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Plattdüütsch German : Niederdeutsch, Dutch : Nederduits

NATIVE TO Northern Germany
Northern Germany
Western Germany Eastern Netherlands
Netherlands
Southern Denmark
Southern Denmark

ETHNICITY Dutch , Frisians
Frisians
and Germans
Germans
; Historically Saxons
Saxons
( Germanic peoples and modern regional subgroup of Germans)

NATIVE SPEAKERS Unknown (est. 6.7 million) Up to 10 million second-language speakers (1996)

LANGUAGE FAMILY Indo-European

* Germanic

* West Germanic

* Ingvaeonic

* LOW GERMAN

EARLY FORMS Old Saxon

* Middle Low German

DIALECTS

* West Low German
West Low German
* East Low German

OFFICIAL STATUS

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IN

Germany
Germany
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
Hamburg
Hamburg
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Netherlands
Netherlands

Recognised minority language in Mexico
Mexico
(100,000)

Bolivia
Bolivia
(70,000) Paraguay
Paraguay
(30,000)

LANGUAGE CODES

ISO 639-2 nds

ISO 639-3 nds (Dutch varieties and Westphalian have separate codes)

GLOTTOLOG lowg1239 Low German
Low German

LINGUASPHERE 52-ACB

Approximate area in which Low German/Low Saxon dialects are spoken in Europe.

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS IPA PHONETIC SYMBOLS. Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode
Unicode
characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA .

LOW GERMAN or LOW SAXON ( Low German
Low German
Plattdütsch, Plattdüütsch, Nedderdüütsch; Platduuts, Nedderduuts; German : Plattdeutsch, Niederdeutsche Dialekte; Dutch : Nedersaksisch, or Nederduits in the wider sense) is a West Germanic language spoken mainly in northern Germany
Germany
and the eastern part of the Netherlands
Netherlands
. It is also spoken to a lesser extent in the German diaspora
German diaspora
worldwide, notably the Plautdietsch
Plautdietsch
, by ethnic Frisians
Frisians
wherever Friso-Saxon dialects are spoken, and in Southern Denmark
Southern Denmark
.

As an Ingvaeonic language , Low German
Low German
is quite distinct from the Irminonic (High German ) languages like Standard German , and closely related to Dutch , Frisian and English. This difference resulted from the High German consonant shift
High German consonant shift
, with the Uerdingen and Benrath lines being two notable linguistic borders.

It has been estimated that Low German
Low German
has approximately 6.7 million native speakers – 5 million in Germany, primarily Northern Germany, and 1.7 million in the Netherlands.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geographical extent

* 1.1 Inside Europe * 1.2 Outside Europe and the Mennonites

* 2 Nomenclature

* 3 Classification

* 3.1 A language or a mere dialect? * 3.2 Legal status

* 4 Varieties of Low German
Low German

* 4.1 In Germany
Germany
* 4.2 In the Netherlands
Netherlands

* 5 History

* 5.1 Old Saxon * 5.2 Middle Low German

* 5.3 Contemporary

* 5.3.1 Germany
Germany
* 5.3.2 Netherlands
Netherlands

* 6 Sound change

* 7 Grammar

* 7.1 Nouns * 7.2 Dative den/dän * 7.3 Verbs * 7.4 Adjectives * 7.5 Personal pronouns

* 8 Phonology

* 8.1 Consonants

* 9 Writing system * 10 Notable Low German
Low German
Writers * 11 See also * 12 References * 13 Bibliography

* 14 External links

* 14.1 Online dictionaries * 14.2 Information * 14.3 Organizations

GEOGRAPHICAL EXTENT

INSIDE EUROPE

City limits sign: this city is called Emlichheim in Standard German and Emmelkamp in Low German
Low German
(and Dutch).

It has been estimated that Low German
Low German
has approximately 6.7 million native speakers – 5 million in Germany, primarily Northern Germany, and 1.7 million in the Netherlands.

Dialects of Low German
Low German
are spoken in the northeastern area of the Netherlands
Netherlands
( Dutch Low Saxon ) and are written there with an unstandardised orthography based on Standard Dutch orthography. The position of the language is according to UNESCO vulnerable. Between 1995 and 2011 the numbers of speakers of parents dropped from 34% in 1995 to 15% in 2011. Numbers of speakers of their children dropped in the same period from 8% to 2%.

