Wiktionary talk:About Middle Low German

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Proto-Germanic -eu- in Saxon (and/or Dutch)[edit]

In (Middle) Low German there is a correlation between the letters û (IPA [y]) and ê (/ei/) when they come from proto-germ. *eu. For example *deupaz exists as "dêp" and "dûp" (=/dyp/). Similarly, the imperative of "sên" (to see) can be se! or su! (=/sy/). (from *sehw) My question is whether there is a similar alteration in Dutch and (and this is the part that's more important to me), whether there is a rule by which the occurrence of /y/ can be predicted. I remember vaguely that it depends on surrounding vowels. E.g. the presence of an U would have decided whether Old Saxon forms -io- or -iu- etc. from *eu. But I cannot make out a clear pattern what made Old Saxon create what - and I do not know how io/iu etc. developed in later Saxon (i.e. Old/Middle Low German).Dakhart 20:50, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

In Old Dutch and Old High German, PG [eu] developed into [io], while PG [iu] remained as such. There are some areas where [io] and [iu] eventually merged, but in general [iu] developed into [yː], merging with the umlaut of [uː] (in late Old Dutch, [uː] was fronted to [yː] in all cases). In the transition to the Middle stages of these languages, [io] developed into [iə], which was spelled <ie>, and which later developed into [i] or [iː] by the end of the middle ages. In Dutch and German, the early medieval long closed vowels also diphthongised. There are some words that have an alternation similar to what you describe in Dutch: kieken and kuiken, or vuur compared to dialectal vier.
I'm not sure what the Middle Low German development was, but maybe PG [eu] developed into [eo], which then became [eː]. But I do recall that Old Saxon had [io] as well, so I'm not sure. —CodeCat 21:17, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Old Saxon iu became indeed Low German /y/, but there are also those examples: thiu ~> dê, fiuwar ~> vêr. It is also generally true that ie in Dutch/German corresponds to Low German e(i). In earlier times Low German ie and ei were even used along each other, depending on dialect or emphasis (die - dê, hie - hei). Further there is German "betrügen", Dutch bedriegen, for which Wiktionary says: From Old High German triugan, triogan, from Proto-Germanic *dreuganan. So it seems iu and io were at least somehow interchangeable. Maybe someone can make sense out of this.Dakhart 22:32, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
They did develop out of the same early Germanic phoneme, eu, but the umlauting of e to i in late Germanic turned eu into iu in those environments. When the conditioning sounds were slowly lost in the late Old period, some words may have generalised one variety or the other, often reverting the earlier application of umlaut. This was especially strong in Dutch, where umlaut tended to be applied less consistently and never became a strong grammatical marker, but it might have occurred in Middle Low German as well. I imagine that at some point, when the secondary umlaut applied, the older [iu] split further into [iu] and [iy]. The first probably merged with [io] and became [eː] in Middle Low German and [iə] in Middle Dutch, like in fiuwar > vêr or viuwar/vier > vier. While [iy] merged with [yː]. There are apparently some dialects where [iy] became [iə], as demonstrated by kieken (from *kiukīn- /kiykiːn/). —CodeCat 22:49, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
It's pretty complicated. Generally the reflex of eu in OHG (and also Old Saxon) is iu if the following vowel is high, but if the following vowel was originally a (or some other low vowel?), then the reflex is io (older eo). (Compare this to the lowering of Proto-Germanic *u to o in words such as *hurznan > Runic horna, which also seems to take place before all sorts of low vowels, not only a; however, this is a rule found in all of West and North Germanic.) However, in (OHG) Upper German, iu is always the result if a labial or velar consonant (except h if this is old and not from Proto-Germanic *k) immediately follows. Hence, (OHG) Central German tiof, flioga and kriohhan correspond to (OHG) Upper German tiuf, fliuga and kriuhhan, but biotan and ziohan do not differ systematically between Central and Upper German. In Modern Bavarian, this iu became ui or oi, depending on dialect. The Dutch situation seems to be different because in some dialects, io