Slovincian is the language formerly spoken by the Slovincians , a Slavic people
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 living between lakes Gardno (Gardersee)
Lake Gardno
Gardno is a lake in the Słowińskie Lakeland in Pomeranian Voivodship, Poland. It is the part of Słowiński National Park. Its area is 24.69 km². It is 6.8 km long and 4.7 km wide. Maximum depth is 2.6 m.- External links :* and - photos...

 and Łebsko (Lebasee) near Słupsk (Stolp) in Pomerania
Pomerania is a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea. Divided between Germany and Poland, it stretches roughly from the Recknitz River near Stralsund in the West, via the Oder River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdańsk in the East...


Slovincian is classified either as a language (first by Friedrich Lorentz, 1902/3), or as a Kashubian
Kashubian can refer to:* Pertaining to Kashubia, a region of north-central Poland* Kashubians, an ethnic group of north-central Poland* Kashubian language-See also:*Kashubian alphabet*Kashubian Landscape Park*Kashubian studies...

 dialect (first by Lorentz, after 1903) or variant, with Kashubian itself being classified either as a language or a Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 dialect. Slovincian and Kashubian are both classified as Pomeranian
Pomeranian language
The Pomeranian language is a group of dialects from the Lechitic cluster of the West Slavic languages. In medieval contexts, it refers to the dialects spoken by the Slavic Pomeranians...


Slovincian became extinct in the early twentieth century. However, individual words and expressions survived until after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, when the region became Polish. Some Slovincians were expelled along with the Germans, of those allowed to stay a few elderly people had fragmentary knowledge of Slovincian until the 1950s.

It is disputed whether Slovincians actually used that name, given to them by the Russian academic Aleksander Hilferding
Aleksander Hilferding
Alexander Hilferding was a Russian linguist and folklorist of German descent who collected some 318 bylinas in the Russian North. A native of Warsaw, he assisted Nikolay Milyutin in reforming the administration of Congress Poland...

, for themselves. Lebakaschuben is a synonymously used term. Some scholars believe that Slovincians regarded themselves merely as Lutheran Kashubians
Kashubians/Kaszubians , also called Kashubs, Kashubes, Kaszubians, Kassubians or Cassubians, are a West Slavic ethnic group in Pomerelia, north-central Poland. Their settlement area is referred to as Kashubia ....

 and their language as Kashubian. Nevertheless, the name "Slovincian" prevails in literature and is also used officially, for example in Słowiński Park Narodowy (Slovincian National Park), a protected area on the Polish Pomeranian coast.


Specific features of Slovincian are the nearly missing oxytones (final stress), and a preservance of stress for quantity distinction though acutes and circumflexes have shortened and new long stressed vowels have resulted from various accent shifts in Slovincian evolution. The absence of an oxytone has been considered both an archaism and an innovation, while the quantity distinction by stress is a conservative feature shared with Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian or Serbo-Croat, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian , is a South Slavic language with multiple standards and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro...

 and Slovene. There are two accentual paradigms in Slovincian, a fixed and a mobile one, with the mobile one resulting in a stress alternation only within the stem, not the ending.

Slovincian grammar is preserved in "Slovinzische Grammatik", compiled in 1903 by Friedrich Lorentz who in 1908-1912 also published "Slovinzisches Wörterbuch", a Slovincian dictionary.


The ancestors of the Slovincians, the West Slavic
West Slavs
The West Slavs are Slavic peoples speaking West Slavic languages. They include Poles , Czechs, Slovaks, Lusatian Sorbs and the historical Polabians. The northern or Lechitic group includes, along with Polish, the extinct Polabian and Pomeranian languages...

 Pomeranians, moved in after the Migration Period
Migration Period
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions , was a period of intensified human migration in Europe that occurred from c. 400 to 800 CE. This period marked the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages...

. Following the Ostsiedlung
Ostsiedlung , also called German eastward expansion, was the medieval eastward migration and settlement of Germans from modern day western and central Germany into less-populated regions and countries of eastern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The affected area roughly stretched from Slovenia...

, the Slovincians like most of the other Wends
Wends is a historic name for West Slavs living near Germanic settlement areas. It does not refer to a homogeneous people, but to various peoples, tribes or groups depending on where and when it is used...

 gradually became Germanized. The adoption of Lutheranism
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 in the Duchy of Pomerania
Duchy of Pomerania
The Duchy of Pomerania was a duchy in Pomerania on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, ruled by dukes of the House of Pomerania ....

 in 1534 distinguished the Slovincians from the Kashubes in Pomerelia
Pomerelia is a historical region in northern Poland. Pomerelia lay in eastern Pomerania: on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea and west of the Vistula and its delta. The area centered on the city of Gdańsk at the mouth of the Vistula...

, who remained Roman Catholic. In the 16th century, "Slovincian" was also applied to the Slavic speakers in the Bütow
Bütow is a municipality in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany....

 (Bytow) region further south.

In the 16th and 17th century Michael Brüggemann (also known as Pontanus or Michał Mostnik), Simon Krofey (Szimon Krofej) and J.M. Sporgius introduced Kashubian into the Lutheran Church. Krofey, pastor
The word pastor usually refers to an ordained leader of a Christian congregation. When used as an ecclesiastical styling or title, this role may be abbreviated to "Pr." or often "Ps"....

 in Bütow
Bütow is a municipality in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany....

 (Bytow), published a religious song book in 1586, written in Polish but also containing some Kashubian words. Brüggemann, pastor in Schmolsin, published a Polish translation of some works of Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 and biblical texts, also containing Kashubian elements. Other biblical texts were published in 1700 by Sporgius, pastor in Schmolsin. His "Schmolsiner Perikopen", most of which is written in the same Polish-Kashubian style of Krofey's and Brüggemann's books, also contain small passages ("6th Sunday after Epiphanias") written in pure Kashubian.

Hilferding (1862) and Parczewski (1896) confirmed a progressive language shift in the Kashubian population from their Slavonic vernacular to the local German dialect (Low German
Low German
Low German or Low Saxon is an Ingvaeonic West Germanic language spoken mainly in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands...

 Ostpommersch or High German, in eastern Kashubian areas also Low German Low Prussian
Low Prussian
Low Prussian , sometimes known simply as Prussian , is a dialect of East Low German that developed in East Prussia. Low Prussian was spoken in East and West Prussia and Danzig up to 1945. It developed on a Baltic substrate through the influx of Dutch and Low German speaking immigrants...


By the 1920s, the Slovincian villages had become linguistically German, though a Slovincian consciousness remained. The area remained within the borders of Germany until becoming part of Poland after World War II ended in 1945 and the area became Polish. Some Slovincians were expelled along with the German population
Flight and expulsion of Germans from Poland during and after World War II
The flight and expulsion of Germans from Poland was the largest of a series of flights and expulsions of Germans in Europe during and after World War II...

, some were allowed to remain. In the 1950s, mainly in the village of Kluki
Kluki, Pomeranian Voivodeship
Kluki is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Smołdzino, within Słupsk County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland...

 (formerly Klucken), a few elderly people still remembered fragments of Slovincian.

Slovincians began to ask for the right to emigrate to West Germany, and virtually all of the remaining Slovincian families had emigrated there by the 1980s, if they had not already been expelled
Expulsion of Germans after World War II
The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria...

there by the Polish authorities between 1945 and 1950.

Further reading

Two articles about the Slovincians after 1945, in German

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.