Wiktionary talk:About Low German

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See also[edit]

Wiktionary talk:About German Low German.


As far as I know Dutch Low German does not use 'ij' to write 'ei'. Ok, "Nijverdal" but that's a loanword. Dutch uses 'ij' to write 'ei' when Low German still says 'ie' (but note 'zeiken'/'eiken'). -- 14:30, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

What about loanwords from Dutch? Does it use it there? —CodeCat 14:44, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
I gave "Nijverdal". Other loanwords are usually calqued, exceptions are rare:
  • Nijverdal: the calque would be Nuverdal and that's a bit too far from a proper name
  • eiken, eekhoorn: ieken, iekertie(n)
  • zeiken: because of "zeek, zeken, gezeken", one would expect Dutch "zijken", Plat "zieken". Perhaps because "ziek" also means "ill".
  • bijzonder: also pronounced biezonder in Dutch
-- 13:26, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
OK, I've removed it from the table. If it's not a typical spelling, there's no need to list it in the table even if it occurs in a few words. - -sche (discuss) 19:56, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for removing it.
I would even say that not using "ij" is typical for Dutch Low German: instead of it, one often sees "i'j". -- 00:51, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

RFM discussion of nds, nds-de, nds-nl[edit]


The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

After several discussions (see here), the one Low German lect spoken in Germany which the ISO/SIL gave a separate code, {{wep}}, was merged into {{nds}}. All of the Dutch Low German/Saxon lects were merged into {{nds-nl}}. ({{frs}}, which we currently use for a Frisian lect but which the ISO might have intended to signify a Low German lect, is being sorted out separately. And {{pdt}} remains unchanged.) Since Wiktionary has long coded the Dutch varieties of Low German as {{nds-nl}}, {{nds}} is currently used for the German varieties only... but its name implies that it represents all the varieties. Therefore, at CodeCat's suggestion, I created {{nds-de}}, and we propose that {{nds}} be replaced with {{nds-de}}. In addition, we propose that {{nds-de}} be renamed from "Low German" to "German Low German", and that {{nds-nl}} be renamed from "Dutch Low Saxon" to "Dutch Low German". (Or, if you have a better idea for names, suggest them!) Updating templates like {{t}} etc. to handle {{nds-de}}, just as they handle {{nb}}, should not be a problem. - -sche (discuss) 04:47, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

I tentatively support. I don't think we can really completely abandon a common code, as there are many etymologies and such that rely on there being a single common Low German language. We could decide to create {{etyl:gmw-nds}} to stand for the Low German "family" of languages and give it two members, but I'm not sure if that is a good solution. —CodeCat 16:58, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I think it should be possible to pin a lot of etymologies down to one or the other; remember that most things borrowed from the Hansa should be Middle Low German, {{gml}}, not any kind of modern Low German. For the rest, we could either create a family code (we already have etymologies which say things like "from a Germanic language", "from a Slavic language"), or just list both nds-de and nds-nl, the way some etymologies say "from German [x] or Dutch [y]". - -sche (discuss) 06:36, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
The end of Middle Low German is normally considered to coincide with the end of the Hanseatic league, so that should be ok. Could you have a look at Category:Terms derived from Low German to see if there are any that don't belong there? We can then have a look at what to do with the remainder. —CodeCat 19:42, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
OK. I've reworked steik and changed redda, redde and šaht to show that derivation occurred during the MLG period. I've changed Nele to {{nds-de}}. That empties cat:Scots, cat:Icelandic and cat:Estonian (for now). I've made a first but not final pass through cat:Danish, moving 4 items to MLG. I also changed bom to {{nds-de}}, emptying cat:Lower Sorbian. - -sche (discuss) 23:54, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
So far, the only entries which apparently derive from modern Low German without clearly deriving from one lect or the other (e.g. Lower Sorbian terms can be assumed to have derived from German Low German) are homard and melek. I have put both {{nds-de}} and {{nds-nl}} in those entries for now; this can be changed to a family code if necessary. Also, I've been sorting easy cases first, so there may be more unclear cases. - -sche (discuss) 18:19, 21 November 2012 (UTC) - -sche (discuss) 19:28, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
