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Common Germanic period. History and Chronology.

1) The Germanic Period, the period from prehistory to the middle of the 5th century AD, when all Germanic tribes lived on the European mainland. Main events: mixing of Proto-Germanic with the languages of North European aborigines, breakup of Common Germanic into northern and western dialects, borrowing of many Latin words into West Germanic (the First Latinate Borrowing).

This period ended in 437 AD when three closely related West Germanic tribes, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, began migrating from the European mainland to the British Isles. This migration set the Anglo-Saxon off on a separate course from continental Germanic dialects.The 1st mention of Germanic tribes was made by Pitheas(a Greek historian and geographer of the 4th c BC). In the 1st c BC, Julius Caesar in his Commentaries on the Gallic war described some militant Germanic tribes. In the 1st c AD, Pliny the Elder in his Natural History made a classified list of Germ. tribes,grouping them under 6 headings. A few decades later, Tacitus complied a detailed description of the life and customs of the ancient Teutons.

Towards the beginning of our era, the common period of the Germ history came to an end and consequently, the PG langu broke into 3 branches:East Germ(or Vindili in Pliny’s classification), North Germ(or Hilleviones) and West Germ(included several branches). As for the North Germ subgroup,it underwent some political changes as well-into Sweden,Denmark(the most powerful of the 3),Norway. Consequently,both Swedish and Norway were influenced by Danish.The earliest written records in Old Danish,old Norwegian and old Swedish date from the 13thc.

West Germans included several tribes-the Franconians, the Angles and the Frisians, the Jutes and the Saxons,High Germans and Low Germans. The High German dialects consolidated into a common langu known as Old High German(OHG).Its 1st written records date from the 8th and 9thc.

Date: 2015-01-29; view: 2233

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