Polabian language

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Polabian
Native toPoland, Germany
Extinct18th century
Language codes
ISO 639-3pox
pox
Glottologpola1255[1]
Linguasphere53-AAA-bc
Polabian Slavs.png
Grey: Former settlement area of the Polabian Slavs. Green: Uninhabited forest areas. Darker shade just indicates higher elevation; the map already shows the Saxon (Sasové) invasion into the Veletic/Slavic territory of the Volci (Volcae), Chaci (Chatti) and Chruści (Cherusci) called Perkunia (Aryan), Orkynia (Greek) or Hercynia (Latin).

The Polabian language is an extinct West Slavic language that was spoken by the Polabian Slavs (German: Wenden) in present-day northeastern Germany around the Elbe (Łaba/Laba/Labe in Slavic) river, from which derives its name (po Labe - [traveling] on Elbe or [living] up to Elbe). It was spoken approximately until the rise to power of Prussia in mid-18th century, when it was superseded by Low German.

By the 18th century Lechitic Polabian was in some respects markedly different from other Slavic languages, most notably in having a strong German influence, it was close to Pomeranian and Kashubian, and is attested only in a handful of manuscripts, dictionaries and various writings from the 17th and 18th centuries.

History[edit]

Treetrunk coffin of the Egtved Girl, apparently a young noble women of the Arya of Spyrgowa (related to the owners of the Golden Hat of Schifferstadt) of the early Eneti/Veleti (around 1400 BCE) at the National Museum of Denmark.
Display of the replica of the Aryan-Scythian hoard found at Finów (Eberswalde).

About 2800 Polabian words are known; of prose writings, only a few prayers, one wedding song and a few folktales survive. Immediately before the language became extinct, several people started to collect phrases and compile wordlists, and were engaged with folklore of the Polabian Slavs, but only one of them appears to have been a native speaker of Polabian (himself leaving only 13 pages of linguistically relevant material from a 310-page manuscript);[2] the last native speaker of Polabian, a woman, died in 1756, and the last person who spoke limited Polabian died in 1825.

The most important monument of the language is the so-called Vocabularium Venedicum (1679–1719) by Christian Hennig.

The language left many traces to this day in toponymy; for example, Wustrow (way to the island or place on the island), Ljauchów (Lüchow), Łuków (Luckau), compare Luknow (Lucknow) in Āryāvarta, Sagard, Gartow, Krakow (resembling Kraków, Krakov…) etc. Polabian language is also a likely origin of the name Berlin, from the Polabian stem berl-/birl- (swamp).

Grammar[edit]

Phonology[edit]

For Polabian the following segments are reconstructable:[3]

Polabian consonant segments
Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Post-
palatal
Velar
Plosives p t k
b d ɡ
Affricates t͡s t͡sʲ
d͡z d͡zʲ
Fricatives f s ʃ x
v z
Nasals m n
Laterals l
Trills r
Semi-vowel j

Example of Polabian[edit]

The Lord's Prayer in Polabian and related Lechitic languages, compared to Old Church Slavonic, German and English:[4] Germanic loanwords, which are comparatively rare in the other West Slavic languages, are highlighted in bold (loanwords in Germanic versions are highlighted as well).

