Upper German dialects

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Upper German

Spoken in

Germany , Austria , Switzerland , Liechtenstein , France , Italy , the Czech Republic , Slovakia , Hungary , Slovenia , Romania , various diaspora minorities
Official status
Official language in -
Upper German dialects after 1945

The Upper German is one of the major dialect groups of High German in the south of the German-speaking area ( southern Germany ). The dialects of Upper German differ from the neighboring Middle German in that the so-called second or High German sound shift has been carried out to a greater extent. The dialects are connected to one another by a dialect continuum , so they flow smoothly into one another without being able to recognize a real language boundary.

The delimitation of Upper German from neighboring Central German is therefore based on certain linguistic definitions, also in order to separate research areas from one another.

Depending on the definition, two or three dialect groups are counted as Upper German:

The extinct Langobard is also counted among the Upper German dialects because of the high German sound shift that has been carried out completely.

Until 1774 there was a recognized Upper German written language , which was given up after the " late baroque language dispute " by Maria Theresa of Austria in favor of the New High German of the East Central German areas in order to prevent linguistic alienation, similar to that of Dutch from German.



From the Central German languages , the Upper German languages ​​are distinguished by the sound shift for p that has been carried out completely, i.e. all languages ​​in which p was completely shifted to pf ( apple instead of appel and pound instead of pund ). The isogloss , which according to this definition represents the northern border of the Upper German languages, is called the Speyer line .

In addition, there are some other phonological or morphosyntactic features that are typically Upper German, but are not necessarily found in all dialects or can also occur in neighboring Central German dialects:

  • The disappearance of the past tense and the use of the perfect tense instead as normal narrative time
  • With verbs stand, sit and lie is the perfect tense with the auxiliary verb to be held have formed
  • The syncope the prefix overall to g (z. B. Gschenk )
  • The diminutive suffix is not derived from - chen , but from -lein ( -le, -la, -li , -el, -l etc.)
  • The repayment of the ch in not ( net, nit, necessary etc.)
  • The non-implemented monophthongization of the Middle High German diphthongs ie, uo and üe (mnemonic phrase dear guete brothers )
  • The shortening of the personal pronoun ich to i
  • The n - apocopes in the unstressed final syllable -s (e.g. sing instead of sing )
  • The voiceless pronunciation of the s at the beginning of the word.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Upper German  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations