Lower Sorbian () is a West Slavic minority language spoken in eastern Germany in the historical province of Lower Lusatia, today part of Brandenburg. Standard Lower Sorbian is one of the two literary Sorbian languages, the other being the more widely spoken standard Upper Sorbian. The Lower Sorbian literary standard was developed in the 18th century, based on a southern form of the Cottbus dialect. The standard variety of Lower Sorbian has received structural influence from Upper Sorbian. Lower Sorbian is spoken in and around the city of Cottbus in Brandenburg. Signs in this region are typically bilingual, and Cottbus has a ''Gymnasium'' where one language of instruction is Lower Sorbian. It is a heavily endangered language. Most native speakers today belong to the older generations.


The phonology of Lower Sorbian has been greatly influenced by contact with German, especially in Cottbus and larger towns. For example, German-influenced pronunciation tends to have a voiced uvular fricative instead of the alveolar trill . In villages and rural areas, German influence is less marked, and the pronunciation is more "typically Slavic".


* are bilabial, whereas are labiodental. * are alveolar , whereas are dental . * have been variously transcribed with and . Their actual phonetic realization is flat postalveolar in all of the Lower Sorbian-speaking area. This is unlike in standard Upper Sorbian, where these are palato-alveolar . * is voiceless , unlike Upper Sorbian, where it is voiced .

Final devoicing and assimilation

Lower Sorbian has both final devoicing and regressive voicing assimilation: *''dub'' "oak" is pronounced *''susedka'' "(female) neighbor" is pronounced *''licba'' "number" is pronounced The hard postalveolar fricative is assimilated to before : *''šćit'' "protection" is pronounced


The vowel inventory of Lower Sorbian is exactly the same as that of Upper Sorbian. It is also very similar to the vowel inventory of Slovene. * is retracted to after hard consonants. * are diphthongized to in slow speech. * The and distinctions are weakened or lost in unstressed syllables. * is phonetically central .


Stress in Lower Sorbian normally falls on the first syllable of the word: * ''Łužyca'' "Lusatia" * ''pśijaśel'' "friend" * ''Chóśebuz'' "Cottbus" In loanwords, stress may fall on any of the last three syllables: * ''internat'' "boarding school" * ''kontrola'' "control" * ''september'' "September" * ''policija'' "police" * ''organizacija'' "organization" Most one-syllable prepositions attract the stress to themselves when they precede a noun or pronoun of one or two syllables: * ''na dwórje'' "on the courtyard" * ''pśi mnjo'' "near me" * ''do města'' "into the city" (note that the of ''město'' becomes when unstressed) However, nouns of three or more syllables retain their stress: * ''pśed wucabnikom'' "in front of the teacher" * ''na drogowanju'' "on a journey"


The Sorbian alphabet is based on the Latin script but uses diacritics such as the acute accent and caron.


Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Lower Sorbian:
(All people are born free and equal in their dignity and rights. They are given reason and conscience and they shall create their relationships to one another according to the spirit of brotherhood.)Omniglot

See also

* Upper Sorbian language



* * * * *

External links

Online course for Lower and Upper Sorbian
(English, Sorbian, German)

Lower Sorbian Vocabulary List
(from the World Loanword Database)


Czech-Lower Sorbian and Lower Sorbian-Czech

Slovník DolnoLužická Srbština <=> Čeština

German–Lower Sorbian

Deutsch-Niedersorbisches Wörterbuch
at dolnoserbski.de
Korpus GENIE – GEsprochenes NIEdersorbisch/Wendisch

Lower Sorbian–German

Dolnoserbsko-nimske słowniki
at dolnoserbski.de]
Lexikalische Übungen und Terminologie
at the Universität Leipzig {{DEFAULTSORT:Lower Sorbian Language Category:Lower Sorbian language| Category:Endangered Slavic languages Sorbian, Lower Category:Sorbian culture Category:Sorbian languages Sorbian, Lower