Anglo-Frisian languages explained

Anglo-Frisian
Also Known As:Insular Germanic
Region:Originally, the British Isles and the North Sea coast from Friesland to Jutland; today worldwide
Familycolor:Indo-European
Fam1:Indo-European
Fam2:Germanic
Fam3:West Germanic
Child1:English
Child2:Frisian

The Anglo-Frisian languages (sometimes Insular Germanic) are a group of Ingvaeonic West Germanic languages consisting of Old English, Old Frisian, and their descendants. The Anglo-Frisian family tree is:

The Anglo-Frisian languages are distinguished from other West Germanic languages partially by the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law, Anglo-Frisian brightening and by the palatalization of Proto-Germanic to a coronal affricate before front vowels: cf. English cheese and West Frisian tsiis to Dutch kaas and German Käse, or English church and West Frisian tsjerke to Dutch kerk and German Kirche. Early Anglo-Frisian formed a Sprachbund with Old Saxon, which is counted among the Low Saxon-Low Franconian languages.

The German linguist Friedrich Maurer rejected Anglo-Frisian as a historical subdivision of the Germanic languages. Instead, he proposed North Sea Germanic or Ingvaeonic, a common ancestor of Old Frisian, Old English and Old Saxon.

Examples

Compare the words for the numbers one to ten in the Anglo-Frisian languages.

Language12345678910
Englishonetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineten
Scotsane
ae
twathreefowerfivesaxsievenaichtnineten
Yolaoanetwyedhreevowérveevezeesezebbemayghtneenedhen
West Frisianientwatrijefjouwerfiifseissânachtnjoggentsien
Saterland Frisian (Seeltersk)aantwäi
twäin
twoo
träifjauwerfieuwsäkssoogenoachtenjugentjoon
North Frisian (Mooring dialect)iinj
ån
tou
tuu
trii
tra
fjouerfiiwseekssoowenoochtnüügentiin