Questions tagged [german]

A Germanic language spoken in, among others, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For non-linguistic questions about the German language, visit our sister site German Language Stack Exchange.

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Is it a coincidence that both Italian and German use third person feminine pronouns for formal second-person address?

In both Italian and German, the third person feminine pronouns ("lei" and "Sie," respectively) also serve as the formal second person pronoun. Etymologically, is it a coincidence ...
Eric's user avatar
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What IPA Symbols Are Equivalent to Each of These Middle High German Diacritics?

I recently came across this article on the inclusion of certain superscript combining characters for use with representing Middle High German in Unicode. From what I understand, scribes and early ...
Avana Vana's user avatar
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1 answer
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Auxilary verb alternation in analytic perfect for French/Italian and German languages [duplicate]

French/Italian and German have a composite past tense (passé composé/passato prossimo/Perfekt) that is formed using either auxiliary verb to be (être/essere/sein) or auxiliary verb to have (avoir/...
Roger V.'s user avatar
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Nominal umlaut alteration in German

I am trying to understand how umlaut came to be as a marker for various inflectional forms in Germanic. The obvious answer is that there was i-umlaut, a-umlaut, u-umlaut, R-umlaut, breaking and ...
Hlakkar's user avatar
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How did the generic masculine emerge?

In an essay for school I recently claimed the generic masculine was caused by sexism, but my teacher complained that I hadn't given a reason for this. Assuming my hypothesis is correct, how did this ...
zvavybir's user avatar
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Does French retain more Celtic words than English does?

English has very few words left from the Ancient British. I am wondering if the language of the Gauls suffered much the same fate, or whether there are significantly more Celtic substrate words ...
Scott's user avatar
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Qualifying similarities between languages - e.g., German and Norwegian

I learnt "fluent" German and Dutch and I am learning Norwegian. German is much closer to Dutch than Norwegian. Yet, there are obvious strong and fascinating similarities between German and ...
kiriloff's user avatar
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Phonology for Loanwords

What is the reason for loanwords to preserve the original pronunciation, but not to be assimilate into the new language? For example, the German loanword from English Handy (mobile phone), it is ...
Gaai Chia's user avatar
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Why do “reiß” and “reis” not have the same phonemes although they are pronounced the same?

Reiß and reis are two words that have the same pronunciation in standard German. So why is it that the final phoneme in each word is different? In reiß it is /s/, and in reis it is /z/. Is there some ...
Jacob Lee-Hart's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
143 views

Is the active vs passive voice distinction, a property of the verb or sentence itself?

In English, I have seen some sites explaining active vs passive voice distinction as property of the verb. And, other sites as a property of sentence as a whole. I am learning German, and in that it ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
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Why are telling and counting related in many languages?

In many languages, verbs for telling a story are based on or related to verbs for counting. There are (at least) three groups of such verbs: English "recount", French "conter" and ...
joriki's user avatar
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Correlation between the English -wise and German -weise suffixes

The English meaning of -wise is the following. -wise adverb combining form Definition of -wise (Entry 5 of 5) 1a : in the manner of crabwise fanwise b : in the position or direction of ...
ntj's user avatar
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1 answer
549 views

Proximity of Dutch and German explained by the history of language

It seems to me that Dutch is closer to German in its pronunciation than in its writing. It is a bit approximative to say so, and that's rather a personal impression, shared by some German native ...
kiriloff's user avatar
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2 answers
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French & Spanish Accusative & Dative cases like German [closed]

I started learning French a couple of months back. My German proficiency is at B2 level (CEFRL). I wanted to know if French also has the different Accusative & Dative forms for Personal Pronouns, ...
Python_user's user avatar
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German contraction "wara" - morphology or phonology?

The regular form War er ... 'was he ...' would, in certain positions of sentence in my idiomatic sociolect, sound approximately as * wara /vaːʁɐ/. I can not imagine at the moment how this came ...
vectory's user avatar
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Is there a clear linguistic reason for Swiss German not being considered its own Germanic language?

This question has been inspired by the fact that I’ve recently heard the Swiss talk among each other and I started to dig deeper. Having done minors in Italian and American studies which each included ...
Kortelly Zamatosh's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
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Can an object be in functional case A even though it's declined like case B?