Variants of Low German
Low German
are spoken in most parts of Northern Germany
Northern Germany
, for instance in the states of Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
, North Rhine-Westphalia , Hamburg
Hamburg
, Bremen
Bremen
, Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
, Saxony-Anhalt , and Brandenburg . Small portions of northern Hesse
Hesse
and northern Thuringia
Thuringia
are traditionally Low Saxon-speaking too. Historically, Low German
Low German
was also spoken in formerly German parts of Poland
Poland
as well as in East Prussia
East Prussia
and the Baltic States
Baltic States
of Estonia
Estonia
and Latvia
Latvia
. The Baltic Germans
Germans
spoke a distinct Low German
Low German
dialect, which has influenced the vocabulary and phonetics of both Estonian and Latvian languages. The areas numbered 1–10, in shades of brown and yellow, are varieties of Low German
Low German
and the areas in which they are or have been spoken. (Areas 11–15, in orange and pink, represent Low Franconian languages
Low Franconian languages
.)

The language was also formerly spoken in the outer areas of what is now the city-state of Berlin
Berlin
, but in the course of urbanisation and national centralisation in that city, the language has vanished (the Berlin
Berlin
dialect itself is a northern outpost of High German ). Under the name Low Saxon, there are speakers in the Dutch north-eastern provinces of Groningen , Drenthe
Drenthe
, Stellingwerf (part of Friesland
Friesland
), Overijssel , and Gelderland
Gelderland
, in several dialect groups per province.

The historical Sprachraum of Low German
Low German
also included contemporary northern Poland
Poland
, East Prussia
East Prussia
(the modern Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia
Russia
), a part of western Lithuania
Lithuania
, and the German communities in the Baltic states, most notably the Hanseatic cities of modern Latvia and Estonia
Estonia
. German speakers in this area fled the Red Army
Red Army
or were forcibly expelled after the border changes at the end of World War II .

Today, there are still speakers outside Germany
Germany
and the Netherlands to be found in the coastal areas of present-day Poland
Poland
(minority of ethnic German East Pomeranian speakers who were not expelled from Pomerania , as well as the regions around Braniewo
Braniewo
). In the Southern Jutland
Jutland
region of Denmark
Denmark
there may still be some Low German
Low German
speakers in some German minority communities, but the Low German
Low German
and North Frisian dialects of Denmark
Denmark
can be considered moribund at this time.

OUTSIDE EUROPE AND THE MENNONITES

Main articles: Plautdietsch
Plautdietsch
and East Low German

Approximate distribution of native speakers of German or a German variety outside Europe (according to Ethnologue 2016 unless referenced otherwise) Numbers of speakers should not be summed up per country, as they most likely overlap considerably. Table includes varieties with disputed statuses as separate language.

STANDARD GERMAN HUNSRIK/HUNSRüCKISCH LOW GERMAN "> A public school in Witmarsum Colony (Paraná , Southern Brazil
Brazil
), teaches in the Portuguese language
Portuguese language
and in Plautdietsch.

East Pomeranian is also spoken in parts of Southern and Southeastern Brazil, in the latter especially in the state of Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo
, being official in five municipalities, and spoken among its ethnically European migrants elsewhere, primarily in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Rondônia . East Pomeranian-speaking regions of Southern Brazil are often assimilated into the general German Brazilian
German Brazilian
population and culture, for example celebrating the Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest
, and there can even be a language shift from it to Riograndenser Hunsrückisch in some areas. In Espírito Santo, nevertheless, Pomeranian Brazilians are more often proud of their language, and particular religious traditions and culture, and not uncommonly inheriting the nationalism of their ancestors, being more likely to accept marriages of its members with Brazilians of origins other than a Germanic Central European one than to assimilate with Brazilians of Swiss , Austrian , Czech , and non-East Pomeranian-speaking German and Prussian heritage – that were much more numerous immigrants to both Brazilian regions (and whose language almost faded out in the latter, due to assimilation and internal migration), by themselves less numerous than the Italian ones (with only Venetian communities in areas of highly Venetian presence conserving Talian , and other Italian languages and dialects fading out elsewhere).

