Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 2. The Swiss German his posses

A forum for guides, lessons and sharing of useful information.
User avatar
Adarain
greek
greek
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri 03 Jul 2015, 14:36
Location: Switzerland, usually

Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 2. The Swiss German his posses

Post by Adarain » Sat 04 Jul 2015, 16:16

In this thread I will make an overview over Swiss German grammar and phonology, and generally lay out what I can teach you, and what I cannot.

What is Swiss German even?
Swiss German is a very broad term. It encompasses all Alemannic dialects of German spoken within the political borders of Switzerland. As such it’s not a very linguisticly rigorous term. Swiss German derives from Middle High German, and is closely related especially to the Austro-Bavarian dialects of southern Germany and Austria. It is broadly divided into three dialect groups:
  • Low Alemannic: Of the Swiss Dialects, Low Alemannic is spoken only around the city of Basel. Most German Alemannic dialects fall into this group, but are not considered Swiss German.
  • High Alemannic: Most Swiss German dialects fall into this group. It is often subdivided into western and eastern dialects according to criteria I don’t actually know. My dialect falls into the eastern group here.
  • Highest Alemannic: In many ways the most conservative dialect group, Highest Alemannic sounds weird to many. It is quite distinct from the rest and many claim they cannot even understand it (I disagree with that statement). Mostly spoken in the southern mountains of Switzerland and in isolated pockets.
Swiss German is considered to be a non-standard dialect group of German. For all intents and purposes however, it is used like a “proper” language in everyday life and is far from endangered. It does not have a standard orthography or even variety, and the usage in writing is a new phenomenon, emerging together with the rise of instant messaging. The current attitude towards writing Swiss German is that everyone should write “as they speak”, which usually means adapting the German orthography as closely as possible to one’s idiolect. Often some things are shortened though, such as shortening <sch> to <sh> and <gs> to <x> (I despise the latter as it blurs the morphology. The g in gs is usually a prefix…).

My Dialect
My dialect is spoken in and around the town Chur, in southeastern Switzerland. It is unique among Swiss Dialects for not undergoing the k > kx > x shift, rather strongly aspirating intitial velars (Thus my town's name is natively pronounced [kʰuːr]) and for a strong lowering of word-final schwas towards [ä] (the actual pronunciation is closer to ɐ at around 650 Hz for the F1 value as opposed to around 800 for a long, stressed /a/. Values evaluated in praat from recordings of my own speech). Phonologically, it is otherwise pretty normal among eastern Swiss dialects, and I cannot think of any grammatical oddity that distinctly sets it apart from other dialects, but this may be mostly due to my lack of experience outside of my bubble.

Phonology
The phonology of Sw.G. features a very large vowel inventory distinguishing tenseness and length independently from each other. However, length is, as fsr as I can tell, not as imporant and seems to be indetermined for many words (free variation).

Consonants are distinguished not by voicing or aspiration, but rather by gemination. Voicing may still occur allophonically, I have not done or found any research on this. The only consonant where vocing is phonemic is /v/ which is distinct from /f fː/. It corresponds to a labiodental approximant in other dialects.

Consonants:
  • m mː n nː ŋ ŋg1
  • p pː t tː k kː2
  • p͡f t͡s t͡ʃ
  • f fː s sː ʃ ʃː x xː3 h
  • ʋ j
  • r rː 4
  • l lː
1: Included for completeness' sake as the fortis counterpart to ŋ
2: Initially realized as [kʰ]
3: In free variation with hː, especially intervocalically
4: Although a trill is the most common pronunciation, my (idiolectal) realisation of both short and long r is actually a non-sibilant voiced alveolar fricative. Other possibilities are a uvular trill or fricative or even non-rhotic variants. I will transcribe them with r.

Long r and l are marginal at best. I may be making them up. Needs research.
Vowels:

Code: Select all

i y   u
ɪ ʏ   ʊ
e ø   o
    ə
ɛ œ   ɔ
    a
At least most of these can be short or long. The only ones I could not find a word with a long version of so far are œ, ʊ and ə.

Diphthongs that I am aware of (semivowel is always the second one):
aʊ aɪ ɛɪ ɔɪ ɪa ʏa ʊa
As well as marginally ei ou

Sequences of schwa followed by n, m, l, r are usually realized as syllabic consonants unless spoken carefully.

Word-finally, schwa and short a are realized as [ɐ]. I'll be transcribing it with /a/ in that position, since the pronunciation is closer to that and I don't care enough to write it as /ɐ/ every time.

There is an intrusive n between vowels at word boundaries. It doesn't always occur and I haven't been able to figure out when exactly it is applicable. It seems to be most common around a and least around i.

Additionally, Umaut exists and works essentially identical to Standard German:

a > ɛ
ɔ > œ
o > ø
ʊ > ʏ
u > y
aʊ > ɔɪ

Writing all of this
I don't think it is possible to come up with a way to write everything phonemically without either being unweildy or strange to native speakers. I won't even attempt to use any kind of "Standardized Orthography". Instead, I'll write as it comes to me naturally (how I'd use it in to communicate with friends) and provide IPA. Some distincitive features that are very Swiss I can list though:
  • Short (lenis) stops are usually written with the symbols for voiced consonants everywhere ‹b d g›
  • Long (fortis) stops are often written as doubled lenis consonants ‹bb dd gg› medially and finally or as single ‹p t k› (initially always, medially and finally sometimes)
  • Fortis nasals are doubled. ŋ is ‹ng›, ŋg can be anything
  • x and ∫ as ch and sch/sh no matter the length.
  • Often spellings are copied from Standard German, such as the inconsistent use of f and v, doubled consonants when they have no reason to be doubled, random h, marking vowel length in various, random ways or not at all.
  • Vowels are spelled however, but usually close to how they would be spelled in German. aɪ is usually spelled ‹ai› though. If ‹y› occurs, it usually indicates a tense i, long or short. I don't use this though.
  • Long vowels are often marked by doubling, but it's inconsistent at best.
Overview of the grammar

Swiss German has three cases: Nominative, Accusative and Dative. Genitive occurs marginally for proper nouns as -s only and may actually be a recent borrowing from English.
In most pronouns, cases are distinct. In nouns, they are only marked on the article as well as by adjective agreement. Nominative and Accusative merge in non-masculine articles, Dative is always distinct.
There are three grammatical genders, Masculine, Feminine and Neuter. They almost fully overlap with Standard German and are usually almost the same across all Germanic languages that retain gender. There is no gender distinction in the plural.

Looking at the verb, there are three finite forms that are conjugated without auxilaries: Present Indicative, Subjunctive and Irrealis (the latter two are commonly called Konjunktiv I and II in analogy to Standard German). However, once you include periphrastic constructions, the verbal morphology gets a lot richer:
  • Infinitive - laufa (to walk)
  • Present - i laufa
  • Past - i bin gloffa
  • Immediate Future - i goon go laufa
  • Future - i werda laufa
  • Past Perfect - i bin gloffa gsi
  • Future Perfect - i werda gloffa si
  • Present Subjunctive - i laufi
  • Past Subjunctive - i sigi gloffa
  • Present Irrealis - i laufti
  • Past Irrealis - i wäri gloffa
Additionally, there is a continuous form, formed by to be + am + infinitive (compare Dutch, Icelandic).

Additionally to tense, verbs have distinct forms for three present persons, and one for all plural persons. Ablaut occurs in a lot of verbs when conjugating.

The word order is very similar to Standard German: V2, with parts of the verb getting moved to the end. I will talk about all of this in later lessons.

Pronouns exist in three forms: Stressed, Unstressed and Clitic. The most common form is unstressed. Clitic pronouns only occur directly after the verb and merge with the verbal suffix.

I don't want to go in-depth into anything here yet, but I must hint at the fact that the most common use of the Subjunctive mood is marking hear-say. This means, yes, evidentality exists in a Germanic language :)

Now for the important part: Do you wish that I actually make this series a thing? If so, please reply and mention what you would like me to tackle first or what you want to know most.

1. Simple sentences and verbs
2. The Swiss German his possessions
Last edited by Adarain on Tue 14 Jul 2015, 14:43, edited 6 times in total.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.
HoskhMatriarch
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat 16 May 2015, 17:48

Re: Swiss German (Chur)

Post by HoskhMatriarch » Sun 05 Jul 2015, 00:45

I'll be checking back on this thread a lot! I've always wanted to study German "dialects", but that's not particularly easy to do where I live. This is quite interesting so far, and I don't expect that to change.
No darkness can harm you if you are guided by your own inner light
User avatar
kanejam
greek
greek
Posts: 871
Joined: Fri 07 Jun 2013, 06:50
Location: NZ

Re: Swiss German (Chur)

Post by kanejam » Sun 05 Jul 2015, 23:41

I would love to see some more! It all looks very interesting and the few forms you have shown so far are all very tantalising.

The one thing I'll request is a short discussion of common feautures in other Swiss dialects, especially where your own differs from the 'norm'.
User avatar
Lao Kou
korean
korean
Posts: 5646
Joined: Sun 25 Nov 2012, 10:39
Location: 蘇州/苏州

Re: Swiss German (Chur)

Post by Lao Kou » Mon 06 Jul 2015, 01:35

Yes, please make it a thing. [:)]
道可道,非常道
名可名,非常名
shimobaatar
darkness
darkness
Posts: 10083
Joined: Fri 12 Jul 2013, 22:09
Location: PA → IN

Re: Swiss German (Chur)

Post by shimobaatar » Mon 06 Jul 2015, 02:12

I'd like to echo what others have said about how interesting this is and how more information would be greatly appreciated! [:D] I'm afraid I don't have any particular "requests" for topics at the moment; I guess I'd just recommend describing areas of the language in whichever order feels most natural to you for now.
User avatar
Lambuzhao
earth
earth
Posts: 7527
Joined: Sun 13 May 2012, 01:57

Re: Swiss German (Chur)

Post by Lambuzhao » Mon 06 Jul 2015, 03:33

Swiss German has three cases: Nominative, Accusative and Dative. Genitive occurs marginally for proper nouns as -s only and may actually be a recent borrowing from English.
[tick] This happens in :us-pa: :deu: also!

meim Daadi sei Bicher
My dad's books

meinre Maemm ihre Schwaermudder
My mom's Mother-in-law


em Kind sei Eldre sind aa ihre Verwande.
The kid's parents are also her relatives.

dem John sei Maschien iss rot.
John's car is red.

:mrgreen:
User avatar
Adarain
greek
greek
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri 03 Jul 2015, 14:36
Location: Switzerland, usually

Re: Swiss German (Chur)

Post by Adarain » Mon 06 Jul 2015, 11:15

Well then, here it goes, lesson one. I'll use :sui: for Swiss German, :deu: for Standard German and :uk: for English.

1. Simple sentences and verbs

After this lesson you should be able to construct simple sentences (I see the man) with regular transitive and intransitive verbs. For this, I first need to teach you some vocab. I'll start with nominative pronouns. To make things more interesting, I'll present them together with a verb, so take a look at that as well:

:sui: essa /ɛsːa/ :uk: to eat

:sui: i essa /i 'ɛsːa/ :uk: I eat
:sui: du essisch /tu 'ɛsːɪʃ/ :uk: thou eatest
:sui: er esst /ɛr ɛsːt/ :uk: he/it eats
:sui: si esst /siː ɛsːt/ :uk: she/it eats
:sui: as esst /as ɛsːt/ :uk: it eats

:sui: miar essen /mɪar 'ɛsːən/ :uk: we eat
:sui: iar essen /ɪar 'ɛsːən/ :uk: ye eat
:sui: si essen /siː 'ɛsːən/ :uk: they eat or you (frm) eat

The pronoun system is exactly identical to :deu:. Note specifically the three yous: singular informal du, plural informal iar and formal si. As a note, Western High Alemannic (Bern) uses the 2P pronoun iar for formality, as :deu: used to. This might be due to closeness to the French speaking area.

Additionaly, you probably noticed that I translated er and si also as it. This is because, thanks to grammatical gender, you use these pronouns also to refer to things that :uk: speaker would use it for, such as table (dr Tisch - er) or fir tree (d'Tanna - si).

Gender is annoying to learn, we all know that. The only tips I can give is: never forget about it. Keep the gender of each word in mind and try to construct sentences using the words. Gender in :sui: is not really guessable from endings. The exception are various derivational suffixes, which are very common and carry their own gender. Some common ones:

-ig, -hait, -kait make words into nouns and are always feminine
-in as a suffix makes things into feminine versions
It's unsurprisingly feminine.
-li is the diminutive and is always neuter
-er is a kind of actor suffix, common in names of jobs for example. It's masculine.

Be aware that there are words that look like they have such a suffix but actually don't. -er is also a common plural marker for example.

Enough of gender though, let's look at some phrases:

:sui: Miar essen ds Brot.
/mɪar ɛsːən t͡s proːt/
:uk: We eat the bread.

ds is the definite neuter article in the nominative.

:sui: Miar essen as Brot.
/mɪar ɛsːən as proːt/
:uk: We eat a (loaf of) bread.

And there you have the corresponding indefinite article. Note that bread is countable in :sui:.

As you can see, the neutral word order is SVO. Like in :deu: you can move the stuff around a little, so it's more like V2. In general, you don't put the object first unless you really want to emphasize it. Most commonly, the first slot is taken by the subject, an adverb, a prepositional phrase or a subordinated clause.

