High Alemannic German

Last updated
High Alemannic
Hochalemannisch
Native to Switzerland
Germany: Baden-Württemberg
Austria: Vorarlberg
Liechtenstein
France: Haut-Rhin
Latin (German alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None

Brunig-Napf-Reuss-Linie.png

Geographical spread of High Alemannic dialects; marked in red is the Brünig-Napf-Reuss line

High Alemannic is a dialect of Alemannic German spoken in the westernmost Austrian state of Voralberg, on the border with Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The term dialect is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of linguistic phenomena:

Alemannic German group of dialects of the Upper German branch of the Germanic language family

Alemannic, or rarely Alemmanish, is a group of dialects of the Upper German branch of the Germanic language family. The name derives from the ancient Germanic alliance of tribes known as the Alemanni.

Switzerland federal republic in Central Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.

Contents

Language area

The High Alemannic dialects are spoken in Liechtenstein and in most of German-speaking Switzerland (Swiss Plateau), except for the Highest Alemannic dialects in the Swiss Alps and for the Low Alemannic (Basel German) dialect in the North West.

Liechtenstein principality in western-central Europe

Liechtenstein, officially the Principality of Liechtenstein, is a doubly landlocked German-speaking microstate in Alpine Central Europe. The principality is a constitutional monarchy headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein.

Swiss Plateau geographic region

The Swiss Plateau or Central Plateau is one of the three major landscapes in Switzerland, lying between the Jura Mountains and the Swiss Alps. It covers about 30% of the Swiss surface area, and is partly flat but mostly hilly. The average height is between 400 metres (0.25 mi) and 700 metres (0.43 mi) AMSL. It is by far the most densely populated region of Switzerland, the center of economy and important transportation.

Highest Alemannic German dialect

Highest Alemannic (Hegschtalemannisch) is a branch of Alemannic German and is often considered to be part of the German language, even though mutual intelligibility with Standard German and other non-Alemannic German dialects is very limited.

Therefore, High Alemannic must not be confused with the term "Swiss German", which refers to all Alemannic dialects of Switzerland as opposed to Swiss variant of Standard German, the literary language of diglossic German-speaking Switzerland.

Swiss German is any of the Alemannic dialects spoken in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and in some Alpine communities in Northern Italy bordering Switzerland. Occasionally, the Alemannic dialects spoken in other countries are grouped together with Swiss German as well, especially the dialects of Liechtenstein and Austrian Vorarlberg, which are closely associated to Switzerland's.

Swiss Standard German, or Swiss High German, referred to by the Swiss as Schriftdeutsch, or Hochdeutsch, is the written form of one of four official languages in Switzerland, besides French, Italian and Romansh. It is a variety of Standard German, used in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. It is mainly written, and rather less often spoken.

Standard German, High German, or more precisely Standard High German,, is the standardized variety of the German language used in formal contexts, and for communication between different dialect areas. It is a pluricentric Dachsprache with three codified specific regional variants: German Standard German, Austrian Standard German, and Swiss Standard German.

In Germany, High Alemannic dialects are spoken in Southern Baden-Württemberg, i.e. the Markgräflerland and in the adjacent area south of Freiburg im Breisgau up to the Black Forest (Schönau). It is also spoken in the southern Sundgau region beyond the Upper Rhine, which is part of Alsace, France. In Vorarlberg in Western Austria, a form of High Alemannic is spoken around the Rheintal as well.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Baden-Württemberg State in Germany

Baden-Württemberg is a state in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the border with France. It is Germany’s third-largest state, with an area of 35,751 km2 (13,804 sq mi) and 11 million inhabitants. Baden-Württemberg is a parliamentary republic and partly sovereign, federated state which was formed in 1952 by a merger of the states of Württemberg-Baden, Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern. The largest city in Baden-Württemberg is the state capital of Stuttgart, followed by Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Other cities are Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Pforzheim, Reutlingen and Ulm.

Markgräflerland region in the southwest of Germany

Markgräflerland is a region in the southwest of Germany, in the south of the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg, located between the Breisgau in the north and the Black Forest in the east; adjacent to west with France and in the south with Switzerland.

Subdivisions

High Alemannic is traditionally subdivided in an Eastern and Western language area ( Sprachraum ), marked by the Brünig-Napf-Reuss line across the cantons of Aargau and Lucerne (Luzern).

In linguistics, a sprachraum is a geographical region where a common first language, with dialect varieties, or group of languages is spoken.

Brünig-Napf-Reuss line

The Brünig-Napf-Reuss line forms a geographical boundary in traditional Swiss culture (Kulturgrenze). Running from the Brünig Pass along the Napf region to the Reuss, it partly separates western and eastern varieties of High Alemannic, although some places east of the line belong to the western dialect group. The line runs across the cantons of Lucerne and Aargau.

