Low German language

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Low German

Spoken in

Germany , Netherlands , Denmark , Russia , Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Canada , United States , Mexico , Belize , Brazil , Bolivia and Paraguay
speaker 1-2 million native speakers or good knowledge
Official status
Official language in GermanyGermany Germany Brazil ( Pomerano is the official co-official language in parts of the country)
Recognized minority /
regional language in
GermanyGermany Germany Netherlands
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2


ISO 639-3

East Frisian also: frs
Westphalian also: wep

A West Germanic language that is mainly widespread in northern Germany (cf. West and East Low German ) is referred to as Low or Low German , which is also at home in the neighboring regions and in the east of the Netherlands .

Nine Low German consists of a large number of different dialect forms and has developed from Middle Low German and Old Saxon . The Low German dialects, together with the High German and the Lower Franconian dialects, form a continental West Germanic dialect continuum . Due to their common origin from the group of North Sea Germanic languages, the Low German dialects show similarities with English and Frisian .

In addition to the dialects spoken by the people, there was a Low German chancellery and legal language in the Middle Low German period until the 16th century (see e.g. the Sachsenspiegel ), which was also used as a lingua franca in trade and diplomacy ( Hanseatic language ). As a literary language, Low German is used in some cases up to the present day. Today, the remaining Low German dialects are strongly influenced by the respective umbrella languages Standard German and Dutch. In some cases, they were replaced by new Regiolects formed on a High German basis with a Low German substrate (e.g. Ruhr German or Missingsch ).

As with Middle and Upper German , the designation Low German can be derived geographically : Low German describes forms of language that are at home in the “lower” (northern) regions of Germany.

Name and status

Own names, spellings and pronunciations

The usual modern self-name is Plattdüütsch, Plattdütsch, Plattdütsk, Plattdüütsk, Plattduitsk and similar, so "Plattdeutsch". The term Platt does not refer exclusively to Low German, but is also used in West Central German and the Netherlands, where it simply means “dialect, common everyday language”.

The spelling Plattdüütsch after Saß , who formulated a spelling with a view to the conventions and dialects of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, is most widespread today because these areas have the largest number of inhabitants and thus the largest number of speakers. In East Low German, which - possibly due to the lack of geographical proximity to Dutch - hardly shows any doubling of vowels in writing, the spelling Plattdütsch is used with the same pronunciation.

In areas with an originally East Frisian population, Plattdütsk is common. To this day, sk is written instead of sch in some areas . Therefore the pronunciation of Plattdütsk can vary from [ ˈplʌtdyːtʃ ] through [ ˈplʌtdyːtʃk ] to the separate pronunciation of s and k as [ ˈplʌtdyːtsk ].

The Mennonite or Eastern European and Pan-American dialects derived from Low Prussian are called Plautdietsch , since in these language variants short Old Low German / a / was diphthongized to / au / under certain conditions.

In addition, Nedderdütsch, -düütsch, -dütsk, -düütsk is used, in the Netherlands Nedersaksisch . However, the German expression Lower Saxon in the narrower sense only refers to the Western Low German dialects, which can be traced back directly to Old Saxon and contrasted with East Low German , which was also influenced by Lower Franconian during the time of the German East Settlement . Similarly, Low Saxon is used as a synonym for Low German in English , but in the narrower sense only for the dialects spoken in the Netherlands, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

History of the designation

No native name for the Old Low German language has been recorded from the Old Low German period . In Latin texts one finds the expression lingua Saxonica ("Saxon language"). In the Middle Low German period, Low German was often called düdesch or to düde by its speakers , especially to distinguish it from foreign languages ​​and Latin. In some northern German cities in the 15th century there were the Düdeschen schrifscholen in contrast to the learned Latin schools . If you wanted to differentiate your own language from High German or Dutch , you could use expressions such as unse düdesch , sassesch düdesch or moderlike sprake . In the 15th and 16th centuries, expressions with sassesch were the most common, especially sassesch or sassesche sprake , later also with an explanatory prefix as nedder-sassesch . From the 16th century on, the names nedderdüdesch and nedderlendesch are also used .

In the 17th century the term Low German appears, which in the following is superseded by Sassesch etc. and becomes the general name for Low German. This new name for Low German comes from Dutch. The earliest evidence is in a New Testament printed in Delft in 1524 . In the title and foreword it is stated that the book is written in goede platten duytsche , i.e. in good, clear (Dutch) language (as opposed to the less easily understandable scholarly language). The Dutch adjective plat "flat, even" does not mean "untouched by the High German sound shift" or "from the flat country", but rather "clear, distinct, everyone understandable" in the sense of "undisguised, unimpeded".

On the position of Low German

The status of Low German is controversial in linguistics. There are more historically based assessments and those that want to take more recent linguistic developments into account. The current formal inventory as well as its functional limitation as a result of a serious change in language, which Ulf-Thomas Lesle , Jan Goossens , Willy Sanders and Dieter Stellmacher describe, speaks in favor of categorization as a dialect . In contrast, there is the self-assessment of many speakers who still regard Low German as an independent language. Low German has its own vocabulary and grammar that differs considerably from High German. Links to these deviating elements can be found in Dutch and English . Low German itself is divided into different dialects.

Since the middle of the 19th century, in the course of a media change from orality to writing, the Low German dialects were used as the literary language, for example by Fritz Reuter , Klaus Groth and others. In his Buddenbrooks, Thomas Mann did not only use the Low German of his hometown Lübeck to characterize the way the so-called common people speak. In fact, the Lübeck Low German was the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages , so that in the 19th century a reflection of high-level language could have been preserved in the upper-class merchant families. Using the novel by Thomas Mann or Uwe Johnson's novel tetralogie Anniversaries , one can clearly understand the development of Low German as a spoken language. As a reflection of this writing and literarization of Low German, a Low German philology has developed within German philology.

By Heinz Kloss is the Low German today at a scheindialektisierte distance language , that is - because of the historic autonomy of language development and the continued sufficiently large dissimilarity High German - namely by its own language , but which is still regarded today as German dialect as the standard language Functions are now taken over from the umbrella language High German (sham dialect). This speaks u. a. that it is often not possible to predict the High German sound of a word from its Low German form (or vice versa), so that Low German and High German phonology must be acquired independently of one another (nd. / o: / corresponds to hd. / u: / in Fot 'foot', but hd. / o: / in grot 'large', hd. / s / corresponds to nd. / s / in Hus 'house', but nd. / t / in dat 'that'). However, the view that the dissimilarity between Low German and High German is sufficiently great to view Low German as a separate language (or distance language) is not undisputed in linguistics. Ulrich Ammon considers Low German to be a "borderline case of similarity, in which not every connoisseur of the situation decides the same due to the previous, merely intuitive handling of the similarity criterion", but considers an assignment due to the covering of the standard German and because of the self-assessment of the speakers of Low German as a dialect of the German language is justified.

High German-Low German place-name sign in Aurich (Low German Auerk )

Low German is officially recognized and protected in the Netherlands (as Nedersaksisch ) and in Germany within the framework of the Council of Europe's language charter . In Germany, the relevant regulations came into force in 1999. In some federal German states there are legal regulations against discrimination against Low German. In Schleswig-Holstein, for example, the authorities are obliged to process inquiries and applications in Low German and are entitled to answer in Low German as well. The Federal Court of Justice has ruled that patent and utility model registrations can also be submitted in Low German to the German Patent and Trademark Office in Munich; however, they are viewed as "not written in German" and therefore require translation. In contrast to the legal opinion of the Federal Court of Justice in this decision, which is essentially based on the special norm of § 4a GebrMG (parallel to § 35 PatG), other lawyers and courts assume that the term German language is both High German and Low German includes; According to this legal opinion, which is also represented in Schleswig-Holstein, in addition to High German, Low German is an official language in Germany as part of German . In the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg , Low German is the de facto official language alongside High German, which is why applications submitted in Low German to the Hamburg citizenship , the state parliament , are also discussed in Low German in plenary.

school subject

In Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Low German is a compulsory optional subject at school. In 2010, Hamburg was the first federal state to introduce Low German as a regular subject, followed by Schleswig-Holstein in 2014 and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in 2016. In Lower Saxony , Low German is partially integrated into the teaching of other subjects . Since 2017, Low German has been an oral and written examination subject for the Abitur recognized by the Standing Conference . Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is so far the only state that has set up such lessons in upper secondary level .

Number of speakers

In general, it is difficult to determine the number of speakers of a language. In the case of Low German, surveys are usually used in which the respondents are asked to assess their language skills themselves. A distinction must also be made between active mastery and passive understanding. If someone states that they understand "something" in Low German or that they "speak from time to time", this requires interpretation. In addition, there may be uncertainty about what exactly Low German is and what is a dialect of Standard German with elements of Low German. Surveys such as the GETAS survey from 1984, according to Heinz H. Menge , also neglect the fact that part of the total population in Northern Germany has foreign roots and is less well reached by surveys than local residents. This has to be taken into account when converting survey results to the total population, because people with foreign roots usually do not have a family background in Low German.

