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 2010
1,374
N/A
#21
I'm not quite sure what you're directing this at. Of course it's not an open and shut case. People are people, but the fact of the matter is German is a heavily structured language, English is not, there is no rule book that exists to say this "is" English and that's the problem with saying anything is English really. The German government keeps a rule book of what is German and what is not German, which is the most banally typical German thing to do.

What has kept English alive even during the dark ages where it was the lowest order language in the UK is the fact that it is a living language and that the common people could adapt it to suit the conditions. This is also why there are so many different types of English. A person from Papua New Guinea could probably not have a conversation with someone from South Africa coherently. Even though the native language of both countries is English, the Papua New Guineans have developed their own Creole English at this point.

As to the Frisian thing there is probably people in Friesland that speak more pure Friesan than others, but the problem is that Friesland is not a state and the majority of Frisian people now live in Holland, so if you go there you're probably unlikely to here true Frisian. The other problem with English is that its own morphology and the fact that most people in the age group of 25-35 will probably struggle to deal with Middle English, most young people under the age of 21 in schools today won't even understand Tudor or Victorian English from a teaching perspective. I can say this as an inference from being a teacher. So, to understand Old English, good luck to you unless you like to go to university to understand dead languages. The structure of Old English is kind of similar but its not and one of the biggest problems is the removal of gendered terms from the English language which occurred during the period of Middle and Modern English.
 
Last edited:
Jun 2015
5,571
UK
#25
English with its roman, french and greek influan is too unique to classify as pure germanic language.
This argument is baffling in a way, since languages are not defined via lexicon, but grammar and syntax evolution. By this logic, Romanian isn't Romance, but Slavic. Portuguese and Italian have far more Arabic-origin words than French. English's structure despite the French influence has a very strong Germanic structure.

Language families are not defined via vocabulary.
 
Jun 2015
5,571
UK
#26
Also, the OP's question is moot.

It's both.

It's West Germanic in that the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (and Frisians, and there were some Franks who migrated also) came from the North Sea "West Germanic" area.

Anglo-Frisian is a subset of West-Germanic, since the early forms of Dutch, German, and Luxembourgish, split off to form new groups c. 200-600 AD.
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,359
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#28
Also, the OP's question is moot.

It's both.

It's West Germanic in that the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (and Frisians, and there were some Franks who migrated also) came from the North Sea "West Germanic" area.

Anglo-Frisian is a subset of West-Germanic, since the early forms of Dutch, German, and Luxembourgish, split off to form new groups c. 200-600 AD.

Lëtzebuergesch can pass as just a dialect of Middle German though, interesting you mention it as a separate thing. I'd rather put Low German in that position.
 

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