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Lower Sorbian
Dolnoserbski, Dolnoserbšćina
Pronunciation [ˈdɔlnɔˌsɛrskʲi]
Spoken in Germany
Region Brandenburg
Total speakers 14,000
Language family Indo-European
Writing system Latin (Sorbian variant)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 dsb
ISO 639-3 dsb
Bilingual road sign in Cottbus, Germany

Lower Sorbian (Dolnoserbski) is a Slavic minority language spoken in eastern Germany in the historical province of Lower Lusatia, today part of Brandenburg. It is one of the two literary Sorbian languages, the other being Upper Sorbian.

Lower Sorbian is spoken in and around the city of Cottbus in Brandenburg. Signs in this region are usually bilingual, and Cottbus has a Gymnasium where the language of instruction is Lower Sorbian.

Contents

Phonology

The phonology of Lower Sorbian has been greatly influenced by contact with German, especially in Cottbus and larger towns. For example, German-influenced pronunciation tends to have a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ] instead of the alveolar trill [r], and a "clear" [l] that is not especially palatalized instead of [lʲ]. In villages and rural areas German influence is less marked, and the pronunciation is more "typically Slavic".

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Consonants

The consonant phonemes of Lower Sorbian are as follows:

  Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Alveolo-palatal Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop p  b
pʲ  bʲ
  t  d         k  ɡ
kʲ  ɡʲ
 
Affricate       ts tɕ  dʑ tʃ  dʒ      
Nasal m
  n          
Fricative   f  v
fʲ  vʲ
  s  z ɕ  ʑ ʃ  ʒ   x h
Approximant       r
    j    
Lateral approximant                

Lower Sorbian has both final devoicing and regressive voicing assimilation:

  • /dub/ "oak" is pronounced [dup]
  • /susedka/ "(female) neighbor" is pronounced [susetka]
  • /litsba/ "number" is pronounced [lidzba]

The postalveolar fricative /ʃ/ is assimilated to [ɕ] before /tɕ/:

  • /ʃtɕit/ "protection" is pronounced [ɕtɕit]

Vowels

The vowel phonemes are as follows:

Monophthongs Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Open-mid ɛ   ɔ
Open a
Diphthongs Centering Ending
in /j/
Ending
in /w/
Starting close ij  ɨj  uj iw  ɨw  uw
Starting mid   ej  ɔj ɛw  ow
Starting open   aj aw

Stress

Stress in Lower Sorbian normally falls on the first syllable of the word:

  • Łužyca /ˈvuʒɨtsa/ "Lusatia"
  • pśijaśel /ˈpɕijaɕɛlʲ/ "friend"
  • Chóśebuz /ˈxɨɕɛbus/ "Cottbus"

In loanwords, stress may fall on any of the last three syllables:

  • internat /intɛrˈnat/ "boarding school"
  • kontrola /kɔnˈtrɔlʲa/ "control"
  • september /sɛpˈtɛmbɛr/ "September"
  • policija /pɔˈlʲitsija/ "police"
  • organizacija /ɔrɡanʲiˈzatsija/ "organization"

Orthography

The Sorbian alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet but uses diacritics such as acute accent and caron. The standard character encoding for the Lower Sorbian alphabet is ISO 8859-2 (Latin-2).

External links

Lower Sorbian language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dictionaries

German–Lower Sorbian

Lower Sorbian–German


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Proper noun

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Wikipedia

Singular
Lower Sorbian

Plural
-

Lower Sorbian

  1. A Slavic language spoken in part of Brandenburg.

Synonyms

  • Lower Lusatian

Related terms

Translations

External links


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