Lowlands-L Anniversary Celebration

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


“City Frisian”
(Dutch on Wast Frisian Substrata)

Liwwad ... Ljouwert ... Leeuwarden ... one of Fryslân’s cities
in which Dutch comes with Frisian substrates

Language Information: “City Frisian” (Stadsfrys, Frisian Stêdsk, Dutch Stadsfries or Stadfries) is actually not Frisian but denotes Dutch dialects based on Frisian substrata. They may be considered Fryslân’s counterparts of Northern Germany’s Missingsch (i.e., German dialects on Low Saxon substrata) and Trasianka (i.e. Russian on Belarusian substrata).
      These Stadsfrys varieties began to evolve in the 16th century, when Fryslân (Westerlauwer Friesland) lost its independence and the Dutch language was imposed upon its population. Dutch inroads were particularly strong in the larger centers with their Dutch-speaking administration, education and social élites, thus with strong pressures and incentives for urban Frisian speakers to adopt Dutch as their primary language. In the process of conversion, Dutch came to be superimposed upon a Frisian base. In other words, Frisian townspeople began to speak Dutch with more or less Frisian interference. They retained numerous phonological, lexical, morphological, syntactic and idiomatic features of Frisian in their versions of Dutch. As neerlandization continued, these urban language varieties came to be regarded as casual local dialects, even as slang, and most of their speakers became proficient in Standard Dutch as well, many of them also in Frisian. Stadsfrys came to be socially restricted, being used among relatives, friends and neighbors, considered by most people inferior to “proper” Dutch and Frisian, at least in more formal, public settings. However, at earlier stages of its development, prior to full standardization of Dutch and reassertion and standardization of Westerlauwer Frisian, Stadsfrys was considered more prestigeous than Frisian.
ALL languages and dialects are beautiful, precious gifts. So cherish yours and others! Share them with the world!     Several Stadsfrys varieties are still being used these days, though the number of their speakers is declining. In Fryslân’s capital city Ljouwert (Leeuwarden) about 25% of the population still speak and understand the local Stadsfrys known as Liwwarders (or Liwwadders). Other surviving varieties are used in Boalsert (Bolsward), Dokkum, Frjentsjer (Franeker), Harns (Harlingen), It Hearrenfean (Heerenveen), Snits (Sneek) and Starum (Stavoren). Being essentially Dutch varieties upon Frisian substrates, they are related to the similarly evolved dialects of less urbanized It Bilt (Het Bildt), Kollum and Amelân (Ameland).
     To a limited extent, Stadsfrys is a written language, featured mostly in works of local interest. However, there is no standard orthography for it, and individual authors’ spelling conventions tend to be based upon Dutch or Frisian spelling, or on a mixture of both.

Genealogy: Indo-European > Germanic > Western > Low German > Low Franconian > Dutch on Frisian substrates

Historical Lowlands language contacts: Dutch, Frisian

    Click to open the translation: [Liwwarders]Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

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