Questions tagged [germanic-languages]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
9 votes
2 answers
331 views

Development of Old Norse 2nd and 3rd person sg. (present indicative) forms of "to be"

I was comparing the conjugations of "to be" in Old Norse and Proto-Germanic, and it looks like ON has flipped the 2nd and 3rd person singular forms. Is this what happened, or is there some ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
85 views

Why do many languages analyse [e̞] as /ɛ/?

I experience that most analyses of many languages that I know, in particular Swedish, (Flemish) Dutch, Norwegian and Icelandic, analyse the languages' short ⟨e⟩ as /ɛ/, while they sound a lot more ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
437 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 ...
user avatar
  • 137
0 votes
0 answers
75 views

Why did Old Norse influence English more than Saxon and Jutish?

I read a lot of etymologies but I don't remember reading about words that came from Saxon language or Jutish language, nearly all Germanic words who have non English origins came from Old Norse or ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
48 views

Why do Germanic languages signal stressed short vowels by writing orthographically closed syllables?

In learning spelling and pronunciation rules for English, German, and Swedish, I always assumed that Germanic languages tend to distinguish stressed short and long vowels according to orthographic ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
68 views

Why do Proto-germanic "-as" nouns have e-grade?

Why do Proto-germanic "-as" nouns have e-grade (don't have an ablaut like Ancient Greek τρέπ-ω τρόπ-ος, πέκ-ω πόκ-ος, λέχ-ομαι λόχ-ος, φέβ-ομαι φόβ-ος)?
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
376 views

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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
165 views

Is there a reason germanic languages are more different from other PIE languages?

I apoligize that this question is not very formalized. Maybe the assumption in the question is wrong. I am asking because looking at latin, greek and sanskrit, these languages seem quite similar to ...
user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why is it called proto-Germanic?

Why have we named this proto language proto-Germanic? Apparently it developed in southern Scandinavia. Then expanded (via migration or contact?) towards what's now Germany. I wonder why linguists ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
86 views

Percentage of Latin loanwords in northern Germanic languages

What is the percentage of Latin loanwords or words that are of ultimate Latin origin even from intermediate languages in each of the northern Germanic languages? I have noticed that there seem to be ...
user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
150 views

Is the word for "brother-in-law" in Germanic languages related to the Aramaic/Syriac גיס?

Here is the word for "brother-in-law" in various modern Germanic languages: schwager (German), shvugger (Yiddish), swaer (Afrikaans), svoger (Norweigan/Danish), sogor (Croatian), zwager (...
user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
101 views

What is the reason of w dissimilation?

What is the reason of w dissimilation? Gothic waurts + gards ~ aurtigards or OE wyrt +‎ ġeard ~ ortgeard
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
188 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 ...
user avatar
  • 714
1 vote
1 answer
116 views

How long were Old Frankish dialects spoken in modern France?

How long were the Germanic dialects commonly subsumed under the term "Frankish" spoken by Frankish people in Northern Gaul, and how long did it take until they were completely supplanted by ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
263 views

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?
user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
168 views

Estimate the genesis of the language

Is it possible to estimate the birthday of a language based on vocabulary size (German language has probably larger vocabulary size than English language)? For example, Germanic languages contain a ...
user avatar
  • 117
1 vote
1 answer
88 views

What is the name of Germanic n > m near f / Greek ν > μ near π transformation?

What is the name of Germanic n > m near f / Greek ν > μ near π transformation?
user avatar
  • 313
0 votes
2 answers
109 views

Reconstruction of PIE consonants

So, I have a question about the reconstruction of PIE consonants. According to the Etymological Dictionaries, the words "rape" and "raven" have the same PIE root *ker- however how ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
499 views

Are Germanic languages closer to Italo-Celtic languages or Balto-Slavic languages?

I ask because in some recent classifications, Italo-Celtic languages (like French, Spanish, Italian, Irish, and Breton), Balto-Slavic languages (like Lithuanian, Russian, Polish, and Serbo-Croat), and ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
138 views

Why is Proto-Germanic long i /iː/ reconstructed as "ī"?

I know that Gothic has "a large number of archaic features". I know that Gothic writes Proto-Germanic (PGmc) "ī" /iː/ as "ei". wīną wein, swīną swein I know that Gothic ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
103 views

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?
user avatar
  • 9
0 votes
1 answer
103 views

Cowgill's law in satem languages [closed]

I had discovered a new law. I named it "Russian law". You may rename it as is good in your eyes. It says that a PIE laryngeal /h₃/, and possibly /h₂/, turns into /z/ in Satem languages. (...
user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
42 views

Which (of the Germanic) languages support resultative constructions?

my question regards resultative constructions. Which of the Germanic languages supports resultative constructions? It would be awesome if you could suggest any literature regarding any language. ...
user avatar
  • 121
3 votes
0 answers
83 views

Germanic loanwords in Czech? The case of "lék" [duplicate]

Recently I started studying Czech and I learned the word "lék", pill/medicine and "lékař", doctor/physician. In Polish there is a similar one. They bear a superficial resemblance ...
user avatar
  • 628
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Is there evidence for expletives (ie. dummy subjects) in Proto-Germanic? What can we say about the situation in IE?

I am aware that obligatory expletives did not exist in early ON and perhaps also not in early OHG, but my knowledge of the specifics is hazy. In OE at least, I believe expletives in conjunction with ...
user avatar
10 votes
0 answers
204 views

What kind of features support the claim that Slavic languages are closer to Germanic languages than to Indo-Iranian languages?

