| Low German |
|Spoken in:||Germany, Netherlands, Denamrk (Norddütschland)|
|Basic word order:||SVO, OVS/V2|
- 1 History and Stages
- 2 Difference between High and Low German
- 3 Orthography
- 4 Grammar
- 5 Low German Conlangs
- 6 Sources and Further Readings
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;
- Non-geminated voicless stops became fricatives,
- Geminated, nasal-adjacent and liquid-adjacent voiceless stops became affricates,
- Voiced stops became voiceless stops, and finally
- All interdental fricatives (/ð/ and /θ/) became the dental stop and/or Alveolar stop /d̻/ and /d/.
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)|
|Genitive||den (-s)(sien)†||de (ehr)||dat (sien)||de (ehr)|
† 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|