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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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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 ...
2
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1answer
96 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 ...
2
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3answers
145 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 (...
33
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2answers
10k 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?
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1answer
103 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 ...
3
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1answer
110 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.
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1answer
160 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 ...
2
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1answer
80 views

What's the difference between V2 word order and OVS word order?

Is there any difference between the two? They seem the same to me, c.f.: Fußball spielten die Kinder vor der Schule im Park. Football played the kids before school in the park. (...
2
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1answer
88 views

What is this “Freeze” language?

I remember having a side discussion with a professor in college and he told be about a nearly extinct language; the closest thing I can remember to its name is "Freeze". Apparently its spoken on some ...
4
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3answers
273 views

Have linguistics found any evidence that Semitic languages influenced Germanic languages or vice versa (in ancient times)?

Have linguistics found any evidence that Semitic languages influenced Germanic languages or vice versa (in ancient times)? BACKGROUND: I suggested to a forum of linguists that a certain Semitic word (...
3
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2answers
157 views

Germanic Philology: “translate” a word from indoeuropean language to the germanic language

I'm having a philology test next week. One of the questions will be to "translate" an indoeuropean word into a germanic word, like: i.e. Agros -> germanic Akraz (i.e. "g" --> germ. "k" for Grimm's Law,...
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1answer
297 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 ...
7
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3answers
367 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 "...
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0answers
44 views

dictionary middle norwegian

I try to help somebody with research on the influence of Middle Low German on Middle Norwegian. For that purpose, a number of documents from the Norwegian Corpus ([Diplomatarium Norvegicum]) are ...
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0answers
112 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 ...
4
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1answer
123 views

Possible extrapolation of old German word “hansa” to protogermanic and possibly common root with Sanskrit “sangha”

I came across a discussion about if "Lufthansa" means air-Swan, inspired by the sanskrit word hansa swan. Which is of course wrong as it has its origins in the old german word hansa for group or ...
3
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2answers
150 views

Etymology of the words ''Wave''

Do the words Wave(English) Welle(German) Vague(French) have the same Etymology as Val(Serbo-Croatian,Slovenian),Vlna(Czech,Slovakian),BолнаVolna. All these words mean the same thing-Wave. but I ...
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3answers
243 views

Where did the use of the two auxiliaries in the Romance languages come from?

Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French all have a (compound) perfect tense, which I find curious, given that Latin did not. (You can alternatively perhaps say that it is either united with the ...
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2answers
189 views

Common gender in Swedish and gender equality

I study Swedish and I have a question. I know ancient grammatical masculine and femenine gender fused into one ("common gender") at some point in time, but I was wondering... They say that the ...
12
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2answers
876 views

When and where did the guttural 'r' originate?

I have often wondered why French is (almost) unique in the Romance languages in using the guttural 'r' – in particular, the uvular fricative. Apart from Piedmontese / Piedmontese Italian (and even ...
3
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1answer
178 views

possible etymologies and cognates for Dutch 'mooi'?

The Dutch word 'mooi' (beautiful) doesn't seem to have a clear etymology nor any cognates. Does anyone have theories or ideas for possible origins or cognates? It seems to have caused Dutch 'schoon' ...
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0answers
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Is there a measure for grammatical similarity?

Something I see from time to time is the proportion of words from various sources, e.g. English has about 29% French, 29% Latin, 26% Germanic and 6% Greek words. I've never seen anything similar with ...
9
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2answers
210 views

Why do phonemes such as /r/ and /ɾ/ evolve into uvular sounds like /ʀ/?

Forgive me if this seems vague, but this is mainly looking at the Germanic languages. Proto-Germanic probably used an alveolar of some sort, most likely a trill. In terms of Modern Germanic ...
6
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2answers
198 views

Does the Dutch sentence “Waarschijnlijk deze zomer ga ik naar Spanje” follow the V2 structure?

This question would be better on Dutch Languages SE, but that site is still in Area 51. I was discussing Dutch grammar with a Dutch native and how I'd just learnt that Dutch is a V2 language (as are ...
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0answers
100 views

Why is it believed the West Germanic /i/ became /aɪ/ in some cases?

I am no study of linguistics, it is an hobby, so certainly nothing I know about in depth, but this one I do find puzzling. I understand that sometimes sounds change, this happens in English today due ...
3
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2answers
141 views

Aorist Present--what does this mean? I thought aorist was primarily reserved for past action

As if aorist isn't confusing and ambiguous enough, what could Prokosh mean in A Comparative Germanic Grammar when referring to "aorist presents"? If anyone has the book, it's on page 66. Here are a ...
4
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1answer
209 views

Is /ɡ/ Germanic and /dʒ/ French in English ge-/gi- words?

I've recently noticed that in English words starting with "ge-" or "gi-", when the "g" is pronounced /ɡ/, they tend to be etymologically Germanic, while the words where the "g" is pronounced /dʒ/ tend ...
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2answers
368 views

Why does “begin” have /g/ instead of /j/ if it's from PG *ginnan?

