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Language Contact and the Origins of the Germanic Languages

By Peter Schrijver

Routledge – 2014 – 236 pages

Series: Routledge Studies in Linguistics

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartHardback: $125.00
    978-0-415-35548-3
    October 28th 2013

Description

History, archaeology, and human evolutionary genetics provide us with an increasingly detailed view of the origins and development of the peoples that live in Northwestern Europe. This book aims to restore the key position of historical linguistics in this debate by treating the history of the Germanic languages as a history of its speakers. It focuses on the role that language contact has played in creating the Germanic languages, between the first millennium BC and the crucially important early medieval period. Chapters on the origins of English, German, Dutch, and the Germanic language family as a whole illustrate how the history of the sounds of these languages provide a key that unlocks the secret of their genesis: speakers of Latin, Celtic and Balto-Finnic switched to speaking Germanic and in the process introduced a 'foreign accent' that caught on and spread at the expense of types of Germanic that were not affected by foreign influence. The book is aimed at linguists, historians, archaeologists and anyone who is interested in what languages can tell us about the origins of their speakers.

Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Rise of English 3. The Origin of High German 4. The Origins of Dutch 5. Beginnings 6. Conclusions.

Author Bio

Peter Schrijver is Professor of Celtic Languages and Culture at the University of Utrecht. He is a historical linguist working on ancient and medieval languages in Europe. His publications include Studies in British Celtic Historical Phonology and Celtic Influence in Old English.

Name: Language Contact and the Origins of the Germanic Languages (Hardback)Routledge 
Description: By Peter Schrijver. History, archaeology, and human evolutionary genetics provide us with an increasingly detailed view of the origins and development of the peoples that live in Northwestern Europe. This book aims to restore the key position of historical linguistics in...
Categories: Historical Linguistics, Language Family Studies, Language Change, European History, General Language Reference, Language & Linguistics, European Archaeology