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A Short DescriptiveGrammar of Middle High German

with Texts and Vocabularv

John A. Asher

Professorof Gernan in the Universityof Auckland

Auckland University Press Oxford Universitv Press

O

JOH N

A. ASHER

rIRST

PUBLISHED

REPRINTED

I968

SECOND

BDITION

REPRINTED

I981

I967

I96?

(REVISED)

PRTNTED

IN

UNIVERSITY

NEW

ZEALAND

OF

AUCKLAND

t975

BY

THE

BINDERY

PREFACE

DARr I oF rHIs BooK standsor falls by the four criteriaon

I which it is based.First,it is descriptive,in so lar as no reference is made (except briefly in the Infoduction) to the history of High German prior to about I170. Secondly,it is designedfor students,

and containsonly what is essentialfor the understandingof those

Middle High German textsmost commonly studied.Thirdly, it is,

I hope,lucid:themethodofpresentationhasbeentestedand retested

in every detail to ensure the utmost clarity. Fourthly, I would like to feel that it is reliable: twenty-five years of researchand teaching in the Middte High German field have led me to accept what is

found in the grammar-books only if it has been proved correct by

checkingagainstrelevantmanuscriptreadings, Thesefour criteriaare related.The moderndescriptiveapproach to linguistic analysis has unfortunately had as yet little effect on the teaching of medieval languages: by tradition, all Middte High German grammars are, in part at least, historical. Like most medievalists,I believe in teaching the history of the language,but I see little good in making description dependent upon history, No good teacher of a modern foreign language would follow such a procedure: he would only confusehis studentsby attempting to teach them from the same book not only the contemporary languagebut

also aspectsof its previous history over a thousand years or more.

The same applies surely to medieval languages. The historical

approach is one of the reasonswhy many students of Middle High German (at German as well as other universities) have, in my ex- perience,an inadequate understanding of the language.Too much time is spent on historical grammar, and too little time on the language as it was spoken and written by Hartmann, Wolfram, Gottfried, Walther and their contemporaries.The historical approach is also one reason why students at some universities, regarding Middle High German as an arid subject par excellence,avoid it.

The study of a foreign language should be exciting to the student.

Taught descriptively, a medieval language is this. After all, the process of learning such a language non-historically - that is, at

one point only in its evolution - brings the student close to the

minds of those who used the languageat that time in their writing:

the transienceof Middle High German was neversuspectedby those who spoke and wrote it.

These comments do not

imply

opposition to

the teaching of

historical grammar. This subject is prescribed for my own senior

students,but only after they have gained a thorough understanding of (normally) at least four languages, including contemporary German and Middle High German. Knowledge of these languages, based on descriptive grammar, is a necessaryfoundation for the study of historical grammar.

In this book Middle

High German is described,as far as possible,

in accordancewith its own laws, and not those of previous history.

This does not mean however that all traditional terminology has

been discarded. Certain traditional

and even Riickumlsut, have been retained for three reasons: first,

becausethe groups of verbs in question are distinct grammatical phenomena in Middle High German, and may therefore justifiably be named; secoldly, becausethe traditional names are not wholly

and thirdly, because students will encounter these

inappropriate;

terms, in any case,when they undertakethe study of historical grammar. In such circumstancesthe invention, on my part, of new terminology could prove an unnecessaryhindrance to studentswhen, later, they embarked on historical grammar. It is assumedthat usersof this book are already acquainted with the grammar of contemporary German. I see only advantages in making useof this knowledgein settingout the basicgrammar of Middle High German. It is possible,where the structure of Middle High German and that of the present-day language are identical

(and sometimeswherethey are closelysimilar), to provide the student with legitimate short-cuts to learning: he may, where appropriate, simply transfer to Middle High German the knowledge he has already gained of the languagetoday. Comparisonswith present-day German - including, for example,referencesto the modem counter-

terms, such as Prcterite-present

pa s of the variousnoun declensions -

student understandsmore clearly by associatingwhat is new to him with what he already knows. Such comparisons with present-day German are only pedagogicalin purpose: if they convey information about historical grammar, this is incidental. Every effort - including,

whereverpossible,the most straightforward terminology - has been made towards the objectivesof brevity and clarity.

servea similarpurpose:the

There is

as yet

no

book

which treats Middle

High

German

grammar in its entirety: this book, likewise, doesnot claim complete

coverage.A truly complete grammar of a medieval languageas rich

in extant literature as Middle

even today, after a century and a half of research by a host of scholars.The manuscriptson which sucha grammar would be based are - quite simply - too numerous and too diverse for a grarn- marian to cover. I would mention, as an example, one group of manuscripts only: those containing the Weltchro ik of Rudolf von Ems. Of this poem, which comprises over 33,000 lines, there are more than eighty extant manuscripts and manuscript fragments (none of them published), and thesepresent the widest diversity in language.Many points of grammar in the best of thesemanuscripts diverge from the rules of every known grammarian from Paul and Weinhold right up to the presentday. Thesescholarscannot however be blamedfor their failure to take into accountthe manuscriptsof the Weltchrcnik for there are, of other works, literally thousandsof other important manuscripts,likewiseunpublished.A scholar'slife is not long enoughto consultthem all, and a completegrammar of Middle High Cerman remainsa dream. This beingso,the authorof a grammar-book on this subjectmust decide,at the outset, the criteria according to which he will include certain points of grammar, but excludeothers. Most books give what is historicallyrelevant(includingartificial spellingsinvented by grammarians,e.g. e'as opposedto e), but most of the actual manuscript readingsthemselvesare severelyedited. To give two very simple examplesonly: the grammar of Paul/Mitzka gives,as the first person singular of the past indicative of tuon, only the forms tdt(c) or tet(e): no referenceis made to forms, frequently occurring in reliable manuscripts,such as rerl,tett, thet, thett, thdtte and so on. Helm gives,as the past subjunctive of sah, only the one form solde, whereassolt, solte, sollte, solde,sdlt, sdlte, st)llteare all of common occurrencein reliablemanuscripts. The criterion according to which a given point of grammar is includedin this book, or excludedfrom it, is its indispensabilityfor the understandingof thoseMiddle High German texts most com- monly studied.No known points of grammarhavebeenoverlooked but many, after careful investigation, have been discarded. The detailedprinciplesof Middle High Germanword-order,for example, have little relevancefor a student wishing to understand a text. The pedective functions of the prefix ge- have, similarly, only marginal importance in a description of the language (as distinct from a historical grammar). The past participle of rfrrizis excludedfor similar reasons: while easily recognizable if found, it is so rare as to be

High German remains unattainable -

irrelevant in a book such as this. The claim, made by most gram-

marians, that the possessiveir (as distinct from other possessives)is 'rule'

normally uninflected, finds likewise no place here. If true, this for ir (which is borne out in somecritical editions,but not in all reliable manuscripts)would have little bearing on a student's under- standingof Middlc High German.The grammarin Part I provides what is essential.

I hope that this book will speedand easethe approach of students

to Middle High German literature, the study of which is fast develop- ing at many universities in the world. The texts in Part II (which provide the examplesin Part I) are intendedto illustrate the diversity and beauty of Middle High German poetry.

Readerswishingto study the methodologyunderlyingthis book

r

DeutscheSprache:Ceschichteund

arereferredtoJohn

A. Asher,Zur MethodologiederLehrb cher /

Sprachendet MittelqlteN. ln:

Gegenwart.Festschriftfiir Fliedrich Maurer zum 80. Gebu stag. FranckeVerlag. Bern/Miinchen.1978.pp.l-14.

I owe thanks to Professor D. H. Green (Trinity College, Cam-

bridge) and two Auckland colleagues,ProfessorK. J. Hollyman and

Smits, who read the manuscript of this book before

publication. Dr Smitsalso helpedme a great deal in checkingthe manuscript,in the courseof which she madea word-indexof the texts. I am deeply in debt to all three colleaguesfor their many valuable suggestionsand for their encouragement. I would also thank the typographer, Mr Pat Dobbie, for his care in the design.

Dr Kathryn

This

seventv-fifthbirthdav.

book

is

dedicated to

my

father on

the

occasion of

his

CONTENTS

PREFACE

 

3

PART

I

GRAMMAR

 

INTRODUCTION

 

9

CHAPTER 1 PRONUNCIATION AND SPELLINC

l

1

CHAPIER 2 DER; EIN| USE OF CASES

t4

CHAPTER 3 ADJECTIVES AND ADVERXS CIIAPTER 4 NOUNS

1 8

CHAPTER 5 PRONOUNS

2l

CHAPTER 6

VERBS (D

CHAPTER 7 VERBS (II) CHAPTER 8 VERB NEGATION; USE OF SUBJUNCTwE

30

METRE

PART

II

TEXTS

LYRIC POETRY

 

ANONYMOUS

34

DER KURENBERGER

34

DIETMAR

VON AIST

34

FRIEDRICH

VON HAUSEN

REINMAR

HARTWIG

VON RUTE

HEINRICH

VON MORUNGEN

WALTHER

VON DER VOGELWEIDE

38

FREIDANK

44

CO URTLY EPIC POETRY

HARTMANN

VON AUE

45

WOLFRAM

VON ESCHENBACH

41

GOTTFRIED

VON STRASSBURG

48

RUDOLF

VON EMS

50

DAS NIBELUNGENLIED

52

PART

III

VOCABULARY

))

