a1 University of Nijmegen, Centre for Language Studies, Erasmusplein 1, 6525 HT Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Maastricht (Mosae Trajectum in Roman times) is the capital of the Dutch province of Limburg and one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Situated in the extreme south, close to the Belgian border, the city is fairly small, with a population of just over 120,000. Maastricht enjoys a world-wide reputation as the place where the Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1992. The dialect of Maastricht belongs to the south-eastern dialect group (Weijnen 1966: §§ 166, 173), which shares a number of properties with dialects in Belgium and Germany. A more recent classification (Belemans, Kruijsen & van Keymeulen 1998) assigns the dialect to Central Limburgian, which comprises seven subgroups in the Netherlands and Belgium, more particularly to Trichterlands. Two earlier descriptions are Houben (1905), which is historically oriented, and van Buuren (1991).