The nominative articles are:
Masculine: dr - an /tr an/
Neuter: ds - as /t͡s as/
Feminine: d' - a /t a/
Plural: d' /t/

There is no indefinite plural article. d' Optionally undergoes a lot of assimilation before consonants, but it's usually spelled d' anyway:

d'frau /tfraʊ ~ p͡fraʊ/ the woman.
d'gärta /'tkɛrta ~ 'kːɛrta/ the gardens (plural)

And so on.

Let's learn two important verbs now, and then some exercises:

:sui: si /siː/ :uk: to be

:sui: i bin /i pɪn/ :uk: i am
:sui: du bisch /tu pɪʃ/ :uk: thou art
:sui: er isch /ɛr ɪʃ/ :uk: he is

:sui: miar sin /mɪar sɪn/ :uk: we are
:sui: iar sin /ɪar sɪn/ :uk: ye are
:sui: si sin /siː sɪn/ :uk: they/you are

That one's obviously irregular. To have is more regular, but shows a vowel change. I'll stop it with the translations now, they should be obvious by now. Since plural forms are always the same, I'll also only list it once from now on.

:sui: haa /haː/ :uk: to have

:sui: i han /i han/
:sui: du hesch /tu hɛʃ/
:sui: er het /ɛr hɛt/
:sui: miar hen /mɪar hɛn/

You may have noticed that both of these verbs have -n in the first person sg. This is a feature that one class of verb shares: Those whose infinitive ends in a long vowel. Usually 1S is identical to the infinitive, ending in -a, but when the infinitive ends in a long vowel, 1S takes the ending -n, making it identical to the plural form if there are no vowel changes.

Another thing I have to touch on is the accusative. Considering the topic of this forum, I won't explain what an accusative is. If you don't know, turn to the beginner's corner or wikipedia and search for explanations there.

The accusative is essentially not marked on nouns. There is no suffix marking it, and in fact, it can only be distinguished from the nominative in masculine definite nouns, where the article changes from dr to da /da/. And even that is falling out of use and is basically optional, and never happens before vowels.
Edit: /da/ and /dr/ are not confined to cases. /dr/ is allowed in any form, /da/ only before consonants.
It is distinguished in pronouns, however, but I'll get to that at a later point. For now we're wrapping up.

I'll give you a few nouns and verbs now and some translation challenges. Nouns will be given with the definite article, verbs in the infinitive. Try to guess the pronunciations too.

:sui: dr maa :uk: the man
:sui: d'frau :uk: the woman
:sui: ds kind :uk: the child
:sui: ds maitli :uk: the girl (note the -li suffix)
:sui: dr buab :uk: the boy
:sui: dr öpfel :uk: the apple
:sui: ds glace :uk: the ice-cream
:sui: d'lüt :uk: the people (pluralis tantum)
:sui: schwiizerdüütsch :uk: swiss german

:sui: gsee :uk: to see
:sui: ghöra :uk: to hear
:sui: reda :uk: to speak
:sui: stela :uk: to steal

:sui: und :uk: and

Translate and guess the pronunciation of these sentences:

1. He is a boy.
2. The girl is a child.
3. A boy eats the apple.
4. The man steals the ice-cream.
5. They see the girl.
6. The woman and the man have a boy and a girl.
7. I hear the people and the people hear me (mi).
8. Thou seest the boy, the boy sees the people and the people see thee (di).
9. I speak Swiss German.
Spoiler:
1. Er isch an buab.
/ɛr ɪʃ an pʊap/

2. Ds maitli isch as kind.
/t͡s 'maɪtlɪ ɪʃ as kʰɪnt/

3. An buab esst dr öpfel.
/an pʊap ɛsːt tr 'øp͡f.l/

4. Dr maa stelt ds glace.
/tr maː ʃteːlt t͡s 'klasːe/

5. Si gseen ds maitli.
/siː kseːn ts 'maɪt.lɪ/

6. D'frau und dr maa hen an buab und as maitli
/p͡fraʊ ʊnt tr maː hɛn an pʊap ʊnt as 'maɪt.lɪ/

7. I ghöra d'lüt und d'lüt ghören mi.
/i kʰøːra tlyt ʊnt tlyt kʰøːrən miː/

8. Du gseesch da buab, dr buab gseet d'lüt und d'lyt gseen di.
/tu kseːʃ ta pʊap || tr pʊap kseːt tlyt ʊnt tlyt kseːn tiː/

9. I reda schwiizerdüütsch.
/i 'reːta 'ʃʋiː.t͡sər.,tyːt͡ʃ/
Bonus challenge: Using the information in the first post, try to put sentence 3 into the continuous form. Be aware that only the conjugated part of the verb is in second position, the rest of it gets put at the end of the clause.
Last edited by Adarain on Wed 19 Aug 2015, 17:23, edited 1 time in total.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.
Tóvur
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 05 Jul 2015, 12:34

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by Tóvur » Mon 06 Jul 2015, 23:10

How does the genitive work in Alemannic?
User avatar
kanejam
greek
greek
Posts: 871
Joined: Fri 07 Jun 2013, 06:50
Location: NZ

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by kanejam » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 05:56

Spoiler:
I'm using <sh> to make it look even less like German [:D]

1. He is a boy. Er ish as buab.
2. The girl is a child. Ds maitli ish as kind.
3. A boy eats the apple. Dr buab esst dr öpfel.
4. The man steals the ice-cream. Dr maa stelt ds glace.
5. They see the girl. Si gseen ds maitli.
6. The woman and the man have a boy and a girl. D'frau und dr maa hen as buab und as maitli.
7. I hear the people and the people hear me (mi). I ghöra d'lüt und d'lüt ghörn mi.
8. Thou seest the boy, the boy sees the people and the people see thee (di). Du gseesh da(/dr) buab, dr buab gseet d'lüt und d'lüt gseen di.
9. I speak Swiss German. I reda shwiizerdüütsh.
Adarain wrote:d'frau /tfraʊ ~ p͡fraʊ/ the woman.
d'gärta /'tkɛrta ~ 'kːɛrta/ the gardens (plural)
There aren't words for how awesome this is. Actually the definite articles in general are really cool.

Great lessons, keep them up! And I don't mind learning gender too much since I've already done it once for French. It's just annoying that I can't transfer wholesale from French like I do with Spanish.
HoskhMatriarch
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat 16 May 2015, 17:48

Re: Swiss German (Chur)

Post by HoskhMatriarch » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 06:19

Lambuzhao wrote:
Swiss German has three cases: Nominative, Accusative and Dative. Genitive occurs marginally for proper nouns as -s only and may actually be a recent borrowing from English.
[tick] This happens in :us-pa: :deu: also!

meim Daadi sei Bicher
My dad's books

meinre Maemm ihre Schwaermudder
My mom's Mother-in-law


em Kind sei Eldre sind aa ihre Verwande.
The kid's parents are also her relatives.

dem John sei Maschien iss rot.
John's car is red.

:mrgreen:
Standard German is moving towards something like this. Now I just want to ask you to make a thread for Pennsylvania German. More "dialects"!
Adarain wrote: :sui: essa /ɛsːa/ :uk: to eat

:sui: i essa /i 'ɛsːa/ :uk: I eat
:sui: du essisch /tu 'ɛsːɪʃ/ :uk: thou eatest
:sui: er esst /ɛr ɛsːt/ :uk: he/it eats
:sui: si esst /siː ɛsːt/ :uk: she/it eats
:sui: as esst /as ɛsːt/ :uk: it eats

:sui: miar essen /mɪar 'ɛsːən/ :uk: we eat
:sui: iar essen /ɪar 'ɛsːən/ :uk: ye eat
:sui: si essen /siː 'ɛsːən/ :uk: they eat or you (frm) eat
So Swiss German kept the geminate consonants from OHG times? Cool. I heard Alemannic German has had an exceptionally long time of mutual intelligibility compared with most languages. With this thread, I can go try to speak Swiss German and have Swiss people be like "...what?" I had a German Swiss or whatever they're called guy come to a class I was in before once. He demonstrated a word with a /k͡x/ in it, among other things. That /k͡x/ thing is, to use proper linguistic terminology, pretty cool. This all looks phonologically very interesting.
No darkness can harm you if you are guided by your own inner light
User avatar
Adarain
greek
greek
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri 03 Jul 2015, 14:36
Location: Switzerland, usually

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by Adarain » Tue 07 Jul 2015, 07:35

I'm unsure whether geminates were kept or reinvented. They usually correspond to unvoiced sounds in :deu:, or to consonants after a short vowel (where :deu: orthography doubles them without actually geminating).

If you're looking for the velar affricate, here is what you must do: simply replace every [kʰ] with [kx]. I don't have it in my dialect (one of the big defining things of it).

