Re: [tied] Inguaeonum [was Celtic Jutland]

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8324
Date: 2001-08-04

Simplifying things as much as possible:
"West Germanic" is divided into:
(A) Ingvaeonic (the North Sea cluster) = Anglo-Frisian (English + Frisian) and Low German (including Old Saxon)
(B) Istvaeonic (the Weser-Rhine cluster) = Old Low Franconian and its daughter languages, including Modern Dutch and Afrikaans
(C) Erminionic = a large bag where we place the rest of West Germanic, in particular Old High German and whatever derives from it (including Modern German and Yiddish)
I'm not in favour of regarding West Germanic as a valid genetic grouping. Rather than that, NW Germanic consists of Scandinavian and the messy residue which cannot be reduced to a single ancestral language. What I mean is that it makes sense to speak of Proto-NW-Germanic and Proto-Scandinavian, but not of Proto-West-Germanic. Similarly, while NW Germanic has some kind of genetic coherence (one can point to shared innovations defining the group), "East Germanic" is just a cover term for anything that is Germanic but not NW Germanic (actually, Gothic is the only documented form of Germanic that meets this description, though it's virtually sure there were many more such "basal Germanic" languages).
We like binary divisions and our genetic taxonomies are typically of that kind. In real life a different scenario is more typical: a mother language produces a relatively large number of daughters, most of which give rise to tiny groupings of dialects while one suddenly explodes into a sizeable daughter taxon with several descendent languages. Plus, of course, there will be a lot of lateral influence to puzzle us even more :)
----- Original Message -----
From: markodegard@...
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2001 10:29 PM
Subject: [tied] Inguaeonum [was Celtic Jutland]

I gather this is where we pick up the term 'Ingvaeonic'.

Every time I delve into the history of Germanic (and English
particularly) you run up against the term Invaeonic; this seems a
synonym for Northwest Germanic; I recall 'Littoral' or the such also
being used, in distinction to 'Continental. There are some who want to
divide Germanic into North, East, West (Continental, High German) and
Northwest (Low German).

The idea seems to be that NW Germanic was cluster of dialects sharing
features of early North Germanic and early West Germanic.

Humph. I think there are too many over-qualified under-employed
historians of Germanic for our own good.

For the past few years, I've been comfortable using the terms West
Germanic, subdivided into High German and Low German, with English,
Dutch, Frisian and Plattdeutch being Low German.

Ok. What have I gotten wrong?