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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
y name is James Campbell. I live in Dorset in the south of England, and I have had an interest in the Germanic languages for as long as I can remember, or at any rate since I started to learn German at school, aged 12. Although my main field of interest is the West Germanic branch, due to a curious chain of events I have ended up with Norwegian as my second language and am now working as a translator from Norwegian/Swedish/Danish to English. However, my private interests remain in West Germanic etymology and in English and Frisian especially. The purchase of a copy of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (which has plenty of etymological info) in 1987 gave fresh impetus to my researches, and thereafter I proceeded to buy a ragbag selection of linguistic publications to feed my curiosity. Friends consider me a language nut, but on joining Lowlands-L I discovered how little I really know.
A contributing factor to my absorption of what little I do know is my continuing work on my constructed language Jameld, which is a mutant West Germanic tongue. Its fictional origins are in pre-Old Frisian (i.e. that which preceded Old Frisian, the oldest preserved documentation of which is from the thirteenth century, IIRC), but after protracted migrations the supposed location for its modern speakers in northern Alsace has resulted in influences from High German and French. Jameld is not intended as a lingua franca, nor do I take it particularly seriously, but it has matured to the extent that after over 20 years it now has its own distinctive character. Samples are available at my website, www.zolid.com/zm, and I direct the curious reader to The Saga of Jorthel, which is presented in a bilingual side-by-side format (and I’m sure there’s a good name for that, but I can’t recall it). Amongst my other projects are (or have been) the apparently-first-ever North Slavic conlang, Sevorian, and my Mediterranean Germanic conlang, Cobrœxu (Capraian).
When asked, I normally list my hobbies as: “Languages (natural and constructed), travel, music, cake. Ideally, all at once.”