Does English sound like other Germanic languages?

WTF   Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:33 am GMT
"I think what people mean is that English strayed more from proto germanic than its cousins. So English does sound less germanic(protogermanic) because of latin and celtic influence. "

English has not strayed.
English has no Latin "influence". It has borrowed Latin words (not the same thing)
English has no Celtic influence.
quest   Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:32 pm GMT
" So English does sound less germanic(protogermanic) because of latin and celtic influence."

English has almost no celtic influence. there is no reason that English would have more celtic influence than German since celtic languages firstly originated from central Europe (nowadays more or less Austria/Bavaria).

concerning latin, English had borrowed words form latin does not mean that English has borrowed a romance phonology. The way "latin" words are pronounced in English is germanic.
Vinlander   Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:48 am GMT
quest Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:32 pm GMT
" So English does sound less germanic(protogermanic) because of latin and celtic influence."

English has almost no celtic influence. there is no reason that English would have more celtic influence than German since celtic languages firstly originated from central Europe (nowadays more or less Austria/Bavaria).

concerning latin, English had borrowed words form latin does not mean that English has borrowed a romance phonology. The way "latin" words are pronounced in English is germanic.




I don't really disagree for the most part. However Germanic languages came from scandinavia, and i'm pretty sure celtic and slavic languages have had caused german to drift a little to. French is considered to be heavily influence by Germanic and celtic languages as well. It's what caused it to drift from italian and spanish, just as romanian has become a little bit slavic. Languages drift it's part of language. Don't get me wrong i'd say english is about 20 percent drifted from the germanic stream.

I'm also not just talking about celtic and latin influence from 1500 years ago. I mean in the last 200 years or so. Like RP english, and literature were complete latin files otherwise they'd sound closer to scots english. North American english, has had a very heavy influence from Irish and Scots Celts. They were the ones often pushing the frontiers, which meant when the frontier became urban the celtic influence already had taken hold.
.   Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:52 am GMT
<<Irish and Scots Celts>>

But nothing from Irish and Scottish English is celtic.
Irish and Scottish English are nearly 100% germanic.
Quintus   Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:01 am GMT
>>nothing from Irish and Scottish English is celtic. Irish and Scottish English are nearly 100% germanic>>

If you are referring only to vocabulary, then yes, perhaps only a small percentage of words would have come from Gaelic ; but that limits your claim considerably, as the influences from Gaelic grammar, syntax, phonology, inflection and usage upon Hibernian English and Scots English are both broad and deep (e. g., "Amn't I after telling you?").

Your term "100% Germanic" is an error. English as spoken in Ireland and Scotland has about the same proportion of Saxon, Norman French, Latinate and modern words as does standard British English.

Several words which come to us directly from Gaelic, such as blarney (baloney), bog, clan, glen, galore, hubbub, phoney, slogan, whiskey, have also entered standard English globally. A particularly interesting one is the interjection "Smashing!" which is derived from the Gaelic phrase "Is maith sin" meaning "That is good".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiberno-English
Carpenter Fred   Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:01 am GMT
English language sound very Western Germanic... Just look at phonological similarities with German:

1. Aspirated p,t,k
2. [ ŋ ] sound in endings: - ung, -ing, -ang or before vowels
3. half voiced consonants (some people erronously say that in German they are fully devoiced which is wrong)
4, aspirated 'h '
5. same diphthongs : [aɪ, aʊ, ɔɪ]
6. same short vowels : [a*,ɪ, i, ʊ, ə, ɐ]
7. similar or same long vowels [ e: *, o: *, i:, u: ]
8. consonant [] in English : 'huge' and German 'ich'

Notes:
* modern [a] in British Isles
* [e:] istead of [eə] in modern Southern British and [o:] instead of [ɔ:]
Quintus   Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:13 am GMT
>>English language sound very Western Germanic>>

True, but it just does not sound "100% Germanic". Clearly there is influence from Norman French as well as the Celtic tongues (and the Norse influence in the British Isles --notably in Yorkshire, Dublin and Cork-- is derived the North Germanic or Scandinavian language group).
Vinlander   Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:08 pm GMT
* [e:] istead of [eə] in modern Southern British and [o:] instead of [ɔ:]
Quintus Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:13 am GMT
>>English language sound very Western Germanic>>

True, but it just does not sound "100% Germanic". Clearly there is influence from Norman French as well as the Celtic tongues (and the Norse influence in the British Isles --notably in Yorkshire, Dublin and Cork-- is derived the North Germanic or Scandinavian language group).


