Phonology

Faroese has the same syllabic structure as most other forms of Scandinavian except Danish. In lexical pronunciation stressed syllables are long (V , V C, VC or VCC - note, however, the clusters pi, pr, tr, kl, kr , where the preceding vowel is long) and unstressed are short. In the majority of its features Faroese phonology is firmly West Scandinavian. Especially striking are developments in the vowel system. Following the quantity shift whereby all stressed syllables became long - which in...

Auxiliaries and Main Verbs

Auxiliaries and Auxiliary-like Verbs Most traditional Icelandic grammars and handbooks give a list of auxiliaries. These lists vary slightly from one book to another but will include some or all of the following 1 With supine or past participle hafa 'have', vera 'be', geta 'be able, may' 2 With the bare infinitive munu 'will', skulu 'shall', vilja 'want', mega 'may' 3 With ad plus the infinitive eiga 'ought', kunna 'know, may', purfa 'need', verda 'be, become, have to', hljdta 'must', xtla...

Pronouns

Syntactically it may sometimes be useful to distinguish between pronouns and determiners in Faroese, but morphologically it makes little sense since all possessive, demonstrative, interrogative, and indefinite pronouns also function as determiners. Only the personal pronouns (third-person plural excepted) are solely pronominal the relative is best regarded as a particle, since its function is that of complementizer rather than pronoun, but its form will be briefly mentioned here for...

Morphology The Nominal Group

Nouns are inflected for number and deflniteness. Case inflection is only found in pronouns what looks like a genitive (mandens 'the man's') has synchron-ically become a phrasal affix attached to the whole noun phrase. There are three regular classes of plural formation and a few irregular plurals. Nouns belong also either to the neuter or the non-neuter class. These classes select inflectional forms of attributive and predicative adjectives, and corresponding pronouns, as well as (in the...

Expletive Subject

If there is no semantic subject in normal subject position, an expletive subject det is used. Especially in archaic or regional style, an adverbial like har 'here' or dar 'there', sometimes even a more complex adverbial, can fill the subject position in the cases of impersonal clauses and existential clauses. A semantic subject is lacking, or what could have been expressed by a subject is expressed by an adverbial, e.g. det regnar 'it is raining', det susar i skogen, cf. skogen susar 'the wood...

Quantity and Syllable Structure

The basic facts about vowel length in Modern Icelandic can be informally stated as follows Stressed vowels are long if no more than one consonant follows The exception to this simple rule is that stressed vowels are also long before two consonants if the first one is a member of the set p, t, k, s and the second of j, v, r . Hence the stressed (first) vowels in (a) in the following list are all long and so are the stressed vowels in (b) whereas the stressed vowels in (c) are short, as indicated...

The St0d Phenomenon

In Danish phonology, there is one phenomenon that, although maybe not uniquely Danish, is very unusual among the languages of Europe, namely, st0d (literally 'thrust' or 'push'). Impressionistically, st0d resembles a glottal stop without complete closure that occurs with long vowels and sonorants under certain conditions. Nevertheless it should not be considered as a segmental feature, but rather as a prosodic feature of the syllable. The supposed 'glottal stop' does not occur after, but within...

Grammatical Relations and Agreement

Some Properties of Subjects and Objects Recent research has established a set of typical subject properties, as opposed to objects and other noun phrases, and led to the conclusion that certain nonnominative noun phrases share most of the subject properties with the regular nominative subjects. The typical subject properties include the following (i) the subject precedes the finite verb in neutral declarative word order (ii) the subject immediately follows the finite verb in direct questions...

Word Order Types of Sentences and Clauses

Icelandic exhibits the well-known Germanic verb-second (V2) phenomenon in declarative clauses. Thus if something is preposed or topicalized, the subject will follow the finite verb rather than precede it. Most constituents can be preposed (topicalized) in Icelandic, except the verb phrase (a) oft hefur Mar a gefid Haraldi hiring j lunum 'Mary has frequently given Harold a ring at Christmas' (lit. 'frequently has Mary given ') (b) Haraldi hefur Mar a oft gefid hring j lunum (lit. 'Harold (dat.)...

Adjective Inflection

Adjectives, including past participles, are inflected for number, definiteness and gender. The form is determined by agreement with a head noun or a predicative base. The adjective is also inflected for case when it functions as the head of a noun phrase. Gradable adjectives can normally be compared (having positive, comparative and superlative forms). In the positive, the plural ending is -a, or -e after an unstressed syllable with the vowel a , e.g. stor-a, kastad-e. The same form is also...

Introduction

Danish is spoken by about 5 million speakers. It has developed as a standardized written language with a long tradition. The first law texts in Danish are from around 1200, and in the late fourteenth century, Queen Margaret I decided to change the language of administration from Latin to Danish. As a language of literature it has been used since the fifteenth century. Today speakers of Danish are mostly to be found within the present area of the Kingdom of Denmark, but there is a Danish...

Stress and Intonation

The major stress in Icelandic falls on the first syllable. This holds for loanwords too. There is also a tendency to put weak secondary stress on every second syllable after the stressed initial one. This can be seen in the following examples where1 before a syllable indicates the primary stress and, the weak secondary one lhestur 'horse', llektor 'lecturer, assistant professor', hestuxrinn 'the horse', lektotrarnir 'the lecturers', lalmatnakid, 'the almanac'. In trisyllabic words this...

Consonants

The most remarkable feature of Old High German is the so-called second sound shift. It still is uncertain whether or not this sound shift started in the south (in the Alemannic and Bavarian dialects) and subsequently spread to the north until it stopped at the Benrath line. According to some scholars the Franconian dialects had their own variant of this sound shift. This opinion is based on the Franconian form hase 'hate' which is found in an early eighth-century manuscript from Echternach. The...

The Verb

Gothic verbs are inflected for three persons, for three numbers - with the dual only in first and second persons, for present and preterite tenses for indicative, subjunctive and imperative moods and for active and passive voice, though passive forms are found only in the present tense. The subjunctive is based on the Indo-European optative some handbooks maintain the designation, though to indicate parallelism with other Germanic dialects the term 'subjunctive' is generally used. Passives are...

Verbal Inflection

Dutch is no different from the other Germanic languages in having only a two-term tense distinction on the basis of inflectional contrasts present and preterite. Apart from a few lexicalized remnants (e.g. (het) zij (zo) - (het) moge (geschieden) - (als het) ware 'it may be so may it happen as if it were (so)'), all traces of the subjunctive have disappeared. The imperative does not distinguish between singular and plural and is generally expressed by the verb stem without an explicit subject....

Verbs and Verb Phrases

Within the huge class of English verbs, a small subclass of auxiliary verbs can be singled out and opposed to the main verbs on the basis of the following criteria first, auxiliary verbs cannot function as main predicate of a sentence, but have to combine with a main verb to form a sentence ( will follow you vs I followed him). Sentences like he could the Bible in the holy tongue or I must to the king were still possible at the time of Shakespeare, but are ungrammatical in Modern English....

The Sentence

The sentence in Old Scandinavian is characterized by two interconnected properties it has a 'flat' structure, where all the major constituents are represented at the same hierarchical level, and it has a relatively free word order, in the sense that the relative order of phrases in terms of grammatical function is variable. The order of elements in terms of discourse function, on the other hand, is rather fixed. From this it follows, for example, that a nominative phrase (the subject) may come...

The Nominal Group

Proto-Indo-European distinguished athematic nouns (nouns made up of a base without a suffix before inflectional endings) and thematic nouns (nouns with base followed by e o and inflectional endings). In Germanic the thematic nouns have become more prominent consonant stems like hatis 'hate' have become thematic. The -n- stems have, however, maintained their prominence a second adjective inflection has been built on them. Nouns have six major classes of inflection, plus two subgroups of the...