Next lesson will be about possession. I'll probably write it up tomorrow, gotta give people some time to digest lesson one. Any questions about anything I wrote? Could you solve the exercises?
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.
User avatar
Lao Kou
korean
korean
Posts: 5646
Joined: Sun 25 Nov 2012, 10:39
Location: 蘇州/苏州

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by Lao Kou » Wed 08 Jul 2015, 11:34

Adarain wrote:Any questions about anything I wrote?
Two. [:)]

1) German: hören (hear) ⇌ Chur: ghöra // German: gehören (belong) ⇌ Chur: :?:

2) In the present tense of German essen, the du and er forms have a vowel shift: du ißt/er ißt

which does not appear in the Chur analogue: du essisch/er esst.

Nor does it occur with du siehst/er sieht ⇌ du gseesch/er gseet.

Is that something that can be generalized in the present tense, or is it going to be case by case? In other words, you've also introduced the strong verb, laufa. In the present, German has du läufst/er läuft. Will Chur dispense with that (you gave a stem-changed past participle gloffa) for du laufsch/er lauft, or will there be analogous shenanigans?
道可道,非常道
名可名,非常名
User avatar
Adarain
greek
greek
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri 03 Jul 2015, 14:36
Location: Switzerland, usually

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by Adarain » Wed 08 Jul 2015, 12:46

I've tried writing a lesson on possession. Holy shit was that a mess I was producing. So lemme answer the questions that have since appeared and then I'll try again later today.
Lao Kou wrote:
Adarain wrote:Any questions about anything I wrote?
Two. [:)]

1) German: hören (hear) ⇌ Chur: ghöra // German: gehören (belong) ⇌ Chur: :?:
Same :) The difference is, "gehören" (to belong) takes a dative argument, "hören" an accusative one.
I ghöra di = I hear you
I ghöra diar = I belong to you
2) In the present tense of German essen, the du and er forms have a vowel shift: du ißt/er ißt

which does not appear in the Chur analogue: du essisch/er esst.

Nor does it occur with du siehst/er sieht ⇌ du gseesch/er gseet.

Is that something that can be generalized in the present tense, or is it going to be case by case? In other words, you've also introduced the strong verb, laufa. In the present, German has du läufst/er läuft. Will Chur dispense with that (you gave a stem-changed past participle gloffa) for du laufsch/er lauft, or will there be analogous shenanigans?
Stem change shenanigans exist, but they're rarer. Mostly they occur between different tenses, between sg and pl, or just weirdly. But I can't currently think of any verb that has a different form only in 3S.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.
User avatar
Lao Kou
korean
korean
Posts: 5646
Joined: Sun 25 Nov 2012, 10:39
Location: 蘇州/苏州

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by Lao Kou » Wed 08 Jul 2015, 14:20

Adarain wrote:So lemme answer the questions that have since appeared.
Thanks.
Lao Kou wrote:Two. [:)]
Okay, three. [:P]

3) What happens with verb stems ending in d/t? You've given us reda.

German: du redest/er redet ⇌ Chur: du redesch/redisch/redsch // er redet/redit/red :?:
道可道,非常道
名可名,非常名
User avatar
Adarain
greek
greek
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri 03 Jul 2015, 14:36
Location: Switzerland, usually

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by Adarain » Wed 08 Jul 2015, 15:51

You've spotted something I never even noticed. Indeed, there is a schwa inserted in 3S before the ending if the root ends in a stop. The endings go like this:

-a/n
-(ɪ)ʃ
-(ə)t
-(ə)n

I'll need to think real hard about how the rules go about when to put a vowel and when not. Essa doesn't have one in 3S. Reda has one everywhere. Singa only has one in the plural.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.
User avatar
Adarain
greek
greek
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri 03 Jul 2015, 14:36
Location: Switzerland, usually

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by Adarain » Tue 14 Jul 2015, 14:42

Alright. Almost forgot about this. Let’s finish writing this guy up.

2. The Swiss German his possessions

When I tried to introduce possession earlier today, I started with “to have” once more. The reason being, it takes an accusative argument, so I could introduce accusative pronouns. Then came “to belong”, which takes a dative argument, and I could introduce those pronouns. I was getting really off-track and it was way too long already to get to what I actually wanted to get at… and it wasn’t even written well. So I’ve decided to redo everything I did there, and start at a different place.

What options does Swiss German have to say “This is my X”? Quite a bunch, as it turns out. The most important ones are:
  • Using a possessive pronoun (This is my house, This is mine)
  • Using to be + dative (This house is to me)
  • Using to be + accusative (This house is me) [only first and second persons]
  • Using to be + vu + dative (This house is from me)
  • Using verbs (This house belongs to me)
  • Using to be + dative + possessive pronoun (This is to the man his house) [only third person]
  • Using the genitive (This is Fabian’s house) [only proper nouns]
So, how do we tackle this? I think, the possessive pronouns are a good start. I’ll first show a few examples:

:sui: Das isch mis huus.
That is ᴘᴏss.1s.ɴ.ɴᴏᴍ house.
:uk: That is my house.

