Upper Sorbian language

Upper Sorbian language

name=Upper Sorbian
nativename=Hornjoserbsce, Hornjoserbšćina
pronunciation= [ˈhɔrnjɔˌsɛrbskʲi]
fam4=West Slavic
script=Latin (Sorbian variant)
nation=regional language in Germany (Brandenburg and Saxony)

Upper Sorbian ( _hs. "Hornjoserbsce") is a minority language spoken in Germany in the historical province of Upper Lusatia, which is today part of Saxony. A West Slavic language, it strongly resembles Czech.Fact|date=December 2007


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. In addition, in the Saxony region, the Sorbian language was legally subordinated to the German language. Language prohibitions were later added: In 1293, the Sorbian language was forbidden in Berne castle before the courts; in 1327 it was forbidden in Zwickau and Leipzig, and from 1424 on it was forbidden in Meissen. Further, there was the condition in many guilds of the cities of the area to accept only members of German-language origin.

However, the central areas of the Milzener and Lusitzer, in the area of the today's Lausitz, were relatively unaffected by the new German language settlements and legal restrictions. The language therefore flourished there. By the 17th Century, the number of Upper Sorbian speakers in that area grew to over 300,000. The oldest evidence of written Upper Sorbian is the „"Burger Eydt Wendisch"” monument, which was discovered in the city of Bautzen and dated to the year 1532.

The Upper Sorbian language in Germany

There are estimated to be 60,000 speakers of Upper Sorbian, of which approximately 40,000 live in Saxony and another 20,000 in Brandenburg, Germany. This puts Upper Sorbian as the third largest minority language in Germany, after Turkish and Danish, but before Frisian. Since the nationality affiliations in Germany are not officially recorded and Upper Sorbian nationality is self-identified, these figures are only estimates. Fact|date=October 2007 The number of active speakers may be substantially smaller. Some scholars predict that Upper Sorbian is in danger of extinction. Computer forecasts predict that in 20-30 years time, there will only be 7,000 speakers of Lower Sorbian and 13,000 of Upper Sorbian left in the world. (Some in fact believe that Lower Sorbian may be extinct by that time.) In the opinion of more optimistic language experts, by the end of the 21st century Upper Sorbian will not yet be extinct.Fact|date=October 2007 Nevertheless, no further reliable forecasts can be made at the present time.

ee also

*Sorbian alphabet
*Lower Sorbian language

External links

* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=hsb Ethnologue on Upper Sorbian]


*hsb icon [http://sibz.whyi.org/frazeol/strony.php?spr=sorb&id=fraze&pro=sorb Hornjoserbski dictionary]
*hsb icon [http://gcjm.dyndns.org/sorbword/suchen.afp SorbWord]
*hsb icon [http://www.uni-leipzig.de/%7Esorb/seiten/hsb/05/recnopraktiske/sprachpraktische-hsb.html Sorbian 'language practice' page] "Leipzig University's"
*hsb icon [http://www.uni-leipzig.de/~sorb/seiten/hsb/05/leksikaliske/lexikalische-hsb.html Sorbian information page] "Leipzig University's"
*hsb icon [http://corpora.informatik.uni-leipzig.de/?dict=sorb Wortschatz.de]


*hsb icon [http://sibz.whyi.org/~edi/wucbnica/woerterbuch.html at "sibz.whyi.org"]
*hsb icon [http://www.boehmak.de/ at "Böhmak.de"]


*hsb icon [http://www.boehmak.de/sn.html at "Böhmak.de"]
*hsb icon [http://sibz.whyi.org/~edi/wucbnica/slownik.html at "sibz.whyi.org"]

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