Low Prussian dialect
Low Prussian (German: Niederpreußisch), sometimes known simply as Prussian (Preußisch), is a dialect of East Low German that developed in East Prussia. Low Prussian was spoken in East and West Prussia and Danzig up to 1945. It developed on a Baltic substrate through the influx of Dutch and Low German speaking immigrants. It overruled Old Prussian, which then became extinct in the 17th century.
Plautdietsch, a Low German variety, is included within Low Prussian by some observers. Excluding Plautdietsch, Low Prussian can be considered moribund due to the evacuation and forced expulsion of Germans from East Prussia after World War II. Plautdietsch, however, has several thousands of speakers throughout the world, most notably in South America, Canada and Germany.
Simon Dach's poem Anke van Tharaw, the best known East Prussian poem, was written in Low Prussian.
According to one summary of Low German dialects, words very characteristic of Low Prussian are doa ('dor', there), joa ('jo', yes), goah ('goh', go) and noa ('nober', neighbor), which feature the diphthong "oa" instead of the usual "o" or "a". The dialect is also marked by a substitution of "k" for "ch", such as in mannke ('minsch', person), and a loan of High German-like words, such as zwei ('twee', two). Words are often shortened, in a manner similar to that of the neighboring Pomeranian dialect, giving beet (beten, little bit) and baakove ('bakåben', bake oven).
Some observers argue that it resembles Dutch and Flemish because of these features . Low Prussian also has a number of words in common with Plautdietsch, such as Klemp (cow), Klopps (lump, ball of earth), and Tsoagel (tail).
Some other words are:
- Boffke - boy, lad
- dätsch - dumb
- Dubs - bum
- Gnaschel - little child
- jankere - yearn
- Kobbel - mare
- Pungel - pouch
- schabbere - talk
- Schischke - pine-cone
- Schucke - potato(es)
- 1. Übergangsmundart zum Ostpommerschen, transitional dialect with East Pomeranian
- 2. Mundart des Weichselmündungsgebietes, around Danzig (Gdańsk)
- 3. Mundart der Frischen Nehrung und der Danziger Nehrung, around the Vistula Lagoon
- 4. Mundart der Elbinger Höhe, around Elbing (Elbląg)
- 5. Mundart des Kürzungsgebietes, around Braunsberg (Braniewo)
- 6. Westkäslausch, around Mehlsack (Pieniężno)
- 7. Ostkäslausch, around Rößel (Reszel)
- 8. Natangisch-Bartisch, around Bartenstein (Bartoszyce)
- 9. Westsamländische Mundart, around Pillau (Baltiysk)
- 10. Ostsamländische Mundart, around Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Labiau (Polessk) and Znamensk (Wehlau)
- 11. Mundart des Ostgebietes, around Insterburg (Chernyakhovsk), Memel (Klaipėda) and Sovetsk (Tilsit)
Low and Old Prussian
Low Prussian Old Prussian Latvian Lithuanian Standard German English Flins plīnksni plācenis blynas Pfannkuchen pancake, scone, biscuit Kaddig kaddegs kadiķis kadagys Wacholder juniper Kurp kurpi kurpe kurpė Schuh shoe Kujel kūilis cūka, mežacūka, kuilis kuilys, šernas Wildschwein boar Margell, Marjell mērgā meitene, meiča merga, mergelė, mergaitė Magd, Mädchen, Mädel maiden, girl Paparz papartis paparde papartis Farn fern Pawirpen (from pawīrps) algādzis, strādnieks padienis Losmann freelancer Zuris sūris siers sūris Käse cheese
Low Prussian and Lithuanian
In addition to the words of Old Prussian origin, another source of Balticisms was Lithuanian. After the migration of Lithuanians in the 15th century, many Lithuanian loanwoards appeared in the Low Prussian dialect.
Low Prussian Lithuanian Standard German English Alus alus Bier beer Burteninker burtininkas Wahrsager, Zauberer, Besprecher magician kalbeken kalbėti sprechen to talk Kausche, Kauszel kaušas Schöpfkelle, Trinknapf dipper Krepsch, Krepsche, Krepsze krepšys, krepšas Sack, Handsack, Ranzen basket Lorbas liurbis Tölpel, Tolpatsch, Waschlappen loser, fumbler Packrant krantas, pakrantė, pakraštys Rand, Küste edge, coast Pirschlis piršlys Brautwerber Wabel, Wabbel vabalas Käfer bug
- ^ Found in Riemann, Erhard (ed.): Preußisches Wörterbuch, Vol. 1, Issue 1. Neumünster (Wachholtz) 1974.
- Bauer, G.: Baltismen im ostpreußischen Deutsch. In: Annaberger Annalen, Nr.13, 2005, p.5-82.
- Mitzka, Walther. Grundzüge nordostdeutscher Sprachgeschichte. (= DDG 59) Marburg (Elwert) 1959
- Riemann, Erhard. Die preußische Sprachlandschaft. In: Festschrift für Friedrich von Zahn Bd.2 Köln/Wien 1971, 1-34
- Riemann, Erhard (Hrsg.). Preußisches Wörterbuch. Bd. 1, Lf. 1. Neumünster (Wachholtz) 1974
- Ziesemer, Walther. Die ostpreußischen Mundarten. Proben und Darstellungen. Breslau 2005
- Map of German dialects in 1897 (German)
- Brief descriptions of most of the major Low German dialects
- http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~naeser/probe08.htm - Mundartprobe (German)
- http://www.plautdietsch-freunde.de - Plautdietsch-Freunde e.V. (German)
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