consistently fell together with iu, and doublets such as Diets ~ Duutsc are the result. --Florian Blaschke 19:15, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, thank you for this addition. I asked the same question on Wikipedia and Low German know-it-all Slomox answered [most strongly paraphrased by me, of course] that the normal development is *eu -> ie/ê for nl/mhg/gml. And that *eu -> iu is the I-Umlaut for those languages. This umlaut was then lost in Dutch as nouns and verbs were changed to fit into existing word patterns. If I do not missundertand you, the two statements back each other up, but I lack the overview to process all statements atm.Dakhart 21:31, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
The umlaut was certainly not lost in Dutch, the word kuiken shows that. PG iu > MNL y: > NL œy is the normal development, but in some areas (notably Flemish) it is PG iu > MNL iə > NL i(:). —CodeCat 21:37, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
So, to summarise: *eu/*iu –> /y:/ when an /i:/ follows, an become an /e:/ when it does not.Dakhart 21:42, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the statement was rather meant as: When *iu became ie rather than ui, it is because of a normalisation process. Slomox spoke of modern Dutch "ui" when referring to the elder umlaut. Not to misquote anything: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Language/2012_January_6#The_development_of_Proto-Germanic_-eu-_in_Dutch.2FMiddle_Low_German .Dakhart 21:46, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
iu was formed from eu in Proto-Germanic under influence of umlaut. So in general, iu was always followed by i, unless that i was lost between Proto-Germanic and Old Saxon times. —CodeCat 21:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Er, right. Consider the statement to refer to OSX –> GML.Dakhart 21:54, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it's probably better to state it this way: *eu results in iu when followed by (umlauting) old *i/j, else (OHG/ONL/OSX) io > (DE/NL) ie (Low German ê).
However, I do not understand what kuiken has to do with *eu. (Is Küken a borrowing from Middle Dutch, by the way?) It seems to be a cognate of chicken, which goes back to (quasi-)Proto-Germanic *kukkīnan or similar, if I'm not mistaken. Oh wait, we have Proto-Germanic *kiukīnan. But cycen is not clear on its derivation. Anyway, Dutch ui cannot be from short *u, so kuiken does seem to be from *kiukīnan rather than *kukkīnan.
There is a complication in that some words in Standard Dutch come from the eastern dialects, which have regular umlaut (these dialects being of Old Saxon origin), while Standard Dutch has lost umlaut (mostly?). I'm not clear on the nature of the umlaut loss in Dutch: phonologically or morphologically. But then, even if kuiken was from the eastern dialects, it couldn't possibly be from *kukk- either. So it seems your example is correctly used in this context. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:06, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah, damn, that was already explained above. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:14, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
The extent in which umlaut was preserved and remained a grammatical feature forms a gradient from the west to the east of the Netherlands. In the west (especially Hollandic and Flemish, but also western Brabantian), umlaut was not at all preserved for long vowels or diphthongs. Furthermore, in most of the Netherlands (except for Limburg) /u/ and /o/ merged in late Old Dutch, so that there are only two vowels that could result from umlaut in those areas: /e/ (from /a/) and /y/ (from /u/ and /o/). By and large that's the situation for modern standard Dutch as well, which was based primarily on the western dialects. In standard Dutch, umlaut does not exist at all as a grammatical feature except for old fossilised words such as lengte and gulden, and in one single plural steden. In the east (east Brabantian, Limburgish and presumably most Low Saxon dialects), the situation for umlaut is more like it is in German. Umlaut also applies to long vowels and diphthongs there, and is used as a morphological feature as well. In my own area around Eindhoven for example, koek /kuk/ has the regular diminutive kuukske /kykskə/, and the diminutive of man is menneke. —CodeCat 23:23, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Creating standards for GML[edit]

