How Frisian is the Frisian language?
(Paper presented at the Philologists Congress of the Fryske Akademy, 9th Dec. 1999.
Full text (in Frisian) will appear in "Philologia Frisica" and abridged in "De Pompeblęden"). Here now too.
Summary. In this study, it is calculated how much of Old Frisian is preserved in four modern Frisian dialects in the Netherlands and Germany (see map). The results are based on the 197 most frequent words, that is on 65% of daily speech.
The result appears in diagram 1, together with the share of lost words and neologies and of borrowed material from Dutch/ Low German or other languages.
Diagram 2 presents the Old Frisian content of modern dialects and diagram 3 the distribution in frequency classes, from which it is concluded that the 35% of speech not treated (many less frequent words!) will show about the same distribution.
Diagram 4 at last shows the content of characteristic Frisian material in Old Frisian and in the four modern Frisian dialects as well as in four adjacent non-Frisian dialects in the Netherlands.