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West Frisian language

West Frisian, or Frisian is a West Germanic language spoken in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands by those of Frisian ancestry. It is the most spoken of the Frisian languages. In the study of the evolution of English, West Frisian is notable as being the most related foreign tongue to the various dialects of Old English spoken across the Heptarchy, these being part of the Anglo-Frisian branch of the West Germanic family, is therefore considered to be in-between English and Dutch — Dutch is dubbed in-between the Anglo-Saxon derived components of English and German; the name "West Frisian" is only used outside the Netherlands, to distinguish this language from the related Frisian languages of Saterland Frisian and North Frisian spoken in Germany. Within the Netherlands, however, "West Frisian" refers to the West Frisian dialect of the Dutch language while the West Frisian language is always just called "Frisian"; the unambiguous name used for the West Frisian language by linguists in the Netherlands is Westerlauwers Fries, the Lauwers being a border river that separates the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen.

Most speakers of West Frisian live in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. Friesland has 643,000 inhabitants, of whom 94% can understand spoken West Frisian, 74% can speak West Frisian, 75% can read West Frisian, 27% can write it. For over half of the inhabitants of the province of Friesland, 55%, West Frisian is the native language. In the central east, West Frisian speakers spill over the province border, with some 4,000–6,000 of them living in the province of Groningen, in the triangular area of the villages Marum, De Wilp, Opende. Many West Frisians have left their province in the last 60 years for more prosperous parts of the Netherlands; therefore as many as 150,000 West Frisian speakers live in other Dutch provinces in the urban agglomeration in the West, in neighbouring Groningen and newly reclaimed Flevoland. A Frisian diaspora exists abroad, with Friesland having sent more emigrants than any other Dutch province between the Second World War and the 1970s. Highest concentrations of Frisian speakers outside the Netherlands are in Canada, the United States and New Zealand.

Apart from the use of West Frisian as a first language, it is spoken as a second language by about 120,000 people in the province of Friesland. West Frisian is considered by UNESCO to be a language in danger of becoming extinct being listed as "Vulnerable". Not all Frisian varieties spoken in Dutch Friesland are mutually intelligible; the varieties on the islands are rather divergent, Glottolog distinguishes four languages: Hindeloopen-Molkwerum Frisian Schiermonnikoog Frisian Westlauwers–Terschellings Terschelling Frisian Mainland West Frisian The dialects of mainland West Frisian are all intelligible. Three are distinguished: Clay Frisian Wood Frisian South or Southwest Frisian The Súdwesthoeksk dialect, spoken in an area called de Súdwesthoeke, deviates from mainstream West Frisian in that it does not adhere to the so-called newer breaking system, a prominent grammatical feature in the three other main dialects; the Noardhoeksk dialect, spoken in the north eastern corner of the province, does not differ much from Wood Frisian.

By far the two most-widely spoken West Frisian dialects are Wood Frisian. Both these names are derived from the Frisian landscape. In the western and north-western parts of the province, the region where Clay Frisian is spoken, the soil is made up of thick marine clay, hence the name. While in the Clay Frisian-speaking area ditches are used to separate the pastures, in the eastern part of the province, where the soil is sandy, water sinks away much faster, rows of trees are used to that purpose; the natural landscape in which Wâldfrysk exists mirrors The Weald and North Weald areas of south-eastern England — the Germanic words wald and weald are cognate, as is the more generic wood. Although Klaaifrysk and Wâldfrysk are mutually easily intelligible, there are, at least to native West Frisian speakers, a few conspicuous differences; these include the pronunciation of the words my, dy, hy, sy, wy and by, the diphthongs ei and aai. Of the two, Wâldfrysk has more speakers, but because the western clay area was the more prosperous part of the agricultural province, Klaaifrysk has had the larger influence on the West Frisian standardised language.

