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The Anglo-Frisian languages are the Anglic ( English, Scots, and Yola) and Frisian varieties of the
West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabu ...
. The Anglo-Frisian languages are distinct from other West Germanic languages due to several
sound change A sound change, in historical linguistics, is a change in the pronunciation of a language. A sound change can involve the replacement of one speech sound (or, more generally, one phonetic feature value) by a different one (called phonetic ch ...
s: besides the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law, which is present in
Low German : : : : : (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic , fam3 = West Germanic , fam4 = North Sea Germanic , ancestor = Old Saxon Old Saxon, also known as ...
as well, Anglo-Frisian brightening and palatalization of are for the most part unique to the modern Anglo-Frisian languages: * English ''cheese'', Scots ' and West Frisian ', but Dutch ', Low German ', and German ' * English ''church'', and West Frisian ', but Dutch ', Low German ', ', and German ', though Scots ' * English ''sheep'', Scots ' and West Frisian ', but Dutch (pl. ), Low German , German (pl. ) The grouping is usually implied as a separate branch in regards to the
tree model In historical linguistics, the tree model (also Stammbaum, genetic, or cladistic model) is a model of the evolution of languages analogous to the concept of a family tree, particularly a phylogenetic tree in the biological evolution of species. ...
. According to this reading, English and Frisian would have had a proximal ancestral form in common that no other attested group shares. The early Anglo-Frisian varieties, like
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabita ...
and Old Frisian, and the third Ingvaeonic group at the time, the ancestor of Low German
Old Saxon Old Saxon, also known as Old Low German, was a Germanic language and the earliest recorded form of Low German (spoken nowadays in Northern Germany Northern Germany (german: link=no, Norddeutschland) is a linguistic, geographic, socio-cultura ...
, were spoken by intercommunicating populations. While this has been cited as a reason for a few traits exclusively shared by Old Saxon and either Old English or Old Frisian, a genetic unity of the Anglo-Frisian languages beyond that of an
Ingvaeonic North Sea Germanic, also known as Ingvaeonic , is a postulated grouping of the northern West Germanic languages that consists of Old Frisian, Old English language, Old English, and Old Saxon, and their descendants. Ingvaeonic is named after the ...
subfamily cannot be considered a majority opinion. In fact, the groupings of Ingvaeonic and West Germanic languages are highly debated, even though they rely on much more innovations and evidence. Some scholars consider a Proto-Anglo-Frisian language as disproven, as far as such postulates are falsifiable. Nevertheless, the close ties and strong similarities between the Anglic and the Frisian grouping are part of the
scientific consensus Scientific consensus is the generally held judgment, position, and opinion of the majority or the supermajority of scientists in a Scientific discipline, particular field of study at any particular time. Consensus is achieved through scholarly com ...
. Therefore, the concept of Anglo-Frisian languages can be useful and is today employed without these implications. Geography isolated the settlers of
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island and the List of is ...
from
Continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. It can also be referred to ambiguously as the European continent, – which can conversely mean the whole of Europe – and, by ...
, except from contact with communities capable of open water navigation. This resulted in more
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian, is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and t ...
and
Norman language Norman or Norman French (, french: Normand, Guernésiais: , Jèrriais: ) is a Romance language which can be classified as one of the Oïl languages along with French, Picard and Walloon. The name "Norman French" is sometimes used to desc ...
influences during the development of
Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) is a form of the English language that was spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest of 1066, until the lat ...
, whereas the modern Frisian languages developed under contact with the southern Germanic populations, restricted to the continent.