Pardon my word choice, since I'm obviously lacking the background in linguistics. I know that language-specific questions are off-topic, yet I still like to use Finnish as an example, since it spawned ...
infinitezero's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Beta vs eszett character difference

How to write the Greek letter beta and the German letter eszett so that they look different enough? I've seen variants of beta with the final arc ending on the vertical line and ones which have a ...
ByteEater's user avatar
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1 answer
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How similar are Low German and Dutch?

In Duisburg and Düsseldorf I have heard people talking a mixture of German and Dutch which really confused me! Can anyone please explain how similar to Dutch this so called Low German language is?
Antoine Vichev's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
384 views

Fewest number of vowels in a Germanic language?

Yiddish has an unusually small vowel inventory for a Germanic language, which are generally notorious for their large number of vowel phonemes. Probably under the influence of the surrounding gentile ...
Khove's user avatar
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What is the syntactic function (if there is any) of the prefix in some German verbs?

Consider the following sentence: "Ich rufe dich an". It is a very simple Standard German sentence with the verb "anrufen", the unusual thing about it is this prefix that comes ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why did 'r' disappear in English "speak" (compare German "sprechen") and in German "Welt" (compare English "world")?

I cannot help but notice some 'r'-s seem to have randomly disappeared in both German and English. What is going on there?
FlatAssembler's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
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Days of the week in Yiddish -- why so similar to Germanic?

I note that Saturday is Shabbes but the other days are similar to German which are based on Norse mythology -- one could easily see this being a problem and that a choice to use the Hebrew words for ...
releseabe's user avatar
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4 answers
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Are the longest German and Turkish words really single words?

First, I don't speak/understand any so-called agglutinative languages, like Turkish. I also don't know German. I understand there's no good definition for the concept of "word", which could ...
GA1's user avatar
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3 votes
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What is the official/correct orthography for Alsatian / Elsässisch German?

As per the Wikipedia article on the Alsatian language (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alsatian_dialect#Orthography) the orthography includes the latin letters A,B,C ... X,Y,Z and the following vowels ...
Nausher's user avatar
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What is the mutual intelligibility between the Standard German and Hessisch?

If a native Standard German speaker from Leipzig listens to Hessisch spoken by an elderly person from Lich(a small town in Hessen), will he/she understand it?
acrc135hpid's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
92 views

Einbilden vs. Imagine

One of the German words for Imagine is Einbilden, which I believe literally translates to "in-picture". This made me think of the fact that Imagine itself has the prefix Im-, which (together ...
Maverick Meerkat's user avatar
-5 votes
3 answers
641 views

Why the words for pineapple sound so similar in Hebrew and in German?

A word for "pineapple" in Hebrew is "אננס" and in German is "Ananas". The pronunciation of "אננס" in Hebrew and "Ananas" in German are so similar that I wonder if it is merely a coincidence or there ...
Zuriel's user avatar
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German: hin and her prefixes [closed]

I have found the words with prefixes her and hin and I am little bit confused. I understand, hopefully correctly that hin means from me -> to somewhere else direction and her from somewhere -> to me ...
Miroslav B's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
344 views

Case in German Nouns

German has an interesting situation in its noun phrases - articles and adjectives reflect case, but the noun itself does not. Der große Mann sieht das Haus. ("The big man sees the house," ...
matan-matika's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
377 views

GVS similarity in cognate words other Germanic Languages

I am no professional Linguist (nor have I ever studied it) so there might be a straightforward explanation to this which I could't find searching in ordinary places. I was analysing a few words from ...
embedded_dev's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
644 views

V to T movement in German

Consider the the embedded clause "du Schach gespielt hast" in this sentence Ich glaube dass du Schach gespielt hast. I think that you chess played have ‘I think that you have ...
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4 votes
0 answers
105 views

Is there a name for this type of language divergence and isolation?

