Germanic languages

The oldest Germanic language of which much is known is the Gothic… Linguistic characteristics of the protolanguage The special characteristics of the Germanic languages that distinguish them from other Indo-European languages result from numerous phonological and grammatical changes. Consonants Proto-Indo-European had 12 stop consonants:

Germanic languages

But what are the detailed relationships among English, German, and the other Germanic languages? How do we know about the earlier states of relation among the related Germanic languages?

First of all, just to reinforce what we've already learned: English and German are cognate. Neither is the source of the other. Each descends from some unknown, prehistoric language which is the source of both.

There must have been a primitive Germanic language that is the source of modern Germanic languages. The evidence from cognates is overwhelming--take, for instance, the site developed by Cathy Ball that presents versions of the Lord's Prayer in different Germanic languages.

Given this cognate evidence, and the principles of reconstruction that we have used already this semester, linguists reconstruct a family tree for the Germanic languages.

It has three main groups--Eastern now extinct and represented only by texts in Gothic ; Northern the Scandinavian languages and Western, which in turn has two main groups: So both modern German and modern English descend from a primitive West Germanic language family, but they are on different sides of the family.

German is a closer cousin to English than either language is to Danish or Swedish. There was clearly one group of speakers of a single Indo-European dialect, proto-Germanic; these people probably settled in southern Sweden and in Denmark between four and five thousand years ago.

About 2, years ago, maybe a little later, these people migrated into the European continent proper, keeping mainly to the north, east of the Rhine and west of the Vistula river. We begin to know about these people, whom the Romans called "Germans," from accounts in Roman histories, especially Tacitus.

Proto-Germanic had many key distinguishing features that help to explain differences between modern Germanic languages and the Indo-European languages that they are cognate with.

The best-known is Grimm's Law ; here's a little program that shows how Grimm's Law works. Proto-Germanic had two main verb systems: These are the same that have come down to us in the present-day English contrast between "sing," which has past and past participle "sang" and "sung" and is "strong"; and "walk", which has past and past participle "walked" and is "weak.

Proto-Germanic was a language that inflected nouns in cases. The cases were nominative, accusative, genitive and dative. Basically, nominative is the form that is used for the subject of a sentence and accusative for the direct object.

Linguistic characteristics of the protolanguage

Genitive is what we'd now call "possessive," and dative is the indirect-object case, also used after some prepositions. Proto-Germanic shares these inflectional systems with Latin and Greek and other I-E languages, leading us to believe that I-E had a very similar inflectional system.

The system has been greatly simplified in modern German and lost for the most part in English--but not lost entirely. These words are cognate to English I, thou, we, you; me, thee, us, you; mine, thine, ours, yours.

We still have a fairly elaborate declension system for our personal pronouns, which have retained this conservative feature because they are in continuous use.

Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures - University of Toronto

Here are some other interesting things about proto-Germanic grammar: Proto-Germanic was a gendered language with three genders, masculine feminine and neuter. Verb conjugations were complicated, with indicative and subjunctive moods fully elaborated.

Germanic languages

The history of the diffusion of the Germanic languages is the history of barbarian migrations at the end of the Western Roman Empire see maps. Not all of these migrations resulted in much linguistic change.

Germanic languages continued to be spoken in the Germanic home lands of Scandinavia and central Germany, and are of course till spoken there today. These include German and Dutch on the Continent, and the Scandinavian languages in the northern regions. But the Germanic peoples, as the maps show, went many other places during the years In some of these places their conquests were pretty superficial.Dutch verb conjugation and grammar.

Dutch is the national language of The Netherlands. There are 20 million native speakers of Dutch language that is spoken in The Netherlands, Belgium and Surinam. Norwegian is the national language of Norway spoken by 5 million native speakers. It's a Germanic language..

This verb conjugator conjugates Norwegian Bokmål verbs. World map showing countries where a Germanic language is the primary or official language Countries where (a) Germanic language(s) is/are the first language(s) of the majority of the population.

HISTORY OF LANGUAGE including Words on the brain, Origins of language, Linguistic groups, Language and race, Enclaves of language, Romance and Germanic, Linguistic evolution, Imperial tongues, New languages from old.

Germanic languages, branch of the Indo-European language family. Scholars often divide the Germanic languages into three groups: West Germanic, including English, German, and Netherlandic (); North Germanic, including Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Faroese; and East Germanic, now extinct, comprising only Gothic and the languages of the Vandals, Burgundians, and a few other .

Germanic languages, such as German, English, Dutch, and the Scandinavian languages.

Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages

First Known Use of Germanic. Adjective. , in the meaning defined at sense 1. Noun. , in the meaning defined above. Keep scrolling for more. Learn More about Germanic. Share Germanic.

Germanic | Definition of Germanic by Merriam-Webster