Central German dialects
Thuringian is an East Central German dialect group spoken in much of the modern German Free State of Thuringia north of the Rennsteig ridge, southwestern Saxony-Anhalt and adjacent territories of Hesse and Bavaria. It is close to Upper Saxon spoken mainly in the state of Saxony, therefore both are also regarded as one Thuringian-Upper Saxon dialect group. Thuringian dialects are among the Central German dialects with the highest number of speakers.
Thuringian emerged during the medieval German Ostsiedlung migration from about 1100, when settlers from Franconia (Main Franconia), Bavaria, Saxony, and Flanders settled in the areas east of the Saale River previously inhabited by Polabian Slavs.
The Thuringian dialect is characterized by a rounding of the vowels, the weakening of consonants of Standard German (the lenition of the consonants "p," "t," and "k"), a marked difference in the pronunciation of the "g" sound (which is most common in the areas of North Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt areas), and a highly-idiosyncratic, melodic intonation of sentences. The second German consonant shift manifested itself in a manner different from that elsewhere in the areas that spoke High German. In many words, "b" is pronounced as "w" or "f" would be in Standard German. For example, the word "aber" (but) is pronounced as "awer". The Thuringian dialect has advanced beyond the stage of basilect.
Subgroups according to German dialectology:
Franconia is a region in Germany, characterised by its culture and language, and may be roughly associated with the areas in which the East Franconian dialect group, colloquially referred to as "Franconian", is spoken. There are several other Franconian dialects, but only the East Franconian ones are colloquially referred to as "Franconian".
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 in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The German language is most similar to other languages within the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. It also contains close similarities in vocabulary to Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although they 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 neighbouring 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.
West Low German, also known as Low Saxon is a group of Low German dialects spoken in parts of the Netherlands, northwestern Germany and southern Denmark. It is one of two groups of mutually intelligible dialects, the other being East Low German dialects. A 2005 study found that there were approximately 1.8 million "daily speakers" of Low Saxon in the Netherlands.
Thuringia, officially the Free State of Thuringia, is a state of Germany.
Bavarian is a major group of Upper German varieties 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. Bavarian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants.
Eastphalian, or Eastfalian, is a dialect of West Low German, spoken in southeastern parts of Lower Saxony and western parts of Saxony-Anhalt in Germany.
The Saale, also known as the Saxon Saale and Thuringian Saale, is a river in Germany and a left-bank tributary of the Elbe. It is not to be confused with the smaller Franconian Saale, a right-bank tributary of the Main, or the Saale in Lower Saxony, a tributary of the Leine.
Bavarians are an ethnographic group of Germans of the Bavaria region, a state within Germany. The group's dialect or speech is known as the Bavarian language, native to Altbayern, roughly the territory of the Electorate of Bavaria in the 17th century.
Central Bavarian, also known as Central Austro-Bavarian, form a subgroup of Bavarian dialects in large parts of Austria and the German state of Bavaria along the Danube river, on the northern side of the Eastern Alps. They are spoken in the 'Old Bavarian' regions of Upper Bavaria, Lower Bavaria and in the adjacent parts of the Upper Palatinate region around Regensburg, in Upper and Lower Austria, in Vienna, in the state of Salzburg, as well as in the northern and eastern parts of Styria and Burgenland.
A stem duchy was a constituent duchy of the Kingdom of Germany at the time of the extinction of the Carolingian dynasty and through the transitional period leading to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire later in the 10th century. The Carolingians had dissolved the original tribal duchies of the Frankish Empire in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Empire declined in the late 9th century, the old tribal areas assumed new identities as subdivisions of the realm. These are the five stem duchies : Bavaria, Franconia, Lotharingia (Lorraine), Saxony and Swabia (Alemannia). The Salian emperors retained the stem duchies as the major divisions of Germany, but they became increasingly obsolete during the early high-medieval period under the Hohenstaufen, and Frederick Barbarossa finally abolished them in 1180 in favour of more numerous territorial duchies.
Upper Saxon is an East Central German dialect spoken in much of the modern German State of Saxony and in the adjacent parts of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Linguistically speaking, it is a "regiolect" or "regional vernacular" rather than a dialect in the strict sense. Though colloquially called "Saxon", it is not to be confused with the Low Saxon dialect group in Northern Germany. Upper Saxon is closely linked to the Thuringian dialect spoken in the adjacent areas to the west.
Central German is a group of High German dialects spoken from the Rhineland in the west to the former eastern territories of Germany.
East Franconian, usually referred to as Franconian in German, is a dialect which is spoken in Franconia, the northern part of the federal state of Bavaria and other areas in Germany around Nuremberg, Bamberg, Coburg, Würzburg, Hof, Bayreuth, Meiningen, Bad Mergentheim, and Crailsheim. The major subgroups are Unterostfränkisch, Oberostfränkisch and Südostfränkisch.
Central Germany is an economic and cultural region in Germany. Its exact borders depend on context, but it is often defined as being a region within the federal states of Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt, or a smaller part of this region, such as the metropolitan area of Leipzig and Halle plus the surrounding counties.
Franconian includes a number of West Germanic languages and dialects possibly derived from the languages and dialects originally spoken by the Franks from their ethnogenesis in the 3rd century AD. A famous likely speaker was Emperor Charlemagne. Linguists have different views about whether these languages and dialects have descended from a single Franconian proto-language, also known as Istvaeonic.
Main-Franconian is group of Upper German dialects being part of the East Franconian group. The name is derived from the river Main which meets the river Rhine near Frankfurt after having crossed the former West Germany from East to West. The dialect is estimated by Ethnologue as 40% intelligible with Standard German.
Upper Saxony was the name given to the majority of the German lands held by the House of Wettin, in what is now called Central Germany (Mitteldeutschland).
Upper German is a family of High German languages spoken primarily in the southern German-speaking area.
Itzgründisch is a Main Franconian dialect, which is spoken in the eponymous Itz Valley and its tributaries of Grümpen, Effelder, Röthen/Röden, Lauter, Füllbach and Rodach, the valleys of the Neubrunn, Biber and the upper Werra and in the valley of Steinach. In the small language area, which extends from the Itzgrund in Upper Franconia to the southern side of the Thuringian Highlands, “Fränkische” still exists in the original form. Because of the remoteness of the area, this isolated by the end of the 19th century and later during the division of Germany, this language has kept many linguistic features to this day. Scientific study of the Itzgründisch dialect was made for the first time, in the middle of the 19th century, by the linguist August Schleicher.
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