West Germanic languages

West GermanicWest Germanic languageWestGermanicWest Germanic dialectsWest Germanic branchWGmcWest Germanic-speakingclosely related languagesGermanic vernaculars
The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of languages (the others being the North Germanic and the extinct East Germanic languages).wikipedia
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Germanic languages

GermanicGermanic languageGerman
The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of languages (the others being the North Germanic and the extinct East Germanic languages).
The West Germanic languages include the three most widely spoken Germanic languages: English with around 360-400 million native speakers; German, with over 100 million native speakers; and Dutch, with 24 million native speakers.

English language

EnglishEnglish-languageen
The three most prevalent West Germanic languages are English, German, and Dutch.
English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca.

North Germanic languages

ScandinavianNorth GermanicScandinavian languages
The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of languages (the others being the North Germanic and the extinct East Germanic languages).
The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages.

German language

GermanGerman-languageGerman-speaking
The three most prevalent West Germanic languages are English, German, and Dutch.
German (Deutsch ) is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe.

Dutch language

DutchDutch-languagenl
The three most prevalent West Germanic languages are English, German, and Dutch. Rhine Germanic / Istvaeonic languages / Netherlandic
Dutch is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands (where it is the sole official language) and Belgium (as one of three official languages).

Afrikaans

Afrikaans-speakingAfrikaans-languageAfrikaans language
The family also includes other High and Low German languages including Afrikaans and Yiddish (which are daughter languages of Dutch and German, respectively), in addition to other Franconian languages, like Luxembourgish, and Ingvaeonic (North Sea Germanic) languages next to English, such as the Frisian languages and Scots.
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Low German

Low SaxonndsLow German/Low Saxon
The family also includes other High and Low German languages including Afrikaans and Yiddish (which are daughter languages of Dutch and German, respectively), in addition to other Franconian languages, like Luxembourgish, and Ingvaeonic (North Sea Germanic) languages next to English, such as the Frisian languages and Scots.
Low German or Low Saxon (Low German of Germany: Plattdütsch, Plattdüütsch, Plattdütsk, Plattdüütsk, Plattduitsk, Plattduitsch, Plattdietsch or Neddersassisch or Nedderdüütsch; Low Saxon of the Netherlands: Nedersaksies; High German: Plattdeutsch, Niedersächsisch or Niederdeutsch (in a stricter sense); Nederduits; (also other dialectal variants)) is a West Germanic language spoken mainly in Northern Germany and the northeastern part of the Netherlands.

Franconian languages

FranconianFranconian dialectsFranconian-speaking
The family also includes other High and Low German languages including Afrikaans and Yiddish (which are daughter languages of Dutch and German, respectively), in addition to other Franconian languages, like Luxembourgish, and Ingvaeonic (North Sea Germanic) languages next to English, such as the Frisian languages and Scots.
Franconian (Frankisch; Frankies; Fränkisch; Francique) includes a number of West Germanic languages and dialects possibly derived from the languages and dialects originally spoken by the Franks from their ethnogenesis in the 3rd century AD. A famous likely speaker was Emperor Charlemagne.

North Sea Germanic

IngvaeonicIngvaeonic languageclosely related
The family also includes other High and Low German languages including Afrikaans and Yiddish (which are daughter languages of Dutch and German, respectively), in addition to other Franconian languages, like Luxembourgish, and Ingvaeonic (North Sea Germanic) languages next to English, such as the Frisian languages and Scots. 1) North Sea Germanic (Ingvaeonic, ancestral to Anglo-Frisian and also Old Saxon) Although there is quite a bit of knowledge about North Sea Germanic or Anglo-Frisian (due to characteristic features of its daughter languages, Anglo-Saxon/Old English and Old Frisian), linguists know almost nothing about "Weser-Rhine Germanic" and "Elbe Germanic".
North Sea Germanic, also known as Ingvaeonic, is a postulated grouping of the northern West Germanic languages, consisting of Old Frisian, Old English and Old Saxon and their descendants.

Anglo-Frisian languages

Anglo-FrisianAnglo–FrisianAnglo Frisian
1) North Sea Germanic (Ingvaeonic, ancestral to Anglo-Frisian and also Old Saxon) Although there is quite a bit of knowledge about North Sea Germanic or Anglo-Frisian (due to characteristic features of its daughter languages, Anglo-Saxon/Old English and Old Frisian), linguists know almost nothing about "Weser-Rhine Germanic" and "Elbe Germanic".
The Anglo-Frisian languages are the West Germanic languages which include Anglic (or English) and Frisian.

Frankish language

FrankishOld FrankishOld Franconian
2) Weser-Rhine Germanic (Istvaeonic, ancestral to Old Frankish, its successors Low Franconian and several dialects of Old High German)
Frankish (reconstructed Frankish: *Frenkisk), Old Franconian or Old Frankish was the West Germanic language spoken by the Franks between the 4th and 8th century.

Low Franconian languages

Low FranconianIstvaeonicLow Frankish
2) Weser-Rhine Germanic (Istvaeonic, ancestral to Old Frankish, its successors Low Franconian and several dialects of Old High German)
Low Franconian/Low Frankish (Nederfrankisch; Niederfränkisch; Bas Francique) are a group of several West Germanic languages spoken in the Netherlands, northern Belgium (Flanders), in the Nord department of France, in western Germany (Lower Rhine), as well as in Suriname, South Africa and Namibia that originally descended from the Frankish language.

