Southern Bavarian
Native toAustria (Tyrol, Carinthia, Upper Styria)
Italy (South Tyrol)
Germany (Werdenfelser Land)
Switzerland (Samnaun)
Brazil (Treze Tílias), United States, Canada
Latin (German alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottologsout2632  South Bavarian
glob1242  Global South Bavarian
Bavarian dialects after 1945 and the expulsions of the Germans
   Southern Bavarian

Southern Bavarian or South Bavarian, is a cluster of Upper German dialects of the Bavarian group. They are primarily spoken in Tyrol (i.e. the Austrian federal state of Tyrol and the Italian province of South Tyrol), in Carinthia and in the western parts of Upper Styria. Before 1945 and the expulsions of the Germans, it was also spoken in speech islands in Italy and Yugoslavia.[2] Due to the geographic isolation of these Alpine regions, many features of the Old Bavarian language from the Middle High German period have been preserved. On the other hand, the Southern Bavarian dialect area is influenced by the Rhaeto-Romance languages, locally also Slovene and to a lesser extent Italian.

The speech area historically included the former linguistic enclaves in Carniola (present-day Slovenia) around Kočevje in the Gottschee region (Gottscheerish), Sorica (Zarz) and Nemški Rovt (Deutsch Ruth). The Cimbrian language still spoken in several language-islands in north-eastern Italy (Friuli, Veneto and Trentino) mostly counts as a separate Bavarian language variant. Southern Bavarian is also spoken in the Werdenfelser Land region around Mittenwald and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in German Upper Bavaria.

The Tyrolean Unterland, the Alpine regions of Salzburg (Pinzgau, Pongau and Lungau), as well as the adjacent parts of Styria and southern Burgenland form the dialect continuum with the Central Bavarian language area in the north.



Southern Bavarian has 8 vowels:

Front Back
Unrounded Unrounded Rounded
Close i ɯ
Close-mid e ɤ
Open-mid ɛ ʌ
Open a ɒ


Southern Bavarian has about 33 consonants:

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p t k ɡ̊
Nasal m n ŋ
Fricative β, β̬ f s ʃ ʒ̊ ç ʝ x ɣ̊ h
Affricate p͡f b̥͡v̥ t͡s d̥͡z̥ t͡ʃ d̥͡ʒ̥ ɡ̊͡ɣ̊
Trill r
Approximant l, j

See also


  1. ^ Ethnologue entry
  2. ^ Kurt Gustav Goblirsch, Consonant Strength in Upper German Dialects, John Benjamins Publishing Company 2012 as NOWELE Supplement Series vol. 10 (originally Odense University Press 1994), p. 23