View Full Version : The Proto-Germanic Language Project: žeušiskōn

Saturday, May 14th, 2005, 10:30 AM
žeušiskōn is an online project to reconstruct the Proto-Germanic language - the historical linguistic ancestor of modern English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. Since this language of the ancient Germanic tribes was spoken before any early Germanic language was recorded, we have no surviving Proto-Germanic, but it is possible to reconstruct this language by examining Old English, Old High German, Old Norse, Gothic and other early forms of Germanic. žeušiskōn aims to create a working grammar of the Proto-Germanic language, reconstruct its vocabulary and enable project members and contributors to make translations and write compositions in this most ancient of Germanic languages. Most of the work here is done in the discussion list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Theudiskon/) or in the chat area (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Theudiskon/chat), but as the project progresses more grammatical and linguistic information will be added to this site. We eventually aim to add a Beginner's Primer so anyone can teach themselves Proto-Germanic, but for now joining the discussion list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Theudiskon/) is the best way to start learning.


Wednesday, May 18th, 2005, 04:31 PM
He'll struggle with the grammar. No one has a clue on that and I don't see how they will reconstruct it. Still, good luck to them.

Monday, July 4th, 2005, 04:18 PM
Proto-Germanic, the proto-language believed by scholars to be the common ancestor of the Germanic languages, includes among its descendants Dutch, German, English, Afrikaans, Frisian, Norwegian, Old Norse, Swedish, Icelandic and Danish.

There are no extant documents in Proto-Germanic, which was unwritten, and virtually all our knowledge of this extinct language has been obtained by application of the comparative method. There are a few surviving inscriptions in a runic script from Scandinavia dated to c. 200 which many feel represent a stage of Proto-Norse immediately after the "Proto-Germanic" stage, if not exactly identical. As well, some loanwords exist in neighbouring non-Germanic languages which are believed to have been borrowed from Germanic during the Proto-Germanic phase; an example is Finnish kuningas "king", which closely resembles the reconstructed Proto-Germanic *kuningaz.

Proto-Germanic is itself descended from Proto-Indo-European, which is also the distant ancestor of a great many other languages in Europe and Asia. For the changes undergone by Proto-Germanic during its descent from Proto-Indo-European.

Timeline for the evolution of Proto-Germanic
Map of the Pre-Roman Iron Age culture(s) associated with Proto-Germanic, ca 500 BC-50 BC. The area south of Scandinavia is the Jastorf culture

Map of the Nordic Bronze Age culture, ca 1200 BC

Proto-Indo-European speakers are thought by some scholars to have arrived at the plains of southern Sweden and Denmark, regarded to be the original dwelling-place of the Germanic peoples, during the early Bronze Age (about four thousand years ago). This is the only area where no pre-Germanic place names have been found. The Battle-axe people are the best candidate for this immigration.

Colin Renfrew has proposed that the I-E languages were spread much earlier, with agriculture. However, the present view among Swedish archaeologists is that the local population learned agricultural skills without the infusion of immigrants.

Hybridization as conjectured cause
Some also suggest that Proto-Germanic may have arisen somewhat as a Creole language due to cultural diffusion among geographically static indigenous population groups. However, considering the inflected character and the homogeneous forms of the Germanic languages, the creation of such a creole would have been a resounding and unique feat indeed.

It has been suggested that proto-Germanic arose as a hybrid of two Indo-European dialects, one each of Centum and Satem types though they would have been mutually intelligible at the time of hybridization. This hypothesis may help to explain the difficulty of finding the right place for Germanic within the Indo-European family.