:sui: Dia döt dena isch doch dini fründin, odr?
That.ғ there there is ᴍᴏᴅᴀʟ ᴘᴏss.2s.ғ.ɴᴏᴍ girlfriend, or?
:uk: The one over there is your girlfriend, right?

:sui: Er gseet sin soon.
He sees ᴘᴏss.3sᴍ.ᴍ.ᴀᴄᴄ son.
:uk: He sees his son.

Okay, that’s enough. Things to note:
  • Possessives precede the owned noun
  • They probably show the highest amount of concord of any word class, agreeing with both person/number(/gender) of the owner and case/gender of the ownee.
So basically, these are probably the most complicated words you’ll encounter (I’ll regret saying that, won’t I?) so… table time! Each table represents the person/number/gender of the owner:
Spoiler:
Image
As you can see, the patterns are decently regular. 1S, 2S and 3S in masc and neuter are the exact same forms just with different roots. 1P, 2P and the remaining third person ones are also almost the same. There is a metathesis thingy in the neuter acc/dat, but it doesn’t really matter whether you say /ɔɪrəs/ or /ɔɪərs/, as long as it’s two syllables. I put the form I encounter most commonly.

As a note: the dative form of 1S/2S/3Smn which ends in -inəm can be reduced to -im. The (a) is usually dropped and occurs more commonly in the accusative, but is also allowed for nominative.

To say “This is mine”, simply use the correct nom form of the 1S possessive pronoun. In this case, the -a is mandatory:
:uk: My son :sui: Das isch mina (soon).
:uk: My daughter :sui: Das isch mini (tochter).
:uk: My house :sui: Das isch mis (hus).
:uk: My children :sui: Das sin mini (kinder).

One more thing before I’ll stop this (we’ll learn more next time, I promise! there is so much to say!):

If you want to say, for example “This is Fabian’s house”, then you usually use dative constructions, which can take many forms. You’ll need to know the dative definite articles for these (names always take definite articles in :sui:, unless you’re adressing the person directly), but don’t worry, they’re easy:
  • Masculine: am
  • Neuter: am
  • Feminine: dr
  • Plural: da
Now, the two most important ways which I’ll show you right here are these:

:sui: Das hus isch am Fabian.
That house is ᴅᴇғ.ᴍ.ᴅᴀᴛ Fabian
:uk: That house belongs to Fabian. (lit. That house is to the Fabian.)

:sui: Das isch am Fabian sis hus.
That is ᴅᴇғ.ᴍ.ᴅᴀᴛ ᴘᴏss.3sᴍ.ɴ.ɴᴏᴍ house.
:uk: That is Fabian’s house. (lit. That is to the Fabian his house.)

The possessive pronoun here can be adjusted for the gender of the owner, but usually we use the masculine one for women too:

:sui: Das isch dr Anna sin ma.
That is ᴅᴇғ.ғ.ᴅᴀᴛ ᴘᴏss.3sᴍ.ᴍ.ɴᴏᴍ man.
:uk: That is Anna’s husband. (lit. That is to the Anna his man.)

Exercise
Vocab:

:sui: ds hus — d’hüser :uk: the house
:sui: d'fraua :uk: the women
:sui: d’kinder :uk: the children
:sui: dr soon — d’söön :uk: the son — the sons
:sui: d’tochter — d’töchtera :uk: the daughter — the daughters

:sui: liaba :uk: to love
:sui: lerna :uk: to learn
:sui: leba :uk: to live

:sui: mit (+ dative) :uk: with (comitative and instrumental)
:sui: in (+ dative) :uk: in (stative)

Translate these sentences and guess the pronunciation of them:

1. I love my wife (woman).
2. I live with my husband (man) in our house.
3. He sees his children.
4. Your son learns Swiss German.
5. The women love their daughters.
6. That house belongs to Hans (use a construction taught above)
7. Anna and Fabian have a son.
Spoiler:
1. I liaba mini frau.
/i lɪapa minɪ fraʊ/