Syllable Types Historical Development

Yiddish shows the results of two similar - yet historically and structurally distinct - processes of standardization of syllable quantity. Both processes occurred - independently - in pre-Yiddish times, and are reflected in the Hebrew Aramaic, and German components of Yiddish, respectively. Both had the effect of making all stressed syllables long. However, what constituted long in the source languages differed. In the Hebrew and Aramaic component (as part of substratal pre-Yiddish Jewish...

Subordination

Other than with modals or aspectuals, Yiddish has very few infinitival complements and no Raising dakht zikhf az du host khatoim nit veynikerfun andere 'you seem to have no fewer sins than the others' (lit. (It) seems (that) you '). The usual complementizer for finite verb complements is az 'that', which may be deleted however, factives typically take vos (lit.) 'what' iz der zun shoyn gevorn gor in kas, vos er darf altsding tsvey mol iberzogn 'so the son got angry that he had to repeat...

Personal Pronouns

The personal pronoun system is set out in Table 13.6. In the pronominal paradigm, only the non-sectarian Pennsylvania German has fully retained a distinct three-case system, i.e. nominative, accusative, and dative, while the Pennsylvania German language of the sectarians has reduced the pronominal cases to two, i.e. subject and object. There is only one pronoun of address, the informal singular du 'you' and the plural dir 'you (pi.)', although the latter form manifests regional variants. Many...

Phonology Orthography

Old Scandinavian is recorded in two different scripts, the runic script (the Futhark) and the Roman alphabet, which came into use with the introduction of Christianity shortly after the turn of the millennium. With certain additions the latter was made quite suitable as a means of representing the sounds and phonemes of Old Norse. The < 1 and later the < 5> for the voiced counterpart were borrowed from Old English. The < y> for the front, high labial vowel was also borrowed from...

Nominal Morphology

While Pennsylvania German basically maintains a two-case system (common and dative) for nouns among non-sectarian speakers and sectarians over the age of 60, convergence with English has resulted in the shift to a single, common case system of nominal inflection in sectarian Pennsylvania German. Three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), and two numbers (singular and plural) have been retained by both groups. Nominal morphology is discussed in conjunction with the definite and indefinite...

Constituent Proposing

Almost any constituent can be placed initially as a topic in declarative main clauses, e.g .jag (su.) har inte tit mor tter i dag 'I haven't been eating carrots today', i dag (adverbial) har jag inte tit mor tter, mor tter (obj.) har jag inte tit i dag ndgon post (existential su.) hade det inte kommit 'no mail had arrived' henne (indir. obj.) har jag inte gett lov att komma 'I haven't permitted her to come', glad (pred. compl.) blev hon 'she became glad'. Auxiliaries, adverbial particles and...

List of Contributors

Erik Andersson, Department of Swedish, bo Akademi, bo, Finland. John Ole Askedal, Department of Germanic Studies, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. Michael P. Barnes, Department of Scandinavian Studies, University College London, London, UK. Georges De Schutter, Linguistics (GER), University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium. Bruce Donaldson, Department of Germanic Studies and Russian, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Peter Eisenberg, Department of German, University of...

Phonology Vowels

The system of Old English accented vowels can be represented as in Table 5.1, where the vowels are given in the standard spelling with presumed phonetic transcription added if the spelling is not transparent. There are eight pairs, distinguished by length only, and a central vowel > , spelled e. The Old English vowel system evolved from the prehistoric system through a series of sound changes. The most conspicuous and pervasive of these is called i-umlaut. West Germanic had five canonical...

Grammatical Relations

The major means for marking grammatical relations in Old Scandinavian is by means of morphological case marking. All four cases are used for noun-phrase arguments of verbs. In hon skyldi bera gl vikingum 'she was to bring beer to (the) vikings', the nominative (hon), the accusative (gl), and the dative (vikingum) are represented as governed by the same verb bera 'bring, carry'. As will be demonstrated below, there is little evidence that Old Scandinavian has a separate VP node to the exclusion...

