Prlwytzkofsky

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Prlwytzkofsky is a fictional written variant of the Dutch language, based on the idiolect of the Polish-German Professor Zbigniew Prlwytzkofsky (sometimes spelled Prlwytzkofski), as featured in the Tom Puss (Tom Poes in Dutch) and Oliver B. Bumble (Olivier B. Bommel in Dutch) series by Marten Toonder. This "Spraak" (Prlwytzkofsky for "language") is becoming more and more popular on Dutch political and linguistic forums and is influencing Dutch political jargon.[citation needed]

Frequent catchphrases by professor Prlwytzkofsky[edit]

The Professor uses several well-known catchphrases:

  • "Praw!": used at the beginning of exclamations. Something has gone wrong and the Professor expresses his dismay. The word is probably derived from Slavic "prav" (=that is right, you are right), since it replaces the normal Dutch "waarachtig" (which literally means truly).
  • "Der naam is Prlwytzkofsky. Met ener z in der midden. Der goede dag." Translation: "The name is Prlwytzkofsky. with a z in the middle. The good day." (alternative second sentence: "Met ener y an der enden.", "With a y at the end"). This is his usual greeting, even when meeting people he knows very well.
  • "Gans (on)wetenschappelijk!" meaning "completely (un)scientific". Example: the professor routinely calls his scientific colleague Sickbock "gans onwetenschappelijker kwak".

Distinctive characteristics of the Prlwytzkofsky language[edit]

The language is characterised by an abundance of composite words built on the combination of words literally translated from German, but in a small number of cases including a Slavic word. Often, the particular combination in Dutch may create a hint or an echo of a totally unconnected word. For instance, "mislinger" (loser,failure, a person) combines the Dutch word mis (miss = wrong, failure) with the German word (ge)lingen (succeed) creating a word which hints at "slinger" (pendulum or festoon). The actual Dutch word is "mislukkeling". Professor Prlwytzkofsky calls disturbed brains "verhoornde hersenschors" - horned cerebral cortex. "Verhoornd" (horned) rhymes with "verstoord" (disturbed), which is the meaning here, but actually translates the German word for brain, which is "Gehirn". Without knowledge of the German word, one may be led to think that the phrase refers to the brains of a cuckold.

A Slavic influence is obvious in Prlwytzkofsky calling his assistant Alexander Pieps (a mouse) "Irkoetsk" ("short-statured assistant, who always manages to do things in the wrong way", but of course also referring to the Siberian town).

Straight German Influence[edit]

Clearest examples of Germanization are:

(but since all words not of the female sex but ending in a consonant or diphthong take "Der" as their article, this also hides a Slavic substratum and simplifies the Prlwytzkofsky gender system, compared to Dutch and German)

  • a limited number of isolated words like "gans" (whole), "tas" (cup), words with the -iker ending rather than the Dutch -icus. These words are actually in normal use in the variant of the Dutch language spoken in Flanders.
  • the order of auxiliary verbs in subordinate sentences is as in German

Germanisms[edit]

  • "overhoofd" (Dutch actually uses überhaupt)
  • "manschap" (team, troops, from German Mannschaft. Dutch only uses this word in the plural)
  • "kraftwagen" (=car)

Slavic linguistic influence[edit]

  • "besjnemtsing" : a sexual insult, possibly hinting at "degermanization" and claimed to be Serbo-Croat in origin by the Haagsch Bommel Genootschap.
  • "proeksel" : sexual insult, meaning unknown but claimed to be Serbo-Croat. The word made it into the Dutch language and developed several meanings, from "wet snow" to "mashed and mixed-up food".
  • "frlwortzln" : verb, derogatory and possibly meaning to dismember by a process involving eradication, also claimed to be influenced by Serbo-Croat.

Miscellaneous influences[edit]

  • "Minkukel": although not original Prlwytzkofsky language (it was coined by extraterrestrials in Tom Poes en het Kukel), the Professor is responsible for its present meaning in Dutch: a "person with a low IQ". Only after his own "kukel" is measured by the extraterrestrials and diagnosed as negative, does he start to protest it must mean something else. Only the whacky (but Taoist) goose Wammes Waggel has a "plus" kukel and Oliver Bommel's kukel registers as zero (higher than everybody else in Rommeldam, even Tom Poes, who all get negative scores), signifying "kukel" has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather with spontaneity and savoir-vivre.
  • "Kwak": English: quack. Although the normal Dutch word is "kwakzalver" and the German word is "Quacksalber", the Professor always uses the shorter form, which may indicate English influence.
  • contrary to practice in both Dutch and German, the perfect participle of a second, third ... auxiliary in a subordinated clause is never turned into an infinitive (this may be an influence of English, or of Romance languages)

External references[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Syldavian, another comic strip variant of the Dutch language