Talk:Pomeranian language

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Pomeranian language is not Slavic , because Pommern or Pomeranian language is German. The Polish people living there today speak Polish, they call that land Pomorze,Pomorski. Therefore you would have to call it Pomorze or Pomorski language.

In the German article thats precisely what it is defined as, a West Slavic language. 02:18, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

No, we have to call it what it's called in English, which is "Pomeranian". It doesn't refer to Polish, it refers to the Kashubian dialects. It's almost extinct. Anyway, I've added the other meaning of "Pomeranian" to the page. --Zundark, 2001 Oct 17

Kassubians , Kashubians were only a small minority living in Pomerania . The largest majority of Pomeranians were not Kassunbians. H.J.

Old contents of page below. All this needs to be sorted out.

The Pomeranian language is one of the Slavic languages that was made as a result of separation from the west-slav dialect. ?? It is spoken in Pomerania and it is also called the Kasup language.

Why 'kasup' not 'kashub' ? 'kashub' is closer to Polish pronunciation. (I don't know how Kashubs call their language)

Pomeranian is a Low German, Saxon, Prussian dialect. It is spoken in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern-Germany. It was also spoken in all of Pomerania, until this land was taken over by communists, who ousted the native population. The communists under Stalin replaced the native Pomeranians by bringing in Polish people. Today the language in Pomorze (Polish for Pomerania) is Polish.

Nearly 2000 years ago this land of Germania was recorded by Tacitus. For a thousand years the land of Pomerania was part of the Holy Roman-German empire, where Kaschubians-Cassubians lived also. They had come into Germania in the area of Jomsburg near Stettin circa 1000AD, then pledged allegiance to the German emperors. Some of the Kaschuben-Pommerellia-West Prussians of Prussia-Germany managed to remain in their homeland at the Baltic Sea even under the Communist-Polish Expulsions and Ethnic Cleansings between 1945-49. They were forced to become Polish.

Guenther Grass is one of the Kashubians who was ousted by the Polish communists .

Pom(m)erania(Latin) - Pommern (German)

Pom(me)rellia(Latin)- Klein Pommern(German)(Little Pomerania)

Pomorze, Pomorski - Polish

Pommern or Pomerania was agricultural land and part of the breadbasket of Holy Roman Empire and Prussia-Germany. Pome- in Latin means apple, (Pommes Frites in French are earth apples-potatos fried or French Fries), also in Pome-grante, Pome-sine etc.

Today some people assume that Pomerania is named from Po- More (Slavic for at the Sea). However the people living at that part of Germania by 1000 AD were called Pomeranen, also mirrored in a village in East Prussia named Pome(h)rendorf. The land Pomerania was named after the Pomeranen.

May I comment on the above as a linguist? What do you mean by "Germania" ca. AD 1000? Germanic-speaking areas? If so, Pomerania was hardly part of it. In the sixth century the Slavs expanded westwards as far as the lower Elbe, and the Baltic coast west of the Vistula was Slavic-speaking. The later German conquest and assimilation of the northwestern Slavic tribes, beginning with the Polabians (or Wends, in German histories), and then of the West Balts (Prussians) is a different story. The derivation of "Pommern" from Latin "pomus" is a crazy idea -- a typical example of what is called a folk etymology. It is based on the superficial similarity of the words plus an ad hoc "explanation" of the meaning. The ethnic name Pomeranian reflects Slavic *pomorIj-an- = '(inhabitant) of Pomorze' (etymologically *po-morIje 'seaside'). This etymology is unimpeachable. It explains the form of the word, its historically evidenced variants, the meaning, etc. At the same time, it accounts for the similarity of the term "Pomeranian" to other ethnic names of the same structure, e.g. "Polabian" < *po-albIj-an- 'living on the Elbe'.

Note, please, that I'm not trying to sell you Polish nationalist propaganda. The whole question of "historical priority" ("We were here first!" -- "No, you weren't; we were!") is nonsense and serves no purpose except that it stirs up chauvinist sentiments. Before the Slavs invaded the area, various Germanic tribes had lived in (what was not yet called) Pomerania. About the beginning of the common era what is now Polish Pomorze was inhabited mainly by the Goths, and (if we are to believe the ancient chronicler Jordanes) was called "Gothiskandza" (probably Gutisk-andja- or 'Gothic end (border country). The Goths and other Germani probably displaced or absorbed still earlier linguistic communities, who spoke neither Slavic nor Germanic languages. The Goths were linguistically Germanic (like all Scandinavians, Anglo-Saxons, Franks, Vandals, etc.) but they were not Germans; likewise, the Pomeranians were Slavic and linguistically close to the Polians (the tribe that lay the foundation of Poland) but they were not Polish. Kashubian is the last surviving form of Pomeranian, heavily Polonised but still distinct and certainly deserving the status of a separate language if the Kashubians themselves so wish.

