Pomorian Eastern dialects

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The Eastern group is a dialectal group of the Pomorian language spoken in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, mostly in Alęšteiņa and surrounding areas. Nowadays it has approximately 500 native speakers left, but only 40 years ago this dialect was the most widely spoken with more than 7000 speakers. It is commonly reffered to as pamarėska uostroja (Eastern Pomorian), but its native speakers call it suvilkeina or suvyucyska rōka /su.ˈwɨʊ̯.t͡sɨ.skɐ. rɔː.ˈka/ from the Suvyucyja region where most Eastern Pomorians lived. The Eastern dialectal group is often considered being a separate language because of the time of divergence (about the VIIth or even the VIth century) which is more typical for a language.

History

Eastern dialects were showing some of their distinct features already in Old Pomorian. It came from lands between Sasna and Masuria and shared the northern part of this territory with sașinavi (Sasnavians in English) and galįdi (Galindians) tribes and in the north-west - with pumureiļi (Western Pomorians). During this time Eastern Pomorian was in a constant contact with Old Prussian, which influenced it and various loanwords connected to trade and fishing were borrowed.

After the end of the XIIIth century the Southern group began diverging from Eastern Pomorian but was slowly being substituted with Polish. But new Central and Southern dialectal groups began forming and thus creating a dialectal continuum between Eastern and Western groups of dialects. However like its northern neighbour Old Prussian Eastern Pomorian started dying out slowly from the XVIth century at first in the Masuria region and then elsewhere.

Orthography

Unlike other Pomorian dialects Suvilkian uses the Eastern orthography which is more similar to Prussian and Latvian ones. This orthography was created in 1952. According to a widespread opinion it was made due to political reasons (probably to deepen the difference between Eastern and Western Pomorians) than linguistic ones.

Phonology

The Suvilkian phonology is a bit different from the standard making the dialect harder to understand for other speakers. The vowel system is different for stressed and unstressed vowels, but these differences are allophonic and are mentioned only in some linguistic articles about the Pomorian phonology.

Vowels

Long vowels
Front Central Back
oral nasal oral nasal
Close ī /i:/ į /ĩ:/ ȳ /ɨ:/ ū /u:/ ų /ũ:/
Open-mid ē /ɛː/ ę /æ̃:/ ō /ɔː/ ą /ɔ̃:/
Open ā /a:/
Short vowels
Front Central Back
Close i /i~ɪ/ y /ɨ~ə/ u /u~ʊ/
Open-mid e /æ/ e (/ə/)* o /ɔ/
Open a /a/*

Notes:

  • e is pronounced /ə/ at the end of words.
  • a is pronounced /ɐ/ at the end of words if unstressed.
Diphthongs
ie /ie/ uo /uo/ ei /eɪ/ yu /ɨʊ/

Consonants

Consonants
Labial Dental Palato-alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal m ɲ
Plosive voiceless p k
voiced b g
Affricate voiceless t̪͡s̪ t͡sʲ t͡ʃ
voiced d̪͡z̪ d͡zʲ d͡ʒ
Fricative voiceless (f) 1 sʲ ʃ h 2
voiced zʲ ʒ (ɦ) 2
Trill r (rʲ)3
Approximant w~ʋ 4 j
Lateral approximant l ʎ

Notes:

  • 1 Occures only in borrowings.
  • 2 [ɦ] is an allophone of /h/ in the intervocal position.
  • 3 Does not appear in some dialects where it is plain [r] instead.
  • 4 [w] occures after back vowels, while [ʋ] - after front ones. Some, mostly second-language speakers pronounce it as [v] (and [f] before voiceless consonants).

Prosody

Unlike Western Pomorian dialects and the standard Suvilkian developed a quantitative stress. It has only two types of stress - long and short which are phonemic only in diphthongs. It merged circumflex and grave into the short accent, while acute became the long accent. For example gèidz̗uo (to a tit) and géidz̗uo (to a whistle). However, sometimes the place of stress is different from the standard, being usually more regular and predictable.

Grammar

Nouns

First declension

-e (masculine), -a (feminine), -o (neuter)

ròge = horn galvà = head màŗo = sea
singular plural singular plural singular plural
Nominative ròge rogì galvà gàlvā màŗo maŗā́
Genitive rògā rogų́ galvā́ galvų́ màŗā maŗų́
Dative ròguo rogòm gàlvē galvā́m màŗu maŗòm
Accusative rògo rogā́ gàlvą gàlve màŗo màŗe
Instrumental rogum rogàmy gàlvo galvā́my màŗom maŗàmy
Locative ròdžie rogèihu galv galvā́su maŗè maŗā́su
Vocative rodž rodžī́ gàlva gàlvā màŗa màŗā

Second declension

-y (masculine), -i (feminine)

zvērỳ = mammal ųgnì = fire
singular plural singular plural
Nominative zvērì zvḗŗȳ ųgnì ųgņī́
Genitive zvērȳ́ zvēŗų́ ųgnī́ ųgņų́
Dative zvḗrē zvērỳm ųgņ ųgņìm
Accusative zvḗrį zvēŗį ųgnį́ ųgņį́
Instrumental zvērym zvērỳmy ųgņò ųgņìmy
Locative zvēr zvērỳhu ųgņ ųgņìhu
Vocative zvērī́ zvērȳ́ ųgņī́ ųgņī́

Third declension

-u (masculine)

sūnù = son ledù = ice
singular plural singular plural
Nominative sūnù sū́nū ledù lèdū
Genitive sūn sūnų́ led ledų́
Dative sū́nuo sūnū́m lèduo ledū́m
Accusative sū́nų sū́nų lèdų lèdų
Instrumental sūnùm sūnùmy ledùm ledùmy
Locative sūn sūnùhu led ledùhu
Vocative sūn sū́nuo led lèduo

Fourth declension

-yu (feminine)

brýu = eyebrow
singular plural
Nominative brýu brùvȳ
Genitive bruvȳ́ bruvų́
Dative bruvī́ bruvỳm
Accusative brùvų brùvų
Instrumental brùve bruvỳmy
Locative bruvíe bruvỳhu
Vocative brùvī brùvȳ

Fifth declension

-n, -t, -s, -r (feminine, neuter)

alę́ = deer akmę́ = stone
singular plural singular plural
Nominative alę́ alènā akmę́ àkmenā
Genitive alènī alènų akmenī́ akmenų́
Dative alènī alènym àkmenī akmenỳm
Accusative alènį alènį àkmenį àkmenį
Instrumental alènim alènimy àkmenim akmenìmy
Locative alènie alènihu akmeniè akmenìhu
Vocative alènī alènā akmenī́ àkmenā

Verbs

Indicative mood

Present tense

This tense describe present or ongoing events without a definite time. Conjugation types are marked with numbers.

1 2a 2b 3 4
vèsti - to lead zynā́ti - to know catįti - to wish for something mȳļíeti - to love bū́ti - to be
I vedò zynā́jo catỳņo mȳ́ļo asmì
You (singular) ved zynā́jē catỳņē mȳ́ļē asì
He/She/It vèda zynā́ja catỳņa mȳ́ļe àst
We vedàmo zynā́jamo catỳņamo mȳ́ļemo asmò
You (plural) vedàta zynā́jata catỳņata mȳ́ļeta astà
They vèdą zynā́ją catỳną mȳ́ļą są́

Past tense

This is the basic tense to describe actions in the past. Like in Present tense the stress pattern of a verb is usually predictable.

1 2a 2b 3 4
vèsti - to lead zynā́ti - to know catįti - to wish for something mȳļíeti - to love bū́ti - to be
I vedù zynā́ju catỳnu mȳļíeju buvù
You (singular) vedī́ zynā́jī catỳņī mȳļíejī buvì
He/She/It vedíe zynā́je catỳņe mȳļíeje býu
We vedā́m zynā́jām catỳņām mȳļíejām bùvām
You (plural) vedíet zynā́jet catỳņet mȳļíejet bùvāt
They vedę́ zynā́ję catỳnę mȳļíeję bùvę

Future tense

A new synthetic future tense came from an extension of "n-verb forms" of Old Pomorian. It is the only dialect having such a way of representing future tense.

1 2a 2b 3 4
vèsti - to lead zynā́ti - to know catįti - to wish for something mȳļíeti - to love bū́ti - to be
I vedanò zynā́jno catỳņano mȳļíejno bunò
You (singular) vedanḗ zynā́jnē catỳņanē mȳļíej bunḗ
He/She/It vèdaņa zynā́jņa catỳņaņa mȳļíejņa bùņa
We vedanamò zynā́jnamo catỳņanamo mȳļíejņamo bunamò
You (plural) vedanatà zynā́jnata catỳņanata mȳļíejņata bunatà
They vedaną́ zynā́jną catỳņaną mȳļíej buną́