NOMENCLATURE

There are different uses of the term "Low German":

* A specific name of any West Germanic varieties that neither have taken part in the High German consonant shift
High German consonant shift
nor classify as Low Franconian or Anglo-Frisian ; this is the scope discussed in this article. * A broader term for the closely related, continental West Germanic languages unaffected by the High German consonant shift, nor classifying as Anglo-Frisian , and thus including Low Franconian varieties spoken in Germany
Germany
such as Kleverlandish, but not those in the Netherlands, thus excluding Dutch .

In Germany, native speakers of Low German
Low German
call their language Platt, Plattdüütsch or Nedderdüütsch. In the Netherlands, native speakers refer to their language as dialect, plat, nedersaksies, or the name of their village, town or district.

Officially, Low German
Low German
is called Niederdeutsch (Nether or Low German) by the German authorities and Nedersaksisch (Nether or Low Saxon) by the Dutch authorities. Plattdeutsch, Niederdeutsch and Platduits, Nedersaksisch are seen in linguistic texts from the German and Dutch linguistic communities respectively.

In Danish it is called Plattysk, Nedertysk or, rarely, Lavtysk. Mennonite Low German
Low German
is called Plautdietsch
Plautdietsch
.

"Low" refers to the flat plains and coastal area of the northern European lowlands , contrasted with the mountainous areas of central and southern Germany, Switzerland
Switzerland
, and Austria
Austria
, where High German (Highland German) is spoken. Etymologically however, Platt meant "clear" in the sense of a language the simple people could understand. In Dutch, the word Plat can also mean improper, or rude, which is why the term isn't popular in the Netherlands.

The colloquial term Platt denotes both Low German
Low German
dialects and any non-standard Western variety of German ; this use is chiefly found in northern and Western Germany and is not considered to be linguistically correct.

The ISO 639-2 language code for Low German
Low German
(Low Saxon) has been NDS (NeDerSaksisch or NeDderSassisch) since May 2000.

CLASSIFICATION

Low German
Low German
is a part of the continental West Germanic dialect continuum . To the West, it blends into the Low Franconian languages
Low Franconian languages
, including Dutch . A distinguishing feature between the Southern Low Franconian varieties and Low German
Low German
varieties is the plural of the verbs. Low German
Low German
varieties have a common verbal plural ending, whereas Southern Low Franconian
Low Franconian
varieties have a different form for the second person plural. Northern Low Franconian
Low Franconian
varieties, including standard Dutch , have also developed a common verbal plural ending.

To the South, Low German
Low German
blends into the High German dialects of Central German
Central German
that have been affected by the High German consonant shift . The division is usually drawn at the Benrath line that traces the maken – machen isogloss .

To the East, it abuts the Kashubian language (the only remnant of the Pomeranian language ) and, since the expulsion of nearly all Germans from the Polish part of Pomerania following the Second World War, also by the Polish language
Polish language
. East Pomeranian and Central Pomeranian are dialects of Low German.

To the North and Northwest, it abuts the Danish and the Frisian languages . Note that in Germany, Low German
Low German
has replaced the Frisian languages in many regions. Saterland Frisian is the only remnant of East Frisian language and is surrounded by Low German, as are the few remaining North Frisian varieties, and the Low German
Low German
dialects of those regions have influences from Frisian substrates.

Some classify the northern dialects of Low German
Low German
together with English and Frisian as the North Sea
North Sea
Germanic or Ingvaeonic languages. However, most exclude Low German
Low German
from that group often called Anglo- Frisian languages
Frisian languages
because some distinctive features of that group of languages are only partially observed in Low German, for instance the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law
Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law
(some dialects have us, os for "us" whereas others have uns, ons), and because other distinctive features do not occur in Low German
Low German
at all, for instance the palatalization of /k/ (compare palatalized forms such as English cheese, Frisian tsiis to non-palatalized forms such as Low German
Low German
Kees or Kaise, Dutch kaas, German Käse).

A LANGUAGE OR A MERE DIALECT?

The question of whether Low German, as spoken today, should be considered a separate language, rather than a dialect of German or even Dutch , has been a point of contention. Linguistics
Linguistics
offers no simple, generally accepted criterion to decide this question.

Scholarly arguments have been put forward in favour of classifying Low German
Low German
as a German dialect. As said, these arguments are not linguistic but rather socio-political and build mainly around the fact that Low German
Low German
has no official standard form or use in sophisticated media. The situation of Low German
Low German
may thus be considered a "pseudo-dialectized abstand language " ("scheindialektisierte Abstandsprache"). In contrast, Old Saxon and Middle Low German are generally considered separate languages in their own rights. Since Low German has undergone a strong decline since the 18th century, the perceived similarities with High German or Dutch may often be direct adaptations from the dominating standard language, resulting in a growing incapability of speakers to speak correctly what was once Low German proper.

