Plan: 1.Introduction 2.Modern Germanic Languages 3.The Earliest Period of Germanic History 4.Proto-Germanic 5.West-Germanic languages 6.East-Germanic languages 7.North-Germanic languages 8.Literature
Genetically, English belongs to the Germanic or Teutonic group of languages, which is one of the 12 groups (branches) of the Indo-European (IE) language family.
Modern Germanic languages are classified into three subgroups: West-Germanic Group East- Germanic Group North-Germanic Group This group is dead The groups have survived until nowadays GothicEnglishNorwegian BurgubdianGermanDanish VandalicAfrikaansSwedish NetherlandishFaroese FrisianIcelandic Yiddish
The first mention of the Germanic tribes was made by Pitheas, a Greek historian and geographer of the 4th c. B.C., in an account of a sea voyage to the Baltic Sea.
THE EARLIEST PERIOD OF GERMANIC HISTORY As the Indo-Europeans extended over a larger territory, the ancient Germans moved further North than other tribes and settled on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea (the most probable original home of the Germans ).
PROTO-GERMANIC The history of the Germanic group begins with the appearance of the Proto-Germanic (PG) language, which is the linguistic ancestor or the parent-language of the Germanic group. It is supposed to have split from related IE tongues approximately between the 15th and 10th c. B.C.
PROTO-GERMANIC At the earliest stages of history PG was fundamentally one language, though dialectally coloured; Towards the beginning of our era the common period of Germanic history came to an end; Due to the migrations and geographical expansion of the Teutons the PG language broke into tribal dialects.
A few centuries before our era the Germanic tribes moved north, to the Scandinavian peninsula. At the beginning of our era some tribes returned to the mainland. From this stage of their history the Germanic languages can be described under 3 headings: East Germanic, North Germanic and West Germanic.
West Germanic Around the beginning of our era the West Germanic (WG) tribes lived in the lowland between the Oder and the Elbe. Before their great migrations of the 4th-5th c. the West Germans included several tribes: the Franconians (or Franks); the Angles and the Frisians; the Jutes and the Saxons; the High Germans.
At the later stage of the great migration period – in the 5 th c., a group of WG tribes (the Angles, part of the Saxons, the Frisians and the Jutes) started their invasion of the British Isles. Their dialects developed into the English language.
East Germanic The East Germanic (EG) subgroup was formed by the tribes who returned from Scandinavia at the beginning of our era. The Gothic language, which is dead now, has been preserved in a written document. The other EG languages, e.g. Vandalic, Burgundian, have left no written traces.
North Germanic The Teutons who stayed in Scandinavia after the departure of the Goths gave rise to the North Germanic (NG) subgroup of languages. They didnt participate in the migrations and were relatively isolated. The principal linguistic differentiation in Scandinavia corresponded to the political division into Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
The parent language of the NG languages is called Old Norse. It has been preserved in runic inscriptions dated from the 3 rd to the 9 th c. Runic inscriptions were carved in an original Germanic alphabet known as the runic alphabet or the runes. The runes were used by the North and West Germanic tribes.
Literature: Main literature: 1.Расторгуева Т.А. История английского языка: Учебник для вузовМ.: Астрель, Иванова И., Чахоян Л., Беляева Т.История английского языка: Учебник. Хрестоматия. Словарь/ И.Иванова, Л.Чахоян,Т.Беляева Aditional literature: 1.Ярцева В.Н.Языкознание: Большой энциклопедический словарь / Под ред. В.Н.ЯрцевойМ.: Большая Российская энциклопедия, «Сrosscultural Aspects of The English Language History (Historical, social and cultural backgrounds of the English language history)»: учебное пособие по курсу истории английского языка/ Сост.: Р.Ж. Саурбаев, C.Г. Кулагина; Сургут. гос ун-т. – Сургут: Изд-во СурГУ, 2003 (медиатека ИнЕУ).