Are German and Swiss German different languages

Grammar - "In one word": The big difference between German and Swiss German

"In one word": the big difference between German and Swiss German

Niklaus Bigler's dialect column this time on a grammatical peculiarity that is typical of the Swiss dialect.

The German verbs are differentiated according to their inflection as strong or weak. With the strong, the stem vowel changes according to the pattern of the ablaut classes (take, took, taken), with the weak it remains the same (laugh, laugh, laugh).

The simple past (past tense) does not appear in the dialect; instead of “I took” it says i ha gnoo. With the subjunctive of the past tense, however, we are all the more prominent, namely with vowel variants: In many dialects I would mean (according to Old High German nāmi) i Nääm, neem; in others one says nuum (Bern-Solothurn-Olten), occasionally also no, nuem and even nüem.

There are a dozen relevant maps and other material in the Linguistic Atlas; Listed according to place, you will find strong subjunctive tones like gsääch, gseech, gääb, geeb, frääs, gieng, chiem, fier, gieb (Eastern Switzerland), gsuuch, guub, bluub, fruus (Hospental), fund, silt, gueb, chuem, nuem , sleep.

Victory and me are inherently weak verbs; there are also the weak forms seiti, machti and the hybrid forms wins (i), like (i). The playful formation of further subjunctive forms is obvious, such as I schruub (schreiben).

The strong participle forms of weak verbs are also curious: gstumme, gmulde, gschumpfe, gwunke, tosche, poue and juxtaposed, gmorke; not all of them are unique to Switzerland. In general, the inflections of many verbs have mixed up: boll / barked, buk / backte, pflog / pflegte. Fortunately, there is no Duden for the Swiss-German forms; the only criterion is ultimately the comprehensibility.

Niklaus Bigler was an editor for the Swiss German Dictionary (idiotikon.ch).