German loan-words in Polabian and Russian (chronology, semantics, adaptation and influence on a language development)
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The Polabian language was spoken by the smallest Slav population until the 18th c.; Russian still constitutes the means of communication of the most numerous Slav nation. The history of both languages was also diametrically different - Polabian stayed on the level on a dialect, leaving only a few (transcribed by Germans) texts from the late period of its existence. Whereas Russian did not develop fully until Polabian declined, it then created a rich and varied literature that laid the basis for the formation of a stylistically differentiated literary language. Both languages are imbued with German loan-words. In Polabian they constituted a tool of national enslavement. They penetrated all domains of life, with time gradually driving out native vocabulary. On the contrary, on the Russian territory Germanisms, naming new ideas, filled empty places in the lexical system. In general, they were restricted to specialized vocabulary and writing. Despite the fact that the adaptation of these Germanisms was mainly restricted to phonetics and orthography (the Russian linguistic system in the period of its most intensive invasions, in the 17th and 18th c., was still weakly developed), it played in total rather a positive role in the development of the language. But this role is not to be overestimated. On the extinction or development of a language decide mainly extra-linguistic circumstances.
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