Piotr Gasiorowski

To Piotr Gasiorowski

Your second part is correct and I agree with it.

Since you seem to have studied language(s) I have a question for you. I do not know any of the technical terms used in language desciptions, but would like to know the answer to: what is the 'rolling RRR sound' called in language terms ?

Also another question. I have read about the German Polish History Institute in Warsaw ( don't remember exact name) Are you familiar with that and are they any good? I earlier referred szopen to them, because he is very enthusiastic to learn facts and this seems to me a good place.


It is worth noting that the Slavic languages page lists Pomeranian as a Slavic language. It would be worth checking carefully to see if it really is Slavic, Germanic, or something else. Or if there are more than one language called Pomeranian, in which case we need more than one article with suitable names and cross links (for people who find the one they are not looking for).

I think there is some confusion here between the Pomeranian language (which was West Slavic) and various Pomeranian dialects of German. The Pomeranian language largely died out in the 18th century, although some Kashubian dialects apparently live on. However, I don't feel that I know enough about this to try and correct the article.

For what I know Pomeranian was a Slavic language. In 10th century, when written history of these terrains starts, Pomerania was inhabited by Slavs and Balts only, not Germanics.

These Slavs used different language than Slavs on south (Poles), and Balts on east. Due to German and other settlement in Pomerania, Pomeranian language imported many foreign words, and it might have caused some confusion. In 20th century both Nazis and Polish Communists tried to force Kashubs to leave their etnicity and language, but Kashub language (modern Pomeranian) is still used by some people, especially on rural areas of Pomorskie region.

The statement "Pomerania was inhabited by Slavs and Balts only,not Germanics ", is incorrect. The city of Jomsburg was in the area of Wollin at the Baltic Sea . Harald Blauzahn, Bluetooth, Blatand ,duke of Juetland and king of Denmark, had to take refuge from his son and he died at Jomsburg . Earlier, emperor Charlemagne had taken Saxons from the Baltic Sea, Schleswig Holstein , Mecklenburg area and put in Abodrites, Obotrites (Slavs) on that land, who were subjects of Charlemagne and helped him in his wars against the Saxons.

This Eastern area of Germania Magna was in time overrun with Wendish Slavs . Pomeranen were part of the German empire and the land was later named after them Pomerania Pomeren , Pommern .

Dukes of newly created Poland attacked several times and sometimes for a few years conquered some areas of Pomerania and Gothiscandza- Danzig . Boleslaw I Chrobry , who the emperor made duke of Poland , tried to conquer several times, as well as later dukes. The Pomeranians and Prussians repelled these attacks for centuries. Boleslaw I had also conquered Bohemia and emperor Henry II forced him to return it. In 1012 AD at the Peace of Merseburg Polish duke Boleslaw I had to renounce Bohemia , but for that receive in loan (Land in Lien) both parts of Lausitz-Lusatia. By 1018 Boleslaw caused another war,but was defeated again with the Peace of Bautzen . The emperor Henry II died in 1024 . Boleslaw I Chrobry , who like all Polish and other dukes, had received Land in Lien (land loan) from the empire for pledging allegiance to the empire ,was also a Markgraf ( margrave) for some areas,constantly tried to conquer more of the neighbors land .He made himself king , but died one year later in 1025.