Commentary: This debate originated in the Beer Parlour, May 2016, until copied here, as noted in the text.

Over here, During said out that I shouldn't just decide to put the lemma of Middle Low German words on their attested rather than normalised form without discussion. To my knowledge, I'm the only current editor of Middle Low German, so discussion honestly didn't occur to me, despite my Wiktionariandom. So here it is, go forth and discuss
The marking of umlauts happens in the early MLG period with ø, y and slashed u (see also this question), as well as digraphs, but for the longest part of the period is so overwhelmingly absent that the leading authority of the 19th century (Lübben) was stoutly convinced that umlaut didn't occur in the language. The next standard work on the language (Lasch) does prove him wrong, but points out that "ü is hardly/likely not, ö rarely to be taken as an umlaut" ("ü ist wohl kaum..."), and the examples she gives for ö are actually spelled oe, without superscript. So following our conventions for Latin, I figured to change the lemma from e.g. vögen to vogen. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 23:15, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Just to make it clear: you would have the lemma entry be at [[vogen]], but with the inflection line and conjugation table on that page showing vögen. Would [[vögen]] be an alternative form entry for vogen? DCDuring TALK 00:42, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
You understood me correct, yes. The circumflex and the trema are a modern scholarly annotation for clarity, standardly applied like macron to Latin texts. I would say that anything attestable can be an alternative form, anything unattested can not. From what I understand from the grammars (I don't have access to corpora myself), the rendition of an umlaut as Ö and Ü was generally unknown in the period, though, and can be expected to be unattestable. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 13:30, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Hence your analogizing to how we handle Latin macrons etc. rather than to how we handle German tremas, which is what I thought the analogy would be. If I actually knew anything substantive in this area, I probably would not have resorted to procedure. I suppose a discussion, preferably with more than just the two of us participating, my contribution being minimal, would be good for Wiktionary talk:About Middle Low German to memorialize the decision. DCDuring TALK 15:09, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
I support the lemmas being the non-diacriticized forms. I wish we would do this with Ancient Greek as well. --WikiTiki89 15:15, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
It's this way too in many cases for Middle English, where "u" ( = /y/), is nowadays oftentimes written "ü" to clarify the pronunciation, but "ü" was never actually used in Middle English orthography (tmk). Middle English "u" could also represent /u/. I would support the same for gml Leasnam (talk) 15:39, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

I am copying this debate to Wiktionary talk:About Middle Low German. Please give further input there. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 19:27, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Unstressed vowels[edit]

I'm wondering how to write the unstressed vowel in the IPA section, /ə/, /ɘ/ or /ɪ/. In modern Low German, it seems to be identical /ɪ/, both ranging from [ɪ] when stressed/long to [ɘ] on average. We don't know the exact pronunciation of the vowel in Middle Low German times, but it was written ⟨e⟩ mostly and ⟨i⟩ by some authors everywhere, both appear in the same text as well. The spelling ⟨i⟩ is more common (than later) in the older part of the period, when authors still wrote more like they spoke. It also (like /ɪ/ and /iː/) triggers palatalisation and narrowing, which is largely free of any phonemic consequence but is reflected in spelling by insertion of ⟨g⟩ between vowels: /friːə/ = [friːjƏ] ⟨vrie⟩ > [friːʝƏ] ⟨vrige⟩. @Angr, Wikitiki89 because your stance on false precision. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 08:54, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

I'd go with /ə/ simply because that's the symbol people expect to see representing a reduced unstressed vowel, especially when a language has only one reduced vowel. I'd expect to see /ɪ/ only in a system where it contrasted with /ə/ (e.g. roses vs. Rosa's in some varieties of English). The /ɘ/ symbol is very rarely used; as a rough estimate I'd say that 95% of the time I've seen it, it was an error for /ə/ committed by someone who didn't notice the difference between an upside-down e and a mirror-image e. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:31, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

RFD discussion: May 2016[edit]

Keep tidy.svg

The following information has failed Wiktionary's deletion process (permalink).

It should not be re-entered without careful consideration.


A bunch of wrongly lemmatised entries

The following entries represent the normalisation of the respective words but were not actually written like that:
afwölteren, wölteren, fögen, vögen, andrücken, köke, spöden, mür
They're æquivalent to Latin words being lemmatised to forms with macrons. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 15:02, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

@Korn: If these aren't the lemma spellings, then can't you just move them yourself? If you want consensus first, the correct venue for this would be WT:RFM. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:33, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, I created the respective lemma entries and want these pages gone. (I can remove those which have other languages on the page as well, but I figured I'd run them through here all at once.) Doesn't removing erroneously created pages belong here? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 19:37, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
Was there an explicit policy or decision (either favorable VOTE or BP (or WT:AGML) discussion resulting in consensus) that has led to the entry you have created, with the no-umlaut form as headword but the umlaut form on the inflection line, being deemed the standard way of presenting such words? If so, was this particular matter addressed? I hope it was, so that this kind of thing could be cleaned up systematically and completely without RfD and without any further discussion. If not, there might need to be some discussion somewhere, probably not just on this page. DCDuring TALK 22:42, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

A discussion was had and the participants were unanimous. So I would like to restate my wish to have these entries removed. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 10:33, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Deleted per above. - -sche (discuss) 04:55, 21 May 2016 (UTC)