Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Walser German

Walser German

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Walser German'
Start a new discussion about 'Walser German'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Walser language also known as Walliser German (locally Wallisertiitsch), is a group of Highest Alemannic
Highest Alemannic German
Highest Alemannic is a branch of Alemannic German and is often considered to be part of the German language, even though mutual intelligibility with Standard German and other non-Alemannic German dialects is very limited....

 dialects spoken in Walser
Walser
The Walser are German-speaking people who live in the Alps of Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein and Austria. The Walser people are named after the Wallis , the uppermost Rhône River valley...

 settlements in parts of Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

, and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and in the German-speaking part of the Canton of Wallis
Valais
The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley...

 , in the uppermost Rhône
Rhône River
The Rhone is one of the major rivers of Europe, rising in Switzerland and running from there through southeastern France. At Arles, near its mouth on the Mediterranean Sea, the river divides into two branches, known as the Great Rhone and the Little Rhone...

 valley.

The terms Walser and Walliser are geographic; there is no linguistic divide. Specific Walser dialects can be traced to eastern or western dialects of Wallis canton. Conservative Walser dialects are more similar to the respective groups of Wallis dialects than to neighboring Walser dialects.

The German-speaking immigration to the Wallis started in the 8th century from the canton of Bern. There were presumably two different immigration routes that led to two main groups of Walliser dialects. In the 12th or 13th century, the Walliser began to settle other parts of the alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

. These new settlements are known as Walser
Walser
The Walser are German-speaking people who live in the Alps of Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein and Austria. The Walser people are named after the Wallis , the uppermost Rhône River valley...

 migration. In many of these settlements, people still speak Walser.

The dialects are difficult to understand for other Swiss Germans (called Üsserschwyzer 'outer Swiss' by the Walliser). This is because in the isolated valleys of the high mountains, Walser German has preserved many archaisms. The dialect of the Lötschental
Lötschental
The Lötschental is the largest valley on the northern side of the Rhône valley in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It lies in the Bernese Alps, with the river Lonza running down the length of the valley from its source within the Langgletscher....

, for instance, preserved three distinct classes of weak verbs until the beginning of the 20th century. Walser German also shows linguistic innovations, such as the plural Tannu - Tannä (fir - firs), also found in the other Highest Alemannic dialects. In addition, the pronunciation of words with 'ch' is extremely rough and sounds as though the throat is constantly being cleared.

The total number of speakers in all countries is reported to be 20,000 to 40,000, including 10,000 to 20,000 speakers in Switzerland, out of a population of 7.5 m (1980 C. Buchli), 3,400 in Italy (1978 Fazzini), 1,300 in Liechtenstein (1995 C. Buchli), and 5,000 to 10,000 in Austria (1995 C. Buchli). (Source: www.ethnologue.com)

Distribution

  • Bernese Oberland
    Bernese Oberland
    The Bernese Oberland is the higher part of the canton of Bern, Switzerland, in the southern end of the canton: The area around Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and the valleys of the Bernese Alps .The flag of the Bernese Oberland consists of a black eagle in a gold field The Bernese Oberland (Bernese...

    : Lauterbrunnen
    Lauterbrunnen
    Lauterbrunnen is a municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.The municipality lies in the Lauterbrunnen Valley and comprises the villages Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mürren, Gimmelwald, Stechelberg and Isenfluh...

    , Mürren
    Mürren
    Mürren is a traditional Walser mountain village in Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, at an elevation of 1,650 m above sea level and unreachable by public road....

    , Planalp
  • Valais
    Valais
    The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley...

    : Simplon, Gondo (Zwischbergen
    Zwischbergen
    Zwischbergen is a municipality in the district of Brig in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.-Gondo:The village of Gondo, which is part of Zwischenbergen, is located at the southern foot of the Simplon Pass on the Italian border. Although the majority language has been German for a long time, the...

    )
  • valleys in the Monte Rosa
    Monte Rosa
    The Monte Rosa Massif is a mountain massif located in the eastern part of the Pennine Alps. It is located between Switzerland and Italy...

     massif:
    • Aosta Valley: Gressoney-La-Trinité
      Gressoney-La-Trinité
      Gressoney-La-Trinité is a town and comune in the Aosta Valley region of north-western Italy.-Geography:...

      , Gressoney-Saint-Jean
      Gressoney-Saint-Jean
      Gressoney-Saint-Jean is a town and comune in the Aosta Valley region of north-western Italy.- Points of interest :* Giardino Botanico Alpino "Castel Savoia", an alpine botanical garden...

