The Info List - Alemannic Dialects

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Alemannic (German:  Alemannisch (help·info)) 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 ("all men").[3]


1 Distribution 2 Status 3 Variants 4 Written Alemannic 5 Characteristics 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Distribution[edit] Alemannic dialects are spoken by approximately ten million people in eight countries:

Switzerland: all German-speaking parts of the country Germany: center and south of Baden-Württemberg, Swabia district of Bavaria Austria: Vorarlberg, Reutte District of Tyrol Liechtenstein: entire country France: Alsace region (Alsatian dialect) Italy: Gressoney-La-Trinité, Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Issime, Alagna Valsesia and Rimella, in some other villages almost extinct United States: Allen and Adams County, Indiana by the Amish there and also in their daughter settlements in Indiana and other U.S. states. Venezuela: Colonia Tovar (Colonia Tovar dialect)

Status[edit] Alemannic comprises a dialect continuum, from the Highest Alemannic spoken in the mountainous south to Swabian in the relatively flat north, with more of the characteristics of standard German the farther north one goes. In Germany and other european countries, the abstand and ausbau language framework is used to decide what is a language and what a dialect. According to this framework Alemannic forms of German form a dialect continuum and are clearly dialects. Some linguists and organisations that differentiate between languages and dialects primarily on the grounds of mutual intelligibility, such as SIL International and UNESCO, describe Alemannic as one of several independent languages. ISO 639-3 distinguishes four languages: gsw (Swiss German), swg (Swabian German), wae (Walser German) and gct (Alemán Coloniero, spoken since 1843 in Venezuela). Standard German is used in writing, and orally in formal contexts, throughout the Alemannic-speaking regions (with the exception of Alsace, where French or the Alsatian dialect of Alemannic is used), and Alemannic varieties are generally considered German dialects (more precisely, a dialect group within Upper German) rather than separate languages.[dubious – discuss][citation needed] Variants[edit] Alemannic comprises the following variants:

Swabian (mostly in Swabia, in Germany). Unlike most other Alemannic dialects, it does not retain the Middle High German monophthongs û, î but shifts them to [ou], [ei] (as opposed to Standard German [aʊ], [aɪ]). For this reason, "Swabian" is sometimes used in opposition to "Alemannic". Low Alemannic dialects. Retain German initial /k/ as [kʰ] (or [kx]) rather than fricativising to [x] as in High Alemannic. Subvariants:

Lake Constance Alemannic (in Southern Württemberg, Southeastern Baden, Northwestern Vorarlberg) Upper-Rhine Alemannic in Southwestern Baden and its variant Alsatian (in Alsace, France) Alemán Coloniero (in Venezuela) Basel German (in Basel, Switzerland)

High Alemannic (mostly in Switzerland, parts of Vorarlberg, and in the southern parts of the Black Forest in Germany). Complete the High German consonant shift by fricativising initial /k/ to [x]. Subvariants:

Bernese German Zürich German Vorarlbergisch Liechtensteinisch

Highest Alemannic (in the Canton of Valais, in the Walser settlements (e.g., in the canton of Grisons), in the Bernese Oberland and in the German-speaking part of Fribourg) does not have the hiatus diphthongisation of other dialects of German. For example: [ˈʃnei̯jə] ('to snow') instead of [ˈʃniː.ə(n)], [ˈb̥ou̯wə] ('to build') instead of [ˈb̥uː.ə(n)]. Subvariants:

Walliser German Walser German

The Alemannic dialects of Switzerland are often called Swiss German or Schwiizertüütsch. Written Alemannic[edit] The oldest known texts in Alemannic are brief Elder Futhark inscriptions dating to the sixth century (Bülach fibula, Pforzen buckle, Nordendorf fibula). In the Old High German period, the first coherent texts are recorded in the St. Gall Abbey, among them the eighth century Paternoster,[4]

Fater unser, thu bist in himile uuihi namu dinan qhueme rihhi diin uuerde uuillo diin, so in himile, sosa in erdu prooth unseer emezzihic kip uns hiutu oblaz uns sculdi unsero so uuir oblazem uns skuldikem enti ni unsih firleit in khorunka uzzer losi unsih fona ubile