Others have argued for the independence of today's Low German dialects, taken as continuous outflow of the Old Saxon and Middle Low German tradition.

LEGAL STATUS

Low German
Low German
has been recognized by the Netherlands
Netherlands
and by Germany (since 1999) as a regional language according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages . Within the official terminology defined in the charter, this status would not be available to a dialect of an official language (as per article 1a), and hence not to Low German
Low German
in Germany
Germany
if it were considered a dialect of German. Advocates of the promotion of Low German
Low German
have expressed considerable hope that this political development will at once lend legitimacy to their claim that Low German
Low German
is a separate language, and help mitigate the functional limits of the language that may still be cited as objective criteria for a mere dialect (such as the virtually complete absence from legal and administrative contexts, schools, the media, etc.).

At the request of Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
, the German government has declared Low German
Low German
as a regional language . German offices in Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
are obliged to accept and handle applications in Low German
Low German
on the same footing as Standard High German applications. The Bundesgerichtshof ruled in a case that this was even to be done at the patent office in Munich
Munich
, in a non– Low German
Low German
region , when the applicant then had to pay the charge for a translator, because applications in Low German
Low German
are considered "nicht in deutscher Sprache abgefasst" (not written in the German language).

VARIETIES OF LOW GERMAN

IN GERMANY

* West Low German
West Low German

* East Frisian Low Saxon * Northern Low Saxon, included Grafschaft Bentheim and Emsland * Westphalian language, without Grafschaft Bentheim and Emsland * Eastphalian language

* East Low German

* Brandenburgisch * Mecklenburgisch-Vorpommersch * Mittelpommersch * East Pomeranian * Low Prussian * Plautdietsch
Plautdietsch
( Mennonite Low German, used also in many other countries)

IN THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch Low Saxon varieties, which are also defined as Dutch dialects, consist of:

* Gronings and Noord- Drents
Drents

* Hogelandsters * Oldambtsters * Stadsgronings * Veenkoloniaals

* Westerkwartiers

* Kollumerpompsters * Kollumerlands * Middaglands * Midden-Westerkwartiers * Zuid-Westerkwartiers

* Westerwolds

* Stellingwerfs

* Drents
Drents

* Midden- Drents
Drents
* Zuid- Drents
Drents

* Twents

* Twents-Graafschaps * Twents

* Gelders-Overijssels

* Achterhoeks * Sallands * Oost-Veluws (partly classified as Veluws) * Urkers

* Veluws

* Oost-Veluws (partly classified as Gelders-Overijssels) * West- Veluws

HISTORY

Main article: History of Low German

OLD SAXON

Main article: Old Saxon

OLD SAXON, also known as OLD LOW GERMAN, is a West Germanic language. It is documented from the 9th century until the 12th century, when it evolved into Middle Low German . It was spoken on the north-west coast of Germany
Germany
and in Denmark
Denmark
by Saxon peoples . It is closely related to Old Anglo-Frisian ( Old Frisian , Old English
Old English
), partially participating in the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law
Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law
.

Only a few texts survive, predominantly in baptismal vows the Saxons were required to perform at the behest of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
. The only literary texts preserved are Heliand and the Old Saxon Genesis .

MIDDLE LOW GERMAN

Main article: Middle Low German

The Middle Low German language
German language
is an ancestor of modern Low German. It was spoken from about 1100 to 1600. The neighbouring languages within the dialect continuum of the West Germanic languages
Germanic languages
were Middle Dutch in the West and Middle High German in the South, later substituted by Early New High German . Middle Low German was the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
, spoken all around the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
. It had a significant influence on the Scandinavian languages . Based on the language of Lübeck , a standardized written language was developing, though it was never codified.

CONTEMPORARY

There is a distinction between the German and the Dutch Low Saxon/Low German situation.

Germany

After mass education in Germany
Germany
in the 19th and 20th centuries, the slow decline which Low German
Low German
had been experiencing since the end of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
turned into a free fall. The decision to exclude Low German
Low German
in formal education was not without controversy, however. On one hand, proponents of Low German
Low German
advocated that since it had a strong cultural and historical value and was the native language of students in northern Germany, it had a place in the classroom. On the other hand, High German was considered the language of education, science, and national unity, and since schools promoted these values, High German was seen as the best candidate for the language of instruction.

