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Title: The etymology of the old high German weak verb
Author: Bailey, Christopher Gordon
ISNI:       0000 0001 3435 7938
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis is an examination of the origin and development of the weak verbs of Old High German. The problem surrounding the origin and early development of the preterite tense of the weak verb in Germanic, and which as yet lacks any satisfactory explanation, is outlined in the Introduction. Following this, it is hypothesized that, if a relative chronology can be established for the weak verbs, it may be possible to arrive at important insights concerning their overall pattern of development, from the Germanic stratum through to Old High German. It is also hoped that such a chronologically organized data-set may succeed in isolating a key group of primary or Pre-Germanic verbs which may represent the earliest group of verbs belonging to the weak formation. It is further hypothesized that these and other early groups provided patterns for the analogical extension and growth of the weak verbs as an inflectional category. Important evidence concerning the early stages and analogical growth patterns of the weak verbs can, it is hoped, be gained through a morpho-semantic analysis of these early groups. Methodologically, the verbs are first analysed according to the linguistic period of their formation, and thus assigned to a particular stratum within the development of the Old High German language. Following this, the verbs of the younger strata are classified according to the method of their derivation. Verbs which can be thus classified are then further analysed on the basis of morphological and semantic factors occurring within, or reflecting, the derivational process. In this way the relative size and importance of the different strata, as well as the various derivational groups of the Old High German weak verbs, can be demonstrated. This research provides the necessary groundwork for a re-evaluation of the theories regarding the origin of the weak preterite; the word formation patterns of prehistoric stages of Germanic and their extension into a comprehensive etymological dictionary of the Germanic weak verb. 11
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Linguistics