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The Pomorian language or Pamarėska gålba, język pomorski (in Polish) is a Balto-Slavic language spoken in the region of Pomorze Wschodnie in Northern Poland from Gdynia city to the town of Braniewo, mostly in rural areas. There are at least 20 000 speakers (including second-language speakers knowing the language on an elementary level), of which less than 4000 speak Pomorian natively. Most of the native speakers are at the age of 50 or above, while younger generation usually speaks Polish as their first language.
|Native speakers||20 000 (2011 census)|
The Pomorian language is my first attempt to create a decent conlang and it's the only a posteriori conlang I've created so far. While making it I try my best to be as accurate as possible and do not add anything unrealistic to it meaning it would look just like an another Balto-Slavic language. The work is still very far from completeness as I need to be sure that every single word and it's forms have cognates in related languages like Old Prussian, Lithuanian or Polish. Well, to cut the story short, I just do what I think would be beautiful.
Pomorian is usually classified as a separate branch of the Slavic language group of the Indo-European language family, but some scholars agree that the language is actually a distinct group related to both Baltic and Slavic languages. There is also no sole opinion on whether Pomorian is a single language or a group of closely related languages. Nowadays it is considered to be a dialectal continuum.
According to most scholars the Pomorian language split from Early Proto-Slavic before or during the period of First Palatalization. Unlike Slavic languages it it highly conservative, which makes it more similar to Baltic languages. It also shared some sound changes common to this group.
Early Pomorian (Rėniapamarėska)
Little is known about an early period of Pomorian (before XIII century CE), because no written record had been left during this time. Archeological evidence state that early Pomorian tribes were living in the territory of Western Polesie region, which is now South-Western Belarus and Eastern Poland as far as the San river. Around V-VII centuries CE (during the Migration Period) Pomorians moved to their current land. The cause of migration is disputed, many factors played role in it. During this period many borrowings from neighbouring Baltic tribes entered the language. After that Pomorian did not changed quite a lot from its original state.
Old Pomorian (Vėtuhapamarėska)
First written records came from German missionaries in the XIII century and the language is called Old Pomorian (Vėtuhapamarėska). The first attestation was found on a stone, which could be a part of a monastery, in Viestūtė. The carving states: "Deywes kun semya preienlus esti", which translates as: "God has come to this land" (In modern language this would be: "Dieve kų zemio priejįlu est"). It is also the only attestation where final /s/ is present. Some inscriptions and even small texts survived from that period, showing some dialectal features.
Middle Pomorian (Serdapamarėska)
During the period between XIII and XV centuries Eastern Pomerania was under the Teutonic Order and was under a great German influence. Before that time Pomorze and Prussia were sparcely populated having no major towns there. Because of most towns being founded and populated by Germans (and later by Poles), the Pomorian language was a tine minority there. Despite that Pomorian continued existing in rural areas, where it stayed for all of its history. During this time contact with German and Polish began and a lot of loanwords were borrowed from these two languages. Also they influenced Pomorian phonology in different dialects creating even more distinction among them. Under the Polish rule Pomorian began to decline in southern territories of Pomorze and Prussia.
Modern Pomorian (Naujapamarėska)
The Modern period began at the end of the XIX century, when lots of people from rural areas started moving to cities and towns. People living in the city spoke primarily in German and Polish and Pomorian speaking new settlers began to forget their native tongue instead speaking the languages of prestige. Unlike in the previous period much more texts were written in Pomorian and also it became a language of liturgies, mostly in the countryside.
In the XX century there were some successful attempts to revitalize and standardize Pomorian. In 1952 a spelling reform was adopted and the standardized grammar was established. The standard was based on North-Eastern dialects, which were the most widely spoken back then. However, some writers continued using the traditional spelling or wrote in their native dialect. It was untill 1989, when a Polish linguist Sauliu Dzelini proposed a new Pomorian Proper, based on his native dialect of Viestūtė (Wiastowce in Polish), which is a Central-West dialect and also the one having the longest written records., which combined features of both previous ones. Older (Eastern) spelling was kept for linguistic works, dictionaries and as a standard for Eastern dialects.
Despite an active movement to promote speaking Pomorian, the language stays endangered with 3600-4000 native speakers according to Polish census in 2011 (compared to 17000 in 1978). The Pomorian Association was created in 2004 with the intention of promoting and popularizing the Pomorian language and culture. Pomorian language classes have been conducted for both children and adults in some areas (mostly in big towns) and an increasing ammount of people are learning Pomorian as a second language.
