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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
Livonian couple at the end of the 19th century
Language Information: Livonian is one of the nowadays lesser known Finnic languages. The Livonian
names for itself are līvõ kēļ (“Līvõ language”) and rāndakēļ (“coast language”). In Latvian, the now dominant language of Livonia, it is known as lībiešu valoda and līvu valoda, in neighboring Estonian as liivi keel.
Latvia. Under Latvian language domination and Soviet hegemony, the number of
point where apparently no more native speakers were left even on the Livonian
coast, which used to be the last stronghold of the language. However, some interest
language still exists, and there are even some preservation and revival efforts,
mostly younger Latvians
Livonians and otherwise), with considerable support on the part of the Livonian
Livonian is a Finnic
language und thus belongs to the Finno-Ugric branch of the Uralic language family.
As such it is most closely related to Estonian, Finnish, Karelian, Ingrian, Veps
and Votic, more distantly to Sámi and even more distantly to Hungarian and its Ugrian sister languages. Dominant Latvian, on the other hand, belongs to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European family
of languages. Although its structure is very different, Livonian absorbed much
influence from dominant Latvian, also some Low Saxon, German, Danish and Russian influences in the course of various colonization periods. Latvian independence
1918 resulted in considerable reassertion and revitilization of Livonian language
But this trend came to be reversed, and Livonian in fact came to be drastically
the Soviet Union in 1940. The mentioned most recent resurgence of interest in
Livonian began in earnest after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and
Latvia and the other Baltic States. However, at that time there was only a handful
of native speakers of Livonian left.
is fairly closely related to Estonian, at least to Estonian dialects used in
close proximity of Livonia, mutual intelligibility with Estonian, and also with
Finnish etc., can be difficult for the average speaker. For one thing, Livonian
has absorbed a lot of Latvian influences, especially vocabulary, with which speakers
of other Finnic languages are not familiar. On the written level, Livonian stands
apart from other Finnic languages in that its spelling is primarily based on
Latvian spelling, although some Estonian letters are used for sounds that do
not exist in Latvian. (Please click here to see what the Livonian text might look
like if it were written more consistently with Estonian and other Finnic orthographies.)
On top of all this, Livonian has undergone some sound changes that may make it
difficult for speakers of other Finnic languages to understand it (especially
unrounding of certain vowels: /ü/ > i, /üü/ > ī, /ö/ > e, /öö/ > ē).