What is the history of the Germanic languages

Structure and history of Dutch An introduction to Dutch linguistics

The prehistory of the Germanic language family and thus also of Dutch is the subject of historical-comparative linguistics. The aim of this branch of linguistics is to show linguistic relationships and Proto-languages to reconstruct. The following method is used: regular phonetic correspondence between words in the central vocabulary is examined. The following overview provides examples of such phonetic correspondence:

The Frisian word for 'father' Ness differs from these phonetic correspondences.
nl.
German
en.
frieze
swed.
Danish
norw.
isl.
Vader
father
father
­
fader
fader
far
fair
four
four
four
fjouwer
fyra
fire
fire
fjórir
vol
full
full
fol
full
fuld
full
fullur
huis
House
house
hûs
hus
hus
hus
hús
brown
brown
brown
brún
brun
brun
brun
brúnn
uit
out
out
út
ut
ud
ut
út
muis
mouse
mouse
must
mus
mus
mus
mús

It can be clearly seen that the words listed have similarities in the various languages. Differences between languages ​​are often not random but systematic. The Dutch sound [œy] - written - corresponds systematically in the examples mentioned with an [au] in German. Historical-comparative linguistics has succeeded in finding some such regular phonetic correspondences which are called 'Phonetic laws'could be described. Based on such similarities and systematic correspondence, it can be concluded that certain languages ​​are related to one another and go back to a common original language. The languages ​​in the overview above are related to each other and together form the Germanic language family.

Reconstructed words are marked with a so-called asterisk in linguistics, e.g. *Peter ('Father').

The Germanic languages ​​are also related to other languages. This relationship was first established by Sir William Jones in 1786. Historical-comparative linguistics even succeeded in finding a common language by comparing older language stages Proto-language Reconstruct (an 'ancestor') for most of the European and Indian languages: that Protoindo-European (formerly called 'Indo-European'). However, one has to be aware that nothing has been handed down of such proto and original languages, so they are purely hypothetical. On the basis of the oldest surviving linguistic material of the individual languages, however, historical linguists can reconstruct what the protoindo-European original form must have looked like.

Famous founders of historical-comparative linguistics were Rasmus Kristian Rask (1787-1832), Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) and Franz Bopp (1791-1867). August Schleicher (1821-1868) developed this Family tree model, which was later developed from the 1872 by Johannes Schmidt Wave model Got competition. The family tree model makes it possible to clearly illustrate the relationships between languages. The family tree of the Germanic languages ​​looks like this: (cf. van Bree (1996)):

Some Dutch words that have been around for several thousand years are appel (apple), drank (drink) en dom (cathedral). More information can be found in this report and in the ethymological dictionary.

The Indo-European is the language that the Indo-Europeans brought to Europe when they settled between 3000 and 2000 BC. From southern Russia to the north and west. The languages ​​spoken by the indigenous population before the Indo-European invasion of Europe (so-called. Substrate languages) were largely displaced by the Indo-European. The hypotheses about these substrate languages ​​are contradictory: Remnants of them could still be contained in Indo-European, e.g. certain sound combinations and so-called. Substrate wordsthat have existed for several thousand years.


Since the Indo-Europeans lost contact with each other and due to the influence of the substrate languages ​​of the native population, from 1000 BC onwards they developed. Different languages ​​from Indo-European. The Germanic forms a branch in the history of the so-called Indo-European language family. The following overview shows the different branches.

Only a handful of languages ​​in Europe do not belong to the Indo-European language family: Finnish, Lapland, Estonian and Hungarian form a separate group - the Finno-Ugric language family. Basque is one isolated languageof which not a single relative has been discovered.

The first or the Germanic sound shift

Between 2000-1000 BC A group of Indo-Europeans settled in northern Germany, Denmark and southern Sweden and mixed with the local population. The changed pronunciation led to changes in the original sound system. Between 1000-500 BC The Germanic is said to have originated in this way. There is, however, no surviving material, but historical linguists were able to identify some forms of the common mother tongue of the Germanic languages, the Proto-European reconstruct.

Phonetic laws show regular phonetic changes to which, however, there are some exceptions.

Germanic differs systematically in some points from the other Indo-European languages. The most important difference concerns systematic sound changes under the term Germanic sound shift be summarized. This development dragged on for centuries and was probably completed around the 2nd century BC. The Germanic sound shift is also known under the term 'Grimm's Law', as the German linguist Jakob Grimm (1785-1863) described it in 1822. The sound shift implies that a handful of Indo-European consonants were systematically pronounced differently. The overview below summarizes the changes:

Indo-EuropeanGermanic
 LabialDentalVelare LabialDentalVelare
Voiceless occlusiveptkVoiceless fricativesfÞX
Voiced occlusivebdGVoiceless occlusiveptk
Voiced aspirated occlusivebraieghVoiced fricatives

In 1875 the Dane Karl Verner succeeded in formulating an exception to these regularities in a rule that was later called the 'Verner Law'. He found that the voiceless fricatives, which were created by the Germanic phonetic shift, under certain stress ratios (when the main accent Not falls on the immediately preceding syllable) became voiced. I.e.

f > , Þ > en X >

This also applies to the already existing voiceless fricative [s], which then becomes voiced - [z] -.

The Germanic accent shift

The Indo-European had a musical emphasis with differences in pitch (like the Chinese). The main accent can be on different syllables of a word. In Germanic the accent was firmly on the first Syllable. This dynamic accent based on intensity: the initial syllable sounds louder than the others.

After the Germanic sound shift, there were other important developments, whereby Germanic evolved away from the other Indo-European languages. From approx. 500 BC Chr. Changed the stress ratio: The so-called. Germanic accent shift had far-reaching consequences for the further development of the Germanic languages. The initial syllable of words was systematically stressed, but the final syllable was not. As a result, the full vowels at the end of the word became Schwas. The endings of the words were reduced even though they contained morphological information (case, number, person ...). This led to a simplification of the paradigms, a process called deflection.

The decay of the Germanic

Due to the migration of the Germanic peoples and local influences, the Germanic fell into different branches, namely into North, East and West Germanic. After AD 500 that too fell apart West Germanic. Between the 6th and 8th centuries the second sound shift instead, which was not so important for the development of Dutch, but which explains the differences between Dutch and German.



The second or High German sound shift

The second sound shift began in the south of the German-speaking area and spread northwards to the so-called. Benrath line out. The most important change concerned the Germanic voiceless occlusive. The changes are briefly illustrated below.

The High German sound shift up to the Benrath line (cf. Van der Wal 1993: 46)



Voiceless occlusive in the 'initial'; in the 'Geminatie' (doubling); after a consonant:

  Old High GermanGermanDutch
p > pfGot. pound
Osa. appel
pfunt
apfuli
lb
Apple
pond
appel
t > (t) sGot. tiuhan
Osa. settian
ziohan
put
pull
put
trek
zett
k > kch / chOsa. wekkian
Osa. makon
wecchan
mahhon
wake up
do
wake up
maken

Voiceless occlusive after a vowel:

  Old High GermanGermanDutch
p > ff / fOsa. opane
Osa. slâpan
offan
slâf (f) an
open
sleep
open
slap
t > ssOsa. fôt
Osa. water
fuoz
wazzar
foot
water
voet
water
k > chOsa. ik
Osa. bok
ih
buoh
I
book
ik
boek

The West Germanic language area was divided into two parts by the High German sound shift: the southern part high german Part, and the northern Low German and Dutch part, which did not go along with this sound shift. The dialects north of the Benrath line kept their original consonants. The transition from ik to I is the change that has been most pronounced, namely as far as Limburg.

Standard German is the German of the higher areas below the Cologne-Berlin line; Low German that of the lower reaches of the great rivers Rhine, Elbe, Weser and Ems. (cf. van der Sijs (2002)). Here you can find more information about the Language history of German Find.

Gingerisms

The designation Ginger goes back to the classical historians of the 1st century AD Pliny and Tacitus, who distinguished three West Germanic tribes: Hermionen, Istväonen and Ingväonen. The Ingwäons lived along the coast from Gaul to Denmark.

A second difference within the West Germanic language area concerns the so-called 'coastal phenomena'. There are systematic differences between Old English, Old Frisian and Old Saxon on the one hand and Old High German on the other. The term is also used for these coastal phenomena Ginger or North Sea Germanic. In fact, Ingwaeon is not a separate language, but it does show some phonetic and grammatical peculiarities that have spread along the North Sea coast. The Ingwaeonisms can show some differences between English and Frisian (which have many Ingwaeon features), the eastern German (in which there are no Ingwaeonisms) and the Dutch in between, which forms a transition area.

A well-known Ingwaeonism is the so-called. Equivalent stretch, the loss of the nasal and the stretching of the vowel before a fricative.

GermanicGermanDutchEnglishFrisian
* fimfefivevijffivefiif
* munþmouth moon, Dendermonde
-muide, e.g. Diksmuide
mouth

Other examples of gingerisms in Dutch:

 GermanDutchEnglish
't' is missing in the 3rd pers. Sg.isisis
another root for personal pronouns he him
you
hij / hem
hair
he / him
here
Transition from -ege- to -ei-saillineSail

Within West Germanic, Dutch took its own place due to the aforementioned developments and features. The oldest phase in the history of Dutch in the narrower sense describes the Old Dutch.


References

Gothic
Frisian