My understanding is that the reflexes of Proto-Germanic velar consonants before front vowels were usually palatal consonants in Old English, which in turn generally yield palatal or palato-alveolar ...
3
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1answer
116 views

What is the influence of Germanic languages on Esperanto grammar?

I am making a presentation in my class about the influence of Germanic languages on the Esperanto grammar. I was wondering if you could help me further. I already said that Esperanto was a non pro-...
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3answers
328 views

What's up with the letter W?

English is an interesting and incestuous mangling of stuff. I sometimes think about W and it is a pretty interesting letter with much mystery and intrigue. In French, oui begins with a W sound, yet ...
5
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2answers
118 views

How is the the adjective in a definite noun phrase different from a nondefinite one in Germanic and Balto-Slavic languages?

In the wikipedia article about definiteness I came upon this: In the Germanic languages and Balto-Slavic languages, for example (as still in modern German and Lithuanian), there are two paradigms ...
5
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2answers
499 views

Did the Dutch “zee” (sea) and “meer” (lake) diverge or did the German “das Meer” (sea) and “der See” (lake) diverge from a shared linguistic heritage?

The words for: sea; and lake respectively, in Dutch, are: zee; and meer, whereas the German translation of the same is: das Meer; and der See1. This striking, almost completely opposing, ...
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0answers
53 views

Resources to learn just grammar

I'm interested in learning about the grammar of other languages (notably German, Russian, and Arabic), but I don't really want to learn to speak them. Only their grammar, syntax, morphology, etc., to ...
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2answers
63 views

Meaning of word/title “Doodenbeer” [closed]

The Fritz Mackensen painting titled Doodenbeer painted around 1900 has this unusual title. What does the title mean? I hear it might mean death beer, but this painting is about a funeral scenario and ...
2
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1answer
132 views

Is there a name for self-reference in verbs?

In German and Swedish we have typically the ending ...sig (själv) or ...sich (selbst) (in German) when doing something with yourself, for yourself or oneself. Example Ändra sig (="change yourself/...
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1answer
190 views

When did Icelandic stop being mutuality intelligible with Continental north Germanic languages?

According to wikipedia: Between 1050 and 1350 Icelandic began to develop independently from other Scandinavian and Germanic languages; When did it stop being mutuality intelligible with the ...
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2answers
706 views

Earliest recognition that Germanic and Romance languages are related

A recent question here, Earliest recognition that Romance languages are related asks for when in history it was first noted that individual Romance languages were recognized as ... similar/related/...
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2answers
889 views

West Germanic Th-Stopping

This is just one example: In the word "father", there is the interdental voiced fricative. However, in Old English, the word is fæder with a voiced alveolar stop; it is also fader in Middle English. ...
4
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1answer
147 views

Umlaut in Gothic

It's said that Gothic had no umlaut, but there would seem to be, although I'm sure it's not, signs of a-umlaut. The digraph au in Gothic is thought to have represented three different sounds, one of ...
5
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3answers
260 views

Not affected by Grimm's Law?

I've read that path comes from Old English pæþ from Proto-Germanic paþaz. The word is supposedly a cognate with Greek pátos as well as other Indo-European words beginning with the voiceless stop, and ...
4
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1answer
197 views

When did the /θ/ sound die out in the continental Germanic languages?

I am looking for dates when the /θ/ phoneme (which once written ð and þ in English, and now by the th grapheme) inherited from Proto-Germanic died out in continental Germanic languages. In other ...
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1answer
177 views

How to convert masculine Old Norse dwarf names to feminine markers?

I'm wondering how to convert the Old Norse names from the "Catalog of Dwarfs" in the Völuspá into their feminine version? So that they look phonetically female. For example: Fíli > Fíla Kíli > Kíla ...
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0answers
157 views

Lack of umlaut in Standard Dutch Plurals

I've never paid much attention to Dutch, but I've noticed in comparisons such as charts that Dutch does not have plurals formed with an umlaut. Hence: Feet—Füße—voeten I thought it was odd, and when I ...
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2answers
199 views

L2 acquisition as a factor in loss of “complex” grammatical features

Recently I came across a short text on Language Log briefly discussing a phenomenon which seems to affect certain languages. The author noticed that loss or heavy weakening of inflection during ...
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1answer
157 views

What is the reason for some languages have non-linear word order for numbers?

Is there a scientific/historic explanation for the reversed word order for numbers in some languages? For example, while we have for 32: in English: thirty two (tens units), Hebrew: shloshim ...
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3answers
482 views

Why does German require extra commas that may be considered useless by speakers of other languages?

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 ...
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1answer
123 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 ...
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0answers
78 views

“Two tier” theoretical epistemic modality

Quite recently I have noticed that most Bavarian verbs can become theoretical epistemic modal. What I mean by that is that you can take any verb, e.g. "[i] ko" - "[I] can", and turn it into it's ...
3
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1answer
140 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 "...
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2answers
117 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 ...