Frankish language

Frankish (reconstructed endonym: *Frenkisk),[4][5] also known as Old Franconian or Old Frankish, was the West Germanic language spoken by the Franks from the 5th to 9th century.

Old Franconian
Native toFrankish Empire
RegionWestern Europe
Erac.5th to 9th century, gradually evolved into Old Dutch, dissolved with other West Germanic varieties into Old High German, and influenced Old French as a superstrate.
Elder Futhark (not widely used)
Language codes
ISO 639-3frk
Approximation of the Old Frankish Sprachraum in late antiquity, without smaller exclaves in Gallia Belgica.[1]
  Old Frankish Varieties (1.)
  North Sea (2.) and Elbe Germanic (3.) Varieties
  Romance Varieties

  Somme-Aisne-Line, north of which germanic toponyms dominate.
  Border of the later High German Consonant shift, which spread from Elbe germanic areas in the 7th century.[2][3]

After the Salian Franks settled in Roman Gaul, its speakers in Picardy and Île-de-France were outnumbered by the local populace who spoke Proto-Romance dialects. However, many modern French words and place names, including the eventual country's name of "France", have a Frankish (i.e. Germanic) origin. France itself is still known by terms literal meaning the "Frankish Realm" in languages such as German (Frankreich), Yiddish (פֿראַנקרײַך Frankraykh), Dutch (Frankrijk), the derived Afrikaans (Frankryk), and Danish (Frankrig) as well as Swedish and Norwegian (Frankrike).

Between the 5th and 9th centuries, Frankish spoken in Northwestern France, present-day Belgium, and the Netherlands is subsequently referred to as Old Dutch, whereas the Frankish varieties spoken in the Rhineland were heavily influenced by Elbe Germanic dialects and the Second Germanic consonant shift and would form part of the modern Central Franconian and Rhine Franconian dialects of German and Luxembourgish.[6]

The Old Frankish language is poorly attested and mostly reconstructed from Frankish loanwords in Old French, and Old Dutch, as recorded in the 6th to 12th centuries. A notable exception is the Bergakker inscription, which may represent a primary record of 5th-century Frankish, though it is debated whether the inscription is written in Frankish, or Old Dutch.[7]

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Frankish language, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.