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Thread: Extinct Germanic languages

  1. #1
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    Extinct Germanic languages

    Extinct Germanic languages

    Burgundian

    Burgundian was the East Germanic language of the Germanic speaking people who ultimately settled in southeastern Gaul (Southeastern France, Western Switzerland, and Northwestern Italy) in the fifth century C.E. It is extinct.


    Frankish

    Frankish is the extinct West Germanic language formerly spoken in Northern Gaul and the Low Countries. It was largely swamped by the Latin-derived French. However Low Franconian, an approximate ancestor of Dutch-Flemish, was closely related to Frankish.


    Gothic

    Gothic was the East Germanic language of the Germanic speaking people who migrated from southern Scania (southern Sweden) to the Ukraine. From there the West and East Goths migrated to southern Gaul, Iberia, and Italy in the fifth and sixth centuries C. E. The Gepids were overcome by the Lombards and Avars in the fifth century and disappeared.

    Gothic is recorded in translations of parts of the bible into West Gothic in the fourth century C. E. and by names.

    Gothic is extinct. The last Gothic speakers reported were in the Crimea in the sixteenth century C. E.


    Lombardic

    Lombardic was the East Germanic language of the Germanic speaking people who invaded and settled in Italy in the sixth century C. E. It is said that Lombardic participated in the so-called second sound shift which is primarily attested in High German.

    Lombardic is extinct.


    Norn

    Norn was a mixed language of West Norse and Irish spoken in the Shetland Islands. It is extinct.

    There is extant an entire ballad text in Norn, Hildina-kvadet.

    It is described in an article: Hildina-kvaedet. Ein etteroeknad og ei tolking. by Eigil Lehmann. It is printed in: Fra Fjon til Fusa 1984. Arbok for Hordamuseet og for Nord- og Midhordland sogelag.

    Hildina-kvadet was written down in 1774 by the Scot George Low. He got it from a farmer - Guttorm - at the Shetland island Foula. Low did not understand the language, so the song will have to be "translated" into - well, whatever. What Lehmann does, is to try to reconstruct the Norn version of the song.

    Lehmann's preface contains a bibliography, translated here by Reidar Moberg:

    "The song was printed as early as 1808 by James Headrick, in 1838 by the Norwegian P.A. Munch. Others, who have been working on this kvad, is the Dane Svend Grundtvig, the Norwegian Sophus Bugge, Jakob Jakobsen from the Faeroe Islands, the Norwegian Moltke Moe and the Dane Axel Olrik. These have mostly tried to bring the kvad back to old Norse. Such a reconstruct from Axel Olrik from 1898 could be found in a work on the kvad of the Dane Hakon Grüner-Nielsen in the honour book to Gustav Indrebo 1939. The most thorough work is done by the Norwegian Marius Haegstad in the book Hildina-kvadet from 1900."


    Vandalic

    Vandalic was the East Germanic language of the Germanic speaking people who invaded Gaul, Iberia, and Africa. They founded a kingdom in Africa in the fifth century C. E. Vandalic is extinct.


    http://softrat.home.mindspring.com/germanic.html


    Yola

    Yola was a branch of Middle English that evolved separately among the English (known as the Old English) who followed the Norman barons Strongbow and Robert Fitzstephen to eastern Ireland in 1169. It continued to be spoken in south County Wexford until the early to mid-19th century when it was gradually replaced with modern Hiberno-English.

    The dialect, which in the period before its extinction was known as "Yola", meaning "old", evolved separately from the mainstream of English. Perhaps due to the geographic isolation and predominately rural character of the communities where it was spoken, Yola seems to have changed little down the centuries from when it first arrived in Ireland, apart from assimilating many Irish words. By the early 19th century, it was distinctly different from English spoken elsewhere.

    By the mid 19th century, the dialect was only spoken in remote parts of Forth. It was succumbing to the same set of social, political and economic processes which were killing the Irish language and by the end of that century little remained of this unique linguistic heritage.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yola_language

  2. #2
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    Such languages are still with a few words in nowadays dialects, but they're nearly all mixed with todays german and franconian and very rare.
    In Germany you notice that sometimes. There are people you meet in villages who talk in such an old language type that you don't understand them as german.

    So calling them extinct is wrong, but yes, they're near to be extinct.

    I'm also able to speak "Alt-Germanisch" - Old-Germanic since i have studied it.
    Most words are partly changed found in nowadays german, but many words are totally different that you have problems.

    I'll show you an example:

    German: Die muss ich holen (Those i must get) --old-german-->
    Old-Germanic: "Diu gilimpfent mir zi halönne"

    or

    German: Teufel (Devil)
    Old-Germanic: Tiufal or even "Unhold" which is still used nowadays to describe a evil person in germany.

    So you, see that theyre not all extinct, but the majority is indeed.


    I could make a thread for people here who are interessted in learning the old germanic language and translate them sentences or start a basic-course.

    But i'm not sure if many people here are interessted in linguistics of their forefathers.




    Gruß,
    Boche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boche View Post
    I could make a thread for people here who are interessted in learning the old germanic language and translate them sentences or start a basic-course.

    But i'm not sure if many people here are interessted in linguistics of their forefathers.
    A very good concept, I would be on board, maybe you should give it a vote?

    Althochdeutsch is a subject I'm interested in...I'd have to assume a few more on here are, too.

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    Where those actually official languages with a significant range, or were they just a range of dialects? From what I understood, official languages are only a fairly recent phenomenon and during the Middle-Ages people wrote pretty much in their dialects or a slightly cleaned up version. People from Limburg wrote in a completely different language than people from Western-Flanders. Yet, both are regarded as Dutch.

    Current German language is based on High German dialects and current Dutch language is based on Lower German dialects. Therefore both are basically German languages, but merely based on the dialects of different regions. Up until halfway the 19th century, both languages were stil referred to as High German and Low German rather than German and Dutch.

    So I'm not really sure we can speak of extinct languages, since I question whether those were distinct languages to begin with. What does bother me a lot, however, is the disappearance of dialects. I don't know about your regions, but in many areas of Flanders we see dialects disappearing. The new generations only speak the official language and never learn the language of their ancestors. Thus, another part of our heritage is lost

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