In Germany

In 2009, the Institute for Low German named 2.6 million speakers or 14 percent of the population in northern Germany who speak “good or very good Platt”, so that Low German is “undoubtedly at risk”. In 1998, Jan Wirrer describes the situation of Low German at the turn of the millennium as being highly moribund . In the cited study, Möller puts the proportion of those who speak “moderately” good Low German at 23 percent or approx. 4.3 million. The proportion increases by around 200,000 Plautdietsch speakers in Germany. Up to 17 million Germans have passive knowledge of the Low German language: According to the study by the Institute for Low German Language, mentioned above, it is 75 percent of the population in the Low German language area. The last comprehensive survey of 1984 on the language level of Low German showed around eight million speakers of the regional language for the then Federal Republic of Germany. However, since the 1960s at the latest, there has been a massive decline in active speakers. Studies in Emsland and the Grafschaft Bentheim have shown that in the last two decades the number of active speakers among the children has decreased massively and active control has practically ceased to exist apart from tiny remnants. Low German has proven to be especially near the North Sea coast near Language obtain, particularly in East Friesland , in the Elbe-Weser triangle and in Dithmarschen .

Outside of Germany

According to a survey from 2003, around 1.5 million people in the Netherlands speak the local dialects of the Low German language . In Denmark only a fraction of the German minority (approx. 20,000) speak Nordschleswigsch (or Nordschleswiger Platt), a dialect of Schleswig. There are also around 300,000 speakers of Plautdietschen worldwide outside of Germany, around 300,000 East Pomeranian speakers in Brazil and an unknown number of Low German speakers in other areas around the world (including in the USA and Canada or Steinbach in Manitoba ).

Language history

Geographical classification

Today, Low German is generally used to refer to those German dialects that are located in the west northeast of the Rhein-IJssel line (also known as the unified plural line or Westphalian line) and further east north of the Benrath line and which until 1945 also included the areas of Pomerania and Pomerania largely extended to East Prussia . In the west it also protrudes into the Netherlands, where it is known as Lower Saxon . The language areas southwest of the Rhine IJssel line, but north of the uerdingen line are no longer the Low German, but the Kleverländischen and Ostbergischen assigned, so the Low Franconian dialects. Kleverland and Ostbergic form, together with Limburgic spoken between the Uerdinger line and the Benrath line , the Rhine-Maaslandic region, which is separated from the Low German cultural area (see also Lower Rhine languages ).

5th to 11th centuries

Plaque on the Teufelsplastik in Gettorf ( Schleswig-Holstein ) with a text on the Low German legend of the Düvelstein

As a result of the migration of peoples , the Saxons  - and with it their language - spread from the North Sea coast to the south, southwest and England. The Saxons who remained on the continent were referred to by Beda Venerabilis as "Old Saxons"; the name "Old Saxon" is associated with this designation for the oldest level of Low German. The Old Saxon spread over an area that included the present-day regions of Holstein (excluding Ostholstein), Stormarn , Lower Saxony , Magdeburg Börde , Harz , Westphalia and the eastern Netherlands. In Wendland (the Slavs were called Wenden by the Saxons) there was a mixed Slavic-Saxon area for centuries. In addition to the Old Saxons, numerous settlers from what is now the Netherlands were also involved in the settlement of the East Elbe colonial land.

The Anglo-Saxon dialects and Old English show strong similarities with Old Low German (Old Saxon), as the Germanic population of Great Britain was originally located in what is now northern Germany. Due to the strong influence of the Old Norse language elements introduced by the Danish and Norwegian Vikings, as well as the later overlapping of French languages ​​and the erosion of English grammar during the Middle Ages, these similarities have been greatly reduced, even if the relationship is still clearly visible. English has never lost its basic West Germanic character.

11th to 17th centuries

With the beginning of the Ostsiedlung ( east colonization ), the old Low German , since about 1225 Middle Low German , spread further east. New, large linguistic landscapes emerged: Mecklenburg, East Pomeranian, Brandenburg, Low Prussian (not to be confused with the Baltic Old Prussian language ) and Low German in the cities and on the estates in the Baltic States and Scandinavia . In addition, Middle Low German recorded territorial gains in Schleswig , where it pushed Danish and North Frisian to the north, and in East Frisia , where it displaced East Frisian . So it replaced the Angel Danish and the Eiderstedter Frisian in southern Schleswig .

All of these new Low German language areas are so-called colonization written languages ​​or colonization dialects, which have some peculiarities in grammar and vocabulary. According to the law, the unified plural of verbs in the dialects of the Altland (of the Low German language area in Old Saxon times) is still - (e) t . So instead of High German we do, you do, they do in West Low German, for example: wi maakt, ji maakt, se maakt . In East Low German, in Schleswig Platt and (partly) in East Frisian Low German , the plural morpheme, on the other hand, is -en , i.e. wi maken, ji maken, se maken .

Title page of Der Keyserliken Stadt Lübeck Christlike Ordeninge , the church order of Lübeck, 1531

In the Middle Low German period (around 1200–1600), Low German developed into an important written language that could be used alongside Latin in documents and legal texts. The Lübeck Low German was the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League (see Hansa language ) and for a long time the lingua franca of the North and Baltic Sea region. In the written language of Middle Low German, there are countless written documents, books and certificates that were written well into modern times. Theological writings were also of great importance. At the end of the 15th century there were already several translations of the Bible in Low German ( Cologne Bible , Lübeck Bible ).

However, the importance of Low German as a written language decreased in the 16th century. During the Reformation, the number of prints in Low German initially increased: For example , the Lübeck church regulations written by Johannes Bugenhagen are written in Low German. A Low German version of the Luther Bible also comes from Bugenhagen. This shows two things: on the one hand, the great importance of Low German as a lingua franca for the whole of northern Germany, so that a separate translation of the Bible was deemed necessary, and on the other hand, the subordination of Low German to High German, which has essentially already taken place. Because the model, the Lutheran translation of the Bible, prevailed even in northern Germany against the “bugenhagen competition”. The Hanseatic League, dominated by Lübeck, had already passed its heyday.

Between 1345 and 1358 a politically and economically motivated alliance arose with the Hanseatic League, which was supported by the northern German cities and to which at its zenith around two hundred cities, south from Cologne , Göttingen , Halberstadt to Breslau , belonged and the foreign offices in London and Bruges , Bergen and Novgorod owned. The leading center was the city of Lübeck , whose legal texts spread far to the east.

In the North Germanic-speaking countries of Denmark , Norway and (with restrictions) Sweden , Low German was an important lingua franca and trade language at the time of the Hanseatic League, which was also spoken at the royal courts. It lost this function of being the language of the upper class to High German in the 17th century.

Around 1500 there was a danger in what was then Germany that it would split linguistically into two separate blocks, the Low and High German language area with two separate written languages. Lübeck's Low German served as a model in the former, and the linguistic contrast between "Oberlendisch" and "Niderlendisch" had been attested since the 13th century.

As a result of the introduction of High German, more and more northern German cities joined it from 1600: The formal language change from Low to High German in Berlin , for example, had already taken place in the middle of the 16th century and the city and its surrounding area were through one up to the 17th century Low German / high German bilingualism dominated: the Märkische of the city was also the Upper Saxon been affected, the language spoken by the people of Berlin high German whereas with Low German elements had penetrated.

From around the middle of the 16th century onwards, Low German was replaced by High German letterpress printing and standard German as the written and printed language, a process that lasted until around the end of the 17th century. In the end, Low German was only spoken, suffered gradual redialectalization and was no longer used officially. Rather, it was socially stigmatized from the second half of the 17th century. While the gradual change from Middle Low German to East Central German Early New High German (15th / 16th century) is still to be regarded as bilingualism ("bilingualism"), in the 17th and 18th centuries the relationship between Low and High German was socially linguistic as diglossia . High German was the so-called professional language used for public and supraregional activities by the Low German until the 19th century . Back then it was a downright male language.

The mixing of Low and High German led, among other things, to the formation of Missing , a pronounced mixed language .

17th to 19th century

In 1669 the last documented, and therefore official, Hanseatic Day took place, which ushered in the end of the Hanseatic League as a league of cities. After the decline of the "language battle" began between the Low German, which, similar to the regional occurring NHG Martin Luther , Neuniederdeutsch was called. As Heinz Kloss put it, due to the change in the writing language of the northern German cities (and their offices) to High German , a so-called sham dialectization took place, in which Low German often only existed as a spoken language and this (in the eyes of its speakers) as the “dialect of Germans ”defined. The decline of the Hanseatic League prevented the existence of two different written languages ​​in Germany.

The language change was also supported by the fact that no courtly poetry existed in Middle Low German, since the North German principality and the North German nobility were already strongly oriented towards " Upper Germany ", that is, towards the High German language area, in this regard before 1650 . Martin Luther himself was a lover of Low German and tried to send Low German-speaking priests to northern Germany for his Reformation. However, he failed because there were too few of these to fall back on. It was mainly priests from Central and Upper Germany who were responsible for promoting the Reformation in northern Germany, which led to the sermon in the northern German churches now being held in High German, which resulted in numerous complaints from the communities concerned. For as early as 1546, the Lutheran congregations began to replace the few Bible translations in Low German with High German. In addition, between 1570 and 1642, in the cities of Paderborn , Braunschweig , Soest , Brandenburg an der Havel , Stettin and Flensburg, the Low German school language was replaced by High German. But also in the pulpits, as already briefly mentioned, High German took up more and more space. In Mecklenburg , for example, from 1535 onwards, complaints from numerous parishes that the Low German-speaking churchgoers could not follow the High German sermon increased - a situation that persisted there into the 19th century.