Non-Indo-European elements
The reconstructed Proto-Germanic vocabulary includes a number of fundamental words (referring to, among other things, parts of the body, animals and nature) which are clearly non-Indo-European in origin, suggesting a vocabulary influence from the earlier inhabitants of northern Europe. The mechanism of this influence is unknown; it may have been simple borrowing, or perhaps retention of old words by people who adopted Proto-Germanic as their new language. For examples, see Germanic substrate hypothesis.(see seperate post)

Page devoted to Proto-Germanic

source (http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Proto_Germanic)

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006, 04:58 AM
Here are a few PG dictionaries:

Fordsmender's Dictionary of Proto-Germanic Roots (http://www.angelfire.com/ga3/arkan/pgmnlex.html)

A Proto-Germanic Wordhoard (http://members.aol.com/rlongman1/protoger.html)


Sunday, November 12th, 2006, 06:31 PM
Here are some reconstructed Proto-Germanic words I got from the Reginheim (http://www.geocities.com/reginheim/home.html) site:

Gods & Goddesses

Aesir – Ansiwez (s. Ansuz)
Vanir – Wenijiz (s. Weniz)

Odin – Wōdanaz “Raging One”
Vili – Weljon
Ve – Wihaz
Thor – Žunaraz “Thunderer”
Tyr – Tīwaz “Shining Heaven”
Frigga – Eržo “Earth”
Heimdal – Haimadalliz “Home-Valley”
Njord – Neržuz
Frey – Fraujaz “Lord”
Freya – Fraujōn “Lady”
Balder – Balžraz “Brave One”
Forseti – Furasatijan “Chairman”
Bragi – Bragan
Aegir – Ę’gwijaz “Sea”
Ostara – Austrōn “Eastern One”
Loki – Laugiz “Blazing One”
Hela - Haljō


Sunday – Sunnodagaz
Monday – Menodagaz
Tuesday – Tiwadagaz
Wednesday – Wōdanadagaz
Thursday – Žunaradagaz
Friday – Fraujōdagaz
Saturday – Saterdagaz


January – Wentrumenož
February – Hurningamenož
March – Lenžamenož
April – Austromenož
May – Waižimenož
June – Brekimenož
July – Hawjamenož
August – Aznomenož
September – Harbistamenož
October – Winamenož
November – Bložamenož
December – Hailagamenož

Holy Days

Charming of the Plough – Landasegn (Feb 1)
Ostara/Summerfinding – Austrōn/Sumerafenžan (Mar 21)
Midsummer – Medjasumeraz (Jun 21)
Harvest Festival – Aznodulžiz (Sep 28)
Winternights – Wentrunahtijiz (Oct 14-17)
Mothernight – Modrjanahtiz (Dec 20)
Yule – Jegwla (Dec 21)

Common Heathen Terms

Ask – Askaz
Disir – Disijiz (s. Disiz)
Elves – Albiz
Embla – Elmaz
Frith – Frižuz
Fylgja – Fulgjoz (s. Fulgjo)
Galdr – Galdraz
Giants – Žurisaz
Goši – Gudjo
Gyšja – Gudinjo
Hof – Hufaz
Horg – Harugaz
Kindred – Kuniz
Seiškona – Seižakweniz
Seišman – Seižamannaz
Seišr – Seiža
Spae – Spaho
Spįkona – Spahokweniz
Spįman – Spahomannaz
Stallr – Stullon
Urlag – Urulaga
Valkyries – Walakuzjoz
Wyrd – Wurdiz

Gorm the Old
Monday, November 13th, 2006, 03:25 AM
Spursmaal: How is the "z" pronounced in Proto-Germanic ? Is it a "ts" as in Modern German or like a voiced "s" in English or is it aspirated as in French ?:scratch:

Monday, November 13th, 2006, 05:28 AM
Spursmaal: How is the "z" pronounced in Proto-Germanic ? Is it a "ts" as in Modern German or like a voiced "s" in English or is it aspirated as in French ?:scratch:

I'm not sure how the z is pronounced. The žeušiskōn site is under construction but they're apparently planning on a pronunciation and grammar section.

Sunday, April 15th, 2007, 07:33 PM
I've created a new P-G wordlist for heathen terms using that new Google documents thing (which is pretty cool IMO).


If anyone has any suggestions on how this could be improved let me know. :)

Sunday, April 15th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Cheers great work mate.

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007, 10:50 PM
Wow. I'll be starting studying Ancient Germanic Linguistics as of next semester. I can't wait to get into stuff like this.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007, 04:53 AM
I've created a new P-G wordlist for heathen terms using that new Google documents thing (which is pretty cool IMO).


If anyone has any suggestions on how this could be improved let me know. :)

If I could put more than 1 thanks on a post I would. :beer: