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Intro needs work
If the Istaevones appear in Tacitus, how can they be dated from ca. 500? Second point, they can't be in the Low Franconian category, as they are earlier by far than it. Moreover, the Istaevones must include the Ripuarian Franks, who went all the way upstream to Mainze. And finally, Istaevonic must fall into the Proto-Frankish period. At its eastern end it became various grades of Old High German. And post-finally, Istaevonic is only an unverified hypothetical. While I appreciate the desire to get something up on the topic we ought to try to get something accurate up, which is considerably more work. I suppose one would start by working through the references. Meanwhile this discussion entry gives some idea of the sort of reference work needed. Importance? Well, Istaevonic, Ingaevonic and Ermannonic are sort of being abandoned in favor of Proto-Frankish and other dialectical protos, so I would say medium or even low. It does have some historical value. Perhaps medium? Oh, and post-post finally, the part about the relationship of the Chatti and other tribes to the Istaevones is pure guesswork, manufactured history, so to speak. All we know is what Tacitus says. He covers the tribes rather than the Istaevones, etc. Earlier German linguists often got carried away in speculation. I can't say I blame them as the topic is so interesting, but stories made up using scattered fragments out of context is historical fiction not history.Dave (talk) 12:49, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
- I think articles on this and similar subjects face a challenge. There are actually several inter-related definitions for the same term. First, Istaevones are mentioned in classical sources, but not clearly defined. (I disagree that we can say that they "must include the Ripuarian Franks" for example, who were a later people, whose ancestry is unknown. But there is a possible link.) Secondly, the word has been picked up by modern linguists, but, as you correctly point out, they are talking about distinctions in Germanic which were probably not even existent in the classical period when the term was original used. Again, there might be a connection, but we need to be cautious.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:19, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Could this be made more linguistic and less speculatively tribalistic?
The map with the various West and North Germanic linguistic variants correspond to some articles about Germanic tribes or "nations", which try to trace a kind of Germanic peoples subunits continuity not very commonly accepted among scholars today, and some articles about linguistic differences, which are much better founded. This article now is of the "tribalistic" kind, while Ingvaeonic languages is "linguistic". I think it would be good to make also this article mainly "linguistic", if someone with sufficient knowledge and access to good sources could do so.
Of course, this does not mean that all the references to Tacitus et cetera have to be removed. They should be retained at least for explaining the nomenclature, and with a short explanation of how the name-giving was related to an earlier hypothesised very strong correlation between having common language and genetic common origin. (In 1942, when the linguistics treatment by the German professor Friedrich Maurer was published, such hypotheses still had a rather strong support in Germany, to put it mildly.) Possibly, there might even be a split between Istvaeones (hypothetical Germanic supertribe) and Istvaeonic (linguistics); but this liguistically based map then only should belong to the linguistics article. Providing it in an article about what Pliny the Elder and Tacitus wrote about the distribution of Germanic tribes is completely misleading.
Actually, if Maurer did discuss his model as an alternative to the strict tree-model, as stated in Ingvaeonic languages, he was in a sense more modern. The modern idea is that people move around, and that some linguistic innovations may be spread geographically to some speakers of a "language" (here defined as "speakers of mutually understandable idioms"), both by some people moving, and by some people simply taking over a way to speak that they hear others using. Other linguistic changes may have spread to other parts of the same "language area". This leads to the possibility of a split between a northern and a southern part with respect to some features, an eastern and western split with respect to others, and a mixture, where some feature has spread along trade routes, but not affected more pure rural areas at the sides, with respect to a third set. This makes articles about such features, as Ingvaeonic languages, rather interesting.
I am not that happy about calling the dialects influenced by the Ingvaeonic (or e. g. the Istvaeonic) linguistic changes "languages"; this is a mistaken reflex of the strict tree-model, I fear. JoergenB (talk) 16:14, 1 January 2017 (UTC)