Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

German "kein" "no, no one"

Expand Messages
  • Grzegorz Jagodziński
    Does anybody know a convincing etymology of German kein no ... ? The official etymology (cf. Kluge etc.) says that this form comes from Old High German
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 6, 2013
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      
      Does anybody know a convincing etymology of German kein "no ..."?
       
      The "official" etymology (cf. Kluge etc.) says that this form comes from Old High German nihhein (nechein, etc.) by throwing out ni- (= IE *ne "not") and "Verhärtung" ("hardening") of the -ch- in the initial position. Middle High German knew also "kein" with the positive meaning "irgendein" (any).
       
      As for now, all is clear. The Proto-German (older than the 2nd consonantal shift) was *ni-kein obviously. But what is its earlier source?
       
      Kluge links it with Goth. nih "and not" = Latin neque. However, how the Germanic *h (= IE *k) could have yielded German (pre-second shift) k (= IE *g)?
       
      Another possible link, to Old Saxon nege^n and Dutch geen "no... " is also suspected. Why -g- in OS and Dutch but -k- in German? Even if we supposed that we have a rare example of g > k second consonantal shift in anlaut, there is no way to explain the internal OS -g- (in nege^n) and OHG -ch- (in nechein).
       
       
      I have a personal hypothesis concerning these forms, and I expect some comments on it. Perhaps no one has observed so far that an intriguingly similar form is Polish "żaden" "no..." (= Germ. kein). There are attestations of 14th-16th centuries in the form "niżadny" etc. (with negative ni-), then this negative particle was thown away, and hence modern "żaden". According to Boryś (Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego, 2005), the word under question is West Slavic only (with some East Slavic forms which could be interdialectal borrowings). Its protoform could be *ni-z^e-edi^nu^ in Proto-Slavic.
       
      Now my own scenario. I assume that both forms, German and West Slavic, are similarly built. The first element, Slavic *ni and Germanic *ne, could be even the same word (the Slavic *ni < IE *ne ei, reduced to *ne in German) or in German there is not the second IE part, the particle *ei, in this word.
       
      The second part is the IE particle *ge. It can be seen, among others, in Germanic *mi-k (accusative "me"). It yielded *z^e in Slavic regularly.
       
      The third part is the numeral "1". It is *aina- in Germanic (> ein in German) from IE *oino- but *ed(h)-oino- in Slavic.
       
      So, the common IE protoform could be *ne-(ei)-ge-oino- in both German and West Slavic. It yielded *ne-k-aina- in Proto-Germanic, and *ni-z^e-inu^, further *ni-z^e-ed-inu^ in Slavic.
       
      What concerns inu^ / edinu^: It is noticeable that while the original *oino- > in- is also preserved with the meaning "1" in SCS inorogu^ "unicorn", it has a new meaning "other" in other instances. When the new meaning had developed, the old *ino-rogu^ was replaced by *edino-rogu^ (cf. modern jednorożec "unicorn" in Polish). So, the assumed *ni-z^e-inu^ could also have been replaced by *ni-z^e-ed-inu^ in the exacly  the same way as inorogu^ by *edinorogu^.
       
      Germanic *nekaina- only survived in Old High German as *nekein
      > nechein (2nd shift). In Slavic, the assumed *ni-z^e-ed-inu^ yielded
      *niz^e^di^nu^ (with e+e > e^ "jat'"). The group z^ + e^ > z^a probably regularly in Slavic (counterexamples may be all caused by analogy).
       
      Originally there also existed a form without negation, *ge-oino-. While there are no any traces of it in Slavic, it survived as kein "irgendein" in MHG but disappeared soon. The initial negation was dropped in both German and West Slavic, except some old Polish attestations. It is nothing strange in it, but "ne" was similarly dropped in English and German development (German "ich ne spreche" was replaced by "ich ne spreche nicht" and then by the modern form "ich spreche nicht"). Omitting of negation in Slavic is rare but just attested in this very word, so it is out of question.
       
