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Ripuarian has several meanings:
- Another word for Riparian.
- During the 4th century it was the name of a Frank who lived near the city of Cologne in West Germany along the river Rhine. The Ripuarian Franks were a subtribe of the Franks until approximately in the year 508. Then King Clovis I forced them to join the main tribe of the Franks
- A language group. Today it has more than 100 distinct dialects. People speak Ripuarian in an area approximately there, where the Ripuarian Franks lived once. Ripuarian is spoken in a part of the Rhineland in Germany, in eastern Belgium and southern Dutch Limburg. This includes big cities as Aachen, the former capital Bonn, Cologne, and Düsseldorf. Also several minor cities, and hundreds of villages. About 1 million people speak a Ripuarian language. About ¼ of the inhabitants of the area do. Ripuarian dialects are usually bound to a village or a municipality. Usually they are named after the place, e.g. Kölsch in Cologne, Bönnsch or Bönnsch Platt in Bonn, Öcher Platt in Aachen, and so on. Almost every place has a somewhat different language. People know where other people grew up, if they listen to their Ripuarian talk. Ripuarian languages are part of the west middle continental Germanic language group. They are related to Moselle Franconian languages of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany, to the Luxembourgian language in Luxembourg, and to the Limburgish language in the Province Limbourg in the Netherlands. Many historic roots of ripuarian languages are in Middle High German. Many other influences too, like Latin, Low German, Dutch, French, and Limburgish-Bergish, are in today's Ripuarian languages. Several elements of grammar are unique to Ripuarian, they do not exist in any other German language. The states Belgium and The Netherlands officially recorgnize some Ripuarian dialects as minority languages. The European Union follows them.
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