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Version of 2007-07-29

Wersja polskaBilanguage versionWersja dwujzyczna


Grzegorz Jagodziski

The Sorbian languages

Who enabled the rise of this page was Sonja Wlke. She both offered me information on Sorbian languages, and was so kind to make me scans of materials from the manual of the Lower Sorbian language:

which is possible to purchase here. The examples below come from this manual.


Lower Sorbian – dolnoserbski

The Lower Sorbian alphabet

A B C D E F
a bej cej et ej dej ej t ef
 
G H I J K L M  
gej ha i jot ka e el em  
 
N O () P R S
en ejn o pej er ej es e
 
T U W Y Z  
ej tej u wej y zet et ej  

Remarks:

Examples

Rules of pronunciation

bi, bibu, biblija, by, bdny, zabgnu, bjacha, njebjo, sebje, mica, miy, mimo, mch, mso, mri, mjena, smjer, mjasec, amjo, drmju, rigota, rica, burik, rd, rdny, kr, rjagota, rjeaz, mrjo, erjo se, wrju In the Lower Sorbian language, hard and soft pronunciation of consonants occurs. Soft pronunciation of b, m, p, r is obligatory before i, j, .
baba, baran, bedo, bubon, byk, beton, saby, Bota, zbada, bronja, mama, maza, mech, mek, moky, mucha, mucny, mysli, zmys, sam, bom, rada, wra, rozym, ruka, ryba, rora, murka, nerka, mr, cukor, zrani, Bramborska Besides, hard pronunciation occurs. The hard r is pronounced as tongued [r] or uvular [ʀ].
figa, fidle, filowa, telegrafrowa, felowa, fejfa, na reliefje, pi efje, fjord, ginu, gila, nogi, rogi, agrowa, gerc, gel, nage, gjarnc, gjars, gjaga, kisay, kiwa, mki, okrowa, blokrowa, keluch, sodke, kjarl, kjarchob, lipa, list, Lipsk, lini, lgwo, lwy, lta, lpy, leluja, leja, lenu, lemjaz The consonants f, g, k, l stay soft before i, j, , e,
fara, fora, futrowa, fyta, flaa, fromny, fryjny, girafa, telefon, relief, gano, gasa, Gogolow, guska, gusor, gya, gluka, godny, groni, gna, glicka, kaza, kamuk, kokot, skoka, kusack, dobytk, kuk, krowa, knakota, zamknu, lampa, lan, laa, lod, lom, balo, lud, luby, kowalnja, wugel, lylowy, lymjel Examples of hard pronunciation.
how, holi, Hochoza, hupa, hupac, Hus, hama, hapa, Haow, hy, hytka, hyni The letter h is mute (denotes no sound) before u, o, rarely before a, y, never before e.
hela, heblik, hendryki The letter h denotes the voiceless weak [ʰ] before e.
hama, hapa, Haow, hy, hytka, hyni, how, Hus The same pronunciation can also occur in some other words
caka, Cazow, cesa, cowa, Fryco, cu, rucka, noc, wc, co The letters c, , d, dz, d, s, , t, t, z, denote only hard consonants; the counterpart of Polish cz is often Lower Sorbian c.
aj, ajnik, eski, eina, rdnuki, mkuki, mauko, laej, ejy, tawa, tada, tocha, tubi, tnarl, wutoba, hytka, kmta, brat, wt, Pt, antk, ery, orca, uflity, yja, kda, tapi, mara, lut, pk, ptak, bibu, ru, su The letters , t are both pronounced like Polish cz (t occurs where tr is in Polish), similarly d, , are pronounced like Polish d, sz, .
sena, sina, ita, uwa, lubos, zawse, pui, owo, lz, dos, by, tasa, tapa, tetli, tei, ti, tikota, to, tuko, ts, bratik, bato, nut, amny, sto, ele, icho, opo, w lu, ma, pa, zna, ma, sn, bra The letters , d, , are pronounced similarly as in Polish, besides t has the same pronunciation as .
icho – sicha, ele – selna The sound is the counterpart of Polish ; however remains after a consonant, hence alternations.
dza [ʒa], w mzdze, na rozdze, da [ǯa], do, rda, rdyny, dungel, dunka, Damila, rozdli, zdar, zdli, rozdra, na gryzde, drodeje, Drjedany The clusters dz, d, d denote consonants [ʒ, ǯ, ʒ́], the same as Polish dz, d, d.
[χ]: chacha, chamny, chopi, chudy, chyta, chmuri, mech, dych, brjuch, pcha
[]: nicht, mnich, zapalich, ncht, mch, grch, ruprajcht, lajchtny, leech
Ch denotes two different sounds, similarily as in German. The most frequent pronunciation is [χ]. When ch ends a syllable after i, j, , it is read []; the same pronunciation is also obligatory in the aorist endings -ech, -echu. In borrowings the digraph ch is read, as a rule, like in their German renderings.
  The letter e denotes 4, and even 5 sounds:
re, eden, weto, dep, cepy, terpik, seno, deno, mech, knecht, zdechnu — [æ] between two hard consonants (pronunciation is wider than in Polish);
derje, mjena, wobjed, eri, semje, zele, pyrje, e, njeyk, wjedro, pjerje — open [ɛ], similar to the Polish one, between two consonants, one of which is soft and the other is hard, or word-finally after a soft consonant;
crjej, dej, mej, smej, seje, ceji, pej, nejjasnjej, zemja, zemski, zemjan, reja [rɛja] ~ [reja] — the half-close [e] before j in a close syllable and in the word zemja and its derivatives, variantly also before j in an open syllable;
jele, rjemje, mjey, pjenjeze, moec, paprjec, pjepje, njerch, njewjesta — the close [] between soft consonants;
motorske, tsate, sngowanje, sudobje, telikerake, wtowate, literatura — reduced [ə] in an unstressed syllable in fast speech (such a pronunciation is not considered correct).
  The letter denotes:
nga, lwy, rdny, mki, jza, sna, gnu, stli, a, psk, wza, k — the strongly closed [] in a stressed (first) syllable, a half-high vowel, intermediate between e and i, pronounced with lips easily pulled away;
naby, sngby, nabg, ywjenjobg, narcny, wcejrcny — in compound words and after prefixes, instead of [] appears [ɛ] in fast speech and dialects;
mj!, rozmj!, mrju, natrj!, njezaprj!, trjako, pjerjedrjarnica, pljaski — the half-closed long [e] before j;
ii, spiwa, gniwa, insa, nimski, ielc, ielina — in a few words the original changed into i, which is noted in spelling.
  The letter j denotes:
jabuko, jele, jeba, jsno, jza, jo, jopka, jucha, juskaju, Juroju, saja, zajta, najsy, sejm, dejm, zoej, gnoj, doj, domoj, bujka, dujki, rozuj, ryjny, fryjny, myjnica, mj!, rozgrj se!, njezatrj, jajo, daju, stoje — the consonant [j] ([i̯]) word-initially, after a vowel and between vowels;
pij!, gymnazij, kij — the group ij is pronounced as long [i:];
njamam, njerch, njok, na nju, murja, derje, wrjos, z twarju, mjasec, mjod, amju, wjacor, wjedro, na cerwju — palatalization of the preceding consonant n, r, m, w before a vowel different than i, ;
bjaka, bjeru, njebjo, rubju, pjas, pjerje, dypjo, sypju, gjaga, gjardy, kjarchob, kjarcma, kjarli — palatalization of the preceding consonant b, p, d, g, k and the weak element [j] before a vowel.
ka, wama, paka, zgeko, spjeko, pie, bk, mki, gr, pika, stika, kupi, do, pony, oty, gnu, rubnu, stanu, yka, ty, zaby, api, acny, ama, kisae, ope, opata, oni, yka, gniy, sowo, ta, tocy The letter denotes the bilabial consonant [w] ([u̯]), just like in Polish.
