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USAGE: (YAGPT?): Swiss German (was: Intergermansk)

From:J. 'Mach' Wust <j_mach_wust@...>
Date:Friday, January 28, 2005, 9:24
On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 15:19:13 -0500, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...> wrote:

>JMW = "J. 'Mach' Wust" <j_mach_wust@...>: > >JMW> None of these differences make a language. I mean, I'm speaking a >JMW> dialect that is not mutually intellegible with the standard language >JMW> and differs from the standard language phonologically, lexically, >JMW> morphologically and grammatically. > >Assuming you mean Swiss vs. Standard German, I'm somewhat surprised. I >know there are some huge differences, but I thought they were still >mutually intelligible.
Swiss German speakers understand standard German because most of TV and much of radio (and of course almost everything written) is standard German. And because of school, of course, which they now say makes the people hate standard German (before school, speaking German is a natural game for the children). Germans who come to Switzerland need a certain time until they can catch it. I guess most Germans manage to understand most of it within a week. It depends hugely on the linguistic ability and also on the dialect. There are Swiss German dialects of remote valleys in the mountains that even I don't understand, though I'm not very good at catching other dialects. Many Swiss Germans have the astonishing ability to tell where someone come's from just by the melody of the speech, whereas I need to listen carefully at *linguistic features*... I've learned Swiss German only when I was ten, and I still have a faint accent most won't notice and even fewer will be able to localize because we are only very few who speak Swiss German with a German accent, since most Germans wouldn't ever dare to speak it. A friend of mine grew up without standard German (in Italy). When they came to Switzerland (she was about 14), she wouldn't speak or understand standard German. The teachers couldn't deal with it (it's an unusual case). They said, you're not good in German, but you still can be good in maths. This wasn't true, since maths also requires standard German (because of all the school books and because teaching is supposed to be in standard German). On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 17:05:35 -0500, Pascal A. Kramm <pkramm@...> wrote: ...
>Well, I'd say it's borderline. Some of it is still understandable, but not >too much. To name another "dialect": Bavarian is far worse there, as it is >so totally different from High German (much more so thatn Swiss German) >that it is totally incomprehensible to a High German speaker, so I'd say >it's rather a language of its own than a "dialect".
I would have said they're pretty much comparable. I don't believe that Bavarian is more distant from standard German than Alemannic (of which Swiss German is a part). The dialectological main distinction between Bavarian and Alemannic is that Bavarian has diphthongized the Middle High German monophthongs, as in standard German, whereas Alemannic has not. kry@s: j. 'mach' wust