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Within the Germanic language family are East Germanic, West Germanic, and North Germanic. However, East Germanic languages became extinct several centuries ago. [when?] Germanic languages and main dialect groups. All living Germanic languages belong either to the West Germanic or to the North Germanic branch.
- Linguistic characteristics of the protolanguage
Germanic languages, branch of the Indo-European language family. Scholars often divide the Germanic languages into three groups: West Germanic, including English, German, and Netherlandic (Dutch); North Germanic, including Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Faroese; and East Germanic, now extinct, comprising only Gothic and the languages of the Vandals, Burgundians, and a few other tribes.
In numbers of native speakers, English, with 450 million, clearly ranks third among the languages of the world (after Mandarin and Spanish); German, with some 98 million, probably ranks 10th (after Hindi, Bengali, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese). To these figures may be added those for persons with another native language who have learned one of the Germanic languages for commercial, scientific, literary, or other purposes. English is unquestionably the world’s most widely used second language.
The earliest historical evidence for Germanic is provided by isolated words and names recorded by Latin authors beginning in the 1st century bce. From approximately 200 ce there are inscriptions carved in the 24-letter runic alphabet. The earliest extensive Germanic text is the (incomplete) Gothic Bible, translated about 350 ce by the Visigothic bishop Ulfilas (Wulfila) and written in a 27-letter alphabet of the translator’s own design. Later versions of the runic alphabet were used sparingly in England and Germany but more widely in Scandinavia—in the latter area down to early modern times. All extensive later Germanic texts, however, use adaptations of the Latin alphabet.
See table for the names and approximate dates of the earliest recorded Germanic languages.
Word Nerd Quiz
The special characteristics of the Germanic languages that distinguish them from other Indo-European languages result from numerous phonological and grammatical changes.
Which Languages Are Members Of The Germanic Family? Besides the obvious answer, German, there are at least 47 living Germanic languages around today. Most linguists talk about this language family in terms of three branches: the Northern, Eastern and Western Germanic languages.
- Sabine Hartwig
The Germanic languages include some 58 ( SIL estimate) languages and dialects that originated in Europe; this language family is part of the Indo-European language family. Each subfamily in this list contains subgroups and individual languages. The standard division of Germanic is into three branches: East Germanic languages
Late-19th-century scholars used a family tree diagram to show this splitting into dialects and the relationships among the dialects: Though there is much truth in such a diagram, it overemphasizes the notion of “splits” into separate “branches” and obscures the fact that the transition from one dialect to another may be gradual rather than abrupt.
14 de dez. de 2021 · The language at the top of a family tree is known as a proto-language or parent language. The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, which is native to western Euraisa. Approximately 515 million people are native speakers of a Germanic language and another two billion people speak one as a second language.