I personal think English is closer the the north germanic group than west in certain ways. We use TH like icelandic, we have grammar that is very very simliar to swedish or norwegian, and i personally think english sounds just as much like the nordic language as dutch and far more than german. To me german is the most unchanged from old west germanic, yet it's phonetic sound in the most out there of the whole group.
You get a group from all the germanic countries including english, you'll find the germans accent in my opinion the easiet to pick out


For the record i think vocab is a very superficial part of what defines a language. As you can switch worduse to leave out all those roman words. However you can't switch off grammar easily nor can you alter accent.
badstuber   Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:48 pm GMT
Your "opinion" is nothing but something you desperately want it to be. Yes, English sounds Germanic in a way, but certainly not more than German does. German and Dutch sound very similar - it's not my opinion, but a fact. Soundwise, you put the North Germanic languages together, although as an example, Icelandic sounds nothing like Danish.
At long last, you do not know how Old West Germanic sounded like.
FTW   Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:18 pm GMT
Dutch sounds like English, Swedish and German combined, not necessarily in that order.

This is not a fact but more of a commonly shared opinion, or experience if you will, amongst the vast majority of Europeans (and English people) having come in contact with the language.

When I viewed a dutch motor show on YouTube a while back an American actually commented and complained about the presenters poor English asking where the presenter was from, go figure.

To him it apparently sounded like some thick English dialect.

The point is that people experience different languages differently, no pun. A Wiki page may state otherwise, but that doesn't make it so.
Carpenter Fred   Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:52 am GMT
@FTW - > For people in Central Europe Dutch really sound like a hybrid of English and German. Absolutely.
@badstuber -> I think that Icelandic is the easiest North Germanic language to learn, it has just a very simple vowel system comapred to Swedish or Danish:
5 vowels like in Spanish [a, ɛ, i, ɔ, u] plus 3 like in German [ʏ,,ɪ] and some diphthongs [ ai, au, oi, ei, ɔi, ʏi, ɪ ]. It's nothing if you even compare it to English vowel system....
.   Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:35 pm GMT
<<True, but it just does not sound "100% Germanic". Clearly there is influence from Norman French as well as the Celtic tongues (and the Norse influence in the British Isles --notably in Yorkshire, Dublin and Cork-- is derived the North Germanic or Scandinavian language group). >>

Do Latin and French words in German make it sound less German?
Do they make it sound more Latin or French?

I think we would all agree that the answer is decisively No.
Same holds true for English.

Anglophones always try to find clever ways to understate their Germanicness, and overstate their Celt-Franco-Graeco-Latinness. Ridiculous as to why they want to be affiliated with them. Just drop English and go speak Neo-Gaulish, or French (oops, wait, no, that's germanic too), Latin or Greek if you want to be classical-up-the-arse. Better yet, go learn Egyptian. How can you get more ancient and classical than that?
Quintus   Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:41 pm GMT
>>Do Latin and French words in German make it sound less German?>>

But what a pity if one is suffered to miss the point I was making, isn't that so, "." ?

The fact is, there are extant ACCENTS in the British Isles which are recognisable in discrete and distinct patterns and which are based directly upon Norman French speech, vocal apprehension and inflection - notably, the speech of County Waterford in Ireland and some of what are considered upper-class accents ("Norman blood") in the south of England (the Home Counties and London itself).

Often in the history of Anglophony we know that the actual phonology of the speech has, in some instances, departed substantially from the language's Saxon origins. This did not begin with the Conquest in 1066. There were the earlier Norse incursions as well as highly influential settlements such as the Danelaw. And I think I need not repeat my similar point about the impact of Welsh and Gaelic influence (or "interference", as the linguists call it) upon millions of speakers in other parts of the British Isles.

You can see, then, that many forms of English have a profoundly and systematically diminished element of West Germanic phonology.
mummra   Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:53 pm GMT
"I don't really disagree for the most part. However Germanic languages came from scandinavia, and i'm pretty sure celtic and slavic languages have had caused german to drift a little to."

Well actually the germanic tribes migrated to scandinavia and the germany area from central asia, probably around southern Ukraine just north of where the Black Sean and Caspian Sea meet.

"Just drop English and go speak Neo-Gaulish, or French (oops, wait, no, that's germanic too)"

No. French is not Germanic, just as English is not a latin language. Let's not confuse the issue. French has many germanic words and the pronounciation has been influenced by Frankish, but it is NOT Germanic. Same way english has heaps of Latin and french loanwords, but it is NOT Romance.
@Quintus   Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:41 pm GMT
<A particularly interesting one is the interjection "Smashing!" which is derived from the Gaelic phrase "Is maith sin" meaning "That is good". >

That sounds like a bit of hoax folk wiki etymology to me. Someone somewhere has put 2 and 2 together and made 22.

How would the Gaelic explain the adjectival use?

Note on the other hand the use of the obviously metaphorical "smasher" from the late 18th century, to indicate something exceptional (vs the early 20th century appearance of "smashing").