Northwest Germanic

Most agree that after East Germanic broke off (an event usually dated to the 2nd or 1st century BC), the remaining Germanic languages, the Northwest Germanic languages, divided into four main dialects: North Germanic, and the three groups conventionally called "West Germanic", namely
It does not challenge the late 19th-century tri-partite division of the Germanic dialects into North Germanic, West Germanic and East Germanic, but proposes additionally that North and West Germanic (i.e. all surviving Germanic languages today) remained as a subgroup after the southward migration of the East Germanic tribes, only splitting into North and West Germanic later.

High German consonant shift

Second Sound Shiftto varying degreessecond Germanic consonant shift
The High German consonant shift that occurred mostly during the 7th century AD in what is now southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland can be considered the end of the linguistic unity among the West Germanic dialects, although its effects on their own should not be overestimated.
In historical linguistics, the High German consonant shift or second Germanic consonant shift is a phonological development (sound change) that took place in the southern parts of the West Germanic dialect continuum in several phases.

West Frisian language

West FrisianFrisianWestern Frisian
West Frisian
West Frisian, or simply Frisian (Frysk, ; Fries ) is a West Germanic language spoken mostly in the province of Friesland (Fryslân) in the north of the Netherlands, mostly by those of Frisian ancestry.

Old English

Anglo-SaxonSaxonAnglo Saxon
Although there is quite a bit of knowledge about North Sea Germanic or Anglo-Frisian (due to characteristic features of its daughter languages, Anglo-Saxon/Old English and Old Frisian), linguists know almost nothing about "Weser-Rhine Germanic" and "Elbe Germanic".
Old English is one of the West Germanic languages, and its closest relatives are Old Frisian and Old Saxon.

North Frisian language

North FrisianFrisianFrisian, North
North Frisian
The language is part of the larger group of the West Germanic Frisian languages.

Istvaeones

IstvaeonicIstaevonesRhine Germanic
Rhine Germanic / Istvaeonic languages / Netherlandic
In linguistics, the term "Istvaeonic languages" is also sometimes used in discussions about the grouping of the northwestern West Germanic languages, consisting of Frankish and its descendants (principally Old Dutch) as well as several closely related historical dialects.

Germanic umlaut

umlautumlautsi-mutation
The development of umlaut.
Whenever a back vowel (, or, whether long or short) occurred in a syllable and the front vowel or the front glide occurred in the next, the vowel in the first syllable was fronted (usually to,, and respectively). Thus, for example, West Germanic *mūsiz "mice" shifted to proto-Old English *mȳsiz, which eventually developed to modern mice, while the singular form *mūs lacked a following and was unaffected, eventually becoming modern mouse.

Luxembourgish

Luxemburgishltzlb
The family also includes other High and Low German languages including Afrikaans and Yiddish (which are daughter languages of Dutch and German, respectively), in addition to other Franconian languages, like Luxembourgish, and Ingvaeonic (North Sea Germanic) languages next to English, such as the Frisian languages and Scots.
Luxembourgish, Luxemburgish or Letzeburgesch ( or ) (Luxembourgish: Lëtzebuergesch) is a West Germanic language that is spoken mainly in Luxembourg.

High German languages

High GermanHighGerman
The family also includes other High and Low German languages including Afrikaans and Yiddish (which are daughter languages of Dutch and German, respectively), in addition to other Franconian languages, like Luxembourgish, and Ingvaeonic (North Sea Germanic) languages next to English, such as the Frisian languages and Scots. 3) Elbe Germanic (Irminonic, ancestral to several dialects of Old High German, most probably including the extinct Langobardic language).
The High German languages are marked by the High German consonant shift, separating them from Low German and Low Franconian (Dutch) within the continental West Germanic dialect continuum.

Rhotacism (sound change)

rhotacismrhotacizedrhotacization
The rhotacism of to.
All surviving Germanic languages, which are members of the North and West Germanic families, changed to, implying a more approximant-like rhotic consonant in Proto-Germanic.

Lombardic language

LombardicLangobardicLombard
3) Elbe Germanic (Irminonic, ancestral to several dialects of Old High German, most probably including the extinct Langobardic language).
Lombardic or Langobardic is an extinct West Germanic language that was spoken by the Lombards (Langobardi), the Germanic people who settled in Italy in the 6th century.

Old High German

Old GermanOHGOld
2) Weser-Rhine Germanic (Istvaeonic, ancestral to Old Frankish, its successors Low Franconian and several dialects of Old High German) 3) Elbe Germanic (Irminonic, ancestral to several dialects of Old High German, most probably including the extinct Langobardic language).
The main difference between Old High German and the West Germanic dialects from which it developed is that it underwent the High German consonant shift (also called the second consonant shift in relation to the similar but much earlier Grimm's law).

Runic inscriptions

runic inscriptionrunic scriptNordic runes
Even today, the very small number of Migration Period runic inscriptions from this area—many of them illegible, unclear or consisting only of one word, often a name—is insufficient to identify linguistic features specific to the two supposed dialect groups.
Linguistically, the 3rd and 4th centuries correspond to the formation of Proto-Norse, just predating the separation of West Germanic into Anglo-Frisian, Low German and High German.