“In the course of the 16th and 17th centuries, High German initially prevailed in part against Low German as the written language from Cologne and Münster. In the territorial sphere of influence of the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Reformed Church (also through religious refugees) as well as the trade relations of the Netherlands to the German North and Baltic Sea coasts, in these transitional areas, including in East Frisia, an official and ecclesiastical came into being in the 17th and early 18th centuries encouraged written language Dutchization, partly commercially also in the port cities of Emden, Bremen, Hamburg and, through economically driven emigration, also in western Holstein. (...) In the German-Dutch border area, a fundamental language-political difference between the epoch of the territorial states and the epoch of the nation-states becomes clear: In the 18th century there was still a lot of liberality with the coexistence and overlapping of different languages. With the continuation of the basic Low German language in oral communication with the general public, the written languages ​​High German and Dutch were used alternately depending on the recipient (district) and subject domain, even under Prussian rule (from 1713) in the upper Gelderland, with both churches also using Dutch against Prussian condemned German in worship and school supported. "

- Peter von Polenz : German language history from the late Middle Ages to the present. Volume III 19th and 20th centuries, p. 121

The displacement of Low German as an independent literary and lingua franca in the north was not yet motivated by nationalism between the 17th and 18th centuries , but merely religiously (Lutheran-Protestant) motivated. Low German was pushed back at the same time as the Dutch, related to it, was pushed back in the western parts of the Prussian state , which had been persecuted there since the Napoleonic period. Its replacement by German was rigorously carried out from the 17th century onwards by church institutions, which were also responsible for running the school: for example, reports from 1611 are known in which, among other things, it was stated that nobody on Rügen understood High German at that time. In Osterfeld near Husum , the sexton there was deposed in 1678 because he could or only wanted to sing in Low German in church services, and in 1750 the theologian Johannes David Michaelis complained that there were farmers in Göttingen who could not follow the High German sermon, and so it was considered reintroducing Low German as the language of church and law.

The spoken High German in the Low German language area of ​​the early 16th century possessed a certain exclusivity: In the area of ​​the Westphalian dialects , the written language exchange had largely taken place around 1650 and in the second phase (1580 / 90–1620), High German had become in the school and church, in private correspondence as well as with the Westphalian lawyers and Jesuits already established in the 17th century in "media diglossia" as a high German spoken language. The Westphalian Low German was only restricted to the lower social classes, to family life and to women.

In East Frisia , Lingen , Tecklenburg , Geldern , Kleve and Rees , which were close to the German-Dutch language border, a similar displacement process also began. But before the takeover of High German had there, especially through the many Reformed churches , the Dutch established as a cultural language. The Catholics in Kleve tended towards the Flemish-Brabant variety, while the Reformed were more oriented towards the language used in the neighboring eastern Netherlands. From 1815, Prussia in particular pushed through Dutch (and the associated Low German dialects) to be replaced by High German. It was supported by the Lutheran Church .

19th century until today

The early German nationalism appealed initially to a culturally significant nationalism , which in the course of the Napoleonic wars of liberation politicized; Conversely, the French view that a state consisting of many nationalities only needed one official language, the German-speaking educated elite of the time linked this formula with ancestry and declared that a language made up a people who also had to live in a common state .

As a result of the Vienna Congress , Prussia was able to unite its western territories in what was then Germany with the East Elbe heartland when it was awarded Westphalia and the entire Rhineland in Vienna .

However, if Prussia was shaped by language tolerance for a long time , it changed its attitude in this regard from 1815 onwards by accepting only one official language in its national territory, in this case Standard German , and beginning to enforce this consistently: a process that - as in the Slavic-speaking - especially in its Low German and Lower Franconian-speaking parts of the area. In addition to the Prussian endeavors to have a unified state language, there was also industrialization and urbanization , which occurred almost simultaneously and which increasingly restricted the use of Low German in favor of High German. With the influx of foreign-speaking Prussians, especially those of the later Ruhr Poles, into the Ruhr area, High German was now the only language of communication between them and the locals.

The German shares Low German now generally the German dialects to and justified this with the consequences of (High German) second sound shift : So Low German (or North German) was not affected by this. However, if the dialects assigned to him were excluded from further consideration in the narrower sense, they would only be on the way to becoming German dialects. However, if the assignment of Low German to German (in the sense of the national and standard language) is not fair linguistically, it is still an independent Germanic language.

In the 19th century, the young German studies rediscovered Low German and claimed it as their research object, especially since local poets and regional authors such as the Holsteiner Klaus Groth or the Mecklenburg Fritz Reuter began to write their stories in the respective native dialect. Discussions arose as to how to write Low German. Should you follow Dutch or Standard German with regard to spelling ? Or should one revive the spelling of Middle Low German? It was not until 1919 that an agreement was reached in the Lübeck guidelines on an orthography of Low German based on High German, which was followed in 1935 by a new Low German spelling.

The bureaucratization of social life, the general obligation to attend schools in High German as a foreign language and, not least since the middle of the 20th century, the influence of the exclusively High German mass media promoted and finally strengthened the transition of the majority of the population to High German as the community language.

In a long process, Low German was ousted from church, school, politics, literature and science, and from the 20th century also from most families . But massive immigration of people from other dialect areas after the Second World War has also contributed to the erosion of the language over the past 50 years.

It is undisputed that Low German played a major role in the development of modern standard German . As early as the High Middle Ages , in addition to Dutch, Low German words and idioms penetrated the German of that time. Especially at the time of the Hanseatic League , the influence on the Middle High German dialects was greatest. As an international seafaring and trading language, Low German also held its own compared to other languages.

Limits of Low German

Historical language area

The Low and High German dialects in their historical distribution and the various options for dividing them into the three main groups (animation)

The historical language area of ​​Low German extended from the North Sea coast to Estonia and, according to a now obsolete classification, also included Dutch . Because of the expulsion of the German population during and after the Second World War, the Low German language has largely died out in the areas that today belong to Poland and Russia. The Plautdietsch of the Russian mennonites , which goes back to the Frisian-Low German varieties, has spread from the Ukraine to various parts of the world and is spoken today in the USA, Mexico, Brazil and Kazakhstan, for example.

Today's language area, its general delimitation and internal structure

Low German in the narrower sense includes the North German dialects Lower Saxon (West Low German) and East Low German .

To the west, the Low German language area is bounded by the Rhein-IJssel-Line (also known as the unified plural line or Westphalian line), beyond which Lower Franconian dialects such as Kleverland , Ostberg or Südgeldersche are spoken. The Rhine-IJssel line begins on the Drontermeer and runs west of Appeldorn in the Netherlands and crosses the Dutch-German border east of Isselburg . After a swivel to the northeast, it runs past Dorsten and runs through Oberhausen and Essen . The Borbecksch Platt spoken in the southeast of Oberhausen and in the northwest of Essen is assigned to Westphalian Low German. The Mölmsch spoken in neighboring Mülheim an der Ruhr , like the extinct Duisburger Platt , already belongs to Kleverland. The dialect landscape in the Oberbergischer Kreis is particularly complex (see dialects in Oberberg ). On the border of the Oberbergisches Kreis and the Olpe district , the Rhein-IJssel-Linie crosses the Benrather line for a short time and unites not far from it at Hilchenbach on the border of the Olpe district with the Siegen-Wittgenstein district with Benrather and at the same time merges with the Bad Honnefer Line . A little further to the east, it also merges with the Hunsrück barrier . At this point of crystallization of the Rhenish fan , the Sauerland Platt , as a Low German dialect, is separated from the Siegerland Platt , as a Moselle-Franconian dialect, and the Wittgensteiner Platt , as a Rhineland-Franconian dialect . The Uerdinger line , a branch line of the Benrath line, does not form an independent border of Low German, but separates Kleverland and Ostberg from Limburg in such a way that Ostberg encloses Limburg to the east like a finger. Consequently, unlike Ostberg with Low German, Limburg has no line of contact. Since the Uerdinger line flows into the Benrath line near Wuppertal, one can indirectly say that this isogloss can also be used as a delimitation from the merging of the Benrath line with the Rhine-IJssel line.

If you look at the map east of the Olpe district, the southern border of Low German forms an isogloss in which the Benrath line, the Rhine-IJssel line, the Bad Honnef line and the Hunsrücker barrier have essentially united. The Benrath Line takes a remarkable course in Brandenburg. There she walks north around Berlin and separates from the other isoglosses with which she has united in the Sauerland. This is why ik is used instead of I in Berlin and Südmärkischen , but continues to use make and not maken .

In dialectology it is common to divide the Low German-speaking area into two subgroups by using the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person plural present indicative of the verbs:

  1. The Lower Saxon dialects use up to a line that runs from Lübeck via Magdeburg to Halberstadt, with wi maket , gi maket , se maket a uniform plural form on -et .
  2. The dialects defined as East Low German also use a unit plural, which does not end in -et but in -en , so that the West Low German forms are wi maken , gi maken , se maken .

The Lower Saxon dialects east of the Rhine-IJssel line are cut through by the political border between Germany and the Netherlands. Historically, the varieties in the northeast of the Netherlands belong to Low German. Linguists categorize them as Lower Saxon varieties in the Netherlands, in so far as Dutch dialects. Dutch as the umbrella language now has a considerable influence on the pronunciation of the varieties, just like conversely the High German umbrella language on the Low German varieties in Northern Germany and the Lower Franconian varieties on the Lower Rhine.

Traditional German dialectology also often added the dialects west of this Rhein-IJssel line / unit plural line to Low German, which accordingly forms a further subgroup and is referred to as Low Franconian , i.e. those dialects that you make for High German "we make." , they make “use the forms wej maken , gej maakt , sej maken (ndl.  wij maken , jij maakt , zij maken ).

However, this affiliation is linguistically and politically very controversial and outdated, as today's Dutch is an extension language based on the Lower Franconian dialects. On the problem of the traditional classification of the Lower Rhine (and closely related Dutch) in German linguistics, see also: classification of Dutch , classification of the Lower Rhine and the discussion of the term German-Dutch in the article Rhine-Maasland .

