- You divide the language into dialects by countries. While this is somewhat accurate for how speakers identify (see below), it does not reflect the dialect divisions made by the main dialectologists in the field. I have summarized the current classification below.
- The number of speakers and language use seems to be very inaccurate or made up. For instance, you state that 64.4% of speakers of German in Switzerland speak dialect only. This is clearly inaccurate; 64.4% is in fact the proportion of German speakers in Switzerland. Below I have given a quick summary of language use in all countries.
Classification: The following classification of Alemannic is based on Karl Bohnenberger: Die Alemannische Mundart. Umgrenzung, Innengliederung und Kennzeichnung. Tübingen 1953 and later additions made by Hugo Steger and Karlheinz Jakob: Raumgliederung der Mundarten. Vorstudien zur Sprachkontinuität im deutschen Südwesten. Stuttgart 1983
First is the English name, with the Standard German term in parenthesis. I then give the main trait of the dialect with two example words and a broad transcription in IPA.
- North Alemannic (Nordalemannisch): retention of word initial /k/ in “cold” and “child” as /kalt/ and /kɪnd/
- Swabian (Schwäbisch): diphthongization in “house” and “ice” as /hous/ and /eis/
- Low Alemannic (Niederalemannisch): retention of the monophthong in “house” and “ice” as /huːs/ and /iːs/
- South Alemannic (Südalemannisch): shifting of word initial /k/ to /x/ in “cold” and “child” as /xalt/ and /xɪnd/ & retention of the monophthong in “house” and “ice” as /huːs/ and /iːs/
- High Alemannic (Hochalemannisch): retention of /ŋkx/ in “to drink” and “dark” as /trɪŋkxə/ and /dʊŋkxəl/
- Highest Alemannic (Höchstalemannisch): reduction of /ŋkx/ to /x/ in “to drink” and “dark” as /trɪːxə/ and /dʊːxəl/
Swabian is only spoken in Germany, Highest Alemannic only in Switzerland, Austria, and a few villages in Italy, while Low and High Alemannic are spoken in Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, and Venezuela.
This is the classification based on linguistic criteria. Following is the identification of the speakers:
- Speakers in Switzerland call their speech “Schwyzerdütsch” (Swiss German), regardless of whether they speak Low, High, or Highest Alemannic. This seems to be the origin of your calling the entire language “Schwyzerdütsch”, which as shown above does not conform to the classification made in the literature. On the local level, speakers will subdivide Schwyzerdütsch into Bärndütsch (Bernese German), Züritütsch (Zurich German), Baseldytsch (Basel German) etc.
- Speakers in Alsace call their speech either “Elsässisch” (Alsatian) or “Elsässerditsch” (Alsatian German), regardless of whether they speak Low or High Alemannic or South Franconian in Northern Alsace.
- Speakers of Swabian call their speech “Schwäbisch” (Swabian).
- Speakers of the remaining Alemannic dialects in Germany and Austria either call their speech “Alemannisch” (Alemannic) or use names derived from local geographic divisions.
Population: The proportion of German speakers of Switzerland is 63.7 according to the 2002 census, the vast majority of which probably speak Alemannic, making for about 4.8 million speakers in Switzerland. In Alsace a 2001 survey (done by DNA/ISERCO. Published in the Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace in the article "Erosion naturelle" by Claude Keiflin). revealed that 61% of the population claimed to be able to speak the dialect, which would be roughly 1 million. The traditionally Alemannic speaking area in Germany has about 10 million inhabitants, of which maybe half speak Alemannic, but no statistics are available for this. Your populations for Austria and Liechtenstein appear to be accurate.
Language Use: chunt no
Proposal: Based on this I propose your next revision should include the following modifications:
- A single code for the entire language “Alemannic”, preferably one that accurately reflects the fact that both the English and the native names commence with the letters “aleman-“
- Instead of the subdivision into “German, Colonia Tovar [gct]”, “Schwyzerdütsch [gsw]”, “Swabian [swg]”, and “Walser [wae]”, which as I have shown above does not reflect the division made by linguists, an accurate division into “Swabian”, “Low Alemannic”, “High Alemannic”, and “Highest Alemannic”.
- Retiring of the entries for “German, Colonia Tovar” & “Walser”, as these are not part of the main divisions made by dialectologists.
- Retention of the “gsw” code specifically for “Swiss German”, as the varieties of Switzerland are in fact distinct sociolinguistically.
- A revision of the actual entries based on my justification above.