Alsatian language

Alsatian language

nativename=Elsässerdeutsch, Alsacien
speakers=more than 700,000
fam3=West Germanic
fam4=High German
fam5=Upper German
fam6=Alemannic German
iso2= |iso3=gsw

Alsatian ("Elsässerditsch"; _fr. Alsacien; _de. Elsässisch or "Elsässerdeutsch") is a Low Alemannic German dialect spoken in most of Alsace, a region in eastern France which has passed between French and German control many times.

Not readily intelligible to speakers of standard German, it is closely related to other nearby Alemannic dialects, such as Swiss German, Swabian, and Badisch. It is often confused with Lorraine Franconian, a more distantly related Franconian dialect spoken in the far north-east of Alsace and in neighboring Lorraine.

Many speakers of Alsatian write in standard German. Street names in the Alsace may use Alsatian spellings (they were formerly displayed only in French but are now bilingual in some places, especially Strasbourg and Mulhouse)

French and Alsatian) sign in Alsace.]



Alsatian has a rather simple set of 14 consonants:

Two consonants are restricted in their distribution: IPA|/kʰ/ only occurs at the beginning of a word or morpheme, and then only if followed immediately by a vowel; IPA|/ŋ/ never occurs at the beginning of a word or morpheme.

Alsatian, like many German dialects, has lenitioned all obstruents but [k] . Its lenes are, however, voiceless as in all Southern German varieties. Therefore, they are here transcribed IPA|/b̥/, /d̥/, /ɡ̊/.

As in German, the phoneme /ç/ has a velar allophone [x] after back vowels (/u/, /o/, /ɔ/, and /a/ in those speakers who do not pronounce this as [æ] ), and palatal [ç] elsewhere. In southern dialects, there is a tendency to pronounce it /x/ in all positions, and in Strasbourg the palatal allophone tends to become [ʃ] , and conflate with the phoneme /ʃ/.


Short vowels: IPA|/ʊ/, /o/, /ɒ/, /a/ (IPA| [æ] in Strasbourg), IPA|/ɛ/, /ɪ/, /i/, /y/.

Long vowels: IPA|/ʊː/, /oː/, /ɒː/, /aː/, /ɛː/, /eː/, /iː/, /yː/


Comparative vocabulary list

tatus of Alsatian in France

The constitution of the Fifth Republic states that French alone is the official language of the Republic. However Alsatian, along with other regional languages, are recognized by the French government in the official list of languages of France. A 1999 INSEE survey counted 548,000 adult speakers of Alsatian in France, making it the second most-spoken regional language in the country (after Occitan). Like all regional languages in France, however, the transmission of Alsatian is on the decline. While 39% of the adult population of Alsace speaks Alsatian, only one in four children speaks it, and only one in ten children uses it regularly.


*fr icon [] François Héran, et al. (2002) "La dynamique des langues en France au fil du XXe siècle". "Population et sociétés" 376, Ined.
*fr icon [] "L'alsacien, deuxième langue régionale de France" Insee, "Chiffres pour l'Alsace" no. 12, December 2002
*fr iconBrunner, Jean-Jacques. "L'alsacien sans peine". ASSiMiL, 2001. ISBN 2-7005-0222-1
*fr iconLaugel-Erny, Elsa. "Cours d'alsacien". Les Editions du Quai, 1999.
*fr iconMatzen, Raymond, and Léon Daul. "Wie Geht's ? Le dialecte à la portée de tous" La Nuée Bleue, 1999. ISBN 2-7165-0464-4
*fr iconMatzen, Raymond, and Léon Daul. "Wie Steht's ? Lexiques alsacien et français, Variantes dialectales, Grammaire" La Nuée Bleue, 2000. ISBN 2-7165-0525-X

External links

' on the ' of Wikipedia

* [ Euromosaic - German in France] - The status of German languages in France.
* [ Alsatian placenames]
*de icon [ Wörterbuch der elsässischen Mundarten]

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