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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...

Sama Bangingi’


View of Sønderborg
The Danish Royal Yacht visiting Synneborre
(Danish Sønderborg, German Sonderburg) in
Denmark’s Southern Jutland, where Denmark
meets Germany and Scandinavia overlaps
with the Lowlands

Language information: Jutish is used in Jutland (Jylland), Denmark’s territory on the European mainland. Jutish belongs to the North Germanic (Scandinavian) branch and has since mixing of Danes and Jutes, which took part around the time of large-scale Jutish emigration to Britain, become closely related to or part of Danish.
     However, Jutish has many non-Scandinavian features today which links it to the Lowlands languages, some of them probably due to longstanding contacts with the Saxon language, from Old Saxon times to more recent contacts with the northermost Low Saxon dialects, of which the ones on today’s Danish soil appear to be extinct. Jutish DialectsSouthwestern Jutish also used to have contacts with the northernmost North Frisian dialects of which the ones on today’s Danish soil are now extinct. Southern Jutish has been particularly strongly influenced by the Low Saxon dialects of Schleswig, also by High German which is still influencing the language these days. Along with Danish, Southern Jutish is used also by the Danish minority of Germany’s Schleswig region, known in Denmark as “Southern Schleswig.” It has variously influenced the Low Saxon dialects of that region.
     Like Danish (proper) dialects, most Jutish dialects have two genders: “general” and “neuter.” However, a few have only one—or so some claim. We need to bear in mind that this is a question of morphologically expressed gender, that the simplification is merely a surface feature that masks underlying gender, certainly where animate and inanimate objects are involved, differences surfacing in personal pronouns (e.g., English “he,” “she,” “it,” and Danish han, hun, den/det respectively).
     A striking West-Germanic-like feature of Western and Southern Jutish is the consistently preposed definite article (æ, å and e in most dialects) instead of the typically North Germanic suffixed definite article (-en and -et in most Scandinavian dialects, plus feminine -a in Swedish and certain Norwegian dialects), and the use of a single gender (versus two genders in Standard Danish).
     The overall sound of Southern Jutish spoken by old-timer native speakers reminds the listener of the sound of Low Saxon.
     Southern, specifically Southeastern, Jutish used to extend farther south into what is now the northernmost German state of Schleswig-Holstein. According to Gerhard Willers (private communication), Jutish used to be spoken as far south as in the town of Viöl, about 10 km northeast of Husum. Most of what is now Schleswig-Holstein, which geographically is a part of the Jutland Peninsula, used to be under Danish rule for extended periods, which made it not uncomon for speakers of Low Saxon and North Frisian to know Jutish and Island Danish as well.
English the wren the corner the father the house
W. Frisian it winterkeninkje de hoeke de heit it hûs
Dutch het winterkoninkje de hoek de vader het huis
Afrikaans die bostintinkie die draai die pappa die huis
Low Saxon de Tuunkrüper de Eck/Huuk de Vadder dat Huus
Fering Frisian a wonterköning a huk a aatj a hüs
S. Jutish æ gæresmut’ æ hjørn æ far æ hus
W. Jutish æ gærresmutte æ hjørn æ fær æ hus
Danish gærdesmutten hjørnet faderen huset
Norwegian gjerdesmetten hjørnet faderen huset
Swedish gärdsmygen hörnet fadern huset
Faeroese mortítlingurin horn faðirin hús
Icelandic músarindillinn horn faðirinn hús
Old Norse *mūsarindillinn hornit faðirinn hūsit


Genealogy: Indo-European > Germanic > Northern (Scandinavian) > Danish-Norwegian > Jutish

Historical Lowlands language contacts: Low Saxon

    Click to open the translation: [Western Jutish] [Southern Jutish]Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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