In South Australia there is a region called the Barossa Valley. At some point [after WW2? not sure] it was settled by a lot of German farmers who bought land and started dairy farms. They applied ...
Snack_Food_Termite's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
543 views

German Noun Roots of Germanic Origin with Multiple Non-Schwa Syllables

With non-schwa syllables I mean bisyllabic words ending in -e, -en, -er, -el don't count. But trisyllabic words with similar endings do. Some examples I've found: Arbeit, Armut, Heimat, Heirat ...
user3482545's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
253 views

Bisyllabic German Verb Roots with the Stress Being on the First Syllable

I'm looking for German verbs with a bisyllabic root that have are stressed on their first syllable. But verbs like ändern or wechseln and also eignen don't count, which would be verb roots that end in ...
user3482545's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
56 views

Are there any corpora of informal and unstructured text labelled for Named Entity Recognition?

I have been searching since last week for annotated informal texts (with a lot of misspelled words, slang, etc.) to test some Named Entity Recognition tools for research purposes. For example, it ...
KeyPi's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
111 views

Does the voicing of morpheme-initial /z d/ in German transmit to the preceding voiceless consonant in the same consonant cluster?

Here are som examples: [t͡sʰ], [t͡s] or [ʣ]? Wie alt sind Sie? nicht sehr [s] or [z]? Was sind Sie von Beruf? Das Sofa [st], [sd] or [zd]? das du weißt The consonant clusters ...
wodemingzi's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
160 views

How does the Sankt Goar isogloss work?

The Sankt Goar line crosses the german town of Sankt Goar and separates the dialects that have t in words like wat and dat and the dialects that have s in the corresponding words was and das. Is this ...
X30Marco's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Pronunciation of umlaut vowels in the history of German

I know that the umlaut vowels were also written as ae oe and ue, and this orthography shows the process of assimilation with a high vowel. But were these vowels ever actually pronounced as a diphthong,...
X30Marco's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why are English and German West Germanic languages while Scandinavian Germanic languages are an own branch

The Germanic languages are according to Wikipedia subdivided into North Germanic languages and West Germanic languages (historically, there also existed East Germanic languages). The most important (...
Nubok's user avatar
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36 votes
2 answers
13k views

Why is “ß” not used in Swiss German?

What are some of the historical reasons why the orthographic symbol ß is not used in Swiss Standard German and “ss” is used instead?
alecxe's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Are the English "Woe" and the German "Wo" related?

Is the English "Woe" and the German "Wo" related? I just heard a colleague say, "Wo ist mein ..." and I thought of the band Woe is me. Are these words just false cognates... or is there some common ...
ThomasRones's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
530 views

Stark differences in French and German

Both the German and French languages, along with English, evolved from the same roots. This is reflected in some of their words and grammatical structures. So then why are the pronunciations of both ...
AP2261's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Looking for tool to split german text into sentences

I want to train a german embedding and need to split text into sentences. That is not easy since "z. B." and "Dr." are not endings of a sentence. Does anybody know a tool to do that for german texts? ...
Dieshe's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

How intelligible are German and Dutch to each other?

I'm asking this because I stumbled upon what I believe is a Dutch copy of The Brothers Grimm at a used book store. I initially thought it was archaic German and looked over it to see if I could make ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
117 views

German vowel charts with phonetic accuracy

German vowel charts used in the wikipedia article Standard German phonology do not locate vowels with great details. For example German [e] is a bit higher than the IPA [e] (something like what is ...
Houman's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
706 views

Why did German <d> and <t> flip over?

I speak English and Norwegian and a little German and a little Dutch and I discovered a pattern while thinking about words which are obviously cognate. The pattern is wherever English, Norwegian and ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Does the English "Garden" come from the French "Jardin" or the German "Garten"?

I always assumed that the English word "Garden" was similar to the German "Garten" due to the Germanic roots of English. But according to Wikipedia, "Garden" in English is related to the French "...
Alex Kinman's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
198 views

Is there any epenthesis in German by which "eins" sounds like "eints" and how frequent is the phenomenon?

The phenomenon works also on the cluster ls and thus it becomes [lts]. Both examples are alveolar sounds. The epenthesis does not occur universally, but often works on "eins" anyway. This does not ...
wodemingzi's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
205 views

Why do some languages distinguish between "identical" and "indistinguishable", and others don't?

In some languages, there's a very prevalent distinction between different meanings of the English word "same" as in "These two items are the same". For example German: dasselbe / das gleiche Greek: ...
jimmy_jammy's user avatar