Pomorian North-Western dialects

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The North-Western group is a dialectal group of the Pomorian language spoken mostly in the eastern part of Puck County and in Rumina, Reda and Weiherinå gminas (which are the western part of Pomorze wschodnie in Poland). It is often referred to as pamarėska uzskądoja (Western Pomorian), sometimes also as pumurėlina guora/galba and is considered being a separate language by its native speakers. It's the third most widely spoken dialect currently.


Western dialects started diverging from Old Pomorian approximately in the VIth-VIIth century, which is a very long time for a dialect and is more typical for a language. It came from lands in between Masuria and Ziemia lubawska and slowly migrated to its current lands by the end of the XIII century. During this time Western Pomorians came into contact with slavic Pomeranians and their dialect was influenced by Slovincian and Kashubian spoken there. A partial assimilation with those peoples gave birth to Northern and South-Western dialects.

From the XIII century onwards, Western Pomorians dispersed on the rest Pomorian territory intermixing with local population. During this process Central and Southern dialectal groups began forming and thus creating a dialectal continuum from Western to Eastern groups of dialects.

Under German rule Northern dialect was heavily influenced by Low German resulting in some new features of it such as an initial stress and loss of the pitch accent. however morphology stayed quite intact preserving some archaic features not present in Pomorian standard.

The earliest writings in Pomerellian appeared in the XIVth century the most famous of which is "Gudoniskė Predihtė" ("Gdańskie kazania" in Polish). The first written phrase was from 1395: "Ate Nassye kao essi annebesseich", which is the first line of the Lord's Prayer.


The Pomerellian phonology is very similar to the standard with main features being:

  • lack of nasalization before plosives;
  • preservation of k, g before front vowels in some ablaut alterations and after s;
  • lack of shortening of old diphthongs *au and *ai at the end of the word;
  • narrowing of au to ou;
  • no palatalization before front vowels, however it depends on a speaker (usually only y can cause palatalization);
  • no /c/, /ɟ/ palatalization to /t͡ɕ/, /d͡ʑ/;


Long vowels
Western dialect Front Back
oral nasal oral nasal
Close y /i:/ į /ĩ:/ ū /u:/ ų /ũ:/
Mid ė /ɛː~eː/ o /ɔː~oː/
Open-mid e (/æ:/) ę /æ̃:/ å (/ɔː/) ą /ɔ̃:/
Open a (/a:/)
Short vowels
Front Back
Close i /i~ɪ/ u /u~ʊ/
Open-mid e /ɛ/
Open a /ɑ/ å /ɒ/


  • Allophones /æ:/, /a:/, /ɔː/ appear only under circumflex accent.
  • Word initial vowels can be pronounced with a slight [w] (before back vowels) or [j] (before front vowels). For instance, ugnì - [wʊg.ˈn̪ɪ] (fire). This is much more common before diphthongs, where an approximant is clearly heared and written as in vúisi - [ˈwuɪ.sɪ] (village), jéine [ˈjeɪ.n̪ɛ] (one)
ie /ie/ uo /uo/ ei /eɪ/ ou /oʊ/ ui /uɪ/
Long vowels
Northern dialect Front Back
oral nasal oral nasal
Close y /i:/ į /ĩ:/ ū /u:/ ų /ũ:/
Mid ė /eɪ~eː/ o /oʊ~oː/
Open-mid ē /æ:/ ę /æ̃:/ ą /ɔ̃:/
Open ā /a:/
Short vowels
Front Back
Close i /i~ɪ/ u /u~ʊ/
Open-mid e /ɛ/
Open a /ɑ/ å /ɒ/
ie /ɪe/ ea /ɛæ/ oa /ɔɒ/ uo /uo/ ei /eɪ~ɪ:/ ou /ɔʊ~ʊ:/


Labial Dental Palato-alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal m ɲ
Plosive voiceless p c k
voiced b ɟ g
Affricate voiceless t̪͡s̪ t͡sʲ~t͡ɕ 1
voiced d̪͡z̪ d͡zʲ~d͡ʑ 1
Fricative voiceless (f) 2 sʲ~ɕ 1 ʆ 3 h 4
voiced zʲ~ʑ 1 (ɦ) 4
Trill r (rʲ)/(r̝) 5
Approximant w~ʋ 6 j
Lateral approximant l ʎ


