East Germanic languages

The East Germanic languages, also called the Oder–Vistula Germanic languages, are a group of extinct Germanic languages family spoken by East Germanic peoples.

The only East Germanic languages of which texts are known are Gothic and its descendant, Crimean Gothic. Other languages that are assumed to be East Germanic include Vandalic and Burgundian, though very few texts in these languages are known. Crimean Gothic, the last remaining East Germanic language, is believed to have survived until the 18th century in isolated areas of Crimea.

East Germanic
Geographic
distribution
Varying depending on time (4th-18th centuries), currently none (all languages are extinct)

Until late 4th century:[1]
Central and eastern Europe (as far as Crimea)
late 4th—early 10th centuries:[2]
Much of southern, western, southeastern, and eastern Europe (as far as Crimea) and North Africa
early 10th-late 18th centuries:[3]
Isolated areas in eastern Europe (as far as Crimea)
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
Subdivisions
ISO 639-5gme
Glottologeast2805[4]
Germanic dialects ca. AD 1
One of the proposed theories for the approximate distribution of Germanic dialect groups in Europe in around AD 1:
  North Sea Germanic, or Ingvaeonic
  Weser-Rhine Germanic, or Istvaeonic
  Elbe Germanic or Irminonic
  East Germanic

History

Pre Migration Age Germanic
Territories inhabited by East Germanic tribes, between 100 BC and AD 300.
Europe and the Near East at 476 AD
Europe in 476 AD with Germanic kingdoms and tribes distributed throughout Europe.

By the 1st century AD, the writings of Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, and Tacitus indicate a division of Germanic-speaking peoples into large groupings with shared ancestry and culture. (This division has been appropriated in modern terminology about the divisions of Germanic languages.)

Germanic tribes (750BC-1AD)
The expansion of the Germanic tribes 750 BC – AD 1 (after the Penguin Atlas of World History 1988):
   Settlements before 750 BC
   New settlements by 500 BC
   New settlements by 250 BC
   New settlements by AD 1

Based on accounts by Jordanes, Procopius, Paul the Deacon and others; linguistic evidence (see Gothic language); placename evidence; and archaeological evidence, it is believed that the East Germanic tribes, the speakers of the East Germanic languages related to the North Germanic tribes, had migrated from Scandinavia into the area lying east of the Elbe.[5] In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania and todays northern Poland from period III onwards was so considerable that this region is sometimes included in the Nordic Bronze Age culture (Dabrowski 1989:73).

There is also archaeological and toponymic evidence that Burgundians lived on the Danish island of Bornholm (Old Norse: Burgundaholmr), and that Rugians lived on the Norwegian coast of Rogaland (Old Norse: Rygjafylki).

Groups

Possible East Germanic-speaking tribes include:

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ From origins until the beginning of the Migration Period.
  2. ^ From the onset of the Migration Period until extinctions of major East Germanic languages with the last one occurring in the early 10th century.
  3. ^ From the last major extinction until the 18th century demise of Crimean Gothic.
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "East Germanic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  5. ^ The Penguin Atlas of World History, Hermann Kinder and Werner Hilgemann; translated by Ernest A. Menze; with maps designed by Harald and Ruth Bukor. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-051054-0, 1988. Volume 1, p. 109.
  • Dabrowski, J. (1989) Nordische Kreis und Kulturen Polnischer Gebiete. Die Bronzezeit im Ostseegebiet. Ein Rapport der Kgl. Schwedischen Akademie der Literatur, Geschichte und Altertumsforschung über das Julita-Symposium 1986. Ed Ambrosiani, Björn Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien. Konferenser 22. Stockholm. ISBN 91-7402-203-2
  • Demougeot, E. La formation de l'Europe et les invasions barbares, Paris: Editions Montaigne, 1969–74.
  • Kaliff, Anders. 2001. Gothic Connections. Contacts between eastern Scandinavia and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BCE – 500 CE.
  • Musset, L. Les invasions: les vagues germanique, Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1965.
  • Nordgren, I. 2004. Well Spring of The Goths. About the Gothic Peoples in the Nordic Countries and on the Continent.
Barbarian kingdoms

The barbarian kingdoms were Germanic, Hunnic and other kingdoms established all over Europe and North Africa during Late Antiquity, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The term "barbarian" has been commonly used by historians even though the term was not used by the peoples in question and carries considerable value judgement. Other terms used include "Germanic kingdoms", "Romano-Germanic kingdoms", and "post-Roman kingdoms".

Chamavi

The Chamavi were a Germanic tribe of Roman imperial times whose name survived into the Early Middle Ages. They first appear under that name in the 1st century AD Germania of Tacitus as a Germanic tribe that lived to the north of the Lower Rhine. Their name probably survives in the region today called Hamaland, which is in the Gelderland province of the Netherlands, between the IJssel and Ems rivers.

Chauci

The Chauci (German: Chauken, and identical or similar in other regional modern languages) were an ancient Germanic tribe living in the low-lying region between the Rivers Ems and Elbe, on both sides of the Weser and ranging as far inland as the upper Weser. Along the coast they lived on artificial mounds called terpen, built high enough to remain dry during the highest tide. A dense population of Chauci lived further inland, and they are presumed to have lived in a manner similar to the lives of the other Germanic peoples of the region.

Their ultimate origins are not well understood. In the Germanic pre-Migration Period (i.e., before c. 300 AD) the Chauci and the related Frisians, Saxons, and Angles inhabited the Continental European coast from the Zuyder Zee to south Jutland. All of these peoples shared a common material culture, and so cannot be defined archaeologically. The Chauci originally centered on the Weser and Elbe, but in c. AD 58 they expanded westward to the River Ems by expelling the neighboring Ampsivarii, whereby they gained a border with the Frisians to the west. The Romans referred to the Chauci living between the Weser and Elbe as the 'Greater Chauci' and those living between the Ems and Weser as the 'Lesser Chauci'.The Chauci entered the historical record in descriptions of them by classical Roman sources late in the 1st century BC in the context of Roman military campaigns and sea raiding. For the next 200 years the Chauci provided Roman auxiliaries through treaty obligations, but they also appear in their own right in concert with other Germanic tribes, opposing the Romans. Accounts of wars therefore mention the Chauci on both sides of the conflict, though the actions of troops under treaty obligation were separate from the policies of the tribe.

The Chauci lost their separate identity in the 3rd century when they merged with the Saxons, after which time they were considered to be Saxons. The circumstances of the merger are an unsettled issue of scholarly research.

De conviviis barbaris

De conviviis barbaris (Latin for "On banquets of barbarians") is an epigram preserved in the Codex Salmasianus (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Codex Parisinus Latinus, 10318) of the Latin Anthology, copied in Italy c. 800 AD. It is noted for containing a few terms in a Germanic language that historians believe to be Gothic or Vandalic: in either case, this makes it a rare attestation of medieval East Germanic.

Friedrich Maurer (linguist)

Friedrich Maurer (5 January 1898 – 7 November 1984) was a German linguist and medievalist.

Frisii

The Frisii were an ancient Germanic tribe living in the low-lying region between the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta and the River Ems, and the presumed or possible ancestors of the modern-day ethnic Frisians.

The Frisii were among the migrating Germanic tribes that settled along the North Sea in the 4th century BC. They came to control the area from roughly present-day Bremen to Bruges, and conquered many of the smaller offshore islands. In the 1st century BC, the Frisii halted a Roman advance and thus managed to maintain their independence. In the Germanic pre-Migration Period (i.e., before c. 300 AD) the Frisii and the related Chauci, Saxons, and Angles inhabited the Continental European coast from the Zuyder Zee to south Jutland. All of these peoples shared a common material culture, and so cannot be defined archaeologically. On the east they were originally bordered by the Ampsivarii who lived at the mouth of the Ems until AD 58, at which time the Chauci expelled them and gained a border with the Frisii.

The Chauci to the east were eventually assimilated by their presumed descendants the Saxons in the 3rd century. Some or all of the Frisii may have joined into the Frankish and Saxon peoples in late Roman times, but they would retain a separate identity in Roman eyes until at least 296, when they were forcibly resettled as laeti (i.e., Roman-era serfs) and thereafter disappear from recorded history. Their tentative existence in the 4th century is confirmed by archaeological discovery of a type of earthenware unique to 4th-century Frisia, called terp Tritzum, showing that an unknown number of Frisii were resettled in Flanders and Kent, likely as laeti under the aforementioned Roman coercion.

The lands of the Frisii were largely abandoned by c. 400 due to Migration wars, climatic deterioration and flooding caused by sea level rise. They lay empty for one or two centuries, when changing environmental and political conditions made the region habitable again. At that time, settlers that came to be known as 'Frisians' repopulated the coastal regions. Medieval and later accounts of 'Frisians' refer to these 'new Frisians' rather than to the ancient Frisii.

German language

German (Deutsch [dɔʏtʃ] (listen)) is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

One of the major languages of the world, German is the first language of almost 100 million people worldwide and the most widely spoken native language in the European Union. Together with French, German is the second most commonly spoken foreign language in the EU after English, making it the second biggest language in the EU in terms of overall speakers. German is also the second most widely taught foreign language in the EU after English at primary school level (but third after English and French at lower secondary level), the fourth most widely taught non-English language in the US (after Spanish, French and American Sign Language), and the second most commonly used scientific language as well as the third most widely used language on websites after English and Russian. The German-speaking countries are ranked fifth in terms of annual publication of new books, with one tenth of all books (including e-books) in the world being published in the German language. In the United Kingdom, German and French are the most-sought after foreign languages for businesses (with 49% and 50% of businesses identifying these two languages as the most useful, respectively).German is an inflected language with four cases for nouns, pronouns and adjectives (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative), three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), two numbers (singular, plural), and strong and weak verbs. German derives the majority of its vocabulary from the ancient Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. A portion of German words are derived from Latin and Greek, and fewer are borrowed from French and Modern English. With slightly different standardized variants (German, Austrian and Swiss Standard German), German is a pluricentric language. It is also notable for its broad spectrum of dialects, with many unique varieties existing in Europe and also other parts of the world. Due to the limited intelligibility between certain varieties and Standard German, as well as the lack of an undisputed, scientific difference between a "dialect" and a "language", some German varieties or dialect groups (e.g. Low German or Plautdietsch) are alternatively referred to as "languages" or "dialects".

Germanic languages

The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by a population of about 515 million people mainly in Europe, North America, Oceania, and Southern Africa.

The West Germanic languages include the three most widely spoken Germanic languages: English with around 360-400 million native speakers; German, with over 100 million native speakers; and Dutch, with 24 million native speakers. Other West Germanic languages include Afrikaans, an offshoot of Dutch, with over 7.1 million native speakers; Low German, considered a separate collection of unstandardized dialects, with roughly 0.3 million native speakers and probably 6.7–10 million people who can understand it (at least 5 million in Germany and 1.7 million in the Netherlands); Yiddish, once used by approximately 13 million Jews in pre-World War II Europe, and Scots, both with 1.5 million native speakers; Limburgish varieties with roughly 1.3 million speakers along the Dutch–Belgian–German border; and the Frisian languages with over 0.5 million native speakers in the Netherlands and Germany.

The main North Germanic languages are Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish, which have a combined total of about 20 million speakers.

The East Germanic branch included Gothic, Burgundian, and Vandalic, all of which are now extinct. The last to die off was Crimean Gothic, spoken until the late 18th century in some isolated areas of Crimea.The SIL Ethnologue lists 48 different living Germanic languages, 41 of which belong to the Western branch and six to the Northern branch; it places Riograndenser Hunsrückisch German in neither of the categories, but it is often considered a German dialect by linguists. The total number of Germanic languages throughout history is unknown as some of them, especially the East Germanic languages, disappeared during or after the Migration Period. Some of the West Germanic languages also did not survive past the Migration Period, including Lombardic. As a result of World War II, the German language suffered a significant loss of Sprachraum, as well as moribundness and extinction of several of its dialects. In the 21st century, its dialects are dying out anyway due to Standard German gaining primacy.The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic, also known as Common Germanic, which was spoken in about the middle of the 1st millennium BC in Iron Age Scandinavia. Proto-Germanic, along with all of its descendants, is characterised by a number of unique linguistic features, most famously the consonant change known as Grimm's law. Early varieties of Germanic entered history with the Germanic tribes moving south from Scandinavia in the 2nd century BC, to settle in the area of today's northern Germany and southern Denmark.

Germanic peoples

The Germanic peoples (also called Teutonic, Suebian, or Gothic in older literature) were an ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by Roman-era authors as distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples, and identified in modern scholarship as speakers, at least for the most part, of early Germanic languages.A Proto-Germanic population is believed to have emerged during the Nordic Bronze Age, which developed out of the Battle Axe culture in southern Scandinavia. During the Iron Age various Germanic tribes began a southward expansion at the expense of Celtic peoples, which led to centuries of sporadic violent conflict with ancient Rome. It is from Roman authors that the term "Germanic" originated. The decisive victory of Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE is believed to have prevented the eventual Romanization of the Germanic peoples, and has therefore been considered a turning point in world history. Germanic tribes settled the entire Roman frontier along the Rhine and the Danube, and some established close relations with the Romans, often serving as royal tutors and mercenaries, sometimes even rising to the highest offices in the Roman military. Meanwhile, Germanic tribes expanded into Eastern Europe, where the Goths subdued the local Iranian nomads and came to dominate the Pontic Steppe, simultaneously launching sea expeditions into the Balkans and Anatolia as far as Cyprus.The westward expansion of the Huns into Europe in the late 4th century CE pushed many Germanic tribes into the Western Roman Empire. Their vacated lands were filled by Slavs. Much of these territories were reclaimed in following centuries. Other tribes settled Great Britain and became known as the Anglo-Saxons. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a series of Germanic kingdoms emerged, of which, Francia gained a dominant position. This kingdom formed the Holy Roman Empire under the leadership of Charlemagne, who was officially recognized by Pope Leo III in 800 CE. Meanwhile, North Germanic seafarers, commonly referred to as Vikings, embarked on a massive expansion which led to the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy, Kievan Rus' and their settlement of the British Isles and the North Atlantic Ocean as far as North America. With the North Germanic abandonment of their native religion in the 11th century, nearly all Germanic peoples had been converted to Christianity.

Germany

Germany (German: Deutschland German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃlant]), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, listen ), is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres (137,988 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying entirely in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a very decentralized country. Its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Dortmund and Essen. The country's other major cities are Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Dresden, Bremen, Hannover, and Nuremberg.

Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity. A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815. The German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights.

In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states (most notably excluding Switzerland and Austria) unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, and the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American, British, and French occupation zones, and East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone. Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990.Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. It is a great power with a strong economy; it has the world's fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the fifth-largest by PPP. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods. As a developed country with a very high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, and a tuition-free university education.

The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, and the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, philosophers, musicians, film people, sportspeople, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and inventors. Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world.

Gothic language

Gothic is an extinct East Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century copy of a 4th-century Bible translation, and is the only East Germanic language with a sizable text corpus. All others, including Burgundian and Vandalic, are known, if at all, only from proper names that survived in historical accounts, and from loanwords in other languages such as Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

As a Germanic language, Gothic is a part of the Indo-European language family. It is the earliest Germanic language that is attested in any sizable texts, but it lacks any modern descendants. The oldest documents in Gothic date back to the fourth century. The language was in decline by the mid-sixth century, partly because of the military defeat of the Goths at the hands of the Franks, the elimination of the Goths in Italy, and geographic isolation (in Spain the Gothic language lost its last and probably already declining function as a church language when the Visigoths converted to Catholicism in 589).

The language survived as a domestic language in the Iberian peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal) as late as the eighth century. Gothic-seeming terms are found in manuscripts subsequent to this date, but these may or may not belong to the same language. In particular, a language known as Crimean Gothic survived in the lower Danube area and in isolated mountain regions in Crimea. Lacking certain sound changes characteristic of Gothic, however, Crimean Gothic cannot be a lineal descendant of Bible Gothic.The existence of such early attested texts makes it a language of considerable interest in comparative linguistics.

Goths

The Goths (Gothic: Gut-þiuda; Latin: Gothi) were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire through the long series of Gothic Wars and in the emergence of Medieval Europe. The Goths dominated a vast area, which at its peak under the Germanic king Ermanaric and his sub-king Athanaric possibly extended all the way from the Danube to the Don, and from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.The Goths spoke the Gothic language, one of the extinct East Germanic languages.

Hermunduri

The Hermunduri, Hermanduri, Hermunduli, Hermonduri, or Hermonduli were an ancient Germanic tribe, who occupied an area near the Elbe river, around what is now Thuringia, Bohemia, Saxony (in East Germany), and Franconia in northern Bavaria, from the first to the third century. At times, they apparently moved to the Danube frontier with Rome. The Thuringii may have been the descendants of the Hermunduri. Claudius Ptolemy mentions neither tribe in his geography but instead the Teuriochaemae, who may also be connected to both.

List of Germanic languages

The Germanic languages include some 58 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects that originated in Europe; this language family is a part of the Indo-European language family. Each subfamily in this list contains subgroups and individual languages.

The standard division of Germanic is into three branches,

East Germanic languages

North Germanic languages

West Germanic languagesThey all descend from Proto-Germanic, and ultimately from Proto-Indo-European.

South Germanic languages, an attempt to classify some of the West Germanic languages into a separate group, is rejected by the overwhelming majority of scholars.

† denotes extinct languages.

List of ISO 639-5 codes

This is a list of ISO 639-5 codes, including the code hierarchy as given in the ISO 639-5 registry. The code und (undetermined) from ISO 639-2 can be seen as top of the hierarchy (for example, und:aav, und:euq:eu). The hierarchy is not a complete genetic hierarchy; some of the collection codes are based on geography (like nai) or category (like crp) instead.

North Germanic languages

The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is sometimes referred to as the "Nordic languages", a direct translation of the most common term used among Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish scholars and laypeople.

In Scandinavia, the term "Scandinavian languages" refers specifically to the generally mutually intelligible languages of the three continental Scandinavian countries and is thus used in a more narrow sense as a subset of the Nordic languages, leaving aside the insular subset of Faroese and Icelandic. Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish are also referred to as Scandinavian or Nordic languages, while Faroese and Icelandic are grouped together as Insular Nordic languages. The term Scandinavian arose in the 18th century as a result of the early linguistic and cultural Scandinavist movement, referring to the people, cultures, and languages of the three Scandinavian countries and stressing their common heritage.

The term "North Germanic languages" is used in comparative linguistics, whereas the term "Scandinavian languages" appears in studies of the modern standard languages and the dialect continuum of Scandinavia.Approximately 20 million people in the Nordic countries speak a Scandinavian language as their native language, including an approximately 5% minority in Finland. Languages belonging to the North Germanic language tree are also commonly spoken on Greenland and, to a lesser extent, by immigrants in North America.

Vandalic language

Vandalic was the Germanic language spoken by the Vandals during roughly the 3rd to 6th centuries. It was probably closely related to Gothic, and as such is traditionally classified as an East Germanic language. Its attestation is very fragmentary, mainly due to Vandals' constant migrations and late adoption of writing. All modern sources from the time when Vandalic was spoken are protohistoric.

The Vandals, Hasdingi and Silingi established themselves in Gallaecia (northern Portugal and Galicia) and in southern Spain, following other Germanic and non-Germanic peoples (Visigoths, Alans and Suebi) in c. 410 before they moved to North Africa in the 430s. Their kingdom flourished in the early 6th century, but after their defeat in 536 they were placed under Byzantine administration and their language likely disappeared before the end of the century.

West Germanic languages

The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of languages (the others being the North Germanic and the extinct East Germanic languages).

The three most prevalent West Germanic languages are English, German, and Dutch. The family also includes other High and Low German languages including Afrikaans and Yiddish (which are daughter languages of Dutch and German, respectively), in addition to other Franconian languages, like Luxembourgish, and Ingvaeonic (North Sea Germanic) languages next to English, such as the Frisian languages and Scots. Additionally, several creoles, patois, and pidgins are based on Dutch and English as they were languages of colonial empires.

Language subgroups
Reconstructed
Historical languages
Modern languages
Diachronic features
Synchronic features
Language histories

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