By Donald Ringe
This publication is the 1st seeing that 1897 to explain the earliest reconstructable phases of the prehistory of English. It outlines the grammar of Proto-Indo-European, considers the alterations wherein one dialect of that prehistoric language built into Proto-Germanic, and gives an in depth account of the grammar of Proto-Germanic. the 1st quantity in Don Ringe's A Linguistic historical past of English might be of crucial curiosity to all students and scholars of comparative Indo-European and Germanic linguistics, the background of English, and old linguists. the subsequent quantity will think of the improvement of Proto-Germanic into previous English. next volumes will describe the attested background of English from the previous English interval to the current.
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Extra resources for A History of English: Volume I: From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (A Linguistic History of English)
1pl. 2pl. 3pl. primary *-h2e´-r *-th2e´-r *-o´-r / *-t-o´-r *-wo´s-dhh2 ??? *-mo´s-dhh2 *-dhh2ue´ *-ro´-r / *-nto´-r secondary *-h2e´ *-th2e´ *-o´ / *-t-o´ *-we´-dhh2 ??? *-me´-dhh2 *-dhh2ue´ *-ro´ / *-nto´ imperative — ??? — ??? — h *-d h2ue´ ??? Some comments are necessary to make the system intelligible. The primary endings were suYxed to the nonpast of the present (imperfective) stem, traditionally called the ‘present indicative’, and probably to all subjunctives; the secondary endings were suYxed to the past tenses of the present and aorist (perfective) stem, traditionally called the ‘imperfect indicative’ and ‘aorist indicative’ respectively, and to all optatives.
Imperative was apparently endingless, and was probably the unmarked member of the imperative paradigm; *-dhı´ seems to have been some sort of emphatic particle added to originally endingless forms. The one detail of the system that makes no sense at all is that, whereas athematic presents exhibited the expected primary 1sg. ending *-mi, thematic presents and all subjunctives exhibited *-h2 instead; that strongly suggests that the latter originally had some sort of relation to the mediopassive and/or perfect, though the details are unclear (and are well beyond the scope of this chapter).
And gen. sg. were also identical (so that the ablative did not have a distinctive ending in either number, though the pattern of syncretisms still distinguished it as a separate case). Though the reconstruction of dual endings is (as usual) diYcult, it seems clear that no more than three dual endings can be reconstructed; of course it is not surprising that syncretism was most extensive in the most ‘marked’ of the numbers. ) that were largely diVerent from those of the masculine and feminine, there was only one neuter ending for all three cases in each of the numbers.
A History of English: Volume I: From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (A Linguistic History of English) by Donald Ringe