Frisian language
Frisians were a wary and terrible nation, according to ancient sources, and a headache of all conquerors. Vikings were afraid of them and always seeked their friendship; Charlemagne attempted to include their lands in his empire in vain; Frisians made successful invasions on the British Isles and many European coasts. In the 5th century they were one of the four main tribes who invaded England. But later Frisian power began its decline, due to their little number and no state. Nowadays they make up some 350 thousand people living in the Netherlands, where their lands are called Friesland, and in Germany, mainly on little islands along the western coast.

The Frisian language is the closest to English and Scots but has some significant differences that are worth mentioning here. First of all, Frisian phonetic structure contains 26 diphthongs and 6 triphthongs, though the number of vowels is the same as in English and they are all short. Vowels can be nasalized before + consonant, and that is really uncommon among Germanic tongues. The consonants p, t, k must be aspirated before vowels; that happens also in English, but Frisian aspiration is much stronger. r is not uvular, as in Dutch and Germanic, and not palatal as in English, but normal as in Russian or Latvian.

Frisian morphology is more complex than English or Dutch. Frisian has two noun cases, two numbers, two genders: masculine and feminine came into one common gender opposed to neuter. The plural number of nouns has endings -s and -en. The cases are common and genitive, but genitive is different from common only in one-syllable words. The possessive constructions are fromed mainly with the preposition fan (Dutch van, German von), or by the possessive pronouns. There are three different articles: indefinite in (only in singular), definite for common case nouns de, definite for neuter nouns it. The verb has conjugation in singular. Verb tenses include all Germanic ones, there are indicative and imperative moods, while subjunctive is expressed by analytical constructions.

Frisian Links