German, Swiss

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A language of Switzerland

Alternate Names
Alemanic, Alemannisch, Schwyzerdütsch
Population

4,640,000 in Switzerland (2000 census). Population total all countries: 6,469,000.

Location

Central, south central, north central, northeast, and east cantons. Also in Austria (Alemannic), France (Alsatian), Germany (Alemannic), Liechtenstein (Alemannic).

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Appenzell, Basel, Bern (Bärndütsch), Graubuenden-Grisons (Valserisch), Lucerne, Obwald, St. Gallen, Wallis, Zurich. Most Swiss varieties are High Alemannisch and Highest Alemannisch (several in central Switzerland). Each canton has a separate variety, many mutually unintelligible. Only a few of 20–70 varieties are listed as dialects. Most similar to Schwäbian [swg] in south central Germany. Approximately 40% inherent intelligibility with Standard German [deu].

Language Use

Varieties have strong social function in maintaining borders of regions, cantons, and villages. They also distinguish between German, Swiss, and Austrian nationalities. 93% of German speakers in Switzerland speak a variety of Swiss German; 66% only use Swiss German and no High German in the home (1990 census). 72% of Switzerland speaks Schwyzerdütsch daily (1990 census). Some in schools and churches. Also use German [deu], language of instruction in school.

Language Development
Grammar. NT: 1984.
Writing
Latin script.

Also spoken in:

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