In addition to Prussia proper, the original territory of the Old Prussians might have included eastern parts of Pomerelia (some parts of the region east of the Vistula River). The language might have also been spoken much further east and south in what became Polesia and part of Podlasie, before conquests by Rus and Poles starting in the 10th century and the German colonisation of the area starting in the 12th century.
Old Prussian contained loanwords from Slavic languages (e.g., Old Prussian curtis "hound", like Lithuanian kùrtas and Latvian kur?ts, comes from Slavic (compare Ukrainian: ?, khort; Polish: chart; Czech: chrt)), as well as a few borrowings from Germanic, including from Gothic (e.g., Old Prussian ylo "awl" as with Lithuanian ýla, Latvian ?lens) and from Scandinavian languages.
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With other remains being merely word lists, the grammar of Old Prussian is reconstructed chiefly on the basis of the three Catechisms. There is no consensus on the number of cases that Old Prussian had, and at least four can be determined with certainty: nominative, genitive, accusative and dative, with different desinences. There are traces of a vocative case, such as in the phrase O Deiwe Rikijs "O God the Lord", reflecting the inherited PIE vocative ending *-e. There was a definite article (stas m., sta f.); three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter), and two numbers (singular and plural). Declensional classes were a-stems, ?-stems (feminine), ?-stems (feminine), i-stems, u-stems, ?/j?-stems, j?/ij?-stems and consonant-stems. Present, future and past tense are attested, as well as optative forms (imperative, permissive), infinitive, and four participles (active/passive present/past).
The following description is based on the phonological analysis by Schmalstieg (1974):
/au/ may have also been realized as a mid-back diphthong [eu].
Revived Old Prussian
A few linguists and philologists are involved in reviving a reconstructed form of the language from Luther's catechisms, the Elbing Vocabulary, place names, and Prussian loanwords in the Low Prussian dialect of German. Several dozen people use the language in Lithuania, Kaliningrad, and Poland, including a few children who are natively bilingual.
The Prusaspir? Society has published their translation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. The book was translated by Piotr Szatkowski (P?teris tkis) and released in 2015. The other efforts of Baltic Prussian societies include the development of online dictionaries, learning apps and games. There also have been several attempts to produce music with lyrics written in the revived Baltic Prussian language, most notably in the Kaliningrad Oblast by Romowe Rikoito, Kellan and ?ustras La?wan, but also in Lithuania by K?lgrinda in their 2005 album Pr?s? Giesm?s (Prussian Hymns), and in Latvia by Rasa Ensemble in 1988 and Valdis Muktup?vels in his 2005 oratorio "P?rc?l?t?js Pontifex" featuring several parts sung in Prussian.
Important in this revival was Vytautas Ma?iulis, who died on 11 April 2009, and his pupil Letas Palmaitis, leader of the experiment and author of the website Prussian Reconstructions. Two late contributors were Pr?ncis Arellis (Pranci?kus Erelis), Lithuania, and Dail?ns Russinis (Dailonis Rusi), Latvia. After them, Twankstas Glabbis from Kaliningrad oblast and N?rtiks Pamed?ns from East-Prussia, now Polish Warmia-Mazuria actively joined.
Unde geitkas pamas numas musse Nozegun, cademas pametam nusson Pyrtainekans;
No wede numus panam Padomum;
Swalbadi mumes newusse Layne. Jesus. Amen.
Lord's Prayer after Prätorius (Curonian-Latvian)[a]
Thewes nossen, cur tu es Debbes,
Schwisch gesger thowes Wardes;
Pena mynis thowe Wiswalstybe;
Toppes Patres gir iat Delbeszisne, tade tymnes senjnes Worsinny;
Annosse igdenas Mayse dodi mums szon Dien;
Pamutale mums musu Noschegun, kademas pametan nousson Pyktainekans;
No wede numus panam Paadomam;
Swalbadi names ne wust Tayne.
Lord's Prayer in Old Prussian (from the so-called "1st Catechism")
Thawe nuson kas tu asse Andangon,
Swintits wirst twais Emmens;
Pergeis twais Laeims;
Twais Quaits audasseisin na Semmey, key Andangon;
Nusan deininan Geittin deis numons schindeinan;
Bha atwerpeis numans nuson Auschautins, kay mas atwerpimay nuson Auschautenikamans;
Bha ny wedais mans Enperbandan;
Sclait is rankeis mans assa Wargan. Amen
Lord's Prayer in Lithuanian dialect of Insterburg (Prediger Hennig)
Tewe musu, kurs essi Danguje,
Buk szwenczamas Wardas tawo,
Ateik tawo Karalijste;
Buk tawo Walle kaip Daguje, taip ir an Zemes;
Duna musu dieniszka duk mums ir sze Diena;
Atleisk mums musu Kaltes, kaip mes atoeidzjam sawo Kaltiems;
Ne wesk mus Pagundima;
Bet gelbek mus nu Pikto.