Syntax Types of Noun Phrases

Indefinite pronouns (including quantifiers), demonstrative pronouns, numerals and adjectives precede the nouns they modify, and in this order allir pessir fjdrir frxgu malfrxdingar hafa bordad hakarl 'all these four famous linguists have eaten shark'. Demonstrative pronouns, as well as the definite article, trigger the weak inflection of adjectives. This can be seen if the previous example is compared with the following two frxgu mdlfrxf-ingarnir hafa bordad h& karl 'the famous linguists...

The Verbal Group

Yiddish, like Slavic, lacks sequence of tenses. That is, just as the reference time of the main clause is the time of the utterance, the reference time of a subordinate clause is the time of the clause in which it is embedded, with no sequence of tense modifications an oyrekh iz amol gezesn ban a balebos un hot gevart, biz me vet derlangen esn 'a guest once sat in a gentleman's house and waited until they served (lit. will serve) the food'. Yiddish has a productive means for forming...

Word Formation

Frisian follows the general patterns of Germanic word formation. As in other Germanic languages, the most frequent type of compound combines two nouns bilsdoek 'handkerchief' (lit. 'pocket cloth'), appelsop 'apple juice', sinneljocht 'sunlight'. Also very common is the verb-noun type sliepkeamer 'bedroom' (lit. 'sleeping room'), waskmasine 'washing machine', print later 'printer's error'. Like German and Dutch, Frisian makes extensive use of 'link morphemes' koken-s-doar 'kitchen door',...

Nondeclarative Sentence Types

As in all other Germanic languages, word order is the most important device for distinguishing interrogative from declarative sentences in English. All polar interrogatives (yes no questions) exhibit inversion and so do constituent interrogatives unless the subject is questioned what do you think vs who cares There are separate morphologically simplex interrogative pronouns for animate (human) and inanimate subjects and objects (who, whose, who(m) vs which) as well as for temporal (when), local...

The Language in Relation to Proto Germanic and the Other Germanic Dialects

According to tradition the Goths maintained an aristocratic culture that reflected many characteristics of Indo-European society. They supported poets who preserved accounts of their valiant men, such as the king, Ermaneric, who came to be central figures in the medieval literature of the West and North Germanic peoples. The poets created a major role for Attila, ruler of the Huns, glorified as Etzel in the High German Nibelungenlied, and for Theodoric, the founder of the Ostrogothic empire in...

The Infinitive as Verbal Noun

A construction that has attracted considerable attention is the use of the infinitive to translate passive infinitives of Greek, as in hait nu witan pamma hlaiwa 'command now guarding (to) guard for that tomb' for Greek keleuson oun asphalisthenai ton taphon 'command that the tomb be guarded'. Such use of infinitives as object, and also as subject, indicates that the so-called infinitive actually was a verbal noun this analysis is supported by its origin in an accusative suffix, Proto-Germanic...

Gothic and the Reconstruction of Proto Germanic

Gothic is the language of two Germanic peoples, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, known from the early centuries of our era. Except for a few runic inscriptions, Gothic provides us with our earliest Germanic texts. The texts are chiefly translations of the New Testament and fragments of the Old Testament, ascribed to Wulfila (c. 300-82 3), and a few other materials from the sixth century. Because it precedes other extensive Germanic texts by three or four centuries, by even more those in North...

Syntax The Nominal Group

Word order in Old English is freer than in Modern English, though not really what one might call free. For a number of aspects of word order, there are strong preferences. This is as true at the phrasal level as it is at the clausal level. For nominal phrases, the preferred situation is for all modifiers to precede the head noun, and the preferred order is not very different from that in Modern English quantifier, demonstrative pronoun possessive pronoun, numeral, oper, adjective (one or more),...

Syllable Structure

In Standard Dutch, syllables have exclusively vocalic nuclei, with either full vowels or a . The vowel may be preceded and or followed by one or more consonantal phonemes. A special restriction, mentioned before, is that lax vowels must be followed by at least one consonantal phoneme in word-final position. Even glides, which have a distribution arguably comparable with that of consonants, will not suffice in this case. Consonantal clusters between vowels in monomorphemes belong at least partly...

