Appendix:Proto-Germanic/mann-

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This entry contains Proto-Germanic reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.

Proto-Germanic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Indo-European *man- or Proto-Indo-European *men-.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

*mann- m

  1. man
  2. (Runic alphabet) name of the M-rune ()

Declension[edit]

This noun was inflected as a consonant stem, but the daughter languages disagree on the form of the nominative singular. The Gothic form points to a nominative *mannô or *manô, as does the rare Old English nominative manna. The north and west Germanic forms, on the other hand, indicate *mannz. Judging from Gothic evidence, the original compounding form was *mana(n)- with only a single -n-, as in 𐌼𐌰𐌽𐌰-𐍃𐌴𐌸𐍃 (mana-sēþs, mankind).

Several ideas have been proposed to explain the unusual morphology of this word, particularly the geminate -nn-. One proposal is that its stem was manwa- (wa-stem) or manu- (u-stem), where -nw- would have become -nn- through natural sound change in Germanic. This explains the relationship of the noun to cognates elsewhere in Indo-European, but crucially it does not explain the consonant stem inflection.

A more recent proposal is that the noun reflects a root man- to which n-stem endings have been added. These n-stem endings were not the usual type found in Germanic, but a rarer type that lacked a vowel between the root and the stem suffix in some of the forms. This is also seen in *uhsô (which has the stem *uhsn- in the plural) and Latin carō (with carn-). The stem with out a vowel would have then been *man-n-, to which consonant stem endings would have been added, as n-stems were consonant stems in origin. If this is the case, it would explain the geminate -nn-, the consonant stem endings, and would also account for the n-stem nominative singular found in Gothic and Old English.


Descendants[edit]