Georg Schweizer gschweizer at
Mon Sep 27 01:44:06 CEST 2004


Name of requester          : Georg Johannes Schweizer
E-mail address of requester: georg.schweizer at gmx dot at
Tag to be registered       : gem-CH

English name of language   : Swiss Alemannic

Native name of language (transcribed into ASCII): Schwyzerdu"tsch

Reference to published description of the language (book or article):

- Hotzenko"cherle R., Schla"pfer R. et al (eds.):
      Sprachatlas der deutschen Schweiz (SDS). 17 volumes.
      Bern, Basel 1881-2003 (available in university libraries)
- Ethnologue, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL):
- Sound samples of Schwyzerdu"tsch:

Any other relevant information:

Swiss Alemannic, also often referred to as "the Swiss German
dialect", is the spoken language for 4,500,000 people in Switzerland,
Liechtenstein and in border regions of Austria and Germany.
According to the Ethnologue 66.4% of the speakers are not actively
bilingual in Standard German. Swiss Alemannic is not functionally
intelligible to speakers of Standard German outside Switzerland.

On the Internet Swiss Alemannic has often been confused with "de-CH",
the tag for (mostly written) Swiss Standard German. For Alemannic
the collective language code "gem -- Germanic (Others)" should be
used; "gem-CH" is an extension of "gem".

The term "Swiss Alemannic" clarifies that only Alemannic varieties
within the Swiss national borders are included, while both Swabian
(Germany) and Alsatian (France) are excluded. These Low Alemannic
idioms differ from Swiss Alemannic in many ways and are therefore
treated separately by most linguists.

The code "gem-CH" should not be used for Swiss variants of
"gem"-languages other than Alemannic. In this extremely rare case
the choice of a more specific code is recommended.
Example: "x-sil-YIH" for Western Yiddish (if distinguished from
"yi" for Eastern Yiddish, as described by the Summer Institute of


Georg J. Schweizer
Vienna, Austria
+43 676 3648119

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