For the first... is there a date of first attestation? If it was borrowed early enough we'll know it was borrowed straight from MLG. We can also consider how French could have borrowed a Low German word after the time of the Hanseatic league, as the two were not in contact. It's more likely that the borrowing occurred via Dutch, as the two are in direct contact, and certainly not via High German as there are no High German dialects spoken in places with lobsters. —CodeCat 18:49, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Right, I'm rooting around for early attestations of the word to see if that can be determined. So far, the earliest mention I've found is in The Royal Dictionary abridged, in two parts: I. French and English. II. English and French. (5th edition, 1728), which glosses it as "a great lobster". Incidentally, "grote zeekreeft" was how de Vries glosses hommer; I take it the loanwords are somewhat more specific than the native écrevisse and kreeft, respectively? - -sche (discuss) 19:26, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
this site based on Littré cites another reference work, the Encyclopédie Universelle, which has the word attested since 1532 in the form houmar. It claims derivation from Old Norse, but obviously that doesn't stop us from adding "via..." if we know better. - -sche (discuss) 19:45, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
That's early enough to be from MLG, and it's actually more likely that it is, because of the /u/ which is retained in MLG but changed to /o/ in Middle Dutch (from which later French homar(d)?). I do believe that the Dutch word, itself, was first borrowed from MLG around the same time, so it's possible that the French word was at first taken straight from MLG, but later re-borrowed or re-formed from the Dutch word. —CodeCat 20:17, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
That sounds likely. I've edited homard and hommer; please edit them further as you see fit. Btw, I also found this explicitly rejecting direct derivation from Old Norse (which the other dictionary implied by its omission of any "via") and confirming (Middle) Low German as the intermediary. - -sche (discuss) 20:33, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Another candidate for {{etyl:gmw-nds}}: appelsin (and Apfelsine), which came via Low German from Dutch. - -sche (discuss) 10:30, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
If that was borrowed from German Low German, then we have the interesting situation that the word was borrowed from one Low German into the other...
Aside from that, I noticed we already have {{etyl:gmw-lge}} which is supposed to be a single code for Old Saxon, Middle Low German and modern Low German varieties. I'm not really sure how that code could be used, considering that we can't use such a code to specify a term; we can only use it if we don't know the term. Maybe we should get rid of it and use {{etyl:gmw-nds}} instead? —CodeCat 14:11, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
re appelsin: Yeah, it's a case where a family template, as you suggested earlier, could be neater. Then again, many words can be discerned to have been borrowed between more closely (American English lent British English [[hex]]) or less closely (Dutch sent German [[Küste]]) related lects, so I wouldn't actually mind Apfelsine being "from {{etyl|nds-de|de}}, from {{etyl|nds-nl|de}}, from {{etyl|nl|de}}", since we're giving these lects distinct codes, like Luxembourgish vs German. That might even be more appropriate, given that we know it is the case. {{etyl:gmw-nds}} could be reserved for unclear cases, like [[melek]].
re {{etyl:gmw-lge}}: I noticed it, it is odd... it was designed to replace {{LG.}}, which was designed to let people copy etymologies from dictionaries (especially of French and Norwegian) which indicate loans as "b. all." or "lty." regardless of the era of borrowing. I've been replacing it with more specific things whenever possible; most uses are Scandinavian and should be {{gml}}. I agree that we should orphan and delete it. - -sche (discuss) 22:25, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Now that the etymologies of amper, busserull, byge, lover, snekker and svikk have been changed to use more specific templates, the only pages which use {{etyl:gmw-lge}} are project pages. - -sche (discuss) 02:50, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Here's an interesting one: lover, which is said to be from Low German, but only attested since 1678. :/ - -sche (discuss) 10:02, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

What I want to do[edit]

@CodeCat, -sche, Ikiaika
Can I just merge nds-de and nds-nl and slap this template onto them? {{nds-region}} Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:28, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Regarding the spelling, there are differences between Dutch Low German and German Low German. But having many different sections, namely "German Low German", "Dutch Low Saxon" [= Dutch Low German], "Low German", "Plautdietsch" [= Mennonite Low German], is kind of irritating.
