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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
German on Low Saxon Substrata
18th to the mid-20th centuries,
Missingsch flourished in lower-class
one in Hamburg).
The name “Missingsch” is derived from the name of the city of Meissen (Meißen) in the German state of Saxony (which received its inappropriate name because
of aristocratic intermarriage with the real Saxony). It denotes German-Low
Saxon contact varieties, namely German dialects on Low Saxon substrates. The
best known forms of Missingsch are the working-class dialects of Berlin (a
city that lost its Low Saxon dialects a long time ago), even though these German
dialects are not usually referred to as “Missingsch.” Missingsch dialects tend
to be considered inferior and “uneducated.” Most of them are now nearing extinction.
However, Missingsch has left more or less noticeable traces in many German dialects
of the north, especially in the more “casual” ones. Many of these may even
be regarded as being Missingsch-derived, “cleaned up” to varying degrees as a result of increasing exposure
to and proficiency in Standard German.
The case of Missingsch
is similar to that of Stadfrys (i.e.
Dutch on West Frisian substrata) and Trasianka (i.e. Russian on Belarusian substrata).
Since Low Saxon,
certainly spoken Low Saxon,
is largely incomprehensible to people outside Northern
Germany and the Netherlands,
in Germany’s national media. Instead, in dialect presentation series from around Germany,
represented by Missingsch, and theater groups that usually perform
in Low Saxon will perform special Missingsch productions of their plays
broadcasting. However, since this is usually not explained to them, most southern audience members have come to believe that Missingsch is Platt (“Low
German,” i.e., Low Saxon), much to the confusion of those who ever have occasion
are in Missingsch varieties of the northern “Hanseatic” German
city states of Bremen and Hamburg as well as in the variety of nearby Wilhelmshaven. Berlin dialects and Ruhr German is not officially considered Missingsch but ought to be classified as such.
is not usually written we present it here
in two ways, one with less and one with more phonetic information, both spelled
using German orthographic conventions.
[Click here for more.]
The author of the
Wilhelmshaven dialectversion shares the following information:
Missingsch, or the regiolect of Wilhelmshaven, as linguists might call it, is
spoken in the town of Wilhelmshaven. I have no idea when it started to exist.
Was it already there, when Wilhelmshaven was a part of the Kingdom of Prussia?
(I don’t think so), or did it start to develop when Wílhelmshaven was a strong
naval base of the German Empire? (I don’t know). I only know, that it existed,
in the 1940ies, when I was a little boy. At the beginning of this brief report
I stated, that it is spoken in Wilhelmshaven. By now I have got the impression,
that it is predominately spoken in urban districts with a high percentage of
‘working class people’ like Voslapp, Fedderwarder Groden, Siebethsburg, Bant
and some other districts.”
“What are the
typical features of the Wilhelmshaven Missingsch (perhaps comparing it with the
Missingsch of Hamburg and Bremen)? I remember some older playmates
in the 1940s saying to me, that we Wilhelmshaven people are very proud of the
fact that we don’t pronounce the letters ‘sp- and st’ at the beginning of a word
like ‘ssp- and sst’ as many people in Northern Germany would do, but like ‘schp-
and scht’. On the other hand there are some Wilhelmshaven people, who ‘overdo
the whole matter,’ pronouncing words like Kastanie (chestnut) and Pistole (pistole) like this: Kaschtanieand Pischtole, which we should not do according to Standard German pronunciation
(German Stage Language). I also think that it is remarkable how we Wilhelmshaven
people pronounce the word endings -er as ‘-or’ with a very ‘deep’ and open ‘o’
like the ‘a’ in English ‘hall’. And that is precisely like the Danes pronounce
their -er word endings. So this was a great advantage for me when I was learning
Danish. A similar matter is, how we pronounce double ‘t’ in
the words like Mutter (mother) and Butter (butter), that is like in American English that is ‘budder’. And finally, a typical feature
Wilhelmshaven Missingsch is the way we call the Standard German word nichts(nothing), that is nüscht instead of nix as it is pronounced in Oldenburg,
Bremen etc. But where did this come from? I think it was brought to Wilhelmshaven
by all the newcomers who came to Wilhelmshaven to find work, for example in the
big shipyard of the Imperial Navy, because at that imperial time and also much
later at the time of the Nazi rule in the 1940s Wilhelmshaven was a real ‘melting
pot’ for Germans who came from all parts of the German Reich at that time.”
Indo-European > Germanic > West > High German > German > Northern (on Low Saxon substrate)