PGmc Prefix

Fragment of a discussion from User talk:CodeCat
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ok, so I will begin using fer- for what Koebler has far- for (he does note that they are variants of one another). The faur- = "fore-" makes sense to me (I count this as a separate prefix altogether) but I wonder whether Gothic may have also experienced some merging into fra-, and that fair- was a relic.

Leasnam (talk)19:33, 28 January 2013

Will this then work: fra- = (far) away (from), off; fur- = fore-, before; fer- = completely, fully, up?

Leasnam (talk)19:36, 28 January 2013

I don't think that is right. *fra- also meant "completely". I think it is best described as a "perfective" prefix.

Going back to PIE, *fra- comes from *pro-, *fur- from *pr- (related to *fura, *furi, German für) and *fer- from *per(i)- (Latin per).

CodeCat19:39, 28 January 2013
 

Also, if you consider the regular operations of sound laws, Germanic unstressed -er- remains and doesn't become -ir- (while unstressed -e- otherwise does become -i-). But in most words -er- later appears as -ar-, especially in West Germanic. So it's possible for West Germanic *far- to derive from earlier *fer-. Gothic *fair- can come from either *fer- or *fir-. The appearance of *fir- in West Germanic doesn't have to be significant, because *ta also appears as *ti and *ga- as *gi-, so it seems that prefixes involving *a generally became merged with *i fairly early already. The same could have happened with *fur- too.

Also compare *twiz- and *tuz-, which may give some more insight in how vowels developed in prefixes.

CodeCat19:45, 28 January 2013

Thanks :)

Leasnam (talk)20:20, 28 January 2013