  • What if a form appears in more than 10 dialects? Maybe the table would become to long? Maybe a table similar to {{der3}} would be better?
  • How about other dialectal forms (e.g. see mi)? Should they be listed at the beginning? Should there be an own table for alternative forms? Or should there be just one table which mentions dialectal forms? A single template could have "Regions and dialects where this form occurs" at the top, then some kind of break and then it could mention other dialectal forms, like:
    "mi occurs in   Westmünsterländisch, East Frisian, ... .   Other dialectal forms are:   Eastphalian: mik, mick, mek, meck".
Greetings, Ikiaika (talk) 12:33, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
Alternative forms of the same word are always listed in the beginning. Some words have specific tables for alpha-, beta-, gamma-forms etc., but I don't know which template that is. My table in question is merely a way to a) merge nds-de and nds-nl and b) Prevent {{label}}s which are two lines long. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 13:52, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
ps.: The table template can be expanded indefinitely, but it will always only be as long as regions entered. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 13:54, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
Which forms would be lemmatized? To lemmatize some words using one form and other words using a different form would make it difficult to compare words in the categories and elsewhere and would in general look (and be) unprofessional. But letting all attested forms of a word host content simultaneously as lemmata would be unworkable and I would oppose it.
In particular, would nouns remain capitalized?
In the entries of alt forms, I can see how a table like yours would be preferable to a two-line-long list of labels (regardless of whether we merge nds-de and nds-nl), although I think it should perhaps not be collapsed — it seems like important information and is replacing uncollapsed information (the labels). But in the lemma entry (again regardless of whether we merge), I suggest having a table (I presume all these tables go in "usage notes", btw?) similar to de.Wikt's "Dialektausdrücke", listing all regions and which form(s) they use. That would also make more apparent the difference between when a region doesn't use a form (when the region is listed as using another form, or "—"), vs when that region simply hasn't been entered yet (there's a blank space after the region name). - -sche (discuss) 21:33, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm completely opposed to lemmatising non-standardised languages at a single form. Your claim that maintaining multiple full entries is unworkable is something I just don't see and would like a reasoning for. That is how things are mostly handled right now. I also plainly don't understand what you mean by 'comparing words in the categories'.
As for uncollapsed tables: A full table could carry up to 100 regions, that's too much to have on the site. Even if we artificially limit the number of enterable regions by predefining the regions we accept as single units, we won't make it under 30, because, random example of many, 'Eastwestphalian' for example is massively phonetically different among its dialects, and the grammar is not the same everywhere either. That'd be a problem we'd face for the table as on de.Wikt as well, although I would prefer that style. And usage notes sounds about right. I didn't mean this specific table to be the final solution, I mostly meant to get you to give your okay for replacing the completely alinguistic 'language' codes {{nds-de}} and {{nds-nl}} with categories. The lemmatising problems you mentioned...we already have them, so they don't really touch my proposal, though I'm open to debate them. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 08:22, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
ps.: Since I think geographic data doesn't belong in language codes, I'm for merging Plautdietsch in as well. It's hardly more influenced by other languages than the less stellar examples of Low German you hear on NDR. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 15:10, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
To have full entries at woater (Gronings), wotter (Gronings again), water (Achterhooks, Drents, Sallands, Twents, East Veluws), waoter (Drents again, West Veluws), waeter (Drents, Stellingwerfs), wäter (Sallands again, Attem), waoiter (Niekark), and all the (capitalized) forms on the German side, such as Woater (Dithmarschen, Wedemark, Warmia, etc), Water (Low Prussian, etc), Wåter (some Low Prussian dialects), Woter (some dialects), Waoter (some dialects), etc ... and to expect that the shared definitions of these, and especially of words with glosses more complex than just {{l|en|water}}, will somehow stay in sync and not become the disorganized mess other sets of entries have become when such massive content duplication has been attempted ... is not wise and I firmly oppose it.
