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From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic…

From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic

by Donald Ringe

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A description of Proto-Indo-European (in a rather conservative version - Ringe reconstructs a phoneme /a/ for example), followed by an overview of the changes leading to Proto-Germanic, and finally a description of the latter language to match the first part. Since succeeding volumes (vol. 2, The Development of Old English, was published in 2014) are meant to carry the story forwards to Modern English, there's a bit of a focus on developments that proved important for that particular branch.

Ringe presumes more formal linguistics background than I have, but I mostly found myself able to follow his arguments, with occasional forays online to find explanations of unfamiliar concepts. It's probably about as readable as a technical work on the subject can be.
  AndreasJ | Mar 26, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 019928413X, Hardcover)

This book is the first since 1897 to describe the earliest reconstructable stages of the prehistory of English. It outlines the grammar of Proto-Indo-European, considers the changes by which one dialect of that prehistoric language developed into Proto-Germanic, and provides a detailed account of the grammar of Proto-Germanic. The first volume in Don Ringe's A Linguistic History of English will be of central interest to all scholars and students of comparative Indo-European and Germanic linguistics, the history of English, and historical linguists. The next volume will consider the development of Proto-Germanic into Old English. Subsequent volumes will describe the attested history of English from the Old English period to the present.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:03 -0400)

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