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A língua sobreviveu na [[Península Ibérica]] até o [[século VIII]], tendo o autor franco [[Walafrid Strabo]] relatado que ainda era falada na área do baixo [[Danúbio]] e em regiões montanhosas isoladas da [[Crimeia]] no início do [[século IX]]. Os termos parecendo pertencer ao gótico encontrados em [[manuscrito]]s posteriores (século XVI) na Crimeia não parecem pertencer à mesma língua. A existência atestada deste ''corpus'' arcaico torna a língua gótica um objeto de interesse em [[Linguística comparativa|Linguística comparada]].
O gótico foi a língua de dois povos germânicos: os [[visigodos]] e os [[ostrogodos]]. Os mais antigos textos germânicos, excetuando-se umas poucas inscrições rúnicas, são fornecidos por esta língua. Esses textos são procedentes da tradução que Ulfilas fez da [[Bíblia]] no [[século IV]] e de outros materiais do [[século VI]].
No século IV os godos estavam em estreito contato com o Império Romano Oriental; os cativos das batalhas eram cristianizados e a nova religião era introduzida por outros meios também. Os avós de Ulfilas foram feitos cativos em uma incursão romana no povoado de Sadagolthina, na Capadócia, no ano de 264 d.C. o que leva a supor que Ulfilas foi educado na fé cristã. No ano de 336 viajou como parte de uma delegação à corte imperial e ali abraçou a doutrina ariana em sua forma homoiana. Por esta razão, quando Ulfilas retorna ele leva consigo esta forma de cristianismo, do que pode-se supor que os godos se fizeram arianos e quando invadiram o Império Romano, fundaram reinos cuja inspiração religiosa é desta índole. O fim político e militar dos godos ocorre em 555 quando os ostrogodos são derrotados pelo general Belisário e no ano de 711 quando os visigodos na Espanha são derrotados pelos exércitos muçulmanos.
''Veja [[Alfabeto gótico]].''
* [a], [i] and [u] can be either long or short. Gothic writing distinguishes between long and short vowels only for [i] - writing ''i'' for the short form and ''ei'' for the long (a [[Digraph (orthography)|digraph]] or ''false diphthong''), in imitation of Greek usage. Single vowels are long primarily where a historically present [[nasal consonant]] has been dropped in front of an [h] (a case of [[compensatory lengthening]]). Thus, the preterite of the verb ''briggan'' [
* [y] (pronounced like the ''ew'' in ''n'''ew''''') is a Greek sound used only in borrowed words. It is transliterated as [w] in vowel positions: ''azwmus'' [azymus] ("unleavened bread", from the Greek
* The letter ''w'' seems, in those words not borrowed from Greek and not followed by a vowel, to represent an [u]. Why Gothic manuscripts use ''w'' as a vowel in place of ''u'' is not clear: ''saggws'' [
* For etymological reasons, this list would not be complete without the phonemes [
* [ai] and [au] are simple enough. However, they are written in the same way as false diphthongs: ''ains'' [ains] ("one", German: "eins"), ''augo'' [
* [iu] is a descending diphthong like [ai] and [au]. It is pronounced [i<sup><small>u</small></sup>] and not [<sup><small>i</small></sup>u]: ''diups'' [di<sup><small>u</small></sup>ps] ("deep").
