Re: [tied] Re: Germanic *fánhan

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7182
Date: 2001-04-21

----- Original Message -----
From: g-tegle@...
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2001 4:17 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: Germanic *fánhan

> What I wonder is how the forms with *-gánx- is attested.
That's precisely what troubles me too.

>> [Piotr:] Class VII verbs in Old English (including residual reduplicated forms) show no contrast between the preterite stems -- the forms in question had been levelled out by OE times. The plural fêngon could represent older *fegangun < *fe-xanx-'-, haplologically contracted.

> [Håvard:] How do you explain *fe-xanx-'- in the plural forms?
There isn't much to explain here. Pre-Germanic stress was on the personal ending, not on the root syllable, in these forms. As a result, Verners Law would have applied to both internal fricatives. This at least is the expected output if you make mechanical predictions based on sound laws and ignore morphologicl structure. Actually, in a form which is both morphologically complex and hard to analyse analogical restructuring would be very likely to occur (note the apparent cancellation of Verner's Law in Gothic).

>> [Piotr:] The hypothetical 1/3 sg. *fe-ganx-, however, would have lost the
nasal and become pre-OE *fegôx, so it's fêng that must be explained
as analogical.

> [Håvard:] Could you remind of the reason for *fe-ganx- > pre-OE *fegôx? Is it
same development that has caused ON pret. sg. fekk?

In detail: *feganx- > *fega~x (early loss of the nasal with the compensatory lengthening an nasalisation of the vowel). In Anglo-Frisian, *a~ merged with long *o: (as in *gans- > *ga~s > *go:s 'goose'). Had such a form survived into OE, it would probably have ended up as something like *feoguh or *figuh.
ON fekk is a dialectal Scandinavian development of *fe(:)ng (as in Old English) > *fenk > fekk. This type of assimilation (nk > kk) is basically West Scandinavian, but prone to lexical diffusion. For a similar case, cf. ON gikk : German ging, OE ge:ong 'went'.