      , Issime
      Issime
      Issime is a town and comune in the Aosta Valley region of north-western Italy. About a third of its population speak Walser German....

      , historically in upper Ayas Valley.
    • Vercelli
      Vercelli
      Vercelli is a city and comune of about 47,000 inhabitants in the Province of Vercelli, Piedmont, northern Italy. One of the oldest urban sites in northern Italy, it was founded, according to most historians, around the year 600 BC.The city is situated on the river Sesia in the plain of the river...

       province: Alagna Valsesia
      Alagna Valsesia
      Alagna Valsesia is a comune and small village high in the Valsesia alpine valley in the province of Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy. It was originally settled by Walser...

      , Rima San Giuseppe
      Rima San Giuseppe
      Rima San Giuseppe is a comune in the Province of Vercelli in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 90 km north of Turin and about 70 km northwest of Vercelli...

      , Rimella
      Rimella
      Rimella is a comune in the Province of Vercelli in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 100 km northeast of Turin and about 70 km northwest of Vercelli...

      , Riva Valdobbia
      Riva Valdobbia
      Riva Valdobbia is a comune in the Province of Vercelli in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 90 km north of Turin and about 70 km northwest of Vercelli...

    • Verbano-Cusio-Ossola province: Formazza
      Formazza
      Formazza is a comune in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 160 km northeast of Turin and about 50 km north of Verbania, on the border with Switzerland...

      , Macugnaga
      Macugnaga
      Macugnaga is a mountain village at 1327 m altitude, in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, in the north of Piedmont region .It is placed at the base of Dufourspitze 4638 m, the second tallest peak in Europe, in the Monte Rosa Massif, along Anzasca valley, one of the seven valleys around the...

      , Ornavasso
      Ornavasso
      Ornavasso is a comune in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 110 km northeast of Turin and about 11 km northwest of Verbania....

      , Agaro and Salecchio (frazioni
      Frazione
      A frazione , in Italy, is the name given in administrative law to a type of territorial subdivision of a comune; for other administrative divisions, see municipio, circoscrizione, quartiere...

       of Premia
      Premia
      Premia is a comune in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 140 km northeast of Turin and about 40 km northwest of Verbania, on the border with Switzerland...

      ), Ausone, Campello Monti (frazione
      Frazione
      A frazione , in Italy, is the name given in administrative law to a type of territorial subdivision of a comune; for other administrative divisions, see municipio, circoscrizione, quartiere...

       of Valstrona
      Valstrona
      Valstrona is a comune in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 90 km northeast of Turin and about 25 km southwest of Verbania...

      )
  • Canton of Grisons: Rheinwald
    Rheinwald
    The Rheinwald is a valley in the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland...

    , Obersaxen
    Obersaxen
    Obersaxen is a municipality in the district of Surselva in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.-History:Obersaxen is first mentioned in 765 as Supersaxa though this is from a copy which dates from later...

    , Vals GR, Signina (Gemeinde Riein
    Riein
    Riein is a municipality in the district of Surselva in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.-Geography:Riein has an area, , of . Of this area, 21.9% is used for agricultural purposes, while 37.2% is forested...

    , Safiental, Tenna
    Tenna
    was a after Enpō and before Jōkyō. This period spanned the years from September 1681 through February 1684. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

    , Valendas
    Valendas
    Valendas is a municipality in the district of Surselva in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.-Geography:Valendas has an area, , of . Of this area, 21.6% is used for agricultural purposes, while 48.7% is forested...

    , Versam
    Versam
    Versam is a municipality in the district of Surselva in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.-Geography:Versam has an area, , of . Of this area, 16.8% is used for agricultural purposes, while 70.6% is forested...

    , Tschappina
    Tschappina
    Tschappina is a municipality in the district of Hinterrhein in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.-Geography:Tschappina has an area, , of . Of this area, 42.2% is used for agricultural purposes, while 26.8% is forested...

    , Avers, Mutten
    Mutten
    Mutten is a municipality in the district of Albula in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.-History:Mutten is first mentioned in 1363 as unz uff die Mutten though this identification is debated. In 1549 it was mentioned as Hans ab Mutten.-Geography:Mutten has an area, , of...

    , Schanfigg, upper Landwassertal, Davos
    Davos
    Davos is a municipality in the district of Prättigau/Davos in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has a permanent population of 11,248 . Davos is located on the Landwasser River, in the Swiss Alps, between the Plessur and Albula Range...

