East Germanic languages

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East Germanic
Ethnicity: East Germanic peoples
Geographic
distribution:
Central Europe and parts of eastern Europe (Crimea)
Linguistic classification: Indo-European
Subdivisions:
ISO 639-5: gme
Glottolog: goth1244 (Gothic)1
The distribution of the primary Germanic dialect groups in Europe in around AD 1:
  North Sea Germanic, or Ingvaeonic
  Weser-Rhine Germanic, or Istvaeonic
  Elbe Germanic, or Irminonic
  East Germanic

The East Germanic languages are a group of extinct Germanic languages of the Indo-European language family spoken by East Germanic peoples. The only East Germanic languages of which texts are known are Gothic and Crimean Gothic; other languages that are assumed to be East Germanic include Vandalic and Burgundian. Crimean Gothic is believed to have survived until the 18th century.

History

By the 1st century CE, the writings of Pomponius Mela, Pliny the elder, and Tacitus indicate a division of Germanic-speaking peoples into large groupings with shared ancestry and culture. (This division has been appropriatedclarification needed in modern terminology about the divisions of Germanic languages.)

The expansion of the Germanic tribes 750 BC – AD 1 (after the Penguin Atlas of World History 1988):
   Settlements before 750 BC
   New settlements by 500 BC
   New settlements by 250 BC
   New settlements by AD 1

Based on accounts by Jordanes, Procopius, Paul the Deacon and others; linguistic evidence (see Gothic language); placename evidence; and archaeological evidence, it is believed that the East Germanic tribes, the speakers of the East Germanic languages, and related to North Germanic tribes, had migrated from Scandinavia into the area lying east of the Elbe.2 In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania and northern Poland from period IIIclarification needed onwards was so considerable that this region is sometimes included in the Nordic Bronze Age culture (Dabrowski 1989:73).

There is also archaeological and toponymic evidence that Burgundians lived on the Danish island of Bornholm (Old Norse: Borgundarholm).

Groups

Groups identified as East Germanic tribes include:


Traditionally the Langobards were classified as East Germanic, however, the Langobardic language is now considered by many specialists to be close to Old High German, especially its Upper German dialects, which would make a classification as West Germanic rather than East Germanic more sensible.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Gothic". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ The Penguin atlas of world history, Hermann Kinder and Werner Hilgemann; translated by Ernest A. Menze; with maps designed by Harald and Ruth Bukor. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-051054-0, 1988. Volume 1, p. 109.

References

  • Dabrowski, J. (1989) Nordische Kreis und Kulturen Polnischer Gebiete. Die Bronzezeit im Ostseegebiet. Ein Rapport der Kgl. Schwedischen Akademie der Literatur, Geschichte und Altertumsforschung über das Julita-Symposium 1986. Ed Ambrosiani, B. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien. Konferenser 22. Stockholm. ISBN 91-7402-203-2
  • Demougeot, E. La formation de l'Europe et les invasions barbares, Paris: Editions Montaigne, 1969–74.
  • Kaliff, Anders. 2001. Gothic Connections. Contacts between eastern Scandinavia and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BCE – 500 CE.
  • Musset, L. Les invasions: les vagues germanique, Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1965.
  • Nordgren, I. 2004. Well Spring of The Goths. About the Gothic Peoples in the Nordic Countries and on the Continent.







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