Upper German includes East Franconian as well as the dialectal areas of Bavarian and Alemannic. The first feature of Upper German is the full implementation of the High German phonetic shift. The only exception is in large parts the incomplete shift from West Germanic k to kch and in certain phonetic contexts to ch.
The East Franconian characterizes the transition from Upper German to Central German. While consonantism has carried out the general linguistic-historical developments of Upper German (with the peculiarity of an affrikata bf in all positions), there is a. in the vocalism of the northern area reference to Central German, z. B. in the receipt of Middle High German i and î (»gift, grief« for »poison, handle«). East Franconian own inventory is made clear in the form of the personal pronoun “unner” for “our”. Another characteristic feature is the monophthonging and stretching of old diphthongs, e.g. B. the long a for Middle High German ou (e.g. “baam” for “tree”).
The Bavarian language area includes v. a. the south-eastern part of Germany and Austria without Vorarlberg. Characteristic are the old dual forms “es” (“you”) and “enk” (“you”), now used as plural forms. Bavarian passwords are e.g. B. until well into the 20th century and partly still today »Pfinztag, Pfingsttag« (»Thursday«), »Ergetag, Ertag« (»Tuesday«), »tenk« (»left«), and »Semmel« (»Bread roll«), »Stadel« (»barn«). Another characteristic is the pronunciation of Middle High German “ei” as [oa], z. B. “broad” (for “broad”) and the evaporation of a to o (“gossen” for “alley”). The Bavarian dialect area is subdivided into southern, central and northern Bavarian.
The Südbairische includes the dialects of Tyrol, the Seven Churches and the Thirteen municipalities (at Verona) in Italy, the Styrian, the dialect of Burgenland, the Kärntische (Carinthian) and the linguistic island of Gottschee. South Bavarian has carried out the New High German sound shift in full (k becomes the affricata “kch” [kx], for example “kchnecht” for “servant”, “denkchen” for “think”). Another characteristic is the development from Middle High German ê to [ε ɐ ] ([ ʃ nε ɐ ] for “snow”).
That means Bairische v. a. spoken in large parts of Lower and Upper Bavaria, Upper Austria with South Bohemia and Lower Austria with South Moravia. Compared to South Bavarian, the sound level is somewhat younger. A special feature is, inter alia. the vocalization of the l after the vowel (e.g. “schpüi, schtön” for “play, put”) and the preservation of Middle High German ê as ä (“Schnä” for “snow”).
The northern Bavarian region includes the Upper Palatinate as well as the southern Vogtland and the western Bohemian Egerland; it is in close connection with the East Franconian. Characteristics of North Bavarian (like Hessian) are the “fallen diphthongs” “ei” and “ou” (for Middle High German “ie” and “uo”, eg “leib” for “dear” and “gout” for “good”) «). In addition, the representation of Middle High German ê as ei is typical (»Schnei« for »snow«).
Alemannic is spoken in German-speaking Switzerland, Alsace, Liechtenstein and Vorarlberg, southern Baden, Württemberg (excluding the northern edge), a small part of Tyrol and Bavarian Swabia. Common features of the Alemannic dialects are far more problematic to define than is the case in Bavarian. The forms »gan« and »stan« for »to go« and »to stand« are typical for large parts, as well as the preservation of the Middle High German long vowels î, û, iu [y ː ], z. B. “miin” for “my”, “huus” for “house”, “hüüser” for “houses”. Only Swabian shows diphthongization ([məin], [hə ʊs], [həiser]) and thus refers to more recent language developments in this area. Another characteristic of Swabian is the morphological peculiarity of the unified plural ending in -et (»ganget« for »(we, you, they) go«). Swabian was separated from Alemannic in the 13th century and extends east of the Black Forest to the Lech. Swabian settlements are among others. in Hungary.
The low Alemannische spoken in northern Alsace and Baden. As in Swabian, there is an unshifted West Germanic k in Lower Alemannic (e.g. initially implemented as an aspirated kh), which opposes the shifted southern kch. In general, there are strong similarities with Swabian, such as a common umlaut rounding that is in opposition to the rounding in the S. However, the Middle High German monophthongs î, û, iu have been preserved (e.g. “ziit” for “time”). The so-called Black Forest barrier proves to be a natural language divide between Lower Alemannic and Swabian.
The means Alemannische is a wider interference area in the northeast Switzerland south of the Swabian language area, the language of the younger North Alemannische (Schwäbisch, Low Alemannic German) marks the transition towards the language preserving Südalemannischen (high, Highest Alemannic German).
The dialects of German-speaking Switzerland, southern Alsace, Vorarlberg and the southern slopes of the Black Forest are summarized as High Alemannic. From the Lower Alemannic and Swabian it is inter alia. distinguished by the pronunciation of k (h) as ach sound ([x]) (e.g. [x ɪ nt] for “child”). In Eastern Switzerland, the single plural of the verb ends in -et for all three persons in the present tense, while in Southern and Central Switzerland there is a two-form plural (-en, -et, -en).
The German dialects of southern Switzerland are summarized as maximum Alemannic. This dialect of the Walser in the upper Rhône region (eastern Valais), which also came to the Great and Small Walsertal through their emigration, is characterized by particularly ancient features, including the preservation of the Old High German auxiliary syllable vowels and thus the Old High German inflection endings. Further characteristics are the pronunciation of the primitive Germanic “s” as [ ʃ ] (“schii” for “she”), the rounding of numerous vowels (“hiischer” for “houses”) and the inflection of the adjective in a predicative position. The preservation of old Language states in High Alemannic can be traced back to the isolated location of this language area.