German, English?

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German, English?

Postby danniebenedi » Tue 06 Oct 2009 10:59 pm

What are some of the main differences between German and English?

I know that German has gender and English does not, and that German has the fancy umalauts and such, but other than that, what are the differences?

And WHY did English get rid of them?
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Re: German, English?

Postby dtp883 » Wed 07 Oct 2009 12:34 am

What are some of the main differences between German and English?

They are two different languages, with different grammar and different vocabulary. Speaking of vocabulary German's is mostly Germanic while English's is partly Germanic but has many foreign Romance (mainly French and Latin) words.

I know that German has gender and English does not, and that German has the fancy umalauts and such, but other than that, what are the differences?

Different vocabulary (see above), gender, and noun cases. The umlauts are just orthographic conventions and German also has the ß. There are probably more differences that I don't know of but I'm sure someone else here can give you a more complete list.

And WHY did English get rid of them?

English never had them so it never got rid of them... It did however have æ, þ, and ð which it has gotten rid of over time.
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Re: German, English?

Postby Talib » Wed 07 Oct 2009 12:42 am

Generally, the differences are a) retention of Germanic word stock which has been replaced by French in English, b) a more synthetic grammar c) a more transparent orthography which also shows the changes which have occurred in the history of the language, such as the High German consonant shift.
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Re: German, English?

Postby Sobekhotep » Wed 07 Oct 2009 2:44 am

dtp883 wrote:German also has the ß.

In Germany it's used but not so much in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Not sure about Austria, though. :?
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Re: German, English?

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Wed 07 Oct 2009 3:04 am

One of the more significant differences is that English is SVO and German is SOV.
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Re: German, English?

Postby linguoboy » Wed 07 Oct 2009 3:07 am

Dan_ad_nauseam wrote:One of the more significant differences is that English is SVO and German is SOV.

SOV, but CP-V2. This means that in main clauses, the finite verb comes before the object (unless the latter is fronted for emphasis).
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Re: German, English?

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Thu 08 Oct 2009 3:17 am

linguoboy wrote:
Dan_ad_nauseam wrote:One of the more significant differences is that English is SVO and German is SOV.

SOV, but CP-V2. This means that in main clauses, the finite verb comes before the object (unless the latter is fronted for emphasis).


Point noted.
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Re: German, English?

Postby choc_pud » Mon 29 Oct 2012 11:41 pm

Also English used to have the letter wynn "ƿ", which was pronounced /w/. It was based on the Anglo-Saxon runic letter of the same name, and was implemented into English because the Latin orthography lacked a letter for the /w/ phoneme. When the French (the blighters!) invaded southern England in 1066 and conquered the majority of the island of Great Britain, they made French the language of the rich and well educated. If they had to write English for any reason they would write ƿ as "vv", and eventually this became the standard. Wynn disappeared around the 1300s. Later the vv ligature was squashed into a single grapheme, "w".
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Re: German, English?

Postby Tikolm » Wed 05 Dec 2012 2:43 am

choc_pud wrote:the French (the blighters!)
Remember there are other blighters. The French are not alone in squishing languages into illegibility, obscurity or both.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llyn_Celyn
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Indian_residential_school_system

Back on topic, I've never heard any evidence that German is SOV. The conjugated verb always comes between the subject and object; yes, non-finite verbs do come last, but those aren't counted in the word order.
And how do you front objects in German anyway? I thought you couldn't do that. I know that if you stick something onto the beginning of the sentence the subject and verb have to switch:
(Please forgive me if I am misremembering the sentences)
Wir fliegen morgen nach München. <> Morgen fliegen wir nach München.
[we fly morning after Munich <> morning fly we after Munich]
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Re: German, English?

Postby linguoboy » Wed 05 Dec 2012 4:45 am

Tikolm wrote:Back on topic, I've never heard any evidence that German is SOV. The conjugated verb always comes between the subject and object; yes, non-finite verbs do come last, but those aren't counted in the word order.

According to whom?

Tikolm wrote:And how do you front objects in German anyway? I thought you couldn't do that. I know that if you stick something onto the beginning of the sentence the subject and verb have to switch:
(Please forgive me if I am misremembering the sentences)
Wir fliegen morgen nach München. <> Morgen fliegen wir nach München.
[we fly morning after Munich <> morning fly we after Munich]

Nach München fliegen wir morgen is also a possible, albeit highly marked, word order. But let's look at an example with a direct object:

Ich habe einen Bildungsroman gelesen <> Einen Bildungsroman habe ich gelesen

Again, the word order in the clause on the right is more marked, but it's still grammatical and in certain circumstances would be preferred.
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