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Ryan Cotterell & James Brenner Structure of English

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1 Ryan Cotterell & James Brenner Structure of English
Grimm’s Law Ryan Cotterell & James Brenner Structure of English

2 Proto Indo-European (PIE)
PIE is the commonly accepted “umbrella” ancestor to the Indo-European languages. Its origins are debated as no substantial record of its history exists. Most reputable theories date its main existence somewhere between the 7th and 4th millenniums B.C. Its regions of origin are generally placed in far Eastern Europe around Ukraine, the Balkans, and other Black Sea Regions. By the 3rd millennium it had probably split into mostly non-mutually intelligible daughter dialects.

3 Proto – Germanic (PGmc)
Refers to the general ancestor language of all Germanic languages (English, Dutch, German, Swedish, etc.) Generally accepted that it was not identifiable as a distinct dialect before 500 B.C. By 200 A.D., the Germanic dialect was classified as “Late – Proto…” or “Late – Common…”

4 Historical Context of PIE and PGmc
PIE was spoken in a basically pure form until at least the 4thmillenium B.C. No exact date can be given to specifically separate Proto-Germanic from its earlier roots However it is clear that PGmc was was not classifiable as a distinct dialect before about 500 B.C. (about 2,500 years ago) Thus, that leaves at least 3,000 years (roughly 4,000 B.C. to 500 B.C.) that sound changes could have occurred from PIE to PGmc The most specific and identifiable of which probably occurred within the 1st millennium B.C.

5 Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) Life + Background
A German lawyer, writer, and linguist. He is most popularly remembered for his fairy tales, recorded with his brother Wilhelm. However his most influential work was actually in linguistics with his compilation of the German Dictionary and his identification of the sound shift now named after him.

6 Grimm’s Work and Career
Education Career He completed under studies at public schools in Kassel Went to the University of Marburg where he studied law Upon attending the lectures of Savigny, Grimm was introduced to the literary sources and historical texts of the lectures. It was here that Grimm’s interest in the history of languages began Worked at several libraries (Kassel, Gottingen) Held positions of Professor and member of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin Was almost always accompanied by his brother Essentially, his jobs gave him continual access to resources to further his work in linguistics and its history

7 Karl Verner (1846-1896) Life and Background Danish Linguist
Conducted research in many languages including Slavic and Semitic languages. His work in Germanic linguistics was actually limited compared to some of his other studies. However his recognition of the pattern to one of the exceptions of Grimm’s law, dubbed “Verner’s Law,” remains his most famous work.


9 Modern Indo-European Languages
English month Welsh mis Gaelic mí French mois Spanish mes Portuguese mês Italian mese German Monat Dutch maand Swedish månad Polish miesiac Russian myesyats Greek minas Albanian muaj Lithuanian menuo Farsi mâh Hindi mahina Arabic shahr Finnish kuukausi Basque hilabethe Turkish ay Chinese yue

10 Phonology of PIE

11 Centum-Satem isogloss
Satem languages delabialized the labiovelars, merging the labiovelars with the pure velars Satem languages also assibilated the palatals Centum languages depalatalized the palatals, merging them with the pure velars

12 Grimm’s Law The major sound change discovered in linguistics
Instrumental to the creation of the Comparative Method Established a regular set of correspondences between the Germanic language and the rest of the Centum Isogloss Divided into three parts

13 Part One *t  þ *k  x  h *kw  xw  hw
The voiceless stops change into voiceless fricatives *p  f *t  þ *k  x  h *kw  xw  hw

14 Examples Portuguese pé Greek pūs Portuguese três Greek tria Portuguese cão Greek kyon Portuguese que Icelandic hvað English foot Icelandic fótur English three Icelandic þrír English hound Icelandic hundur English what

15 Part Two *d  t *g  k *gw  kw
Voiced stops change into voiceless stops *b  p *d  t *g  k *gw  kw

16 Examples Latin berber Latin decem Latin gelu
English warp Swedish värpa English ten Swedish tio English cold Swedish kall

17 Part Three *dh  d *gh  g *gwh  gw
Voiced aspirated stops loose aspiration *bh  b *dh  d *gh  g *gwh  gw

18 Doublets in English foot mother eight fire three heart knee five kin hemp pedal maternal octagon pyromania triple cardiac genuflect pentagon genus cannabis hostel

19 Verner’s Law Grimm’s law contained exceptions
Verner found a pattern among the exceptions Verner’s Law additionally accounted for the occasional mutation of *s  z in the Germanic Languages. The ordering of Verner’s Law and Grimm’s Law is unclear

20 Verner’s Law *t  d *k  g *kw  gw *s  z
1. Grimm’s law only applies to initial consonants and consonants following a stressed syllable 2. In all other circumstances voiceless obstruents become voiced *p b *t  d *k  g *kw  gw *s  z

21 Evidence of Verner’s Law in English
PIE root *duk (to lead) – inflection stressed ducere (Latin) tug (English) Grimm’s law predicts /tux/ Verner’s law explains the final /g/

22 Works Consulted Ashliman, D.L.. "Grimm Brothers' Home Page". October 22, 2008 < "Grimm's Law and Verner's Law". Concordi College. October 22, 2008 < "Grimm's Law". Univeristy of North Carolina. October 22, 2008 < "Proto Indo European". UTSA. October 22, 2008 < Ringe, Donald. From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2006.

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