On Fr, 20.03.2009, 22:04, Kai-Oliver Geisler wrote:
> I find this discussion of do-periphrasis in English being an influence
> of a Celtic language slightly odd, as evidence from Dutch and German
> shows that the do-/tun-/doen-periphrasis has been used widely here, too.
> While it is rare in Old English, it's been used widely from the Middle
> English period on to this day, as in dialects of German and Dutch. I
> remember my grandad using it very often saying:
> "Ich tu' mal das Fenster zumachen"
> "Tust Du heute noch die Wäsche abnehmen?"
Is (or was) the DO-periphrasis obligatory in your grandfather's dialect? I
have been thinking of my dialect, but I couldn't find any good rules. I
have the feeling that with certain verbs (probably the majority) it would
sound more natural to use the periphrastic construction, with others not.
So, it sounds quite normal to say:
"i tua feanschaun" (= ich tu fernsehen) (I am watching TV)
But it sounds very odd to say:
"i tuas gsehng" (= ich tu es sehen)
Rather the non-periphrastic construction is normal here:
"i gsiags" (= ich sehe es) (I see it)
> With all this in mind, I wonder whether the do-periphrasis in English is
> "merely" a common feature of (West-)Germanic languages and therefore
> can't be attributed on Celtic influence at all...what do you think?
Is the DO-periphrasis old attested for West-Germanic languages? Unless it
is, it would be difficult to argue for a common inheritance.