Central German

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For other uses, see Central German (disambiguation).
Central German dialects
Western and Central Germany, southeastern Netherlands, eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and northeastern France
Linguistic classification: Indo-European
Glottolog: None
Central German dialects
  1: Ripuarian
  4: Hessian
  7: Thuringian

Central German (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 only the first and fourth phases of the High German consonant shift. 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 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.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ludwig Erich Schmitt (Hrsg.): Germanische Dialektologie. Franz Steiner, Wiesbaden 1968,p. 143