Wendish


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Wendish

 

the language of the Wends, who live in Dresden and Cottbus districts in the German Democratic Republic. The number of Wendish-speaking people is approximately 100,000 (1970, estimate).

Wendish belongs to the western branch of the Slavic languages. It is broken down into two groups of dialects—Upper Wendish in the south and Lower Wendish in the north, with a wide zone of transitional dialects. The written language appeared in the 16th century. There are two literary languages, Upper and Lower Wendish, differing in phonetics (for example, trawa or tsawa, “grass,” and njesc or njasc, “to carry”), morphology (for example, the category of masculine person of the noun, the verb, and other parts of speech in Upper Wendish and the absence of it in Lower Wendish; the absence of the supine form in Upper vocabulary (for example, ćisla or, twarc “carpenter,” and žbofo or gluka, “happiness”), syntax, and word formation. In the opinion of a number of linguists, Wendish is the aggregate of the two languages, Upper Wendish and Lower Wendish.

REFERENCES

Trofymovych, K. K. Serboluzhyts’ka mova. L’vov, 1964.
Kalnyn’, L. E. Tipologiia zvukovykh dialektnykh razlichii v nizhneluzhitskom iazyke. Moscow, 1967.
Fasske, H., H. Jentsch, and S. Michalk. SorbischerSprachatlas, vols. 1-3. Bautzen, 1965-70.
Schuster-Šewc, H. Bibliographic der sorbischen Sprachwissenschaft. Bautzen, 1966.
Šewc, H. Gramatika hornjoserbskeje r$de. Bautzen, 1968.

K. K. TROFIMOVICH

References in periodicals archive ?
More than 150 years after about 500 Wendish people came to Texas on a ship called the Ben Nevis, descendants of those immigrants and of others who trickled over to Texas before and after that voyage are striving to maintain their culture, customs and heritage.
We've lost the language, we kept the faith, and we're still working on the culture," said Weldon Mersiovsky, 64, a retiree in Walburg, north of Austin, and vice president of the Texas Wendish Heritage Society.
Some Central Texans who grew up in German-speaking families did not realize they were Wendish until adulthood.
Charles Wukasch of Austin, who learned as a teenager that he was Wendish, wants to preserve the customs of his ancestors, but he says doing so is difficult.
We're trying to keep the culture alive, but it's sort of a hopeless cause," said Wukasch, 73, a semi-retired Austin Community College English professor who as an adult learned Wendish, a language related to Polish and Czech that is still spoken in Germany.
The largest group of Wendish Texans arrived in Galveston in 1854 on the Ben Nevis from Germany, where Wends had been pressured to speak German instead of Wendish and to join a state-controlled church.
They had probably heard good reports from a few Wendish families who had gone to Central Texas.
Although the Wends had come to Texas to preserve the Wendish language, they found German and English useful for doing business in their new country.
Wendish Texans also settled in small towns in Central Texas as well as in Austin, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley.
Paul still has an active congregation and is a crucial part of Wendish Fest.
In a pavilion at the festival, Evelyn Buchhorn demonstrated how her ancestors made Wendish noodles by hand, measuring water for the dough by the half-eggshell.
You make noodles," explained Buchhorn, who wore a button that said Trendish 2 B Wendish.