Inspired by this answer to a different question, I ask what kind of features justify a claim that Balto-Slavic languages are closer to Germanic languages than to Indo-Iranian languages. The features ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
146 views

Status of Nordwestblock / Ancient Belgian hypothesis

What is the status of the Nordwestblock or Ancient Belgian hypothesis right now? This hypothesis was proposed independently by two authors in the 1960ies (Kuhn and Gysseling) and is about an ...
user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
4k views

Why are some Russian and Swedish words so strikingly similar? Два - två, по-шведски - på svenska, etc

Hur säger man ... på svenska? This common Swedish phrase means: How do you say ... in Swedish? As a student learning Russian, I instantly saw a striking similarity with the Russian language. Russians ...
user avatar
  • 381
15 votes
3 answers
5k views

Does the letter p in a word mean that the word is not Germanic?

In Germanic languages, the p sound in Proto-Indo-European became f. I have wondered if the p sound means that the word does not come from a Germanic source. This is because words that have p in them ...
user avatar
  • 161
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Why does OE endleofan have "d"? [closed]

Why does OE endleofan have "d"?
user avatar
  • 119
1 vote
0 answers
114 views

Origin of "will" in Germanic, wouldn't it be subjunctive?

Small print: This is language specific about English, but tangential to Germanic to a certain degree that is likely out of ELU's scope. . As a follow-up to this Q and several ones like it about the ...
user avatar
  • 1,491
0 votes
1 answer
175 views

To what extent are North Germanic languages mutually intelligible with German?

Are they just as close as English and German? Has Swedish also suffered some phonological influences from German during the Hansatic league?
user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
2 answers
343 views

"She" and "they" in West Germanic languages

In English, the third person singular feminine subject pronoun (she) and the third person plural subject pronoun (they) are phonetically different. However, they are phonetically the same in some West ...
user avatar
  • 61
5 votes
1 answer
702 views

How did this alternation happen?

Wiktionary's entry for "seldom" contains the following etymology: From late Middle English seldom, alteration of earlier selden, from Old English seldan (“seldom”), from Proto- Germanic *...
user avatar
  • 1,241
6 votes
0 answers
554 views

Why is the word "wherefore" not "whatfore" and the word "therefore" not "thatfore" and related anomalies

There is a pronominal adverb in many germanic languages that is a conjunction of the descendants of the proto-germanic words *hwar (where) + *furi (for/fore) which means something very similar to "for ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
216 views

When turned "to hear" into "to belong" in Germanic Languages?

In most Germanic languages the verbs for „to hear“ and „to belong [to]“ are the same or very closely related. It seems a plausible explanation, that in practice belonging to someone (G. gehören) meant ...
user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
329 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 ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
321 views

What was the original Germanic agent suffix before Proto-Germanic speakers borrowed -er from Latin speakers?

as you can see from the title I would like to know what was the original Germanic agent suffix before Proto-Germanic speakers borrowed -er from Latin speakers. All I know is -a in Old English and I ...
user avatar
  • 61
-2 votes
1 answer
138 views

Help Identifying a rune, or binding [closed]

The german band Rammstein used this to portray the Letter "R" in their logo from 1993, but cannot find a matching rune or a mix of them what would produce this symbol, my guess it's a stylized Old ...
user avatar
  • 99
0 votes
2 answers
189 views

Transcription of this computer-generated pronunciation of 1991 in Danish

I came across this Google Translate pronunciation of 1991 (which it appears to be interpreting as the year rather than the cardinal or ordinal); click the thumbnail for the video on YouTube: I don’t ...
user avatar
  • 119
2 votes
1 answer
121 views

Was there a Proto-Germannic root of "miskunn"

I was not able to find an etymology of ON "miskunn" within PrG. Is the first syllable a prefix "mis-" indicating any "wrong kunn, lack of kunn" or a deformed "midi-" as in E "com-passion", G "Mit-leid"...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
240 views

Are there traces of Old Turkish in ancient Germanic languages?

The question is quite clear and understandable as in the title. Are there traces of Old Turkish in ancient Germanic languages? Or traces of Germanic in Old Turkish?
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
486 views

Are English 'gay' and Norwegian 'gøy' cognates?

Norwegian gøy means "fun" in both Bokmål and Nynorsk. Does this word have anything to do with English gay? Wiktionary says gay comes ultimately from Proto-Germanic ganhuz "sudden" via Old French gai ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
166 views

Which Frisian language/dialect is the most similar to Modern English?

When person asks a question, "which language is the most similar to Modern English?", the most common answer is: Frisian But most people that answer this question as it is, are unaware, which ...
user avatar
  • 467
2 votes
2 answers
119 views

Is English "<adjective> to <verb>" an idiomatic schema, or what do you call "easy to do"?

Is the question clear? Idiomatic scheme is not a term of art, I guess, but it's idiomatic and it follows a schema. It's a weird one, for sure. Some thoughts: The Adjective can't be removed * The ...
user avatar
  • 1,491
2 votes
1 answer
152 views

What's the reason behind the aternation of vowel in the Proto-Germanic suffix "-ungō"/"-ingō"?

I noticed that the form with the u vowel was kept only in High German. All other germanic languages use the form with i,such as Dutch and English. Why is that?Is this the result of some sort of sound ...
user avatar
  • 851
3 votes
3 answers
935 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 (...
user avatar
  • 131
34 votes
2 answers
12k 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?
user avatar
  • 303
1 vote
1 answer
150 views

Why "were" for subjunctive?

Is the subjunctive (what I learned in school as "Konjunktiv 2") Ger. "wäre" ("Ich wäre gern ..." - I'd like to be ...) cognate to "were" even for singular person ("*als ob ich sicher wäre " - as if I ...
user avatar
  • 1,491
3 votes
1 answer
208 views

Homophones in Proto-Germanic

Does anyone know reconstructed homophones in Proto-Germanic or where I could look them up? I am interested in clear homophones, not polysemes.
user avatar