INDEX

63

PART

I

GRAMMAR

INTRODUCTION

HE MArN REASoNfor the studyof MiddleHigh Germanis its literature. Both in quality and diversity, Middle High German poctry is comparablewith that producedby Goethe and his con- tcmporaries, or that of the ElizabethanAge. Middle High German

hasalsoa specialinterestfor studentsof medievalhistory,theology and language. By the eighth centuryAD, High German had evolvedsouth of a line which would run today from near AixJa-Chapclle eastwards across Germany, and would pass close to Diisseldod, Kassel, Magdeburgand Wittenberg.Dialectsspokennorth of this line, i.e. in the more low-lying part of German-speakingEurope,are known as 'Low' German.The earliestform of High German,which existed until about 1050,is given the name Old High German.The Middle

itigh

centuryuntil the fifteenth,although its best known literary works, itlcl'rdrng Parzival, Tristan und Isokl, the Nibelmgenlied and the lyricsof Walther von der Vogelweide,all appearedbetweenabout

Germanperiod extendsroughly from the middle ofthe eleventh

ll90

and 1230. New High German dales from about the fifteenth

centuryto the presentday. The termsOld, Middle and New High Germanare at leastpartly misleading.For example,somefeatureswhichin the opinion ofearly philologists werecharacteristicof Old High German,as opposedto Middle High German,arefound evenin thethirteenthcentury - by which time certain forms, previouslyregardedas characteristicof Ncw High German, had alreadymade their appearance.The sub- division into Old, Middle and New High German is however traditional and convenient. Printingwasnot in useuntil the fifteenthcentury,and our know- ledge of Middle High German derivgsfrorn manuscripts,of which there are still somethousandsin existence.Thesemanuscriptsare our only sourceof information about the language:its spellingand pronunciation, its vocabularyandgrammar.From thesemanuscripts it is clearthat Middle High German was not a'standard language'

in the

dialect. On the other

twelfth and early thirteenth centuries at least, to write in a uniform

language: the poetry of Walthervon

reveals only occasional rrrces of lhe

German, iefers

speech. l.r

to-the language of the major poets who ,rrrotebetwin

1250.

modernsenseof the term: everyregionhad its own particular

hand, most poets endeavoured, in the lat"

der Vogelweide, for examole

dialcci he ur.O in .u.rfaul

used in this book, the term , Midtlle

High

about I lziand

I

PRONUNCIATION

AND

SPELLINC

The extantpoetry of this time is ,courtly,, in that the

themselves courtiers, their poetry

poets were

they

was written for the courts

1.1 In general,the spellingof Middle High German conveysthe

pronunciationof the languagemore preciselythan is the casewith German spellingand pronunciationtoday.A simpleexampleis seen

attended, and its Irom onecourtlo

(nver \ holly achieved) is rherefore not

wishedtheir writings to be understood as widely aJpossible.

contentexpressed the courtly ethos. poets traveilei

another. Thestriring

towardsa uniformlanguage

surprising. u,

-pn.i,

,ft"

' in tlre spelling of Middle High German lop, lobes,where the p and D indicatethe dillerencein pronunciation,present-dayGermanhaving

Middle High German is, from present-day German. It has, for

similar conjugations of weak, strong and

endingsof artjclcs.rdjectivc.,.pronouns and

na\e alsothc samegeDder a\ todry). tn thc

similarities are frequently usedas short-cutsto learnin"s.^

many points of

yiew, similar to

example, similar pronunciation, 'u.rtr,

;rrcgrt,l,

,i_itu,

nouns(mosl of $hich

followingprges thc.e

-

, for both sounds:Zob,lober. A further simpleexampleis the letter i?, which in Middle High German always conveysa sound, e.g. genafullga'mahel].In present-dayGermanl may,in sornepositions, indicatemerelythe lengthof the precedingvowel, e.g. Gemqhl,or haveno function at all, e.g.R[?ir.

On

thc basis of evidencein nanuscripts, the pronunciationof

most Middle High German spellingshas been fairly accurately established.The syrnbolsof the International Phonetic Alphabet usedin this chapterconvey,with reasonableadequacy,the approxi- matc pronunciationof the soundsin question.

As regardspronunciationand spelling,the following differences betweenMiddle High Germanand the present-daylanguagedeserve mention:

1.2 vowELs

l0

1.2.1 LENcTH

L2.1.l

a long vowel,e.g.

The circumflexis a signusedby modernscholarsto indicate

minen

I'mt:nenf

1.2.1.2 Vowelswithout a circumflexare short,exceptfor mutated

long vowels(see 1.2.2).Short vowelsincludethosein stressed'open' syllables(i.e. syllablesending in a vowel, e.g. the first syllableof le-ben), e.g.

leben

wgel

['l€ben]

['fcgel]

ll

I.2.2 MUTATIoN

Vowelsanddiphthongswhichcanbemutated,andtheircorrespond-

ing mutatedform, areasfollows:

UNMUTATED

MUTATED

EXAMPLE

VOWEL

VOWEL

 

a

e (ot

ti)

geste

a

@

w@nen

o

d

hitvesch

6

c

here

 

ii

ki)sse

 

u

tu

triuwe

ou

eu(or 6u or iii)

yreude

uo

e

Ji)eze

I.2.3

DIPHTHoNGS

 

PRONUNCIATION

['gesta]

['ve:nen]

['hafeJ]

I

na:ral

['kvse]

rry:val

I

['frcyde]

t ryesal

Three diphthongal

tod,ayt ie, uo, iie, e.g.

sounds no longer exist in

standard German

die

guot

f

eze

[die]

[guet]

['fyasa]

oz correspondsin pronunciation to present-day aa, e.g.

ouch

I.2.4

[aux]

ELISIoN

In poetry (see9) an unstressed -e at the end of a word is elided when the first sound in the following word is an unstressedvowel, e.g. noch wizer danne ldanl ein sn even whiter than snow

I.3 coNSoNANTS

Where it correspondsto a modern s, ss or f, z is pronounced

[s],

e.g. daz [das]. Otherwise the pronunciation is [ts], e.g. zil [tsi:t].

1.4 Studentsusing this book may learn elsewhereother differences

between Middle High German pronunciation and that of the

languagetoday, e.g. the pronunciation of ei as

[w] to [v],

like certain other changes,is known to have been completed in the thirteenth century, but it cannot be more accurately dated from extant manuscripts. Either pronunciation is therefore acceptable.

t2

of lr as [w]. The changeof [ei] to [ai], [ou] to [au], and of

[ei], oa as [ou], and

I,5

PHONETIC

TRANSCRIPTION

The phonetic transcription of the poem below conveys its approxi-

matePronunciation:

'5ldfest du, friedel ziere? nan wecketuns leider schiere:

eirt wgellin s6 wol getdn

'sla:fest du 'friedel 'tsiare

man

ain

'vekat ons 'laidar 'Jiera 'fcgali:n

so: vcl ge'ta:n

ist der linden an dez zni gegAn:

lu:

das rst der 'lrnden an das tsyi:

ge'ga:n

'lch was vil sanfte entsldfen:

nu r efestukint v,Afen.

litp dneleit macniht

s$az du gebiutst, dqz leiste ich,

gesin.

friundin min.'

rg vas fil sanft ent'sla:fen

nu 'ryafostu krnt 'va:fan

liep 'a:ne lait mak nrgtga'si:n

svasdu

ge'by:tst das laist rg

mi:n

'fry:ndi:n

Dir frow,;e begundetteinen.

du fi)erst min friiide

'lu ritst hinneundl6st mich eine. *cnne v,ilt tlu widerher zuo mir?

6ri

samentdtl'

dy'frauve be'gunda'vainon 'aina

du

'veno

o:'ve: du

yrlt du 'vrdar her tsua mir 'frcydo

ri:tst hrn ond la:st mlg

fyarst mi:n

dir

'sament

I.6

FLUCTUATION IN SPELLING

As pronunciation varied more than it does today (there being no authorities,such as dictionaries,fixing pronunciation and spelling, and no standardlanguagein the modern sense),Middle High Ger- man showsconsiderablefluctuationin spelling,e.g.k nic or k nec,

hinnanor hinnen. yreude or vrijudeor vrijide, ouch or och,phlegenor l.gen, truoc or truog,Iop or lob, mrot m6,werlt or vtelt,and so ou.

/ard

r at the beginning ofa word are interchangeable,e.g. Jiiunde

or viunde,f

r or v r.

Seealso4.6,5.1.2and 6.2.

l3

2

DER;

EIN

USE

OF

CASES

2.4.2 The'Genitive of Reference'is widely usedwhere present-day

Ccrman would employa preposition.e.g.

2.1

DEFINITE

ARTICLE,

 

DEMONSTRATIVE

AND

RELATIVE

PRONOUN

2.I.1

STNGULAR

PLURAL

2.4.3

des ist zit it is time for this

sinsgcl ckes w6 glad at his success

The 'Partitive Genitive'dependson;

 

MFN

M&F

N

NoM.

der

diu

daz

die

diu

ACC.

den

die

daz

die

diu

cEN.

des

der

des

der

der

DAT.

dem

der

dem

den

den

As in present-dayGerman, demonstrativepronounsmay be

distinguishedfrom relativepronounsby word-ordcr (scc7.3), e.g.

2.1,2

Demonstrative; der troucLliuousenmin it deceivedmy eyes

Relative:

der ie ein v'drer degenschein

who alwaysseemeda real warrior Seealso5.3.1and 5.6.

2.4.3.1 pronounsof quantity suchas }rl w6nic,e.g.

doch v'asder schanden qlse vil but there were so many shameful things

2.4.3.2 indefinite, negativeand interrogative pronouns, such as /r/,

nil1t,waz,e.g.

hdst qb di der zweier niht but if you have not thesetwo

Wqz ich nu niutrer mceresage What new tidingsI now tell

2.2 INDEFINITE ARTIcLE

 

M F

N

N

eii

ein

eln

A

etnen

etne

ein

c

etnes

ctnef

eines

D

einen

ei

er

einem

2.3 PossEsstvE ADJEcTTvES

The following are usuallydeclinedin the singularlike era(see2.2); mtn my' din your; sinhis,its; i her,its,their; r.rr.rerour; iruclyour; delteinno, any; ke,r no. In tlle plural thcy usuallyfollow the strong declensionof adjectives(see3.2.2),e.g.niniu idr.

2.4 USE oF

The useof casesis similarto that in present-dayGerman.The most important differenceis the wider useof the genitive:

2.4.1 Many verbsgovern the genitive,e.g,enbern,gedenken,hiieten,

verdriezen,e,g.

cAsEs

Hiietet uol der drier Take good carewith the three

l4

l5

3

ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS

3.1 In the inflexion of adjectives and adverbs there is even more

freedom than is the casewith other parts of speech.To most points

of grammar in this chapter, exceptionsare commonplace.

3.2

ADJECTIVES

3.2.1

When they come after the definite article (see2.1) or diser

(see5.3.2),attributiveadjectivesusuallyfollow the weakdeclension.

WEAK DECLENSION

(identicalwith the weak declensionof nouns,4.3)

N

A.

G

D

MFN

guote

guoten

guoten

guoten

SINGULAR

guote

Suoten

guoten

Suoten

guote

guote

Suoten

guoten

PLURAL

guoten

guoten

guoten

guolen

e.g. der guoteman, diu entlel6seherzen6l,daz leide vaz.

3.2.2 When they come after any word other than the definite

article or drser, attributive adjectives usually follow the strong

declension.

STRONG DECLENSION

(similarto the articledeclensions,2.1.1and 2.2)

N

A

c

D

SINCULAR

PLURAL

MFN

M&F

N

guot(er) guot(iu) guot(ez)

guote

guotiu

guoten guote guot(ez)

guote

guotiu

guotes guoler guoleS

guoter

guoler

guotem guoter guotem

guoLen

guoren

e.g, ein guoter man, min liebiu trov,e, cleiniujuncvrouwelin.

3.2.3 Predicativeadjectivesare uninflected,e.g.

16

din leben ist guot your life is good

3,3

Most adverbs end in -a. Some adjectives and adverbs which are otherwiseidentical in form have a different stem vowel, e.g.

ADVERBS

ADJECTIVE

ADVERB

enge

ange

schene

sch6ne

tr@ge

bAge

veste

vaSte

This differenceis becauseof mutation in the adjective (see 1.2.2). The distinction is preservedtoday in schtin,schon; fest, /ast (despite the change of meaning in the two adverbs).

3.4

COMPARISON

1.4.1

The comparative and superlative of adjectiyes and adverbs

areformed by the addition of -er and -est or -i,

kreftigest. The stem vowel is mutated (see1.2.2)in the comparative and superlative of most monosyllabic adjectives,e.g. 916z, gruzer, grezest.

3.4.2 The following are irregular:

e.g.krcftic, kreftiger,

3.4.2.1

3.4.2.2

ADJECTIVES

guot

bezzer

be(zze)st

bel

wirser

wirs(es)t

Iiitzel

minre

min(ne)st

michel

m€re

meist

ADVERSS

wol

baz

beste

i)bele

wirs

wirste

17

4

NOUNS

4.1 Nouns may beclassilied,asin present-dayGerman,into strong

or weakdeclensions.Within the strongdeclensionareonemasculine type, two femininetypes,and one neutertype. There is one weak declensionfor masculines,femininesand four neuters(the latter without -n in the accusativesingular). Most nouns have the samc gender as today. This fact may assist the studentin determiningthe declensionto which a noun belongs.

4.2 srRoNG

4.2.I MAScULINE

4.2.1.1 Most masculincsbclongto this declension.

DEcLENSIoN

 

SINCULAR

PLURAL

N

'4C

tage

A

IAC

tage

G

lages

tage

D

tage

tagen

4.2.1.2 A,s in present-dayCerman, some strong masculinesare

mutated (see1.2.2) in the plural, e.g. ga.rt (genitive singular gaslas,

nominative plural gesre).

4.2.2 FEMININE

4.2.2.1 TYPE I

Most feminines belong either to this type or to the weak declension

(see4.3).

 

SINGULAR

PLURAL

N

klage

klage

tr

klage

klage

c

klage

klagen

D

klage

klagen

4.2.2.2

TYPE rr

 

SINCULAR

PLURAL

N

kra/t

krefte

 

kraft

krefte

 

G

kraft

or krefte

krefte

D

kralt

or krefte

kreften

t8

,1.2.3 NEUTER

Nearly all neutersbelongto this declension.

N

A

G

D

SINCULAR

l4'ol'

r1)Oft

wortes

Worre

PLURAL

worl

wort

wotte

worten

4.3 WEAK DECLENSION

To thisdeclensionbelongnumerousmasculines,e.g.6ole;feminines, e.g. zunge; and four neuters: herze, 6re, ouge, \'ange. The neulers do not have -n in the accusativesinsular.

SINCULAR

PLURAL

N

bote

boten

A.

boten

boten

C

bolen

boten

D

boten

boten

,1.4 NOTES

ON

DECLENSIONS

4.4.I STRONG MASCULINES AND NEUTERS

4.4.1.1 A

nominativesingular,e.g.,lle

fcw strong masculinesand neutersend in -c in the

(c sing.,[rrres,N plur.,lrrrte).