There are few if any differences in morphology or syntax among the West Frisian dialects, all of which are mutually intelligible, but there are slight variances in lexicon. The largest difference between the Clay Frisian and Wood Frisian dialects are the words my, dy, hy, sy, wy, by, which are pronounced in the Wood Frisian as mi, di, hi, si, wi, bi and in Clay Frisian as mij, hij, sij and bij. Other differences are in the pronunciation of the diphthongs ei, ai, aai which are pronounced ij, ai, aai in Wood Frisian, but ôi, òi, ôi in Clay Frisian. Thus, in Wood Frisian, there is no difference between ei and ij, whereas in Clay Frisian, there

St Mark's Church, Royal Tunbridge Wells

St. Mark's Church is the Church of England parish church for the Broadwater Down area of Royal Tunbridge Wells, England, in the Diocese of Rochester. Built in the 19th-century Gothic Revival style by Robert Lewis Roumieu, it is a Grade II* listed building. St. Mark's Church was built as the result of personal intervention from William Nevill, 4th Earl of Abergavenny, he had begun developing a section of the Abergavenny Estate with residential mansions, but late in the process he determined to build a church and parsonage at his own personal expense, which reduced the number of mansions built to 46. The church was funded by the 4th Earl, designed by architect Robert Lewis Roumieu. Construction began in 1864 after the laying of the foundation stone by the Countess of Abergavenny, it was consecrated in 1866. The parish was created in 1867 from Eridge Green, in the Diocese of Chichester, it was transferred to the Diocese of Rochester in 1991. The church was designed in the French Gothic style of Late Gothic Revival architecture.

It was built using stone from the Earl of Abergavenny's own quarries and Bath stone for the carvings. The spire is 130 feet high. Inside, the font and pulpit were made from Caen stone, its stained glass windows were installed as a memorial to the Earl when he died and depict the four major prophets and the Four Evangelists. Roumieu was given freedom in his design of the building, referred to by Building News as "acrobatic gothic"; the church has a set of chimes and bells installed in the clock tower. They was funded by public donations in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and were first used in 1898. In 2005, the chimes were stopped in order to carry out repairs and were due to be restarted in September 2012 however this was delayed due to concerns from local residents; the church is used for regular Sunday services and has been used to host fund-raising concerts. It was the venue for the 2009 wedding of former Casualty actress Rebekah Gibbs. List of places of worship in Tunbridge Wells St. Mark's Church homepage

The Dance Lesson

The Dance Lesson is an oil on canvas painting by the French artist Edgar Degas created around 1879. It is kept at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. There is at least one other work by Degas by this title made in about 1879, a pastel; the painting is the first of a series of about 40 pictures that Degas painted in this horizontal, frieze-like format. It measures 38 by 88 centimetres. To the far left is a double bass with an exhausted dancer wearing a bright orange shawl sitting on it. There was an open violin-case, which although painted out, is still visible. In the centre of the painting is a dancer in a pink shawl sitting on a chair with another dancer, turned away, standing just behind her adjusting the dark coloured sash of her dress. To the far right, at the back of the room, is a group of dancers practising their moves in the light from a large window; the painting was composed and shows the inspiration Degas drew from Japanese prints, with figures deliberately placed off-centre or cut off at unexpected angles and the large expanse of floor which appears to tilt upwards.

The painting The Dance Lesson is kept at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. Prior to its donation in 1995, the painting was part of the collection of Paul Mellon, who purchased it in 1957. Prior to this it had been loaned to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the 1920s and was loaned to a 1937 Degas exhibition in Paris by its owner, Mrs Fiske Howard; the Metropolitan Museum of Art owns a painting titled Dancers in the Rehearsal Room with a Double Bass, dated 1882–85, the second painting in the sequence. Another painting from the sequence, Before the Ballet, is in the National Gallery of Art. and |Ballet Rehearsal is in the Yale University Art Gallery. When placed side by side in a frieze format, the paintings take on a decorative aspect although were not intended to be hung this way, it has been suggested that the 40-odd paintings collectively show how Degas examined his theory that the "intervals between figures and space were the basis for creating ornament". The Dance Lesson, National Gallery of Art Washington DC.

In-depth focus and examination of the 1879 painting