Point taken about the table being potentially very large and needing to be collapsed.
Plautdietsch should be a separate discussion, IMO, on account of its separate geographic development, and the general trend (which I have sometimes questioned the wisdom of, even as I have gone along with it) towards giving (Germanic) lects with that kind of separate development separate codes (compare e.g. Transylvanian Saxon and Luxembourgish separate from Moselle Franconian and the other things grouped as gmw-cfr, Pennsylvania German and Volga German separate from Palatine German and the other things grouped as gmw-rfr, etc). - -sche (discuss) 18:41, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
You probably are right about synchronicity, mainly because we have no dedicated nds-community for maintenance. Making some dialect standard will invariably piss people off. Further, the entries do not only differ in spelling but also in pronunciation and grammar. Some dialects don't have a dative, some dialects have a dative with another spelling than the dative elsewhere. Plurals differ everywhere. So we have to maintain different entries anyway, don't we? When something is spelled, pronounced and inflected differently, it's not an alternative form, it's just a different word with the same meaning and etymology. (Weird.) CodeCat was right, this is like Bokmål v. Nynorsk. So the problem with lemmatising does not affect my proposal since we already have it, merger or not. In the end, I'm just planning to change headings into categories. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 19:28, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Giving each entry an inflection table is different from making each entry a lemma with a full compliment of definitions. "Form-of" ("alternative form of", "[dialect] form of", etc) entries usually are given their own inflection tables, and these can potentially have more or fewer inflected forms, so that would not be a problem. (This is true even when the different isn't dialectal, e.g. æsthesia currently lists both a "-s" plural æsthesias and an "-e" plural æsthesiæ, while aesthesia and esthesia currently only list an "-s" plural; in this particular case, maybe "-e" forms of aesthesia and esthesia are also attested, but there are surely similar cases where they aren't which illustrate my point.) Even if there are multiple inflections of one lemma/form, there can be multiple tables, as there are even if the difference is not dialectal (as in rot). Re "it's just a different word with the same meaning and etymology": I disagree; compare dēlīniō and dēlīneō which are spelled, pronounced and inflected (as dēlīniās vs dēlīneās, etc) differently but are alternative forms, or 'ave vs have.
You are right that the issue of lemmatization exists whether or not nds-de and nds-nl are merged. - -sche (discuss) 20:36, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
If alternative forms get most data of an entry, that solves most of the problems, actually. Just never seen that here. When it comes to choosing the lemma, what's your tendency? Making one dialect the go to one or using a normalisation that everything links to? Also @Ikiaika who seems to have an interest in the representation of southern Low German. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 08:09, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
ps.: How about a separate header for dialectal distributions for languages without official codification/clear prestige dialects? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:12, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
@Korn (13:52 and 13:54, 4 June 2016): Okay.
@-sche (21:33, 4 June 2016), and also @Korn (09:12, 6 June 2016): If there should be a main entry, then IMHO it should be the most common form, and not simply, for example, the Northern Low Saxon form. In this way, no dialect would (directly) be favored over another. For example, mi should be the most common form for the meaning me, while Eastphalian mik, mek, mick, meck and South Westphalian miek should be less common. But well, it might be hard to determine the most common form and there might be cases where a most common doesn't exists. Then it could be an arbitary choice.
@Korn (08:22, 5 June 2016): Well, maintaining multiple very similar entries isn't easy (even though it's not necessarily "unworkable"). German Wiktionary's translation tables are a good example for this, e.g. see de:Eigenname and de:Nomen proprium.