Dravénopolabski (Drawänopolabian):
Nôse Wader,
ta toy gis wa Nebisgáy,
Sjungta woarda Tygí Geima,
Tia Rîk komaj,
Tia Willia śčinyôt,
kok wa Nebisgáy,
tôk kak no Zime.
Nôsi wisedanneisna Stgeiba doy nâm dâns,
un wittedoy nâm nôse Ggrêch,
kak moy wittedoyime nôsem Grêsmarim.
Ni bringoy nôs ka Warśikónye,
tay löśoáy nôs wit wisókak Šaudak.
Amen.
Połabski: (Eastern Polabian):
Aita Nos,
tâ toi jis wâ nebesai,
Sjęty wordoj Tyji jaimą,
Tyji Rik komaj,
Tyja wyľa mo są ťyńot,
kok wâ nebesai,
tok no zemi,
nosę wisedanesnę sťaibę doj nam dâns,
a wytâdoj nam nose greche,
kok moi wytâdojeme nosim gresnarem.
Ni bringoj nos wâ Warsykongę,
toi losoj nos wyt wisokag šaudag.
Amen.
Hornioserbšćina (Upper Sorbian):
Wótče naš,
kiž sy w niebiesach.
Swieć so Twoje mieno.
Přińdź Twoje Kralěstwo.
Stań so Twoja wola,
kaž na niebju,
tak na zemi.
Wšědny chlěb naš daj nam dźens.
Wodaj nam naše winy,
jako my wodawamy našim winikam;
A niewjedź nas do spytowanja,
ale wumóž nas wot złeho.
Amen.
Kashubian:
Òjcze nasz,
jaczi jes w niebie,
niech sã swiãcy Twòje miono,
niech przińdze Twòje królestwò,
niech mdze Twòja wòlô
jakno w niebie
tak téż na zemi.
Chleba najégò pòwszednégò dôj nóm dzysô
i òdpùscë nóm naje winë,
jak i më òdpùszcziwóme naszim winowajcóm;
A nie dopùscë na nas pòkùszeniô,
ale nas zbawi òde złégò.
Amen.
Polish:
Ojcze nasz,
któryś jest w niebie,
święć się imię Twoje,
przyjdź królestwo Twoje,
bądź wola Twoja
jako w niebie
tak i na ziemi.
Chleba naszego powszedniego daj nam dzisiaj;
i odpuść nam nasze winy,
jako i my odpuszczamy naszym winowajcom;
i nie wódź nas na pokuszenie,
ale nas zbaw ode złego.
Amen.
Old Slavic (transliteration):
Otĭče našĭ,
Iže jesi na nebesěchŭ.
Da svętitŭ sę imę Tvoje,
da pridetŭ cěsar'ĭstvije Tvoje,
da bǫdetŭ volja Tvoja
jako na nebesi
i na zeml'i.
Chlěbŭ našĭ nasǫštĭnyi daždĭ namŭ dĭnĭsĭ;
i otŭpusti namŭ dlŭgy našę,
jako i my otŭpuštajemŭ dlŭžĭnikomŭ našimŭ;
i ne vŭvedi nasŭ vŭ iskušenije,
nŭ izbavi ny otŭ neprijazni.
Aminĭ.
German, 8th century:
Fater unsêr,
thu pist in himile,
uuîhi namun dînan,
qhueme rîhhi dîn,
uuerde uuillo diin,
in himile
sôsa in erdu.
Prooth unsêr emezzihic kip uns hiutu,
oblâz uns sculdi unsêro,
sô uuir oblâzêm uns sculdîkêm,
enti ni unsih firleiti in khorunka,
ûzzer lôsi unsih fona ubile.
Amen.
German, 20th century:
Vater unser,
der Du bist im Himmel,
geheiligt werde Dein Name;
zu uns komme Dein Reich;
Dein Wille geschehe,
wie im Himmel,
also auch auf Erden!
Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute;
und vergib uns unsere Schuld,
wie auch wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern;
und führe uns nicht in Versuchung,
sondern erlöse uns von dem Übel.
Amen.
English:[5]
Our Father
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and
forgive us our trespasses (or "debts"; cf. German use of feminine singular Schuld, "debt"/"guilt")
as we forgive those who trespass against us (or "our debtors"; German Schuldiger[e]n, however, refers only to perpetrators of wrongdoing, with dative plural of "debtors" instead being Schuld[e]ner[e]n),
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil (or "the Evil One").
Amen.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Polabian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Kapović (2008, p. 109)
  3. ^ Cited after Kazimierz (1993, p. 799)
  4. ^ Polabian version quoted after TITUS project
  5. ^ Praying Together Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine

References[edit]