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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-3
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3answers
305 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 ...
15
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3answers
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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 ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Partial root reduplication and onomatopoeia

I am aware that partial root reduplication is very rare in the Germanic languages; this, I believe, is mostly reserved for class VII verbs like in Gothic, for instance. But, I was recently trying to ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Why does OE endleofan have “d”? [closed]

Why does OE endleofan have "d"?
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0answers
62 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 ...
0
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1answer
65 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?
6
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2answers
245 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 ...
5
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1answer
661 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 *...
6
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0answers
302 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 ...
3
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1answer
187 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 ...
4
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4answers
238 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 ...
6
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2answers
175 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 ...
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1answer
72 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 ...
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2answers
125 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 ...
2
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1answer
98 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"...
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1answer
173 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?
6
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2answers
282 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 ...
2
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0answers
94 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 ...
2
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2answers
104 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 ...
2
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1answer
129 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
662 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 (...
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2answers
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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?
1
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1answer
121 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
158 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.
0
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1answer
329 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
300 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
170 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 ...
5
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3answers
408 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
211 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,...
3
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1answer
425 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
572 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
48 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 ...
2
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0answers
130 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 ...
5
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1answer
191 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 ...
4
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2answers
282 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 ...
10
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3answers
334 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
312 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 ...
14
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2answers
3k 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
226 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' ...
8
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1answer
267 views

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 ...
8
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2answers
338 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
230 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
122 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
172 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
429 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 ...
7
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2answers
524 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
129 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
553 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 ...
4
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2answers
136 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
781 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, ...