Upper Saxon German


Upper Saxon German
Upper Saxon
Spoken in Germany
Region Saxony
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sxu

Upper Saxon (German: Obersächsisch or colloquially Sächsisch) is a Central German dialect spoken in much of the modern German states of Saxony and Thuringia. Contrary to its name it is not a descendant of Old Saxon. The degree of accent varies from place to place within the states, with it being anywhere from a relatively mild accent in the larger cities such as Dresden or Chemnitz, to a stronger form in rural areas. Erzgebirgisch, a distinct dialect, is spoken in the villages of the Ore Mountains. Upper Saxon German includes nordwestböhmisch.[1][2]

The most notable distinguishing feature of the dialect is that the letters o and u are pronounced as centralized vowels ([ɵ] and [ʉ], which are also used in Swedish, for instance). Speakers of other German dialects that do not have these sounds tend to perceive these sounds as being ö [ø] and ü [y] respectively. For example, they hear [ʔæʉs] 'out' as if written aüs (Standard aus [ʔaʊs]) and [ˈʔɵːma] 'grandma' as if written Öma (Standard Oma [ˈʔoːma]). Front rounded vowels are pronounced as non-rounded (ö = [eː], ü = [iː]). Final -er is pronounced [ɚ],[citation needed] which speakers of other German dialects tend to hear as [oː]; e.g. [ˈheː(h)ɚ] 'higher' (Standard [ˈhøːɐ] höher) is misheard as if written he(h)o.

The Upper Saxon dialects outside the Ore Mountains can be easily recognized by the supposed "softening" of the voiceless stop consonants /p/, /t/ and /k/. Speakers of other dialects hear these as if they were "b", "d" and "g" respectively. In reality, these are merely non-aspirated versions of the same /p/, /t/ and /k/, a widespread feature among Central German dialects, as opposed to strongly aspirated [pʰ], [tʰ] and [kʰ] in dominant German dialects.

See also

References

  1. ^ Ludwig Erich Schmitt (Hrsg.): Germanische Dialektologie. Franz Steiner, Wiesbaden 1968, p. 143
  2. ^ http://web.uni-marburg.de/sprache-in-hessen/flash/dt.swf

External links


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