Showing posts with label ablaut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ablaut. Show all posts

28 February 2015

Grammatical peculiarities of the Germanic languages

Proto-Germanic (discovered in
Sweden) artwork with
religious significance

Published, edited, images added & comments/annotations (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig
(websource: Studiopedia)
Carta Magnae Germaniae (Map: Greater-Germania) in

Old Indo-European languages were synthetic, i.e. they showed grammatical relations by adding inflections rather than by means of function words or word order (which are employed to express grammatical relations in languages with analytical structure).

The Common Germanic and the Old Germanic dialects were also synthetic. In Common Germanic various means of form-building were employed. As shown above, in Common Germanic sound alternation within the root-morpheme (ablaut and umlaut) were extensively used in form-building. Sound alternations were usually combined with other means of form-building.

28 August 2014

Published, edited, formatted, images added & annotations/commentary (in red) by Kenneth S. Doig
(from Wikipedia)
locations of various early Indo-European peoples in middle-antiquity (c. 1000 BC)
The Germanic (Gmc) language-family is one of the language-groups that resulted from the breakup of Proto-Indo-European (PIE). 
It in turn divided into North-Gmc (NGmc), West-Gmc (WGmc) and East-Gmc (EGmc) groups, and ultimately produced a large group of mediaeval and modern languages, most importantly: 
Danish, Norwegian & Swedish (North); English, Frisian, German and Dutch (West); and Gothic (East, extinct).
 verb-comparisons of several modern-day Indo-European (Italo-Romance vs. Germanic) (imagesource)
The Germanic verb-system lends itself to both descriptive (synchronic) and historical (diachronic) comparative-analysis. 
This overview article is intended to lead into a series of specialist articles discussing historical aspects of these verbs, showing how they developed out of PIE, and how they came to have their present diversity.

14 April 2011

The Comparative Method and IE Languages

  The (Proto)Indo-European Language

Bucknell University's Linguistics Dept.)

    ancient IE art from India
  1. The original *IE language was spoken around 5,000 BC by a people who either lived between the Vistula River in Poland and the Caucasus Mountains in the Southwestern USSR (traditional) or in Anatolia in modern day Turkey (Renfrew, see "The Origins of the Indo-European Languages" in this book.)
  2. As the tribe grew larger and spread throughout the region, dialects arose which, over time, became more and more mutually incomprehensible. When different dialects become mutually incomprehensible, they are different languages. Then dialects developed in the new languages as the tribes prospered and expanded until a tree of related languages and dialects developed and all the languages spoken throughout the IE area.

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