Monomorphemic Words

Not surprisingly, Dutch forms a group together with English, Frisian and German, deviating from the Scandinavian languages in vocabulary as well as in most other characteristics. Furthermore, it should be noted that its geographical situation between English and German is paralleled by a similar mid-position in the contents of the lexicon. Many Dutch words appear to belong to an Ingvaeonic ('North Sea') stock of words, most of which are also found in English, but not in High German. Among them...

Lexis

As far as the content of the lexical items in pidgin and cre le languages is concerned, at least two general points can be made. One is the common existence of a nautical element, which is not surprising given the fact that most pidgins and cre les tend to be located near a marine expanse. Another is presence of a common core of items shared across unrelated pidgins and cre les. Among these are words such as pikinini 'child, baby' (< Port. peque o or pequeni o 'small'), as found in Jamaican...

General Characteristics of Afrikaans

Phonologically Afrikaans is characterized by a preference for voiceless over voiced stops and fricatives (the exceptions being b and d , but even these are devoiced in final position, and g only occurs as an allophone of x in a few limited positions) by a great number of diphthongs (the result of the breaking of historically long vowels inter alia) as well as by a strong tendency to unrounding. Morphologically it is characterized by the lack of gender distinction the lack of conjugation in the...

Syntax Noun Phrase

The minimal noun phrase in Frisian consists of a pronoun or a proper name (do 'you', Jan 'John'). Otherwise noun phrases at least contain a determiner and a nominal head de Mn 'the dog' in boek 'a book'. The determiner may be a zero article in the case of plural and mass nouns 0 wolkens 'clouds', 0 rein 'rain'. Attributive adjectives precede the nominal head de kreaze faam 'the pretty girl'. Modifiers and complements, which take the shape of clauses or prepositional phrases, follow the nominal...

Tense MoodAspect

The most discussed feature of Creole morphosyntax is the system of verbal markers. As early as the nineteenth-century scholars commented on markers of tense, mood and aspect which were shared across Creoles with different lexical bases. Many have claimed that although these markers are lexically related to the superstate language, they behave syntactically and semantically like the pre-verbal tense, mood and aspect markers in the substrate languages. Table 18.3 shows some of the similarities...

Phonological Rules

As mentioned before, Modern Standard Dutch does not manifest any large-scale variation as far as the phonological system is concerned. Still, it is relatively easy, even for people who do not know the language, to tell apart speakers from Belgium and those of the Netherlands within either group there is no uniformity either. The limits of acceptability of phonetic variation in the standard language are a matter of debate. The variation itself is a function of the application of a number of...

The Use of Reflexive Pronouns

Special reflexive pronouns are used in the third-person. They are normally co-referent with the subject of their own clause. Non-reflexive pronouns are used of referents mentioned in non-subject position or in earlier sentences, e.g. professorni kande docenterij frdn sinajhennesj forelasningar 'the professor knew the lecturer from his her lectures'. A reflexive pronoun can also be co-referent to the 'subject' of a clause equivalent. A syntactic unit can be more or less equivalent to a clause....

Tense and Aspect

If the tense system of English is analysed from a purely structural point of view, there is only a two-term opposition only the contrast between past and non-past (present) is marked in the morphology of the verb John plays tennis, John played tennis. In addition to these two tenses, already distinguished in Old English, a 'future tense' is developing as a result of combining the present tense of the volitional auxiliary will with the infinitive of main verbs John will play tennis next week....

Prosodic Phenomena

In the greater part of the vocabulary, which is of Common Germanic origin, main stress is assigned to the first syllable of the word. Composite words, like 'samfunnsfliv 'social life', 'om,vende 'convert (verb)', liar,fin 'very subtle', have rather strong secondary stress under which the syllabic quantity distinction between V C and VC is preserved, cf. vintap 'vi n,ta p 'loss of wine' vs vintapp vi n,tap 'wine plug'. The stress falls on the second syllable in many common loanwords with the...