Maybe one could use templates for the meanings like one template "template:nds-meanings-water" for all the forms woater, wotter, water etc. But then there would be many templates, and I guess some people would be opposed to this.
@Korn (09:12, 6 June 2016): A section like "==== Dialectal distribution ====" instead of "==== Usage notes ====" IMHO makes more sense. But in some cases, it might go hand in hand. Tall (= German Zahl, English number) might have alternative forms like Taal, Tahl or Tal with a long vowel. However, one of these alternative form could be less common, dated or maybe not conforming to Saß' spellings.
Greetings, Ikiaika (talk) 04:26, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Let's see: 1. My template should work like the German translation tables, though we probably can still improve it. 2. There would only need to be one template for meanings, everything else will be parameters. 3. The reason I was proposing a header for distribution other than usage notes is that our header 'Alternative forms' is at the top of the page, 'usage notes' are on the bottom, and another header would allow us to place it higher. We can put the collapse into 'Alternative forms' as well, though. 4. 'tal' should have a short vowel mainly, I think long vowels in old short-vowelled a-stems only occur in a small area in southern Westphalia. And most importantly, 5.:
The idea of picking the most common form seems a decent option. The question is, by what criterion we pick 'common': Geographical area covered, sheer number of dialects using it, numbers of speakers of the dialect, number of attestations? (Obviously, not all of these are equally feasible.) Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:07, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
4. I've seen Taalword in August Marahrens' grammar printed in Altona (mentioning, no usage), Tahlwoort at sass-platt.de, and Tahl besides Tall at platt-wb.de (East Frisian dictionary). So it should also occur outside of Westphalian. But Taal (if attestable) could be an older, dated or obsolete, form, and could be proscribed by Saß' spellings.
Also there could be (a) the spelling *Tal without lengthening h (Dehnungs-h), while a short vowel could be marked with a doubled consonant, (b) an unusual grammarian's form *Tāl, *Tâl or *Tál to mark vowel length, and (c) the spelling *Tal without a second l, while a long vowel could be marked by doubled letters. For comparison: Modern High German is inconsequent regarding the marking of vowel length as seen in Zahl vs Wal (the spelling Zal is rare and not used anymore, and Wahl as in Blauwahl is rare and rather a misspelling). Low German without a fixed orthography could have more consequent systems, but it could have different systems.
  • Numbers of speakers can change, but are there known numbers anyway? Wikipedia mentions no numbers of speakers for Eastphalian. For Plautdietsch it has 400.000 (English Wikipedia) and 500.000 (German Wikipedia).
  • IMHO the covered area should be no criterion. Russia is big, but just has a population density of 8.4/km², while Japan is small and has a density of 340.8/km². So there could be a great area with just few inhabitants or speakers, while there could be a small area with many inhabitants or speakers.
    But well, there might be cases when one could argue with area, as that might somewhat correspond to the number of speakers or the number of dialects.
  • Going by number of dialects could be fine. But well, one could get different numbers of dialects, and it's hard to determine the word forms of all dialects.
In the end it's most likely a somewhat arbitary choice. But that's also be the case for German spellings with ph or f (as Geographie or Geografie?), and English spellings with z or s (as normalise or normalize, substantivise or substantivize?).
A general rule could be that East Frisian and Eastphalian pronouns forms (hör/höhr, mik/mek) aren't the main form. Maybe one could also argue that Westphalian forms usually aren't the main form too (not that I like it, but it could be a logical conclusion):
  • Westphalian has the Westfälische Brechung and is split into several subdialects, thus there might be several subdialectal forms which then are rarer.
  • It maybe has less speakers as Low German often got replaced by High German.
Greetings, Ikiaika (talk) 23:04, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
If we're replacing (long) context labels with something else like the table proposed above, that table should categorize like the labels do. (Ideally, it could access the label data, perhaps in a way similar to how Template:alternative spelling of/from does.) That way, Category:Mecklenburgisch Low German (etc) continue to exist and be usable by anyone wanting to look over all Mecklenburgisch (etc) words. - -sche (discuss) 03:52, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
That sounds less ramshackle than what my template does, but is completely out of my depth of template knowledge. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:46, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
Tossing in a random completely out of the box idea: Since I'm totally incapable of actually drawing a linguistic line between Middle Low German and Low German: What if we make both one language, lemmatise at the GML normalisation and then use regionally and chronologically marked declension tables? If we ever have an active NDS community, there will be multiple declension tables anyway, what harm does one more? As someone only wanting to work on Middle Low German, I'm not really fond of the idea of having modern entries clutter my category, but on the other hand I'm also not capable of saying why Westphalian from 1500 gets called one language and Westphalian from 1700 gets called another. If you can think of any pros and cons, let me know. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 15:48, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
Technically, one could simply combine your template with {{lb|nds|}}. E.g. instead of {{{1}}}, one could use {{lb|nds|{{{1}}}}}. But maybe there are people who could help coding and maybe they have better ideas.
Differences between GML and NDS could be that NDS often has less cases and that modern NDS includes more foreign (High German) elements. Also ordinal numerals with -te instead of -de could be a NDS feature, maybe also influenced by High German. German has sieb(en)te (with -te) for seventh (7th), and Lasch has GML sevede, sevende (with -de). NDS could have sebende (with -de), sövent, säbent (without the e) and also söbente, säwente (with -te). As for the spellings: I've seen all these NDS spellings (some in Low German texts, some in dictionaries, some in older grammar books), but I don't know if they are all attestable for the English Wiktionary.
One con could be that NDS could have words for modern inventions (cars, airplanes) which GML doesn't have.
Greetings, Ikiaika (talk) 01:30, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, modern lects have words that MLG doesn't. There is, as Korn notes, overlap between e.g. the Westphalian from 1500 vs 1700, but most chronologically separated languages have such overlap, sometimes after far longer than that 200-year transition — a lot of modern Icelandic is identical to or only slightly different from the Old Norse of a thousand years ago. The differences that motivate scholars to consider them separate in the first place should encourage us to keep them separate. I can think of only two languages where we've merged chronological stages that scholars often keep separate (Latin and Hebrew). - -sche (discuss) 15:14, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
What are those differences for Low German, though? Touching on your Plautdietsch/Siebenbürger Sächsisch problem: I'm strictly against drawing invisible lines based on outside factors like geography or commonality of usage. That stuff should be for Wikipedia, not for us, and that stuff is the reason I'm thinking about this merger so much. We're somewhat inconsistent in what we lump together for all the wrong reasons. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 17:31, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
@-sche: As far as I've heard, Middle Latin is different from from Classical and New Latin (Wiktionary:Requested entries (Latin) says there were articles). But from a grammatical point of view, New Latin and Classical Latin is the same.
  • I've looked into Fritz Reuter's works. Even he as a single person has different spellings like Swep and (IMHO rarer) Swäp for German Peitsche or English whip.
    Also there is a(n) (amateur) made dictionary for Low German from Twistetal. While German ab is aff in six districts, Abend is Oabend, Obend or Ovend depending on the district.
    So even if we would pick any dialect for the entries, there would be an arbitrary choice between spellings. In some way that is also true for normalised GML, as there sometimes are several nominative forms like dê, di, die (German: der/die).
  • Is there a word which in some way is the same as another word, but in another way is different? German gehen means to go by feet, while English go also includes to go by bus or by plane (German: fahren, fliegen). In a similar way, one Low German dialect could have a word with just the the sense to go by feet, while another dialect could have the same word (same spelling etc.) or etymologically seen the same word (e.g. maybe with different spelling), but with further meanings like to go by bus or plane. Maybe such a word could justify different main entries.
