Alemanic & Swiss German

Karen_Broome at Karen_Broome at
Mon Dec 4 18:06:02 CET 2006

So should "Allemanisch" be added to the name_in_vern parameter to make it 
clear that this dialect is included? 

Maybe this helps:

A brief search on the web indicates that Alemanic/Alemannic -- when used 
as a *noun* and not an adjective -- most commonly refers to the Austrian 
form of Swiss German. The name_in_eng category clearly references a noun 
and not an adjective. I believe the way Mark is using the term, he is 
referring to an adjective. 

However, the spelling "Alemannic" seems to be far more common than 
Alemanic. I'm wondering if that's a spelling mistake on SIL that I copied 
over assuming that resource to be authorative. If I were submitting this 
application today, I would use the spelling with two n's.


Karen Broome
Metadata Systems Designer
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Peter Constable <petercon at> 
Sent by: ietf-languages-bounces at
12/04/2006 08:28 AM

<ietf-languages at>

RE: Alemanic & Swiss German

> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell

> Rather, the debate is whether "gsw" represents only Schwyzerdütsch per
> se, or other "Alemanic" languages and/or dialects which are not usually
> identified as Schwyzerdütsch, such as Swabian. 

That is not under debate. The ID "gsw" denotes precisely one individual 
language, which in English is commonly referred to as "Swiss German".

What is under debate is the name "Alemanic". It is a name used to refer to 
a collection of languages constituting a genetic subnode of Germanic. For 
that reason, Mark feels it is not appropriate to list "Alemanic" as a 

I agree with Mark on the principle, that an ID should mean one thing only: 
either it means an individual language, or it means a collection of 
languages, but it does not mean both.

But what is unclear to me is whether the lexeme "Alemanic" has two 
distinct senses. Ethnologue indicates that the individual language denoted 
by "gsw" is referred to by Germanic-speaking peoples as "Schwyzerdütsch" 
within Switzerland but elsewhere as "Alemanisch". In other words, 
"Alemanisch" is a Germanic name for the individual language denoted by 
"gsw". That suggests the possibility that "Alemanic" might similarly be 
used with the meaning of that individual language.

If "Alemanic" is ever used with that sense, I think I can agree with Mark 
that it is not commonly used as the English name for the individual 
language in question, whereas it is commonly used for the collection of 
related languages. Thus, I will agree with Mark that it is at best 
misleading to list "Alemanic" as an English name for this individual 

> Unless this thread has something to do with adding or changing an entry
> in the Registry, I agree with Michael that it should be confined to
> LTRU, and will post any future comments only to that list.

This thread very much has to do with entries in the Registry and is really 
out of scope for LTRU.

Peter Constable
Ietf-languages mailing list
Ietf-languages at

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