The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Single Dialect Words are Threatened with Extinction According to the Study

By 2060, the German dialect word ‘Summervogel’ and ‘Pfifolter’ will have been completely replaced by the word ‘Schmätterling’. This is according to a study conducted by Germanistik professor Adrian Leemann from the University of Bern. In 1940, almost half of the German-speaking Swiss population used the word ‘Summervogel’, but this dialect word will become extinct. Other dialect words such as ‘Kanapee’ and ‘Anke’ are also expected to disappear by 2100, with ‘Sofa’ and ‘Butter’ taking their place. The word ‘Schmalz’ is expected to be gone by 2060. The study also found that the number of dialect words used is decreasing, with the word ‘Löwenzahn’ having 21 different names in 1940, but only nine today. By 2100, it is expected that the whole German-speaking Swiss population will only use the word ‘Löwenzahn’, and the word ‘Söiblueme’ will be extinct. The study concluded that dialect words that are similar to standard German or are used in large cities such as Bern and Zurich are more likely to survive.


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