*hē₂r). In the proto-language, as in Gothic, such terms have no relevance. Scholars often divide the Germanic languages into three groups: West Germanic , including English , German , and Netherlandic ( Dutch ); North Germanic, including Danish , Swedish , Icelandic , Norwegian , and Faroese ; and East Germanic , now extinct, comprising only Gothic and the languages of the Vandals, Burgundians, and a few other … The end of the Common Germanic period is reached with the beginning of the Migration Period in the fourth century. Phones written in parentheses represent allophones and are not themselves independent phonemes.
Now if you’re keen on taking on a few others, where you start depends on your goals. The alternations that had started as mere phonetic variants of sounds became increasingly grammatical in nature, leading to the grammatical alternations of sounds known as Grammatischer Wechsel. Runes (3/4c) and Old Norse (13c) Between the two points, many sound changes occurred. This stage began with the separation of a distinct speech, perhaps while it was still forming part of the Proto-Indo-European dialect continuum. They’re two of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn, and they’ll give you a great base for picking up additional Germanic languages in the future.
The first is a direct phonetic evolution of the PIE text. The Western Germanic languages include German, English, Dutch, Frisian, Pennsylvania Dutch, Luxembourgish, Yiddish and Afrikaans, along with a variety of disparate languages that often get lumped together as German or Dutch dialects. So which languages are in this family, and how do they compare to each other today? It does not take into account various idiomatic and grammatical shifts that occurred over the period. I-mutation was the most important source of vowel alternation, and continued well into the history of the individual daughter languages (although it was either absent or not apparent in Gothic).
Similar surface (possibly phonemic) nasal/non-nasal contrasts occurred in the West Germanic languages down through Proto-Anglo-Frisian of a.d. 400 or so. However, the comparative method does require a three-way phonemic distinction between word-final *-ō, *-ǭ and *-ōn, which each has a distinct pattern of reflexes in the later Germanic languages: The distinct reflexes of nasal -ǭ versus non-nasal -ō are caused by the Northwest Germanic raising of final -ō /ɔː/ to /oː/, which did not affect -ǭ. In all Germanic languages, you will notice that a verb must be preceded by one adverbial element or noun phrase, and not the other way around.
-ę̄ and -ę̂ then merged into -ą̄ and -ą̂, which later developed into -ǭ and -ǫ̂. The theory of a non-Indo-European substrate was first proposed by Sigmund Feist, who estimated that about a third of all Proto-Germanic lexical items came from the substrate. The loss of the Proto-Indo-European contrastive accent got rid of the conditioning environment for the consonant alternations created by Verner's law. Diphthongs in Proto-Germanic can also be analysed as sequences of a vowel plus an approximant, as was the case in Proto-Indo-European. The following languages are considered North Germanic: Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Faroese, and Elfdalian. Nouns and adjectives derived with a variety of suffixes including -il-, -iþō, -į̄, -iskaz, -ingaz. All three of the previously mentioned groups of verbs—strong, weak and preterite-present—are derived from PIE thematic verbs; an additional very small group derives from PIE athematic verbs, and one verb *wiljaną "to want" forms its present indicative from the PIE optative mood.
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