Main article: Pamarėska/Orthography
Pomorian has a distinctive vowel length and four diphthongs. Unlike Slavic languages, it retained all Early Proto-Slavic vowels, but most of them changed their quality having different outcomes in dialects of this language. Front vowels can palatalize a preceeding consonant, but in Western dialects this applies only to /i:/ and /e:/ before dental consonants.
|Close||y /i:/||į /ĩ:/||ū /u:/||ų /ũ:/|
|Mid||ė /e:/||o /o:/|
|Open-mid||e (/ɛ:~æ:/)||ę /ɛ̃:/||ą /ɔ̃:/|
|Close||i /ɪ/||u /ʊ/|
|Open-mid||e /ɛ/||å (/ɔ/)|
|Open||a /ɑ/ å /ɒ/|
- Allophones /ɛ:~æ:/, /a:/, /ɔ/ appear under acute/circumflex accent.
|ie /ɪe/||uo /uo/||ei /eɪ̯~e:/||au /ɑʊ̯~ɔʊ̯/|
- Ei and au, are rather diphthongoids than true diphthongs.
Pomorian language has undergone a process similar to the First Palatalization of velars in Slavic and palatalizaton of velars in Latvian, which resulted in turning /kʲ/ and /gʲ/ sounds into affricates (probably /t͡ɕ/ and /d͡ʑ/). Then those affricates were depalatalized to /t͡s/ and /d͡z/ in most dialects. Also there is a sound change, which turned /ɕ/ (from earlier /x/) into /ʆ/, which merged with plain /ʃ/ in all dialects, except Western ones (previously lacking a /ʃ/ sound).
|Fricative||voiceless||(f) 2||s̪||sʲ ʃ||h|
|voiced||z̪||zʲ ʒ||(ɦ) 3|
- 1 In North-Western dialects there are stops [c], [ɟ], while in South-Eastern - affricates [t͡ɕ], [d͡ʑ].
- 2 Occures only in borrowings.
- 3 [ɦ] is an allophone of /h/ in the intervocal position.
- 4 [w] occures after back vowels, while [ʋ] - after front ones.
- Dental consonants such as [t̪] and [d̪] are usually written as plain /t/ and /d/ respectively.
Pomorian has three different orthografies, all of which use Latin alphabet: the standard, traditional and eastern. The traditional orthography is based mostly on German and Polish ones, it used digraphs like sch, ai and ei, instead of modern š, and ė. The Eastern (or dictionary) orthography was used after a spelling reform in 1952 and is still used in dictionaries and as a standard for Eastern dialects, because it's more phonemic, than a traditional one. The Pomorian standard orthography came into use after 1989 reform and combines both previous orthographies, though is mostly phonemic.
Pomorian is a pitch-accented language. The stess is moveable meaning that any syllable of the word can be stressed, though usually the place of streess is predictable. A stressed syllable can be pronounced in two (in some dialects - in three) different ways. One way is a falling accent - tvírdagalså -, which can be long - dìlgå (marked with a circumflex or a tilde) - or short - cẽrtå (marked with a grave). The second way is a rising accent - lìkugalså (marked with an acute). Tvírdagalså translates literally as firm stress, and lìkugalså - light stress. Despite the stress is phonemic it is not written, except dictionaries. For example the word "úokte" (with rising intonation) means tall but "uõkte" (with falling intonation) means full of force, lusty.
Every syllable in Pomorian can have an onset, a nucleus (always present) and a coda, with a nucleus being a vowel. If to mark vowels with V, consonants - with C and approximants - with R, than the biggest possible syllable would look like CCRVC, which can rarely be be found among Pomorian words because of its complexity. Typical syllables are C(R)V and C(R)VC. V (a vowel) can occure only word-initially, because VV clusters are not allowed in Pomorian. In Early Proto-Slavic the rising sonority law changed the look of some words via metathesis and changes in vowels, particulary long diphthongs. In Pomorian this law didn't apply fully as in Common Slavic (the open syllable law, which happened later, was not even a thing in Old Pomorian). According to the principle of rising sonority a consonant with a higher sonority should be closer to a nucleus than the one with a lower sonority, for example in the word /ˈstoː.rɛ/ - heavy - /t/ is higher on the sonority than /s/ and appears closer to /oː/ which is the nucleus. That's why in Pomorian closed syllables are possible and common, like in Early Proto-Slavic, but only open syllables were possible in Late Common Slavic, with an exception of sonorants "r" and "l", which could appear after a vowel in some cases). This made most Slavic words hardly recognisable. For example the word *supnas (or *supnəs) - sleep, dream - gave Pomorian sùpne (/ˈsup.nɛ/) but Polish sen from Common Slavic *sъnъ (pronounced /ˈsʊ̯.nə/).
Ablaut, still productive in Pomorian, was inherited from Proto-Balto-Slavic period. It changes the morphological form of the word. For example "snė͂ge" (older snai͂ges) means "snow", "snigtì" (older "snigteĩ") to snow "snẽdze"(older "snegḗti") "it snows". Also ablaut appears in imperfective mood of different verbs:
|piešė́ti||piešuõti||to paint (pictures)|
It is also present when deriving verbs from nouns.
|frequent||to share||to divide||a branch|
There are seven (or six if count the sixth and the seventh as one) noun declensions in Pomorian. Nouns have seven cases: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Instrumental, Locative and Vocative. In Pomorian Proper most nouns have only two numbers: singular and plural, while in Western and Southern dialects there is also a dual number. An interesting feature is using nominative plural only for 3 or 4 items, making it effectively paucal, for example try/cetūri sūnave (three/four sons), but pęči sūnų (five sons) where genitive plural is used instead. However it is not viewed as a separate grammatical number.
Some noun cases can have two endings: long (with an unsterssed "e" or "i" at the end) or short (without end vowels). Also the Accusative plural of some words like mariå has two endings: "-e" and "-i". Those endings are interchangeable and can specifically be used in poetry or in dialectal speech.
More than a half of Pomorian nouns belongs to this dieclension. Loanwords usually also decline according to it. There are two different declining patterns for masculine and feminine genders.
-e (masculine), -a (feminine), -å (neuter)
|gróde = hail||galvà = head||mariå̀ = sea|
Second declension contains mostly feminine gender nouns, usually inanimate. Some masculine gender nouns and old loanwords belong to this declension.
-i (masculine), -i (feminine)
|zvėrì = mammal||ųgnì = fire|
This declension contains only masculine gender nouns. About one sixth of all the nouns belong to this declension.
|sūnù = son||ledù = ice|
Few old nouns of a feminine gender belong to this declension, some can come in pairs, like brū (eyebrows) and thus have a dual number.
|brū́ = eyebrow|
Few nouns once ending in "-n" belong to this declension. There are two different patterns of declining: for the feminine and the neuter genders. This declension preserves a dual number.
*-n (feminine), *-n (neuter)
|elū́ = deer||ìmnę = name|
Also called the consonant declension, the sixth declension contains only a few words, all of them descending from proto-Balto-Slavic. There is also a dual number for the nouns belonging to this declension.
*-t, *-s (neuter)
|telę́ = calf||kãkla = wheel|
This declension is sometimes considered to be a part of sixth one. It has only four nouns in it: mūti (mother), broti (brother), sesti (sister) and dukti (daughter).
*-r (masculine, feminine)
|mū́ti = mother||duktì = daughter|
The personal pronouns are az (I), tu (you) je (he), ja (she), jå (it), ane (the other one) and the reflexive pronoun sebe are declined as follows:
|The other two||masculine||anóva/và||anúo||anė́ma||anà||anė́ma||anàju|
Some pronoun cases can have two forms: long (which is older and usually changed less from its' original state) and short (made by a contraction of the long form). Some cases retained only the short form. Nowadays mostly short forms are used with long forms appearing in poetry to make a speech look old. However they are still used in dialectal speech as basic pronoun forms.
In Pomorian adjectives have two declensions called declension I and declension II, which are determined by the nominative case ending of singular number. Adjectives must match with nouns in number, gender, and case. Like in other Balto-Slavic languages all Pomorian adjectives have two forms: simple (or indefinite) and pronominal (definite). Here are examples of each adjectival declension. In Old Pomorian there was also the third declension, but it merged with the second one during the Middle Pomorian period.
