Main-Franconian dialects

Native to Germany[1]
Region Upper Franconia, Lower Franconia, Middle Franconia, northeast Baden-Württemberg, southwest Thuringia
Native speakers
4.9 million (2006)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog main1267[3]

Main-Franconian (German: Mainfränkisch) is group of Upper German dialects being part of the East Franconian group. The name is derived from the river Main which meets the river Rhine near Frankfurt after having crossed the former West Germany from East to West. The dialect is estimated by Ethnologue as 40% intelligible with Standard German.[1]

Language area

Main-Franconian dialects are spoken in a large stripe along the river Main. Although part of the general continuum of dialects from Scandinavia to the Alps, there are pretty sharp borders for many Main-Franconian dialects. In the North and Northeast, these follow Salzbogen and Rennsteig in the Thuringian Forest, while others in the East and South coincide with the late medieval borders of the Archdiocese of Bamberg and the Bishopric of Würzburg.

Dialects of the Main-Franconian group are spoken mainly in:


Main-Franconian dialects encompass these major groups:


  1. 1 2 Ethnologue entry
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mainfränkisch". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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