My Classification of the North Frisian Languages in 2022

Written by Dyami Millarson

This branch of elderberries is my chosen nature symbol for the family of North Frisian languages. There are many berries in the picture as there are many North Frisian languages in reality. Some berries have fallen off the branch like some North Frisian languages have died. A few berries are still green like a few North Frisian languages are still vibrant. Most berries are reddish or black and about to fall off like most North Frisian languages are endangered or even severely endangered with extinction.

The analysis of North Frisian languages for classification is very important because, for instance, it can help with determining what to study. For my research on Frisian, the classification of the North Frisian languages is extremely useful because it helps me to know whether I still need to close any gaps in my knowledge. My objective is unbiased linguistic research, which treats all languages with equal dignity. Dialect is a word I do not use, because it is a derogatory term.

I will, therefore, not describe the various North Frisian village languages as dialects and I do not think of differences between village languages as inconsequential dialectal differences but as relevant linguistic differences, which define a community’s identity while linguistic differences between communities render them identifiable as separate entities in the real world. I do, for instance, not categorise Langenhorn Frisian and Ockholm Frisian as separate Northern Goesharde Frisian dialects but as separate Northern Goesharde Frisian languages.

To continue our example, I did call Northern Goesharde Frisian a language in the past, but in hindsight, I should rather have consistently called it a language family and I will henceforth only speak of Langenhorn Frisian and Ockholm Frisian as languages belonging to Northern Goesharde Frisian, which means Northern Goesharde Frisian is a language family. In our example, the logical result of the consistent rejection of the concept of dialect is the categorisation of Northern Goesharde Frisian as a language family, which consists of several village languages, including Langenhorn Frisian and Ockholm Frisian.

Let us now take a look at my classification of the North Frisian languages which has been fully updated with my 2022 insights:

  • North Frisian
    • Insular North Frisian
      • Heligoland Frisian
      • Föhr-Amrum Frisian
        • Amrum Frisian
        • East Föhr Frisian
          • Boldixum-Wrixum Frisian
          • Midlum-Alkersum-Oevenum Frisian
        • West Föhr Frisian
        • South Föhr Frisian
      • Sylt Frisian
        • North Sylt Frisian
        • West Sylt Frisian
        • Morsum Sylt Frisian
        • East Sylt Frisian
      • Eiderstedt-Dithmarschen Frisian
        • Eiderstedt Frisian
        • Dithmarschen Frisian
    • Continental North Frisian
      • Southern Goesharde Frisian
        • Hattstedt Frisian
        • Lund Frisian
        • Hockensbüll Frisian
        • Schobüll Frisian
        • Horstedt Frisian
        • Wobbenbüll Frisian
        • Altendeich Frisian
        • Olderup Frisian
        • Mildstedt Frisian
        • Viöl Frisian
        • Schwesing Frisian
        • Schwabstedt Frisian
        • Ostenfeld Frisian
      • Central Goesharde Frisian
        • Drelsdorf Frisian
        • Breklum Frisian
        • Struckum Frisian
        • Bredtstedt Frisian
        • Bohmstedt Frisian
        • Dörpum Frisian
        • Almdorf Frisian
        • Joldelund Frisian
        • Wallsbüll Frisian
      • Northern Goesharde Frisian
        • Ockholm Frisian
        • Langenhorn Frisian
        • Bargum Frisian
        • Bordelum Frisian
        • Sterdebüll Frisian
        • Högel Frisian
        • Büttjebüll Frisian
        • Mönkebüll Frisian
        • Loheide Frisian
        • Southwestern Bökingharde Frisian
          • Fahretoft Frisian
          • Waygaard Frisian
        • Efkebüll Frisian
        • Addebüll Frisian
      • Hallig Frisian
        • Nordmarsch-Langeneß Frisian
        • Gröde Frisian
        • Oland Frisian
        • Hooge Frisian
      • Strand Frisian
        • Lundenbergharde Frisian
        • Edomsharde Frisian
        • Beltringharde Frisian
        • Pellwormharde Frisian
        • Wyk Frisian
      • Karrharde Frisian
        • Stedesand Frisian
        • Enge Frisian
        • Schnatebüll Frisian
          • Oster-Schnatebüll Frisian
          • Wester-Schnatebüll Frisian
        • Soholm Frisian
        • Schardebüll Frisian
        • Sande Frisian
        • Klintum Frisian
      • Bökingharde Frisian
        • West Mooring
          • Deezbüll Frisian
          • Niebüll Frisian
        • East Mooring
          • Risum Frisian
          • Lindholm Frisian
          • Maasbüll Frisian
          • Klockries Frisian
        • Northwestern Bökingharde Frisian
          • Dagebüll Frisian
          • Marienkoog Frisian
          • Neugalmsbüll Frisian
      • Wiedingharde Frisian
        • Klanxbüll Frisian
        • Horsbüll Frisian
        • Emmelsbüll Frisian
        • Neukirchen Frisian
        • Rodenäs Frisian
        • Uphusum Frisian
        • Norderdeich Frisian
        • Hörn Frisian

Watch out for old spellings: Drellsdorf for Drelsdorf, Brecklum for Breklum, Groede for Gröde, Horrstedt for Horstedt, Langenes or Langeness for Langeneß, Riesum for Risum, Waygard for Waygaard, Fartoft for Fahretoft. 

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