Vocabulary Lower Sorbian

by Hauke Bartels  

The vocabulary contains 1765 meaning-word pairs ("entries") corresponding to core LWT meanings from the recipient language Lower Sorbian. The corresponding text chapter was published in the book Loanwords in the World's Languages. The language page Lower Sorbian contains a list of all loanwords arranged by donor languoid.

Word form LWT code Meaning Core list Borrowed status Source words

Field descriptions


The Lower Sorbian vocabulary is relatively well described. Although so far there is no systematic comprehensive study of loanwords in Lower Sorbian, there exist some dictionaries, the Sorbian Language Atlas and quite a lot of detailed research literature. In most cases the loanword status of a given word is determined on the basis of these sources.

0 (No evidence for borrowing)
Words that are shown to be inherited from Proto-Slavonic or from an older historical stage of Sorbian without having been borrowed into it.

1 (Very little evidence for borrowing)
Mainly words of unclear etymology, but without further or only with meanwhile disproved indication that they are borrowed. In some other cases there is some indication that an indigenous word was replaced by a German loanword and later reborrowed from Upper Sorbian.

2 (Perhaps borrowed)
Mainly words of unclear etymology, but with some indication that they are borrowed. In some other cases it seems possible that an indigenous word was replaced by a German loanword and later reborrowed from Upper Sorbian, but it cannot be excluded that the original Lower Sorbian word had coexisted with the German loanword, although being less frequent than the loanword.

3 (Probably borrowed)
Mainly words generally considered to have been borrowed, but where there is still some doubt about it. One group of words within this category consists of items that are probably borrowed from Upper Sorbian but could also have been built on a Lower Sorbian basis under Upper Sorbian influence.

4 (Clearly borrowed)
Words generally considered to have been borrowed and where there is no doubt about it. Words not yet documented or not explicitly characterized as loans are assigned to category 4 if their status as a loanword was obvious (e.g. ocean < NHG Ozean ‘the ocean’).


BC (Bramborski Serski Casnik). Lower Sorbian weekly newspaper, 1848-1933.
Bielfeldt, Hans Holm. 1933. Die deutschen Lehnwörter im Obersorbischen. Leipzig: Harrassowitz.
Bielfeldt, Hans Holm. 1972. „Die Entlehnungen des Niedersorbischen aus dem Niederdeutschen“. In: Zeitschrift für Slawistik 17.3: 329-345.
Bielfeldt, Hans Holm. 1977. „Die ältesten nicht mehr gemeinslawischen Entlehnungen des Nordwestslawischen aus dem Deutschen“. In: Zeitschrift für Slawistik 22.4: 431-454.
Bielfeldt, Hans Holm. 1983: „Die Vertretung deutscher e-Laute in sorbischen Entlehnungen“. In: Zeitschrift für Slawistik 28.3: 358-372.
DNW. 2003-09. Starosta, Manfred; Hannusch, Erwin; Bartels, Hauke: Deutsch-Niedersorbisches Wörterbuch. URL: http://www.niedersorbisch.de
Fabricius 1709. Das Neue Testament […] ind die Nieder-Lausitzsche Wendische Sprache übersetzet […]. Kahren.
Hauptmann, Johann Gottlieb. 1761. Niederlausitzsche Wendische Grammatica. Fotomechanischer Neudruck mit einem Vorwort von Helmut Faßke. Bautzen: Domowina 1984.
Kluge 2002. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. Bearbeitet von Elmar Seebold. 24., durchgesehene und erweiterte Auflage. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter.
Mucke, Ernst. 1911-28. Wörterbuch der nieder-wendischen Sprache und ihrer Dialekte. St. Petersburg 1911-15, Prag 1928.
Newerkla, Stefan Michael. 2004. Sprachkontakte Deutsch – Tschechisch – Slowakisch. Wörterbuch der deutschen Lehnwörter im Tschechischen und Slowakischen: historische Entwicklung, Beleglage, bisherige und neue Deutungen. Frankfurt a.M. et al.: Peter Lang.
Pohontsch, Anja. 2002. Der Einfluss obersorbischer Lexik auf die niedersorbische Schriftsprache. Bautzen: Domowina.
Schuster-Šewc, Heinz. 1968. Wo problematice serbskeho etymologiskeho słownika. In: Faßke, H.; Lötzsch, R. (Hrsg.): Beiträge zur sorbischen Sprachwissenschaft. Bautzen 1968. 106-123.
Schuster-Šewc, Heinz. 1983-96. Historisch-etymologisches Wörterbuch der ober-und niedersorbischen Sprache. Bautzen: Domowina.
Schuster-Šewc, Heinz. 2000. „Die Schichtung des sorbischen Wortschatzes.“ In: Schuster-Šewc, Heinz: Das Sorbische im slawischen Kontext. Ausgewählte Studien. Bautzen: Domowina. 256-265.
Sorbischer Sprachatlas. 1965-96. 15 vol. Bautzen: Domowina.
Starosta, Manfred. 1999. Niedersorbisch-deutsches Wörterbuch. Bautzen: Domowina.
Zwahr, Johann Georg.1847. Niederlausitz-wendisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch. Fotomechanischer Neudruck mit einem Vorwort von Helmut Faßke. Bautzen: Domowina 1989.


Special category abbreviations used in the vocabulary:

DIM diminutive
N noun
Nom.Ag. Nomen agentis
PREF Prefix
PREP Preposition
SUF suffix
V verb
VBLZ verbalizer