Franconian languages

The Franconian dialects
Low Franconian
Central Franconian (Central German)
  Luxembourgish (Moselle Franconian)
Rhine Franconian (Central German) High Franconian (between Central and Upper German)
  East Franconian (spoken in Franconia)

Franconian (Dutch: Frankisch; Afrikaans: Frankies; German: Fränkisch; French: Francique) includes a number of West Germanic languages and dialects possibly derived from the languages and dialects originally spoken by the Franks from their ethnogenesis in the 3rd century AD. A famous likely speaker was Emperor Charlemagne. Linguists have different views about whether these languages and dialects have descended from a single Franconian proto-language, also known as Istvaeonic.

The Franconian languages and dialects consist of three main groups. The first is the Low Franconian branch, which consists of Dutch and Afrikaans as well as of several Low Franconian dialects spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium, where they are considered as dialects of Dutch and Limburgish, and in Germany, where they are considered as dialects of German.

The second group are the Central- and Rhine Franconian dialects. These Central German dialects are considered as dialects of German in Germany and Belgium, as Luxembourgish in Luxembourg, as Lorraine Franconian in France, and as Kerkraads in the Netherlands.

The southernmost group of Franconian dialects are the High Franconian dialects, consisting of the South- and East Franconian dialects. South Franconian is mainly spoken in Germany, but also in France, whereas East Franconian is only spoken in Germany. The High Franconian dialects are considered as dialects of German in Germany, and as Alsatian in France. They are transitional dialects between Central- and Upper German. Because they are spoken in the region of Franconia, the East Franconian dialects are the only ones colloquially referred to as "Franconian" by their speakers.

Three groups

Low Franconian

Low Franconian dialect area in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France.

Low Franconian, also called Low Frankish, consists of Dutch, Afrikaans, Limburgish, and their dialects, some of which are sometimes seen as regional languages. They are spoken in the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Namibia, the western tip of Germany (in the West German Lower Rhine region, former Duchy of Cleves), the northern tip of France (Westhoek), Suriname, and parts of the Caribbean, as well as in communities in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

With a total of over 40[1] million speakers this is the most numerous of the three groups, as well as most spread globally and the only group that has members which are official, national and standard languages.

Sometimes, Low Franconian is grouped together with Low German rather confusingly as "Low German". However, since this grouping is not based on common linguistic innovations, but rather on the absence of the High German consonant shift and Anglo-Frisian features, modern scholars prefer not to group them together.[2] A transitional zone between Low Franconian and Central Franconian is formed by the so-called Meuse-Rhenish dialects (e.g. Low Dietsch, Bergish, and East Bergish) located in southern Dutch Limburg and in the German Lower Rhine (German: Niederrhein).[3]

Low Franconian dialects

Central and Rhine Franconian

West Central German language area

The West Central German dialects of Central and Rhine Franconian are spoken in the German states of South-Western North Rhine-Westphalia, most of Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, northern Baden-Württemberg, southern Hesse, northern Bavaria, in the bordering French Moselle department, and in Luxembourg, as well as by the Transylvanian Saxons in Romania, and by the Pennsylvania Germans in North America. It is estimated that these dialects have about 17,000,000 native speakers[4]

High Franconian

The Franconian dialects of Vogtland, the easternmost Franconian-speaking region.
Franconian Vogtland (Bavaria):
  East Franconian
Saxon Vogtland:
  Core Vogtlandian (East Franconian)
  Northern Vogtlandian (transitional between East Franconian and Southeastern Thuringian)
  Southeastern Vogtlandian (transitional between East Franconian and Western Ore Mountainian)

The High Franconian dialects consist of the East- and South Franconian dialects. These dialects are transitional dialects between Central- and Upper German, and are spoken by an estimated 2,500,000 people.

East Franconian

The East Franconian dialect branch is one of the most spoken dialect branches in Germany. These dialects are mainly spoken in the region of Franconia. Franconia consists of the Bavarian districts of Upper-, Middle-, and Lower Franconia, the region of South Thuringia (Thuringia), and the eastern parts of the region of Heilbronn-Franken (Tauber Franconia and Hohenlohe) in Baden-Württemberg. The easternmost Franconian-speaking areas are the Saxon parts of Vogtland, in whose central parts East Franconian (Core Vogtlandian), and in whose eastern parts transitional dialects (North Vogtlandian and Southeast Vogtlandian) are spoken. The East Franconian dialects are the only Franconian dialects that are referred to as "Franconian" by their speakers. Only the speakers in Saxon Vogtland refer to their dialects as "Vogtlandian" rather than "Franconian". The largest cities in the East Franconian dialect area are Nuremberg and Würzburg.

South Franconian

South Franconian is mainly spoken in northern Baden-Württemberg in Germany, but also in the northeasternmost part of the region of Alsace in France. While these dialects are considered as dialects of German in Baden-Württemberg, they are considered as dialects of Alsatian in Alsace (the other Alsatian dialects are either Alemannic or Rhine Franconian). The South Franconian dialects are colloquially referred to by their speakers as "Badian" in the Badian parts, and as "Unterländisch" (the Unterland being the region around Heilbronn) or "Swabian" (because of strong influences from the capital Stuttgart, where Swabian dialects are spoken) in the Württembergian parts of Baden-Württemberg. The largest cities in the South Franconian dialect area are Karlsruhe and Heilbronn.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Frankies
aragonés: Luengas francas
català: Fràncic
italiano: Lingua francone
Limburgs: Frankisch
Nederlands: Frankisch
Piemontèis: Lenga francon-a
português: Língua frâncica
Simple English: Franconian Dialect
svenska: Frankiska