Questions tagged [germanic-languages]

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0answers
37 views

What Germanic language is the most understandable for the native English speakers? [duplicate]

What Germanic language is the most understandable for the native English speakers?
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2answers
4k views

How to pronounce Lich [closed]

So I've played some fantasy games and I've recently started playing Divinity original sin. Before this whenever I encountered the word Lich I heard it as if it would rime with "itch", "bitch", "Kitsch"...
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2answers
127 views

Why the structure “was born”, and not “is born” like in many other languages?

My question is why English uses the past "was" in "I was born", and many other languages (the majority of the European languages for instance), use the present "is" with this past participle? (Je ...
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1answer
118 views

Why is the passive voice more prevalent in English than in other European languages? [closed]

Although the active voice is predominant in the English language the ‘ideal’ proportion of recommended passive sentences is still regarded as between 5% and 10%(source1) ( source2). Which is ...
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3answers
1k views

Andrea - (fe)male name

When and why did Germanic languages (and more in general, languages outside Italy) started to use Andrea as a female name? To my rough understanding of Greek, this is a male name, which comes from the ...
5
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2answers
168 views

How did English gradually change into an analytic language?

English might be the most analytic language in the IE family, in that it has no case, no gender, and very few personal pronouns. Since PIE and other IE languages are generally synthetic, then what ...
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2answers
58 views

What is the inverse of schaedenfreude? [duplicate]

If schadenfreude is pleasure from another’s misery, what is displeasure caused by another’s success.
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4answers
368 views

Seeking etymological explanation of card game Euchre based on its spelling

Am seeking etymological explanation how, Euchre, the United States’ most popular card game in the late 19th century, might have come to be spelled in that manner. It is speculated that the game ...
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6answers
1k views

Best etymological calque of the word Schadenfreude

This question is purely theoretical (i.e. I don't foresee actually trying to use the word), but using arguments based on etymology, as well as euphony and (least importantly) comprehensibility, what ...
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3answers
268 views

When do I use a direct or indirect article to denote something?

The concrete example stems from a text that I am co-authoring with a friend whose native language is Czech. Mine is German. It goes like this: This regime is called random phase To me, it feels ...
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6answers
18k views

What we've gelost — why doesn't English use the prefix “ge-”?

The Germanic languages that I'm familiar with all use a prefix similar to ge- on past participles: German: Ich habe mir den Fuß gebrochen. Dutch: Ik heb mijn voet gebroken. But English doesn'...
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1answer
215 views

Are there any Germanic cognates to “lithe”?

When winter first begins to bite                and stones crack in the frosty night,           when pools are black and trees are bare,                ’tis evil in the Wild to fare. In this time of ...
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1answer
141 views

Does the origin of the auxiliary “shall” lie in the medieval blood-money practice of wergeld?

Perusing some 19th-century grammar books for another purpose, I came across an interesting etymology: "According to Grimm 'shall' or 'skal' is the preterite or perfect of a verb meaning 'to kill'. ...
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3answers
17k views

Why English pronunciation differs so much from written language, compared to German?

Given that English is derived mostly from German, when Anglo-Saxons (German tribes) migrated to Britain, how do you explain that although German has a strict correspondence between written language ...
2
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1answer
341 views

Etymological link between “shall” and “will”? [closed]

"X shall happen" means "X is (strongly) expected to happen" ("X wird geschehen") or "X is hoped for to happen" ("X soll geschehen") German "Ich will, dass X geschieht" means "I want X to happen" (...
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380 views

Verbs formed from noun or adjective roots by adding -ja-

I know that there exist some verbs which were formed in Proto-Germanic by adding the causative marker -ja- to nouns or adjectives, such as these pairs: doom (noun) > deem (verb) food (noun) > feed (...
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1answer
131 views

What is Germanic about English — and incomplete list. Can others add things I missed?

I attempted a list of features of the English language that are clearly Germanic, and wrote only what came to mind off the top of my head. Doubtless it is woefully incomplete and has other flaws. What ...
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3answers
4k views

/ð/ → /d/ shift in English

As a result of a /d/ → /ð/ shift, fæder became father, hider became hither and togædere became together, giving us our modern English forms. However, I know that murder and burden have archaic forms- ...
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3answers
2k views

Answering a negative question with one word

There has been talk of how to answer a negative question without ambiguity, most often with a qualifying phrase needed for clarification. (For example, "yes, I do"/"no, I don't.) I've noticed that ...
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2answers
4k views

Doesn't English have vowel harmony?

