Northern Low Saxon

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Northern Low Saxon
Noordneddersassisch
Native to Germany
Region East Frisia
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Dialects
Schleswigsch
Holsteinisch
Ollnborger Platt
North Hanoveranian
Dithmarsch
Emsländisch
Language codes
ISO 639-2 nds
ISO 639-3 nds (partial)
Glottolog nort2627[1]

Northern Low Saxon (in Low German, Noordneddersassisch) is a West Low German dialect.

As such, it covers a great part of the West Low-German-speaking areas of northern Germany, with the exception of the border regions where Eastphalian and Westphalian are spoken. However, Northern Low Saxon is easily understood by speakers of these dialects.

Northern Low Saxon can be divided into Holsteinisch, Schleswigsch, East Frisian Low Saxon, Dithmarsch, North Hanoveranian, Emsländisch, and Oldenburgisch.[2]

Holsteinisch is spoken in Holstein, the southern part of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, in Dithmarschen, around Neumünster, Rendsburg, Kiel and Lübeck. The local variant of Lübeck ("Lübsch") was a lingua franca for the Hanseatic league in the Middle Ages.

Schleswigsch (German pronunciation: [ˈʃleːsvɪkʃ]) is spoken in Schleswig, in Germany and Denmark. It is mainly is based on an South Jutlandic substrate. Therefore it has some notable differences in pronunciation and grammar with its southern neighbour dialects. The dialects on the west coast of Schleswig and some islands show some North Frisian influences.[citation needed]

Oldenburg dialect (Low Saxon Ollnborger Platt, High German Oldenburger Platt) is spoken around the city of Oldenburg. It is limited to Germany. Its difference to East Frisian Low Saxon, which is spoken in the Frisian parts of Low Saxony, is the lack of a Frisian substrate. Ollnborger Platt is in the city of Bremen as Breemsch (Bremian), which is the only capital where Ollnborger Platt is spoken. The Westphalian town or city of Minden possibly partly belongs to the area, where Ollnborger Platt is spoken traditionally.

See also East Frisian Low Saxon.

Characteristics[edit]

The most obvious common character in grammar is the forming of the perfect participle. It is formed without a prefix, as in English, Danish, Swedish, Norse and Frisian, but unlike standard German, Dutch and some dialects of Westphalian and Eastphalian Low Saxon:

  • gahn [ɡɒːn] (to go): Ik bün gahn [ʔɪkbʏŋˈɡɒːn] (I have gone/I went)
  • seilen [zaˑɪln] (to sail): He hett seilt [hɛɪhɛtˈzaˑɪlt] (He (has) sailed)
  • kopen [ˈkʰoʊpm] (to buy): Wi harrn köfft [vihaːŋˈkɶft] (We had bought)
  • kamen [kɒːmˑ] (to come): Ji sünd kamen [ɟizʏŋˈkɒːmˑ] (You (all) have come/You came)
  • eten [ˈʔeːtn] (to eat): Se hebbt eten [zɛɪhɛptˈʔeːtn] (They have eaten/They ate)

The diminutive (-je) (Dutch and Eastern Frisian -tje, Eastphalian -ke, High German -chen, Alemannic -le, li) is hardly used. Some examples are Buscherumpje, a fisherman's shirt, or lüttje, a diminutive of lütt, little. Instead the adjective lütt is used, e.g. dat lütte Huus, de lütte Deern, de lütte Jung.

There are a lot of special characteristics in the vocabulary, too, but they are shared partly with other languages and dialects, e.g.:

  • Personal pronouns: ik [ʔɪk] (like Dutch ik), du [du] (like German Du), he [hɛɪ] (like English he), se [zɛɪ], dat [dat] (Dutch dat), wi [vi], ji [ɟi] (similar to English ye, Dutch jij), se [zɛɪ].
  • Interrogatives (English/High German): wo [voʊ], woans [voʊˈʔaˑns] (how/wie), wo laat [voʊˈlɒːt] (how late/wie spät), wokeen [voʊˈkʰɛˑɪn] (who/wer), [voʊˈneːm] woneem (where/wo), wokeen sien [voʊˈkʰɛˑɪnziːn] / wen sien [vɛˑnziːn] (whose/wessen)
  • Adverbs (English/High German): laat [lɒːt] (late/spät), gau [ɡaˑʊ] (fast/schnell), suutje [ˈzutɕe] (slowly, carefully/langsam, vorsichtig, from Dutch zoetjes [ˈzutɕəs] ‘nice and easy’, adverbial diminutive of zoet [ˈzut] ‘sweet’), vigeliensch [fiɡeˈliːnʃ] (difficult, tricky/schwierig)
  • Prepositions (English/High German): bi [biː] (by, at/bei), achter [ˈʔaxtɝ] (behind/hinter), vör [fɶɝ] (before, in front of/vor), blangen [blaˑŋˑ] (beside, next to, alongside/neben), twüschen [ˈtvʏʃn] (betwixt, between/zwischen), mang, mank [maˑŋk] (among/unter)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Northern Low Saxon". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ Noble, Cecil A. M. (1983). Modern German dialects New York [et al.], Lang, p. 103-104