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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
Cologne in 2005: Virgin, Peasant and Prince, all
traditionally played by men. Throughout Germany and in neighboring
comes to the fore during carnaval season in Germany’s Rhenish
area near the border with Belgium and the Netherlands..
information: Ripuarian is a group of Rhinelandic Central Franconian (Frankish) language
of which are used along a fairly short stretch of the Rhine river, primarily
on the German side at the German-Belgian-Netherlands border junction.
The name of this
linguistic unit in the contact languages is as follows: Ripuarisch in Dutch, German, Limburgish and Low Saxon, ripouwaryin or ripåryin in Walloon, and francique ripuaire in French. An alternative German name is Nordmittelfränkisch, meaning “North Central Franconian.”
Many linguists in
the Netherlands see Low Franconian (including Dutch and Cleves Franconian), Limburgish
and Ripuarian as a larger linguistic unit that they call Maas-Rijnlands, in English “Low Rhenish” (German Maaß-Reinländisch), even though certain features make the Ripuarian varieties Central Franconian
and the other varieties Low Franconian.
there are those of major towns and cities such as Aix-la-Chapelle (Ripuarian Oche, German Aachen, Dutch Aken), Bonn (Ripuarian Bůnn), Cologne (Ripuarian and Limburgish Kölle, German Köln, Dutch Keulen) and Leverkusen (Ripuarian Lävverkuuse). On the Belgian side of the border Ripuarian is used in the cantons of Eupen
and St. Vith,
Netherlands side of the border in Southern Limburg, such as in Kerkrade (Ripuarian
Kirchroa, Limburgish Kèrkrao(j), Kirkrao, German Kirchrath), Bocholtz (Limburgish Bóches) and Vaals (Ripuarian and Limburgish Vols).
with all fellow Franconian varieties several phonological features, such as absence
of consonant aspiration (in contrast for instance with Standard German, Low Saxon and most English varieties), also the tendency toward deleting the /n/ in final –en. More specifically within the Franconian group, Ripuarian shares with some nearby Limburgish and Cleves Franconian varieties (such as Limburgish
Belgium, and Cleves Franconian of Solingen, Germany)
/n/ after short, including shortened, vowels
(e.g. singe Kinger, ‘his children’, cf. Low Saxonsien(e) Kinner, Standard German seine Kinder), also found in the name of the Rhine river: Rhing (cf. German Rhein, Luxembourgish Rhäin, Dutch Rijn, Limburgish Rien, Low Saxon Rhien).
As in the case of
Low Saxon, Ripuarian and Low Franconian varieties used in Germany are referred
to as Platt, for instance Öcher Platt of Aix-la-Chapelle.
spoken on a casual level, Ripuarian has been written for some time. Purely Ripuarian
and theater are mostly confined to the parachial comedic sphere, however.
The author of
the Cologne Ripuarian version shares the following information:
“From about 1963
till 1970 I lived at Mechernich in the Northern Eifel area and from about 1976
till 1994 in Cologne. In both areas Ripuarian is spoken. So I acquired a passiv
knowledge of this North-Middle Franconian dialect group just by hearing and listening
to it during my stay in that area. My son-in-law Axel Kaul who was born and raised
in Cologne helped me to translate this fable into Kölsch (Cologne dialect).”
“Kölsch (Cologne dialect) is spoken in and around the town of Cologne, and it
is a variant of the Ripuarian dialect group called Northern Middle Franconian.
When I first arrived at that area (coming from Oldenburg) I immediately noticed
the seeming predominance of syllables containing a long ‘bright’ (German) ‘A’
like in ‘Ahl, sahte, mache, maht’ and so on and I thought: ‘This dialect is closely
related to Dutch’ which in fact it is, but not so closely as I thought it is
at that time.”
feature of Kölsch is that it is spoken with a tonal accent, which makes it sound
like a very ‘musical up-and-down’ like for example in Swedish and Papiamento and other ‘tonal
languages’. We Northern Low Saxon people say the Cologners speak with
a special ‘sing-song’ which is very hard for us to learn and to imitate. By the
the other variants of the Ripuarian dialect group from the town of Neuss in the
north to Blankenheim in the south use this tonal accent. There is another feature
in grammar that we should not forget to mention: It is the use of a kind of present
continous like: Ich ben am arbeide (I am working) instead of Ich arbeide (I work)
and last but not least we should not forget the active use and the popularity
of the Cologne dialect during carnival time.”
Genealogy: Indo-European > Germanic > West (South?) > High > Middle > West > Middle Franconian > Ripuarian