stq vs. frs

John Cowan cowan at
Wed Apr 30 00:04:16 CEST 2008

Frank Ellermann scripsit:

> Admittedly the first vs. second row in...
> ...appear to be not *too*
> different, but there are lots of plausible reasons why the languages
> are mixed today.

Indeed.  This is what I mean by saying that the Stammbaum model is
not very good for West Germanic.  Evidence from earlier stages of the
languages would lead us to expect all three Frisians to be quite similar
and the most similar language outside the group to be English -- but West
Frisian has been so influenced by Dutch, North Frisian by High German,
Low Saxon, and Danish, Saterfrisian by High German and Low Saxon, and
English by French and Latin that the connections are pretty much obscured.

The similarities show up only in core vocabulary now, as in the
(different) English and West Frisian rhymes about bread, butter, and green
cheese, which have nearly identical pronunciations in the two languages
(W.F. "buuter, brea, en griene tsiis" as against Dutch "boter, brood,
en groene kaas").

John Cowan   cowan at
I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them
alive again from the water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag
went over me.  I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am
Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider.  --Bilbo to Smaug

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list