Georg Schweizer gschweizer at
Mon Sep 27 21:13:40 CEST 2004

Caoimhin O Donnaile wrote:

> according to the Ethnologue, Walser is another Germanic but
> non Alemannic language spoken in Switzerland.

This is wrong. Walser is a variant of the Alemannic language.

Let’s be more precise than SIL:

The tag "gem-CH" may be used for all variants of
"Germanic (Others)" as used in Switzerland. These comprise:
- High Alemannic [SIL code: GSW]
- Highest Alemannic or "Walser" [SIL code: WAE]
- A few minor variants of Low Alemannic [SIL code: GSW]

> why not use the three-letter codes "gsw" for Schwyzerdütsch
> and "wae" for Walser

The Word "Schwyzerdütsch" is used for both High Alemannic [GSW]
and Highest Alemannic (Walser) [WAE]. They are very similar
and don’t need two different codes.
GWS also includes Alsatian, which is not Schwyzerdütsch.

The use of "gem-CH" for Schwyzerdütsch is currently the best
It is already valid today, and its registration would encourage
authors to distinguish more between "Swiss Alemannic" [gem-CH]
and "Swiss Standard German" [de-CH].


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