Talk:Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law

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Page move[edit]

Doric Loon questioned why i made this change. the reasons are

  • The term "Anglo-Frisian nasal spirant law" is simply wrong, since it applies to all the Ingvaeonic languages, not just Anglo-Saxon and Frisian.
  • The only Google references to "Anglo-Frisian nasal spirant law" are on Wikipedia or sources derived from it, so it is not a generally used term.

Doric Loon also questions the term "Ingvaeonic"; but this is the standard term in every book I've seen, including recent ones (Orrin Robinson's "Old English and Its Closest Relatives", Roger Lass's Old English book). An alternative term is "North Sea Germanic"; but a Google search shows that

  • As a synonym for Ingvaeonic, the latter is usually preferred, since "North Sea Germanic" often appears in parens following it.
  • Even worse, usage of "North Sea Germanic" is not consistent; it variously means "Ingvaeonic", "Anglo-Saxon-Jute", "Anglo-Frisian", "Ingvaeonic + Scandinavian", etc.

Benwing 21:16, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Fair enough - that's all we needed. --Doric Loon 10:07, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Swiss[edit]

I have provisionally deleted the following sentence pending some kind of explanation:

These old sounds are still reflected in many Swiss German dialects in which 'us' (High German: 'uns') is still pronounced 'ues' or 'üs'.

Swiss German was not affected by this law as far as I know. If it is true that uns has become üs then that would presumably be a separate, independent development. As for the Umlaut, that is NOT the original Germanic vowel. Swiss German is interesting, of course, but I don't find it helpful in this article. --Doric Loon 01:15, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

I will have to do some research, but I think the original statement might have some truth to it. (Though, the case would not be one of Swiss German / Alemannic Dialects "still" having 'ūs' or some variant thereof - the 'uns' of Gothic and Old High German being much closer if not identical to the Common or Proto-Germanic 'uns' - but rather one of Swiss German having participated in the shift made by Old English and Old Saxon from 'uns' to 'ūs' due to the law under discussion.) I remember there being a large symposium a few years ago entitled "The Alemannen and the North" or something similar where the link between the Alemannen and the North/North-West Germanic groups was discussed, but I don't have anything at hand at the moment. I'll try to get back to it soon, though. Varoon Arya 00:26, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps another case of this is Swiss German 'föif / füfzä / füfzg' for Standard German 'fünf / fünfzehn / fünfzig' (from Gmc. 'fimf'). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.56.85.43 (talk) 11:40, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Possible source[edit]

I found the following through Google Scholar but I cannot actually access it:

  • Antonsen, Elmer H. "On Defining Stages in Prehistoric Germanic". Language 41 (No. 1: Jan. - Mar., 1965): pp. 19–36. 

Maybe someone with the required access could check whether it applies? HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 13:52, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Dutch inconsistency[edit]

Note that Dutch is inconsistent, following the law in some words but not others; this must be understood in terms of the standard language drawing from a variety of dialects, only some of which were affected by the sound change.

Based on the present examples, it looks like it could simply be that Dutch has nf -> f but not nth -> th -> d or ns -> s. If this isn't the case, could someone give examples to show that Dutch does lose nth and ns sometimes or doesn't lose nf sometimes? --Ptcamn 16:49, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

In some placenames Dutch has mond(e): IJsselmonde, but there is also Muiden, IJsselmuiden. A rip current is a mui, but a river mouth is a mond . —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 152.1.193.137 (talk) 17:11, 27 April 2007 (UTC).

Goose / Gander[edit]

In English, it appears that goose was affected by the law, but gander remained unaffected. --DPoon 09:08, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

True: the /n/ in gander is not followed by a spirant, making the law inoperable. Note that although goose and gander (and also gannet) do come from the same Indo-European root, their history is separate from pre-Germanic times, so we wouldn't expect them to develop in parallel. This is not like lion and lioness, where the morphological mechanism is still productive, or even fox and vixen, where it was productive in relatively recent linguistic history. --Doric Loon 22:11, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Scandinavian (Norwegian) before -s[edit]

While we're muddying the waters here, I thought I'd mention that the law seems to apply in Scandinavian too, at least as far as a following -s is concerned: e.g., Norwegian oss 'us', gås 'goose'. Isoglosses can criss-cross the map like spaghetti; thank good old Johannes Schmidt for his Wellentheorie (wave theory of feature propagation). DThrax 04:47, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Found an apparent counterexample already, though it involves not just -s but the Germanic -sk cluster:

 German wünsch-   Norwegian ønsk-   = Eng. 'wish'.

More grist for the mill... DThrax 05:06, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

The word is given without the nasal for Old Norse, though (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C5%93skja#Old_Norse) and remains as such in Icelandic æskja/óska. Faroese and Nynorsk on the other hand have ynskja (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ynskja) with a nasal, but as the page describes for both of them, and as is likely, "the 'n' stems from influence from Middle Low German wunschen". Also note, as is even exemplified in this very article, that Icelandic has some forms of 'other' without a nasal, where the root is simply aðr-. This may be analoguous, however, to the instability of n before r yielding words such as maðr, from PG *mannaz, but obviously would not follow the exact same regular pattern, as the former would have to be from an *anðr- and the latter from a *mannr-. Either way, NG seems to have done this a lot, before various fricatives, although f does not seem to have been involved. Skomakar'n (talk) 09:51, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Link to Ingvaeonic[edit]

Shouldn't this page link to "Ingvaeonic"? I had to type the word in to find out more about the actual word. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.12.6.196 (talk) 23:22, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

When?[edit]

The article does not seem to say when the shift took place. Do we know? Frans Fowler (talk) 06:38, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Probably before the days of Hengist and Horsa, that is before about 500 A.D. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.97.194.200 (talk) 10:59, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Unvoiced fricative[edit]

The article uses the word "fricative" but all the examples contain unvoiced fricatives. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.97.194.200 (talk) 10:57, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

I always thought that the shift only applied if the fricative was unvoiced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.97.194.200 (talk) 11:04, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
It is possible that an intermediate stage, involving a nasalised vowel, was used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.97.194.200 (talk) 11:08, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

As far as I understand, there were no voiced fricatives in positions after nasals to which the rule could have applied. The old WGerm */β, ð, ɣ/ had been hardened to OE /b, d, ɡ/ after nasals (and many other positions) (Lass, Old English, p.77). Fut.Perf. 15:38, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

You are probably right, but the article should have the word "unvoiced" added to avoid confusion. I prefer the word "changed" to the meaningless "hardened". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.148.109.114 (talk) 15:44, 12 May 2011 (UTC)