Low German

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Low German
Nedersaksisch Plattdüütsch
Spoken in: Germany, Netherlands, Denamrk (Norddütschland)
Conworld: Real world
Total speakers: unknown
Genealogical classification: Indo-European
West Germanic
Low German
Basic word order: SVO, OVS/V2
Morphological type: inflecting
Morphosyntactic alignment: nominative-accusative
Writing system:
Created by:
unknown 1800-Present C.E.

History and Stages

Difference between High and Low German

High German differs from other West German languages such as Low German, English, and Dutch in that High German when through the High German Consonant Shift. The High German Consonant Shift (or HGCS) is the sound shift where;

  1. Non-geminated voicless stops became fricatives,
  2. Geminated, nasal-adjacent and liquid-adjacent voiceless stops became affricates,
  3. Voiced stops became voiceless stops, and finally
  4. All interdental fricatives (/ð/ and /θ/) became the dental stop and/or Alveolar stop // and /d/.

The last stage was shared by Low German and Dutch as well as High German.


Because there is no standard dialect of Low German, there is no standard orthography. It can often differ by region.


Gender and Number

There are three genders in Low German: Neuter, Masculine, and Feminine. There are two numbers as well: Singular and Plural.


The Masculine and Feminine genders take the definite article de. The Neuter form takes the article dat. The plural for all this is de. This makes it very close to its cousin of Dutch which has a similar pattern (save het instead of dat.)

The Indefinite article is the same for all, it is een, en, and 'n.

Compare these with the German Articles]:

Cases Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural (all Genders)
Nominative de de dat de
Genitive den (-s)(sien)† de (ehr) dat (sien) de (ehr)
Dative den de dat de
Accusative den de dat de

sien or ehr appear after the noun in Genitive.


There are 4 cases, although the dative and accusative are often collapsed together in Low German. This is reflected in the articles as well. The most common form of the plural is found in the ending -s but there are others, similar to those found in Dutch or High German.
Here are examples for all three genders:

Cases Macker 'Guy' Mackers'Guys' Appel 'Apple' Appeln 'Apples'
Nominative De Macker De Mackers De Appel De Appeln
Genitive Den Macker(s) (sien) De Mackers (ehr) Den Appels (sien) De Appeln (ehr)
Dative Den Macker De Mackers Den Appel De Appeln
Accusative Den Macker De Mackers Den Appel De Appeln


Cases Hand 'Hand' Hände 'Hands' Fru 'Woman' Fruuslü 'Women'
Nominative De Hann De Hannen De Fru De Fruuslü
Genitive De Hann (ehr) De Hannen (ehr) De Fru (ehr) De Fruuslü (ehr)
Dative De Hann De Hannen De Fru De Fruuslü
Accusative De Hann De Hannen De Fru De Fruuslü


Cases Schiff 'Ship' Schiffe 'Ships' Wief'Wife' Wiefer'Wives'
Nominative Dat Schipp De Schipps Dat Wief De Wiever
Genitive Dat Schipp (sien) De Schipps (ehr) Dat Wief (sien) De Wiever (ehr)
Dative Dat Schipp De Schipps Dat Wief De Wiever
Accusative Dat Schipp De Schipps Dat Wief De Wiever

Adjectives and Adverbs









Present Perfect


Low German Conlangs

Below are conlangs that are mainly based on Old Saxon, Middle Low German, and modern Low German dialects:

Sources and Further Readings

This article is one of quite a few pages about Natlangs.

Indo-european natlangs:

Balto-Slavic Natlangs: Czech * Russian
Celtic Natlangs: Revived Middle Cornish * Pictish
Germanic Natlangs:
North Germanic Natlangs: Norwegian
West Germanic Natlangs: Anglo-Saxon * Dutch * English (Old English * Middle English * Modern English * Scots) * German (High German * Low German)
Indo-Iranian Natlangs: Pahlavi
Italic Natlangs: French * Italian * Latin * Spanish
Debated: Cimmerian

Uralic Natlangs: Finnish * Khanty * Mansi * Mordvinic * Proto-Uralic
Altaic (controversial): Japanese
Sino-Tibetan Natlangs:
Uto-Aztecan Natlangs: Nahuatl


Isolate Natlangs: Basque * *
Hypothetical/debated Natlangs and Natlang families: Danubian * Europic (obsolete)