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'What happened' is a very broad question, that in this context requires a multitude of answers. What happened in spoken German These words derive from old Proto-Germanic stems that indeed contained a [s] sound. *swōtuz for süß *sebun for sieben *sunþrą for Süden, main form of süd- Throughout the course of sound shifts and two millenia, these sounds had ...


5

Die Wendung „antwortete und sprach“ hält sich eng am altgriechischen Original: καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ· Dieser Satz enthält die Verbdoppelung ἀποκριθεὶς [apokriteis] von ἀποκρίνω [apokrino] „antworten“ und εἶπεν von λέγω [lego] „sprechen“. Auch wenn die Verben (jedenfalls nach dem heutigen Sprachgefühl) praktisch synonym sind, entspricht ...


4

Heutzutage wird antworten impliziert als sprechen verstanden. Keineswegs, das hängt ganz vom Kontext ab. In einem Satz wie Ich habe ihr vorgestern eine E-Mail geschrieben und sie hat innerhalb einer Stunde geantwortet. hat sie vermutlich kein Wort laut ausgesprochen, sondern lediglich zurückgeschrieben. Aus dem Kontext lässt sich also schließen, ...


4

The modern German language developed out of Old High German from a Proto-Germanic (PGmc) ancestor, which in turn developed from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) (or Indo-Germanic as it is called in German). Proto-Indo-European allowed *P as an initial consonant in words; cf Latin pater, traced back to PIE *ph₂tḗr At some time in the first millenium BC, a Germanic ...


3

You are correct in observing that German is probably the only language to still capitalise common nouns. (Note the emphasis) First of all, this is because capitalisation can only happen in scripts such as Cyrillic, Greek or Latin which distinguish between capital and lower-case letters. Why they do that can probably be traced back to Charlemagne who let ...


2

Capitalisation of some (not all!) words makes sentences easier to read quickly, for much the same reason that ascenders (as e.g. in t, l, h, k) and descenders (as e.g. in g, p, q, y) do the same. Capitalising all nouns leads to a nice percentage of capitalised words and therefore aids reading. I am not claiming that this is the reason we are doing this, but ...



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