Abramelin Posted July 10, 2022 #1 Share Posted July 10, 2022 The final chapter in our new History of English takes us back before English was even English. It’s a trip we need to take, because it reinforces two lessons I have tried to get across in this book. First, there is nothing unique about English’s “openness” to words from other languages. Second, there is no logical conception of “proper” grammar as distinct from “bad” grammar that people lapse into out of ignorance or laziness. We’re going to go back before Old English, to Proto-Germanic, the ancestor to English and the other Germanic languages. It would appear that long before Something Happened to English, Something Happened to Proto-Germanic as well. There was a history of bastardy in English long before it was even a twinkle in Proto-Germanic’s eye. Froto- (I mean, Proto-) Germanic Sounded Strange As I noted earlier, Proto-Germanic was never written, but we can hypothesize what its words—and also a lot of its grammar—were like by deduction from its modern descendants. Proto-Germanic was one of several branches of an even earlier language linguists call Proto-Indo-European, which was reconstructed in the same way, by comparing all of its branches. As it happens, Proto-Germanic was a distinctly weird offshoot of Proto-Indo-European. There was something not quite right about it. https://erenow.net/common/our-magnificent-b******-tongue/5.php 3 Top Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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