63

Classification of languages is a historical thing, rather than a synchronic one. Just like genetic classification of humans—someone who marries into a new family and goes and lives with them is nonetheless still genetically related to the family they came from. The majority of the total vocabulary in English may be borrowed rather than inherited, but the ...


55

It is because of the typewriter. A Swiss typewriter needs to support three languages: German, French, and Italian. Therefore on the Swiss typewriter, there was no ß key. It also has only lowercase umlauts ä, ö, and ü. A picture of a Swiss typewriter can be seen here. The lack of that key has led to a subsequent deprecation of the ß overall.


44

English does have that verb which is etymologically related to the Swedish heter, Icelandic heiti, German heißen, etc. In English it is to hight, only it is archaic, still sometimes it is used nowadays, mostly in poetry, for example in the 1943 poem I hight Don Quixote, I live on peyote by John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons, or in the name of the modern punk rock ...


29

The Swiss government has an explanation on p. 18. One contributing factor is typography, namely the rise of use of the Antiqua font, which was claimed to not include ß. I have no evaluation of the truthiness of that claim, for the relevant historical period, i.e. prior to 1901. It is certainly the case that its shape in Antique was not uniform. The rules ...


22

Not always. Grimm's Law predicts that Proto-Indo-European *b would turn into Proto-Germanic *p. However, Proto-Indo-European *b is vanishingly rare, and some scholars argue it didn't actually exist in the oldest reconstructable forms of the language (only appearing later). Regardless, though, an ancestral *b is probably the source of a few native Germanic ...


15

Yes, Germanic angst and Latin anxiety are derived from the same Proto-Indo-European root, which was something like *h₂enǵʰ- "constrict, narrow". Philippa (2003-2009) confirm that they are cognates: under angst they say, "see eng"; under eng they say that the word is related to Latin ango and they give the Proto-Indo-European root as above. Also related is ...


14

I have never heard of such a term. And it may even be impossible, depending on which hypothesis you subscribe to. According to the below reconstruction, the last common ancestor of the Italic and Germanic branches existed some 5200 years ago, when the Italo-Celtic super-branch split off. That was after the Anatolian and Tocharian branches had split off from ...


14

The question should probably be restated as something like "When did people begin to believe that Romance and Germanic languages were related with some scholarly basis for that belief?" The qualification is necessary because in the pre-modern West, the reigning idea about language diversity was that all languages were ultimately descended from Hebrew ...


14

No, because PIE *p does not always become f. It does not in the cluster sp, for example "spin" < *spen, "sprawl" < *sper. Germanic p regularly derives from b, e.g. "deep" < *\dheub. Germanic *swompuz "swamp; fungus" is attested in all branches of Germanic as well as Greek σομφός: the reconstruction *su̯omb(h)...


13

From my understanding of the other answers, I think English does have this idiom. Only, instead of a "word", in English "nothing at all" is used (or if you're a programmer, the empty string). The Swedish phrase: Jag heter XX is translatable to English as: I am called XX But this is uncommon in spoken English. Instead of directly translating "heter" to "...


12

If you don't want to get into details of linguistics (which I take it you don't) the best way to see the family resemblance is to take a comparative look at English's closest linguistic relative found on mainland Europe: Frisian. Some sample words in Frisian, English, Dutch, and German: dei, day, dag, Tag rein, rain, regen, Regen wei, way, weg, Weg ...


12

There are some very controversial theories by the German linguist Theo Vennemann postulating a contact between Phoenician and proto-Germanic in the 6th to 3rd century BCE. The evidence for such contact is very thin and most linguists don't follow Vennemann. The specific question on the origin of the word God was asked here before, and the consensus is that ...


11

First of all, a warning: all these etymologies are to some extent hypothetical. Especially when it gets back to Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-European, there's no actual proof of how the language worked; it's all reconstructed by linguists. But these reconstructions are generally quite informative, even if we can never be 100% sure they're right. ...


10

I think your question has a presupposition that is already wrong: It is not the language, and even less a language's grammar that makes orthography rules. Orthography is a set of prescriptive, more or less static and sometimes seemingly arbibitrary rules that are about how to transform language into graphemes, but not an inherent part of a language ...