The Westphalian dialects appear to be an outspoken area of ​​persistence, as they have retained the Old Saxon a -lute â and ā , which have disappeared in the other Low German dialects of Saxon origin, to this day. The Ostfälische can use the morphology distinguish from the closely related Westphalia and the adjacent North and Ostniederdeutschen: While the latter for the personal pronoun in the Objektkasus with dativischen unit forms mi , di , u (n) s , ju use is the use of dynamics , dik , üsch , jük, typical East Westphalian .

In general, all Low German dialects that do not have West and East Westphalian characteristics are considered North Low German . The Westphalian West Munsterland also shows numerous characteristics that connect it with the neighboring Lower Rhine .

Assignment of Dutch

From the late 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, the German perception of the Dutch language was predominantly determined by a negative attitude towards all Dutch. From the point of view of early German German studies , Dutch was viewed unilaterally as being in the 'outskirts', as the language of a 'remaining area'. In addition, a name myth arose in German German studies with the frequent use of “German” in the sense of “Continental West Germanic” from the early phases of German studies up to the 1970s, whereby the old conglomerate of dialects from which the two modern Cultural languages ​​German and Dutch have developed, which today cover the continuations of these dialects, and have been equated with the former and more important of these two languages. This unclear linguistic usage has damaged the reputation of Dutch in the German-speaking area, and the view that Dutch is a kind of (Low) German, used to be a part of (Low) German or at least somehow emerged from (Low) German in the popular discourse, thanks to the myth of the name and the frequent reprints of outdated manuals, in the German-speaking area still sporadically today.

Linguistically, the Dutch varieties, together with the English, Low German and Frisian, belong to those Germanic varieties that did not take part in the second sound shift . The original language of Dutch and the Lower Franconian dialects assigned to it was Old Franconian, essentially the language of the Salians / West Franconia . The main similarity between Dutch and Low German / Low German is the lack of the second sound shift. The Dutch language, like Low German and English, did not develop mainly from the North Sea Germanic languages ​​of the 1st century . Dutch originated from the Weser-Rhine Germanic languages and a number of phonetic, lexical and grammatical differences can be traced back to these different origins.

The increased mutual intelligibility between Dutch and Low German, rather than between Dutch and German, is sometimes assumed unquestionably, mostly because of phonological similarities. Research shows, however, that Dutch speakers understand Standard German better than Low German. In the direct border area, the Dutch could understand the Low German speakers a little better, but they still understood High German better than Low German.

Assignment of the Lower Rhine

Most of what has already been dealt with in the previous article section also applies to the Lower Franconian dialects on the Lower Rhine , which today are often only summed up under the name Lower Rhine . That is, they are, like most Dutch dialects , salfränkischer and not old Saxon origin . Due to the linguistic historical fact that the Lower Rhine like the Low German dialects in the former Mark Brandenburg , Lower Saxony , Westphalia or Schleswig-Holstein did not carry out the second sound shift , it was used in the late 19th century by the young German studies , but also by the at the same time founded Dutch , counted as "Low German". This assignment , also based on the family tree theory, lasted until the early 1980s. That is, until the "German dialects - historical distribution" map designed by the Germanist Peter Wiesinger was published, which is also used ( further edited by Jost Gippert ) in the Metzler - Lexikon Sprach (3rd edition, p. 769), the Low German were used Dialects (including the Lower Rhine) south of the entire Benrath line divorced from the High German dialects . Since Wiesinger, however, it has gradually established itself in German studies to let the border between Low German and High German (now including the Lower Franconian-Lower Rhine region) begin on the so-called Westphalian line , which meets the Benrath line at Hilchenbach and with this in an easterly direction runs.

But for the voice carrier of the Lower Rhine is this scientific allocation of no concern: He describes his dialect as far as Platt , Platt German and / or low German . Even the Fehrs-Gilde , which is committed to the preservation of the Low German language as such, counts the actual Lower Rhine as Low German, but continues its activities exclusively in the Lower Saxony area , but without including Lower Saxony in the Netherlands .

" Niederrheinisch or Niederfränkisch (like the Dutch, including Flemish language further west) has a Lower Franconian base, while the other dialects mentioned have a Saxon base."

- Fehrs-Gilde (Ed.): “SASS. Low German Grammar ", Wachholtz Verlag Neumünster, 2nd, improved edition 2011, ISBN 978-3-529-03200-4 , chapter" Large dialect groups ", p. 28

The fact that the Lower Rhine region has a transitional character is shown by its southern dialects, which, like the south-eastern Dutch dialects ( Limburgish ), have numerous Central German - Ripuarian similarities that connect them with Central German.

They are all located between the Benrather and Uerdinger lines , which run in the 15th and 16th Century emerged as a linguistic balance line and was the result of the so-called Cologne expansion . This means that maken “make” predominates in the southern Lower Rhine dialects , but in the first person singular “I” instead of the expected ik or ek, the apparently phased out forms ech and I are used, which in many places also appear as / eʃ / or / əʃ / or as / iʃ / can be spoken. The restriction "apparently", with which the previous one was introduced via the personal pronoun 1st person singular, is justified in terms of linguistic history, since the "sound-shifted forms" occurring in the southern dialects of the Lower Rhine are basically nonexistent. They are not the result of the High German sound shift, but the result of linguistic adaptation as a result of the Cologne expansion, i.e. i.e., a takeover of southern forms by the respective speakers.

In the High Middle Ages and the early modern period , i. H. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, it was common on the Lower Rhine for documents and contracts to be written in the local vernacular, such as the Jülischen Platt, the Geldrian Platt or the Kleverian Platt, i.e. in Kleverland . These city or local dialects, which represent a continuation of the Central Dutch writing tradition , were also in a close writing language and dialect continuum with the adjacent dialects of Lower Saxony and West Munsterland , so that the individual documents only correspond to the respective language area (Lower Franconian or Lower Saxon) on the basis of a few regional peculiarities. were to be assigned.

“Needless to say, the Lower Rhine was not cut by a 'language' border in the late Middle Ages. The question of 'Dutch on the Lower Rhine' cannot actually be asked for this period because there was neither a high-level Dutch nor a high-level German language in the 14th century. Rather, the Lower Rhine variety fits into 'a continuum of related regional writing languages'. A clear definition of the border between Lower Franconian and Lower Saxony dialects in this transition zone is also not possible. At best they can be characterized as 'mixed languages', each containing elements of Middle Dutch (MNL), Middle Low German (MND) and z. Some also contain Middle High German (MHD) in different distributions. "

- Brigitte Sternberg : Early Lower Rhine certificates at Cleves court. In: Helga Bister-Broosen (Ed.): Dutch on the Lower Rhine. P. 57

Due to the fact that these written documents contained both "Dutch" (= Lower Rhine) and "(Lower) German" (= Lower Saxony) elements, the respective language regions were summarized by them as "German-Dutch" and the language form predominant there as "German-Dutch" summed up.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, New Dutch prevailed more and more as a cultural language on the Lower Rhine (so-called Dutch expansion ), whereby the Roman Catholic area on the left bank of the Rhine was particularly affected, while the Protestant minorities, who were mainly to be found on the right bank of the Rhine. predominantly used New High German . Above all, the Duchy of Kleve at that time was considered to be extremely bilingual . According to the Scriptures, only a few spoke at the time, and that was limited to pastors and priests, as well as administrative officials and the educated middle class. The common people continued to speak Platt, and when they were literate, they mostly used Dutch, which was closer to their native dialect than German.

After the Second World War it became generally accepted to designate the area formerly known as “German-Dutch” as North and South Lower Franconia , as far as the Rhine-Maas Delta and the Lower Rhine were concerned. Dutch studies began to work with the terms Niederrheinisch (when it came to the Lower Franconian language areas of the Lower Rhine) and Eastern Dutch (for the Lower Saxon dialects of the Eastern Netherlands). On the part of German studies, for example, there was disagreement as to whether and how the Lower Rhine could be counted as Low German, and many German scholars therefore deliberately excluded its treatment.

In order to be able to process the medieval writing languages ​​of the Rhine-Maas Delta and the Lower Rhine as well as the neighboring Westphalian uniformly (and free of values) in German studies, the Germanist Arend Mihm first established the term Rhine-Maasland , which means Lower Franconian in the German-Dutch border area and on the other hand the term IJsselländisch , which, analogous to Lower Franconian, encompassed Lower Saxony in the German-Dutch border area. Like many of his colleagues in the meantime, he had recognized that classifying the Lower Rhine directly into Low German is forbidden for reasons of linguistic history and typology. The traditional assignment of Lower Rhine to Low German can therefore mostly only be found in secondary scientific literature.

Outline of Low German

Dialects in Germany

The Low German dialects are conventionally structured as follows:

Low German dialects in Germany since 1945 (excerpt from: German dialects ). "17 = Märkisches Platt" means the Platt in "Grafschaft Mark".
The dialectal division of the Lower Saxon (Low German without Low Franconian) dialects after 1945

This classification is based primarily on geographical (western and eastern half) and historical (primary and secondary settlement area) criteria, but almost not on linguistic criteria (exception: plural ending of the verb in the present tense). In linguistic terms, i.e. in phonetic and grammatical terms, the West Low German North Low Saxon and the East Low German Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania form a fairly closed unit, which is opposed to a similarly closed unit of West and East Faelic; conversely, the West Low German Westphalian and the likewise West Low German North Low Saxon have little in common. Rather than an east-west structure, it would be better to speak of a north-south structure of the Low German dialects, by which North Low Saxon and Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian would be combined to form North Low German and Westphalian and Ostfälisch to form South Low German . The Märkisch, which is strongly influenced by the Lower Rhine and Dutch, is in turn assigned partly to the North and partly to the South Low German.