-e (masculine), -a (feminine), -å (neuter) Declension I
|rùde = orange, red-haired|
-u (masculine), -i (feminine), -u (neuter) Declension II
|džilù = numerous, deep|
Pronominal (definite) forms are made by adding a third person pronoun to the end of the adjective. The pronoun also has to match with its' adjective in number, gender, and case. In Early Proto-Slavic (or possibly even in Proto-Balto-Slavic) adjectives and pronouns were separate words, but in Old Pomorian they have already merged into a single word with pronouns turning into pronominal endings. That's why some sound laws like final consonant drop and shortening of end long vowels did not applied to adjectival endings in definite adjectives. For example rudà + ja results in rudója (in Old Pomorian: rudā́ + jā - rudā́jā)
|lė́pe = good, fine|
Simple and pronominal adjective forms act similarly to English arcticles ("a" and "the" respectively). For example: Lėpa dieni literally means "a good day"; Lėpoja dieni means "the good day" or "the day is good". To say "What a good day is today!" one should use the pronominal form - Kė lėpoja es ši dieni!
The adjectival comparison is usually formed by adding suffixes to a word or by adverbs like English "more" and "the most" before a word. The suffixes are -esn(i)- for comparative and -(u/i)š- for superlative. These suffixes are added before other ones, if a word already has other suffixes.
|rùde = orange, red-haired|
|rùde = orange, red-haired|
Every Pomorian verb belongs to one of four different conjugations:
- The first conjugation, which is the most common, contains verbs whose infitives end in -ti before a consonant. There are some irregulare verb patterns in this conjugation.
- The second conjugation encompasses verbs with infintive form endings -ėti (with -ėj- in the present tense), -oti,uoti. Verbs with infinitives ending in -įti is a subclass of this conjugation.
- The third conjugation contains verbs with infintives ending in -yti and -ėti.
- The fourth conjugation contains few old athematic and auxillary verbs. Almost all of these verbs are irregular.
In Pomorian active voice has four moods: Indicative, Imperative, Conditional and Indirect, but the last one isn't usually considered to be a mood.
There are two simple and six compound tenses.
This tense describe present or ongoing events without a definite time. Conjugation types are marked with numbers.
|vestì - to lead||žinóti - to know||cetįti - to wish for something||zodýti - to decide||bū́ti - to be|
In Pomorian Proper there is no dual for verbs, but in dialects forms for "we two", "you two" and "they to" are still in use. The verb būti conjugates for dual even in the Standard, though these forms are seldom used by today speakers:
|bū́ti - to be|
The verb būti has an additional simple future tense which conjugates like present, but using the form bąsti instead.
This is the basic tense to describe actions in the past. Like in Present tense the stress pattern of a verb is usually predictable.
|vestì - to lead||žinóti - to know||cetįti - to wish for something||zodýti - to decide||bū́ti - to be|
The verb būti also conjugates for dual.
|bū́ti - to be|
There are three perfect tenses in Pomorian (present, past and future), which are all formed by using the verb 'būti' in the respective tense and person as well as the active past adjectival participle (the l-paticiple) in its respective number and gender:
|zodýti - to decide||Present perfect||Past perfect||Future perfect|
|I||esmì zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå||buvù zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå||bą́då zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå|
|You (singular)||esì zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå||buveĩ zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå||bą́desi zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå|
|He/She/It||e͂s(t) zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå||bū͂ zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå||bą́de zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå|
|We two||esvà zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė||bùvė zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė||bą́deva zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė|
|You two||està zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė||bū́sta zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė||bą́deta zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė|
|They two||e͂ste zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė||bū́ste zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė||bą́dete zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė|
|We||esmà zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio||bùvome zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio||bą́dema zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio|
|You (plural)||estè zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio||bùvote zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio||bą́dete zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio|
|They||są͂(t) zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio||bū͂vę zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio||bą́dą zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio|
These tenses are roughly equivalent English perfect tenses (I had read / I will have read). They usually indicate an action that happened before another action or to indicate that an action is complete.
The l-participle indicates a quick, momentary action and š-participle (zodie͂vušu/ zodie͂vuši/ zodie͂vušå) is used instead the l-participle to indicate actions which lasted for a certain period of time similarly to English Perfect-Continuous tense. For example: "Juo esmi zodielu" means "I have already decided"; "Dilgau zodievušu esmi ši" - literally "I've been deciding it for a long time".