Initially, regional languages and dialects were thought to limit the intellectual ability of their speakers. Because of Low German’s archaic features and constructions, historical linguists considered it “backwards.” It wasn’t until the efforts of proponents such as Klaus Groth that this impression changed. Groth’s publications demonstrated that Low German
Low German
was a valuable language in its own right, and he was able to convince others that Low German
Low German
was suitable for literary arts and was a national treasure worth keeping.

Through the works of advocates like Groth, both proponents and opponents of Low German
Low German
in formal education saw the language’s innate value as the cultural and historical language of northern Germany. Nevertheless, the opponents claimed that it should simply remain a spoken and informal language to be used on the street and in the home, but not in formal schooling. According to them, it simply did not match the nationally unifying power of High German. As a result, while Low German
Low German
literature was deemed worthy of being taught in school, High German was chosen as the language of scholarly instruction. With High German the language of education and Low German the language of the home and daily life, a stable diglossia developed in Northern Germany. Various Low German
Low German
dialects are understood by 10 million people, and native to about 3 million people all around northern Germany.

The KDE
KDE
project supports Low German
Low German
(nds) as a language for its computer desktop environment, as does the GNOME
GNOME
Desktop Project. Open source software has been translated into Low German; this used to be coordinated via a page on Sourceforge, but as of 2015, the most active project is that of KDE.

Netherlands

In the early 20th century, scholars in the Netherlands
Netherlands
argued that speaking dialects hindered language acquisition, and it was therefore strongly discouraged. Many parents, however, continued to speak Low Saxon with their children, since they could not speak anything else, nor did they need to; many of the eastern Dutch towns and villages were largely self-reliant, and located far from the economic heart of the country.

As education improved, and mass communication became more widespread, the Low Saxon dialects declined. People in rural areas up to the 1980s often have one of the Low Saxon dialects as one of their first languages, although decline has been greater in urban centres of the Low Saxon regions. When in 1975 dialect folk and rock bands such as Normaal and Boh Foi Toch (nl) became successful with their overt disapproval of what they experienced as "misplaced Dutch snobbery" and the Western Dutch contempt for (speakers of) Low Saxon dialects, they gained a following among the more rurally oriented inhabitants, launching Low Saxon as a sub-culture. They inspired contemporary dialect artists and rock bands, such as Daniël Lohues (nl), Mooi Wark (Nl), Jovink en de Voederbietels (Nl), Hádiejan (Nl) Nonetheless, the position of the language is vulnerable according to UNESCO. Between 1995 and 2011 the numbers of speakers of parents dropped from 34% in 1995 to 15% in 2011. Numbers of speakers of their children dropped in the same period from 8% to 2%. Low Saxon is still spoken more widely than in Northern Germany. A 2005 study showed that in the Tweante region 62% of the inhabitants used Low Saxon daily, and up to 75% regularly. Efforts are made in Germany
Germany
and in the Netherlands
Netherlands
to protect Low German
Low German
as a regional language .

SOUND CHANGE

As with the Anglo- Frisian languages
Frisian languages
and the North Germanic languages , Low German
Low German
has not been influenced by the High German consonant shift except for old /ð/ having shifted to /d/. Therefore, a lot of Low German
Low German
words sound similar to their English counterparts. One feature that does distinguish Low German
Low German
from English generally is final devoicing of obstruents, as exemplified by the words 'good' and 'wind' below. This is a characteristic of Dutch and German as well and involves positional neutralization of voicing contrast in the coda position for obstruents (i.e. t = d at the end of a syllable.) This is not used in English except in the Yorkshire dialect , where there is a process known as Yorkshire assimilation .

For instance: water , later , bit , dish , ship , pull , good , clock , sail , he , storm , wind , grass , hold , old .

The table below shows the relationship between Low German
Low German
consonants which were unaffected by this chain shift and their equivalents in other West Germanic languages; Swedish (a North Germanic language) is also shown for comparison.