In the larger cities in northern Germany there are not only the older Low German city dialects but also High German city dialects, such as Hamburg High German or Ruhr German , which developed and prevailed in the urban upper class in the 19th and early 20th centuries and do not belong to Low German. At best, they have a Low German substrate , which has influenced some elements of these city dialects through its linguistic theory, vocabulary, sentence structure or sound.

Dialect in Denmark

In the Danish North Schleswig there is the North Schleswig Platt , a sub-dialect of Schleswig .

Dialects in the Netherlands

The dialects in the Netherlands are the Lower Franconian, Lower Saxony and West Frisian language branches. The Dutch umbrella language with its own language tradition stands above these language branches. All three language branches on Dutch territory are therefore also referred to as Dutch dialects . The Lower Saxon dialects in the Netherlands are structured as follows:

Other countries

The following Low German dialects are used abroad:

Mixed languages ​​from High German and Low German

The Missingsch and the Petuh are sometimes formed with language elements from other languages . The Kollumerpompster, which is heavily influenced by the West Frisian language, is generally classified as a dialect of Lower Saxony.

From the Low German emerged u. a.

Historical phonology

Failure of the second sound shift

The Low German dialects differ from the Middle German and High German dialects mainly in that none of the three phases of the second sound shift , which occurred in the early Middle Ages between the 6th and 8th centuries, was carried out. They share the lack of High German sound shifts with Dutch and Kleverland and other Lower Franconian varieties. Voiceless plosives ( plosives ) affected by the second sound shift [p] as bilabial , [t] as alveolar and [k] as velar are retained and are not shifted to fricatives ( fricatives ) or affricates (sibilants). Their voiced counterparts [b], [d], and [g] also remain unchanged and do not become voiceless plosives.

Many words in the Low German language resemble the Dutch, English, Frisian, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic and Danish words from the same root word , e.g. B .:

Low German Dutch English Sater Frisian North Frisian Swedish Norwegian Icelandic Danish German
Water water water Woater weeder ( Fering / Öömrang ) vatten vann vatn vand water
Vad (d) er Vader father Foar Faader ( Sölring ) far far faðir far father
Breakdown (s) pan pan Ponne poon (Fering / Öömrang) panna breakdown panna pande pan
Solt zout salt So old saalt (Fering / Öömrang) salt salt salt salt salt
Melk milk milk Whey moolk (Fering / Öömrang) mjölk milk mjólk mælk milk
Kopp cop cup Kop kop (Fering / Öömrang) kopp kopp cop head

In some West Low German dialect that is g , as in the Netherlands (not Flemish) as voiceless ch [⁠ x ⁠] spoken (for the voiced variant of this phoneme [⁠ ɣ ⁠] is Ǧ written), the Westphalian as voiced ch .

Low German consonants ↔ High German consonants

First phase: Shifting the voiceless plosives (plosives) p, t, k to fricatives (fricatives)

In a first phase, the following plosives became fricative geminates between vowels, or the final vowel after a vowel became individual fricatives: / * p / → / ff / → / f /, / * t / → / ss / → / s / and / * k / → / xx / → / x /

p ↔ f:

  • nd. slapen, slopen , nl. slapen , engl. sleep ↔ hdt. sleep
  • nd. Schipp , nl. schip , engl. ship ↔ hdt. ship

t ↔ s:

  • nd. nl. dat, wat, eten , engl. that, what, eat ↔ hdt. that, what, eat

k ↔ ch:

  • nd. nl. ik ↔ hdt. i
  • nd. kaken, koken , nl. koken ↔ hdt. to cook
  • nd. nl. maken , engl. make ↔ hdt. do

Second phase: Shifting the voiceless plosives (plosives) p, t, k to affricates (sibilants)

In a second phase, the following plosives in the initial, doubled and after a liquid (/ l / or / r /) or nasal (/ m / or / n /) became affricates: / * p / → / pf /, / * t / → / ts / and / * k / → / kx / and → / x /

p ↔ pf:

  • nd. Peper , nl. peper , engl. pepper ↔ hdt. pepper

t ↔ z:

  • nd. Tied, Timmer , nl. tijd , mdartl. timmer , engl. tide, timber ↔ hdt. time, room

t ↔ tz:

  • nd. sitten , nl. zitten , engl. sit ↔ hdt. sit

Third phase: shifting voiced plosives (plosives) to voiceless plosives

In a third phase, the following voiced plosives became unvoiced plosives: / * b / → / p /, / * d / → / t / and / * g / → / k /.

d ↔ t:

  • nd. nl. dag , engl. day ↔ hdt. day

however d ↔ d (where in English th ):

  • nd. dat, Doorn , nl. dat, doorn (English that, thorn ) ↔ hdt. das, Dorn

Other changes

v, w, f ↔ b:

  • nd. Wief, Wiewer , nl. wijf, wijven , engl. wife, wives ↔ hdt. woman, women
  • nd. leev, leewer , nl. early gl. ran ↔ hdt. dear, dear

Ginger characteristics

Similar to the Anglo-Frisian languages, Low German is assigned to the North Sea Germanic languages ​​(Ingwaeonian languages) . In contrast, Lower Franconian languages, such as Dutch or Kleverland, only have a North Sea Germanic substratum from the Frisian previously spoken there. Middle and Upper German dialects also have no ginger characteristics. North Sea Germanic is a sub-branch of the West Germanic languages. The Gwäonian characteristics are most pronounced in Frisian and English.

Sound changes:

Standard German Dutch Low German Frisian English
Nasal spirants -law Ga ns , U ns , Fü nf , Sa nf t Ga ns , o ns , but: vijf, zacht Goos, fiev, gently, but: u ns Goose, fiif, sêft, us Goose, five, soft, us
Assibilization of the plosive k in front of palatal vowels to a fricative Ka se, Ki larch kaa s, ke rk Kee s, ka rk tsiis, tjserke cheese, church
Palatization of the Germanic a Str a SSE str aa t str aa t strjitte street
r- metathesis burn brand burn burn burn
Omission of the t in the 3rd person singular of sein He is t hij is (Frisian substrate) hey is hy is hey is

The law of nasal spirants means the failure of the nasal before a fricative with a replacement stretching of the leading vowel.

Further differences to standard German

There are other differences between High and Low German that do not result from the second sound shift. These do not appear in all Low German dialects. For example, s is pronounced before consonants in West Low German [s]. On the other hand, in the East Low German dialects (with the exception of Mecklenburg-Schwerin ) the pronunciation [ʃ] ( sch ) prevails , as it is also common in High German. In contrast to High German, however, the spelling in Low German on both sides of the Elbe is primarily that with a mere s .

sl ↔ schl:

  • westnd. slap ↔ hdt. sleep

sm ↔ sm:

  • westnd. smeren, Smeer ↔ hdt. smear, smear

sp ↔ schp:

  • westnd. sharp, sharp ↔ east. and hdt. spitz (pronounced "schpitz")

st ↔ scht:

  • westnd. Steen ↔ hdt. Stone (pronounced "Schtein")

sw ↔ sw:

  • westnd. Swien ↔ hdt. Pig

spelling, orthography

Low German has no uniform or binding spelling . Linguists use phonetic transcription, a spelling that reproduces the sounds. Due to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet , these texts are difficult to read for laypeople.

A common spelling for Low German texts in Germany is the spelling regulation by Johannes Saß ( Small Low German Dictionary. In addition to rules for Low German spelling , Hamburg 1972). It is based on the high German spelling and indicates any deviations. This spelling is neither binding nor geographically comprehensive and allows for variability. It applies primarily to the dialects of northern Lower Saxony. It is unsuitable for the Westphalian with its diphthongs .

There is no written set of rules for the East Low German dialects that summarize the usual spellings. There is a non-codified convention that arose in the 19th century and is also used by modern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania lexicography . It differs from the Saß 'rules by the lack of vowel doubling, the lack of a digraph ‹ie› for long / i: / as well as some special characters (Æ / æ or Œ / œ, Å / å, Ę / ę), which stand for sounds, some of which are no longer used in Lower Saxony.


Low German is not a standardized language, but a regional language with partly very different dialects. A comprehensive grammatical description of Low German is therefore difficult. The following illustration is partly based on a short grammar by Wolfgang Lindow and is probably based largely on the conditions in northern Lower Saxony. It should be noted that the final g (depending on the preceding vowel ) is pronounced as an Ach sound ( x ) or an I sound ( ç ). This pronunciation, which is still used today by North German speakers of Standard German, was originally a result of the hardening of the final voice (( ɣx or ç )). The Low German sound has also been preserved in the pronunciation of the ending -ig in standard German .


Nouns have three genders (as in Standard German) : masculine (masculine, m.), Feminine (feminine, f.) And neuter (neuter, n.):

  • de Mann ("the man"; accusative: the man )
  • de Fru ("the woman"; accusative: de Fru )
  • dat child ("the child"; accusative: dat child )

The gender of the nouns is not clearly established for some words. It also doesn't necessarily match the gender of the corresponding High German word:

  • de / dat volume ("the string"): m. or n.
  • de Disstel ("the thistle"): m. or f.
  • de / dat Schiet ("the dirt, dirt"): m., f. or n.
  • dat Liev ("the body, body"): n.
  • dat Been ("the bone"; eng. bone): n.
  • de Been ("the leg"; eng. leg): m.

