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Which of the features of each variant are considered 'standard' varies depending on time, region and even individual views of the speaker/author. As a general rule, however, speakers of the southern variants may consciously imitate northern speech, but a northern native speaker will not train himself to use a southern form.


  • Die Aussprache der Standardsprache in der deutschen Schweiz (Hove)
  • Duden - Das Aussprachewörterbuch (Mangold), section Genormte Lautung
  • Standard Austrian German (Moosmüller, Schmid, Brandstätter)

Note that [ɐ] is a shorthand for an allophonic range of central vowels which assimilate in heighth to the preceding vowel.

Phoneme Swiss variant Northern variant Austrian variant
/a/, /aː/ [ɑ], [ɑː] [a~ä], [äː~ɑː] [ɑ], [ɑː]
/ar/ [ɑr] [aː~äː~ar/är], may merge with /aː/ [ɑː], merges with /aː/
/ɪ, ʊ, ʏ/ [e~i, o~u, ø~y] [ɪ, ʊ, ʏ] [ɪ~i, ʊ~u, ʏ~y]; [i, u, y] are the native local realisations
/ə/ [ə] [ə~ɘ] [e~ɛ], may become [o̞~ø̞] allophonically in labial/lateral environment
/e/ [e] [ɛ], merges with /ɛ/ [e~e̞], may merge with /ɛ/ [e̞]
/ɛː/ [ɛː], distribution according to etymology  [ɛː~eː], distribution according to spelling, may merge with /eː/ [ɛː~eː], distribution according to spelling, may merge with /eː/
/aɪ, aʊ, ɔɪ/ ? [ae̯, ao̯, ɔɪ̯~ɔʏ̯] [æe̞̯~æː, ɑo̞̯~ɒː, o̞e̞̯]
/z/ [z̥~s] [z~s], may merge with /sː/ [s] [s], may merge with /sː/ [s]; [s~z] intervocalic
/r/ [r] [ɾ~r~ʀ~ʁ~ʕ̞] [r~ɹ~ʀ~ʁ~χ]
/rC/ /rC/ /rC~ɐC/ /rC~ɐC/
/ər/ [ər] [ɐ] [ɛr~ɛɐ̯~ɐ]
/x/ [x~χ] [ç~x~χ] [ç~x~χ]
/xs/ [xs] [ks] [xs~ks]
/Cː/ /Cː/ /C/, ambisyllabic /Cː~C/, ambisyllabic if short
final /l/ [lˠ~ʟ], may vocalise  [l~lˠ], velarisation tends to be avoided by non‐conservative speakers [l~ʟ], may vocalise
intervocalic /h/ [h] mute mute
/p, t, k/ [p, t, k]  [pʰ, tʰ, kʰ] [pʰ~b̥, tʰ~d̥, kʰ~g̊], may merge with /b, d, g/ intervocally, /k/ may merge with /g/ word‐initially before consonants
non‐final /b, d, g/ [b̥, d̥, g̊] [b̥~b, d̥~d, g̊~g] [b̥, d̥, g̊]
final /b, d, g/ [b̥, d̥, g̊]  [p~pʰ, t~tʰ, k~kʰ] [p~pʰ, t~tʰ, k~kʰ]
qu /kw/ /kv/ /kv/
final /ɪg/ [ɪg̊] [ɪç] [ɪkʰ]