4.4.1,2 A few strong masculinesand neutersadd -n- to the stem of all inflected forms, e.g. /</i (c sing. kliwes, N pl'r. klwe).

,1.4. 1.3 A few neutersaredeclined,with mutationin the plural,like the /(a/b-typc in present-dayGerman, e.g.kalp (kalhes,kelber\, huon (huo es,h ener).

4.4.2 F-EMtNtNEs

4.1.2.1 A

e.g.:al (:al,:al).

few strong femininesof Type I end in a consonant,

4.1.?,.2 A largegroup of feminines,e.g.vrov,e,enlc,maybeinllected according to eitherthe strongor the weak declension.

4.4.3 rater,muoter,hruoder,tohter

rater, muoter,bruoder,tohterbelong to a spccialdcclension:tlrey

are uninflectedin the singular, and mutated in

singular, n AGD

the plural, e.g, nliietarn.Hence

muoter: plural, Nlc (ler, Tdchter today.

miietet, t)

VAter, M tter, Br

l9

5

PRONOUNS

4.4.4

mqn

,na/teitherfollowsthe

in all cases,singularand plural. Hencethe lack of infrexiontoday rn such phrasesas zweitausend Mann'

strongdeclension(see4 2' l ' l )' or is inr ariable

4.5 NOUN DECLENSIONS TODAY

The Tog, Gast,Kruft, and -8otedeclension-types of today corresPond

io ttroi-in

declension of today corresponds in the.singular1o

and in the plural Io rne

Middl; High German: 4.2.1'1,4'2'12, 4'2'2'2 and 4'3'

ih.

the strongfeminine declension (4221)' weak feminine declension (4.3).

itog"uyp.

4.6 LOSS OF E

An unstressed e [a] may. for merricalor other reasons'disappear ln

most positions, i e. tssk),

herz(e)' red(e), k nicrich(e)' di.en(e)stes'

unstressed c is especiallycommon in inflexions

if"\niar.'ftrr

lossof

after / and r, e.E gabd(e\.lterlrc)' vi

ter(e)s'

The loss of

is not confined to nouns, but may occur in all parts

speech, inciuaing articles, e.g' err(e)s; possessives'e g' si'(e)s;

schen(e)ste;adverbs, e'g' relt(e); pronouns'

[a]

of

adjectives, e-g. sckrn(e),

i^f"i, (e]s;prepositions,e.g.z(e),mit(e)' Iells,

si(e)t,

e c ttfr(:)'

^VnrAl,'iiGl*,' ".i.

tas@)t(e),\tart(et)e,b(e)liben:and the

negative (e)n- or -n(e), e.g. ichn(e)'

Seealso5.1.2and 6.2.

5.I

PERSONALPRONOUNS

5.1.I DECLENSION

SINGULAR

 

N

l'cft

A,

mich

c

mtn

D

mlr

Ndr

^

dich

c

din

o

dir

MFN

N

r

si(e)

t

in

s(e)

c

sin

ir

o

im(e)

ir

PLURAL

wir

uns

unser

uns

n

 

iuch

iuwer

tu

ez

si(e)

ez

s(e)

es ot sin

n

im(e)

in

5.1.2 CONTRACTION Pcrsonal pronouns and other parts of speechare sometimes con-

tracted, not only through the loss of e (see4.6 and 6'2) e g' do er or do'r, tlu ez or duz, but also through the loss of other sounds, e'g' die

ich or diech, ich in or ichn, ichne or ine, ich ez or i'2.

5.1.3oMrssroN

A verbnormallyrequiresa subject'whethernounor pronoun'but

occasionallya pronounsubjectis omitted,€.g.

wanmshtochmir einliitzel friiden geben? why canyou not givemetoo a little joy?

5.1.4 ir: du

lr, referringto

context(in

dir is most frequentlyusedin

example,God, a closerelative,or a lover). Thereare howeYerno

clcarrulesfor

evenin the same poem,by thesamesPeaker,in addressingthe same

person, and with only a

example,p.42,Poem12,lines33-35')

only oneperson,is mostfrequentlyfound in a polite

a conversationbetween,for example,acquaintances)'

an intimatecontext(to address,for

the useof the two pronouns:ir anddu may be used

subtlechangein attitudeimplied' (See,for

2l

5.1.5 REFLExTvES

SINGULAR

MFN

PLURAL

 

A.

sich

sich

sich

sich

O

sin

ir

sin

D

im(e)

ir

im(e)

tn

e.g.

er bat im lrinken bringen he askedfor a drink to be brought to him

5.2

d6: dqr

Forms such as dd an, dd itne, dd von.tl6 vor, dar an, dar in, dar ndch, dar if, dar under, dar fi)r, dar zuo are rarely joined together as in present-dayCerman. They can be evenwidely separatedwithin a sentence,e.g.

dd enwere delrcin zt+,ivelan therewas no doubt of this

5.3

DEMONSTRATIvES

5.3.1

The demonstrativepronoun and adjectiyemost frequently

used is der, diu, daz (see2.1).

