Jotvingian language translations

Dec 2014
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Europe
Does anyone have access or know where to find a transcription of Pogańskie gwary z Narewu (Pagan speeches of Narew) or any other documents that might offer some remnants of Jotvingian language?

On Wikipedia there is a page in Lithuanian and Belarusian about this document, uncovered by a Belarusian man in the 1970s, which was believed to have been the work of a Polish priest trying to translate some words so he could preach to the pagan Jotvingians. The Wikipedia articles quote a few words from the translation but it would be great if there was a complete transcription on the internet or in a book somewhere? At least all of it that was translated before it was destroyed?

In Podlasie tutejszy dialect we have several remnants of Baltic words, mainly in toponyms from Jotvingian. I'm curious to see if there's any published works that have translated more words from this old language?
 
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Dec 2014
1,082
Europe
Nobody eh? Ah well, guess I'm on my own for now.

In case anyone else is interested, my own searching revealed that a historian Z. Zinkevičius published a couple works on Jotvingian language and the Pogańskie gwary z Narewu document. The ones I found mentioned are:

A Polish-Yatvingian Vocabulary?, Z. Zinkevičius, Linguistic and Oriental Studies from Poznań, 1992.

Nauja apie jotvingių kalbą, Z. Zinkevičius, Vilnius, 2002.

The first one apparently has an "English augmented" version. The second one I don't know. Unfortunately I can't seem to find a copy of either of these texts either online or for sale on book websites. If anyone knows where to get a copy of them I'd very much appreciate it. :)

EDIT: Ok, I just stumbled upon what I think is a copy of the first one. However, the main body is in Lithuanian, so if you're like me and can't understand it all then we'll have to keep looking if there's a full English copy. Link is here: http://www.baltistica.lt/index.php/baltistica/article/view/90

EDIT #2: Sorry, trying to avoid double posts. There is also this brief document where a Polish academic offers his view on Zinkevičius's Polish-Yatvingian Dictionary: http://www.baltistukongresas.flf.vu.lt/failai/tezes/Witczak.pdf

Seems to have been part of a larger presentation. Too bad I can't find a copy of it.
 
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Nov 2014
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There is a collection of papers on Balto-Slavic research (1974-2014) hosted by the the Russian Academy of Sciences. All papers are available to public. All papers are published in Russian. There is some material on Yotvingian language in this collection

Balto-Slavic research


Here is an article containing all 200 words written Zinkevicius in Russian. Thorough discussion of each word is provided in the article. There are translations of each word in Polish. Page 3 http://www.inslav.ru/images/stories/books/BSI1983%281984%29.pdf

I doubt you will find much on the subject published in English.
 
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Dec 2014
1,082
Europe
Thank you very much Gudas! As long as it's in Polish that's fine for me. :)

It's a subject I'm quite interested in, and I've been searching for that list of the words for a long time. I'll have a read through it tonight.
 
Jan 2016
332
Boland
I got, "slownik etymologiczny jezyka polskiego, Aleksander Bruckner" on PDF. Nothing on Balts though. Thought I'd offer just in case.
 
Nov 2014
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Cyberspace
Wodz Mikolaj

Zinkevičius's article I linked you to describe on the first 2 pages how the dictionary (Pogańskie gwary z Narewu) was recovered. It's quite a story if you can glean much from the Russian text.


A young Belarusian amateur collector visiting rural areas of western Belarus in search of old items purchased a little notebook from an old man in north part of Belovezha. He first thought it was Polish-Latin dictionary. Later, he realised it was not Latin. He didn't have any knowledge about linguistics. So he began asking people who many know the language. He recorded many words from the notebook pages of which were brittle. He also copied several words into his school books. In those days school books had to be return into school libraries. He went to army. While he was in the army his parents were doing a 'revision' throwing away old items they considered useless. They threw away priceless notebook, which contained religious terms intended for pagan Yotvingian near Narew river After his return he continued searching for translation of the words recalling Yotvingians' settlements in the area. So he took his collection of words to the faculty of Vilnius University. Scholars at first thought the collection could be a forgery. After asking the man several questions and analysing the words it became evident the list of words was not falsified. From the description of the book, it was printed in Warsaw before Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth partition. The dictionary was compiled by a local priest evident from a number of east Slavic words used in Polish text. Zinkevičius was among first to analyse west Baltic words. There were errors in found in the words but those errors were made by the original authors. Now, the dictionary contains 215 Yotvingian words.


Good article by Zinkevičius.
 
Nov 2014
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Cyberspace
Out of 215 words 3 words are Slavisms, 18 words are Germanisms. Several words have no etymologically similar words in Lithuanian, Latvian and Prussian.
 
Dec 2014
1,082
Europe
Out of 215 words 3 words are Slavisms, 18 words are Germanisms. Several words have no etymologically similar words in Lithuanian, Latvian and Prussian.
Yes I noticed that, for example the word "ans" for "one" (could be from German "eins"?) or the words "aš" ("I") and "tu" ("you") which are the same in Lithuanian. Plenty of others of course like you say.

Also something you probably noticed Gudas, that the word for "krzyzacy" ("crusaders") is "Guti". In Lithuanian I know "Gudas" and "Gudai" are used for Slavic speaking foreigners from the east, mainly Belarusians. It seems that Jotvingians used it more for "Goths" (Germans).

Thanks for the summary of the story about the document. I'm still analysing the list and I'm going to speak with a few older people in my family (who comes from near Białowieża forest) to see if they recognise any similarities from the local dialect.
 
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Nov 2014
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Also something you probably noticed Gudas, that the word for "krzyzacy" ("crusaders") is "Guti". In Lithuanian I know "Gudas" and "Gudai" are used for Slavic speaking foreigners from the east, mainly Belarusians. It seems that Jotvingians used it more for "Goths" (Germans).
I noticed that. Gudas/Gudai is a traditional Lithuanian term for the Belarusains. Belarusians were the only east Slavs that Balts from Lithuania had contacts. There are few etymologies for the term. One explanation is that the term is related to Goths. The other onethe term was used for people whose language Lithuanians could not understand. Somewhat similar to Slavic term 'niemtsy' for Germany. Occasionally, the term Gudai was also used by some Balts in reference to other Balts whose language was considered too different. Lithuanians of Belarus and eastern Lithuania continued to call Belarusians Gudai till 1980s in rural areas.