  • Regarding differences of NDS and GML:
    • NDS has words for modern things. That is a lexical difference. Also normalising such words could mean to invent spellings. For old languages that's common practice. But for modern ones?
    • NDS might have more foreign words, like Schandor (German: Gendarm, older also Gensd'arm) which should come from French, and most likely words from NHG as nowadays many people don't speak NDS as their native language anymore.
    • NDS has umlauts and clearly marks them, while that might be different in GML. However, Lasch argues that GML had umlauts too and uses umlaut letters as in ös, jük/jüch, jüm, ü̂sik (besides ûsik).
    • NHG and NDS-DE capitalise nouns, while (normalised) MHG and GML only capitalise proper nouns.
    • GML most likely had more cases or a better case dstinction.
    • It seems that NDS ordinals indeed also end in -te (söbente), while Lasch has -de (sevede, sevende). Maybe it was like this: sevende > sevent (dropping the e, terminal devoicing) > sevente (prolongation).
    • Maybe shorter verb forms developed or became more common in NDS. In NHG there were forms like holest, holet, holete for holst, holt, holte (indicative). A NDS grammar mentions similar forms but states that the form without e is the current form, while the form with e is the original form. Lasch mentions forms like makest, maket, makede, which have an e.
    • There could have been sound shifts as from sevede with e and v into söbent(e) with b and ö. However, both b and v occur in NDS, and besides ö there is also be e. NDS forms for the cardinal 7 are söven and söben, but also seben (grammar from Bremen), säben and säwen (grammar and authors from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern).
Classical and New Latin could have less differences. The only differences which come into my mind would be (a) a lexical difference, as in New Latin many new (scientific) terms where invented, (b) the differentiation between u and v and i and j, and (c) sometimes capitalisation of nouns in New Latin.
-Ikiaika (talk) 02:32, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
Orthography is not language. It's completely irrelevant for distinction, especially since both Middle and Mordern Low German have each a plethora orthography systems. New and foreign terminology is irrelevant as well. German now has a word for computer, radio, TV, transsexual, space shuttle, all of which it didn't 1900. That doesn't make it a different language. New terms appear in scores every decade, Middle Low German heaps itself with Latin, German and French loans throughout its existence. Middle Low German also had, without any doubt, rounded front vowels. The number of cases - except for a small minority of dialects, which loses the dative - does not change across the periods. The deletion of /ə/ is a development affecting only the northern halves of northern dialects; it does not usally affect the south, which retain makest, makede et cetera. There is also no development of /v/ into /b/, the spelling ⟨-ben⟩ represents [m̩], which phonemically still is /vn̩/ = //vən//. Lastly, non-native speakers are no sources for languages and of no interest to us. I have to admit that I have no knowledge of the devlopment ordinalia for southern dialects. Of the things you listed, only the ə-drop and the restructured case system seem usable as demarkations for me, but both are restricted to a minority of dialects. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 16:30, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Concrete proposals: 1. We merge nds-de and nds-nl. 2. We rename nds-nl to Dutch Low German. 3. We lemmatise the form visually closest to the Middle Low German standardised form. (This included favouring non-capitalisation.) 4. If a form closer to the Middle Low German form is added, we migrate the content to it. 5. Alternative forms are listed in a simple table without regional information. 6. Regional information (German Low German, Dutch Low German, Westphalian Low German etc.) is added to the entries by labels and by adding categories. — How's that sound? Point 2 is mainly because half of "Dutch Low Saxon" is Westphalian, but I'm not too invested in this particular issue. Point 3 permits us not having to deal with any modern data while still having an objective criterion. Point 5 is mainly to avoid overkill. Point 6 allows us to retain all the data structures we have and simply add a level to it for the regions/dialects. E.g. I'd imagine Münsterland Low German as a subcategory of German Low German, Westphalian Low German as a subcategory of German Low German, Dutch Low German and plain Low German. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 10:40, 17 August 2016 (UTC)