There are three continuous tenses in Pomorian (present, past and future), which are also formed by using the verb 'būti' in the respective tense and person but with the active present adjectival participle (the nť-paticiple) in its respective number and gender:
|zodýti - to decide||Present continuous||Past continuous||Future continuous|
|I||esmì zoďą͂ťu/ zoďą͂ťi/ zoďą͂ťå||buvù zoďą͂/ zoďą͂/ zoďą͂||bą́då zoďą͂ťu/ zoďą͂ťi/ zoďą͂ťå|
|You (singular)||esì zoďą͂ťu/ zoďą͂ťi/ zoďą͂ťå||buveĩ zoďą͂/ zoďą͂/ zoďą͂||bą́desi zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå|
|He/She/It||e͂s(t) zoďą͂ťu/ zoďą͂ťi/ zoďą͂ťå||bū͂ zoďą͂/ zoďą͂/ zoďą͂||bą́de zoďą͂ťu/ zoďą͂ťi/ zoďą͂ťå|
|We two||esvà zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė||bùvė zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė||bą́deva zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė|
|You two||està zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė||bū́sta zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė||bą́deta zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė|
|They two||e͂ste zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė||bū́ste zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė||bą́dete zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė|
|We||esmà zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo||bùvome zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo||bą́dema zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo|
|You (plural)||estè zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo||bùvote zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo||bą́dete zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo|
|They||są͂(t) zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo||bū͂vę zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo||bą́dą zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo|
These tenses are used to indicate ongoing incomplete actions. Though being similar to English Continuous tense, they are used almost exclusively in literature in Pomorian. Often the continuous tense can be indicated by an imperfective verb usually formed by adding suffixes -ėj-, -aj- or -av- to a verb. For example: zodyti (to decide) - zoďuoti (to be deciding) - the -av- suffix added. This way of expressing the continuous tense is much more common in spoken Pomorian.
This mood is used to describe orders and commands. There is no conjugation first person singular, instead a phrase with the word ati is used, for example: Ati zoďå which translates as "let me decide". This construction is used with a third person for all the numbers as well (Ati zoďą - let they decide).
|vestì - to lead||žinóti - to know||cetįti - to wish for something||zodýti - to decide||bū́ti - to be|
|He/She/It||(ãti) ve͂ďe||(ãti) žinóje||(ãti) cetìne||(ãti) zõďe||bą́ďe|
|They||(ãti) vedą́||(ãti) žinóją||(ãti) cetìną||(ãti) zoďą́||bądą́(t)|
The verb būti (bąsti) also conjugates for dual.
|bū́ti - to be|
|You (singular)||bą́ďi zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå||bą́ďi zoďą͂ťu/ zoďą͂ťi/ zoďą͂ťå|
|He/She/It||bą́ďe zodie͂lu/ zodie͂li/ zodie͂lå||bą́ďe zoďą͂ťu/ zoďą͂ťi/ zoďą͂ťå|
|We two||bąďýva zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė||bąďýva zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė|
|You two||bąďýta zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė||bąďýta zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė|
|They two||bąďýte zodie͂la/ zodie͂lė||bąďýte zoďą͂ťa/ zoďą͂ťė|
|We||bą́ďima zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio||bą́ďima zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo|
|You (plural)||bą́ďite zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio||bą́ďite zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo|
|They||bądą́(t) zodie͂lū/ zodie͂lio||bądą́(t) zoďą͂ťū/ zoďą͂ťo|
This mood is different from other moods and is not always considered as such, because it isn't composed of conjugatable verbs but only active participles in the nominative case. There is no future tense in this mood.
|Present||zoďą̃ťu, zoďą̃ťi, zoďą̃ťå||zoďą͂ťū, zoďą͂ťo|
|Past||zodie͂vušu, zodie͂vuši, zodie͂vušå||zodie͂vušū, zodie͂vušo|
|Present perfect||estą̃ťu zodie͂lu, estą͂ťi zodie͂li, estą͂ťå zodie͂lå||są̃ťū zodie͂lū, są͂ťo zodie͂lio|
|Past perfect||bùvęťu zodie͂lu, bùvęťi zodie͂li, bùvęťå zodie͂lå||bùvęťū zodie͂lū, bùvęťo zodie͂lio|
|Present Perfect-Continuous||e͂stevu zodie͂lu, e͂stevi zodie͂li, e͂stą͂vå zodie͂lå||są̃vū zodie͂lū, są͂vo zodie͂lio|
|Past Perfect-Continuous||bū́vu zodie͂lu, bū́vi zodie͂li, bū́vå zodie͂lå||bū́vū zodie͂lū, bū́vo zodie͂lio|
This mood is not used in daily spoken language, but in literature, especially in folklore, usually describing actions happened a long time ago.
