Session 6: Indo-European and Germanic

Centem language A member of the Indo-European branch of languages that realized Proto-Indo-European palatal /k/ (i.e. [c]) as a velar plosive /k/ (mostly western languages)
Comparative linguistics A discipline concerned with establishing the relationships between languages
Dental suffix A dental sound /ð/, /d/, or /t/ used in Germanic languages to form the preterite tense and past participle of weak verbs: sagte, laughed
Free stress A system in which word stress is not fixed to one syllable but settles on different syllables depending on the inflected form and/or the function of the word, as in Proto-Indo-European and in the English examples import (noun) and import (verb)
Gemination Consonant lengthening
Gradation (ablaut) The regular alternation of sounds between inflectional forms of a word: swim : swam : swum, goose : geese
Grimm’s Law A sound law explaining the divergence between Germanic and other Indo-European consonants, as in eat and edere, fish and piscis
High German Consonant Shift A series of consonant changes that took place between the third and ninth centuries CE and caused High German to diverge from the other Germanic languages: Affe, Apfel, and essen correspond to ape, apple, and eat
Ingvaeonic (North Sea Germanic) Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old English, and their descendants
Language family Any group of languages descended from a common parent or ancestor language: Balto-Slavic, Germanic, West Germanic
Proto-Germanic (PG) The reconstructed language from which all Germanic languages are descended
Proto-Indo-European (PIE) The reconstructed language from which all Indo-European languages are descended
Root stress A system in which word stress is fixed to a word’s root syllable, regardless of its inflected form, as in Proto-Germanic, Icelandic, and Finnish
Satem language A member of the Indo-European branch of languages that realized Proto-Indo-European palatal /k/ (i.e. [c]) as a palatal fricative approximately /ʃ/ (mostly eastern languages)
Strong adjective In the conservative Germanic languages, an adjective whose syntactic context assigns it a richer diversity among its inflectional endings, somewhat like the more common nouns: guter : gutes : guten : guten
Strong verb In the Germanic languages, a verb that forms its preterite tense and past participle using vowel gradation: sing : sang : sung
Verner’s Law A modification to Grimm’s Law explaining some of the differences between Indo-European and Germanic consonants by the fact that the former used free stress, the latter root stress (i.e. fixed, initial stress)
Weak adjective In the conservative Germanic languages, an adjective whose context assigns it less diversity among its inflectional endings, with most forms converging in endings like -an or -en: gute : guten : guten : guten
Weak verb In the Germanic languages, a verb that forms its preterite tense and past participle using a dental suffix: walk : walked : walked