PROTO-GERMANIC HIGH GERMAN LOW GERMAN DUTCH ENGLISH GERMAN FRISIAN SWEDISH

-k- -ch- maken maken make machen meitsje maka (arch.)

k- k- Keerl (fellow) kerel churl Kerl * tsjirl (arch.) karl

d- t- Dag dag day Tag dei dag

-t- -ss- eten eten eat essen ite äta

t- z- (/t͡s/) teihn tien ten zehn tsien tio

-tt- -tz-, -z- (/t͡s/) sitten zitten sit sitzen sitte sitta

-p -f, -ff Schipp, Schepp schip ship Schiff skip skepp ***

p- pf- Peper peper pepper Pfeffer piper peppar

-β- -b- Wief, Wiever wijf, wijven ** wife, wives Weib, Weiber ** wiif, wiven viv **

Notes: * German Kerl is a loanword from Low German
Low German
** The series Wief–wijf, etc. are cognates , not semantic equivalents. The meanings of some of these words have shifted over time. For example, the correct equivalent term for "wife" in modern Dutch, German and Swedish is vrouw, Frau and fru respectively; using wijf, Weib or viv for a human is considered archaic in Swedish and nowadays derogatory in Dutch and German, comparable to "wicked girl ". No cognate to Frau / vrouw / fru has survived in English (compare Old English
Old English
frōwe "lady"; the English word frow "woman, lady" rather being a borrowing of the Middle Dutch word). *** Pronounced shepp since the 17th century

GRAMMAR

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Generally speaking, Low German
Low German
grammar shows similarities with the grammars of Dutch , Frisian , English , and Scots , but the dialects of Northern Germany
Northern Germany
share some features (especially lexical and syntactic features) with German dialects.

NOUNS

Low German
Low German
declension has only two morphologically marked noun cases, where accusative and dative together constitute an oblique case , and the genitive case has been lost.

Example case marking: Boom (tree), Bloom (flower), Land (land)

MASCULINE FEMININE NEUTER

SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL

NOMINATIVE en Boom, DE Boom Bööm, de Bööm nö Bloom, de Bloom Blomen, de Blomen en Land, dat Land Lannen, de Lannen

OBLIQUE en Boom, DEN Boom Bööm, de Bööm nö Bloom, de Bloom Blomen, de Blomen en Land, dat Land Lannen, de Lannen

DATIVE DEN/DäN

In most modern dialects, the nominative and oblique cases are primarily distinguished only in the singular of masculine nouns . In some Low German
Low German
dialects, the genitive case is distinguished as well (e.g. varieties of Mennonite Low German.) It is marked in the masculine gender by changing the masculine definite determiner 'de' from de to den/dän. By contrast, German distinguishes four cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, and dative. So, for example, the definite article of the masculine singular has the forms: der (nom), den (acc), des (gen), and dem (dat.) Thus case marking in Low German is simpler than in German .

VERBS

In Low German
Low German
verbs are conjugated for person, number, and tense. Verb conjugation for person is only differentiated in the singular. There are five tenses in Low German: present tense , preterite , perfect , and pluperfect , and in Mennonite Low German
Low German
the present perfect which signifies a remaining effect from a past finished action. For example, "Ekj sie jekomen", "I am come", means that the speaker came and he is still at the place to which he came as a result of his completed action.

Example verb conjugation: slapen, "to sleep"

PRESENT PRETERITE PERFECT

SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL

1ST PERSON ik slaap wi slaapt/slapen ik sleep wi slepen ik heff slapen wi hebbt/hebben slapen

2ND PERSON du slöppst ji slaapt/slapen du sleepst ji slepen du hest slapen ji hebbt/hebben slapen

3RD PERSON he, se, dat slöppt se slaapt/slapen he, se, dat sleep se slepen he, se, dat hett slapen se hebbt/hebben slapen

Unlike Dutch , German , and southern Low German, the northern dialects form the participle without the prefix ge-, like the Scandinavian languages , Frisian and English . Compare to the German past participle GEschlafen. This past participle is formed with the auxiliary verbs hebben "to have" and wesen/sien "to be". It should be noted that e- is used instead of ge- in most Southern (below Groningen in the Netherlands
Netherlands
) dialects , though often not when the past participle ends with -en or in a few oft-used words like west (been).

The reason for the two conjugations shown in the plural is regional: dialects in the central area use -t while the dialects in East Frisia and the dialects in Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
and further east use -en. The -en suffix is of Dutch influence. The -t ending is however more often encountered, even in areas where -en endings were prominent due to the fact that these -t endings are seen as kennzeichnend Niederdeutsch, that is to say a well-known feature of Low German.

