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Standard Lower Sorbian is one of the two literary Sorbian languages, the other being the more widely spoken standard Upper Sorbian. The Lower Sorbian literary standard was developed in the 18th century, based on a southern form of the Cottbus dialect. The standard variety of Lower Sorbian has received structural influence from Upper Sorbian.
Lower Sorbian is spoken in and around the city of Cottbus in Brandenburg. Signs in this region are typically bilingual, and Cottbus has a Gymnasium where one language of instruction is Lower Sorbian. It is a heavily endangered language. Most native speakers today belong to the older generations.
The phonology of Lower Sorbian has been greatly influenced by contact with German, especially in Cottbus and larger towns. For example, German-influenced pronunciation tends to have a voiced uvular fricative[?] instead of the alveolar trill [r]. In villages and rural areas, German influence is less marked, and the pronunciation is more "typically Slavic".
/t, ?, ?/ have been variously transcribed with ⟨t, ?, ?⟩ and ⟨t, ?, ?⟩. Their actual phonetic realization is flat postalveolar [t, , ] in all of the Lower Sorbian-speaking area. This is unlike in standard Upper Sorbian, where these are palato-alveolar[t, ?, ?].
/h/ is voiceless , unlike Upper Sorbian, where it is voiced .
W?ykne lu?e su lichotne ro?one a jadnake po dostojnos?i a p?awach. Woni maju rozym a w?dobnos? a maju ze sobu w duchu brat?ojstwa wobchada?.
(All people are born free and equal in their dignity and rights. They are given reason and conscience and they shall create their relationships to one another according to the spirit of brotherhood.)