(Prussian and Saxon subgroups)
German dialects about 1910, Low Prussian (Niederpreußisch) marked in the northeast
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Low Prussian (German: Niederpreußisch), sometimes known simply as Prussian (Preußisch), is a moribund dialect of East Low German that developed in East Prussia. Low Prussian was spoken in East and West Prussia and Danzig up to 1945. It developed on a Baltic substrate through the influx of Dutch- and Low German-speaking immigrants. It supplanted Old Prussian, which became extinct in the 17th century.
Plautdietsch, a Low German variety, is included within Low Prussian by some observers. Excluding Plautdietsch, Low Prussian can be considered moribund due to the evacuation and forced expulsion of Germans from East Prussia after World War II. Plautdietsch, however, has several thousand speakers throughout the world, most notably in South America, Canada and Germany.
According to one summary of Low German dialects, words very characteristic of Low Prussian are doa ('dor', there), joa ('jo', yes), goah ('goh', go) and noa ('nober', neighbor), which feature the diphthong "oa" instead of the usual "o" or "a". The dialect is also marked by a substitution of "k" for "ch", such as in mannke ('minsch', person), and a loan of High German-like words, such as zwei ('twee', two). Words are often shortened, in a manner similar to that of the neighboring East Pomeranian dialect, giving beet (beten, little bit) and baakove ('bakåben', bake oven).
Some observers argue that it resembles Dutch and Flemish because of these features. Low Prussian also has a number of words in common with Plautdietsch, such as Klemp (cow), Klopps (lump, ball of earth), and Tsoagel (tail).
Some other words are:
|Low Prussian||Old Prussian||Latvian||Lithuanian||Standard German||English|
|Flins||plīnksni||plācenis||blynas||Pfannkuchen||pancake, scone, biscuit|
|Kujel||kūilis||cūka, mežacūka, kuilis||kuilys, šernas||Wildschwein||boar|
|Margell, Marjell||mērgā||meitene, meiča||merga, mergelė, mergaitė||Magd, Mädchen, Mädel||maiden, girl|
|Pawirpen||(from pawīrps)||algādzis, strādnieks||padienis||Losmann||freelancer|
In addition to the words of Old Prussian origin, another source of Balticisms was Lithuanian. After the migration of Lithuanians in the 15th century, many Lithuanian loanwords appeared in the Low Prussian dialect.
|Low Prussian||Lithuanian||Standard German||English|
|Burteninker||burtininkas||Wahrsager, Zauberer, Besprecher||magician, soothsayer, sorcerer|
|kalbeken||kalbėti||sprechen||to talk, to speak|
|Kausche, Kauszel||kaušas||Schöpfkelle, Trinknapf||dipper|
|Krepsch, Krepsche, Krepsze||krepšys, krepšas||Sack, Handsack, Ranzen||basket|
|Lorbas||liurbis||Tölpel, Tolpatsch, Waschlappen||loser, fumbler|
|Packrant||krantas, pakrantė, pakraštys||Rand, Küste||edge, coast|