§ 1. By Old High German (OHG.) we mean the High German language from the beginning of its earliest monuments in the eighth century up to about the end of the eleventh century. This book treats principally the language as it obtained in the ninth century.
§ 2. OHG. forms one member of the West Germanic division of the Germanic (Teutonic) branch of the Indo-Germanic family of languages.
The Germanic branch consists of:—
II. Old Norse (Scandinavian), which is sub-divided into two groups:—
East Norse, including Swedish, Gutnish, and Danish. West Norse, including Norwegian and Icelandic.
III. West Germanic, which is composed of Old English (OE.), Old Frisian, Old Saxon (OS.), sometimes called Old Low German, Old Low Franconian (Old Dutch), and Old High German.
§ 3. In OHG. we have to distinguish three dialect groups:—
I. Upper German (UG.), spoken in the highlands of South Germany, and consisting of the Alemanic and Bavarian dialects.
II. Upper Franconian (UFr.), consisting of East Franconian (the dialect spoken in the old duchy of Francia Orientalis)
and Rhenish Franconian (the dialect of the old province of Francia Rhinensis).
III. Middle Franconian, the dialect spoken along the banks of the Moselle and of the Rhine from Coblence to Düsseldorf.
This book is chiefly confined to the dialect groups I and II.