Talk:Northwest Germanic

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Theory[edit]

"Northwest Germanic" is by no means an established or generally accepted working scheme or theory. The way it positions North Germanic and West Germanic together, and against East Germanic, is rather in opposition to the more accepted view that North Germanic and East Germanic are more closely related (Schwarz used "Gotho-Scandinavian) and the opposite pole to some sort of Continental Germanic. I hope nobody will ignore this fact in order to advocate truth taken for granted, or even deny some kind of challenge here. Like always, let the reader decide. Rokus01 20:09, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

It's probably fair to say that the theory is established (see the references in the article), but I agree that it is by no means accepted. I would however disagree that Gotho-Nordic or Gotho-Scandinavian is any more accepted. In his article, Kuhn shows that 19 of Schwarz's 26 criteria for the Gotho-Nordic subgrouping are shared retentions that shouldn't be taken as evidence for a subgroup. Schwarz's assumption that linguistic change must have taken place before the date of the Gothic migration as suggested by archaeological evidence has also been criticised (by e.g. Kufner). Furthermore, any evidence for Germanic subgroupings before 0 AD is inevitably secondary, as none of the languages were attested before then. Your main point is key, though - both Gotho-Nordic and Northwest Germanic are theories, and the article should present the information and let the reader decide. Muspilli (talk) 13:11, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Something that puzzles me is how Scandinavian languages are assumed on the one hand to have passed through a stage of accelerated evolution just before the Viking expansion, and how on the other hand this "accelerated evolution" miss all unambiguous evidence: even the early runic inscriptions that once were considered evidence to such a "very similar to continental germanic, pre-nordic stage" are now theorized to represent rather some kind of ancient latin-influenced West-Germanic. To me, subgroupings based on location only serve to reflect a language continuum of an unknown, maybe even unfathomable time-depth. Rokus01 (talk) 18:52, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

The thing that appears most ridiculous to me as a historian is that language realities postulated by linguists get simpler the less evidence they have to work with. I.e. branches get given ancestors which supposedly have a post-industrial level of standardization across huge zones, but are placed in the Iron Age and earlier. Dialects are a modern phenomenon apparently. They need to be clearer to general audiences about the intention of these "theories", cut the bs or at least stop presenting their classification theories as if they had any chance of corresponding with reality. If things aren't known, that should be the first thing told to general audiences. Anyways, rant is necessary as theories like West Germanic languages are being presented as uncontroversial facts, when they are not. Shame. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 22:27, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

"It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with North Sea Germanic." I disagree because North Sea Germanic refers to a grouping of certain West Germanic languages, which has nothing to do with this category, which is a grouping of all West Germanic languages with North Germanic languages. This article is related to the article on Proto-Norse, but it discusses a broader concept than Proto-Norse. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fairedit (talkcontribs) 07:35, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. Regardless of whether you agree with it, NWGmc is a respectable and widely discussed theory of the grouping of the Gmc languages found in the literature, and deserves its own article so that those who come across the term can see what it involves. The only article it could possible be subsumed by is a general one discussing all the Gmc grouping theories. Merging with North Sea Germanic would be nonsensical for the reason Fairedit has stated. Since the merge tag was added without any rationale being left on this page, I propose to remove it. --Pfold (talk) 08:58, 15 June 2011 (UTC)