The Pomorian passive voice is different from the active voice, always being formed analytically, like in all the Balto-Slavic languages. Is is always composed of the auxiliary verb būti in its respective tense / person and either a present passive participle (the m-paticiple) or a past passive participle (the n- and t-participles) that must match the gender and number of the subject. The n-participle indicates an imperfect mood while the t-paticiple - a perfect mood. An additional conditional mood is formed by a supine form of būti and a participle.
In order to avoid redundancy, the following table only includes the third (masculine) person of singular.
|výdėti - to see||Present passive||Past simple passive||Past perfect passive|
|Indicative mood||Present||e͂s výdame||e͂s výdune||e͂s výdute|
|Past||bū͂ výdame||bū͂ výdune||bū͂ výdute|
|Future||bą́de výdame||bą́de výdune||bą́de výdute|
|Indirect mood||Present||bū́ťu výdame||bū́ťu výdune||bū́ťu výdute|
|Past||bū́vušu výdame||bū́vušu výdune||bū́vušu výdute|
|Future||bą́dąťu výdame||bą́dąťu výdune||bą́dąťu výdute|
|Imperative mood||bą́ďe výdame||bą́ďe výdune||bą́ďe výdute|
|Conditional mood||bū́tų výdame||bū́tų výdune||bū́tų výdute|
In Pomorian supine is used mostly with motion verbs and indicates purpose or in the phrase meaning "to be going to". It is formed from an infinitive form of a verb by replacing the -ti ending with the -tų. For example: Jemi sklepå hlėbo kuoptų - "I go to the store to buy some bread.
In Pomorian adverbs have the basic stem of their corresponding adjectives and are not inflected (though they have three degree of comparison just like adjectives). Adverbs can have only an indefinite (non-pronominal) form. A lot of Pomorian adverbs are formed by replacing an adjectival ending with -ė or -au. For examle: lėpe (good) - lėpau (well). Some adverbs are derived from nouns, but probably from adjectives which were derived from nouns: kalna (high place, mountain; noun) - pakalne (being from the height; adjective) - pakalnė (downwards, downhill; adverb). Some are derived from other adverbs: ligė (being fine, possible; adverb) - neligė (not enough; adverb) - perneligė (too much; adverb). Some are very old and not comparable, they are not derived from anything: be and bu (even), šiet (here), tuo (there), kė (how, so), juo (already), doli (far), dovė (long ago) and tali (only). The word doli also has a comparable doublet dolė.
|far||further||the furthest||well||better||the best|
Prepositions are used to clarify an object's position or direction. Each noun case can take different prepositions but only some prepositions can be used with different cases. Usually a preposition is not used, when a case ending can carry a meaning of a word. For instance, the preposition į (in) is used with a word in the locative case only by second-language speakers (mostly whose native language is Polish, which requires preposition is this case). Instead the case already "tells" all the information necessary and thats why using the preposition would be too excessive. Dialectal variations are listed in the table after slashes, non-standard but also being frequently used.
Conjunctions are used to link clauses in sentences and to establish their relation.
- a, o, je - and
- o, be - but
- da, dakal - until
- jė - if
- kad - when
- bu, ka - or/but
- čy - or (also used to start a question)
- li - because
- partė - however
Unlike in other Balto-Slavic languages composition in Pomorian is a very productive way to form new words. The process occurs readily in Germanic languages. Along with affixation it is used to create words for describing new meanings and these newly-created words can be very long and thus used mostly in literature. Examples of both composition and affixation are shown in the table below:
|lėktė́ti||to be flying||suffixation|
|nulėktóti||to be flying for long enough||affixation|
|aunulėktė́ti||to be flying around||prefixation|
|palėktėnimzenóčini||helicopter piloting licence||composition|
|supalėktėnimė́dli||coaxial rotors (dual)||prefixation|
Like other Balto-Slavic languages Pomorian has a SVO word order. However due to its' case system and verb conjugations the word order is actually free. The place of words in a sentence plays rather a semantic role and not the grammatic one. For example, saying Gålbėjå pamarėskają means "I speak Pomorian"; while Pamarėskają gålbėjå is "It's the Pomorian language I speak"; Az gålbėjå pamarėskają - "It's me who speaks Pomorian". There could be other meanings depending on different words position like adjectives, adverbs, or the context (when a sencence is a part of a text).
