Pomeranian language

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The Pomeranian language is a group of dialects from the Lechitic cluster of the West Slavic languages. In medieval contexts, it refers to the dialects spoken by the Slavic Pomeranians. In modern contexts, the term is sometimes used synonymously with "Kashubian language" and may also include extinct Slovincian.


Ancient Pomeranian

During the early medieval Slavic migrations, the area between the Oder and Vistula rivers was settled by tribes grouped as Pomeranians. Their dialects, sometimes referred to as Ancient Pomeranian, had transitory character between the Polabian dialects spoken west of Pomerania, and the Old Polish dialects spoken to the Southeast. While there are no surviving documents written in Pomeranian, medieval Pomeranian names are mentioned in contemporary documents written in other languages.[1]

Slovincian and Kashubian

During the High Middle Ages, German immigration and assimilation of the Slavic Pomeranians (Ostsiedlung) introduced Low German Pomeranian dialects which were to become dominant in Pomerania except for some areas in the East, where the populace remained largely Slavic and continued the use of the Slavic Pomeranian language. This was especially the case in Pomerelia, where the Slavic population became known as Kashubians and their language accordingly as Kashubian. An insular Slavic Pomeranian dialect spoken northwest of Kashubia until the 20th century became known as Slovincian. It is disputed whether Slovincian may be regarded as a dialect of Kashubian or a separate language. Likewise, it is disputed whether Kashubian may be regarded as a dialect of Polish or a separate language.[2]

Influence on other dialects

The Pomeranian language influenced the formation of other Polish language dialects, such as: the Kociewski, Borowiacki, Krajniacki dialects. There is no doubt that they belong to the Polish language, but they also have some features in common with the Pomeranian language, which proves that their character was transitional.

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