10

You've mixed a bunch of words of very different origin with a bunch of quite weak and poorly defined assumptions (like no considerable interactions between Russians and Swedes). It comes as no surprise that Swedish två and Russian two both have PIE origin deriving from dwóh root. If you think about it, English two looks pretty much similar to "два&...


9

English does have a word for it, it's called. e.g. Swedish: Jag heter Danny English: I'm called Danny Although I'm Danny, or My name's Danny sounds less 'weird' to me.


9

Don't take spelling too seriously, it's often conventional and arbitrary. Language is primarily a spoken thing rather than a string of written letters. Don't confuse sounds (phonemes) with their written symbols. Letters and phonemes have their own separate lives. With this proviso, I can try to answer some of your questions. how can W be a consonant? Its ...


8

Duden and other sources state that -lich is a grammaticalized form of the Middle High German līch ["body"] (which also gave rise to Leiche). -ly, -lich, -lijk (and Scandinavian forms) are actually all of similar derivation and converge to a single Germanic ancestral suffix (see discussion on details here). The Turkic -lik appeared already in the Old Turkic ...


8

"W" developed as a standard, distinct letter by about the 17th century, taking its sweet time getting there. It is the result of standardizing a ligature of "vv", ramming the letters together. Bear in mind that the Latin alphabet did not distinguish "u" and "v" as one can see from inspecting Latin inscriptions (modern publications do, however, generously ...


8

What we know is that the have perfect is a Sprachbund feature of Standard Average European. Where it originated is less clear. Because Romance languages are better documented in the late antiquity and early medieval time we have more early precursors of the have perfect in them. However, Southern German had a real need to develop a new perfect or past tense ...


8

The mainstream hypothesis is that the vowel found in words like white was pronounced as something like [iː] (a long close front vowel, like that in Modern German bieten) in Common Germanic, and then it diphthongized to [aɪ] in both English and German after the two languages had already split from each other. In English, the diphthongization is often ...


7

Both of these look like regular sound changes between Proto-Germanic and Old Norse. However, I have found no eponyms for these sound changes, if that was what you were asking. Loss of word-final /nan/ Wikipedia gives this as an example of an innovation in North Germanic: General loss of word-final /n/, following the loss of word-final short vowels (which ...


7

In the earliest Swedish written using the Latin alphabet, such as the Äldre Västgötalagen from about 1250, the word is spelt 'ok'. It seems to have changed to 'och' during the later middle ages or early modern period, when 'decorative spelling' (dekorativ stavning) became popular. One possibility is that the modern spelling is therefore a relic of decorative ...


7

Th-stopping of original Proto-Germanic voiced /d~ð/ to /d/ in all contexts is normal for Old English. It seems to be a common feature of West Germanic languages. The modern-day /ð/ in "father" is due to later changes. There's a relevant ELU question here: /ð/ → /d/ shift in English When researching my answer to it, I found Dental fricatives and stops in ...


7

Sort of. The short answer is that the uvular R of, say, German and Dutch is probably in origin an independent development from the French uvular (as it is in Northumbrian English.) It is true that the eventual rise of the Parisian uvular is what helped it to spread. Were it not for the rise of the Parisian /ʀ/ in the 19th century, uvular Rs throughout ...


7

Sangha is from Sanskrit *saṃ- (PIE *sem) "together" + *han- (PIE *gʷʰén) "strike, kill", and originally in Sanskrit meant "struck, put together". Hansa (referring to the Hanseatic league) is reconstructed to Proto-Germanic *hansō, and deeper relations are speculative. Germanic *h would derive from either PIE *k or *k'; PIE *k becomes Skt. [k] and PIE *k' ...


7

Verner's Law is not an exception, since Germanic did not emerge in one sudden leap from PIE, it is a complication, i.e. there is another law that has to be factored in. Grimm's Law happened, and then Verner's Law also happened. You can't say "except for further developments under Verner's Law, p t k always become f θ x", because there are other complications....


7

The short answer is, sounds change really fast. Compare different regional accents in English (Southern, East Coast, Australian, Indian)—outside of Britain, all of these differences have arisen in the past two hundred years or so. Or look at some of Shakespeare's rhymes, like "love" and "prove", or "wind" and "kind", which rhymed perfectly in his day. The ...


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