Questions tagged [germanic-languages]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
58
votes
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'...
6
votes
2answers
32k views

“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.
22
votes
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- ...
10
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
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?
23
votes
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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
8
votes
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 (...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
15
votes
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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
4
votes
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 ,...
0
votes
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.