Old Saxon, also known as Old Low German, is the earliest recorded form of Low German, documented from the 8th century until the 12th century, when it evolved into Middle Low German. It was spoken on the north-west coast of Germany and in the Netherlands by Saxon peoples. It is close enough to Old Anglo-Frisian (Old Frisian, Old English) that it partially participates in the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law; it is also closely related to Old Low Franconian ("Old Dutch"). It was mutually intelligible with Old English.
Old Saxon did not participate in the High German consonant shift, and thus preserves stop consonants p, t, k that have been shifted in Old High German to various fricatives and affricates. The Germanic diphthongs ai, au consistently develop into long vowels ē, ō, whereas in Old High German they appear either as ei, ou or ē, ō depending on the following consonant. Old Saxon, alone of the West Germanic languages, consistently preserves Germanic -j- after a consonant, e.g. hēliand "savior" (Old High German: heilant, Old English: hǣlend, Gothic: háiljands). Germanic umlaut, when it occurs with short a, is inconsistent, e.g. hebbean or habbian "to have" (Old English: habban). This feature was carried over into the descendant-language of Old Saxon, Middle Low German, where e.g. the adjective krank (sick/ill) had the comparative forms krenker and kranker. Apart from the E, however, the Umlaut is not marked in writing.
Only a few texts survive, predominantly in baptismal vows the Saxons were required to perform at the behest of Charlemagne. The only literary text preserved is Heliand.
A poetic version of the Lord's Prayer in the form traditional Germanic alliterative verse is given in Old Saxon below as it appears in the Heliand.
The Heliand Paternoster
Fadar ûsa firiho barno,
thu bist an them hôhon himila rîkea,
geuuîhid sî thîn namo uuordo gehuuilico,
Cuma thîn craftag rîki.
UUerða thîn uuilleo oƀar thesa werold alla,
sô sama an erðo, sô thâr uppa ist
an them hôhon himilo rîkea.
Gêf ûs dag gehuuilikes râd, drohtin the gôdo,
thîna hêlaga helpa, endi âlât ûs, heƀenes uuard,
al sô uue ôðrum mannum dôan.
Ne lât ûs farlêdean lêða uuihti
sô forð an iro uuileon, sô uui uuirðige sind,
ac help ûs uuiðar allun uƀilon dâdiun.
Father of us, the sons of men,
You are in the high heavenly kingdom,
Blessed be Your name in every word,
May Your mighty kingdom come.
May Your will be done over all this world,
Just the same on earth as it is up there
in the high heavenly kingdom.
Give us support each day, good Chieftain,
Your holy help, and pardon us, Protector of Heaven,
our many crimes,
just as we do to other human beings.
Do not let evil little creatures lead us off
to do their will, as we deserve,
but help us against all devil deeds.
- Galleé, Johan Hendrik (1910). Altsächsische Grammatik. Halle: Max Niemeyer.
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Thu, 23 May 2013 13:50:29 -0700
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Sat, 11 May 2013 18:33:57 -0700
Today, Tucker is a happy and healthy 7-month-old, Saxon said. “He is our whole world,” she said, referring to herself and husband Trent. “Our lives seem complete since having him. We're crazy about him. It's hard to quit starring at him sometimes and ...
Tue, 21 May 2013 10:02:13 -0700
Sibiu, a township in historic Transylvania, has Old Saxon architecture of Brasov and the hilltop citadel of nearby Sighisoara. Visitors should see the Bruckental Museum, the region's finest art museum, which has been operating since 1790. And yes, this ...
Thu, 09 May 2013 08:33:59 -0700
Write is another old word from before 900, this time coming from the Old Saxon writan meaning to cut or inscribe. © Disney-Henson Associates. The most egregious bad example of misuse that I see often is in reference to copyright. People online are ...
Mon, 29 Apr 2013 04:03:15 -0700
After reading about the attack Roy Arnold revealed the dog, traditionally bred to fend off attacks from bears and wolves, had previously pounced on his labradoodle, five-year-old Saxon. Mr Arnold, 58, recalled: “I was walking Saxon home from Beckney ...
Fri, 03 May 2013 04:10:33 -0700
Despite being born in Romania, the Tobiases come from an old Saxon family, and their aesthetic is rooted in Germanic culture. It was an interest in the quintessentially German craft of woodcutring that cemented the brothers' partnership. 'In our early ...
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