Category talk:Central Franconian entry maintenance

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Regarding the spelling system that has been used around here: The Colognian Academy ("Akademie för uns kölsche Sproch") has a standardised spelling. However, this system is not in common use, which the Academy admits to itself. Therefore it cannot be used strictly in a descriptive dictionary like Wiktionary. It also creates some other problems because it was designed specifically for Colognian. For lack of another regularised system it is nevertheless appropriate to take the Academy spelling as a basis.

So far our "house spelling" has deviated from this basis in the following points:

1. The spelling of long vowels.
2. The spelling of silent <h>.
3. The spelling of /g/.
4. The spelling of voiced/unvoiced consonants in neutralised position.


The Academy spelling prescribes that long vowels shall be doubled in three cases:

a) when the Central Franconian (CF) long vowel corresponds to two vowel letters in Standard German (SG).
e.g. Huus because of SG Haus
b) when the CF long vowel corresponds to vowel + vowelised <r> in SG.
e.g. wääde because of SG werden
c) when the CF vowel is long while the SG vowel is short.
e.g. looße because of SG lassen

We follow rules (a) and (b). With regard to the latter we treat analogously the case of vowelised /l/, which does not occur in Colognian, but is common in western Ripuarian.

Concerning (c), we deviate:

i) Long /i/ is generally spelt <ie>.
>> This avoids awkward spellings like Kis (SG Käse) or lihre (SG lehren).
ii) Other vowels are doubled when they are followed by two or more consonant letters within the word stem (thus not counting suffixes).
>> This makes the spelling more phonetic. For example, we distinguish between Sproch (SG Spruch) and Sprooch (SG Sprache).

In two specific cases, however, we make compromises to the Academy:

iii) The vowel is doubled before <l> when it correspond to SG <ld, lt>.
e.g. baal, haale because of SG bald, halten
iv) The vowel is not doubled when CF and SG have the exact same vowel letter followed by the exact same consonant cluster.
e.g. Mond, düster because of identical SG.


The Academy uses silent <h> after long vowels when the SG cognate has any of <h>, <ch> or <g>.

e.g. wohr, mäht, säht because of SG wahr, macht, sagt

We follow this practice with regard to SG <h> and <ch>. However, we do not use <h> for SG <g>. Thus: wohr, mäht, but: sät.

>> This is because in our system SG <g> may already correspond to three different graphems (<j>, <g> and <ch>). See point 3.

On the other hand, we use <h> to indicate hiatus between a monophthong and a following unstressed vowel. This is rarely relevant in Colognian, but frequently in other dialects. For example, bloo (SG blau) inflects to blohe.

>> This avoids such awkward spellings as blooe.


The spelling of SG <g> is a point in which the Academy is now virtually never followed. It simply uses <g>, which is simple and logical, but fails to represent the actual pronunciation which speakers consider one of the most important features of CF.

In line with the general practice we use:

<j> for /j/,
<g> for /ɣ/ and /ɡ/,
<ch> for /ɕ/ and /x/.

/ɕ/ is exceptionally spelt <g> in the ending –ig because in this case the fricative pronunciation is also used in SG.


The Academy spells consonants in neutralised position (i.e. in the syllable coda) as voiced or unvoiced according to the underlying CF phoneme.

e.g. god because of inflected gode

We deviate and use whatever spelling is closer to the SG cognate. (Note that this latter practice is also used in Luxembourgish.)

e.g. jot because of SG gut

For one thing, ours is the predominant tendency of writers, simply because CF is not an independent written language (and will never be one). Moreover the underlying phoneme may vary between dialects. For example, the adjective satt has a long-vowel variant sat, and these in turn may inflect to either satte, sate or sadde, sade, respectively. If we followed the Academy, we would have to construe four different basic forms (sad, sadd, sat, satt), rather than just two. Using the SG form as guide is therefore much more practical.

A major difference between usual spelling habits in Ripuarian and Moselle Franconian is the spelling of [v ~ f] for SG < b >. In Ripuarian this is very generally spelt <v> (e.g. Liev, üvver), whereas in Moselle Franconian [v] is <w>, while [f] is usually <f>, rarely <w> (Leif/Leiw, iwwer). This difference is one that doesn't allow a compromise, and it would be arbitrary to try to enforce one or the other. So we spell <v> in Ripuarian and use the phonetic spelling <w/f> in Moselle Franconian.



  • Write /i:/ as <ie> (Kies).
  • Write another long vowel double in any of the following cases:
    • when it corresponds to more than one vowel letter in the SG cognate (Huus),
    • before SG <r> or <l> when these have been vowelised (wääde),
    • before SG <ld> or <lt> when these have been reduced to <l> (haale),
    • before more than one consonant letter within the word stem (Sproch vs. Sprooch).
  • Exception: Write as in SG when CF has the same vowel letter followed by the same consonants (Mond).


  • Write a silent <h> after a long vowel when the SG cognate also has an <h>, be it silent or part of the digraph <ch> (mäht).
  • Otherwise write silent <h> only to indicate hiatus between a long vowel and an unstressed vowel (bloo vs. blohe).


  • Write SG <g> phonetically as <j>, <g> or <ch> according to the CF pronunciation.
  • Exception: Write the ending <ig> as in SG.


  • Write voiced-unvoiced pairs such as <d/t> or < s/ß > in neutralised position (i.e. when the difference cannot be heard) by analogy with the SG cognate (jot).
  • For SG < b > write <v> in Ripuarian, but (phonetically) <w> or <f> in Moselle Franconian.

I leave this here for reference, but of course also for discussion. It's not something I've made up arbitrarily. The intention has been to find a practical synthesis between the regular system of the Academy and the chaos that exists in practice.

Obviously the use of the "house spelling" will be restricted to lemmas and usage examples. Written sources are quoted in the original orthography, and all well attested spelling variants will get an entry (if we ever get to that). Phonetic variants are already generally given under "alternative forms" at the lemma entries. Spelling variants should then be added as alternative forms at the respective individual entries. For example, Ripuarian "jot" links to Moselle Franconian "got" and "gut", and to its own variant spellings "god, got, jod, jood, joot", and so on.

Finally, if - in isolated cases - the house rules lead to spellings that are entirely unusual, we need not follow it slavishly of course. This is self-evident in function words like "op", which is virtually never spelt *opp. Otherwise the only cases I'm aware of so far are Aap and Ääz (for *Ap, *Ääds). 16:54, 17 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]