There are 26 verb affixes.

There is also a progressive form of verbs in present, corresponding to the same in the Dutch language. It is formed with wesen (to be), the preposition an (at) and "dat" (the/it).

LOW GERMAN DUTCH ENGLISH

MAIN FORM Ik bün an't Maken. Ik ben aan het maken. I am making.

MAIN FORM 2 Ik do maken.1 - -

ALTERNATIVE FORM Ik bün an'n Maken.2 Ik ben aan het maken. -

ALTERNATIVE FORM 2 Ik bün maken.3 Ik ben makende. I am making.

1 Instead of 'to wesen, sien (to be) Saxon uses doon (to do) to make to present continuous. 2 Many see the 'n as an old dative ending of dat which only occurs when being shortened after prepositions. This is actually the most frequently-used form in colloquial Low German. 3 This form is archaic and mostly unknown to Low German
Low German
speakers. It is the same pattern as in the English example "I am making." The present participle has the same form as the infinitive: maken is either "to make" or "making".

ADJECTIVES

The forms of Low German’s adjectives are distinct from other closely related languages such as German and English. These forms fall somewhere in between these two languages. Unlike German, Low German does not have a distinction for strong and weak forms of adjectives. However, its adjectives still do have endings, whereas English adjectives do not. The adjectives in Low German
Low German
make a distinction between singular and plural to agree with the nouns that it modifies. To express the difference between the singular and plural, Low German uses the following adjective endings:

ADJECTIVE ENDING EXAMPLE GLOSS

(zero) lütt small

-e (singular) dat lütte Huus the small house

-en (plural) de lütten Hüüs the small houses

PERSONAL PRONOUNS

Like German, Low German
Low German
maintains the historical Germanic distinction between the second person singular and second person plural. In English and German, this distinction would translate to “thou” and “du” referring to one person, and “ye” and “ihr” referring to more than one person. The second person pronouns for each case are given below to further illustrate this distinction.

CASE SINGULAR PLURAL

Nominative du “thou” ji “ye”

Accusative di “thee” jug “you”

Dative di “thee” jug “you”

Genitive din, dinen “thy” jug’ “your”

In the genitive (possessive) case, the pronoun functions in the same way as an adjective and so it may take an ending if needed to match the singular or plural status of the noun it is modifying. So, for example, if “you” possess multiple books, then would be used to express that the singular second person possesses multiple objects: the books. If several people in the second person (“you all”) possessed multiple books, then would be used instead.

PHONOLOGY

CONSONANTS

Since there is no standard Low German, there is no standard Low German consonant system. However, one trait present in the whole Low German speaking area, is the retraction of /s z/ to . However, there are speakers with non-retracted .

The table shows the consonant system of North Saxon, a West Low Saxon dialect.

LABIAL ALVEOLAR POSTALVEOLAR PALATAL-VELAR GLOTTAL

PLOSIVE p b t d

k ɡ

FRICATIVE f v s z ʃ x ɣ h

NASAL m n

ŋ

APPROXIMANT /TRILL

r l

WRITING SYSTEM

Low German
Low German
is written using the Latin alphabet . There is no true standard orthography , only several locally more or less accepted orthographic guidelines, those in the Netherlands
Netherlands
mostly based on Dutch orthography, and those in Germany
Germany
mostly based on German orthography. To the latter group belongs the standard orthography devised by Johannes Sass . It is mostly used by modern official publications and internet sites, especially the Low German. This diversity, a result of centuries of official neglect and suppression, has a very fragmenting and thus weakening effect on the language as a whole, since it has created barriers that do not exist on the spoken level. Interregional and international communication is severely hampered by this. Most of these systems aim at representing the phonetic (allophonic ) output rather than underlying (phonemic ) representations, but trying to conserve many etymological spellings. Furthermore, many writers follow guidelines only roughly. This adds numerous idiosyncratic and often inconsistent ways of spelling to the already existing great orthographic diversity.

In 2011, writers of the Dutch Low Saxon developed a spelling that would be suitable and applicable to all varieties of Low Saxon in the Netherlands, although the semi-official dialect institutes have not picked up on this, or indicated that they believed that yet another writing system will only further confuse dialect writers rather than suit them. The new spelling was introduced to the Dutch Low Saxon to unify the spelling of categories, templates and comparable source code writings.

