Curonian language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the old Curonian language. For New Curonian, see Kursenieki § Language.
Old Curonian
Native to Latvia, Lithuania, Germany
Extinct 16th century[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xcu
Linguist list
xcu
Glottolog None
Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate).

The Curonian language (German: Kurisch; Latvian: kuršu valoda; Lithuanian: kuršių kalba), or Old Curonian, is a nearly unattested extinct language spoken by the Curonians, a Baltic tribe who inhabited the Courland Peninsula (now western Latvia) and the nearby Baltic shore. Curonian was a Baltic language;[1] some scholars consider it to have been an Eastern Baltic, intermediate between Lithuanian and Latvian,[2] while others like Vytautas Mažiulis classify it as Western Baltic.[3]

Old Curonian disappeared in the course of the 16th century,[1] leaving substrata in western dialects of the Latvian and Lithuanian, namely the Samogitian dialect. No written documents in this language are known, but some ancient Lithuanian texts from western regions show some Curonian influence.

Historian Marika Mägi proposes that Curonian was not originally seen as ethnic, but social category, depicting Eastern Baltic seafarers, who often engaged in piracy. She believes that early meaning of the name also included Finnic tribes living in northern Curonia and Saaremaa (historical parallel name of latter has been Kuresaar, "Kure-island"). Marika Mägi sees origin of the Curonian name in Finnic word kura (kuri, kure), meaning "something bad, despiteful, angry".[4]

Linguist Eduard Vääri Curonians argues that it is possible that Curonians were Baltic Finns.[5] Amateur historian Edgar V. Saks has pointed out several Curonian words and names of possible Finnic origin. For example, a treaty from 1230 calls Curonian administrative divisions kiligunden (kihelkond in Estonian) and the Curonian army maleva. The elder who signed the treaty was named Lammechinus (resp. Lemminkäinen). Self-denomination of Curonians, kure, according to Saks, means 'crane' in Estonian.[6][7] The attested local Finnic language, Livonian, may be the source of Finnic elements in Curonian.[citation needed]

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Baltic states saw a revival of scientific and cultural interest in extinct Baltic languages and tribes, including Yotvingian, Curonian, and Old Prussian.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Haarmann, Harald (2002). Miloš Okuka, ed. Kurisch [Curonian]. Wieser-Enzyklopädie des Europäischen Ostens (in German). 10. Klagenfurt/Vienna, Austria: Wieser. p. 957. ISBN 3-85129-510-2. 
  2. ^ Östen Dahl (ed.) 2001, The Circum-Baltic Languages: Typology and Contact, vol. 1
  3. ^ http://www.šaltiniai.info/index/details/300
  4. ^ Marika Mägi. "Saaremaa – muinas- ja keskaegne Kuresaar", pp 8–26. In Kuressaare vanem ajalugu. Kalle Kesküla. Kuressaare Raeühing, 2015.
  5. ^ Eduard Vääri, EESTLASTE TUTVUMINE HÕIMURAHVASTEGA JA NENDE KEELTEGA KUNI 1918. AASTANI
  6. ^ Edgar V. Saks. Aestii. 1960. p. 116.
  7. ^ Edgar V. Saks. Eesti viikingid. 2005. p. 31–34.

Literature[edit]

  • Ambrassat, August "Die Provinz Ostpreußen", Frankfurt/ Main 1912
  • Endzelin, J.: Über die Nationalität und Sprache der Kuren, in Finnisch-Ungarische Forschungen, XII, 1912
  • Gaerte, Wilhelm "Urgeschichte Ostpreussens", Königsberg 1929
  • Gimbutas, Marija "Die Balten", München-Berlin 1983
  • Kurschat, Heinrich A.: Das Buch vom Memelland, Siebert Oldenburg 1968
  • Kwauka, Paul, Pietsch, Richard: Kurisches Wörterbuch, Verlag Ulrich Camen Berlin, 1977, ISBN 3-921515-03-3
  • Kwauka, Paul: Namen des Memellandes/ Unsere „fremdartigen“ Familiennamen, Archiv AdM, Oldenburg
  • Lepa, Gerhard (Hrsg) "Die Schalauer", Tolkemita-Texte Dieburg 1997
  • Mortensen, Hans und Gertrud "Die Besiedlung des nordöstlichen Ostpreußens bis zum Beginn des 17. Jahrhunderts", Leipzig 1938
  • Mortensen, Hans und Gertrud: Kants väterliche Ahnen und ihre Umwelt, Rede von 1952 in Jahrbuch der Albertus-Universität zu Königsberg / Pr., Holzner- Verlag Kitzingen/ Main 1953 Bd. 3
  • Peteraitis, Vilius: Mažoji Lietuva ir Tvanksta (Lithuania Minor and Tvanksta) Vilnius 1992
  • Pietsch, Richard (künstlerischer Entwurf und Text): Bildkarte rund um das Kurische Haff, Heimat-Buchdienst Georg Banszerus, Höxter, Herstellung: Neue Stalling, Oldenburg
  • Pietsch, Richard: Deutsch-Kurisches Wörterbuch, Verlag Nordostdeutsches Kulturwerk Lüneburg 1991, ISBN 3-922296-60-2
  • Pietsch, Richard: Fischerleben auf der Kurischen Nehrung dargestellt in kurischer und deutscher Sprache, Verlag Ulrich Camen Berlin 1982
  • Schmid, Wolfgang P. (Hrg): Nehrungskurisch, Sprachhistorische und instrumentalphonetische Studien zu einem aussterbenden Dialekt, Stuttgart 1989
  • Schmid, Wolfgang P.: Das Nehrungskurische, ein sprachhistorischer Überblick
  • Tolksdorf, Ulrich "Fischerei und Fischerkultur in Ostpreußen", Heide/ Holstein 1991
  • Žadeikiene, Daiva, Krajinskas, Albertas: Kurenkahnwimpel, ISBN 9986-830-63-X

External links[edit]