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Thread: Which Germanic Language is the Purest?

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohtig View Post
    Icelandic and Faroese seem to be the most "pure," although Frisian seems rather unchanged as well.
    Well, I know Frisian has adapted and borrowed words. Frisian has been affected by Dutch and French. Frisian borrows words.

    Frisian is Frisian it is a different little twig off the branch.

    Frisian is also claimed by some linguists to be the closest related of the Germanic languages to Magyar. I am still researching this, to see if it is a credible source or not.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Angelcynn Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Þoreiðar View Post
    Yes. Icelandic has three different genders of definite article suffixes; '-inn' (masculine), '-ín' (feminine), and -ið' (neuter).
    Thanks.

    Do have any sources that points to that? I've been trying to find out myself, as well, but so far, I haven't found any good evidence to support such claim.
    None of the reconstructions of Proto-Germanic that i have seen include the definite article as a suffix, and none of the older Germanic languages have it as a suffix, so it seems unlikely that it has it's origins in Proto-Germanic.

    I did do a bit of research and found these studies which also agree that it is a later North Germanic development.

    http://journals.cambridge.org/downlo...6eebf438633b36

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=R...origin&f=false

    I beg to differ. Comparing the importance (in the regard of 'Germanic purity') of Icelandic's 99% (approx.) Germanic originating vocabulary, to that of a single, isolated grammatical divergence, is hardly fair.
    I think it's very important to the debate that we actually define what we mean when we are talking about "purity". The change of a single law of grammar, or a change in pronunciation, can make more difference to the sound and flow of a language that a hundred non-Germanic loan words.

    If you can imagine Icelandic being spoken where the people pronounced the "th-" rather than "d-" in hundreds of their words, and used as a seperate definite article instead of a suffix, the sound and whole character of the language would be very different.

    In terms of vocabulary, Icelandic is the clear winner. But in terms of grammar and pronunciation, Icelandic is very divergent from Proto-Germanic.

    Besides, Icelandic has retained lot of old Germanic grammatical rules that has disappeared in most other Germanic languages a long time ago.
    Also true.
    I am Ripper... Tearer... Slasher... Gouger.
    I am the Teeth in the Darkness, the Talons in the Night.
    Mine is Strength... and Lust... and Power!
    I AM BEOWULF!

  3. #53
    Senior Member Mvix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelcynn Beorn View Post
    Regarding Icelandic being the purest Germanic language i have some questions. Does Icelandic follow the other Nordic languages in making the definite article a suffix? Does it follow the Swedish practice of having En/Ett distinctions?
    About the En/Ett distingcions, we only use this as numerals we don't say:Hér ein kona/Hér er einn maður/Hér er eitt barn instead we say Hér er Kona/Hér er maður/Hér er barn (Here is/Woman/Man/Child)

    We have the suffix at the end of the word. I'll compare it to German. If you want to get the word without the suffix in Icelandic just remove the letters that come after the dash if I don't say anything else ,e.g. The man=maður-inn---- Man=maður

    German -----------Icelandic
    der Mann----------Maður-inn
    den Mann---------Mann-inn
    dem Mann--------Manni-num
    des Mannes------Manns-ins

    German -----------Icelandic
    die Frau-----------Kona-n
    die Frau-----------Konu-na
    der Frau-----------Konu-nni
    der Frau-----------Konu-nar

    German -----------Icelandic
    das Kind-----------Barn-ið
    das Kind-----------Barn-ið
    dem Kind----------Barni-nu
    des Kindes--------Barns-ins

    Plural
    German
    die Männer/Frauen/Kinder
    die Männer/Frauen/Kinder
    den Männern/Frauen/Kindern
    der Männer/Frauen/Kinder

    Icelandic
    Menn-irnir
    Menn-ina
    Mönn-unum here you have to have (um) after the dash to get the word without the suffix "Mönnum"
    Mann-ana

    Konur-nar
    Konur-nar
    Konu-num here you have to have (m) after the dash to the word without the suffix "Konum"
    Kvenna-nna

    Börn-in
    Börn-in
    Börn-unum here you have to have (um) to get the word with out the suffix "Börnum"
    Barna-na
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hér er barn mannsins= Hier ist das Kind des Mannes= Here is the man's child

    Manninum er kalt= Dem Mann ist kalt=The man is cold

    Hermennirnir sprengdu húsið=Die Soldaten sprengten das Haus=The soldiers blew up the house.

    Ég tek alltaf strætisvagninn heim=Ich nehme immer den Bus nach Hause=
    I always take the bus home. (People would most often say "Strætó" wich is short for Strætisvagn=Street wagon=Straßewagen or something of that sort.)

    Hope this has been helpful and please let me know if there are any typos.

  4. #54
    Account Inactive Albrektsdotter's Avatar
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    In my humble view the purest of all Germanic tongues is Icelandic. It is a well known fact that the Icelandic people speak a tongue that is closest to the original Viking tongue due to their isolation and their tendency to reject foreign loanwords.

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    Senior Member Linda Trostenhatten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelcynn Beorn View Post
    None of the reconstructions of Proto-Germanic that i have seen include the definite article as a suffix, and none of the older Germanic languages have it as a suffix, so it seems unlikely that it has it's origins in Proto-Germanic.

    I did do a bit of research and found these studies which also agree that it is a later North Germanic development.

    http://journals.cambridge.org/downlo...6eebf438633b36

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=R...origin&f=false
    the protodjermanic language had no article neither definite nor indefinite (like lithuanian for example) and Icelandic is the only one to retain the abscence of indefinite article where all the others have adopted it from numeral one. Gothic had no article. this of course is a question of originality and not purity but I think if that was the question Icelandic again would be the least altered.

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    I find Gothic to be the best Germanic tongue.

    What I wrote before is true, that English is the most well preserved branch of the family. The constituent tribes of England were from Jutland and the immediate surrounding tribes from Saxony and Denmark. Jutland is the Urheimat, for West Germanic folks diverged by admixture with Continental Italic peoples and North Germanic folks diverged by admixture with Scandinavian Uralic peoples, whereas English remained purest by admixture with Celtic peoples, who used to be tied to Jutland in the middle.

    English is written and spoken with economy and expediency, assimilating for convenience, but otherwise keeping its base. English is now the most utilitarian tongue on Earth. English is not a Romance language, because Romance speaking nations have a Germanic base from the Voelkerwanderung and put a personal spin by spelling changes of Latin vocabulary, in the absence of their own. English incorporates foreign vocabulary alongside Germanic words, but doesn't replace native speech.

    It only means English is a good tongue to have as a lexicon for understanding unrelated languages, whilst others can understand English, because doubling words constantly translates in communication. English is the most universal, unintended approximation and natural form of Esperanto for Centum Indo-Europeans, because it is understandable for all Germanic, Celtic, Italic and Hellenic peoples. That doesn't make it any less Germanic, but the least specialized and removed from proto-Germanic, as it was from Indo-European.

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