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GERMANIC LANGUAGES Абдулаева Севиля
Modern Germanic Languages Languages can be classified according to different principles. The historical, or genealogical classification, groups languages in accordance with their origin form a common linguistic ancestor.
Genetically, English belongs to the Germanic or Teutonic group of languages, which is one of the twelve groups of the IE linguistic family. Most of the area of Europe and large parts of other continents are occupied today by the IE languages, Germanic being one of their major groups.
The Germanic Branch of the Indo-European languages
The Germanic languages in the modern world are as follows:
English - in Great Britain, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zeland, the South African Respublic, and many other former British colonies and dominions;
German - Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, part of Switzerland;
Netherlandish - in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium) (known also as Dutch and Flemish respectively);
Afrikaans - in the South African Respublic; Danish - in Denmark; Swedish - in Sweden and Finland;
Norwegian - in Norway; Icelandic - in Iceland; Frisian - in some regions of the Netherlands and Germany; Faroese - in the Faroe Islands; Yiddish - in different countries.
All the Germanic languages are related through their common origin and joint development at the early stages of history. The survey of their external history will show where and when the Germanic languages arose and acquired their common features and also how they have developed into modern tongues.
The Earliest Period of Germanic History. Proto-Germanic The history of the Germanic group begins with the appearance of what is known as the Proto-Germanic (PG) language (also termed Common or Primitive Germanic, Primitive Teutonic and simply Gemanic). PG is the linguistic ancestor or the parent-language of the Germanic group. It is supposed to have split from related IE languages sometime between the 15th and 10th c. B.C. The would-be Germanic tribes belonged to the western division of the IE speech community.
PG is an entirely pre-historical language: it was never recorded in written form. In the 19th c. it was reconstructed by methods of comparative linguistics from written evidence in descendant languages.
It is believed that at the earliest stages of history PG was fundamentally one language, though dialectally coloured. In its later stages dialectal differences grew, so that towards the beginning of our era Germanic appears divided into dialectical groups and tribal dialects. Dialectal differentation increases with the migrations and geographical expansion of the Teutons caused by overpopulation, poor agricultural technigue and scanty natural resources in the areas of their original settlement.
The earliest migration of the Germanic tribes from the lower valley of the Elbe consisted in their movement north, to the Scandinavian peninsula, a few hundred years before our era. This geographical segregation must have led to linguistic differentiation and to the division of PG into the northern and southern branches.
At the beginning of our era some of the tribes returned to the mainland and settled closer to the Vistula basin, east of the other continental Germanic tribes. It is only from this stage of their history that the Germanic languages can be described under three headings: East Germanic, North Germanic and West Germanic.
LINGUISTIC and Grammatical FEATURES OF GERMANIC LANGUAGES The Proto-Germanic and the old Germanic languages were synthetic languages (the relationships between the parts of the sentence were shown by the forms of the words rather than position in the sentence or by auxiliary words). One the main processes in the development of the Germanic morphological system was the change in the word structure.
The common I-E notional word consisted of 3 elements: root (expressing the lexical meaning), inflexion (ending) (showing the grammatical form), stem-forming suffix. However in Germanic languages the stem forming suffix fuses with the ending and is often no longer visible.
The Germanic nouns had a well-developed case system with 4 cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative. And two number forms: singular and plural. They also had the category of gender: feminine, masculine, neuter.
Germanic adjectives had two types of declination: weak strong. They also had degrees of comparison.
Germanic verbs are divided into 2 principal groups: strong and weak. Depending on the way they formed their past tense forms. The past tense of strong verbs was formed with the help of ablaut(чередование гласных). Weak verbs expressed past tense with the help of the dental suffix “d/t”. The Germanic verb had a well-developed system of categories including the category of person 1st, 2nd, 3rd; category of number singular/plural. Also Germanic verb had tense: past and present. They also had mood: indicative, imperative, optative.
The grammatical forms of the word were built by means of suppletion (the usage of two or more different roots as forms of one and the same word) (I, my, mine, me) (ich, mich, mir).
Though in the Germanic languages inflections were simpler and shorter than in other in other I-E languages. The usage of interchange of vowels and consonants for the purpose of word and form building. (tooth-teeth, build-built).
Ablaut or vowel gradation. An independent vowel interchange unconnected with any phonetic conditions used to differentiate between grammatical forms of one and the same word. The Germanic ablaut was consistently used in building the principal forms of strong verbs.
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