Tuesday, August 21, 2007

West Germanic language
The West Germanic languages constitute the largest branch of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English and Frisian, as well as Dutch and Afrikaans. The other branches of the Germanic languages are the North and East Germanic languages.

The Germanic languages are traditionally divided into three groups, West, East and North Germanic. including:
Under this view, the properties that the West Germanic languages have in common separate from the North Germanic languages are not inherited from a "Proto-West-Germanic" language, but rather spread by language contact among the Germanic languages spoken in central Europe, not reaching those spoken in Scandinavia.

The loss of w after ng
Gemination of consonants (except r) before j
Replacement of the 2nd person singular preterite ending -t with -i
Short forms of the verbs for "stand" and "go"
The development of a gerund
North Sea Germanic (Ingvaeonic, ancestral to Anglo-Frisian and Low Saxon)
Elbe Germanic (Irminonic, ancestral to High German)
Weser-Rhine Germanic (Istvaeonic, ancestral to Old Frankish)
The retraction of Proto-Germanic ǣ to ā
The development of umlaut
The rhotacism of z to r
The development of the demonstrative pronoun ancestral to English this Modern variants

Main article: List of West Germanic languages