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Re: R: German dialectology

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Monday, April 30, 2001, 18:08

Mangiat <mangiat@...> writes:
> 2) where does the HG / LG division lies, today?
As I mentioned, there is a typical shift in pronunciation that was only performed in the development of High German. This is called (surprise, surprise) `High German Sound Shift' (Hochdeutsche Lautverschiebung). Even dialects that are very easily comprehensible and use mostly the same word, have not (fully) performed this shift and often underwent different changes, and are not considered High German. The typical things for High German are: - the presence of the affricate /pf/ Many dialects kept /p/ instead. I'd judge that the /f/ part is important for High German. In my own dialect of High German, the /p/ in often dropped in initial position (maybe because we're too lazy...), but still, I'd consider it High German dialect. OTOH, Saarlandian, Palatinion, Bavarian, Svabian, Lower German, etc. all do not have /pf/, and, thus, are no High German. - the presence of /au/, especially, as I mentioned before, if `Haus' and `Baum' have the same diphthong /aU/. E.g. Saarlandian has /hu:s/ and /ba:m/. Lower German as spoken from where I come has /hiUs/ and (I'm guessing) /bo:m/. The time when this High German Sound Shift occured also shows you when High German was first spoken. But I don't know where and why. :-) Oh, yes, the following I'd consider variations that are allowed to still qualify a dialect as High German: - {r} pronounced as an alveolar trill instead of a uvular trill or uvular voiced fricative. - {pf} pronounced as /f/ in initial position: `Pferd' [fE:6t] instead of [pfe:6t] - /E:/ or /E/ in some positions where the standard says /e:/ `Pferd' [fE:6t] instead of [pfe:6t]. - `nicht' pronounced as /nIC/. - `ich sage' pronounced as /IC zaX/. These seem to me to be post-High-German-Sound-Shift changes (still often influenced by the local non-High-German dialects).
> 3) how is it possible that Hannover, in the North, speaks the clearest > version of High German?
I suppose because High German is spoken there without the presence of another non-High German dialect in that area. There are very few parts of Germany where this is the case.
> 4) are dialects in Germany well alive? In Switzerland they are - people > generally can't speak properly German... /'Abb@R@ zi: 'kYnn@ nu@R > 'Svitts@RdutS Sprex@/.
It greatly depends. The tendency is that in Southern Germany, dialects are more likely to survive while in the North, Lower German slowly vanishes. Bavarian, Svabian, Palatinian, Saarlandian, Swiss German are all alive and spoken by (almost) all children born in the corresponding area. **Henrik