Just as 1 1/2 Million Germans were able to remain in their homelands of Pomerania and Prussia, when these lands were taken over in 1945 by communists , earlier Germans had remained in their homelands ,when these lands were overrun by Slavs, Czechs and Poles a thousand years earlier. The one-and-onehalf million Germans of Prussia , Silesia and Pomerania had survived Stalin's Butchery, by 15 Million Germans fleeing. Some (the 1 1/2 Million) had returned after the Soviet troops went through. They were systematically summonend between 1945-49 by the Communist Polish Administration Occupation Authorities and either put on a train west or forced to take on Polish names and not allowed to speak their native language. Communist Poland called them Authochtones.

im half german half pole and dont know where u read that lies but what u wrote is not really true, lots of germans stayed here and they were not abused by poles who came on this land. (they were by soviet army but thats another sad story...) They were not forced to change theirs names to polish names - well some were polonized - i/e my grandma name was Misch and after war it was changed to Misz (phoneticaly the same), but that was not a rule - for example my friends family name is Henkel and no one never asked them to change theirs name, same with lot of families with german roots here :) Same with language - they spoke theirs native language (german) till their learnt polish, german was not forbidden - simply it was rather natural process - beside we still speak german (especially when we are drunk hehe :D) and some geographic german names are still commonly used (as well as restored polish names) Some especially old ppl still speak mostly german and barely know polish. Same situation with ukrainias that were forced to live here - some of them still do not know polish :) And "autochotnes" wasnt used as some kind of offensive word - it had (has) just its regular meaning and it was name for all native ppl living here before war (both german and poles) and even for those poles that arrived here soon after the war. btw
hmm and jomsborg - thats not a good example - it was a slavic city - important place of Svetovid (slavic deity) cult, it is also well known that jomsborg got strong scandinavian miniority and was counquered by scandinavians many times (cuz it was a rich city)
your story about saxons and obodrites is also kewl but in fact obodrites live in pommerania at least since VI century and since VII there were for sure no saxons east from river elbe so long time before Charlemagne ;) Ofcourse some germanic tribes live here before slavs but that has nothing common with pommerania name itself nor pommeranians languages - however pommeranian languages (and polish language) were under strong influence of german language for centuries
sorry for poor english :) -- Thomas 01:35, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Correction. "Autochtones" was the name used by "Communist Poland" (and by non Communist Poland, today)to desribe the non German, original Polish population of these lands, that miraculously survived centuries of germanization, discrimination and attempts to remove them from the place of their origin.mruk

For German citizens , Autochthones etc remaining in their homeland after take-over by Soviet Union 1945 (under Polish Administration) and other minorities in Poland read outside link : H.J.

To H.J. Please, do not get me wrong. Removing entire populations from the lands, where they and their ancestors were born is a crime against humanity, whichever nation we are talking about. Ethnic cleansing of a land is a terrible harm done to a nation's local and general culture and identity. My mother and her entire family, before the war residng in Lwow (L'viv, Lvov, Lemberg)was subjected to the same evil policy. It was actually much worse for the Poles than for Germans. Only 1/3 of Germany fell under the Communist terror. For the Poles, shipped away from the land they owned, in cattle trains, where they were dying by thousands, there was no alternative but the Communist hell. In their own country, they were discriminated against, for decades, for being born on the wrong side of the post-war border. One thing is ironic, though: Germany started a horrible world war to win the "living space", lost the war and lost some territory to Poland in effect; Poland never started the war, it was actually one of the original Allies, suffered most losses of any country occupied by Germany, supposedly won the war, yet at the end lost more teritory than it gained and the whole country was given away to the "stalinist butchers". It is no use to blame only Soviet Union, however. The post-war borders and the "population transfer" were agreed on by USA, UK and USSR long before the Potsdam Conference: in Yalta. Polish soldiers, fighting Nazis on every front of WW II, were deceived to think they were fighting for free Poland. What they got was a carved up land, with no perspectives of economical growth and no sovereignty from the USSR. Lucky Germany, who at least had larger parts of it's territory away from the Communist Russian imperialism. One thing that my mother taught me, to help me understand all this, was: there is no way to set borders in Europe, to satisfy everybody's historical claims, cultural inheritance and territorial ownership. There is no "right" way to split Europe between the people who inhabit it. I always like to remember the words of Marion Countess Doenhoff: "I want only one thing for Prussia. I want this country, which is my old, beautiful country, to be fruitful again". Regards, Mruk 01/02/02

To Mruk, Thank you for your message of Jan 2,2002 . You and your mother were truly wise in assessing the history and especially the border situations of Europe. I did hear M. Doenhoff (belated on tape, since I live in California) and the call to tear down the borders in Europe. I fully agree with you , that it was not only the Soviet Union, but allies agreed also.( When I get home I will send copy of text from newspaper). The Heimatvertriebene are aware, that the people put into their homes by the communists, have also been forced from their homeland, in your case Lwow, Lemberg. That is why the Heimatvertriebene pledged to work towards a Europe where everyone is going to be able to live in their homeland. Where did you come to live ? Regards, H.J.

