Dutch-Walloon linguistic border at Bierbeek in Belgium is also considered a variety of Limburgish in Germany. The other varieties, that are considered variants of Limburgish by German observers are Bilzerlands spoken around Genk in Belgium and Tongerlands spoken around Tongeren in Belgium.


Spoken around Kerkrade and Vaals in the Netherlands, Aix-la-Chappelle in Germany and Raeren and Eynatten in Belgium, in Germany considered as Ripuarian. If tonality is to be taken as to define this variety, it stretches several dozens km into Germany. It is consensus to class it as belonging to High German varieties.

External links


fr:Limbourgeois fy:Limburchsk ja:リンブルグ語 la:Lingua Limburgica li:Limburgs nl:Limburgs nds:Limburgisch


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools