Branch of the Indo-European languages from Northern Europe, including English, German, Dutch, and the Scandinavian languages

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-5
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2answers
103 views

Why does German require useless commas?

Let us consider the following English sentence: I set the table if you take out the trash. One doesn't have to set a comma between "table" and "if" – in contrast to the German rules for comma ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

Origin of the term “iminutive”

The word "iminutive" is used in Yiddish, and, apparently, Bavarian grammar to refer to the second diminutive (i.e., of nouns). The etymology of "diminutive" is clear. As for the provenance of the ...
2
votes
0answers
66 views

Are “oivai ” and “always” related?

I know that the English "always" comes literally from "all ways". the Bavarian "oivai" sounds almost the same, means the same, but doesn't seem to be as straight forward. While "oi" means "all" and "...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Do Scandinavian languages have liaisons?

According to Wikipedia, Liaison (French pronunciation: ​[ljɛ.zɔ̃]) is the pronunciation of a latent word-final consonant immediately before a following vowel sound. Scandinavian languages like ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

How did West Germanic languages evolve?

I'm trying to make a comprehensive phylogenetic tree of Germanic languages, with dates of divergence, and I have been unable to find details on West Germanic languages and how they diverged. I have ...
12
votes
1answer
645 views

Do the words “angst” and “anxiety” share a common root?

The English word angst, taken from German Angst, seems to ultimately originate from Proto-Germanic *angustiz. This word has descendants in many Germanic languages, including, but not limited to, ...
1
vote
3answers
90 views

Do Germanic words have Romance qualities and vice-versa?

I know English was heavily influenced by French. But were there any other instances during which a Germanic language obtained Romance qualities or a Romance language with Germanic qualities?
-6
votes
1answer
81 views

Why Germanic languages are not generally as soft as other Indo-European languages? [closed]

Let me clarify what I mean by "harsh" and "soft" with an example: Suppose that you've just arrived in a strange planet and an alien is approaching you repeating just one vowel! Your feelings will ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Sound correspondences in Germanic languages

I've noticed that in particular germanic languages have similar base words to english of which many times the only difference is that of the vowels. This would make sense seing as to how they are ...
1
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0answers
27 views

Old Norse kné: a- stem or wa- stem?

The neuter noun kné follows a-stem declension. But it comes from Proto-Germanic *knewą. This seems to be a wa-stem. Then why does it follow a-stem declension? Did Scandinavians force it to, even ...
0
votes
0answers
67 views

Can someone explain this sentence from Dartmouth's German page?

Was perusing the page (you can find it here), I came across the paragraph "That said, word order is a complex aspect of language, never wholly mastered by non-native speakers. What is the idea ...
4
votes
3answers
212 views

Verner's Law and 'ge-'

Verner's Law says that voiceless fricatives, when immediately following an unstressed syllable in the same word, underwent voicing. The Germanic prefix 'ge-' as in German 'genug' or English 'enough' ...
6
votes
3answers
268 views

Feminization suffix “-in” in German: etymology and relatives

The suffix "-in" in German modifies an actor noun into a specifically feminine form: Der Lehrer, die Lehrerin Most of the original nouns have the suffix "-er", which is widely used in the ...
3
votes
3answers
397 views

Why do English, Italian, German, Spanish, French and Latin share a common alphabet and many words?

I wonder why English, Italian, German, Spanish, French and Latin share common alphabet and other words. Also what is the relation among them.
0
votes
0answers
70 views

Why was 'thwart' assigned to PIE *terkw- “to twist”?

thwart (adv.) [...] c. 1200, from a Scandinavian source, probably Old Norse þvert "across," originally neuter of thverr (adj.) "transverse, across," (cognate with Old English þweorh "...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Why does väcka/wecken seem to be built as a causative although vakna/wachen is a weak verb?

The causative verbs in germanic languages are built upon the preterite of a strong verb. However there's one verb that seems to fall out of that scheme: Swedish: vakna - väcka; German: (auf)wachen - (...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Etymology of 'but', from West Germanic to Old English

but (adv., prep.) [<--] Old English butan, buton "unless, except; without, outside," from West Germanic * be-utan, a compound of * be- "by" (see by) + * utana "out, outside; from without,"  ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

What are the possible impetuses for loss of Middle English shwa?

I'm wondering what some possible catalysts/ reasons for loss of final -e /ǝ/ in Middle English might have been (For instance, OE /tɑlu/ > ME /taːlǝ/ > MnE tale /teɪl/). I'm wondering because to my ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

Spelling Similarities in English and Spanish but not in Italian and Spanish

The spelling of the word 'admit' has a ⟨d⟩ in both English and the Spanish equivalent, admitir, but not in Italian ammettere. Why is the ⟨d⟩ absent in the Italian equivalent?
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Why is “och” (and) not spelled “og” in Swedish?

For example, here is the word for "I" in the Old Norse dialects. Old East Norse = Jak Old West Norse = Ek These words became, with a natural evolution, the following: Icelandic = Ég Faroese = Eg ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

What languages are writer-responsible?

It seems like every scholar since Hinds has only mentioned English as a writer-responsible language, which is also used to contrast reader-responsible languages (that are usually identified as Asian ...
27
votes
5answers
5k views

Why does English not have a version of (Swedish: heter, Icelandic: heiti, Spanish: llamo etc.)?

This is something that I think is present in most languages. If I were to present my self in English, I might say: My name is DisplayName. Where as in other languages I can both say: Mitt ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Is there any characteristic that is unique to North Germanic languages?

Is there any characteristic that is unique to the North Germanic languages (Swedish, Danish, Norweigan, Faroese, Icelandic) and the dead ones (such as Old West Norse, Old East Norse, Norn, Proto-Norse)...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

How many of English words have Germanic roots, and how many have Romantic roots? (in percent)

So, I'm wondering how much of English words have Germanic roots, how many have Romantic roots and how many have Greek roots etc. In percent. Is there any such table?
6
votes
5answers
248 views

How did the same perfect-tense structure become so widespread in Europe?

In many Germanic and Romance languages, the perfect tense is formed with the verb 'to have' or 'to be' plus a past participle. It's easy to find explanations ["I have an arrow (which is) made (by me)"...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Present Subjunctive as Optative

In many European languages - at least those I looked into - it is possible to use Present Subjunctive as optative mood (although often considered dated or of limited availability): Thy Kingdom ...
2
votes
2answers
338 views

German long “o” vs. “au”. Is there a rule?

There are common words in Germanic languages that have a long "o" vowel in the stem, and which in modern German seem to be either "o" or "au" randomly. Examples: Dutch ROOD, Swedish RÖD, German ROT ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Why is “speak” a class 4 strong verb?

I've been trying to understand the how strong verbs in Germanic languages work, and reading the Wikipedia article I understand that class 4 strong verbs originated from, in PIE, vowel + a sonorant (m, ...
3
votes
3answers
112 views

What is the word class of the first part of a partitive genitive?

I'm trying to determine the part of speech in the following example: German: Mario Götze ist einer der besten Fußballspieler der Welt. (partitive genitive) English: Mario Götze is one of the ...
1
vote
0answers
86 views

Do Germanic languages have partitive case?

Finnish, among a few other languages, is known for its partitive case. I have been told that in some Germanic language, partitive case is required whenever SV-order is absent. SV-order is absent, e.g.,...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Definite or indefinite adjectives with possessive personal determiners in Germanic?

While both German and Danish have different forms of adjectives in definite and indefinite noun phrases, noun phrases with possessive personal determiners pattern with the indefinite noun phrases in ...
23
votes
13answers
21k views

Why is English classified as a Germanic rather than Romance language?

I am not a linguist. I do not know German nor French. The majority of English vocabulary is derived from Romance languages. Given these facts, I ask for a simple and convincing demonstration (using an ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

What's the relation between Germanic suffixes -ly, -lich, -lijk, … and Turkic suffixes -lik -liq

What's the relation between Germanic adjectival/adverbial suffixes -ly, -lich, -lijk, ... and Turkic suffixes -lik -liq that convert nouns/adjectives to nouns
0
votes
2answers
234 views

Etymology: Arabic falaha, German pflügen, English to plough

Could there be some connection between Arabic falaha meaning to till the soil and German pflügen, Pflug or English plough, to plough?
4
votes
2answers
143 views

Germanic comparative grammars?

Can anyone recommend a good comparative grammar of the Germanic languages -- or, failing that, good historical grammars specifically for Old English and Old Norse? Ideally, what I want is a ...
0
votes
1answer
197 views

Why does the pronunciation of Germanic languages before vowel shift seems to have been more “Indo-European”?

I think the vowels have become "harsher" during the vowel shift and has made them sound very different from Latin, Greek, Sanskrit,... which generally use "soft" vowels. Can we deduce that the vowel ...
0
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0answers
75 views

Tabulated lists of examples

"Everybody [?] knows" that there are these pairs of corresponding words in German and English in which an "f" appears in German where a "p" appears in English: Bischoff, bishop Schiff, ship ...
3
votes
1answer
346 views

My otherwise monogamous friends came to the party with their wives

Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese) tend to say that "My friends came with their wife, who were all blowing their nose." (no polygamy, a cold epidemic but no monstrosity either), ...
1
vote
2answers
206 views

Linguistic relation Turkish dada English dad

Both are informal words meaning father. It is interesting that I couldn't find a similar word in other Germanic and Latin languages. It looks that this word has directly migrated from central asia to ...
-2
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does English sound so cold to a Slavic speaker?

When you compare English with e.g .Russian or some other Slavic language, English sounds very cold and not warming at all. Could it be explained scientifically? Compare this in Russian: http://youtu....
5
votes
3answers
989 views

Is there a named common ancestor of Germanic and Latin besides “Indo-European”?

I was just answering a question about the origins of English and Latin and wanted to talk about their common ancestors but ran into a surprising problem. So we know the majority of languages in ...
0
votes
2answers
294 views

The reason for similarity of Turkic “min” and latin “mille”, Turkic “dil” and dutch “taal”?

What's the linguistic relation between the Turkic words bin or min and Latin word mille meaning thousand Turkic dil and dutch taal meaninge language?
4
votes
2answers
556 views

What is the relative chronology of Grimm's and Verner's Law?

I'm trying to understand the relative chronology of Grimm's Law and Verner's Law. I understand that there are different views, and that it is not easy to work out. I believe Ringe argues that the ...
2
votes
2answers
199 views

The “close front rounded vowel” mainly used in Germanic, Altaic and far Asian languages

Why is the "close front rounded vowel" /y/ mainly used in Germanic, Altaic and far Asian languages but rare in Latin*, Indo-Iranian and Slavic languages? Can we say that Germanic phonetics is less ...
0
votes
2answers
191 views

Lingustic relationship between plural suffixes in Turkish and -er in some Nordic/Germanic languages

What's the linguistic relationship between plural suffixes "-ler/-lar" in Turkish and "-er" in some Nordic/Germanic languages?
1
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0answers
159 views

Do all languages with pre-positional articles have zero-articles if they don't have post-positional articles?

To clarify, pre-positional articles are the articles positioned before a noun they refer to, like English the or a(n). Post-positional articles are those positioned after a noun they refer to, like ...
7
votes
1answer
459 views

Origin of current order pattern in English/German

It is well-known, or better said, well-accepted, that the ancestral language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) was a OV language with a very limited (or nonexistent) use of subordinate clauses. In Proto-...
5
votes
1answer
464 views

History of the verb positioning in German

In German, the word order is SVO (or V2, to be precise) in main clauses, while in subordinate clauses have the finite verb in final position; there is some discussion of the word order in "German is ...
6
votes
3answers
265 views

Explaining the relationship between “short”, “kurz” and “curzu”

I've recently noticed something that I can't explain, a link between German and Sardinian. Two languages that, at least apparently for me, are not supposed to be that linked. Also English is included ...
5
votes
1answer
251 views

Word order typology in Germanic

I am not a native speaker of English, but I study English and Dutch. I have noticed that the two languages differ in their degree of flexibility. The following sentence, for example, is not acceptable ...