NOTABLE LOW GERMAN WRITERS

* Heinrich Bandlow * Eggerik Beninga * Hans-Friedrich Blunck * Reuben Epp * Gorch Fock * Johannes Gillhoff * Klaus Groth * August Hermann * Fritz Reuter * Julius Stinde
Julius Stinde
* Albert Suho * Rudolf Tarnow * Wilhelm Wieben * Balthasar Russow

SEE ALSO

* 1614 Low German Bible * Bible translations into German * Friar Rush * Hamborger Veermaster * The Juniper Tree (fairy tale) * Meuse-Rhenish * Moin * Ohnsorg-Theater
Ohnsorg-Theater
* Masurian dialect

REFERENCES

* ^ Saxon, Low Ethnologue.

* ^ German : § 23 Absatz 1 Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (Bund). Die Frage, ob unter deutsch rechtlich ausschließlich die hochdeutsche oder auch die niederdeutsche Sprache subsumiert wird, wird juristisch uneinheitlich beantwortet: Während der BGH in einer Entscheidung zu Gebrauchsmustereinreichung beim Deutschen Patent- und Markenamt in plattdeutscher Sprache das Niederdeutsche einer Fremdsprache gleichstellt („Niederdeutsche (plattdeutsche) Anmeldeunterlagen sind im Sinn des § 4a Abs. 1 Satz 1 GebrMG nicht in deutscher Sprache abgefaßt.“ – BGH-Beschluss vom 19. November 2002, Az. X ZB 23/01), ist nach dem Kommentar von Foerster/Friedersen/Rohde zu § 82a des Landesverwaltungsgesetzes Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
unter Verweis auf Entscheidungen höherer Gerichte zu § 184 des Gerichtsverfassungsgesetzes seit 1927 (OLG Oldenburg, 10. Oktober 1927 – K 48, HRR 1928, 392) unter dem Begriff deutsche Sprache sowohl Hochdeutsch wie auch Niederdeutsch zu verstehen. * ^ Unterschiedliche Rechtsauffassungen, ob Niederdeutsch in Deutschland insgesamt Amtssprache ist – siehe dazu: Amtssprache (Deutschland) ; zumindest aber in Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
und Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
* ^ Maas, Sabine (2014). Twents op sterven na dood? : een sociolinguïstisch onderzoek naar dialectgebruik in Borne. Münster New York: Waxmann. p. 19. ISBN 3830980337 . * ^ Cascante, Manuel M. (8 August 2012). "Los menonitas dejan México". ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 February 2013. Los cien mil miembros de esta comunidad anabaptista, establecida en Chihuahua desde 1922, se plantean emigrar a la república rusa de Tartaristán, que se ofrece a acogerlos * ^ Los Menonitas en Bolivia
Bolivia
Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. CNN en Español * ^ El Comercio: Menonitas cumplen 85 años en Paraguay
Paraguay
con prosperidad sin precedentes * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Low German". Glottolog 2.7 . Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ Lower Saxony, Encyclopædia Britannica , ", a dialect closely related to Dutch, Frisian, and English, is quite distinct from the official High German..." * ^ A B "Gechattet wird auf Plattdeusch". Noz.de. Retrieved 2014-03-14. * ^ A B The Other Languages of Europe: Demographic, Sociolinguistic, and Educational Perspectives by Guus Extra, Durk Gorter; Multilingual Matters, 2001 - 454; page 10. * ^ A B "UNESCO Atlas of the World\'s Languages in danger". www.unesco.org. * ^ A B Driessen, Geert (2012). "Ontwikkelingen in het gebruik van Fries, streektalen en dialecten in de periode 1995-2011" (PDF). Radboud University Nijmegen. Retrieved 2017-04-29. * ^ Ethnologue 19th Edition (2016) * ^ U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration - Language Use in the United States: 2007 * ^ "Platdietsch". 2008-01-27. Retrieved 2008-02-29. * ^ "O trilinguismo no Colégio Fritz Kliewer de Witmarsum. (Paraná) " (PDF) (in Portuguese). Elvine Siemens Dück. Retrieved 23 September 2012. * ^ (in Portuguese) Claudio Vereza, Espírito Santo\'s state assemblyman by the Workers\' Party The Pomeranian people in Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo
Archived 21 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine