The Info List - Middle Low German

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Middle Low German
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, or 1200 to 1650.


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

Related languages[edit] Middle Low German
Low German
is a term used with varying degrees of inclusivity. It is distinguished from Middle High German, spoken to the south, which was later replaced by 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.[3] 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. History[edit] Sub-periods of Middle Low German
Low German
are: [4]

Early Middle Low German
Low German
(German: Frühmittelniederdeutsch): 1200–1370 Classical Middle Low German
Low German
(German: klassisches Mittelniederdeutsch): 1370–1530 Late Middle Low German
Low German
(German: Spätmittelniederdeutsch): 1530–1650

Middle Low German
Low German
was the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League, spoken all around the North Sea
North Sea
and the 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.[5] 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, 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. References[edit]

^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Middle Low German". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: 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. ^ Hilkert Weddige, Mittelhochdeutsch: Eine Einführung. 7th ed., 2007, p. 7 ^ 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 Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke, including the Low German
Low German
Ship of Fools, Danse Macabre and the novel Paris und Vienne

External links[edit]

A grammar and chrestomathy of Middle Low German
Low German
by Heinrich August Lübben (1882) (in German), at the Internet Archive A grammar of Middle Low German
Low German
(1914) by Agathe Lasch
Agathe Lasch
(in German), at the Internet Archive Schiller-Lübben: A Middle Low German
Low German
to German dictionary by Schiller/Lübben (1875) at Mediaevum.de and at the Internet Archive Project TITUS, including texts in Middle Low German A Middle Low German
Low German
to German dictionary by Gerhard Köbler (2010) Middle Low German
Low German
influence on the Scandinavian languages

v t e

Philology of Germanic languages


North East West — Elbe Weser-Rhine North Sea

Northwest Gotho-Nordic South


Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic grammar Germanic parent language

Historical languages


Proto-Norse Old Norse Old Swedish Old Gutnish Norn Greenlandic Norse Old Norwegian Middle Norwegian


Gothic Crimean Gothic Vandalic Burgundian


Old Saxon Middle Low German Old High German Middle High German Frankish Old Dutch Middle Dutch Old Frisian Middle Frisian Old English Middle English Early Scots Middle Scots Lombardic

Modern languages

Afrikaans Alemannic Cimbrian Danish Dutch English Faroese German Icelandic Limburgish Low German Mennonite Low German Luxembourgish North Frisian Norwegian Saterland Frisian Scots Swedish West Frisian Yiddish

Diachronic features

Grimm's law Verner's law Holtzmann's law Sievers' law Kluge's law Germanic substrate hypothesis West Germanic gemination High German consonant shift Germanic a-mutation Germanic umlaut Germanic spirant law Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law Great Vowel Shift

Synchronic features

Germanic verb Germanic strong verb Germanic weak verb Preterite-present verb Grammatischer Wechsel Indo-European ablaut


English (phonology) Scots (phonology) German Dutch Danish