In the inflection , a simplification of the inventory of forms can often be observed compared to Standard German. However, from the Middle Ages to the modern age, there are examples of the existence of all cases with similar use of prepositions and articles as in German grammar.

Dative and accusative (objective)

In Low German one often speaks of a subject case (the nominative) and an object case (the dative and accusative). The dative seems to coincide with the accusative and the genitive is circumscribed by a prepositional connection (example: mien Vadder sien Huus - "my father's house"). An actual dative can still be found in some dialects (Westphalian) and in other dialects in relics, as the dative article 'n prevails in contractions in almost all dialects.

Here today as tendered items for dating and accusative occurs only the male nouns. The feminine and neuter article remain unchanged. Unlike the High German is the original Middle Low German Akkusativartikel to speak briefly in many dialects, and therefore is also a Danish or as written.

The subject case is a feature of the North Sea Germanic languages ​​(Ingwäisms). B. also has Dutch or Frisian.


The genitive is formed by adding - (e) s and the article des . With the recent decline of Low German, it has almost died out. It can only be found in certain constructions, especially in the time of day.

  • Tüügs maken - "to make the stuff" (as a paraphrase for stupid things ; from Tüg "stuff")
  • eens Dags - "one day"
  • 's Morrns - "of the morning"
  • 's at night - "at night"

The shortening of the to 's is common. Today, however, the genitive is mostly replaced by a dative construction and the possessive pronoun or by “von” as in English and Dutch, i.e. in the form of Fischer siene Fru or as de Fru vun den Fischer . In older times there were still double forms of construction and genitive like Des Fischer sien Fru .


The nouns form the plural in different ways:

template Singular Plural German z. B. South Lower Franconia (Limburgish)
Umlaut of the stem vowel dat Huus de Hüüs the House the houses öt Huus, de Huuser
Extension of the stem vowel * de Dag de Daag (/ e / n) the day, the days de Daag, de Daag
Ending - (e) n de Disch de Dischen the table, the tables de Dösch (Taofel), de Dösche
Ending -er dat Kleed de Kleder the dress, the clothes öt Kleed, de Klèjjer
Ending -er with umlaut dat Book de Böker the book, the books öt Book, de Böök
Ending -s Dear M de Arms The arm, the arms de poor, de poor
No change de fish de fish the fish, the fish de Fösch / Vösch, de Fösch (e) / Vösch (e)
irregular de man de Mannslüd (traditionally also de Manns ) the men de man, de men / Mannslüj / men

(*) Remnant of earlier polysyllabic

Many of the examples emerged later and do not correspond to the status of Middle Low German . So hüs actually leads a mute E. (mnd. Hüse ), as does the plural ending -er (e) . There were also changes of classes. “Dress”, for example, existed for a long time in parallel in the forms klede and kledere , the latter being rarer at first and later won over because of its similarity to High German. The plural ending -s also only gained ground in later times, when singular and plural forms became indistinguishable through the apocopes of the plural -e (also in -er (e) / -er (e) s ). The -e as a plural ending actually no longer occurs in the North Lower Saxon dialects and has given way to other derivatives.


Even with the pronouns there is sometimes only one subject case (the nominative) and one object case (the dative and accusative).

  • The personal pronouns (“ich, du, er, sie, es” etc.) are partly similar to standard German, but the third person singular masculine has a different root ( he instead of he ). The pronouns (j) it and ink (2. Pers. Pl. Nom. Or Acc.) Used in western parts of South Westphalia are derived from the Old Saxon dual forms “git” (you two) and “ink” (you two) .
number person genus Nominative lens Lens (East Frisia) Lens (Ostfalen)
Singular 1.   ik / ick (ek / eck) mi mi mik / mick (mek / meck)
2.   you di di dik / thick (dek / deck)
3. Masculine he (i) em hum ö (h) ne
Feminine be) honest listen be)
neuter dat / et dat / et dat et
Plural 1.   wi us us üsch
2.   ji, (j) it (southwest) ju, juch, (also written as jug), ji, ink (southwestern) jo years
3.   se som / young / honor / se (i) listen
  • The reflexive pronoun (of the 3rd person) is sik / sick (East Frisian sük ).

  • The possessive pronouns ("my, yours, his, her" etc.) distinguish singular and plural, depending on whether the obsessed is in the singular or plural. This is also the case in standard German (“mein, mein”). In the accusative forms with simple possession, the forms with the ending -en stand for the male gender, the forms without -en for the female or neuter gender.
number person genus Nominative (simple possession) Accusative (simple possession) Nominative (multiple ownership) Accusative (multiple possession)
Singular 1.   mien mien (en) mien mien
2.   serve serve) serve serve
3. Masculine / neuter sien sien (en) sien sien
Feminine honest to honor) honest honest
Plural 1.   us u (n) s (en) us us
2.   ju (un), jug (e / n) ju (un), jug (e / n) juun juun
3.   (the more honor (s) (the more (the more
  • In the demonstrative pronouns (“this, this, this” etc.) there is hardly any difference between masculine and feminine forms in the nominative singular. The plural is the same for all genders.
number genus Nominative accusative
Singular Masculine de / disse / düsse the / diss / duss
Feminine de / disse / düsse de / disse / düsse
neuter dat / dit / düt dat / dit / düt
Plural   de / disse / düsse de / disse / düsse


Adjectives, articles, and pronouns that refer to a noun are based on the gender of the noun. This is also known as congruence. The inflection of the adjectives is not uniform in the Low German language area. There are different forms that cannot be clearly divided into regions. For all three genders, the adjective can be used without an ending (de lütt man, de lütt Fru, dat lütt child). Use with endings can be seen in the following examples:

genus Nominative lens
Male certainly en strong man the strong man
indefinite a strong man a strong man
Female certainly de smucke Deern de smucke Deern
indefinite en (e) smucke Deern en (e) smucke Deern
Really certainly dat wide country dat wide country
indefinite en wid (es) / wid (et) country en wid (es) / wid (et) country

The adjectives are increased by the endings -er and -st (e) . The superlative with “am” (“best”) used to be expressed with up't (“up't best”), today it is often expressed with an'n .


Basic numbers:

  • 1: een / a
  • 2: twee / twei
  • 3: dree / three
  • 4: veer
  • 5: fief
  • 6: söss / sess / soss
  • 7: söben / söven
  • 8: eight
  • 9: negen
  • 10: his
  • 11: olben / olben / olben / elm
  • 12: twelve / twolf / twalm
  • 13: dörteihn / darteihn
  • 14: veerteihn
  • 15: föffteihn / foffteihn / fiefteihn
  • 16: sössteihn / sossteihn / sessteihn
  • 17: söbenteihn
  • 18: pay attention to him
  • 19: negenteihn / nee'ntein
  • 20: twintig / twinnich
  • 30: dörtig / d-like
  • 40: veertig
  • 50: five / five
  • 60: sosstig / sosstig / sesstig
  • 70: söbentig / söventig
  • 80: eighty / tachentig
  • 90: negative
  • 100: one hundred / hunts / hunts
  • 1000: showering

Ordinal Numbers:

  • 1 .: de eerst (e)
  • 2 .: de tweet (e)
  • 3 .: de drüdde, drütt (e), dard (e) (East Frisian)
  • 4th: de veert (e)
  • 5th: de föfft (e), de fiefte
Klock op Platt
Uhrschlag in Low German in Ostenfeld near Husum

The even higher numerals are the internationally common ones : Million, Billiard, etc. Compound numerals are formed as in High German: 27 = söbenuntwintig, 1845 = eendusend eighthunnert five-incomplete (as the year: achteihnhunnert…).


The Low German verb knows the two basic tenses of the present and the past as well as the modes of the indicative and the imperative .

Many, but not all, Low German dialects have a uniform broadcast for the plural persons. This is west of the Elbe -t, east of the Elbe and in East Friesland - (e) n. The same phenomenon can also be found on the basis of the Eider line in Schleswig-Holstein , so that the unit broadcast in Schleswig is - (e) n, while -t is used in Holstein . It is a common feature of the North Sea Germanic languages.

Unit plural:

Standard German Dutch Low German Frisian English
Unit plural we have, you have t , they have wij hebben, yij heb t (today: jullie hebben), zij hebben wi hebbt, ji hebbt, se hebbt (partly wi, ji, se hebben) wy hawwe, jo hawwe, se hawwe we have, you have, they have

There is only one participle , the past participle (also referred to as "participle II").

For the present participle (or “Partizip I”) one uses a progressive form as it occurs in Dutch and colloquially in German ( Rhenish progressive form ).

Low German: Ik bün an't maken.
Dutch: Ik ben aan het maken.
Colloquial German: I'm doing it.
Standard High German: I'm doing.
German with participle I: I am doing.
English: I'm making.

perfect and
past perfect is - similar to German - formed with the auxiliary verb hebben .

Future tense
The future tense is partly formed with the auxiliary verb
sölen / schölen / zullen / sallen / schælen ... (related, but not identical in meaning to the German "shall") - unlike in German and similar to Swedish, English, Dutch, Frisian .

Standard German Dutch Low German Frisian English
Forming the future tense with the auxiliary verb schallen (sallen) I will go (auxiliary verb become) Ik zal gaan (auxiliary verb: zullen) Ik sall gahn (auxiliary verb: sallen) Ik sil gean I shall go (auxiliary verb: shall)
Ik schall na School gahn can mean both “I will go to school” and “I should go to school”. In fact, Low German, like spoken High German, prefers the pure present tense to denote the future tense ("Ik gah mörgen na School to.")

