Whereas in Standard High German (SHG) there is only one comparative particle, in Swiss German Dialects (SGD) different lexemes may fulfill the function of a comparative particle:
|SGD:||Si||isch||grösser||als / as / weder / wan / wie||ig|
The present paper describes the geographical distribution of the comparative particles in the Swiss German area in contexts such as (1). Whereas in some small areas only one comparative particle is found, in the rest of the Swiss German speaking area several competing variants coexist. The data are taken from the third questionnaire of the Syntactic Atlas of Swiss German Dialects, where three different comparative constructions have been investigated. A sociolinguistic analysis of the data reveals differences in the use of the particles: On the one hand, older people tend to use only one comparative particle, whereas younger people show a higher degree of variation. Moreover, older people tend to use the particle weder, in contrast to younger people who tend to use the particle wie. On the other hand, higher educated people use more than one comparative particle, whereas less educated people tend to use one variant only. The analysis of two other constructions also shortly mentioned in the paper shows that syntactic factors have an impact on variant selection, too.