Ähnliche e->i Änderungen der spanischen und deutschen Verben

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by franknagy, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Guten Tag!
    Ich möchte fragen weder die decir->digo, sprechen->spricht Änderungen der spanischen und deutschen Verben wovon stammen.
    Sind die spanische Änderungen die Wirkung der Visigoten oder fortsetzen die unregelmäßigen Verben des Lateines?
  2. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    I hope that you don't mind my answering in English.

    The Spanish conjugation is a heritage from Latin: dico, dicere, dixi, dictum (1 pers. pres, infinitive, praeteritum, particip.).
    Dico> digo (voicing of the consonant), dicere> decir (changing of the first vowel, and dropping of the last). They have nothing to do with Germanic influence.
  3. CapnPrep Senior Member

    There is nothing in Latin that prefigures the stem change franknagy is interested in: the stem vowel is stressed ī in the infinitive and throughout the present tense in Latin, so there is no phonetic reason for it to have become sometimes e and sometimes i in Spanish.
    There is a lot more to be explained here, in connection with the changing of the first vowel: the rightward shift of the accent (dícere > decír), the change in conjugation class (dicĕre, but decir). See this post by merquiades in another thread for some details about the e/i alternation in Spanish -ir verbs.

    I agree that it has nothing to do directly with the similar-looking phenomenon in German.
  4. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    "This post" has explained the origin of e/i and other alterations in Spanish verbs.
    1. Persisting influence of disappeared sounds.
    2. Spreading the alterations in the modern language to other verbs.
    Is explanation the same of the similar-looking phenomenon in German?

    By the way such alterations within the verbs are not present in the Hungarian language
    but the influence of lost sounds which now coincide other ones are present.
    1. The deep voice "i" has disappeared but the consonants of the suffixes are deep:
    ír -> írok (he writes, I write) but ír (Irishman) -> írek (Irishmen).
    2. The disappeared "w":
    (horse) -> lovak (horses).

  5. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    According to this, the precise phonological process is unknown but certainly related to the change of conjugation group and the change in stress that comes with it (maybe dīcěre>dīcīre>dǐcīre>decíre (ǐ/ē-merger following the loss of phonemic vowel length)> Old Spanish dezír; just a made up example of a possible process).
    The process is older than German and is found in all West Germanic languages (compare Old English ic sprece, þu spricst). The most important difference is that while Spanish shows as dissimilation dicire>decire in the infinitive, Germanic shows an assimilation e>i in front of high vowels (i and u). This early umlaut-phenomenon is probably cause by early Germanic vowel harmony rules. This change happens in the present indicative. Here are the present tense forms in Old High German (indicative and subjunctive) which nicely show the correlation with the subsequent vowel:
    ih sprihh-u
    du sprihh-ist
    er/siu/iz sprihh-it
    wir sprehh-en
    ir sprehh-et
    sie/sio/siu sprehh-ent

    ih sprehh-e
    du sprehh-est
    er/siu/iz sprehh-e
    wir sprehh-en
    ir sprehh-et
    sie/sio/siu sprehh-ent

    The only e>i change that is not explainable is the form sprih in imperative singular.
  6. CapnPrep Senior Member

    It goes both ways in Spanish. franknagy happened to choose decir, which has an etymological ī that dissimilates in some parts of the paradigm to e, but the e/i alternation is also found with verbs with etymological ĕ/ē/ĭ in their stem, like pedir (< pĕtere), medir (< mētiri), and concebir (< concĭpĕre). In such cases, the Spanish inflected forms with i are due (in part) to assimilation/metaphony triggered by a following yod.

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