Classification

The proposed Anglo-Frisian family tree is: *Anglo-Frisian ** Anglic *** English **** Northumbrian and Cumbrian (see the article about the Humber-Lune Line) *** Scots ****
Insular Scots Insular Scots comprises varieties of Scots language, Lowland Scots generally subdivided into: *Shetland dialect *Orcadian dialect Both dialects share much Norn language, Norn vocabulary, Shetland dialect more so, than does any other Scots dial ...
****
Northern Scots Northern Scots refers to the dialects of Modern Scots traditionally spoken in eastern parts of the north of Scotland. The dialect is generally divided into:{{cite web , url=http://www.dsl.ac.uk/INTRO/intro2.php?num=15 , title=SND Introduction - ...
****
Central Scots Central Scots is a group of dialects of Scots language, Scots. Central Scots is spoken from Fife and Perthshire to the Lothians and Wigtownshire, often split into North East Central Scots (Northeast Mid Scots) and South East Central Scots (So ...
****
Southern Scots Southern Scots is the dialect (or group of dialects) of Scots language, Scots spoken in the Scottish Borders counties of mid and east Dumfriesshire, Roxburghshire and Selkirkshire, with the notable exception of Berwickshire and Peeblesshire, whi ...
**** Doric Scots **** Ulster Scots *** Yola *** Fingalian (extinct) ** Frisian *** West Frisian *** East Frisian **** Saterland Frisian (last remaining dialect of East Frisian) *** North Frisian


Anglic languages

Anglic, Insular Germanic, or English languages encompass
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabita ...
and all the linguistic varieties descended from it. These include
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) is a form of the English language that was spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest of 1066, until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments ...
,
Early Modern English Early Modern English or Early New English (sometimes abbreviated EModE, EMnE, or ENE) is the stage of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its ear ...
, and
Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) is a form of the English language that was spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest of 1066, until the lat ...
;
Early Scots Early History of the Scots language, Scots was the emerging literary language of the Northern Middle English speaking parts of Scotland in the period before 1450. The northern forms of Middle English descended from Northumbrian Old English. Dur ...
,
Middle Scots Middle Scots was the Anglic language of Scottish Lowlands, Lowland Scotland in the period from 1450 to 1700. By the end of the 15th century, its phonology, orthography, accidence, syntax and vocabulary had diverged markedly from Early Scots, wh ...
, and
Modern Scots Modern Scots comprises the Variety (linguistics), varieties of Scots language, Scots traditionally spoken in Scottish Lowlands, Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster, from 1700. Throughout its history, Modern Scots has been undergoing a process ...
; Yola; and the extinct Fingallian in
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
.
English-based creole languages An English-based creole language (often shortened to English creole) is a creole language for which English language, English was the ''lexifier'', meaning that at the time of its formation the vocabulary of English served as the basis for the ma ...
are not generally included, as mainly only their
lexicon A lexicon is the vocabulary of a language or branch of knowledge (such as nautical or medical). In linguistics, a lexicon is a language's inventory of lexemes. The word ''lexicon'' derives from Koine Greek language, Greek word (), neuter of () ...
and not necessarily their grammar, phonology, etc. comes from Modern and
Early Modern English Early Modern English or Early New English (sometimes abbreviated EModE, EMnE, or ENE) is the stage of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its ear ...
.


Frisian languages

The Frisian languages are a group of languages spoken by about 500,000 Frisian people on the southern fringes of the
North Sea The North Sea lies between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. An epeiric sea, epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the ...
in the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
and
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
. West Frisian, by far the most spoken of the three main branches, constitutes an official language in the Dutch
province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire ...
of
Friesland Friesland (, ; official fry, Fryslân ), historically and traditionally known as Frisia, is a Provinces of the Netherlands, province of the Netherlands located in the country's northern part. It is situated west of Groningen (province), Groning ...
. North Frisian is spoken on some North Frisian Islands and parts of mainland North Frisia in the northernmost German
district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or county, counties, several municipality, municipa ...
of Nordfriesland, and also in
Heligoland Heligoland (; german: Helgoland, ; Heligolandic dialect, Heligolandic Frisian: , , Mooring (North Frisian dialect), Mooring Frisian: , da, Helgoland) is a small archipelago in the North Sea. A part of the Germany, German state of Schleswig- ...
in the
German Bight The German Bight (german: Deutsche Bucht; da, tyske bugt; nl, Duitse bocht; fry, Dútske bocht; ; sometimes also the German Bay) is the southeastern bight of the North Sea The North Sea lies between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Ger ...
, both part of
Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein (; da, Slesvig-Holsten; nds, Sleswig-Holsteen; frr, Slaswik-Holstiinj) is the Northern Germany, northernmost of the 16 states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the form ...
state (Heligoland is part of its mainland district of Pinneberg). The East Frisian language is spoken in Saterland in Germany.