* Greek diphthongs: In [[Ulfilas]]' era, all the diphthongs of classical Greek had become simple vowels in speech (''[[monophthong]]ization''), except for
* Simple vowels and diphthongs (real or false ones) can be followed by a [w], which was likely pronounced as the second element of a diphthong with roughly the sound of [u]. It seems likely that this is more of an instance of [[phonetic coalescence]] than of phonological diphthongs (such as, for example, the sound [aj] in the French word ''paille'' ("straw"), which is not the diphthong [ai] but rather a vowel followed by an [[approximant]]): ''alew'' [
The [[sonorant]]s [l], [m], [n] and [r] can act as the nucleus of a [[syllable]] in Gothic, just as they could in [[proto-Indo-European]] and, for [l] and [r] only, in [[Sanskrit]]. After the final consonant of a word, these sonorants were pronounced as vowels. This is also the case in modern English: for example, "bottle" is pronounced [
In general, Gothic consonants are [[Final devoicing|devoiced]] at the ends of words. Gothic is rich in fricative consonants (although many of them may have been [[approximant]]s, it's hard to separate the two) derived by the processes described in [[Grimm's law]] and [[Verner's law]] and characteristic of [[Germanic languages]]. Gothic is unusual among Germanic languages in having a [z] phoneme which is not derived from an [r] through [[R-colored vowel|rhotacization]]. Furthermore, the doubling of written consonants between vowels suggests that Gothic made distinctions between long and short, or [[Gemination|geminated]] consonants: ''atta'' [
* [p], [t] and [k] are regularly noted by ''p'', ''t'' and ''k'' respectively: ''paska'' [paska] ("Easter", from the Greek
* [k<sup><small>w</small></sup>] is a complex [[Stop consonant|occlusive]] followed by a [[labio-velar approximant]], comparable to the Latin ''qu''. It is transliterated as ''q'': ''qiman'' [k<sup><small>w</small></sup>iman] ("to come"). It is etymologically derived from the [[proto-Indo-European]] consonant ''*g<sup><small>w</small></sup>''.
* [b], [d] and [g]: Except between vowels, the consonants marked by the letters ''b'', ''d'' and ''g'' in the Gothic alphabet are voiced occulsives. When they are next to a devoiced consonant, they are most likely also devoiced: ''blinds'' [
* [s] and [z] are usually written ''s'' and ''z'', but [z] is never at the end of a word: ''saíhs'' [
* [x] (in German philology, usually transcribed as ''
** As an approximant form of [k], it is written as ''h'' before consonants or at the ends of words: ''nahts'' [naxts] ("night"), ''jah'' [jax] ("and", cognate to the Greek
** If it is derived from a [g] at the end of a word, it is written ''g'': ''dag'' [dax] ("sky" in the accusative case).
** In some borrowed Greek words, it is written ''x'' and represents the Greek letter
* [h] is written as ''h'' and is only found at the beginning of words or between vowels. [h] is an [[allophone]] of [x]: ''haban'' ("to have", German "haben"), ''ahtáutehund'' [
* [x<sup><small>w</small></sup>] is a [[Labiovelar consonant|labiovelar variant]] of [x], derived from the proto-Indo-European ''*k<sup><small>w</small></sup>''. It probably was pronounced as [
Nasals in Gothic, like most languages, are pronounced at the same [[point of articulation]] as either the consonant that precedes them or that follows them. (The technical term is [[assimilation]].) Therefore, clusters like [md] and [nb] are not possible. Gothic has three nasal consonants, of which one is an allophone of the others, found only in [[complementary distribution]] with them.
* [n] and [m] are freely distributed - they can be found in any position in a syllable and form [[minimal pair]]s except in certain contexts where they are neutralized: [n] before a [[bilabial consonant]] becomes [m], while and [m] preceding a [[Dental consonant|dental stop]] becomes an [n], as per the principle of assimilation described in the previous paragraph. In front of a [[Velar consonant|velar stop]], they both become [
====Approximants and other phonemes====
* [w] is transliterated as ''w'' before a vowel: ''weits'' [
* [j] is written as ''j'': ''jer'' [
* [l] is used much as in English and other European languages: ''laggs'' [
* [r] is a [[Trill consonant|trilled]] [r] or a [[Flap consonant|flap]] [
===Stress and Intonation===
Stress in Gothic can be reconstructed through phonetic comparison, [[Grimm's law]] and [[Verner's law]]. Gothic used a [[pitch accent|pitch]] (or ''tonic'') accent rather than a [[stress accent]], unlike [[proto-Indo-European]] and many later Indo-European languages like [[Sanskrit]] and [[Classical Greek]]. The properties of the Gothic accent can be seen primarily in the origin of some of its long vowels (like [
The stress accent of Indo-European was completely replaced by a pitch accent in Gothic and transformed in the process. Just like other [[Germanic languages]], the accent falls on the first syllable. (For example, in modern English, nearly all words that do not have accents on the first syllable are borrowed from other languages.) Accents do not shift when words are [[inflexion|inflected]]. In most compound words, the location of the stress depends on its placement in the second part:
* In compounds where the second word is a ''verb'', the accent falls on the first syllable of the verbal component. Elements prefixed to verbs are otherwise atonic, except in the context of separable words (words that can be broken in two parts and separated in regular usage, for example, [[separable verb]]s in German and Dutch) - in those cases, the prefix is tonic.