Since you seem to have studied language(s) I have a question for you. I do not know any of the technical terms used in language desciptions, but would like to know the answer to: what is the 'rolling RRR sound' called in language terms ?

It's technically called a trill. Trills can be apical (when it's the tip of the tongue that vibrates against the upper gum, producing the most common R-type sound) or uvular (when it's the uvula that vibrates at the back of the mouth, as sometimes in Edith Piaf's French accent).

Also another question. I have read about the German Polish History Institute in Warsaw ( don't remember exact name) Are you familiar with that and are they any good? I earlier referred szopen to them, because he is very enthusiastic to learn facts and this seems to me a good place. H.J.

I'll check that. Piotr Gasiorowski

--- To Piotr Gasiorowski, I am assuming that it is the uvular R-sound I am looking for. It is the East-Prussian rolling RRR- ,(if you did not learn it as a child- you can't do it), that I am looking for. The East-Prussian RRR is similar to Charrro's rolling R's (she's from Spain).

After JHK's explanation I tried it again and the R-sound I am looking to explain seems to be apical trill (tip of the tongue).

                How would one write pronounciation of 1. and 2. ?

(girl) Marjell (Margel) (my attempt to copy the way it sounds) = 1. Mmmarrrr jeall che

(the cross, back) (Da)s Kreuz'chen scrizje (my attempt) = 2. s criz je

Thank you for the info on R-sound and for checking about the institute. H.J.

The Spanish trill tends to be at the front of the mouth, whereas the uvular trill is at the back of the mouth.

Happy New Year JHK I am back (partially). Thanks for your input. Now I am really puzzled, as to call it front or back trill. H.J.

HNY to you, too. The way I think of it (and Piotr can jump in any time), is that in Spanish, I roll the rs off the tip of my tongue (in the front of my mouth -- the same place I make the "soft" ch or final g -- like in neugierig -- in German), but the Edith Piaf trilled r that Piotr mentioned, I make in the back of my mouth, really in my throat, like a harder ch in German. Understand I'm talking about the location, not that they are the same sound! JHK

Alright, after trying it again I came to the conclusion, that the R-sound I am looking to describe is apical trill (tip of the tongue). The uvular trill is more in the throat (like gargling). H.J.

The typical Polish, Scottish or Spanish trill, which also survives in many regional accents of German (I heard it used by many people in Bamberg, for example) is apical. I'd expect East Prussian German /r/ to be of this kind. The international phonetic symbol for it is [r]. The uvular till is written as a small [R] in narrow phonetic transcription. It doesn't sound very gurgling if it's a pure trill (rather than a fricative, as in most accent of French or German). To save us all further questions and answers which have little to do with Pomeranian, I think it will be better if I write a few phonetic articles for the Wikipedia and provide you with links to them. OK?
The German Historical Institute in Warsaw seems to be a very active institution. You can find out about it (in German, Polish and English) at
Piotr Gasiorowski

To Piotr Gasiorowski, yes, it is a very good idea, that you are writing a few phonetic articles. Personal note to you: Bamberg and the other Frankish people all have a very heavy pronounced accent. (I tried to explain to several wikipedians, that the people of todays northern Bavaria are Frankish, but they say, oh no, they are Bavarian, then finally they are Frankonian. Since this is only a personal note to you, I will use Frankish, as they call themselfes.You won't believe how long it took me to get the wikipedians to understand, that not all people in the official state of Bavaria are Bavarians. This is only one example, how translating names and places into English, as insisted on, often changes not only the name, but the meaning.

Thanks for finding and posting the History Institute in Warsaw. I glanced through it and they indeed are active and I believe trustworthy. H.J.

A note -- most of us understood completely -- we just insist on speaking English. The present Franconia is located in modern Bavaria. In today's terms they are Bavarians by virtue of living in Freistaat Bayern. No one has ever said that the Franconians are culturally or historically Bavarian, but neither are modern Franconians or Bavarians the same people whom we call Franks and Bavarians before the year 1000 (When Franconia was also not its own place but instead part of a changing Eastern Frankish Kingdom). Franconians call themselves Fraenkish auf Deutsch, but the correct translation in English is Franconian. 'nuff said.

On R, see Rhotics Piotr

|Piotr this is very good and helpful, thanks H.J.