(sometimes Mestreechs-Limburgs or colloquially Dialek, Plat)
|Native to||the Netherlands|
|Region||City of Maastricht|
Official language in
|Limburg, Netherlands: Recognised as regional language as a variant of Limburgish.|
|Regulated by||Veldeke-Krink Mestreech|
Maastrichtian (Limburgish: Mestreechs) or Maastrichtian Limburgish (Limburgish: Mestreechs-Limburgs [m?'st?e:xs'limboe?xs]) is the dialect and variant of Limburgish spoken in the Dutch city of Maastricht alongside the Dutch language (with which it is not mutually intelligible). In terms of speakers, it is the most widespread variant of Limburgish, and it is a tonal one. Like many of the Limburgish dialects spoken in neighbouring Belgian Limburg, Maastrichtian retained much Gallo-Romance (or more accurately, French and Walloon) influences in its vocabulary.
The French influence can additionally be attributed to the historical importance of French with the cultural elite and educational systems as well as the historical immigration of Walloon labourers to the city. Despite being a specific variant of Limburgish, Maastrichtian remains mutually intelligible with other Limburgish variants, especially those of surrounding municipalities.
Whilst Maastrichtian is still widely spoken, regardless of social level, research has shown that it is suffering from a degree of dialect loss amongst younger generations. That is the case in dwindling of speakers but also in development of the dialect (dialect levelling) towards Standard Dutch (like the loss of local words and grammar).
Maatrichtian being a city dialect, the terminology "Maastrichtian" (Mestreechs) is practically limited to the municipal borders, with the exception of some places within the Maastrichtian municipality where the spoken dialects are in fact not Maastrichtian. These exceptions are previously separate villages and/or municipalities that have merged with the municipality of Maastricht namely Amby, Borgharen, Heer and Itteren.
The social status of Maastrichtian speakers is determined by the type of sociolect spoken by a certain person, with a division between Short Maastrichtian or Standard Maastrichtian  (Kort Mestreechs, Standaardmestreechs) and Long/Stretched Maastrichtian (Laank Mestreechs). Short Maastrichtian is generally considered to be spoken by the upper and middle classes, whilst Long Maastrichtian is considered to be spoken by the working class.
A particular feature of Maastrichtian is that it gives its speakers a certain prestige. Research of the dialect showed that people talking the "purest" form of Maastrichtian, i.e. the Short Maastrichtian (Kort Mestreechs) sociolect, were perceived by others to be the well-educated ones.
The oldest known and preserved text in Maastrichtian dates from the 18th century. This text named Sermoen euver de Weurd Inter omnes Linguas nulla Mosa Trajestensi prastantior gehauwe in Mastreeg was presumably written for one of the carnival celebrations and incites people to learn Maastrichtian. As from the 19th century there are more written texts in Maastrichtian, again mostly oriented towards these carnival celebrations. Nowadays however, many other sources display written Maastrichtian, including song texts not written for carnival as well as books, poems, street signs etc.
In 2002, the municipal government officially adopted a local anthem (Mestreechs Volksleed) composed by lyrics in Maastrichtian. The theme had originally been written by Alfons Olterdissen (1865-1923) as finishing stanza of the Maastrichtian opera "Trijn de Begijn" of 1910. There are claims that the anthem actually originates from "Pe-al nostru steag e scris Unire" by the Romanian composer Ciprian Porumbescu.
|Maastrichtian municipal anthem (Mestreechs Volksleed) (2002)|
Diphthongs in Maastrichtian are /?i, oey, ?u/ having closer starting points than the equivalent three in Standard Dutch. The start point of /?u/ is rounded unlike standard Dutch /?u/.
Maastrichtian contains many specific words ample or not used in other Limburgish dialects some being creolisations/"limburgisations" of Dutch, French and German words while others cannot be directly subscribed to one of these languages.
Maastrichtian vocabulary, as the language family it belongs to suggests, is based on the Germanic languages (apart from the Limburgish language family this also includes varying degrees of influence from both archaic and modern Dutch and German). However, what sets Maastrichtian apart from other variants of Limburgish is its relatively strong influences from French. This is not only because of geographic closeness of a Francophone region (namely Wallonia) to Maastricht but also because of French being the predominant spoken language of the Maastrichtian cultural elite and the higher secondary educational system of the region in the past. Some examples:
|to remember||(zich) herinneren||se rappeler||(ziech) rappelere|
|swing (for children)||schommel||Schaukel||sjógkel|
Some examples of specific Maastrichtian vocabulary:
|approximately, roughly||ongeveer||appoximativement, environ||ungefähr||naoventrint|
|completely||helemaal, gans||tout à fait||ganz||gans||(historically) Common in Germanic languages|
|frame (of doors and windows)||lijst||cadre (or chambranle)||Rahmen||sjabrang|
|grandmother / grandfather||grootmoeder / grootvader||grand-mère / grand-père||Großmutter / Großvater||bomma(ma) / bompa(pa)|
|sieve||vergiet||passoire||Sieb||zeiboar (sometimes written zeijboar)|
Some examples of Maastrichtian expressions:
|Maastrichtian Expression||Meaning (Approx.)||Notes |
|Neet breid meh laank||Literally "Not broad but long". Commonly used to indicate the characteristic of the Maastrichtian dialect to "stretch" vowels (in speech and writing). The word laank (long) is the example in this case whereas it would be written as either lank or lang in other variants of Limburgish and lang in Dutch.|
|Noondezju ||A minor swear word and /or an expression of surprise||From Eastern Walloon "nondidju", meaning "(in) name of God"|
|Preuvenemint||Name of an annual culinary festival held in Maastricht||A contraction of the Maastrichtian words preuve (to taste) and evenemint (event)|