23 May 2011


(this was posted on the UM-forum on 5 may 2011)

The title is the beginning of the Rustringian laws (it means "here is written").

Let's test the hypothesis that the OLB-language would be based on this dialect with one example, the participium perfectum of "to write"; written.

English = written (words that come closest are 'described' and 'scribbled')
Dutch: geschreven
Afrikaans: geskryf
German: geschrieben
Danish, norwegian = skrevet
Swedish = skrivit
Icelandic = skrifað
Current Westfrisian dialect (North-Holland): skreven (long E or É)

In the OLB there are several varieties of the word, but by far the most common is "SKRÉVEN"

SKRÉVEN ~ 24 x

of which 6 varieties:
. . . WR-SKRÉVEN ~ 1 x (over-written = copied)
. . . VR-SKRÉVEN ~ 1 x ( ,, )
. . . E-SKRÉVEN ~ 2 x
. . . É-SKRÉVEN ~ 1 x
. . . BI-SKRÉVEN ~ 1 x (describe)
("-" added by me)

And 4 with a double-V or W:
(BI-) SKRÉWEN ~ 1 x
(A-) SKRIWEN ~ 1 x
(A-) SKRÍWEN ~ 1 x
(the last two having I, resp. Í after the SKR-)

Total: 28 x

So the constant factor is:


and between SKR- and -EN, we find:

É - 26 x
I - 1 x
Í - 1 x


V - 24 x
W - 3 x
VV - 1 x

Now a look at the Rustringer variety of the same word:


The variety with E- in the beginning is counted in OLB 3 out of 28, but let's focus on the core of the word:


First thing to notice is that SKR- is the same, but the last I is in conflict with the constant factor of the OLB, where all varieties end with -EN.

The other I, following SKR- is a rare variety in OLB. If we add I and Í together, it's 2 out of 28.

In OLB U and V are sometimes interchangeable, but in no single variety of SKRÉVEN the U is used.

~ ~ ~

To get back to the hypothesis, if someone in the 19th century would want to create a fantasy language that is based on the Rustrinian variety of old-Frisian, he would have known the laws from which the fragment of the title of this post was taken.

According to Abe's theory, Halbertsma considered Rustringian to be the oldest and most pure of the old-Frisian dialects.

Why now would he make up nine different varieties of this word and not include the Rustringian variety?

And why would he make the variety that is still in use in Westfriesland the most common one?

Back to the modern languages:

scribbled, -scribed ~ English
geschreven ~ Dutch
geskryf ~ Afrikaans
geschrieben ~ German
skrevet ~ Danish, norwegian
skrivit ~ Swedish
skrifað ~ Icelandic
skreven (long E or É) ~ Current Westfrisian dialect (North-Holland)

If we compare these with the constant factor of the OLB:


1) We find that only Westfrisian fully corresponds with it.

2) The beginning SKR- we also find in Afrikaans and the Scandinavian languages (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic).

In Dutch and German this has changed into SCHR-, and in English into SCR-.

3) The end -EN we find in Dutch and German, in Afrikaans it is left out, and in the Scandinavian languages it has changed into -ET (Danish and Norwegian), -IT (Swedish) and -ATH (Icelandic)

4) The in OLB most common "V" in the middle is maintained in Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian.

In Afrikaans and Icelandic this has become an "F", in German and English a "B".

5) The sound before the "V" (most common in OLB is "É") is maintained in Dutch, Danish and Norwegian, while in the other languages it has become the I, IE or Y (with English as the only one where this sound is short).

The conclusions of this single example, are that:

1. None of the OLB varieties of the word are based on Rustringian.

2. The OLB word is most similar to (i.e. completely the same as) the word in the Westfrisian (North Holland) dialect.

It would be good to have more examples, but it is a lot of work.

Besides, I'm not an official "linguist"...

No comments:

Post a Comment