2. I leba mit minem ma in üsserem hus.
/i lεpa mɪt minəm maː ɪn ysːərəm huːs/

3. Er gseet sini kinder.
/εr kseːt sinɪ ˈkɪn.tər/

4. Din soon lernt schwiizerdüütsch.
/tin soːn lεrnt ˈʃʋiːt͡sərˌtyːt͡ʃ/

5. D’Fraua liaben iri töchtera.
/p͡fraʊa ˈlɪa.pən ˈɪ.rɪ ˈtøx.tə.ra/

6. Das hus isch am Hans. or Das isch am Hans sis hus.
/tas huːs ɪʃ am hans/ or /tas ɪʃ am hans sis huːs/

7. D’Anna und dr Fabian hen an soon. Mind the article, it is not optional
/ˈtanːa ʊnt tr ˈfa.pi.an hεn an soːn/
Last edited by Adarain on Wed 15 Jul 2015, 09:44, edited 1 time in total.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.
HoskhMatriarch
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat 16 May 2015, 17:48

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by HoskhMatriarch » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 05:28

Adarain wrote: To say “This is mine”, simply use the correct nom form of the 1S possessive pronoun. In this case, the -a is mandatory:
:uk: My son :sui: Das isch mina (soon).
:uk: My daughter :sui: Das isch mini (tochter).
:uk: My house :sui: Das isch mis (hus).
:uk: My children :sui: Das sin mini (kinder).
So this is different from Standard German where you just say „Das ist mein“? Do you also have predicate adjective agreement? I heard some Austrian dialects have predicate adjective agreement.

I like how there's almost every attested way of having predicate possession over at WALS in Swiss German. The one with "to be" and accusative is also completely weird (in the cool way). Which one is the most common, or at least, what are some differences between the usages of the different ones when more than one is grammatical?
No darkness can harm you if you are guided by your own inner light
User avatar
Lao Kou
korean
korean
Posts: 5646
Joined: Sun 25 Nov 2012, 10:39
Location: 蘇州/苏州

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 1. Simple sentences and ve

Post by Lao Kou » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 07:32

Spoiler:
I didn't include the definite articles in sentence 7. Drats! :roll: Oh well, better luck next time. [:)]

Looking forward to the next installment.
Last edited by Lao Kou on Wed 15 Jul 2015, 11:16, edited 1 time in total.
道可道,非常道
名可名,非常名
User avatar
Adarain
greek
greek
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri 03 Jul 2015, 14:36
Location: Switzerland, usually

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 2. The Swiss German his po

Post by Adarain » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 09:53

Fixed missing vocab, and that last sentence I put there exactly for that reason.
HoskhMatriarch wrote: Adarain wrote:
To say “This is mine”, simply use the correct nom form of the 1S possessive pronoun. In this case, the -a is mandatory:
:uk: My son :sui: Das isch mina (soon).
:uk: My daughter :sui: Das isch mini (tochter).
:uk: My house :sui: Das isch mis (hus).
:uk: My children :sui: Das sin mini (kinder).


So this is different from Standard German where you just say „Das ist mein“? Do you also have predicate adjective agreement? I heard some Austrian dialects have predicate adjective agreement.
Could you elaborate? We use the same word for the possessive "pronoun" and "adjective", same as german, and it still has to agree with the owned thing.
Which one is the most common, or at least, what are some differences between the usages of the different ones when more than one is grammatical?
I would say to be + dative is the most common one when you're just stating ownership and nothing else. If you need to say it in another sentence, then you use possessive adjectives if you're using pronouns already, and the him-his construction if you need a name. Everything else is just flavour, imo. You still hear it a lot, but if you know those I thaught you and recognise the others there will be no problems.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.
HoskhMatriarch
mayan
mayan
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat 16 May 2015, 17:48

Re: Swiss German (Chur) ― Latest: 2. The Swiss German his po

Post by HoskhMatriarch » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 04:50

Adarain wrote:Fixed missing vocab, and that last sentence I put there exactly for that reason.
HoskhMatriarch wrote: Adarain wrote:
To say “This is mine”, simply use the correct nom form of the 1S possessive pronoun. In this case, the -a is mandatory:
:uk: My son :sui: Das isch mina (soon).
:uk: My daughter :sui: Das isch mini (tochter).
:uk: My house :sui: Das isch mis (hus).
:uk: My children :sui: Das sin mini (kinder).


So this is different from Standard German where you just say „Das ist mein“? Do you also have predicate adjective agreement? I heard some Austrian dialects have predicate adjective agreement.
Could you elaborate? We use the same word for the possessive "pronoun" and "adjective", same as german, and it still has to agree with the owned thing.
You put all the owned things in parentheses, so I just thought you meant „Das isch mini“ was a grammatically correct sentence in your Alemannic dialect. And the thing about predicate adjective agreement, I mean things like if „Sie ist schöne“ is grammatically correct, because in Standard German you just say „Sie ist schön“.
No darkness can harm you if you are guided by your own inner light
Post Reply