While theoretically considered head-initial, Pomorian shows a great freedom in directionality, mostly because of its complex morphology. For example both čirvėnå oblå [NP[Cred][Napple]] and oblå čirvėnå [NP[Napple][Cred]] are equally possible (NP means noun phrase, N - noun and C - complementizer). In longer clauses, like (Ėmi) oblå nå sodų - (I eat)[NP[Napple][CP(which is) from garden]] the word oblå (apple) can come before or after its complementizer phrase and the position depends on a topic. If the complementizer phrase was topicalized, then it would come before its noun.
Like in the noun phrase, there is no strict directionality of the verb phrase in Pomorian. The word order is basically free and a verb can have any position in a sentence. For instance, both Ėmi oblå [VP[VI eat][Dapple]] and Oblå ėmi [VP[Dapple][VI eat]] are grammatically correct (VP means verb phrase, V - verb, D - determiner)
Unlike previous examples, Pomorian dependent clauses show strict head-initiality with complementizers preceding their dependent phrases, just like in English and all the Balto-Slavic languages. This case determines that Pomorian is actually a head-initial language. For example:
- Vyďuo, kė Maria bū dvarė - I saw that Mary was in the yard.
- [CP[Cthat][DPMary was in yard]]
Other words position may vary, but kė (that) can only come before its dependant phrase.
Pomorian consists of
- Northern and North-Western
- Ežerina (the Lake dialect)
- Prūsisk, Suvilkian (Eastern)
Those dialects form three dialectal groups: Western (1,3), Central (2,4,5,6) and Eastern (7,8)
The most widely spoken dialect is Central-Western one having 1000 native speakers. Western and Eastern dialects have approximately 900-1000 native speakers each, Central-Eastern has about 700 speakers and Southern has less than 500 speakers, who can say some basic sentences (but cosidered extinct by most scholars). The rest of the dialects are spoken by less than 800 speakers and are severely endangered (the Ežerina dialect having only 12 native speakers left). In 1984 died Anna Ribbeck - the last known speaker of the Hel dialect (Heliska guora). It was a dialect once spoken in three villages on the Hel peninsula and since the XXth century only in a small town of Jastarnia. This dialect had some distinct features absent from the rest dialects, such as the back vowel fronting, a lack of palatalization and a stress fixed on a first syllable. Also its' syntax was highly influenced by German.
There are some differences in phonology and morphology among dialects while the syntax stays pretty much the same. For example, the sentence: "I gave a few pennies to Brone (short from Bronislove)" would be "(Àz) dóďė cẽlkų gróšå Bróniau" /(ɑz.)ˈdoː.ɟeː.ˈt͡sɛːl.kũ.ˈgroː.ʃɒ.ˈbroː.ɲɑʊ̯/ in Pomorian Proper, but (Jès) dõďė kelkǻ gróšą Bróniou" /(ˌjɛz.) ˈdoː.ɟeː.kɛl.ˈkɔː.ˈgroː.ʃɒ̃.ˈbroː.ɲoʊ̯/ in Western dialect and "(Às) dā́džie cálko pènįgo Broniū́ /(ˌɑz.)ˈdaːd͡ʑɪe.ˈt͡saːl.kɔ.ˌpɛ.nĩ.gɔ.brɔ.ˈɲuː/ in Eastern dialect. The word penįgė is present in Pomorian Proper where it means "money". There is also seen a long vowel /aː/, which is a separate phoneme in Eastern dialect and did not became /oː/ like in the Proper. The word kelkå in Western dialect shows /k/ instead of expected /t͡s/, which is a common development in it. A borrowing from Polish could be also possible, but it doesn't explain the accent of the word. Major difference between Western and Central/Eatern dialectal groups is a retaining of final /ɛ/ or /ə/ sound from Proto-Balto-Slavic *-as ending (Brone, Bronislove) in former, but a complete loss in latter (Broń or Broniu, Bronislov).