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Kashubes

KASHUBES (sing. Kaszub, plur. Kaszebe), a Slavonic people numbering about 200,000, and living on the borders of West Prussia and Pomerania, along the Baltic coast between Danzig and Lake Garden, and inland as far as Konitz. They have no literature and no history, as they consist of peasants and fishermen, the educated classes being mostly Germans or Poles. Their language has been held to be but a dialect of Polish, but it seems better to separate it, as in some points it is quite independent, in some it offers a resemblance to the language of the Polabs (q.it.). This is most seen in the western dialect of the so-called Slovinci (of whom there are about 250 left) and Kabatki, whereas the eastern Kashube is more like Polish, which is encroaching upon and assimilating it. Lorentz calls the western dialect a language, and distinguishes 38 vowels. The chief points of Kashube as against Polish are that all its vowels can be nasal instead of a and e only, that it has preserved quantity and a free accent, has developed several special vowels, e. g. 6, cs, u, and has preserved the original order, e.g. gard as against grod. The consonants are very like Polish. (See also SLAVS.)

AUTHORITIES. F. Lorentz, SlovinzischeGrammatik (St Petersburg, 1903) and " Die gegenseitigen Verhaltnisse der sogen. Lechischen Sprachen," in Arch. f. Slav. Phil. xxiv. (1902); J. Baudouin de Courtenay, " Kurzes Resum6 der Kaschubischen Frage," ibid. xxvi. (1904); G. Bronisch, Kaschubische Dialektstudien (Leipzig, 1896-1898) ; S. Ramult, Siownik jezyka pomorskiego czyli kaszubskiego, i.e. " Dictionary of the Seacoast (Pomeranian) or Kashube Language" (Cracow, 1893). (E. H. M.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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