In part, the future tense is combined with the verb waarn (= "to become" ), as in High German . educated: Ik waar to school gahn tomorrow (“I'll go to school tomorrow”). Both options can be used equally. In Middle Low German texts, such as the Low German translation of the Ship of Fools , the future tense can also be found with vil , as in English and Norwegian .

prefix overall

The prefix overall is found in the Dutch and Prussian and (reduced to e ) in Eastphalian, but not in the East Frisian, Northern Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg.

  • nnds. kööpt , ostf. e kofft (see FIG. dän. Kobt , ndl. ge cooking , dt. ge buys )
  • nnds. slap , ostf. e slapen (cf. Engl. slept , ndl. ge slapen , dt. ge sleep )

The cause of this difference is not clear. In Old Saxon, the past participle was formed from non-compound verbs - as in Old High German - with the prefix gi- (Middle High German and New High German ge ), all of which go back to Old German * ᵹi- . In Anglo-Saxon it was usually formed with the prefix ge or ᵹe- (depending on the normalized orthography), Old Anglo-Saxon ᵹi- , but there are also forms without a prefix.

In general it can be observed that there is a beyond the participle dislike of the prefix in the northern speaking countries overall are. In older sources, for example, a gender book is called Slechtbook . The High German verb “belongs” corresponds to the Low German hear / heurn and - more precisely - tohör / toheurn . He heurt de vun de Geest to = "He is one of those from the Geest ".

The falling prefix ge is a feature of the North Sea Germanic languages:

Standard German Dutch Low German Frisian English
Past participle without the prefix ge ge tan ge there then done


The syntax of Low German is largely the same as that of High German, also because it more and more displaces the original syntax (e). But even today one cannot speak of an identity.

For example, sentences like: Ik don't like dat, gahn rut bi rain (literally: "I don't like it, go out when it rains") are normal, as the words z. Sometimes different cases and forms rule than the German ones. In this case, this applies to the word like , which requires an infinitive without to (zu).

Semantics: influence on standard German

Compared to High German, Low German takes the position of a substrate language . In northern Germany there are innumerable Low German words in common usage, some are even used in the standard High German language.

  • From the technical language of the seafaring originate among others:
    • Aft deck (from eight, Low German for "behind, behind")
    • Bug
    • Rear
    • Kiel
    • Pilot
    • plank
    • Yard (s)
    • Railing
    • Steven
    • reeving, reeving (originally from ships) or reeving (from a rope)
    • swerve
    • wriggling (making circular movements using an oar to move the boat forward)
  • The German standard language includes:
    • Amber
    • Tile
    • Sheet (sheet)
    • Rags
    • Mettwurst (Low German Mett = meat, specially minced pork)
    • gull
    • Spooky apparition
    • Shore (instead of high German shore )
    • Hafen (instead of High German Lände )
    • Goods (instead of high German merchant goods )
    • nibble
    • kneifen (younger high German form of Low German kneifen )
    • smuggle
    • rot (rot)
    • wrestle (wrestle)
    • within (within; see within ... minutes; inland waterway transport )
    • real (originally Low German for "legal")
    • gently (gently)
  • limited to the north German colloquial language are among others:
    • Duster (darkness)
    • Slippers (slippers)
    • Schmacht (withdrawal symptoms in smokers, from smacht, Low German for "hunger")
    • chatting (talking, talking)
    • dröge (dry)
    • Tractor
    • to listen (look, look)
    • sutsche (gentle, easy, relaxed)
    • Feudel (mopping cloth for the floor, derived from this: feudeln )
    • dun (drunk, intoxicated)
    • schmöken ([tobacco] smoking, cf. "schmauchen")
  • The following have been used in everyday language:
    • hapern (missing, not going ahead)
    • slobber (lick noisily; move dangling)
    • pee, piss (urinate)
    • scrubbing (sweeping, cleaning with vigorous rubbing)
    • clammy ( clammy fingers, wet and cold)

Pragmatics: Aspects of Use

Attitudes to Low German

Low German has the reputation of being a cozy, homely language. Dieter Stellmacher refers to the example of a member of the Bundestag from Bremen who does not speak Low German fluently, but likes to use Low German sentences and idioms in speeches and conversations. With this the MP wanted (according to his own statement) to create a better mood and a closer connection to his audience and interlocutors.

Occasionally, Low German was also spoken in the parliaments of the northern German states, especially on topics that concern the Low German language. This then led to a cheerful and conciliatory mood among the parliamentarians. However, this also shows that Low German is often used for less important topics.

In Low German literature and in the Low German theater (for example in the Hamburg Ohnsorg Theater ) the audience expects more cheerful and easy topics, although there are also “serious” literature and problem pieces in Low German. Where the Low German literature and drama is not only superficially entertaining, but wants to be more “serious”, it is rather unwillingly taken note of. This can be justified by the fact that Low German was for a long time limited in its application to private topics, to non-public areas and to the everyday world of the "common people".

Use in IT

Some software was translated into Low German after the turn of the millennium. However, the translations are limited to Northern Lower Saxony . The KDE desktop interface for Unix systems, for the Linux operating system and derivatives has also been available with language packages in Low German for some time. The translations of the desktop interface Gnome for Linux into Low German began in August 2009. This is accompanied by the latest translations of the native dialogs of the Ubuntu and Fedora operating systems . Ubuntu Linux with the GNOME desktop in particular is already well supported in Low German. A firing program , namely “Brann-Stuuv 7” from Ashampoo , is also available in Low German.

List of Low German poets, writers and songwriters

See also lists of authors writing in Low German:

See also



  • Gerhard Cordes, Dieter Möhn (Ed.): Handbook for Low German Linguistics and Literature Studies. (NSL.) Erich Schmidt Verlag, Berlin 1983, ISBN 3-503-01645-7 .
  • William Foerste : History of the Low German Dialects. In: Wolfgang Stammler (Ed.): Deutsche Philologie im Aufriss. 1st volume. 2nd edition, Erich Schmidt Verlag, Berlin 1957, Sp. 1730-1898.
  • Jan Goossens (Ed.): Low German. Volume 1: Language. 2nd Edition. Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 1983, ISBN 3-529-04510-1 .
  • Klaas Heeroma: Dutch and Low German. 3. Edition. Bonn 1976 (neighbors 2) .
  • Friedrich Ernst Peters : Formula, a characteristic of Low German. Westphal, Wolfshagen-Scharbeutz 1939.
  • Friedrich Ernst Peters : Comments on the question of Low German. In: F. E. Peters: Heine Steenhagen wöll ju dat wiesen! The story of an ambitious one. Husum-Verlag, Husum 2012; Online: Potsdam, Universitätsverlag Potsdam, 2012.
  • Willy Sanders: Saxon language, Hanseatic language, Low German. Linguistic historical basics of Low German. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1982, ISBN 3-525-01213-6 (Vandenhoeck collection) .
  • Dieter Stellmacher : Low German language. 2nd Edition. Weidler, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-89693-326-4 ( German textbook collection 26).


  • Johannes Sass : The new Sass - Low German Dictionary - Low German - High German, High German - Low German. 6th edition, Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 2011, ISBN 978-3-529-03000-0 .


  • Martin Durrell : Westphalian and Eastphalian. In: Charles V. J. Russ (Ed.): The Dialects of Modern German. A Linguistic Survey. Routledge, London 1990, ISBN 0-415-00308-3 , pp. 59-90.
  • Reinhard H. Goltz, Alastair G. H. Walker: North Saxon. In: Charles V. J. Russ (Ed.): The Dialects of Modern German. A Linguistic Survey. Routledge, London 1990, ISBN 0-415-00308-3 , pp. 31-58.
  • R [udolf] E. Keller : Westphalian: Mönsterlänsk Platt. In: German Dialects. Phonology & Morphology, with selected texts. Manchester University Press, Manchester 1961, pp. 299-338.
  • Rudolf E. Keller: North Saxon: Lower Elbe. In: German Dialects. Phonology & Morphology, with selected texts. Manchester University Press, Manchester 1961, pp. 339-381.
  • Robert Langhanke: Low German. In: Janet Duke (Ed.): EuroComGerm. Learn to read Germanic languages. Volume 2: Less commonly learned Germanic languages. Afrikaans, Faroese, Frisian, Yenish, Yiddish, Limburgish, Luxembourgish, Low German, Nynorsk. Shaker, Düren 2019, ISBN 978-3-8440-6412-4 , pp. 225-266.
  • Wolfgang Lindow u. a .: Low German grammar (= writings of the Institute for Low German Language. Documentation series 20). Verlag Schuster, Leer 1998, ISBN 3-7963-0332-3 .
  • Helmut Schönfeld: East Low German. In: Charles V. J. Russ (Ed.): The Dialects of Modern German. A Linguistic Survey. Routledge, London 1990, ISBN 0-415-00308-3 , pp. 91-135.
  • Heinrich Thies : Low German grammar. Forms and functions. A – Z (= Kiek mal rin - to look up ). 2nd Edition. Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 2011, ISBN 978-3-529-03200-4 .


  • Heinrich Karl Adolf Krüger: History of Low German or Low German literature from Heliand to the present. Stiller, Schwerin 1913.
  • Wolfgang Stammler : History of Low German Literature. From the oldest times to the present. Teubner, Leipzig 1920.
  • Claus Schuppenhauer: Low German classics 1850–1950. Paths to Low German Literature (= writings of the Institute for Low German Language. Documentation series 7). Schuster Verlag, Leer 1982, ISBN 3-7963-0209-2 .