5.3.2 diser,disiu,dizareinllectedaccordingto the strongdeclension

of adjectives(see3.2.2).A very commonalternativeform of drscris dirre. The neuter nominativc and accusativesingular may be spelt diz, ditz or ditze.

5.4 INTERRoGATIvE PRoNoUNS

N

M&F

XJ€f

N

waz

L'AZ

c

D

lrej

b"em

wes

wem

'whoever','he

5.5 swcr;swaz

swer, which correspondsto English

snaz, which correspondsto

declined like i'er and.ba. (see5.4), e.g.

etc., and

'whatever', 'that which', etc., are

who',

sver ime iht sol whoeveroweshim anything

5.6 der, diu, daz (see2.1 and 5.3.1)are also used for 'he who',

etc.,e.g.

die minc gespilcnudrcn they who weremy playmates

6 vERBS (r)

6.I

6.1.1 Thu essentialMiddle High German tensesare the prescnt

and Past.To expressfuturity Middle High German useseitherthe

present tensc, or onc of the verbs suln, xellen or zlie:e, infinitive,e.g.

TENSES

plus the

ich;ol ez y'ol yerdienen

I will repayit well

The future perfectand conditional tensesexistingtoday are not found in Middlc High German. The present participle (e,g. lobende,nemende)is rarely used.

6.1.2 The usc of the following is similar to that in present-day

German:

6.1.2.I the perfectand

usedlike /raborand selr today);

6.1.2.2 the passivevoice (formed in the present and past with verden), For the uscof thc subjunctivesee8.2 and 8.3.

plupcrfcct tcnses(formed with h6n and sin,

6.2 FLUCTUA.I.IoNIN SPELLING

Minor fluctuationsin spelling,includingthe lossof e,,areascommon

irrverbsasin otherpartsof spccch(see l 6,4.6 and 5.lr2),e.g.Iobcte

or lobet, niw

bctw€entwo vowelsis frequcntlydropped, the contractionof -age- and -ege- to -ci- beingparticularly common, e.g.,rqgeteor seite,gc- .\ugetor ges?it,lcgcteor leite, gt,lcget or geleit, da: istor deist,gibast or,qi.rl.

or nim, nugen or tniigcn,solte or soklc. A consonant

6.3 Nearly all verbs may be classified.likc thosc in present-day

Gcrman,as \\eak or strong.Most verbsbelongto the sameclassas ln present-day Ccrman.

6.4 WEAK VERBS

Weak

the so-cafled 'R ckuntlaut' yerbs.

vcrbsmay be divided into two types:rcgularueak verbsand

6.4.1 REGULAR WEAK VERBS, e.g.loben

PRESENT

 

PAST

PRESENT

PAST

IMPERA.

PAST

INDICATIVE

INDICATIYE

SUBJUNCTIVESUBJUNCTIVE

TIVE

PARTICIPLE

ich lobe

ich lobete

ich lobe

 

lobe

gelobet

du lobest

du lobetest

du lobest

Iobe(n)t

er

lobel

er

lobete

er

lobe

as in Past

wir loben

wir lobeten

wir loben

lndicative

ir

lobe(n)t ir

lobetet

ir

lobet

si

lobent

si

lobeten

si

loben

6.4.2'RijcKUMLAUT' VERBS

These verbs, which are inflected like regular weak verbs (see6,4.1), have a mutated vowel or diphthong in the present tef,se (e,@,e, ii, iu, or iie) and the corresponding unmutated vowel or diphthong

(see1.2.2) in the past tense,e.g. ich setze,ich satzte; ich here, ich hdrte; ich kiisse, ich kuste. The past participle of most such verbs can be either mutated, e.g. gesetzet, or unmutated, e,g, gesatzt,

Only six such verbs persistin

nennen,rennen,senden,wenden.

present-dayGerman. brennen,kennen,

6.5 sTRoNc

VERRS, e.g.nemen

PRES INDIC

PAST INDIC

PRES SUBJ

(vowel of

idn.)

PAST SUBJ

(butai.d

,T,*lli.

vowel

IMPER

PAST PART

ich nime

ich nam

ich neme

ich neme

nim

genomen

du nimest

du name

du nemest

du namest neme(n)t

er

nimel

er nam

ef

neme

er nEme

wft nemen

wir ndmen wi nemen

rrir n&men

ir

neme(n)tir

nAmet ir

nemet

ir ne,met

si

nement

si

nAmen si nemen

si n?men

The secondperson singular of the past indicative, e.g. du nnme, hasthe vowel of the pasrsubjunctive.

6.6

PRINCIPAL PARTS OF STRoNG VERBS

6.6.1

Strong verbs rnay be classifiedaccording to the yowels of the

infinitive, present indicative singular, past indicative singular, past

indicative plural, and past participle. Nearly all strong verbs belong to one of the following sevenclasses:

 

INFTN

PRES

INDIC

PAST INDIC

PAST INDTC

PAST PART

tt.O,z

& PRES

SINO

 

SING

PLUR

 

INDIC

(3ivctr whc

(66t

& thi.d

(siv.n

*h.o

PLUR

vow.l difrlF

p.rsolt

vowcl difd!

