By Wilkie, John Ritchie; Chambers, William Walker
This straightforward advent to the background 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 quick account of the fundamental components - chronological, geographical and linguistic - and their interrelation. the cloth is prepared in 3 components. the 1st lines the background of the German language from its origins in Indo-European during the pre-documentary Germanic interval and the center a long time to the current day. within the moment half the improvement of the German vocabulary.
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Additional info for A Short History of the German Language
D. But German does not exist in isolation; it has close connections with other languages. In particular it shares with most European languages and some Asiatic ones a common origin in a language usually known among German scholars as Indo-Germanic and outside Germany as Indo-European. This ancient prehistoric language is, of course, entirely undocumented, but by comparing the oldest extant forms of its more important descendants nineteenth-century scholars were able to reconstruct some of its essential features.
In particular there is no evidence that ‘West Germanic’ or ‘Anglo-Frisian’ or ‘Primitive German’ ever existed as unified dialects. It is true that ‘West Germanic’ languages share distinctive common features, just as there are distinctive features common to English and Frisian or to the German dialects. 3 An explanation of this state of affairs may well lie in the prehistory of the Germanic tribes. For the pre-Christian era we may assume that dialectal differences were developing, but to what extent or how we cannot say.
Raiding expeditions by the young warriors of the tribe in spring and summer would give way to full-scale migration, groups from various tribes banding themselves together to seek a new home – preferably in good land conquered from less warlike neighbours, for this was much to be preferred to the labour of clearing trees and scrub from uncultivated tracts. ; it did not end until well into the Middle Ages. D. (the period of the so-called Völkerwanderung in the narrow sense) the whole Germanic world seems to have been in fairly constant turmoil, whole tribes and confederations of tribes moving very long distances at remarkable speed.
A Short History of the German Language by Wilkie, John Ritchie; Chambers, William Walker