English language... 'Anglo-Frisian' or 'West Germanic'?

Is English rather an 'Anglo-Frisian' or a 'West Germanic' language?

  • Anglo-Frisian

    Votes: 13 48.1%
  • West Germanic

    Votes: 8 29.6%
  • other

    Votes: 6 22.2%

  • Total voters
    27
Jul 2011
579
western Europe
#1
English is often traditionally regarded as either:

- an Anglo-Frisian language
- a West Germanic language


both terms are valid:

English: Anglic<<Anglo-Frisian<<Ingvaeonic<<West Germanic<<Germanic<<IE


Yet, which is the more pragmatic, relevant definition?

i.e. Should the English language preferably be qualified as an 'Anglo-Frisian' or a 'West Germanic' language?


IMO, 'Anglo-Frisian' should be chosen - for two main reasons:

- Anglo-Frisian languages have many unique linguistic features compared to other Germanic languages (having drifted the farthest away from proto-Germanic), as well as compared to other 'West Germanic' languages

- the existence of a proto-West Germanic language is poorly attested, therefore the validity of the notion of 'West Germanic language' is dubious


...but what is your opinion?
 
Last edited:

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,880
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#3
I elaborate:

the Angles were a Germanic people ...
the Frisians were a Germanic people ...

Any "Anglo-Frisian" language is Germanic. Period.
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,520
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#4
I elaborate:

the Angles were a Germanic people ...
the Frisians were a Germanic people ...

Any "Anglo-Frisian" language is Germanic. Period.
Sure, but some language families have subdivisions. Like f.ex. Slavic languages part in East, West and South Slavic languages, South Slavic has further two sub groups (Western South Slavic and Eastern South Slavic) and in the end you have separate families. That doesn't make any of them less Slavic. Same for Germanic languages. I don't know in what group the Scandinavian languages are, East Germanic are all extinct, West Germanic are then German, Frisian, Dutch, etc. Since Frisian is supposed to be the closest language to English, I see no problem in grouping them together in an "Anglo-Frisian" group inside Western Germanic languages, just as you have Kashubian and Polish in the Lechitic group of West Slavic languages. It just depends how specific one wants to get, at least I think. Might as well be wrong, wouldn't be the first time. :)
 
Jun 2015
5,681
UK
#5
Since when was this in contention?

It's both.

To classify English and Scots as sister languages (thoough imho both are dialects of either other, and not Scots OF English), then:

- Germanic
- West Germanic
- Invagoenic
- Anglo-Frisian
- Anglic/English languages
- Modern English/Scots

German and Dutch are both West Germanic too, but fall into different branches.
 
Jul 2011
579
western Europe
#6
^Dutch is a West Germanic language, i.e. geographically and linguistically

English, in relation to Dutch and other franconian languages, is very different and did not originate in the same area... hence to designate it as ingvaeonic or Anglo-Frisian is more appropriate than "West Germanic"
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,520
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#7
^Dutch is a West Germanic language, i.e. geographically and linguistically

English, in relation to Dutch and other franconian languages, is very different and did not originate in the same area... hence to designate it as ingvaeonic or Anglo-Frisian is more appropriate than "West Germanic"
It is not more appropriate, only more narrow.
 
Jun 2015
5,681
UK
#9
^Dutch is a West Germanic language, i.e. geographically and linguistically

English, in relation to Dutch and other franconian languages, is very different and did not originate in the same area... hence to designate it as ingvaeonic or Anglo-Frisian is more appropriate than "West Germanic"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Germanic_languages

It's an actual linguistic concept. Anglo-Frisian is a subset of West Germanic.
 

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