Lord's Prayer in Lithuanian dialect of Nadruvia, corrupted (Simon Praetorius)
Tiewe musu, kursa tu essi Debsissa,
Szwints tiest taws Wards;
Akeik mums twa Walstybe;
Tawas Praats buk kaip Debbesissa taibant wirszu Sjemes;
Musu dieniszka May e duk mums ir szen Dienan;
Atmesk mums musu Griekus, kaip mes pammetam musi Pardokonteimus;
Ne te wedde mus Baidykle;
Bet te passarge mus mi wissa Louna (Pikta)
A list of remains of Old Prussian
The epigram of Basel - oldest known inscription in Prussian language and Baltic language in general, middle of 14th c
Prussian-language geographical names within the territory of (Baltic) Prussia. Georg Gerullis undertook the first basic study of these names in Die altpreußischen Ortsnamen ("The Old Prussian Place-names"), written and published with the help of Walter de Gruyter, in 1922.
You are no longer a good little comrade
if you want to drink
(but) do not want to give a penny!
This jocular inscription was most probably made by a Prussian student studying in Prague (Charles University); found by Stephen McCluskey (1974) in manuscript MS F.V.2 (book of physics Questiones super Meteororum by Nicholas Oresme), fol. 63r, stored in the Basel University library.
Various fragmentary texts: Recorded in several versions by Hieronymus Maletius in Sudovian Nook in the middle of the 16th century, as noted by Vytautas Ma?iulis, are:
Beigeite beygeyte peckolle ("Run, run, devils!")
Kails naussen gnigethe ("Hello our friend!")
Kails poskails ains par antres - a drinking toast, reconstructed as Ka?ls pas ka?ls, a?ns per ?ntran ("A cheer for a cheer, a tit for tat", literally: "A healthy one after a healthy one, one after another!")
Kellewesze perioth, Kellewesze perioth ("A carter drives here, a carter drives here!")
Ocho moy myle schwante panicke - also recorded as O hoho Moi mile swente Pannike, O ho hu Mey mile swenthe paniko, O mues miles schwante Panick ("Oh my dear holy fire!")
A manuscript fragment of the first words of the Pater Noster in Prussian, from the beginning of the 15th century: Towe Nüsze kås esse andangonsün swyntins.
100 words (in strongly varying versions) of the Vocabulary by friar Simon Grunau (Simon Grunovius), a historian of the Teutonic Knights, written c. 1517-1526 in his Preussische Chronik. Apart from those words Grunau also recorded an expression sta nossen rickie, nossen rickie ("This (is) our lord, our lord").
The so-called Elbing Vocabulary, which consists of 802 thematically sorted words and their German equivalents. Peter Holcwesscher from Marienburg copied the manuscript around 1400; the original dates from the beginning of the 14th or the end of the 13th century. It was found in 1825 by Fr Neumann among other manuscripts acquired by him from the heritage of the Elbing merchant A. Grübnau; it was thus dubbed the Codex Neumannianus.
The three Catechisms printed in Königsberg in 1545, 1545, and 1561 respectively. The first two consist of only six pages of text in Old Prussian - the second one being a correction[clarification needed] of the first into another Old Prussian dialect. The third catechism, or Enchiridion, consists of 132 pages of text, and is a translation of Luther's Small Catechism by a German cleric called Abel Will, with his Prussian assistant Paul Megott. Will himself knew little or no Old Prussian, and his Prussian interpreter was probably illiterate, but according to Will spoke Old Prussian quite well. The text itself is mainly a word-for-word translation, and Will phonetically recorded Megott's oral translation. Because of this, the Enchiridion exhibits many irregularities, such as the lack of case agreement in phrases involving an article and a noun, which followed word-for-word German originals as opposed to native Old Prussian syntax.
Commonly thought of as Prussian, but probably actually Lithuanian (at least the adage, however, has been argued to be genuinely West Baltic, only an otherwise unattested dialect):
An adage of 1583, Dewes does dantes, Dewes does geitka: the form does in the second instance corresponds to Lithuanian future tense duos ("will give")
Trencke, trencke! ("Strike! Strike!")
Colophons written by Prussian scriptors who worked in Prague and in the court of Lithuanian duke Butautas K?stutaitis.
Atonaige maian meilan am ne wede maianwargan
Thaure ne ?tonais po pie? pievenabdolenai galei ragai
Stonais po leipen zaidiant acha peda bete medde
Stand under the May tree willingly/dear - the May tree does not bring you to misery
Aurochs, do not stand under the pine tree - horns bring death,
Stand under the blooming linden tree - the bee brings honey here.
"For a time, therefore, the Protestants had to be cautious in Poland proper, but they found a sure refuge in Prussia, where Lutheranism was already the established religion, and where the newly erected University of Königsberg became a seminary for Polish ministers and preachers."
"Albert of Brandenburg, Grand Master of the German Order in Prussia, called as preacher to Konigsberg Johann Briesaman (q.v.), Luther's follower (1525); and changed the territory of the order into a hereditary grand duchy under Polish protection. From these borderlands the movement penetrated Little Poland which was the nucleus for the extensive kingdom. [...] In the meantime the movement proceeded likewise among the nobles of Great Poland; here the type was Lutheran, instead of Reformed, as in Little Poland. Before the Reformation the Hussite refugees had found asylum here; now the Bohemian and Moravian brethren, soon to be known as the Unity of the Brethren (q.v.), were expelled from their home countries and, on their way to Prussia (1547), about 400 settled in Posen under the protection of the Gorka, Leszynski, and Ostrorog families."