Polabian language: Wikis

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Polabian
Spoken in Poland, Germany
Language extinction 18th century
Language family Indo-European
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 sla
ISO 639-3 pox

The Polabian language is an extinct West Slavic language that was spoken by the Slavs of North-Eastern Germany around the Elbe or Labe River (hence the name). It was spoken approximately until the mid-18th century, when it was suppressed by German, in the areas of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, eastern parts of Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein.

Polabian was in some respects markedly different from other Slavic languages. It was close to Pomeranian and Kashubian, and attested only in a handful of manuscripts, dictionaries and various writings from the 17th and 18th centuries. As can be seen in the comparisons of the Lord's Prayer below, Polabian contained many German loanwords, such as Wader (Father) and Rîk (Kingdom).

About 2800 Polabian words are known (but of prosaic writings, only a few prayers, one wedding song and a few folktales). Immediately before the language went extinct several people started to collect phrases, compile wordlists and were engaged with folklore of the Polabian Slavs, but only one of them appears to have been a native speaker of Polabian (himself leaving only 13 pages of linguistically relevant material from a 310-page manuscript).[1] The last native speaker of Polabian, a woman, died in 1756, and the last person who spoke limited Polabian died in 1825.

The most important monument of the language is the so-called Vocabularium Venedicum (1679—1719) by Christian Hennig.

The language left some traces to this day in toponymy; for example, Wustrow "Place on the island", Lüchow (Polabian: Ljauchüw), Sagard, Gartow etc.

Contents

Grammar

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Phonology

For Polabian the following segments are reconstructable:[2]

Oral non-reduced monopthongs
*i    ü    u
 ė 
 e   ö   o 
 a   å 
Diphthongs
  ai     åi     åu  
Reduced
 ĕ 
 
 
 ă 
Nasal
  ą     ǫ  
Polabian consonant segments
Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Palatal Post-palatal Velar
Plosive p b t d t' d' k g
Affricate c ʒ ć ʒ́
Fricative f v s z š ś ź x
-
Nasal m n ń
ḿ
Lateral l
ĺ
Trill r
ŕ
Semi-vowel j

Morphology

Syntax

Lexis

Dialects

Example of Polabian

The Lord's Prayer in Polabian and related Lechitic languages is:[3]

Polabian

Nôße Wader,
ta toy giß wa Nebisgáy,
Sjungta woarda tügí Geima,
tia Rîk komma,
tia Willia ſchinyôt,
kok wa Nebisgáy,
tôk kak no Sime,
Nôßi wißedanneisna Stgeiba doy nâm dâns,
un wittedoy nâm nôße Ggrêch,
kak moy wittedoyime nôßem Grêsmarim,
Ni bringoy nôs ka Warſikónye,
tay löſoáy nôs wit wißókak
Chaudak.
Amen.

Upper Sorbian:
Wótče naš,
kiž sy w njebjesach.
Swjeć so Twoje mjeno.
Přińdź Twoje kralestwo.
Stań so Twoja wola,
kaž na njebju,
tak na zemi.
Wšědny chlěb naš daj nam dźens.
Wodaj nam naše winy,
jako my tež wodawamy swojim winikam.
A njewjedź nas do spytowanja,
ale wumóž nas wot złeho.
Amen.
Kashubian:
Òjcze nasz,
jaczi jes w niebie,
niech sã swiãcy Twòje miono,
niech przińdze Twòje królestwò,
niech mdze Twòja wòlô
jakno w niebie
tak téż na zemi.
Chleba najégò pòwszednégò dôj
nóm dzysô
i òdpùscë nóm naje winë,
jak i më òdpùszcziwóme naszim winowajcóm.
A nie dopùscë na nas pòkùszeniô,
ale nas zbawi òde złégò.
Amen.
Polish:
Ojcze nasz,
któryś jest w niebie,
święć się imię Twoje,
przyjdź królestwo Twoje,
bądź wola Twoja
jako w niebie
tak i na ziemi.
Chleba naszego powszedniego daj nam dzisiaj;
i odpuść nam nasze winy,
jako i my odpuszczamy naszym winowajcom.
I nie wódź nas na pokuszenie,
ale nas zbaw ode złego.
Amen.
ELLC (1988)[4]
Our Father
in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth
as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Notes

  1. ^ Kapović (2008, p. 109)
  2. ^ Cited after Kazimierz (1993, p. 799)
  3. ^ Polabian version quoted after TITUS project
  4. ^ Praying Together

References

  • Kapović, Mate (2008) (in Croatian). Uvod u indoeuropsku lingvistiku. Zagreb: Matica hrvatska. ISBN 978-953-150-847-6.  
  • Polański, Kazimierz (1993), "Polabian", in Bernard Comrie and Greville G. Corbett, The Slavonic languages, London & New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-0415280785  
  • Słownik etymologiczny języka Drzewian połabskich, Part 1: ed. Tadeusz Lehr-Spławiński & Kazimierz Polański, Wrocław, 1962, from Part 2 on: ed. K. Polański, Wrocław, 1971-
  • Kazimierz Polański & Janusz Sehnert: Polabian-English Dictionary. The Hague: Mouton 1967

See also


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