  • 1 Depends on a speaker. Affricates [t͡ɕ], [d͡ʑ] are considered to be a Polish influence.
  • 2 Occures only in borrowings.
  • 3 Pronunciation varies from [ʃ] to [ʂ] in different speakers with the latter being more common.
  • 4 [ɦ] is an allophone of /h/ in the intervocal position. Usually [h] is spelled ch as in old traditional system. At the end of the word this sound can undergo fortition to [x] unlike in the standard where it is always lax and can even disappear in a fast speech.
  • 5 Does not appear in most North-Western dialects and is usually pronounced as as a sequence [rj] or plain [r]. It is also pronounced as [r̝] by some northern speakers - a unique feature of the Northern dialect.
  • 6 [w] occures after back vowels, while [ʋ] - after front ones. Some, mostly second-language speakers pronounce it as [v] (and [f] near voiceless consonants).


The Western dialect has a pitch-accent while Northern has lost it gaining a fixed initial stress as in German. The Western dialect has the same accent types as in the standard: the rising accent - tvírdagalså - which can be long - dìlgå (marked with an acute) - or short - cẽrtå (marked with a grave) and the falling accent - lìkugalså (marked with a circumflex or a tilde). However in some words with the rising accent in the standard there is a falling accent (tvirdagalså) while tvirdagalså certå can be retracted to a previous syllable. For example dąbù (oak) is dǻmbu in Western dialect and doambu in Northern.



North-Western Pomorian nouns decline in a similar way to the standard patterns. The main difference is a dual number being fully present in every declension and not just as a relics as in the Pomorian proper. Nouns have seven cases: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Instrumental, Locative and Vocative.

First declension

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

gróde = hail galvà = head mùrjå = sea
singular dual plural singular dual plural singular dual plural
Nominative gróde gróda gródė galvà gãlvė gãlvo mùrjå mùrjė murjó
Genitive gródo gróduo gródų galvó galvóu galvų́ mùrjo murj murjų́
Dative gródou gródumu gródam gãlvei galvómu gàlvom mùrjou murjàmu mùrjam
Accusative gródą gróda gródu gãlvą gàlvė gãlve mùrją mùrjė mùrje
Instrumental gródum gródumu gródėmy gãlvają gãlvómu galvomy͂ mùrjåm murjàmu murjamy͂
Locative gródė gróduo gródėch gàlvojė gãlvou gãlvos murjėjė͂ mùrj mùrjos
Vocative gródei gróda gródė gãlva gãlvė gãlvo mùrja mùrjė mùrjo

Second declension

-i (masculine), -i (feminine)

zvėrì = mammal ugnì = fire
singular dual plural singular dual plural
Nominative zvėrì zvė́ri zvė́rije ugnì ugnì ugný
Genitive zvėrý zvėriuõ zvėrijų́ ugný ugniúo ugnių́
Dative zvė́riui zvėrìmu zvėrìm ugnéi ugnìmu ugnìm
Accusative zvė́rį zvė́ri zvė͂rį ugnį́ ugnì ugnį́
Instrumental zvė́rim zvėrìmu zvėrimy͂ ugnìją ugnìmu ugnìmy
Locative zvėrie͂ zvėriuõ zvė́rich ugnýjė ugniúo ugnìch
Vocative zvė́rie zvė́ri zvėrie͂ ugný ugnì ugný

Third declension

-u (masculine, neuter)

sūnù = son ledù = ice
singular dual plural singular dual plural
Nominative sūnù sū́nū sū͂nave ledù lèdū le͂dū
Genitive sūn sūnóu sū́navų led ledóu ledų́
Dative sū́nave sūnùmu sūnùm lèdou ledùmu ledùm
Accusative sū͂nų sū́nū sū͂nų le͂dų lèdū le͂dų
Instrumental sū́num sūnùmu sūnumy͂ lèdum ledùmu ledumy͂
Locative sūnóu sūnóu sū́nuch ledùju ledóu lèduch
Vocative sūn sū́nū sū͂nave led lèdū le͂dū

