22: Further discussions on North-Frisian links to other languages
Written and published by Linden Alexander Pentecost in September 2023 on the bookofdunbarra website (this website), like other articles on this website this article is not in any of the ebooks published through this website. This article includes: "Brief Introduction","Word notes:" and "Conclusive comments:", and "References:", followed by a wee blessing in Italics. This article contains: 1835 words.
In this short article, I aim to further explore the relationship that North-Frisian dialects or languages have to both English and Jutlandic, and to a lesser degree, to Germanic in general. In this article I will be including words and sentences in Fering North-Frisian and words in Sylt North-Frisian from the island of Sylt. I have discussed a little about North-Frisian before, mainly in my ebook: Language and ancient history – with topics on ancient spirituality, sacred language, and linguistic change in Britain, Frisia and Denmark, with a section focused on North-Frisian at the end of this book, and discussion on ancient North-Sea, environmental and cultural links in many parts of the ebook, especially concerning Germanic languages and including for example Frisia and Jutland. This aforementioned book, and material in other online articles and separate books, contains different aspects of my research about Germanic languages, the origin of Nordic languages, and Germanic in Britain, and the prehistoric, pre-Indo-European connections that exist between these counties, for example between England and Denmark.
In this article I discuss a little more of how North-Frisian words and sentences relate to those in English, West-Jutlandic and other Germanic languages, and to Uralic to some extent.
Note that the West Jutlandic I include in this article is mainly Marc Daniel Skibsted Volhardt’s dialect, from Holstebro at the southern side of the West Limfjord. We can talk in terms of North Jutlandic, and East or West Jutlandic, and with South Jutlandic being furthermore a whole different language or group of dialects from the other Jutlandic languages, which also has east and west differences. My article only on this website’s article pages, 11: An introduction to Southwest Jutlandic – Sydvestjysk discusses West-Germanic in a different sense, and focuses on the Oksby dialect of southern, west Jutlandic. In this article (the one you are reading), I make brief reference to the Thy dialect from the North-Jutlandic island, on the north side of Limfjord, and mainly to Marc Daniel Skibsted Volhardt’s dialect from the south side of this fjord. I have also discussed South Jutlandic and the Thy dialect and others in various books and ebooks, published on this website and on others, and through other means. Marc’s dialect is generally referred to as “West-Jutlandic” in this article.
.Fering Frisian ütj – out, related to English "out", Dutch: uit, German: aus, Scots: oot, Icelandic: út, Norwegian: ut, Danish: ud, West-Jutlandic: uq, Thy language (in Denmark): uk’, Lule Bondska: eot, öot (and other forms). North-Frisian shows its clear divergence from other Germanic languages in that this word is palatalised in Fering North-Frisian. In Sylt North-Frisian however this palatalisation is not present, in Sylt North-Frisian the word is üt.
.Fering Frisian hood – head, connected to English ’head’, Old English: héafod, German: Haupt. In many senses the Fering word shows more similarity to Danish: hoved 'head', in its pronunciation.
.The Fering word bian – bone, shows similarity to the Westmorland English beean – bone, and Jutlandic bien – bone, specifically. I have discussed this similarity elsewhere in these vowels, this pattern in Northern English, Jutlandic, and to an extent, North-Frisian, is generally equivalent to the á, long ‘A’ in Old English, and the ei in Old West Norse, in which the equivalent words are bán and bein. In Sylt North-Frisian, the word for ’bone’ is Biin, which is similar but nevertheless different from the vowels in Fering bian, Jutlandic bien et cetera.
.The Fering word for 'house' is hüs, and the vowel is doubled in the genitive form: hüüs – of the house. This is distinct from the nominative plural form hüsing – houses. Similar plural formations that involve changing, doubling or lengthening the vowel in the word for ”house” to form the plurals of the word, are found sporadically in some North-Germanic languages, related in a roundabout sort of way to the process of apocope. In Sylt North Frisian the singular form is Hüs and the plural is Hüüsing. In West Jutlandic, the apocope causes medial changes in the word to diffrenciate the singular and plural. For example West Jutlandic: en huqs – a house, huws – houses. In this particular dialect of West-Jutlandic, from Holstebro, like in the nearby Thy dialect of West or Northwest Jutlandic, has this process where a stød sound becomes a [g] or [k] sound. In the Thy dialect I have generally written this as k’, thus in the Thy dialect: huk’s is “house”, uk’ is ‘out’. In Marc Daniel Skibsted Volhardt’s dialect of West Jutlandic from Holstebro , in his orthography, a q is used to represent this range of sounds that occur in these positions. Examples from his dialect include: huqs – house, natuqr – nature, hjuql – wheel, tiq – time, å siq – to see, hwiq – white, guql – yellow, skyq – cloud.
