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Author: Subject: Lewaszkiewicz, Tadeusz: Polish-Sorbian Linguistic Contacts from the 10th/11th Century to the Presen
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[*] posted on 10-6-2016 at 09:26 PM
Lewaszkiewicz, Tadeusz: Polish-Sorbian Linguistic Contacts from the 10th/11th Century to the Presen


Lětopis Abstract 2015 1: Lewaszkiewicz, Tadeusz: Polish-Sorbian Linguistic Contacts from the 10th/11th Century to the Present

The oldest Polish-Sorbian contacts go back to 1002–1031, when Bolesław Chrobry annexed the area of present day Upper and Lower Lusatia to his duchy. In the Middle Ages there was indeed intensive Polish-Lower Sorbian linguistic contact between the Neiße and Bober rivers (also sometimes further east), because the Lower Sorbian and Polish populations overlapped. The so-called Polish linguistic elements in the eastern Lower Sorbian texts of the 16th and 17th centuries could consequently also be elements of a Polish linguistic substratum. Equally, Lower Sorbian elements in a good many Western and Southern Greater Polish dialects are possibly reflexions of a Lower Sorbian substratum. We cannot exclude the possibility that some lexical Germanisms penetrated Old Polish via the Sorbian languages (above all Upper Sorbian), as there were presumably Sorbs amongst settlers from Germany. Polish-Sorbian linguistic contact occurred in the 15th –18th Century between Sorbian and Polish students in Cracow and Leipzig; the Polish lectors at Leipzig University also had links with Sorbs.

When Samuel B. Linde included Pan-Slav “neologisms” in his dictionary he took into account Sorbian vocabulary as well. There are more than 300 lexical Polonisms in Upper Sorbian dictionaries and works on Sorbian studies, of which around 50 were for a time present in Upper Sorbian, but today there are at the most 20 lexemes of Polish origin in common use. Only a few Polonisms came into Lower Sorbian – via Upper Sorbian.


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