Fourth declension

-ū (feminine)

brū͂ = eyebrow
singular dual plural
Nominative brū͂ brùvi brùvy
Genitive bruvý brùvuo bruvų́
Dative bruvė́ bruvìmu brùvim
Accusative brùvų brùvi brùvų
Instrumental brùve bruvìmu bruvimy͂
Locative bruvė́ brùvuo brùvich
Vocative brùvy brùvi brùvy

Fifth declension

*-n (feminine), *-n (neuter)

elū́ = deer ìmnę = name
singular dual plural singular dual plural
Nominative elū́ elèni elèny ìmnę imnèni imnenè
Genitive elèny elènuo elènų imnený imnenuõ imnenų́
Dative elèniė elènimu elènim ìmnenė imnènimu imnenìm
Accusative elènį elèni elènį ìmnenį imnèni ìmnenį
Instrumental elène elènimu elènimy ìmnenim imnènimu imnenimy͂
Locative elènė elènuo elènis imnenė́ imnenuõ ìmnenis
Vocative elène elèni elèny ìmnene ìmneni ìmnenė

Sixth declension

*-t, *-s *-r (neuter, feminine), bróti (-r, masculine)

telę́ = calf kãkla = wheel bróti = brother
singular dual plural singular dual plural singular dual plural
Nominative telę́ telę́ti telę́te kãkla kãklesi kaklesè bróti bróteri bróterė
Genitive telę́ty telę́tuo telę́tų kãklesy kaklesuõ kaklesų́ brótery bróteruo bróterų
Dative telę́tė telę́timu telę́tim kãklesė kaklesĩmu kaklesìm bróterė bróterimu bróterim
Accusative telę́tį telę́ti telę́tį kãklesį kãklesi kàklesį bróterį bróteri bróterį
Instrumental telę́tim telę́timu telę́timy kãklesim kaklesĩmu kaklesimy͂ bróterim bróterimu bróterimy
Locative telę́tė telę́tuo telę́tis kaklerė́ kaklesuõ kàklesis bróterė bróteruo bróteris
Vocative telę́tie telę́ti telę́tė kaklese͂ kàklesi kaklesė́ brótere bróteri bróterė


Every Pomorian verb belongs to one of four different conjugations:

  • The first conjugation, which has different subgroups in it, contains verbs whose infitives end in -ti before a consonant. There are some irregulare verb patterns in this conjugation. In Northern dialect some -oti verbs belong to 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 and is a subclass of this conjugation.
  • The third conjugation contains verbs with infintives ending in -yti and some in -ėti.
  • The fourth conjugation contains verbs with infinitives ending in -outi
  • The fifth conjugation, usually considered a subgroup of the first one, include verbs with an /ui/ diphthong in their infinitives.
  • The sixth conjugation contains few old athematic and auxillary verbs. Almost all of these verbs are irregular.

Active Voice

Simple tenses

Present tense

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

1 2a 2b 3 4 5 6
vestì - to lead zinóti - to know sodínti - to set zodýti - to decide krykóuti - to shout múiti - to wash bū́ti - to be
I vedå̀ zinójå sodìnå zõd krýk esmì
You (singular) vedèsi zinójesi sodìnesi zõďesi krýknesi jesi esì
He/She/It vedè zinóje sodìne zõďe krýkne je e͂s
We (dual) vedevà zinójeva sodìneva zoďevà krýkneva mujevà esvà
You (dual) vedetà zinójeta sodìneta zoďetà krýkneta mujetà està
They (dual) vedè zìnoje sódine zõďe krýkne mu e͂ste
We vedèmu zinójemu sodìnemu zoďèmu krýknemu jemu esmù
You (plural) vedète zinójete sodìnete zoďète krýknete jete estè
They vedą́ zinóją sodìną zõd krýk są͂

Future tense

Modern Pomerellian has no synthetic future tense just like the standard. Only the verb būti has an additional simple future tense which conjugates like present, but using the n-form bųsti instead. This form similarly to English "will" is used together with other verbs to create various analytic aspects of the future tense. For example: bundå zodyti (I will decide); bundå zodiuo, kad pudzėďes (I will have decided by the time you ask (me)). Some other verbs like jeiti (to go), stoti (to stand), lyti (to rain) or dėti (to place) have the n-form to indicate events expected in the future. In Eastern dialects this form became a new future tense.