Perhaps I'm not educated in this subject, but if vowel harmony means "all the vowels in a word to be members of the same subclass" then does this mean that English has vowel harmony too? For instance, ...
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0answers
49 views

Old English sounds and Germanic languages [duplicate]

What languages still use the 'ge' prefix that was part of the Old English grammatical structure? I've searched and found German, but am not sure that is the only one which still does. I'm interested,...
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2answers
663 views

Why 'Germanic Languages' and 'Germanic Tribes'?

I've never been a fan of the word 'Germanic' and it's use to cover all Northern European (except the so-called 'Celtic Fringe') Tribes due to it's overtly political connotations. Can anyone tell me ...
3
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1answer
992 views

What's the English cognate with German “Stick” and Dutch “stik”?

Is there an English cognate with German Stick (as in Stickstoff) and Dutch stik (as in stikstof)? What's the absolutely literal calque of Stickstoff/stikstof meaning nitrogen?
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2answers
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“Goose”–“geese” vs. “moose”–“moose” [duplicate]

Why is it that the plural of goose is geese but the plural of moose is moose? The same goes for mouse and house. Mouse becomes mice, yet house becomes houses.
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0answers
179 views

German vs English who and where

I am a native English speaker and I have started learning German. I have learned the German word "Wo" equates to "Where" in English, and the German word "Wer" equates to "Who" If both German and ...
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2answers
734 views

Is there a Germanic word for the Latin “number”?

Really just a curiosity, but I've been unable to find such a thing on my own... I figure something as simple as a word for the thing you count with should exist in any language which has terms for ...
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1answer
3k views

Why did Old English use C while other Germanic languages used K?

During most the first millennium CE, North and West Germanic languages were written in runic alphabets. Gradually, each language shifted from the runic alphabet to the Latin alphabet. The people who ...
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3answers
6k views

Wer, wie, was, wieso, weshalb, warum, all start with W in German. In English they don't, why?

Wer, wie, was, wieso, weshalb, warum. Wer nicht fragt bleibt dumm. This is the theme song to the German Sesame Street, IIRC It roughly translates to: Who, how, what, why, why ,why. If you don't ...
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0answers
185 views

How are Old English participles declined to English participles? (both present and past)

I'm trying to learn about differences between English and Old English, and I found that there are some noticeable differences in the use of participle markings. I think that participles were declined ...
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2answers
422 views

Why is the word “Raubritter” (from German) used in English as the name of a rose?

The German word "Raubritter" was used as an alias for a German knight with Robin Hood's style. Now it is used in English as a name of a rose. How did this come to be?
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4answers
3k views

Which native English speakers are linguistically the most “germanic”?

English is a Germanic language. Another significant Germanic language is of course German. Which native English speakers are the closest to German basing on the following criteria? accent-wise (...
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1answer
7k views

Where do “‑ess” and “‑ine” suffixes come from?

English has a lot of words in which the suffix ‑ess makes a word feminine, such as actress, hostess, huntress. That looks like a suffix that is also used frequently in Italian, so I’d guess it has ...
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3answers
4k views

Old English instead of Latin in early Britain

For almost 400 years, Britain was a Roman province. During that period, naturally, Latin was an important language in the region. When the Germanic tribes invaded the British Isles (around the 5th ...
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1answer
2k views

History of the non-rule that proscribes ending a sentence with a preposition [duplicate]

Famously, if not accurately, Winston Churchill is supposed to have responding to an editor who had "fixed" a sentence ending with a preposition by writing, "This is the sort of thing up with which I ...
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3answers
2k views

Etymology of English “Achoo” relative to other sneezing onomatopoeiae

So I was recently curious about the sound that people sneeze with in other languages and was surprised to notice the difference between the English onomatopoetic word "Achoo" and that of other ...
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3answers
926 views

English from Icelandic?

Why is it that so many English words, as one traces their etymologies, run through Icelandic as one goes back?
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4answers
2k views

Pluralization of Germanisms

The German noun "Ansatz" is widely used (at least) in physics and, less frequently, in math texts in English. I have seen it always in singular though and now I must use its (English) plural. The ...
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0answers
549 views

Examples where English is “more Germanic” than German [closed]

English is a so called a Germanic language, as are German, Yidish, Dutch, etc. In a way it seems natural to believe that German is "more Germanic" than English. But here it is not clear what "more" ...
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1answer
2k views

Where does the phrase “on end” come from?

The phrase "on end" means "without end". It very much sounds like the German "ohn End" which itself is the short form of "ohne Ende". Is this etymologically the right direction? (Sometimes these ...
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2answers
314 views

What is the difference between these two “scip”s?

In a question about ships, I added an answer with the etymologies that underpin both ship and -ship. "Ship" stems from scip: "O.E. scip "ship, boat," from P.Gmc. *skipan (cf. O.N., O.S., Goth. skip ,...