Episode 22: Early Germanic Grammar

We look at the grammar of the early Germanic tribes. The decreasing use of inflexions is explored. Elements of modern English grammar are identified within the original Germanic language.

3 thoughts on “Episode 22: Early Germanic Grammar

  1. Thank you for your interesting podcast. Actually, Old English did have a dual for the first and second person. Cf. Obst/Schleburg 2004. p. 40.


    • Hi Hanspeter,

      Yes, you are correct. There was a dual form attested in early Old English documents. However, that dual form appears to have disappeared around the 10th century. So the bulk of Old English documents produced in the 10th and 11th centuries don’t have that dual form. However, I got the time frame wrong in this episode when I suggested that the dual form was never present in Old English. (By the way, I did mention those dual forms when I discussed Old English pronouns in Episode 54: Pronouns Pros and Cons.)

  2. 马跳了
    The horse jumped.

    You don’t have to specify when to do past tense in Chinese. You just add a 了。 It isn’t really a word, it indicates tense. Also, it can operates on the clause, not necessarily the word. It can be used like -ed, but doesn’t have to be.
    Otherwise you were right about Chinese.

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