[Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German

Mark Davis mark.davis at icu-project.org
Thu Nov 30 20:06:41 CET 2006

Alemanic refers to a broader group of dialects than "Swiss German" (aka
Schwyzertuesch) does. So listing them as it does is problematic; it's like

ar Arabic; Egyptian Arabic

Personally, I don't care whether it is resolved to be

Alemanic (including Swiss German)
// which is what 639-3 seems to be pointing to


Swiss German (a particular variant of Alemanic)
// which is what the code (gsw) seems to be pointing to

But we need some clarity as to what is meant by the code.


On 11/30/06, Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft.com> wrote:
>  Martin's comment is somewhat vague: varieties spoken on either side of
> the border are very similar, et "as soon as you cross the border it's very
> clearly no longer Swiss German". Does that mean that what is spoken across
> the border is clearly a different language, or that the label "Swiss German"
> is clearly not used?
> Peter
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Mark Davis [mailto:mark.davis at icu-project.org]
> *Sent:* Thursday, November 30, 2006 9:00 AM
> *To:* Håvard Hjulstad; iso639-2 at loc.gov
> *Cc:* LTRU Working Group; zaiitov at gmail.com; ISO 639 Joint Advisory
> Committee; ietf-languages at iana.org; iso639 at dkuug.dk
> *Subject:* [Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German
> ISO 639-2 (on http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php)
> lists the following:
> gsw             Alemani; Swiss German      alémanique
> However, there is a "c" missing from Alemanic, and Swiss German is not the
> same as Alemanic: Swiss German is a type of Alemanic, but there are other
> types that are not the same as Swiss German.
> Quoting Martin Duerst:
> "Yes, Swabian is clearly Alemanic. Alemanic and Swiss German are not
> the same. There are very close similarities between some dialects in
> the north of Switzerland and across the border in Germany, but as
> soon as you cross the border, it's very clearly no longer Swiss
> German. A label such as "Alemanic; Swiss German", assuming that
> both are the same, is clearly wrong. If it's something like
> "Alemanic; includes Swiss German", that would be okay."
> Can this be corrected so that it does not continue to mislead people?
> Mark Davis
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