Showing posts with label PIE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PIE. Show all posts

23 February 2016

Proto-Indo-European nominals (PIE grammar)

map: location of various
Indo-European peoples in
Europe & Anatolia, c.
1000 BC
Published, edited, formatted & annotated (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig

map: western Eurasia: Indo-European peoples c. 800 BC

(websource: Wikipedia)

Nominals in the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) include nouns, adjectives and pronouns. Their grammatical forms and meanings have been reconstructed by modern linguists based on similarities found across all Indo-European (IE) languages. This article discusses nouns and adjectives, while Proto-Indo-European pronouns are treated elsewhere.

24 February 2015

"A steppe in time"- Steppe migration rekindles debate on the Indo-European language-origin

novel graphic on core Indo-European tongues

Published, edited, formatted, images added (unless otherwise-noted) & comments/annotations (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig

ancient Hellenic depictions of
various peoples(mapsource)

From Icelanders to Sri Lankans, some 3-billion people speak the (far more than..) more than 400 languages and dialects that belong to the Indo-European (IE) family.

Map of both the prevailing hypotheses on early Indo-European ethnogenesis & origins) the more-widely accepted Steppe/Kurgan hypothesis [Gimbutas, M, et al.] b) the less-widely accepted Anatolia-hypothesis [Renfrew, C, et al.] {map was already on article. Caption, written by K.S. Doig}

Some researchers hold that an early Indo-European (IE) language was spread by Middle-Eastern farmers around 8,000–9,500 years ago (see ‘Steppe in time’).

27 November 2014

Why is English a Germanic language?

Image: Anglo-Saxon god Þunor (literally,
thunder), from Proto-Germanic,PGmc 
*Þunraz (*thunraz), Þórr in western
Old-Norse, Donar in OHG, cognate to
other Indo-European gods, seeming to be,
essentially the same personage. 

Published, edited, images added & annotations/comments (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig

Map/Karta/Mapa: Northwestern Europe, around the
Northsea. Whence the Scando-Germanic precursors to
the "Anglo-Saxons" (the English & many  eastern
Lowlanders (Scotland: Borders, Midlothian, etc.)
came. The semi-legendary year of the  "Anglo-Saxons'"
main invasion-arrival (Hengist & Horsa, brothers from the
Kimbric peninsula, modernday Denmark's Jutland, in
AD 449. At that time, they would have spoken various
 Common-Germanic dialects (Old-English 'OE', per se,
had yet to come into existence) came.

(websource: The Grammarphobia Blog}

Why is English a Germanic language?

Q: I’ve read that a majority of the words in English are derived from Latin or French? So why is English considered a Germanic (Gmc) language, not a Romance language?
A: Let’s begin with where linguists place English among the world’s languages.
English, Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Frisian, Flemish, Dutch, Afrikaans, German, and Yiddish are the living languages that are part of the Germanic family.
This family is divided into North-Germanic (NGmc) (Icelandic, Faroese, (or Faeroese), Norwegian, Swedish, Danish) and West-Germanic (WGmc) (English, Frisian, Flemish, Dutch, Afrikaans, German, Yiddish). The now defunct East-Germanic (EGmc) branch consisted of Gothic, which is extinct (also included; Vandalic, Lombardic/Langobardic. I believe that since, primarily, Gothic's very early attestation & equally importantly, scholars, antiquarians & archaeologists don't have the typical attributes/attestations of most ancient languages, in their graphogenesis. 

Many such ancient tongues have given us a scant few words, often scratched on bark, wood, carved in stone or crudely impressed into some malleable medium [claytablets, stylus, cuneiform]. The Gothic bishop, Ulfilas (or Wulfilas) of Thrace, but don't quote me on that, Thrace, a man of apparently mixed parentage, half-Gothic & half-Hellenic. Most of the EGmc may not be a separate branch from "Northwest-Germanic, i.e., NGmc, WGmc & Kimbro-Germanic[a] 

[a.k.a., as per prof. Gudmund Schütte, Univ. Hafniae, in his magnum opusOur Forefathers, the Gothonic Nations by Gudmund Schütte
Vol. 50, No. 2 (Feb., 1935), pp. 106-108 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
states good reasons for not calling Germanic, "Germanic", first of all, it is an exonym, we are virtually positive they never called themselves by this appellation, given them by the 'Graeco-Roman' world. "German", itself, is of uncertain etymology. 

It resembles older Celtic words meaning "neighbor", or from Italic, i.e., from Latin, germanus, meaning brother; literally from the same germ, {womb}. Hence Ibero-Romance, Castilian, Galician, Portuguese, Catalan, etc., with forms like hermano/hermana, Castilian-Spanish brother/sister, Portuguese irmão , etc.
 The following in blueletter is from OED 

Ptolemy. German measles attested by 1856.german (adj.)

"of the same parents or grandparents," c.1300, from Old-French germain "closely related" (12c.), from Latin germanus "full, own (of brothers and sisters); one's own brother; genuine, real," related to germen (genitivegerminis) "sprout, bud," dissimilated from PIE *gen(e)-men-, from root *gene- "to give birth, beget" (see genus). Your cousin-german (also first cousin) is the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt; your children and your first cousin's are second cousins to one another; to you, your first cousin's children are first cousin once removed.
(Main article continues)
The other principal European language family is the Italic (popularly called Romance). This consists of the modern languages derived from Latin: Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Provençal, French, Italian, Rhaeto-Romance and Romanian.
These two families are branches of a single prehistoric language called Indo-European or Proto-Indo-European.
The language-group descended from Indo-European includes the Balto-Slavic, Albanian, Celtic, Italic, Greek, and Germanic families of languages.
It’s estimated that about half the earth’s population speaks a language from the Indo-European group, which is only one of several language groups that have been identified worldwide.
But back to English. Why do we call it a Germanic language?
As Calvert Watkins writes in The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, one of the dialects of Indo-European “became prehistoric Common-Germanic, which subdivided into dialects of which one was West-Germanic.”
This in turn, Watkins says, “broke up into further dialects, one of which emerged into documentary attestation as Old English. From Old English we can follow the development of the language directly, in texts, down to the present day.”
But while English is Germanic, it has acquired much of its vocabulary from other sources, notably Latin and French.
As Watkins explains: “Although English is a member of the Germanic branch of Indo-European and retains much of the basic structure of its origin, it has an exceptionally mixed lexicon. 

During the 1400 years of its documented history, it has borrowed extensively and systematically from its Germanic and Romance neighbors and from Latin and Greek, as well as more sporadically from other languages.”
Where exactly does our modern vocabulary come from? The website AskOxford cites a computerized analysis of the roughly 80,000 words in the old third edition of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary.

The study, published in 1973, offered this breakdown of sources: Latin, 28.34 percent; French, 28.3 percent; Old and Middle English, Old Norse, and Dutch, 25 percent; Greek 5.32 percent; no etymology given, 4.03 percent; derived from proper names, 3.28 percent; all other languages, less than 1 percent.

29 August 2014

"to go": the verb's complicated origins & history from Proto-Indo-European, thru PGmc, Old-English...etc...

save image
Visual-definition of Indo-European, created by me, using Snappy Words "Free Visual Dictionary"
Published, edited, formatted, images added & annotations/commentary (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig 
(article from Wikipedia)

save image

To Go (verb)The verb go is an irregular verb in the English language. It has a wide range of uses; its basic meaning is "to move from one place to another". Apart from the copular verb be, the verb go is the only English verb to have a suppletive past-tense, namely went.

Good folks who follow this blog