Due to the importance of the Carolingian abbeys of St. Gall and Reichenau Island, a considerable part of the Old High German corpus has Alemannic traits. Alemannic Middle High German is less prominent, in spite of the Codex Manesse compiled by Johannes Hadlaub of Zürich. The rise of the Old Swiss Confederacy from the fourteenth century leads to the creation of Alemannic Swiss chronicles. Huldrych Zwingli's bible translation of the 1520s (the 1531 Froschauer Bible) was in an Alemannic variant of Early Modern High German. From the seventeenth century, written Alemannic was displaced by Standard German, which emerged from sixteenth century Early Modern High German, in particular in the wake of Martin Luther's bible translation of the 1520s. The 1665 revision of the Froschauer Bible removed the Alemannic elements, approaching the language used by Luther. For this reason, no binding orthographical standard for writing modern Alemannic emerged, and orthographies in use usually compromise between a precise phonological notation, and proximity to the familiar Standard German orthography (in particular for loanwords). Johann Peter Hebel published his Allemannische Gedichte in 1803. Swiss authors often consciously employ Helvetisms within Standard German, notably Jeremias Gotthelf in his novels set in the Emmental, and more recently Tim Krohn in his Quatemberkinder. Characteristics[edit]

The diminutive is used frequently in all Alemannic dialects. Northern and eastern dialects use the suffix -le; southern dialects use the suffix -li (Standard German suffix -lein or -chen). Depending on dialect, thus, 'little house' could be Heisle, Hüüsle, Hüüsli or Hiisli (Standard German Häuslein or Häuschen). A significant difference between the high and low variants is the pronunciation of ch after the front vowels (i, e, ä, ö and ü) and consonants. In Standard German and the lower variants, this is a palatal [ç] (the Ich-Laut), whereas in the higher variants, a uvular or velar [χ] or [x] (the Ach-Laut) is used. The verb to be is conjugated differently in the various dialects: (The common gs*-forms do historically derive from words akin to ge-sein, not found in modern standard German.)

Some conjugated forms of the verb to be in Alemannic dialects

English (standard German) Low Swabian Alsatian Lower High Alsace Allgäuerisch Lower Markgräflerland Upper Swabian Eastern Swiss German Western Swiss German Sensler

I am (ich bin) I ben Ich bìn [eç]~[ex] [ben] I bi Ich bi I bee I bi I(g) bi [ɪ(g̊) b̥ɪ] I bü/bi

you (sg.) are (du bist) du bisch dü bìsch du bisch du bisch d(o)u bisch du bisch du bisch [d̥ʊ bɪʒ̊] du büsch/bisch

he is (er ist) er isch är ìsch är isch är isch är isch är isch är isch [æɾ ɪʒ̊] är isch

she is (sie ist) sia isch sie ìsch sia isch sie isch si isch si isch si isch [sɪ ɪʒ̊] sia isch

it is (es ist) es isch äs ìsch as isch as isch äs isch äs isch äs isch [æz̊ (əʒ̊) ɪʒ̊] as isch

we are (wir sind) mr sen(d) mir sìnn mir send/sönd mir sin mr send m(i)r send/sön/sinn mir sy [mɪɾ si] wier sy

you (pl.) are (ihr seid) ihr sen(d) ihr sìnn ihr send ihr sin ihr send i(i)r sönd/sind dir syt [d̥ɪɾ sit] ier syt

they are (sie sind) se sen(d) sie sìnn dia send si sin dia send di sönd si sy [sɪ si] si sy

I have been (ich bin ... gewesen) i ben gwäa ich bìn gsìnn [eç]~[ex] [ben] [gsenn] i bi gsi ich bi gsi i bee gsei i bi gsi i bi gsy [ɪ(g̊) b̥ɪ ksiː] i bü/bi gsy

See also[edit]

Alemannic separatism German dialects Muettersproch-Gsellschaft Muggeseggele Swiss German


^ Colonia Tovar at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) Swiss German and Alsatian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) Swabian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) Walser at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Alemannic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ Jordioechsler (5 November 2013). "Alemannic German and other features of language". Wordpress. Archived from the original on 10 Jun 2017.  ^ Jacobs, Stefan. "Althochdeutsch (700 – 1050)". stefanjacob.de. Retrieved 17 Oct 2017. 

External links[edit]

Alemannisch edition of, the free encyclopedia

Media related to Alemannic German at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of alemannic german at Wiktionary Alemanni poems and Alemanni encyclopedia -German-

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