High Alemannic is a dialect of
Alemannic German spoken in the
Austrian state of Voralberg, on the border with
Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
1 Language area
The High Alemannic dialects are spoken in
Liechtenstein and in most of
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.
Therefore, High Alemannic must not be confused with the term "Swiss
German", which refers to all Alemannic dialects of
opposed to Swiss variant of Standard German, the literary language of
diglossic German-speaking Switzerland.
In Germany, High Alemannic dialects are spoken in Southern
Baden-Württemberg, i.e. the
Markgräflerland and in the adjacent area
Freiburg im Breisgau
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.
High Alemannic is traditionally subdivided in an Eastern and Western
language area (Sprachraum), marked by the Brünig-Napf-Reuss line
isogloss crossing the Swiss cantons of
Aargau and Lucerne (Luzern).
Eastern High Alemannic (for instance Zurich German) and Western High
Alemannic German (for instance Bernese German) differ in pronunciation
of diphthongs and in pluralization.
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]