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Questions tagged [germanic-languages]

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

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Modal Verbs for build *Perfekt* in German

I am not sure if this question is better suited for linguistics.SE or German.SE, so please move the question if you feel it fits better there. In German Verben build their Perfekt (and their ...
bakunin's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
0 answers
107 views

Germanic Languages Family Tree

I really wanted to create a family tree for the Germanic Languages because I feel like the ones you find on the internet are kind of vague. I finished the family tree for the West Germanic languages, ...
lawkofaraj's user avatar
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0 answers
33 views

Could PIE y / Gothic ji be related to Holtzmann's y / jj?

Could PIE *kóryos / Gothic harjis be related to Holtzmann's y / jj? Taking into account Proto-Germanic j / Gothic i *natją / nati ?
HungarianMan's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
59 views

Why does Gothic hūhjan have long ū?

Why does Gothic hūhjan (which is cognate with hiuhma, hauhs) have long ū?
HungarianMan's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
171 views

Why does OHG wedar have "e"?

Why does OHG wedar from PGmc *hwaþeraz have "e"?
Вася Антонов's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
96 views

How did the Germanic languages evolve front rounded vowel phonemes

Proto-Germanic did not have front rounded phonemes. Why do most of its descendants have front rounded vowels?
Quinali Solaji's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
111 views

Old English weak noun 'Sweora'

I've been reading about diphthongization and i umlaut of diphthongs and I came across the example of the OE word for 'neck'. I have been led to understand that: the original vowel is 'i'. -rh- ...
ThomMallam's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
59 views

Apparently agentive -r forms in Old Norse

I'm trying to understand forms like "Hræsvelgr" (Mythological creature; lit. corpse swallower) and "vínsvelgr" (Drunkard) in Old Norse. The verb "svelga" is "to ...
LeaG's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
156 views

Can a strong verb change to weak?

Can a strong verb in the course of time change to weak verb? MoDu "scheiden" (to seperate) is weak: scheidde, gescheiden. Its ancestor ODu *skeidan < PWGm *skaiþan < PGm *skaiþana is ...
Raymond Uppelschoten's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
64 views

Why does old english niman from PGmc *nemaną, have "i"?

Why does old english niman from PGmc *nemaną, have "i" ?
Вася Антонов's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
205 views

Similarity between Norwegian and Danish compared to other languages?

I had one question about a very interesting map showing the lexical distances between different languages of Europe (https://alternativetransport.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/34/). I am studying the ...
vengaq's user avatar
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0 answers
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Old Norse Weak Adjectives

In Old Norse, the weak plural forms of adjectives is "-u"(except for dative). This is the case in all genders, like how Common West Germanic forms seem to be "*-ōn". What are the ...
Cynemund's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
97 views

Do the English words “dear”, “darling” etc share a root with Russian дорогой?

The Russian has an unclear etymology. Is there a phonological reason why it can’t be from a Germanic root? Wiktionary says the Germanic root (‘diurijaz‘) is also uncertain and might come from Latin “...
Forthinsorrow's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
195 views

How does lack of definite articles affect Malayalam? [In comparison to Germanic languages]

I am a (semi)-native Malayalam speaker from Kerala who has learned English and German. In Malayalam, an interesting phenomenon is that there is no definite article. It seems to me that indefinite ...
Cathartic Encephalopathy's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
224 views

Simplicity of the verb in Germanic languages

English and German have only two tenses (the present and the past) that are formed by inflection, all the others are formed using helping verbs, as is the conditional mood. In the Romance languages ...
Neandertal's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
130 views

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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2 answers
178 views

How implausible is it for the name "Oslo" to have come from the Semitic root w-ṣ-l instead of from Proto-Norse *ansuz +‎ *lauhō?

I am aware that this is a controversial topic, but in a universe where around c. 500 BCE a population of Canaanite mariners did manage to set up a trading post in what is now Sweden: how plausible is ...
rcgy's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
101 views

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
  • 21
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why are modal verbs in English defective?

Modal verbs exist in many languages; but they are often defective. English is an extreme example where they seem to only have present tense forms; and have no gerund, participle, or infinitive; some ...
noah johnson's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
241 views

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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2 votes
3 answers
134 views

Etymological relationship between picture/image and education/formation

There are German words Bild (picture/image) and Bildung (education/formation). In Russian, education is образова́ние [obrazovaniye], whilst obraz in many Slavic languages means either directly picture/...
Honza Zidek's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
163 views

Inherited kinship term that is attested only in a Scandinavian dialect out of all Germanic languages

This is again a memory refreshing question. I am looking for a specific kinship term that is considered to be inherited into a Scandinavian dialect despite the fact that no other Germanic language has ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
110 views

Epenthesis of /u/ before the syllabic sonorant "l"

Why does Old Russian have epenthesis of /u/ only before the syllabic sonorant "l"? (before the syllabic sonorants "r,m,n" the epenthesis is /i/)? I thought earlier that only Proto-...
Добрыня Простов's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
guest75643's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
172 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 ...
Masimatutu's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
578 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
  • 137
0 votes
0 answers
150 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 ...
languageslover's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
89 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 ...
Vegawatcher's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
83 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)?
Кузнецов Анатолий's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
Kortelly Zamatosh's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
561 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 ...
hmmmmmmm's user avatar
  • 109
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 ...
minseong's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
162 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 ...
Quintus Caesius - RM's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
229 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 (...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
117 views

What is the reason of w dissimilation?

What is the reason of w dissimilation? Gothic waurts + gards ~ aurtigards or OE wyrt +‎ ġeard ~ ortgeard
Кузнецов Анатолий's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
417 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
  • 794
1 vote
1 answer
142 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 ...
The Thin Whistler's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
373 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?
FlatAssembler's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
176 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 ...
Avv's user avatar
  • 117
1 vote
1 answer
90 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?
fedor's user avatar
  • 341
0 votes
2 answers
130 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 ...
Turbulent_Fondant_60's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
190 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 ...
prostorech's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
158 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?
acrc135hpid's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
124 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. (...
james's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
45 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. ...
NilsK's user avatar
  • 121
3 votes
0 answers
93 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 ...
Qwertuy's user avatar
  • 703
0 votes
1 answer
100 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 ...
potatoking's user avatar
11 votes
0 answers
366 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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
340 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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar