Lechitic languages

The Lechitic (or Lekhitic) languages are a language subgroup consisting of Polish and several other languages and dialects that were once spoken in the area that is now Poland and eastern Germany.[1] 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.

Lechitic
Geographic
distribution
Poland
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
Subdivisions
Glottologlech1241

LanguagesEdit

 
The Book of Henryków, containing what is claimed to be the first written Polish sentence
 
Kashubian jamboree in Łeba in 2005 – banner showing the Kashubian name of Kartuzy County

The Lechitic languages are:

  • Polish, 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 and Masovian, among others;
    • Silesian, used today by over 530,000 people (2011 census)[2] in Polish Silesia and by some more in Czech Silesia. The different varieties of Silesian are often considered to be dialects of Polish and Czech, and are sometimes seen as forming a distinct language;
  • Pomeranian, spoken by Slavic Pomeranians, of which the only remaining variety is:
    • Kashubian, used today by over 110,000 people (2011 census)[2] in the eastern part of Pomerania. Sometimes it is considered a dialect of Polish;
  • Polabian, 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.

FeaturesEdit

Characteristics of Lechitic languages include:[3][4][5]

  • Change of the so-called liquid dipthong in the TorT group (where T is any consonant) variously into either TroT or TarT (see also: Slavic liquid metathesis and pleophony)
  • Retention of *dz as an affricate, rather than a plain fricative z, both when inherited from Proto-Slavic from the result of the second Slavic palatalization, as well as when it came from Proto-Slavic . Compare Polish pieniądze, Czech peníze and Slovak peniaze ("money"). Slovak preserves dz when coming from PS , but has z in the former case.
  • Lack of the gɣ transition. Compare Polish góra, Czech hora ("mountain").
  • Preservation of nasal vowels.
  • Depalatalization of Proto-Slavic *ě, *ę into a, ǫ before hard (unpalatalized) dental consonants. This gives rise to alternations such as modern Polish lato ("summer", nominative) vs. lecie (locative). In Polish this change was later obscured by the merger of ę and ǫ into one nasal ą, but it is still visible in Kashubian, e.g. celëca ("calf (animal)", genitive; PS *ę before a soft dental) but celąta and celąt ("calves", nominative and genitive; PS *ę before a hard dental).
  • Depalatalization of (Late) Proto-Slavic syllabic sonorants *ŕ̥ *ĺ̥ in the same positions as the above change. This is shared with the Sorbian languages.
  • Vocalization of (Late) Proto-Slavic syllabic sonorants *r̥ *l̥ *ŕ̥ *ĺ̥.

Sample textEdit

The following is the Lord's Prayer in several of the Lechitic languages:

Polish Upper Silesian[6] Kashubian[7] Polabian[8]

Ojcze nasz, któryś jest w niebie,
święć się imię Twoje,
przyjdź królestwo Twoje,
bądź wola Twoja
jako w niebie tak i na ziemi.
Chleba naszego powszedniego daj nam dzisiaj.
I odpuść nam nasze winy,
jako i my odpuszczamy naszym winowajcom.
I nie wódź nas na pokuszenie,
ale nas zbaw ode złego.
Amen.

Ôjcze nŏsz, kery jeżeś we niebie,
bydź poświyncōne miano Twoje.
Przińdź krōlestwo Twoje,
bydź wola Twoja,
jako we niebie, tak tyż na ziymi.
Chlyb nŏsz kŏżdodziynny dej nōm dzisiŏk.
A ôdpuś nōm nasze winy,
jako a my ôdpuszczōmy naszym winnikōm.
A niy wōdź nŏs na pokuszyniy,
nale zbŏw nŏs ôde złygo.
Amyn.

Òjcze nasz, jaczi jes w niebie,
niech sã swiãcy Twòje miono,
niech przińdze Twòje królestwò,
niech mdze Twòja wòlô
jakno w niebie tak téż na zemi.
Chleba najégò pòwszednégò dôj nóm dzysô
i òdpùscë nóm naje winë,
jak i më òdpùszcziwómë naszim winowajcóm.
A nie dopùscë na nas pòkùszeniô,
ale nas zbawi òde złégò.
Amen.

Nôße Wader, ta toy giß wa Nebisgáy,
Sjungta woarda tügí Geima,
tia Rîk komma,
tia Willia ſchinyôt,
kok wa Nebisgáy, tôk kak no Sime,
Nôßi wißedanneisna Stgeiba doy nâm dâns,
un wittedoy nâm nôße Ggrêch,
kak moy wittedoyime nôßem Grêsmarim,
Ni bringoy nôs ka Warſikónye,
tay löſoáy nôs wit wißókak Chaudak.
Amen.

EtymologyEdit

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.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Lekhitic languages, Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 2008
  2. ^ a b Narodowy Spis Powszechny Ludności i Mieszkań 2011. Raport z wyników Archived 2012-12-21 at the Wayback MachineCentral Statistical Office of Poland
  3. ^ Rospond, Stanisław (1973). Gramatyka historyczna języka polskiego (in Polish). Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. p. 25.
  4. ^ Klemensiewicz, Zenon (1985). Historia języka polskiego (in Polish). Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. pp. 18–19. ISBN 83-01-06443-9.
  5. ^ Stieber, Zdzisław (1965). Zarys dialektologii języków zachodnio-słowiańskich (in Polish). Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. pp. 16–17.
  6. ^ "Endangered Languages Project – Upper Silesian – Ôjcze nasz". www.endangeredlanguages.com. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  7. ^ File:Jerozolëma, kòscel Pater noster, "Òjcze nasz" pò kaszëbskù.JPG
  8. ^ Das polabische Vaterunser / "Our Father" in Polabian