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Puhoi – The Agony of a German Language Island in New Zealand

  • Arts 2, University of Auckland 18 Symonds Street Auckland, Auckland, 1010 New Zealand (map)
Dr Ralf Heimrath

Dr Ralf Heimrath

Our guest this evening is Dr Ralf Heimrath, a Senior Lecturer in linguistics at the University of Malta. His research and teaching interests include language contact, language islands and the history of the German language. His, and his wife, Margret's, parents were among the Egerlanders that migrated to Puhoi in 1863. As in their former Bohemian homeland, a German dialect was spoken in the homes and community, and Puhoi became a language island. Dr Heimrath was able to converse in the dialect with the last known New Zealand speaker, Fred Rauner. The lecture presents and identifies this German dialect which has nearly passed away, but it is an important part of the historic identity of the Bohemian village of Puhoi in New Zealand.

Earlier Event: November 21
Goethe Society Christmas Function,
Later Event: March 8
The Magic Flute