If judged by linguistic features rather than by national affiliation
there are two major regions of German usage: High German and Low
German which are separated by an isogloss called Benrath line (marked
red on the map below).
North of Benrath line Low
German is used which can vary considerably from standard
German, as it has not taken part in the second
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Second Vowel Change (2. Lautverschiebung)
The second vowel change took place around the 7th and 8th
century A.D. It started in the South of German speaking areas, namely
in Austria and Bavaria and spread north but did not pass Benrath
Esp. consonants (plosives and occlusives) p, t
and k where affected by the second vowel change and were
transformed into pf/f, ts/s and ch.
Therefore, north of Benrath line 'ik' is used for standard
Low German often shares characteristics with Dutch or English.
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