Germanistik in der Schweiz. Online-Zeitschrift der SAGG 4/2007

Gesprochene Standardsprache im Deutschschweizer Alltag: Ein Projekt (auch) zur Sprachkompetenz in einem diglossischen Umfeld

Helen Christen (Fribourg)



The following article presents the outlines of a research project which investigates spoken Standard German in German Switzerland. The corpus consists of recordings of phone calls made to the police's emergency hotline. Predictably, all conversations among native speakers took place in dialect. Standard German is only - though not necessarily - spoken with foreigners. Its use is therefore not defined by the formality of the situation but is addressee-induced.

An examination of the pronunciation in a rather informal situation is expected to contribute to identifying the conventions of Swiss Standard German and its deviations from the codified norms. The aim of the pragmatically oriented part of the study is to locate the factors governing the use of Standard German versus the Swiss German dialect with non-dialect speakers. It seems that the officer's choice of the language variety depends upon his assumption regarding the interlocuter's familiarity with German Switzerland and its dialects, indicated by linguistic variables as well as personal information the interlocuter may give. Furthermore, factors such as routine, fluency and individual preferences play a role in the choice of the variety.

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