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The phrase Middle German can mean two things, both of which may be more precisely expressed with different terms.

Used to indicate a historical period, it refers to the German language of the 11th-15th centuries. However in this sense it is usually heard in one of the following two collocations:

Middle German is sometimes confusingly heard used (in imitation of German usage) to make a geographical distinction. For this, however, English-speaking linguists more usually speak of:

  • Central German (Mitteldeutsch; rarely Zentraldeutsch), referring to the northernmost of the High German dialects.

In this respect, English terminology is less ambiguous than German.


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