.Many basic sentences and the conjugated verbs visible are very similar to those in English, for example, Fering: dü heest en buk – thou hast a book, in Swedish: du har en bok, Faroese: tú hevur ein bók, Old English: þú hafast bóc, German: du hast ein Buch. As noted elsewhere North-Frisian may show a similarity to Nordic languages with regards to many things, including vowels. Another example from Fering showing verbs is: hi as bi strun – he is on the beach, which would be: hi es bi Strön – Sylt North-Frisian. Note that unlike German, which has er - he, and unlike Nordic languages which have a root for "he" based on *han-, as in Swedish: han, Trøndersk: hainn, hainnj, hannj, Salten Norwegian: hån. Dutch, Frisian and English use a related root, in Fering North-Frisian: hi, English 'he', and Dutch: hij, as in the Dutch: hij is op het strand - he is on the beach.
.Similarity between North-Frisian and North-Germanic languages can be seen not only in certain phonological aspects of North-Frisian, but also in the precise useage of rootwords. For example "I drive" in German is ich fahre, in Dutch: ik rij, from rijden - to drive (as well as other meanings). The German and Dutch roots for "drive" are different as can be seen. In Nordic languages *far- means more "to travel", or simply "to go" in Icelandic and Faroese for example, and in many traditional Nordic languages. For example Icelandic ég fer - I go. Fering North-Frisian on the other hand uses keer to mean 'drive', for example ik keer - I drive, very similar to Danish: jeg kører - I drive, Norwegian Bokmål: jeg kjører, Nordfjord dialect: eg tjøre, Swedish: jag kör, Faroese: eg koyri, Icelandic: ég keyri et cetera.
.Another example of a similarity is the Fering ik kem - I come, the vowel in this word is similar to that in for example West Norwegian: eg kjem - I come, and nearly identical to Old Norse: ek kemr, but different from German: ich komme and Dutch: ik kom and English "I come", all three of which have an [o] like sound in the present form, but in North-Germanic and in North-Frisian the [o] is generally in the perfect tense form, for example West Norwegian: eg kom - I came. North-Frisian has ik kaam - I came, which shows a kind of intermediate form between the [o] perfect tense forms in North-Germanic, and the West Germanic forms like "I came" in English, ik kwam in Dutch, and ich kam in German.
.German bleiben - to stay or remain is also related, albeit distantly to Danish blive - to become, West Jutlandic: blyew, Norwegian Bokmål: bli, Trøndersk: bLi, Salten Dialect: bi, Swedish: bli. The Fering North-Frisian cognate is semantically similar to the German bleiben, but is phonetically more similar to the Danish form. The Fering North-Frisian form is bliiw, which is actually closer to what the Rigsdansk pronunciation "would be" were it not for underlying Danish prosodic and phonetic traits. Note that the w in bliiw is pronounced [v], as it would be in the semi-artificial Rigsdansk, but in actual spoken Danish the pronunciation of blive is /b̥liːʊ/ or /b̥liː(i)/. This almost seems to imply that North-Frisian shows particularly close similarity in some senses, to "Royal Danish", but not to the actual ancient indigenous traditional languages of Denmark, like Sjællandsk and the different Jutlandic languages.
.Certain aspects of North-Frisian vocabulary appear to show very non-Indo-European elements, such as Fering aatj - father, different from for example German Vater, Norwegian far. The form aatj shows closer similarity to Finnish isä - father, and Northern Saami áhčči - father.
.The Fering word lua - tidal channel, is another possible example of a non-Indo-European word, but perhaps shows some similarity to Finnish ulappa - open sea or water, and to the root ula .in Finnish, which means "to reach". These possible cognates and the unusual vocabulary in North-Frisian are something I need to look at in more detail in the future.
As with my other work on North-Frisian, this article I hope helps to communicate the fact that North-Frisian languages have a more complex relationship to other Germanic languages and to Uralic than perhaps previously thought in the past. North-Frisian seems to contain a number of substrate words, or words that exist outside of Indo-European, implying a connection to Uralic. Various features of North-Frisian languages also align them more towards North-Germanic languages than to West-Germanic languages; and in addition, Frisia was technically more connected to Scandinavia politically than it was to the peoples who spoke West-Germanic languages. In addition, I hope in the future to more thoroughly look at the Maglemosian culture in Frisia. As I have discussed elsewhere, England and Denmark have been culturally, and perhaps linguistically connected for far longer than many assume, and the Maglemosian culture, as well as being perhaps connected to pre-Danish and pre-English languages, may have also left an influence in the Frisian languages, in my opinion. There is a lot more to research here, and I hope too that this article follows on smoothly from my previous research about these subjects, which can be found mainly in my books.
.Most of my knowledge about Fering North-Frisian came from reading Friesische Gebrauchsgrammatik Fering, by Antje Arfsten, Anne Paulsen-Schwarz and Lena Terhart, Vorläufige Version, Stand 31.12.2019, Nordfriisk Instituut.
.I was also helped by the German to Fering dictionary on friisk.org, by Tanno Hüttenrauch und Michael Wehar.
.My knowledge about Sylt Frisian came mainly from the German to Sylt dictionary on friisk.org, by Tanno Hüttenrauch und Michael Wehar.
.Some of the West Jutlandic words from Marc's dialect are those he had taught me in the past, but other particular examples I found on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vaestjysk
May God and your ancestors bless you all, and I hope you enjoyed this article :)