      And what with Dutch geen and Old Saxon nege^n? They do not fit "kein" phonetically, so they are not directly related, even if constructed similarly. Perhaps -g- comes from IE *ghe, another particle with similar meaning. And perhaps they come from Pre-Verner Germanic *ne-h-aina-, with ne-h- = Latin neque, like Kluge suggests.
    • Bhrihskwobhloukstroy
      Very interesting!
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 6, 2013
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        Very interesting!
      • andythewiros
        I think your analysis need no comment. It is verging on perfect. You re a beautiful person. ...  Does anybody know a convincing etymology of German kein
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 6, 2013
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment

          I think your analysis need no comment.  It is verging on perfect.  You're a beautiful person.



          ---In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, <grzegorj2000@...> wrote:

          
          Does anybody know a convincing etymology of German kein "no ..."?
           
          The "official" etymology (cf. Kluge etc.) says that this form comes from Old High German nihhein (nechein, etc.) by throwing out ni- (= IE *ne "not") and "Verhärtung" ("hardening") of the -ch- in the initial position. Middle High German knew also "kein" with the positive meaning "irgendein" (any).
           
          As for now, all is clear. The Proto-German (older than the 2nd consonantal shift) was *ni-kein obviously. But what is its earlier source?
           
          Kluge links it with Goth. nih "and not" = Latin neque. However, how the Germanic *h (= IE *k) could have yielded German (pre-second shift) k (= IE *g)?
           
          Another possible link, to Old Saxon nege^n and Dutch geen "no... " is also suspected. Why -g- in OS and Dutch but -k- in German? Even if we supposed that we have a rare example of g > k second consonantal shift in anlaut, there is no way to explain the internal OS -g- (in nege^n) and OHG -ch- (in nechein).
           
           
          I have a personal hypothesis concerning these forms, and I expect some comments on it. Perhaps no one has observed so far that an intriguingly similar form is Polish "żaden" "no..." (= Germ. kein). There are attestations of 14th-16th centuries in the form "niżadny" etc. (with negative ni-), then this negative particle was thown away, and hence modern "żaden". According to Boryś (Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego, 2005), the word under question is West Slavic only (with some East Slavic forms which could be interdialectal borrowings). Its protoform could be *ni-z^e-edi^nu^ in Proto-Slavic.
           
          Now my own scenario. I assume that both forms, German and West Slavic, are similarly built. The first element, Slavic *ni and Germanic *ne, could be even the same word (the Slavic *ni < IE *ne ei, reduced to *ne in German) or in German there is not the second IE part, the particle *ei, in this word.
           
          The second part is the IE particle *ge. It can be seen, among others, in Germanic *mi-k (accusative "me"). It yielded *z^e in Slavic regularly.
           
          The third part is the numeral "1". It is *aina- in Germanic (> ein in German) from IE *oino- but *ed(h)-oino- in Slavic.
           
          So, the common IE protoform could be *ne-(ei)-ge-oino- in both German and West Slavic. It yielded *ne-k-aina- in Proto-Germanic, and *ni-z^e-inu^, further *ni-z^e-ed-inu^ in Slavic.
           
          What concerns inu^ / edinu^: It is noticeable that while the original *oino- > in- is also preserved with the meaning "1" in SCS inorogu^ "unicorn", it has a new meaning "other" in other instances. When the new meaning had developed, the old *ino-rogu^ was replaced by *edino-rogu^ (cf. modern jednorożec "unicorn" in Polish). So, the assumed *ni-z^e-inu^ could also have been replaced by *ni-z^e-ed-inu^ in the exacly  the same way as inorogu^ by *edinorogu^.
           
          Germanic *nekaina- only survived in Old High German as *nekein
          > nechein (2nd shift). In Slavic, the assumed *ni-z^e-ed-inu^ yielded
          *niz^e^di^nu^ (with e+e > e^ "jat'"). The group z^ + e^ > z^a probably regularly in Slavic (counterexamples may be all caused by analogy).
           
          Originally there also existed a form without negation, *ge-oino-. While there are no any traces of it in Slavic, it survived as kein "irgendein" in MHG but disappeared soon. The initial negation was dropped in both German and West Slavic, except some old Polish attestations. It is nothing strange in it, but "ne" was similarly dropped in English and German development (German "ich ne spreche" was replaced by "ich ne spreche nicht" and then by the modern form "ich spreche nicht"). Omitting of negation in Slavic is rare but just attested in this very word, so it is out of question.
           
          And what with Dutch geen and Old Saxon nege^n? They do not fit "kein" phonetically, so they are not directly related, even if constructed similarly. Perhaps -g- comes from IE *ghe, another particle with similar meaning. And perhaps they come from Pre-Verner Germanic *ne-h-aina-, with ne-h- = Latin neque, like Kluge suggests.
        • tarasovass
          ... Why do you need PGmc. *k here? Won t *x do just as well? Sergei
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 7, 2013
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            ---In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, <grzegorj2000@...> wrote:

            >>As for now, all is clear. The Proto-German (older than the 2nd consonantal shift) was *ni-kein obviously.

            Why do you need PGmc. *k here? Won't *x do just as well?

            Sergei
          • tarasovass
            ... It seems it s not so easy to choose between deriving PSl. *z^e from PIE *ge (thus with Gk. ge at least, only, indeed , Goth. -k in mik me , auk because,
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 7, 2013
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              ---In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, <grzegorj2000@...> wrote:

              >>The second part is the IE particle *ge. It can be seen, among others, in Germanic *mi-k (accusative "me"). It yielded *z^e in Slavic regularly.

              It seems it's not so easy to choose between deriving PSl. *z^e from PIE *ge (thus with Gk. ge 'at least, only, indeed', Goth. -k in mik 'me', auk 'because, but') and deriving it from PIE *gWHe (with Gk. -tHe in eítHe 'if only', OInd. ha, gha 'indeed').
            • Grzegorz Jagodziński
              ... Why do you need PGmc. *k here? Won t *x do just as well? Sergei A good question. A specialist in OHG would be needed... However, as I know, h and hh (ch)
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 8, 2013
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                
                 

                ---In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, <grzegorj2000@...> wrote:

                >>As for now, all is clear. The Proto-German (older than the 2nd consonantal shift) was *ni-kein obviously.

                Why do you need PGmc. *k here? Won't *x do just as well?

                Sergei
                 
                A good question. A specialist in OHG would be needed... However, as I know, h and hh (ch) are distinguishable in texts. If ch (or hh) in nechein (attested in these two forms) comes from *h < *x < IE *k, why it is doubled? Are there more examples of doubling the Germanic *x in German?
                 
                I think there are no doubts about ne- in nechein: it is a negation particle. So, ch- is at the beginning of the root. I do not know a single example of OHG ch- < h- < x- < IE *k, and I do not think that negation could form an exception. There are examples of ch- in the initial position but everytime such a ch- comes from Germanic k- (IE g*).
                 
                The "hardening" idea (ch --> k) is also very suspected. If ch in "nechein" had come from *h < *x (= IE *k), and if it had yielded k in German, it would have been a single example of such a process. Do you know more examples of "hardening" od the Germanic *x into k in German?
                 
                There is also one more circumstance against this hypothesis. Notice also the presence of the non-negated form kein. Has it also come from the negated one by "hardening"? I do not think it is possible, it is just the original form without negation preserved. So, finally we would have German k = Indo-European *k here. Not very plausible as for me.
                 

                ---In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, <grzegorj2000@...> wrote:

                >>The second part is the IE particle *ge. It can be seen, among others, in Germanic *mi-k (accusative "me"). It yielded *z^e in Slavic regularly.

                It seems it's not so easy to choose between deriving PSl. *z^e from PIE *ge (thus with Gk. ge 'at least, only, indeed', Goth. -k in mik 'me', auk 'because, but') and deriving it from PIE *gWHe (with Gk. -tHe in eítHe 'if only', OInd. ha, gha 'indeed').
                This is exactly what I say, there is not so simple to give the etymology of the Slavic z^e. But OHG nechein < IE -ge- while Dutch geen < IE ghe-, so we have counterparts with both possible particles.

                By the way (it is not important for the discussion), the existence of IE *ghe is also possible, cf. Welsh a, ag "with" < ad-ghe (see Pokorny). The particle *dhe could also have existed, compare Slavic ku^-de "where" (Russian gde, Polish gdzie etc.), so the Greek form may also come from it.
                 
                What is important: according to my hypothesis, OHG nechein and Old Polish niżadny have both exactly the same word-formation structure: 1. negation particle + 2. emphatic particle + 3. the numerel one. So, I do not agree that nechein < *nehwe + *aina- (as it is phonetically improbable, at least as long as we are within Neo-Grammarian frames) but *ne + *ke/*ge + *aina- rather (with *ke in German while *ge in Old Saxon and Dutch).
                The Slavic form is not the _strict_ counterpart of German or Dutch as it contains IE *edh-oino- instead of *oino-. Also German and Dutch forms are also not strictly comparable with one another as each of them seems to have a distinct particle.
                 
                Grzegorz J.
              • tarasovass
                ... Let me address this first. The expected outcome of PIE *nékWe in North West Germanic would be */nih/ [nix]. This is according to the rules which I think
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 8, 2013
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  ---In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, <grzegorj2000@...> wrote:

                  >>A good question. A specialist in OHG would be needed... However, as I know, h and hh (ch) are distinguishable in texts. If ch (or hh) in nechein (attested in these two forms) comes from *h < *x < IE *k, why it is doubled? Are there more examples of doubling the Germanic *x in German?
                   
                  >>I think there are no doubts about ne- in nechein: it is a negation particle. So, ch- is at the beginning of the root. I do not know a single example of OHG ch- < h- < x- < IE *k, and I do not think that negation could form an exception. There are examples of ch- in the initial position but everytime such a ch- comes from Germanic k- (IE g*).
                   
                  Let me address this first.

                  The expected outcome of PIE *nékWe in North West Germanic would be */nih/ [nix]. This is according to the rules which I think are more or less commonly accepted: syncope, word-final loss of labialization (cf. OHG <noh> 'still, yet' < PIE *núqWe), the phonetic lenition [x] > [h] not operating in the position not before a sonorant (for the rules see, for example, _Joseph B. Voyels. Early Germanic Grammar. Pre-, Proto-, and Post-Germanic Languages. Academic Press, 1992_). Thus we would have */nih ainaz/ [nix ainaz] 'not a single one' before the univerbation which probably not happened before the time of the Second Sound Shift. The latter caused a complementary distribution of the two allophones of OHG /x/, viz., [xx] word-internally after a vowel and [x] otherwise. This created an immediate phonotactial problem for the now univerbated [nixein], which must have been resolved either by weakening -- /nihein/ -- or strengthening -- /nixein/ [nixxein] -- at a speaker's discretion. In such case one would expect an orthographical vacillation in the attested forms -- and that's exactly what is attested: we have, on one hand, <nihein>, <nehein> <niheim>, <nihēn>, <nehēn>, <neiein>, <nēn>, and, on the other hand,  <nihhein>, <nichhein>, <nehhein>, later <nechein>, <nechīn> (I took the material from _Rudolf Schützeichel. Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch. 7., durchgesehene und verbesserte Auflage. De Gruyter, 2012 _).

                  Remarkably, we have the same vacillation in deh(h)ein 'any, no' (<t(h)ehein>, <thegein>, <theihein>, <thihein>, <thein>, <dehein>, <deein> vs. <thihhein>, <dehhein>, later <dechein>, <dihhein>, <dichhein>) which -- whatever be its (obscure) origin -- is, too, clearly a compound with *ainaz as a second element (cf. the discussion on p. 151 in _Wilhelm Braune, Althochdeutsche Grammatik I Laut- und Formenlehre. 15 Auflage, bearbeitet von Ingo Reiffenstein. Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2004_, which is the standard reference for OHG). I don't know how to explain this wobbling spelling starting from Gmc. *k.

                  Sergei
                • tarasovass
                  ... A self-correction: PIE *núkWe. Sergei
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 8, 2013
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment

                    ---In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, <sergejus.tarasovas@...> wrote:


                    >>(cf. OHG <noh> 'still, yet' < PIE *núqWe)


                    A self-correction: PIE *núkWe.

                    Sergei
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.