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GERMANIC LANGUAGES

Germanic, or Teutonic, languages are a sub-family of the Indo-European family of languages. They include Dutch, English, German, the Scandinavian .languages, and several extinct languages.

The Germanic languages are commonly grouped according to lin­guistic similarities into three branches — the East, North and West Germanic branches. The East Germanic group consists of the language of the Goths. The North Germanic, or Scandinavian, languages include Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic.

The West Germanic languages are divided into two groups — High German and Low German. The principal High German language is Modern German, also known as Standard German. The surviving Low German languages are Dutch, Flemish, Frisian and English.

Dutch is the language of the Netherlands, Flemish, or Belgian Dutch, is spoken in Northern Belgium. More than half of the Belgian population speaks Flemish, although French is current throughout the country. Frisian is spoken by people on the coast and coastal islands of the North Sea, particularly in the north Netherlands province of Frisland. Frisian differs considerably from Dutch and is nearest of the Germanic languages to English.

English, the most widespread of the world’s languages, is considered to be an offshoot of an Anglo-Frisian dialect that must have been fairly widespread before the Germanic tribes invaded England.

No common parent of the Germanic languages survives, but linguists refer to the hypothetical ancestor as primitive Germanic or proto-Germanic.

Vocabulary:


1. extinct languages

2. Frisian

3. Frisland

4. offshoot

5. common parent

6. proto-Germanic





Date: 2014-12-22; view: 1602


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