Speech situation

  • Birte Arendt: Low German Discourses: Language Attitudes in the Context of Lay People, Print Media and Politics (= Philological Studies and Sources. H. 224). E. Schmidt, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-503-12223-3 .
  • Hans Joachim Gernentz : Low German - yesterday and today. Contributions to the language situation in the northern districts of the German Democratic Republic in the past and present (= Hinstorff-Bökerie. Low German literature. 11). 2nd Edition. Hinstorff, Rostock 1980, ZDB -ID 1166820-9 .
  • Ulf-Thomas Lesle : Low German between yesterday and tomorrow: accelerating history and the search for identitas. In: Robert Peters, Horst P. Pütz, Ulrich Weber (eds.): Vulpis Adolatio. Festschrift for Hubertus Menke on his 60th birthday. Heidelberg 2001, pp. 429-449.
  • Ulf-Thomas Lesle: The own and the foreign: 'The case of Low German' - example of an identity discourse. In: Journal of Religious and Intellectual History. Vol. 66, H. 1, 2014, pp. 32-55.
  • Ulf-Thomas Lesle: Identity Project Low German. The definition of language as a political issue. In: Robert Langhanke (Ed.): Language, Literature, Space. Festschrift for Willy Diercks. Publishing house for regional history, Bielefeld 2015, ISBN 978-3-89534-867-9 , pp. 693–741.
  • Ulf-Thomas Lesle: German and Low German. Liaison in the shadow of essentialism. In: Michael Fahlbusch et. al. (Ed.): Völkische Wissenschaften: origins, ideologies and aftermath. De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2020, ISBN 978-3-11-065272-7 , pp. 79-101.
  • Hubertus Menke : Een 'Spraak is one bloots a dialect that can defend itself. Review of the discussion on the European Charter of Language Protection. In: Ursula Föllner (Ed.): Low German. Language and literature of the region (= literature - language - region. 5). Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 2001, ISBN 3-631-37194-2 , pp. 9-33.
  • Hubertus Menke: Low German: Independent language or a variety of a language? In: Nina Hartel, Barbara Meurer, Eva Schmitsdorf (eds.): Lingua Germanica. Studies in German Philology. Jochen Splett on his 60th birthday. Waxmann, Münster a. a. 1998, ISBN 3-89325-632-6 , pp. 171-184.
  • Bernd Robben: The loss of the Low German language in the Emsland / Grafschaft Bentheim region - two studies from 1990 and 2011. In: Study Society for Emsland Regional History (Ed.): Emsländische Geschichte 18. Haselünne 2011, pp. 101-138.
  • Bernd and Eva Robben: Dialect Use in Emsland - A Regional Student and Parent Survey (1990). In: Study Society for Emsland Regional History (Ed.): Emsländische Geschichte 18. Haselünne 2011, pp. 62–99.
  • Fritz Specht : Low German (= What is not in the dictionary . Volume IV). Piper Verlag, Munich 1934

Web links

Commons : Low German language  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Low German  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Low German  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: Low German dictionaries  - sources and full texts

References and comments

  1. ^ In North Schleswig the North Schleswig Plateau
  2. Quoted from Astrid Adler et al .: STATUS UND GEBRAUCH DES NIEDERDEUTSCHEN 2016, first results of a representative survey , p. 15, in: Institute for German Language , 2016, accessed on May 9, 2020.
  3. Different legal opinions as to whether Low German is the official language in Germany as a whole - see also the official language in Germany ; but at least in Schleswig-Holstein .
  4. Individual references at Pomerano (article in the Low German Wikipedia)
  5. See Atlas on German Everyday Language (AdA) In: uni-augsburg.de.
  6. Marianne Kloock, Ingo Viechelmann: Uns plattdüütsch Spraakbook op hooch- un nedderdüütsch. 3rd edition, Buske Verlag, Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-87548-134-8 .
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  19. (application) Dedicated to: Schiller op plattdüütsch . (PDF) Printed matter 18/7833 by the MPs Karen Koop , Bernd Reinert , Bernd Capeletti , Elke Thomas , Hanna Gienow and Alexander-Martin Sardina . Hamburg Citizenship - 18th electoral term, January 23, 2008, accessed on March 19, 2018 .
  20. Plenary minutes of the debate on the motion printed matter 18/7833 (pages 5309B-5312D). (PDF) Printed matter 18/99. Hamburg Citizenship - 18th electoral term, February 7, 2008, accessed on December 4, 2015 .
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  60. ^ Ludger Kremer: The Dutch in Germany. Aspects of its distribution and description , in: Helga Bister-Broosen (Hrsg.): "Dutch on the Lower Rhine", p. 26.
  61. Helga Bister-Broosen: Introduction - Dutch on the Lower Rhine: earlier and now , in: Helga Bister-Broosen: (Ed.): Dutch on the Lower Rhine , Peter Lang European Publishing House of Science 1988, ISBN 3-631-32578-9 , p 14.
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  64. The schleswigsch is, however, contrary to the drawings in the language area of the North Frisian language and as Nordschleswiger Platt in northern Schleswig spoken (Denmark) and also stretches as far as Kiel .
  65. Fundamental to this are: Ingrid Schröder: Low German in the present. Language area - grammar - internal differentiation. In: Dieter Stellmacher (Ed.): Low German language and contemporary literature. Hildesheim / Zurich / New York 2004 (German Linguistics 175–176), pp. 35–97; as well as Peter Wiesinger: The division of the German dialects. In: Werner Besch, Ulrich Knoop, Wolfgang Putschke, Herbert Ernst Wiegand (eds.): Dialectology. A manual for German and general dialect research. 2. Hbd., Berlin / New York 1983, pp. 807-900 (Handbooks for Linguistics and Communication Science 1.2), esp. Pp. 828 f .; also in general Wolfgang Lindow u. a .: Low German grammar (= writings of the Institute for Low German Language. Documentation series , No. 20). Leer 1998, p. 18. - Structuralistic representations of the sound system, which amount to a north-south structure, are given by Baldur Panzer, Wolf Thümmel: The classification of Low German dialects on the basis of the structural development of vowelism (= linguistic series , 7) . Munich 1971, summarized on p. 165 ff .; as well as Peter Wiesinger: Phonological vowel systems of German dialects. A synchronic and diachronic overview. In: Dialectology. (as above), pp. 1042-1076, especially pp. 1062 ff .; for confirmation of the north-south structure using the area typology, see Alfred Lameli: Structures in the language area. Analyzes of the area-typological complexity of dialects in Germany. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2013 (Linguistics - Impulse and Tendencies 54), pp. 147–148, 182–198 and esp. 214–225. For Middle Low German cf. then Agathe Lasch: Middle Low German Grammar (= collection of short grammars of Germanic dialects IX ). Halle (Saale) 1914. (Second edition. Tübingen 1974, p. 12 ff.) Where the north-south division also comes to the fore.
  66. The English word cup has the same root as Low German Kopp / High German head. In German, however, the original meaning 'drinking vessel' has shifted to the new meaning 'main', cf. Head. In: Digital dictionary of the German language .
  67. ^ Adolphe van Loey: Schönfeld's Historical Grammatica van het Nederlands. Kankleer, vormleer, woordvorming. 8. Pressure. Thieme, Zutphen, 1970, ISBN 90-03-21170-1 , chap. 9, p. XXXIII.
  68. ^ Willy Sanders: Saxon language, Hanseatic language, Low German: linguistic-historical basics of Low German . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1982, ISBN 3-525-01213-6 , pp. 185-187 .
  69. Wolfgang Lindow: Low German Dictionary . Schuster, Leer 1984, ISBN 3-7963-0215-7 , p. 253-257 .
  70. Demeudige Bidde Des Garlefeschen Beers To the Försten van Brönsewiek un Lüneborg - Uth the Latienschen Taur Lust in de platdüsche sprake . Gardelegen 1651.
  71. ^ Ernst Moritz Arndt : Dom büst du då. In: Mährchen und Jugenderinnerungen. Second part. G. Reimer Publishing House, Berlin 1843.
  72. ^ Manfred Brümmer: De Mallbüdel. Tennemann, 2009.
  73. Agathe Lasch: Middle Low German Grammar . Verlag Max Niemeyer, Halle an der Saale 1914, § 401.
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  76. ^ With Ulrich Jahn : Dei Fischer un syne Fruu . In: Folk tales from Pomerania and Rügen. l, Norden / Leipzig 1891, on Wikisource .
  77. In Wolfgang Rieck : Stephan Jantzen, December 17, 1873 "Guys Hollt juch fast".
  78. a b Mecklenburg dictionary. Volume 3, Neumünster 1961, Col. 1106, see Fritz Reuter , examples on Wikisource : Ut de Franzosentid , An old nanny , Ik far an Eikbom .
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  82. ^ Joseph Wright : An Old High-German primer with grammar, notes, and glossary. Oxford, 1888, p. 63.
  83. ^ Eduard Sievers : Anglo-Saxon grammar. Third edition. Volume III. of the series collection of short grammars of Germanic dialects , edited by Wilhelm Braune. Halle, 1921, p. 198.
  84. Joseph Wright, Elizabeth Mary Wright: Old English grammar. 1908, p. 247.
  85. ^ Wiggers: Grammar of the Low German Language. Section 52.2.
  86. Dieter Stellmacher : Low German: Forms and research . Max Niemeyer Verlag , Tübingen 1981, ISBN 3-484-10415-5 , p.  22-25, 132 f .
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  90. full text
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