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Thread: The Cimbrian Minority - Language and Culture

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    The Cimbrian Minority - Language and Culture

    Cimbrian, or Tzimbrisch, Zimbrisch, Tzimbro refers to any of several local upper German dialects spoken in Northeastern Italy. This area was settled in about the year 1000 by people coming from Tyrol, and since then it was isolated from other German speaking areas, politically and linguistically. Cimbrian is a Germanic language which is related to Austro-Bavarian and is sometimes classified as a Southern Austro-Bavarian dialect. However, as there are many essential differences in grammar as well in vocabulary and pronunciation, it is practically unintelligible for people speaken Standard German or Austro-Bavarian. The three major dialects of Cimbrian are spoken in Sette Comuni (Sieben Gemeinden) near Asiago (Roana/Robaan), in Luserna (Lusern), the Tredici Cummuni (Dreizehn Gemeinden) near Verona (the village of Giazza/Ljetzan) and in some villages in the Carnic Alps as Sappada, Sauris and Timau. Cimbrian language is in danger of extinction both from Standard Italian, which is often used in public, and the neighboring regional Venetian language. It is estimated that about 2.220 people still speak Cimbrian.

    2.220 Cimbrian speakers: 40% in Asiago, 70% in Messaselva di Roana Trotzo in Veneto about 60 km north of Vicenza. 65% in Giazza (Ijetzan) Veneto, 43 km northeast of Verona.

    in 1854 there were 22.700 Cimbrian speakers in Sieben Gemeinde and 12.400 in Dreizehn Gemeinden.

    Cimbrian dialects consist of Lusernese Cimbrian, Tredici Communi Cimbrian (Tauch), Sette Cummuni Cimbrian. Structural and intelligibility differences indicate that the three dialects listed could be considered seperate Germanic languages. Lusernese Cimbrian is heavenly influenced by Italian. Heavenly influenced by Bajuwarisch dialects, it is sometimes considered to be a dialect of South Bavarian. Different from Bavarian, Walser and Mocheno. No written influence from Standard German.

    Pastors preached in Cimbrian until the late 19th century. Attemts to promote the Cimbrian language have been increasing in recent decades. It is taught in some classes. Speaskers are all billingual in Standard Italian and Venetian, and many know Standard German.

    www.omniglot.com/writing/cimbrian.htm

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    Here´s a map with the regions in whom the Cimbrian language is spoken:


    As Sigurd already mentioned, language scientists conclude that the Cimbrian language ("Zimbern" in German) is a late medieval form of Upper German, especially Southern Bavarian with bits of Alemannic. While all German dialects developed further over time, Cimbrian language stayed the same due to the remote and isolated mountain villages of the Cimbrians. It´s assumed that Cimbrians were Bavarian and Tyrolean settlers who came to the region many centuries ago. At the beginning there must have been around 20.000 Cimbrians, but now there´re only some thousands remaining - and only some hundred active speakers in daily life.


    Here are some sites related to the smallest German and Germanic language family!

    The most important site is a small but fine online Cimbrian course with basic words and sentences - both in German and English:

    http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/didact...2/remigio2.htm

    Some examples of the course who clearly show the medieval heritage of the language:

    German: "Das ist mein Mann." Cimbrian: "Diisar is dar main mann."
    German: "Kann ich Herrn ... sprechen?" Cimbrian: "Man-sich prèchtan métteme Hèeren ... ?


    If you know some things about Old German language structure, syntax and grammar, the similarities leap to the eye.

    Other useful informations (most of them are German-languaged):

    http://www.cimbri.org/
    http://www.moesslang.net/Lusern-Cimbern.htm
    http://www.tr3ntino.it/de/highlights...e-zimbern.html
    http://www.czucka.de/Zimbrisch/zimbrisch.html

    A regional TV magazine in Cimbrian language:

    Zimbar Earde


    Well, it really sounds quite a lot like Old Upper German in matters of pronunciation, grammar and word building. "Earde" = "Erde", etc. When I read old High German texts, I spell and read them similar to some Cimbrian words. The subtitles are Italian.

    Cimbrian culture and language must be preserved, it´s invaluable and a look back to our linguistical past.

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Cimbrian

    Cimbrians? I thought the Romans wiped them out as a Tribal Identity. As for Language extinction, better get the Linguists in there and record it before it disappears. Much like thousands of other Languages and Dialects before...

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    wittwer - You're confusing a tribe with later migration of Bavarians into these areas; though I recall that one or two must have --- considering the state of their vowels (no South-Bavarian "dark a"), arrived from the Upper Bavaria/Swabia boundary. Must check again, have some material collected somewhere around here.

    Alas, it is not all so alive as much as Thussy's map would suggest. Essentially Lusern, Tischlbong and Bernstol are very much still alive, it's a difficult situation for Plodn and Zahre, and it's essentially extinct in Sieben Gemeinden resp. Dreizehn Gemeinden.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Language Disappearance

    Ahh... so it's not vestiges of the ancient Cimbrian tounge., but various dialects of Old High German. We've had similiar problems with old languages going extinct here in the States. Three that come to mind are "Old Appalachian" from the Mountain Region of the same name which was a dialect of old 15th Century English. And "Old Acadian" a variation and dialect of old French, deep in the swamps and bayous of Louisiana. I won't even mention the loss of various Tribal Dialects of North American Indians.

    About the only thing that can be done to save the Languages from the ravages of Modernity, is to get Linguists into the areas and record them, both grammar and syntax before they are lost forever...

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    So, correct me if I'm wrong, the Cimbri were a Celto-Germanic tribe who descended out of Denmark due to environmental factors and resettled throughout Europe, but also a dialect of South Tyrol?
    Is there a correlation between the two? Or am I missing the point entirely?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    So, correct me if I'm wrong, the Cimbri were a Celto-Germanic tribe who descended out of Denmark due to environmental factors and resettled throughout Europe, but also a dialect of South Tyrol?
    Is there a correlation between the two? Or am I missing the point entirely?
    Why don´t you read the post of Sigurd just two posts above yours? The tribe in question has nothing to do with the historical "Cimbris" as far as we know. I guess the root of the misunderstanding is the English spelling of the two tribes with "C" as the first letter in both cases. In Germany, the ancient Germanic tribe from Denmark and Northern Germany who walked southward to meet and fight the Romans jointly with the Teutons and Ambrones is named "Kimbern" while the minority in South Tyrol goes by the name "Zimbern".

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thusnelda View Post
    Why don´t you read the post of Sigurd just two posts above yours?
    I did, just was still unsure about any at all correlation

    Quote Originally Posted by Thusnelda
    The tribe in question has nothing to do with the historical "Cimbris" as far as we know. I guess the root of the misunderstanding is the English spelling of the two tribes with "C" as the first letter in both cases. In Germany, the ancient Germanic tribe from Denmark and Northern Germany who walked southward to meet and fight the Romans jointly with the Teutons and Ambrones is named "Kimbern" while the minority in South Tyrol goes by the name "Zimbern".
    Yes. In a book I'm reading ('The Celts' by Jean Markale) he goes into great detail the etymological complications and impact of the Cimbri.

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