The Info List - Middle Low German

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MIDDLE LOW GERMAN or MIDDLE SAXON ( ISO 639 -3 code gml) is a language that is the descendant of Old Saxon
Old Saxon
and the ancestor of modern Low German . It served as the international lingua franca of the Hanseatic League . It was spoken from about 1100 to 1600.


* 1 Related languages * 2 History * 3 References * 4 Sources * 5 External links


Middle Low German
Low German
is a term used with varying degrees of inclusivity. It is distinguished from Middle High German
Middle High German
, spoken to the south, which was later replaced by Early New High German
Early New High German
. It is sometimes taken to mean the dialect continuum of all the other high medieval Continental West Germanic dialects, from Flanders
in the West to the eastern Baltic, but it is sometimes seen as separate from western varieties such as Middle Dutch .

Middle Low German
Low German
provided a large number of loanwords to languages spoken around the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
as a result of the activities of Hanseatic traders. It is considered the largest single source of loanwords in Danish , Estonian , Latvian , Norwegian and Swedish .


Middle Low German
Low German
was the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
, spoken all around the North Sea
North Sea
and the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
. It used to be thought that the language of Lübeck was dominant enough to become a normative standard (the so-called Lübecker Norm) for an emergent spoken and written standard, but more recent work has established that there is no evidence for this and that Middle Low German
Low German
was non-standardised.

Traces of the importance of Middle Low German
Low German
can be seen by the many loanwords found in the Scandinavian , Finnic , and Baltic languages
Baltic languages
, as well as standard German and English .

In the late Middle Ages, Middle Low German
Low German
lost its prestige to Early New High German, which was first used by elites as a written and, later, a spoken language. Reasons for this loss of prestige include the decline of the Hanseatic League, followed by political heteronomy of Northern Germany and the cultural predominance of Middle and Southern Germany during the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
and Luther\'s German translation of the Bible .


* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Middle Low German". Glottolog 2.7 . Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ "m" (PDF). The Linguasphere Register. p. 219. Retrieved 1 March 2013. * ^ D. Nicholas, 2009. The Northern Lands: Germanic Europe, c. 1270–c.1500. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 180-98. * ^ Mähl, S. (2012). Low German
Low German
texts from late medieval Sweden. In L. Elmevik and E. H. Jahr (eds), Contact between Low German
Low German
and Scandinavian in the Late Middle Ages: 25 Years of Research, Acta Academiae Regiae Gustavi Adolphi, 121. Uppsala: Kungl. Gustav Adolfs Akademien för svensk folkkultur. 113–22 (at p. 118).


* Bible translations into German * The Sachsenspiegel
* Reynke de Vos, a version of Reynard (at wikisource) * Low German
Low German
Incunable prints in Low German
Low German
as catalogued in the