Anglo-Frisian developments

The following is a summary of the major sound changes affecting vowels in chronological order. For additional detail, see Phonological history of Old English. That these were simultaneous and in that order for all Anglo-Frisian languages is considered disproved by some scholars. # Backing and nasalization of West Germanic ''a'' and ''ā'' before a nasal consonant # Loss of ''n'' before a spirant, resulting in lengthening and
nasalization In phonetics, nasalization (or nasalisation) is the production of a sound while the velum is lowered, so that some air escapes through the nose during the production of the sound by the mouth. An archetypal nasal sound is . In the Internatio ...
of preceding vowel # Single form for present and preterite plurals # ''A-fronting'': West Germanic ''a'', ''ā'' > ''æ'', ''ǣ'', even in the diphthongs ''ai'' and ''au'' (see Anglo-Frisian brightening) # palatalization of
Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language of the Germanic languages, Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. Proto-Germanic eventually developed from ...
and before front vowels (but not phonemicization of palatals) # ''A-restoration'': ''æ'', ''ǣ'' > ''a'', ''ā'' under the influence of neighboring consonants # ''Second fronting'': OE dialects (except West Saxon) and Frisian ''ǣ'' > ''ē'' # ''A-restoration'': ''a'' restored before a back vowel in the following syllable (later in the Southumbrian dialects); Frisian ''æu'' > ''au'' > Old Frisian ''ā''/''a'' # OE breaking; in West Saxon palatal diphthongization follows # ''i''-mutation followed by syncope; Old Frisian breaking follows # Phonemicization of palatals and assibilation, followed by second fronting in parts of West Mercia # Smoothing and back mutation


Comparisons


Numbers in Anglo-Frisian languages

These are the words for the numbers one to 12 in the Anglo-Frisian languages, with Dutch and German included for comparison: * ''Ae'' , is an adjectival form used before nouns.


Words in English, Scots, Yola, West Frisian, Dutch, and German


Alternative grouping

Ingvaeonic North Sea Germanic, also known as Ingvaeonic , is a postulated grouping of the northern West Germanic languages that consists of Old Frisian, Old English language, Old English, and Old Saxon, and their descendants. Ingvaeonic is named after the ...
, also known as North Sea Germanic, is a postulated grouping of the
West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabu ...
that encompasses
Old Frisian Old Frisian was a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language spoken between the 8th and 16th centuries along the North Sea coast, roughly between the mouths of the Rhine and Weser rivers. The Frisian settlers on the coast of South Jutland ...
,
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabita ...
,Also known as ''Anglo-Saxon''. and
Old Saxon Old Saxon, also known as Old Low German, was a Germanic language and the earliest recorded form of Low German (spoken nowadays in Northern Germany Northern Germany (german: link=no, Norddeutschland) is a linguistic, geographic, socio-cultura ...
. It is not thought of as a monolithic
proto-language In the tree model of historical linguistics, a proto-language is a postulated ancestral language from which a number of attested languages are believed to have descended by evolution, forming a language family. Proto-languages are usually unat ...
, but rather as a group of closely related dialects that underwent several areal changes in relative unison. The grouping was first proposed in ''Nordgermanen und Alemannen'' (1942) by the German linguist and philologist Friedrich Maurer (1898–1984), as an alternative to the strict tree diagrams that had become popular following the work of the 19th-century linguist
August Schleicher August Schleicher (; 19 February 1821 – 6 December 1868) was a German linguistics, linguist. His great work was ''A Compendium of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo-European Languages'' in which he attempted to reconstruct the Proto-Indo-Eur ...
and which assumed the existence of an Anglo-Frisian group.


See also

*
High German languages The High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten), or simply High German (); not to be confused with Standard German, Standard High German which is commonly also called ''High German'', comprise the variety (linguistics), varieties of G ...
*
Low Franconian languages Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 1991, p. 321. (Calling it "Low Frankish (or Netherlandish)".)Scott Shay ...


Notes


References


Further reading

* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Anglo-Frisian Languages West Germanic languages North Sea Germanic