 

cLAss

froo

io6

)

pi.r

morc. irqtD 3n9.,

.

I

(a)

gfilen

ged

Crifen

 

gegrffin

(b)

Ithen

l€ch

lihen

Pelihen

II

(a)

biegen

biuge

 

bouc

bugen

gebogen

(b)

bieten

biute

bat

buten

geboten

(a)

III singen

 

sanc

sungen

gesungen

(b)

hellen

hille

 

haV

hulfen

geholfen

IV nemen

nime

nam

nAmen

genomen

(a)

V geben

gibe

gap

gAbm

gegeben

(b)

sitzen

s(E

s6zen

gesezzen

VI graben

 

gruop

 

gegraben

VII vallen

viel

gevallen

6.6.3 Verbsof ClassVII havethesamestemvowel,not necessarily

-a-, in both infinitiveandpastparticiple,e.g.st6zen,stiez, gestdzen.

Verbsof ClassesVI andVII haveamutatedstemvowel(see1.2.2) in tbe secondand third personsingularof the presentindicative, e.g.du vellest,er vellet.

7

vERBS(rr)

7.1

The following frequently used verbs are irregular:

7.I.I

IRREGULAR WEAK VERBS

7.1.1.1 INFIN

PAST INDIC

PAST PART

bringen

brdlte

brAht

denken

dAhtu

geddht

dunken

drhte

gediht

y rhten

vorhte

gevorhl

wiirken

worhte

geworht

t.I.

| -2

hdh of

naDen

PRES INDIC

PAST INDIC

PRES SUB'

PAST SUBJ

ich

hdn

ich hdte or

ich habe

ich hcete

du

hdst

hete, etc.

etc.

etc.

er

hdt

wir

hdn

t

hat

si

hdnt

7.I.2

IRREGULAR STRoNG VERBS

INFIN &

PRES

INDIC PLUR

beginnen

heben

komen

swefn

h6(he)n

fi(he)n

PRESINDIC

SING

begiarc

hebe

kume

svere

hdhe

ydhe

PAST INDIC

SING

PAST INDIC

PLUR

PAST PART

beganot

begunden

begunnen

hegunde

huop

huoben

erhaben

kam

kdmen

komen

svtuor

slruorery

ge'worn

hie(nc)

hiengen

gehangen

vie(nc)

viengen

geyangen

7.1.3 gdn,slAn,tuon,sln

PRES INDIC

PAST INDIC

7.1.3.1 gdn or g€n

PRES SUBJ

ich gdn or g6n

ich gie(nc)

ich gd or g

lu

gdstor g1st

du giexge

etc.

et

gAt or gAt

er

gie(nc)

vir gdn or g4n

w

giengen

ir gdt or get

i

gienget

si

gAnt or gAnt

si

giengen

7.1.3.2

sfin ot sftn

ichstAn orstOn ich stuont

ichsfiorsG

du sftst or stast du stiiende

 

etc.

er

sfit or sftt

er

stuont

t|t

stdtr ot sftn

wir stuonden

 

ir

sftt

or st,t

ir

stuondet

si

stdnt or

ge

si

stuonden

 

7.1.3.3 tuott

 

icll tuo(tl)

 

ich tete

ich tuo

du

tuost

(lu t.Pte

 

etc.

er

tuol

er

tete

\rir tuon

 

wir tdten

 

1r

tuot

ir

fttet

si

tuont

si

taten

'7.1.3.4 sin ot wesen

 

ich bin

 

ich wss

iclt si

du bist

du v'are

du slst

fr

i)l

er

IQS

er

Si

ttir sinor birn

rir rdren

wirsin

ir

sit or birt

 

wAret

ir

stt

Jl

rlrl

si

wdren

s/

sir

PAST SUBJ

PAST PART

ich gienge

(ge)gangen

etc.

or gegdn

ichstiiende gestanden

etc.

ot geslAn

ich tete

getAn

etc.

ich were

gewesen

7.1.4 The variationbctwcen.rand r in the tensesof pesex(see 7.1.

3.4) is found, like the variationbetween (c)/rand g, and betweend

and l, in severalstrongverbs,e.g.

kiesen, kiuse, k4s, kurn, gekorn ziehen, ziuhe, z6ch, zugen, gezogen

7.I.5 .PRETERITE.PRESENT' VERBS

7.1.5.1

have in the presentindicativethe endings -, -(")t, -, -en,-et, -en,

which are similar to thoseof the past indicativeof strong verbs today:

The following so-called 'preterite-present'

verbsand wellen

7.1.5.2

rNFrN& PRES

INDIC

PLUR

PRES INDIC

SINC

PASTINDIC

& SUBJ

(Pr6. subj.b3t