11: An introduction to Southwest Jutlandic - Sydvestjysk
By Linden Alexander Pentecost, 7th November 2022
This section includes: an introduction to types of Jutlandic,to Southwest Jutlandic as opposed to West South Jutlandic, comments on the landscape and coastal formations, comments on the word *gab- and pre Indo-European/pre-Germanic, an introduction to the Oksby dialect, description of features. This section contains 1246 words
Southwest Jutlandic is a type of West Jutlandic, which in that language may be spelled as Vestjysk or Wæjstjysk for example depending upon the exact dialect. Wæjstjysk is the spelling used by Marc Daniel Skibsted Volhardt for his dialect of West Jutlandic. Southwest Jutlandic is a distinct dialect area of West Jutlandic.
Note that Southwest Jutlandic is not the same thing as West South Jutlandic, in Danish Vestsønderjysk, which refers to the western dialects of the South Jutlandic language. The South Jutlandic language contains many things which are not found in West Jutlandic, and Southwest Jutlandic or Sydvestjysk refers to those southern, West Jutlandic dialects, and not to the western, Southern Jutlandic language.
In many respects the Southwest Jutlandic language is similar to the west Jutlandic spoken in other parts of Jutland, including Marc Daniel Skibsted Volhardt's dialect, and the Thy dialect on the North Jutland island. All of these West Jutlandic dialects contain a number of features which set them apart from other Jutlandic dialects and from other Danish dialects. One of the most noticeable differences is a lack of noun gender in West Jutlandic, and the existence of a singular word for 'the' which comes before the noun. For example in standard Danish manden - the man, in Norwegian mannen - the man, Southwest Jutlandic a mand - the man.
Southwest Jutlandic is spoken in a landscape rich in farmland, and with low lying coastal areas, beaches and coastal lagoons which are formed by longshore drift. This landscape is in many ways reminiscent of parts of southern England and the English channel's coastline. Arguably the largest historic tribe in Jutland, the Jutes, also lived in parts of England, mainly around the eastern southern English coast of the English channel, where the coastal formations and landscapes are sonewhat comparable to those in Jutland.
I personally think that the original language of the 'Jutes' may have been pre-Indo-European, and an example of a possible ancient Juttish word is the word gap which appears in English place-names, especially in those areas traditionally lived in by the Jutes. The Hæstingas tribe which gave us the name Hastings may also have been Jutes, and close to Hastings is the place-name Birling Gap near Cuckmere Haven. Close to the Ringkøbing Fjord in western Jutland, there is a place called Nymindegab, here we can see this word related to English 'gap' and 'gape' and Old Norse 'gapa', but in the Juttish context it is specifically applied with reference to the coastline and to a particular landmark on the coastline, aka a gap to the sea. This might indicate an older meaning connected to the animistic beliefs of the ancient Jutes, pre-dating the Vikings. A similar word is found in some Afro-Asiatic languages for example, Proto-Afro-Asiatic *gab- 'side, bank, beach' (*gab- is from the Proto-Afro-Asiatic vocabulary, compiled by Alexander Militarev, and Olga Stolbova, this word is sourced from starlingdb.org by S. Starostin). If *gab- is cognate to gap and the West Jutlandic place-name element gab, then perhaps the greater, connected meaning is something like 'a place that bridges water and land, between water and land, a 'near' place'.
Notes on the dialect of Oksby
The Oksby dialect is a dialect of Southwest Jutlandic spoken in the southern part of this region, near Oksby, south of the Ringkøbing Fjord. Note: the Oksby words below as examples are given in dialect transcription of an Oksby dialect recording, on the website Peter Skautrup Centret for Jysk Dialektforskning by Aarhus Universitet, in the section Danske dialekter. The material on this webpage given above was prepared by the Department for dialect research/Afd. for Dialektforskning (KU), the Peter Skautrup Center/Peter Skautrup Centret (AU) and the State Library/Statsbiblioteket, now Royal State Library/Det Kongelige Bibliotek. The material in question was Revised 09.05.2022 by Kirsten Lyshøj.
The only change in my spelling below is that I write the r in fiskeri as an uvular r.
.From the transcription I can tell that the definite singular article is a, as in a fiskeʁi. We also have the example a fesk - the fish, standard Danish fisken.
.This vowel change from i to a variation of e is common in colloquial Danish to different extents, but in Southwest Jutlandic it is a clear e, as in fesk for fisk.
.The Oksby dialect appears to have two r sounds. The most common r sounds very similar to the 'r' after vowels in many traditional English dialects, e.g. [r] or [ɹ]. This is the pronunciation in for example dam'ptraw:lere - steam trawlers; both 'r's in this word are pronounced close to [ɹ]. Whereas the 'r' in fiskeʁi seems to be an uvular 'r', [ʁ].
.The stød often appears in different positions to where it would in more standard colloquial Danish and generally Sjællandsk Danish. For example the stød appears in smak'ker, Standard Danish smakker. This medial positioning of the stød is interesting, and in some ways the stød-sound itself is different. In the Norfolk dialect of English the glottal stop can come mid-word after a vowel and before a consonant, this is not an identical process to what is found in Southwest Jutlandic but may be related in some way.
.The standard Danish e has a tentency to become ie in Southwest Jutlandic and to an extent more generally in West Jutlandic. For example standard Danish helt, Oksby dialect hi'el.
.Before certain vowels, like a and å, standard Danish v tends to be w as in the English w. Where w occurs varies across western Jutland, for example the Thy dialects on the North Jutland island have w in wi - we, for example, standard Danish vi. But the Oksby dialect would more likely have vi from what I can gather. Examples of w in the Oksby dialect include wår - was, standard Danish: var
Links and other resources:
https://jysk.au.dk/ - Peter Skautrup Centret (1)
https://omniglot.com/language/phrases/westjutish.htm - West Jutlandic phrases on omniglot, by Marc Daniel Skibsted Volhardt (2)
Wæjstjysk - Vestjysk - West Jutlandic | Facebook - the West Jutlandic facebook page, also by Marc Daniel Skibsted Volhardt (3)
.The Thy dialect – Thybomålet – Æ Tyjbomoel, pages 57, 58, 59, 60 in my free ebook Languages and dialects of Northwestern Europe, and their heritage (4)
.South Jutlandic, pages 53, 54, 55 and 56 in my free ebook Languages and dialects of Northwestern Europe, and their heritage (5)
.Jutlandic, other languages in Denmark, and their relationship to language in Cumbria and elsewhere in England, pages 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, in my free ebook Language and ancient history – with topics on ancient spirituality, sacredlanguage, and linguistic change in Britain, Frisia and Denmark (6)
These references above include other discussions on Jutlandic dialects or languages by the author, this article is also the first time I have discussed the Oksby dialect specifically, although I have touched upon this dialect's features and the surrounding landscapes before before. I have also discussed these connections between Danish and English in several places before, including in my ebook A journey of languages around the Northern Seas with discussions on Germanic Celtic and Salishan languages second edition (7).