Pennsylvania Dutch English

Pennsylvania Dutch English

Pennsylvania Dutch Country, where Pennsylvania German and Pennsylvania Dutch English have traditionally been spoken.] Pennsylvania Dutch English is a dialect of English that has been influenced by Pennsylvania German (Pennsylvania Deitsch). It is largely spoken in the South Central area of Pennsylvania, both by people who are monolingual (in English) and bilingual (in Pennsylvania German and English). The dialect has been dying out, as non-Amish Generation X and Generation Y Pennsylvania Germans tend to speak modern Middle Atlantic English. Very few non-Amish members of these two generations can speak Pennsylvania Deitsch, although most know some words and phrases.The WWII Generation was the last generation in which Pennsylvania Deitsch was widely spoken among the non-Amish.

Features of Pennsylvania German Influence

Pennsylvania Dutch English differs from standard American English in various ways. Some of its hallmark features include the following:

*Widespread devoicing of obstruents.
*The use of certain vowel variants in specific phonological contexts.
*The use of Pennsylvania German verb and noun stems in word construction.
*Specific intonation patterns for questions.
*Special placement of prepositional phrases in sentences (so that "Throw the horse some hay over the fence" might be rendered "Throw the horse over the fence some hay").
*The use of "ain't" and "not" or "say" as question tags.
*The use of "still" as a habitual verbal marker.
*Use of the word "yet" to mean "still," such as "do you work at the store yet?" to mean "do you still work at the store?"
*Use of terms such as "doncha know" and "so I do" or "so he does" at the end of declaratory sentences.
*Use of the word "awhile" at the end of sentences proposing simultaneous actions (e.g. "Go get the tea out of the pantry; I'll start boiling the water awhile.").
*The use of "tree" instead of "three" to describe the number "3". Other calques and idioms include:


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