|Region:||Originally, England, Scottish Lowlands and the North Sea coast from Friesland to Jutland; today worldwide|
|Mapcaption:||Present-day distribution of the Anglo-Frisian languages in Europe:AnglicFrisianDots indicate areas where multilingualism is common.|
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, e.g.
The early Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon speech communities lived close enough together to form a linguistic crossroads which is why they share some of the traits otherwise only typical of Anglo-Frisian languages. However, despite their common origins, Anglic and Frisian have become very divergent, largely due to the heavy Norse and French influences on English and similarly heavy Dutch and Low German influences on Frisian. The result is that Frisian has now far more in common with Dutch and the adjacent Low German dialects, bringing it into the West Germanic dialect continuum, whereas Anglic has essentially become a half-Germanic language isolate.
The following is a summary of the major sound changes affecting vowels in chronological order:
The words for the numbers one to ten in the Anglo-Frisian languages:
|ha west||have been||ben geweest||bin gewesen|
|twa skiep||two sheep||twee schapen||zwei Schafe|
See main article: Ingvaeonic languages. Ingvaeonic, also known as North Sea Germanic, is a postulated grouping of the West Germanic languages that comprises Old Frisian, Old English and Old Saxon.
The grouping was first proposed in Nordgermanen und Alemanen (1942) by the German linguist and philologist Friedrich Maurer (1898–1984), as an alternative to the strict tree diagrams which had become popular following the work of the 19th-century linguist August Schleicher and which assumed the existence of an Anglo-Frisian group.