Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Germanic family

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
17 messages over 3 pages: 13  Next >>


Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 6542 days ago

9078 posts - 16473 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 9 of 17
17 February 2008 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
If anybody has ever attempted to make a detailed analysis of the whole Germanic language family then it is almost certain that it only has been published as a big fat book, not as a webpage. I have a book that attempts something like it for the Slavonic languages ("The Slavonic Languages" by Comrie and Corbett), and it has 1078 pages. I wouldn't expect to find something like that on the net, and even if I did I wouldn't have the stamina to sit in front of the screen and read it - it is bad enough to do it an armchair or sofa. Another problem is that such a book probably wouldn't to much use before you had already learnt most of the languages it describes. In fact I haven't felt that reading the mighty Comrie/Corbett has been of any benefit to me yet.

It might be tempting to search for something smaller and easier, but a tiny book that tried to describe the whole family would probably be too superficial in the treatment of each language to be of any use for a language learner.
The alternative is to settle for something that can be done, namely text collections, preferably with at least some of the texts in as many languages as possible. Some aspects of grammar and vocabulary might also be described, but you shouldn't expect all the topics of all grammars to be covered. But I don't even know whether anybody has attempted to write such a book. I have seen some multilingual wordlists on the internet (covering the most frequent words), but that's all. No home page, no book covering the whole thing.

One of the reasons could be that the Germanic family is so heterogeneous. A book about the Scandinavian languages tracing them back to the beginnings would certainly be feasible. And so would a book about German, Dutch and maybe Frisian, tracing those languages back to the earliest sources. Covering both these areas plus English plus Gothic in one book would be very difficult, - the book would in all likelyhood seem to split apart along the inner division lines within the family. If anybody has tried this herculean task I would certainly like to see the result.


Edited by Iversen on 18 February 2008 at 4:04am

2 persons have voted this message useful



ChristopherB
Triglot
Senior Member
New Zealand
Joined 6155 days ago

851 posts - 1074 votes 
2 sounds
Speaks: English*, German, French

 
 Message 10 of 17
17 February 2008 at 6:30pm | IP Logged 
Have you checked out Routledge's Germanic Languages? Routledge has published numerous books on language families, all written by various scholars of each language they cover. I have dabbled in it occasionally at my University library and it is indeed quite in-depth, with individual chapters dedicated to such languages as Faroese, Yiddish and Pennsylvanian German.
1 person has voted this message useful



Palmettofighter
Newbie
United States
Joined 5971 days ago

29 posts - 29 votes
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 11 of 17
17 February 2008 at 6:57pm | IP Logged 
I have looked into Pennsylvania German actually. I find it really interesting and I wish I could go to Pennsylvania to actually hear people speaking it. I doubt anybody speaks exclusively Pennsylvania German though. Wikipedia actually has a section for Deitsch. I would like to hear from someone who speaks Pennsylvania German.
1 person has voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 6542 days ago

9078 posts - 16473 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 12 of 17
18 February 2008 at 3:48am | IP Logged 
Fränzi wrote:
Have you checked out Routledge's Germanic Languages? Routledge has published numerous books on language families, all written by various scholars of each language they cover. I have dabbled in it occasionally at my University library and it is indeed quite in-depth, with individual chapters dedicated to such languages as Faroese, Yiddish and Pennsylvanian German.


Good advice, I'll try to get it from my local library, and if it is any good I'll buy it. This particular book dates from 2002, so my last search for something in that direction may have taken place before that year.

EDIT: I have now read this book (though in a totally new edition), and it is excellent if you want to grasp the differences in the inner workings of all the Germanic languages. However it is also quite demanding in terms both of your general linguistic knowledge and your knowledge of the languges involved. For instance I felt my lack of knowledge in Gothic to be a real problem, even with translations of all examples.

The book isn't structured according to language subgroups, languages and dialects, but according to grammatical categories, which is fine with me as it serves to highlight the differences between languages. The book about the Slavic languages I mentioned above is less useful because it describes each language in isolation and unless you know all the languages involved you haven't got a chance to understand where the differences and the similarities are, and you don't get an overview over the whole group that points out the important details.


Edited by Iversen on 02 April 2008 at 6:01am

1 person has voted this message useful



Earle
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6154 days ago

276 posts - 276 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Norwegian, Spanish

 
 Message 13 of 17
22 February 2008 at 11:56pm | IP Logged 
My BIL is from a PA Deutsch family, so I've certainly heard it. The dialect they speak is just about as divergent from High German as Swiss German is. By listening carefully, I can pick up about 60% of it, but not more...

Edited by Earle on 22 February 2008 at 11:56pm

1 person has voted this message useful



shapd
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 5988 days ago

126 posts - 208 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Modern Hebrew, French, Russian

 
 Message 14 of 17
23 February 2008 at 11:50am | IP Logged 
For the German part of the family, WB Lockwood's An Informal History of the German Language (Andre Deutsch) is a well written introduction to all phases of German from Althochdeutsch on. It also has chapters on Low German, Dutch, Frisian and Yiddish, with examples of connected prose.
1 person has voted this message useful



ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 7095 days ago

609 posts - 2102 votes 

 
 Message 15 of 17
24 February 2008 at 8:28pm | IP Logged 
Mr. Iversen, I believe Jacob Grimm’s Deutsche Grammatik[i/] may be the monumental work for which you are questing.
1 person has voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 6542 days ago

9078 posts - 16473 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 16 of 17
22 July 2008 at 9:40am | IP Logged 
I have still not had the chance to read the book by Jacob Grimm, but as I have mentioned earlier I did in fact get a quite new edition of the Routledge book through the local university library. And it was very interesting stuff. The author had chosen not to describe one language after another (unlike Comrie's book about the Slavonic languages), but he discussed instead one grammatical theme after another with examples drawn from the most relevant languages (relevant in the sense that they had interesting constructions, not in the sense that they were 'big' languages - Jiddisch was treated on a par with English). It was quite hard to read, partly becase of the use of transformational grammatical terminology, but well argumented and very thorough. I didn't buy it, but would like to recommend it.

Edited by Iversen on 27 July 2008 at 7:09pm



1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 17 messages over 3 pages: << Prev 13  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.4688 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2024 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.