- Sorbian languages
Infobox Language family
iso2=wenThe Sorbian languages are classified under the Slavic branch of the
Indo-European languages. They are the native languages of the Sorbs, a Slavic minority in eastern Germany. Historically the language has also been known as Wendish or Lusatian. Their collective ISO 639-2 code is wen.
There are two literary languages: Upper Sorbian ("hornjoserbsce"), spoken by about 40,000 people in
Saxony, and Lower Sorbian ("dolnoserbski") spoken by about 10,000 people in Brandenburg. The area where the two languages are spoken is known as Lusatia("Łužica" in Upper Sorbian, "Łužyca" in Lower Sorbian, or "Lausitz" in German).
Both languages have the dual for
nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs; very few known living Indo-European languagesretain this feature as a productive aspect of the grammar (see Slovene grammarfor the other).
In Germany, Upper and Lower Sorbian are officially recognized and protected as minority languages. In the home areas of the Sorbs, both languages are officially equal to German.
The city of
Bautzenin Upper Lusatiais the centre of Upper Sorbian culture. Bilingual signs can be seen around the city, including the name of the city, "Bautzen/"Budyšin".
The city of
Cottbus("Chóśebuz") is considered the cultural centre of Lower Sorbian; here too bilingual signs are found.
Sorbian is also spoken in the small Sorbian (“Wendish”) settlement of Serbin in
Lee County, Texas. Until recently newspapers were published in Sorbian there. The local dialect has been heavily influenced by surrounding speakers of German and English.
While the old German-derived labels “Wend” and “Wendish,” which once denoted “Slav(ic)” generally, have been retained in American and Australian communities, they ought not be used in place of “Sorb” and “Sorbian” with reference to Sorbian communities in Germany, because many Sorbs consider them to be offensive.
List of Sorbian-language writers
Low Lusatian German
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=92156 Sorbian language tree]
* [http://www.uoc.edu/euromosaic/web/document/sorab/an/i1/i1.html Euromosaic information page]
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