Lowlands-L Anniversary Celebration

The Project

Language lists
Languages A–Z
Language Groups
Audio Files
Language information
Wish list

About Lowlands
Meet Lowlanders!
Project Team
Site map
Offline Resources
The Crypt
Language Tips
Members’ Links
Lowlands Shops
  · Canada
  · Deutschland
  · France
  · 日本 Japan
  · United Kingdom
  · United States
Recommended now!

What's new?

Please click here to leave an anniversary message (in any language you choose). You do not need to be a member of Lowlands-L to do so. In fact, we would be more than thrilled to receive messages from anyone.
Click here to read what others have written so far.

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 ...



Writer Hendrik van Veldeke (German:
Heinrich von Veldeke, born before
1150, died after 1190) used a Middle
Limburgish dialect (in Germany often
considered a “Middle German” dialect)
and is widely celebrated in Limburg.

Language information: Limburgish is a language spoken (alongside Dutch) in the provinces of Limburg of Belgium and the Netherlands. The dialects on the German side of the border in that area and those of the Cleves Franconian area are closely related to Limburgish. Some of them might have been considered Limburgish varieties if they had happened to be on Belgian or Netherlands soil. Limburgish is officially recognized as a regional language of the Netherlands under Chapter 2 of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. Belgium has not officially recognized Limburgish or any other language aside from Dutch, French and German. Limburgish is spoken by over one and a half million people in the Netherlands and Belgium. This figure may be closer to two million if speakers of at least some questionable varieties on the German side of the border are added to this.
     Typologically, in terms of historical sound shifts, Limburgish constitutes an interesting case in that the language has features of both Low German (specifically Low Franconian) and High German. Like Low German varieties, it retains old /t/ and /p/ (rather than having shifted them to High-German-type /ts/, /s/, /pf/ and /f/). Like High German varieties, however, it has shifted old /-k/ to /-x/ (phonetically [ç] and [x]; e.g., *ik > ich [ıç] ‘I’, *ouk > ouch [oux] ‘also’; cf. Dutch ik and ook, German ich and auch).
     Limburgish has two phonemic tone, thus is a tonal language, apparently the only West Germanic one. (However, numerous tonal varieties exist within the North Germanic range in Scandinavia, appently all of them with two-tone systems as well.) These two tones are traditionally known as stoottoon (“push tone”) and sleeptoon Map of Franconian (Frankish) Dialect Groups(“dragging tone”) in Dutch. For example, the word wies pronounced with the stoottoon means ‘tune’ and with sleeptoon ‘wise’, veule (völe) ‘to feel’ (stoottoon) or ‘foal’ (sleeptoon), bal ‘(gala) ball’ (stoottoon) or ‘(play) ball’ (sleeptoon), and daag or daach ‘days’ (stoottoon) or ‘day’ (sleeptoon).
     (Note that the same terminology is used in Low Saxon linguistics: Stoottoon [German Stoßton] and Sleeptoon [German Schleifton], though no one has so far claimed that Low Saxon is a tonal language. In this language, the Stoottoon has a simple, usually falling tone of short or long duration, while the Sleeptoon, occurring only in long vowels or in diphthongs of syllables after which a syllable containing /-e/ has been deleted, has extra-length or super-length and no final devoicing due to having absorbed the length of the deleted syllable. Take, for example, Stoottoon and short Dag [dax] ‘day’ versus Sleeptoon and extra-long Daag’ [dα:∙γ] ‘days’, the latter being derived from Dage ['dα:ge] ~ ['dα:γe].)
     Like most High German varieties, Limburgish changes /s-/ to a “sh” sound (spelled sj in Belgium and the Netherlands) before consonants.
     The claim has been made that Limburgish has an ancient Celtic substrate, which is consistent with history, since today’s Limburg used to be inhabited by Gauls.
     So far, there is no officially recognized Limburgish standard variety and standard orthography.

Genealogy: Indo-European > Germanic > Western > Rhinelandic > Low

    Click to open the translation: [General], [Bilzen], [Brunssum], [Vliermaal]Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
Lowlands-L Online Shops: Canada · Deutschland · France · 日本 · UK · USA