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  • wordwulf
    Hi all, It s been a long time since I posted, but I noticed that some confusion reigns over the origins of the form of go. In the proto- language, something
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2007
      Hi all,
      It's been a long time since I posted, but I noticed that some
      confusion reigns over the origins of the form of "go." In the proto-
      language, something like *gahan (with a long root vowel), from
      *ganhan was the form. It was a reduplicating verb with a past tense
      something like *gegang. Similarly, the verb *hahan, past tense
      *hehang 'to hang.' The past participles of these verbs was
      something like *ganganaz , *gangenaz, *hanganaz or *hangenaz. The
      reason behind the alternation between -h- and -g- has to do with the
      original position of the accent. Old English contracted *gahan to
      gân, and Norse, beside the native ganga borrowed the north German
      gaan via the Hanseatic merchants and contracted it to gá. In both
      languages, long -a- tended to shift toward -o-, giving modern
      English "go" and modern Scandinavian "gå". Old High German had gān,
      which seemingly became gāen and then gēen to harmonize the root
      vowel with the -e- of the ending. Modern German uses -h- as a
      marker for long vowels, giving modern German gehen. Thus, the -o-
      and -e- of the modern dialects both go back to an original -a-. Of
      course, FS does not need to be bound by old dialects, since it is a
      modern interlanguage, meant to be easy to learn by modern speakers,
      but I feel -a- not only splits the difference well between -e- and -
      o-, it also happens to correspond with the original vowel.
      Erik
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