yca, ycka, dza, da, sek, pjak, kwit, ped, mjat, ros The letter is mute word-initially before a consonant and word-finally after a consonant.
  The letter n denotes:
nana, na, ned, knecht, nos, noga, nuza, nuli, nykata, Nysa, sna, znowa, lan — hard [n] in the majority of positions;
niski, nic, nichten, nchten, nco, nga, njamam, donjas, pjenjeze, njok, na nju — soft [n′] before i, j, ;
kanka, wanka, bengel, denko, wingel, pingel, zagonk, kobrjonk, tunk, kunkac — [ŋ] before k, g.
  The letter denotes:
ma, da, se se!, e, kamje, pse, to, do, tu, su!, gropy, kaz, pijaz — soft [n′];
aki, saki, baka, pjek, zachopjek, brjeka, ek, pseka, zelek, grjebjek — soft [ŋ′] before k, g.
  The letter o denotes:
togodla, kokot, torta, kosty, som, blido, soma, zoto, teliko, dno, mloko, seno — open [ɔ];
row, schow, how, Wtoow, rowny, ota, oty, pony, do, potera, sto, sowa, znowa, w rowje, schowa, toboa, koo, wokoo, do doa, stoy — closed [o] before , w.
  The letter was introduced with a resolution of the Lower Sorbian Linguistic Committee in 1995 as an optional, auxiliary spelling sign in learning materials. The letter means the sound which is still pronounced as closed [], but today most frequently as:
sobta, komra, sromta, somt, skobdny, pomc, gla, mli, zamli, dozamli, chry, pchry, zbrk, do zbrka, p gli, w brata, psec, pbli, weli se — [ɛ] or [y] (i.e. like Polish e or y);
wjna, wjca, wjnik, gjc, chjca, chjna, mj, swj, pj! — [e] before j;
bja se, wjowa, wjo, mjogodla, swjorazny — [e] or [ɛ] in an open syllable.
ke, ae, pjepje, pjaka, tala, graja, twa, y, tw, spa, m!, bjeo!, wmy! The letter denotes soft [r′]
  The letter w denotes:
sawny, dawno, pawda, cewka, wusew, zewym, glwki, slwka, wobotrwko, kiwda, piwnica, iwny, row, Wtoow, rownina, ywnos, zeywk, pikyw — bilabial [w] ([u̯]) after a vowel in a closed syllable (here w = );
wari, way, barwa, wence, weto, we, wda, wcy, zawnoe, wy, wyrka — bilabial [w] ([u̯]) before a, e, , y;
wokable [u̯ɔkablɛ], wokatiw, wulkan, wulkaniz(r)owa, wulfenit — bilabial [w] ([u̯]) in borrowings;
wina, wie, w cerkwi, we, wra, dw, wjedro, strowje, wjacor, pi cerwju — bilabial softened [w′] ([u̯′]) before i, , j;
wucho, wuchac, wutoba, wucy, wuspch, wusta, wugel, wui, woko, woge, wobej, wobg, wobgranicowa, wokno, wochlica, wtwucy, zwucowa, wuwucowa, wobwuski, wtwobala, zwobleka — weak [ʰ] or no sound before u, o word-initially or after a prefix;
wlac, wliw, wrjaska, wrobel, wrota, wak, wykno, wze, wos, waty, wzda — no sound word-initially before a consonant.

The other letters (a, i, u, y) are pronounced like in Polish.

The stress is on the first syllable.


Upper Sorbian – hornjoserbski

The Upper Sorbian alphabet

A B C D D E
a bej cej ej et dej dej e t
 
F G H CH I J K L
ef gej ha cha i jot ka e el
 
M N O P (Q) R
em en ejn o t pej ku er er
 
S T U W (X) Y Z
es e tej u wej iks y zet et

Remark: a new proposal is presented here; the following order has been used so far:, (see e.g. here):
a, b, c, , d, d, e, , f, g, h, ch, i, j, k, , l, m, n, , o, , p, [q], r, , s, , t, , u, [v], w, [x], y, z, .


Sorbian links

Remark: you will find a number of links to pages on the Sorbian languages here.