How many dialects are there in Austria?


Dialects (dialects): Due to the stability of the historical countries of Austria, the Austrian dialects essentially coincide with the federal states and also have their names (Viennese, Styrian, Tyrolean, etc.; Burgenland was sometimes referred to as Heanzian). They merge into one another without sharp boundaries, have been in close interaction since ancient times and are so closely related that they have developed a common colloquial and high-level language (the language of the Austrian). Only Alemannic Vorarlberg is more different from the other Austrian dialects of Bavarian origin and is similar to Swiss and Swabian.

The Austrian dialects developed historically from Middle High German. Already in the High Middle Ages there were clearly distinctive individual dialects in Austria (dialect poetry), the training of which was related to the permanent secular and ecclesiastical domains.

Middle Bavarian includes the dialects of Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland, Upper Austria, most of Salzburg and a small part of Styria. The characteristic features of these Austrian dialects of the Danube countries and plains are: Mitlaut weakening (p to b; t to d; k before l, n, r to g); Vocalization of the l and r in certain positions; secondary vowels fade, so in the prefix ge and the -e at the end; Preservation of ancient usurious sounds (from Old High German), especially in the conservative ui dialect of Lower Austria and Burgenland.

The Austrian dialects, which can be assigned to South Bavarian, are spoken in the mountainous countries, most of Styria, in Carinthia, Tyrol, in parts of Salzburg and in the southern tip of Burgenland. They are somewhat closer to the written language than the former, especially due to the retention of the strong sounds (k, p, t) and the secondary syllables (ge).

The dialects of the Burgenland are considered to be relatively ancient and "singing". That too is ancient Carinthianwhich sounds particularly melodic and soft, not least due to the centuries of living with the Slovenes. Its characteristic feature is the "Carinthian stretching": "losn" = to let, "ofn" = open, "Krahale" = Kracherl. Each valley has many variants. Characteristics of the Carinthian dialects are the diminutive syllable -le and the frequently used filler word "lai" with the meaning "only". The Lower Austrian is already a modern dialect, especially in the plains around Vienna, significantly influenced by the Viennese lingua franca and colloquial language. The areas with ui dialects have remained ancient. The dialects of Upper Austria are real peasant dialects, only the east of the country shows a modern dialect. There is great diversity in pronunciation in all of the country's districts. The Salzburg As Pinzgauerisch-Pongauerisch is a "mountain dialect" and shows peculiar shapes in Flachgau. At the Styrian a distinction is made between highland or Upper Styrian and central Styrian. In the northeast, its area extends into Lower Austria, while the Heanzian region stretches across the Burgenland border into Eastern Styria. This is the most conservative TyroleanIts most striking features are the sch-like pronunciation of the s (in sp, st, rs, etc.) and the rubbed (affected) k as kch. Even more conservative are the numerous linguistic island verbs (language islands) that originated in Austria in the Middle Ages. The Old Viennese, which was still spoken at the court of Maria Theresa, has changed noticeably since then and has long been in retreat. This contrasts with the New Viennese since 1918 and the Young Viennese since 1945. On the other hand, between the old dialect and the standard language, a colloquial and lingua franca developed that spread from Vienna to large parts of Austria, especially the provincial capitals and provincial cities, and which increasingly "muds" the peasant dialects. The Vorarlberg also includes parts of the Tyrolean Lech Valley. There is again an abundance of peculiarities and in-house developments within the state.

Since the introduction of compulsory schooling and military service, but especially since the mass spread of radio and television, the dialects have been displaced by the written language with increasing speed. Dialect dictionaries.