Regional and national identity in Austrian dialectal pop songs A critical analysis of two Austropop songs

Ulrike Thumberger


Austria is a country where, even today, a lot of people still speak dialect as their first language. Though small in dimension, the country has a very rich dialectal heritage, with most dialects belonging to the Bavarian group and just a small territory in the Western part being of Alemannic origin. There are also studies which show that people’s identity is largely bound to the dialect they speak and the area they originally stem from. As dialect still plays an important role in many aspects of life you can also find a number of pop songs the lyrics of which are written and rendered in dialect. The use of dialect in Austrian pop songs came up in the 1970’s with the »Austropop« movement. With dialect being the most domestic style of language spoken in Austria, it was only a logical consequence that it became a part of »Austropop«. The paper aims at showing how regional as well as national identity was and is constructed through the use of dialect and place names in the lyrics of Austrian pop songs by analysing two songs, namely »Vo Mello bis ge Schoppornou«, rendered in Alemannic dialect, and »Jö schau«, sung in a Bavarian dialect like Viennese.

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DOI: 10.4119/UNIBI/indi-v5-i1-107