The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the Swiss Confederation. The nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the form of the first three confederate allies used to be referred to as the Waldstätte. Two further major steps in the development of the Swiss cantonal system are referred to by the terms Acht Orte and Dreizehn Orte ; they were important intermediate periods of the Ancient Swiss Confederacy.

Eastern High Alemannic includes Zurich German, Lucerne German (city), and the dialects of Eastern Switzerland.

Eastern Switzerland Region in Switzerland

Eastern Switzerland is the common name of the region situated to the east of Glarus Alps, with the cantons of Schaffhausen, Thurgau, St. Gallen, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, and Glarus. The north of canton of Graubünden is usually considered to be part of Eastern Switzerland as well.

Western High Alemannic includes Bernese German, the German dialects of Solothurn and Fribourg, as well as most dialects of Aargau and the northern parts of the canton of Lucerne.

Features

The distinctive feature of the High Alemannic dialects is the completion of the High German consonant shift, for instance chalt[xalt] 'cold' vs. Low Alemannic and standard German 'kalt' [kʰalt].

Related Research Articles

Austrian German, Austrian Standard German, Standard Austrian German, or Austrian High German, is the variety of Standard German written and spoken in Austria. It has the highest sociolinguistic prestige locally, as it is the variation used in the media and for other formal situations. In less formal situations, Austrians tend to use forms closer to or identical with the Bavarian and Alemannic dialects, traditionally spoken – but rarely written – in Austria.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

The High German languages or High German dialects comprise the varieties of German spoken south of the Benrath and Uerdingen isoglosses in central and southern Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, as well as in neighboring portions of France, Italy, the Czech Republic (Bohemia), and Poland. They are also spoken in diaspora in Romania, Russia, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Namibia.

Languages of Switzerland languages of a geographic region

The four national languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian and Romansh. All but Romansh maintain equal status as official languages at the national level within the Federal Administration of the Swiss Confederation. In some situations, Latin is used, particularly as a single language to denote the country.

Bavarian language Major group of Upper German varieties spoken in the southeast of the German language area Bavaria

Bavarian is a West Germanic language belonging to the Upper German group, spoken in the southeast of the German language area, much of Bavaria, most of Austria and South Tyrol in Italy, as well as Samnaun in Switzerland. Before 1945, Bavarian was also prevalent in parts of the southern Czech Republic and western Hungary. It forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants.

Walser German language

Walser German and Walliser German are a group of Highest Alemannic dialects spoken in parts of Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Austria (Vorarlberg).

Walser ethnic group

The Walser are the speakers of the Walser German dialects, a variety of Highest Alemannic. They inhabit the Alps of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, as well as the fringes of Italy and Austria. The Walser people are named after the Wallis (Valais), the uppermost Rhône valley, where they settled from roughly the 10th century in the late phase of the migration of the Alamanni, crossing from the Bernese Oberland; because of linguistic differences among the Walser dialects, it is supposed that there were two independent immigration routes.

Romandy French-speaking part of Switzerland

Romandy is the French-speaking part of western Switzerland. In 2018, about 2.1 million people, or 25.1% of the Swiss population, lived in Romandy. The bulk of the romand population lives in the Arc Lémanique region along Lake Geneva, connecting Geneva, Vaud and the Lower Valais.

History of German aspect of history

The history of the German language as separate from common West Germanic begins in the Early Middle Ages with the High German consonant shift. Old High German, Middle High German and Early New High German span the duration of the Holy Roman Empire. The 19th and 20th centuries saw the rise of Standard German and a decrease of dialectal variety.

Southern Germany as a region has no exact boundary but is generally taken to include the areas in which Upper German dialects are spoken. That corresponds roughly to the historical stem duchies of Bavaria and Swabia or, in a modern context, to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg within the Federal Republic of Germany, to the exclusion of the areas of the modern states of Austria and Switzerland. The Saarland and the southern parts of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate are sometimes included as well and correspond to the historical Franconia.

German dialects dialects

German dialects are unique dialects or languages classified under the umbrella term of "German". They are dominated by the geographical spread of the High German consonant shift, and the dialect continua that connect German to the neighbouring varieties of Low Franconian (Dutch) and Frisian.

The Swiss are the citizens of Switzerland or people of Swiss ancestry.

Languages of Liechtenstein languages of a geographic region

Liechtenstein's official language is German, and the principality is the smallest of the four countries in Europe populated by a majority of German speakers. Other languages are also spoken by the foreign-born population, which makes up about 14% of the country.

Languages of Austria languages of a geographic region

The languages of Austria include German, the official language and lingua franca; Austro-Bavarian, the main dialect outside Vorarlberg; Alemannic, the main dialect in Vorarlberg; and several minority languages.

Upper German dialect

Upper German is a family of High German languages spoken primarily in the southern German-speaking area.

German-speaking Switzerland Area of ​​Switzerland with a predominantly German or Swiss German speaking population

The German-speaking part of Switzerland comprises about 65 percent of Switzerland.

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