    , Prättigau
    Prättigau
    The Prättigau Valley, in the canton of Graubünden , Switzerland, is home to the world famous ski resorts of Klosters and neighbouring Davos in the Landwasser Valley....

  • Liechtenstein
    Liechtenstein
    The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

     (probably settled from Prättigau): Triesenberg
    Triesenberg
    Triesenberg is a municipality in Liechtenstein with a population of 2,564. Its area of 30 square kilometers makes it the largest municipality in Liechtenstein. The center of the municipality rests at an elevation of 884-1,000 metres.-History:...

    , Planken
    Planken
    Planken is the least populated of Liechtenstein's municipalities. The entire community of Planken is estimated to have 366 people.-History:Its name is said to derive from a Latin word for rising meadows. Its most notable structure is an eighteenth-century chapel that was redesigned in 1955 under...

  • Canton of Ticino: Bosco-Gurin
  • Canton of St. Gall: Calfeisental, Taminatal
  • Vorarlberg
    Vorarlberg
    Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal-state of Austria. Although it is the second smallest in terms of area and population , it borders three countries: Germany , Switzerland and Liechtenstein...

     and Tirol
    German Tyrol
    German Tyrol is a historical region in the Alps now divided between Austria and Italy. It includes largely ethnic German areas of historical County of Tyrol: the Austrian state of Tyrol and the province of South Tyrol but not the largely Italian-speaking province of Trentino .-History:German...

    : Großes Walsertal, Kleines Walsertal
    Kleinwalsertal
    Kleinwalsertal is a part of Austria, but only accessible from Germany to the north, and thus is an Austrian "practical exclave" or "pene-exclave". Prior to Austria joining the European Union, the area had tax-free status....

    ; Tannberg, Schröcken
    Schröcken
    Schröcken is an alpine town located in the district of Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Austria.-Geography:Schröcken is located in the western province of Austria, Vorarlberg, Bregenz in the district south-south-east of the Bodensee. It is in the Austrian Alps and is at an altitude of 1,269 meters...

    , Lech
    Lech am Arlberg
    Lech am Arlberg is a mountain village and an exclusive ski resort in the Bludenz district of Vorarlberg, in western Austria, on the banks of the river Lech. In terms of both geography and history, Lech belongs to the Tannberg district...

     and Warth
    Warth, Vorarlberg
    Warth is a municipality in the district of Bregenz in Vorarlberg in Austria....

    , parts of Steeg in Tirol, Galtür
    Galtür
    Galtür is a village and ski resort in the upper Paznaun valley in Tyrol . Located in the Central Eastern Alps 35 km southwest of Landeck near the border of Vorarlberg and Switzerland, its population is about 878.-History:...

     and Ischgl
    Ischgl
    Ischgl is a small village in the Paznaun Valley in Tyrol . Its ski resort Silvretta Arena Ischgl-Samnaun is connected with the ski resort of Samnaun across the border in Switzerland. Together this ski area belongs to the largest skiing resorts in the Alps...

     in the Paznauntal, Brand
    Brand, Vorarlberg
    Brand is a small valley-based village in Vorarlberg, Austria.A tourist resort in western Austria, Brand is about five kilometres north of the Swiss border and eight kilometers east of the border with the Principality of Liechtenstein...

    , Bürserberg
    Bürserberg
    Bürserberg is a municipality in the district of Bludenz in Vorarlberg, Austria.-References:...

    , Dünserberg
    Dünserberg
    Dünserberg is a municipality in the district of Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, Austria. At Dünserberg, there is a 89 metres tall broadcasting tower for FM and TV built of concrete.-References:...

    , Ebnit, Laterns
    Laterns
    Laterns is a small municipality in the district of Feldkirch in Vorarlberg, Austria....

    ertal, Damüls
    Damüls
    Damüls is a municipality and popular tourism resort in the district of Bregenz in Vorarlberg, Austria. Damüls also holds the world record of the municipality with the most annual snowfall - the average is 9.30 meters per year....

    , Silbertal
    Silbertal
    Silbertal is a municipality in the district of Bludenz in Vorarlberg, Austria.-References:...

  • Allgäu
    Allgäu
    The Allgäu is a southern German region in Swabia. It covers the south of Bavarian Swabia and southeastern Baden-Württemberg. The region stretches from the prealpine lands up to the Alps...

    : Kleinwalsertal
    Kleinwalsertal
    Kleinwalsertal is a part of Austria, but only accessible from Germany to the north, and thus is an Austrian "practical exclave" or "pene-exclave". Prior to Austria joining the European Union, the area had tax-free status....


External links