Languages

Sorbian, Upper

Fact corner

Introduction

Upper Sorbian is a minority language spoken in Germany in the historical province of Upper Lusatia, which is today part of Saxony. Principal towns are Bautzen (Upper Sorbian: Budyšin) and Kamenz (Sorbian Kamjenc).

A West Slavic language, it strongly resembles Czech. There are estimated to be 40,000 speakers of Upper Sorbian, of which almost all live in Saxony. This puts Upper Sorbian as the third largest minority language in Germany, after Turkish and Danish, but before Frisian.

The history of the Upper Sorbian language in Germany began with the Slavic migrations during the 6th Century AD. Beginning in the 12th Century, there was a massive influx of rural Germanic settlers from Flanders, Saxony, Thuringia and Franconia. The succeeding devastation of the country by martial actions began the slow decrease of the Upper Sorbian language.

The verb

Upper Sorbian verbs are inflected for

  • Number: singular, dual, and plural
  • Person: 1 'I, we', 2 'you', 3 'he, she, it; they
  • Tense: present, future, perfect, and preterite
  • Mood: indicative, imperative, and conjunctive

The forms that use the so called "L-participle" make a special distinction between forms for the three genders (masculine, femenine, neutre).

Sample verb: pisać pisa npf. to write

INDICATIVE IMPERATIVE CONDITIONAL
Present Future Perfectum Preterite
Sg.1 pisam budu pisać sym pisał (m) / sym pisała (f) pisach - bych pisał (m) / bych pisała (f)
Sg.2 pisaš budźeš pisać sy pisał (m) / sy pisała (f) pisaše pisaj by pisał (m) / by pisała (f)
Sg.3 pisa budźe pisać je pisał (m) / je pisała (f) / je pisało (n) njech pisa by pisał (m) / by pisała (f) / by pisało (n)
Du.1 pisamoj budźemoj pisać smój pisałoj pisachmoj pisajmoj bychmoj pisałoj
Du.2 pisatej budźetej pisać stej pisałoj pisaštej pisajtej byštej pisałoj
Du.3 njech pisatej
Pl.1 pisamy budźemy pisać smy pisali pisachmy pisajmy bychmy pisali
Pl.2 pisaće budźeće pisać sće pisali pisašće pisajće byšće pisali
Pl.3 pisaja budu pisać / budźeja pisać su pisali pisachu njech pisaja by pisali

External links

References

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