Download A Short History of the German Language by Wilkie, John Ritchie; Chambers, William Walker PDF

By Wilkie, John Ritchie; Chambers, William Walker

This easy creation to the historical past of the German language seeks to supply scholars who've a few wisdom of recent German, yet no wisdom both of its improvement or of linguistic theories, with a brief account of the basic components - chronological, geographical and linguistic - and their interrelation. the fabric is prepared in 3 elements. the 1st strains the background of the German language from its origins in Indo-European throughout the pre-documentary Germanic interval and the center a while to the current day. within the moment half the advance of the German vocabulary.

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Greek Gmc. Germanic Goth. Gothic HG. High German IE. Indo-European infin. , Lat. Latin masc. masculine MG. Middle German MHG. Middle High German mod. modern neut. neuter NHG. New High German nom. nominative OE. Old English OFris. Old Frisian OHG. Old High German ON. Old Norse OS. Old Saxon part. participle pi, plur. plural pres. , sing. singular Skt. Sanskrit UG. Upper German VL. Vulgar Latin In the tables in Chapter 12, N, A, G, D, I are used for nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and instrumental; and M, F, N are used for masculine, feminine, neuter.

For the pre-Christian era we may assume that dialectal differences were developing, but to what extent or how we cannot say. But the developments in the centuries following the birth of Christ may be at least partly explained by the five great tribal confederations which we noted above and within each of which, we may reasonably assume, there was a substantial measure of linguistic uniformity. The North Sea group (Frisians, Angles, Saxons) would account for similarities between English and Frisian and between these and Old Saxon.

The modern Celtic languages fall into the Brythonic group (Welsh and Breton as well as Cornish, which has been extinct since the eighteenth century) and the Goidelic group (Irish and Scots Gaelic and Manx). They are mostly declining before the spread of English and French. Germanic, which we shall examine in detail in Chapter 3. To it belong German and English, Dutch, Flemish, and Frisian, and the Scandinavian languages, as well as the now extinct Gothic. , known only in proper names and scanty documents.

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