I búndå
You (singular) búndes
He/She/It búnde
We two búndeva
You two búndeta
They two búndete
We búndemu
You (plural) búndete
They búndą

However an archaic form of a synthetic future tense had been seldom used by the end of the XXth century especially in folklore, where it can still be found nowadays. These are just some relics like būšęsiå tåmou (I will be there, stative); Doďeši mė bėtu kelkå peningo? (Will you give me some money, please?)

Past tense

This is the basic tense to describe actions in the past.

1 2a 2b 3 4 5 6
vestì - to lead zinóti - to know sodínti - to set zodýti - to decide krykóuti - to shout múiti - to wash bū́ti - to be
I ved zinójuo sodìnuo zod krýknuo mujúo buvù
You (singular) vedéi zinójei sodìnei zõďei krýknei mujéi buvì
He/She/It vedė́ zinójė sodìnė zõďė krýk bū͂
We (dual) vedèvė zinojèvė sodinèvė zoďèvė krýknevė mujèvė bùvė
You (dual) vedèva zinojèva sodinèva zoďèva krýkneva mujètė bùva
They (dual) vèdet zìnojet sódinet zóďet krýknet jet bùve
We vedóme zinójome sodìnome zoďóme krýknome mujóme buvóme
You (plural) vedė́te zinójėte sodìnėte zoďė́te krýknėte mujė́te buvóte
They vèdę zinóję sodìnę zóďę krýk bùvę


Aorist is an archaic feature of Pomorian which is preserved only in North-Western dialects an is usually used with irregular verbs. This tense describes both past and present events that happen(ed) in general, without asserting a time, meaning that it just describes an action neither its duration nor its result.

ìmti - to have
I imū́hu
You (singular) imū́ši
He/She/It imū́šė
We two imūhóvė
You two imūhótė
They two imū́hot
We imū́šėmu
You (plural) imū́šėte
They imū́šę

The usage of this tense was found in Gdańsk chronics from the early XVth century. It mentioned that peasants had almost no crops and asked God to give them some food to eat, but God refused to give the food because those people were pagans unlike christian Germans who lived in the city. They said: Hleiban dādāšimes. Dāi nāme ir sin deinin! (You gave us bread (before). Give us (it) this day too!). In modern Pomorian this would be: Hlėbå nome buvei dovušu. Doďi nomu ji šį dienį! It's not known whether this event really happened or it was a story created to encourage local people converting into christianity.

Compound tenses

Compound tenses and moods are the same as in the Pomorian proper, but North-Western dialects have some additional ones. Here only the additional moods are listed: frequentative (expresses repeating actions), conditional (represents events happening under some conditions), desiderative (expresses wishes and desires). All of them use a verb būti, imti (usually to express necessity) or vilti/cesti (in desiderative, where a special word form from old optative is preserved, for instance: Velie mė ("I would like"), Velie be mė ("I would have wanted") and a respectful participle (using supine or infintive instead is also possible in North-Western and in Eastern dialects it's the only way to use these moods).


Like the standard Pomorian the Pomerellian dialect has a lot of participles. In fact it has even more types of them, 17 in total. But sometimes an adjectival and its correspondent adverbial participles are counted as a single type (with adjectival and adverbial endings). Every adjectival participle can decline for case, number and gender, but only masculine singular forms are listed below. These types are:

Adjectival vėsti/vėdoti - to know
active present vėdante/vėdą
active past vėdavu/vėdou
passive present vėdame
passive past vėdone
the l-participle (active perfect) vėdalu
the t-participle (passive perfect) vėdatu
the nť-participle (active present continuous) vėdantiu
the š-participle (active past continuous) vėdovušu
present frequentative vėdovuošu
past frequentative vėdoulu
necessitative (the int-participle) vėdintine
Adverbial vėsti/vėdoti - to know
active present vėdontou
active past vėdovou
passive present vėdomou
passive past vėdonou
the nť-participle (active present continuous) vėdantė/vėdojantė
conditional vėduoťi/vėdojuoťi