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Author: Subject: Hengst, Karlheinz: The International Year of Indigenous Languages and its Significance for Germans and Sorbs
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[*] posted on 12-3-2019 at 08:52 PM
Hengst, Karlheinz: The International Year of Indigenous Languages and its Significance for Germans and Sorbs


Lětopis Abstract 2019 2: Karlheinz Hengst: The International Year of Indigenous Languages and its Significance for Germans and Sorbs.

This year sees a worldwide appeal being made to give particular attention to the languages of the original autochthonous inhabitants of territories in 2019, which are still in existence. The Slavs settled in the uninhabited areas of the present-day German language region east of the rivers Elbe and Saale in the early Middle Ages. They stamped their mark culturally and economically on this area for about five hundred years. Even under German supremacy from the 10th to the 12th century the Slavs formed the majority of the population. Slavonic dialects of Old Polabian in the north and of Old Sorbian in the south formed the basis for inter-ethnic communication as the indigenous Slavonic language of the time. Cohabitation with a German minority of representatives of their rulers was superseded by the increasing assimilation of the Slavs by a growing German majority following land development and the influx of new German settlers from the end of the 12th Century. Centuries of mutual tolerance were followed by a long period of deprecation of Slav culture, the effects of which stretch into the present. It is therefore important for academic research to correct an obsolete image of the Slavs.

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