The Lechitic (or Lekhitic) languages are a language subgroup
consisting of Polish
and several other languages and dialects that originally were spoken in the area. It is one of the branches of the larger West Slavic
subgroup; the other branches of this subgroup are the Czech–Slovak languages
and the Sorbian languages
thumb|Kashubian jamboree in Łeba
in 2005 – banner showing the Kashubian name of [[Kartuzy County ]]
The Lechitic languages are:
* [[Polish language|Polish]] ([[ISO 639-1]] code: ''pl'', [[ISO 639-2]] code: ''pol''), used by approximately 38 million native speakers in Poland and several million elsewhere. Polish is considered to have several dialects
, including Greater Polish
, Lesser Polish
n, among others.
(ISO 639-2 code: ''csb''), used today by over 110,000 people (2011 census)
[Narodowy Spis Powszechny Ludności i Mieszkań 2011. Raport z wyników](_blank)
- Central Statistical Office of Poland
in the eastern part of Pomerania
. Sometimes it is considered a dialect of Polish
(ISO 639-3 code: ''szl''), used today by over 530,000 people (2011 census)
in Polish Silesia
and by some more people in Czech Silesia
. The different varieties of Silesian are generally considered to be dialects of Polish
, extinct since the early 20th century, a language formerly spoken in parts of Pomerania, sometimes identified with Kashubian and extinct Western Pomeranian dialects
as a single Pomeranian language
(which may also be considered a dialect of Polish);
: ''pox''), extinct since the mid 18th century, a language formerly spoken by Slavic peoples in areas around the Elbe
river in what is now the northeast of Germany.
Characteristics of Lechitic languages include:
* Preservation of nasal vowel
* Development of proto-Slavic
''ě'', ''e'', ''ę'' into ''a'', ''o'', ''ǫ'' before hard alveolar consonants (or other similar differentiations of these vowels depending on dialect). This gives rise to alternations such as modern Polish ''lato'' ("summer", nominative) vs. ''lecie'' (locative), ''pięć'' ("five") vs. ''piąty'' ("fifth").
* Retention of Proto-Slavic *''dz'' as an affricate, rather than a plain fricative ''z''.
* Lack of the ''g'' → ''ɣ'' transition. Compare Polish ''góra'', Czech ''hora'' ("mountain").
* The so-called fourth palatalization
in Polish and Kashubian: > before the front vowel .
The term ''Lechitic'' is applied both to the languages of this group and to Slavic peoples speaking these languages (known as Lechites
). The term is related to the name of the legendary Polish forefather Lech
and the name Lechia
by which Poland was formerly sometimes known. For more details, see ''Lechites
* Lech, Čech, and Rus