Some Productive Wordformation Processes

Some word-formation suffixes are listed in Table 6.13. The list does not exclusively contain suffixes that are common in spontaneous word formation but also several suffixes that have been frequently used in 'learned' word formation (see section 6.5). The suffixes are divided into classes according to the type of basic word they can be attached to for the purposes of new word formation. In the new words the boundary between the basic word and the suffix is indicated by a plus (+) but the...

The Verb System

Verbs fall into two broad categories weak and strong. The strong class, which features an alternation of the stem vowel, still reflects the old Germanic ablaut series. Table 13.7 provides a basic paradigm for Pennsylvania German verb conjugations in the present tense, liie pattern is the same for both weak and strong verbs. The prefix ge- is added to the stem of the majority of verbs to form the past participle, e.g. gdbuna 'bound'. The reduced vowel of the participle prefix has been lost...

Morphology Nouns and Adjectives

There is no longer any trace of case inflection to be found in nouns and adjectives outside of the numerous standard expressions where the origins of the remaining inflection have long since been forgotten, e.g. van ganser harte 'with all one's heart', tenslotte 'at last'. The only living examples of case in Afrikaans are to be found in the personal pronouns. Given that when an adjective is inflected it takes an -e, the sound and spelling changes that occur in such cases are identical to those...

Prepositional Groups Formed with in in and uituit

In and uit, when designating motion rather than place, can be placed after the noun, as in Dutch, but more common, especially in the spoken language, is circumpositioning, e.g. hy storm (in) die huis in (uit) die huis uit 'he storms into the house out of the house'. In the case of in, this construction renders 'into' (motion), as opposed to 'in' (place). Either one postpositioned in or two circumpositioned in's are possible only with certain verbs indicating motion, particularly those with a...

Nondeclarative and Subordinate Clause Word Order

The topological, schema sketched so far is traditionally associated with declarative main clauses. There is a variant of this topological schema, which is associated with non-declarative main clauses, and a different schema associated with subordinate clauses. The traditional subordinate clause schema distinguishes itself from the schema discussed so far on three counts. First, the connector position can be filled by both coordinating and subordinating connectors, in that order. Second,...

Extent of Borrowing and Foreign Influence on the Lexicon

The greater part of present-day Norwegian vocabulary can be traced back to Old Norse origins, and from there to Common Germanic lexical sources. Still, the cultural contacts with western Europe since the Iron Age have left their indelible imprint on the modern language. With respect to the acceptance and assimilation of linguistic borrowings of a grammatical or lexical nature, the standardized versions of Bokmdl and Riksmdl , on one hand, and New Norwegian, on the other, exhibit obvious...

Pronominalization and Quantifiers

Gender distinctions are absent in the personal pronoun in the plural, cf. guttene m. 'the boys' jentene f. 'the girls ' borda n. 'the tables' de. In the singular, the personal pronouns obey different agreement rules in New Norwegian and Bokmdl The New Norwegian agreement system is, in principle, based on grammatical gender, whereby han m., ho f., det n. refer to full noun phrases in the masculine, feminine or neuter, respectively, irrespective of natural gender sex NN guten 'the boy', stolen...

Syllable Structure and Syllabic Structure

The syllable in German can be rather complex. If we restrict ourselves to monosyllabic words without internal morphological boundaries, we find syllables with three consonants in the onset and up to four consonants in the coda. The onset is built up of one, two, or three consonants. Figure 11.1 shows the combinatorial possibilities of the onset with two consonants obstruent plus sonorant . Two different types can be distinguished for the onset with three consonants. The first consists of...

The Roman Occupation Up To

The vocabulary of Modern Standard German naturally shares most of its structural characteristics with the vocabularies of the neighbouring languages like French, Dutch, Polish, Danish or English. Since there is no developed methodology for comparing the overall vocabularies of closely related languages, I would like to mention very briefly two points with respect to which German might be different at least from some of its neighbours. The first point concerns the distinction of a native and a...