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Central German, Middle German
Mitteldeutsch
Geographic
distribution
Western and Central Germany, southeastern Netherlands, eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and northeastern France
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
Subdivisions
Glottologfran1268
Central German dialects after 1945 and the expulsions of the Germans
  1: Ripuarian
  4: Hessian
  7: Thuringian

Central German or Middle German (German: mitteldeutsche Dialekte, mitteldeutsche Mundarten, Mitteldeutsch) is a group of High German dialects spoken from the Rhineland in the west to the former eastern territories of Germany.

Central German divides into two subgroups, West Central German and East Central German.

Central German is distinguished by having experienced the High German consonant shift to a lesser degree than Upper German. It is spoken in the linguistic transition region separated from Northern Germany (Low German/Low Franconian) by the Benrath line isogloss. It is separated from Southern Germany (Upper German) by the Speyer line.

Central German is spoken in large and influential German cities like the capital Berlin, the former West German capital Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Dresden and the main German financial center Frankfurt.

The area corresponds to the geological region of the hilly Central Uplands that stretches from the North German plain to the South German Scarplands, covering the states of Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony.

The East Central dialects are the closest to Standard German (chiefly as a written language) among other German dialects. Modern Standard German thus evolved from the vocabulary and spelling of this region, with some pronunciation features from East Franconian German.[1]

Classification

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Besch, Werner; Wolf, Norbert Richard (2009). Geschichte der deutschen Sprache. Berlin: Erich Schmidt. p. 227. ISBN 9783503098668.