Polabian

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Description

Polabian (pülobsťe rec) is a Slavic Language of Lekhitic group, spoken by approx. 80.000 inhabitants in Mecklenburg, mostly between and around towns Nyenbramborg and Nyenstrelitz.

Origin

The ancestors of Polabians probably came to their area around 6th cc and belonged to the Obodrits tribal union. They were later for a short period incorporated into Franconian Empire, but after rebellion in 932, they gained independence. Finally, they were subdued by Saxons in 12th cc. They were Christianised by Germans, thus the ruling classes became quickly germanised. As it was allowed to use native language in Church life in both Mecklenburg duchies and because of absence of major military conflicts (which often led to extinction of rural languages), Polabian was preserved in a flow of time opposite to other Slavic languages in HRE.

Its golden age came in 17th cc, when Polabian, in that time called Drewänisch/dröwensťe, became literary language. Such personalities, like G.W. Leibnitz, exposed themselves in its cause. Among others, they were J.F. Pfeffinger with Vocabularium Dervanicum from 1698 and Drewänische Vocabeln of Monsieur de Baucoeur from 1712.

Actual situation

When Germany was unified in 1871, both Mecklenburg duchies became part of it. The language was not used on an administrative level and thus declined; Low German became the primary language for majority of Mecklenburgians. After the peace settlement of GW2, Mecklenburg remained unified (after its forced unification by A. Hessler) and Polabian is one of its official languages.


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