Download A History of English: Volume I: From Proto-Indo-European to by Donald Ringe PDF

By Donald Ringe

This ebook is the 1st considering the fact that 1897 to explain the earliest reconstructable levels of the prehistory of English. It outlines the grammar of Proto-Indo-European, considers the adjustments through which one dialect of that prehistoric language constructed into Proto-Germanic, and gives an in depth account of the grammar of Proto-Germanic. the 1st quantity in Don Ringe's A Linguistic heritage of English might be of valuable curiosity to all students and scholars of comparative Indo-European and Germanic linguistics, the background of English, and historic linguists. the following quantity will think about the improvement of Proto-Germanic into previous English. next volumes will describe the attested background of English from the outdated English interval to the current.

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The next section will illustrate the verb system more fully with complete paradigms of several reconstructable verbs. ; participles are given in the masc. nom. sg. and gen. , followed by a semicolon, then the fem. nom. sg. and gen. , except for o-stem participles, which are given in the masc. nom. sg. only. InWnitives are omitted, as are displaced imperatives. A consequence of our uncertainty regarding the reconstruction of the thematic optative (see the preceding section) is that even West IE verb paradigms cannot be given in full.

This kind of inconsistency is not surprising in a natural human language. Since the system just described is likely to be very unfamiliar to most readers, it may not be out of place to summarize the evidence from which it is reconstructed. Homeric Greek preserves the inherited aspect system almost unchanged, and even in Classical Greek the only major change is the creation of a new class of ‘resultative’ perfects (much like the modern English perfect in meaning, see Chantraine 1927); Armenian, Albanian, and Old Church Slavonic have lost the perfect (stative) but preserve the present/aorist (imperfective/perfective) opposition; Italic and Indo-Iranian preserve important relics of the aspect system, though in both those subgroups the system was being restructured at the time of our earliest substantial documents.

Basic and derived verbs were inXected somewhat diVerently. The lexical core of an underived verb was its ‘root’, which was always monosyllabic. The innermost layer of inXectional aYxes formed the aspect stem; those aYxes included stem-initial reduplication, an inWx, various suYxes, and zero-aYxation, and all were accompanied by distinctive ablaut patterns. The subjunctive and optative moods were marked by suYxes added to the aspect stem; participial suYxes occupied the same position (and were Proto-Indo-European 27 followed by nominal endings).

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