|North Sea Germanic|
|Originally the North Sea coast from Friesland to Jutland; today, worldwide|
Ingvaeonic is named after the Ingaevones, a West Germanic cultural group or proto-tribe along the North Sea coast that was mentioned by both Tacitus and Pliny the Elder (the latter also mentioned that tribes in the group included the Cimbri, the Teutoni and the Chauci). It is thought of as not a monolithic proto-language but as a group of closely related dialects that underwent several areal changes in relative unison.
The grouping was first proposed in Nordgermanen und Alemannen (1942) by German linguist and philologist Friedrich Maurer as an alternative to the strict tree diagrams, which had become popular following the work of 19th-century linguist August Schleicher and assumed the existence of a special Anglo-Frisian group. The other groupings are Istvaeonic, from the Istvaeones, including Dutch, Afrikaans and related languages; and Irminonic, from the Irminones, including the High German languages.
Linguistic evidence for Ingvaeonic is a series of common innovations observed in Old Frisian, Old English and Old Saxon such as the following:
- The so-called Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law: converted *munþ "mouth" into *mų̄þ (compare Old English mūþ).
- Loss of the third-person reflexive pronouns
- The loss of person distinctions in plural forms of verbs, which reduced three forms into one form: merged *habjum "we have" and *habēþ "you (plural) have" with *habją̄þ "they have"
- The development of Class III weak verbs into a relic class consisting of four verbs (*sagjan "to say", *hugjan "to think", *habjan "to have", *libjan "to live")
- The split of the Class II weak verb ending *-ōn into *-ōjan: converted *makōn "to make" into *makōjan
- Development of a plural ending *-ōs in a-stem nouns
- Development of numerous new words, such as the replacement of *newun "nine" with *nigun and *minni "less" (adverb) with *laisi
Several, but not all, characteristics are also found in Dutch, which did not generally undergo the nasal spirant law (except for a few words), retained the three distinct plural endings (only to merge them in a later, unrelated change), and exhibits the -s plural in only a limited number of words. However, it lost the reflexive pronoun (even though it did later regain it via borrowing) and had the same four relic weak verbs in Class III.
- Bremmer, Rolf H. (2009). An Introduction to Old Frisian. Amsterdam: John Benjamins B.V. ISBN 978-90-272-3255-7.
- Euler, Wolfram (2013). Das Westgermanische - von der Herausbildung im 3. bis zur Aufgliederung im 7. Jahrhundert - Analyse und Rekonstruktion (West Germanic: from its Emergence in the 3rd up until its Dissolution in the 7th Century CE: Analyses and Reconstruction). 244 p., in German with English summary, London/Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-9812110-7-8.
- (in German) Maurer, Friedrich (1942) Nordgermanen und Alemannen: Studien zur germanischen und frühdeutschen Sprachgeschichte, Stammes- und Volkskunde, Strasbourg: Hüneburg.
- Ringe, Donald R. and Taylor, Ann (2014). The Development of Old English - A Linguistic History of English, vol. II, 632p. ISBN 978-0199207848. Oxford.
- (in German) Sonderegger, Stefan (1979). Grundzüge deutscher Sprachgeschichte. Diachronie des Sprachsystems. Band I: Einführung – Genealogie – Konstanten. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-003570-7.
- Voyles, Joseph B. (1992). Early Germanic Grammar: Pre-, Proto-, and Post-Germanic. San Diego: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-728270-X.