Examples: (with comparable words from modern Germanic languages)
* Non-compound words: ''marka'' ['marka] ("border", "borderlands"; cognate to "march" as in the [[Marches|Spanish Marches]]); ''aftra'' ['
* Compound words:
** Noun second element: ''guda-láus'' ['guðalaus] ("'''god'''less"),
* strong declension: ''gut'''er''' Wein'' ("good wine").
Descriptive adjectives in Gothic (as well as superlatives ending in ''-ist'' and ''-ost'') and the [[past participle]] may take either declension. Some pronouns only take the weak declension; for example: ''sama'' (English "same"), adjectives like ''
The table below displays the declension of the Gothic adjective ''blind'' (English: "blind") with a weak noun (''guma'' - "man") and a strong one (''dags'' - "day"):
* '''strong declension''' :
** roots ending in ''-a'', ''-ja'', ''-wa'' (masculine and neuter): equivalent to the Greek and Latin second declension in ''
** roots ending in ''-o'', ''-jo'' et ''-wo'' (feminine): equivalent to the Greek and Latin first declension in ''
** roots ending in ''-i'' (masculine et feminine): equivalent to the Greek and Latin third declension in ''
** roots ending in ''-u'' (all three genders) : equivalent to the Latin fourth declension in ''
* '''weak declension''' (all roots ending in ''-n''), equivalent to the Greek and Latin third declension in ''
** roots ending in ''-an'', ''-jan'', ''-wan'' (masculine);
** roots ending in ''-on'' et ''-ein'' (feminine);
** roots ending in ''-n'' (neuter): equivalent to the Greek and Latin third declension in ''
* '''flexions mineures''' : roots ending in ''-r'', en ''-nd'' and vestigial endings in other consonants, equivalent to other third declensions in Greek and Latin.
Gothic inherited the full set of Indo-European pronouns: [[personal pronoun]]s (including [[reflexive pronoun]]s for each of the three [[grammatical person]]s), [[possessive pronoun]]s, both simple and compound [[demonstrative pronoun|demonstratives]], [[relative pronoun]]s , [[interrogative pronoun|interrogatives]] and [[indefinite pronoun]]s. Each follows a particular pattern of inflexion (partially mirroring the noun declension), much like other Indo-European languages. One particularly noteworthy characteristic is the preservation of the [[dual number]], refering to two people or things while the plural was only used for quantities greater than two. Thus, "the two of us" and "we" for numbers greater then two were expressed as ''wit'' and ''weis'' respectively. While [[proto-Indo-European]] used the dual for all grammatical categories that took a number (as did classical [[Greek language|Greek]] and [[Sanskrit]]), Gothic is unusual among Indo-European languages in only preserving it for pronouns.
The simple demonstrative pronoun ''sa'' (neuter: ''þata'', feminine: ''so'', from the Indo-European root ''*so'', ''*seh<sub>2</sub>'', ''*tod''; cognate to the [[Greek language|Greek]] article
The interrogative pronouns are also noteworthy for all beginning in ''
The bulk of Gothic verbs follow the type of Indo-European conjugation called [[Athematic|"thematic"]] because they insert a vowel derived from the reconstructed proto-Indo-European phonemes ''*e'' or ''*o'' between roots and inflexional suffixes. This pattern is also present in [[Greek language|Greek]] and [[Latin language|Latin]]:
*Latin - ''leg-i-mus'' ("we read"): root ''leg-'' + thematic vowel ''-i-'' (from ''*e'') + suffix ''-mus''.
*Gothic - ''nim-a-m'' ("we take"): root ''nim-'' ([[German language|German]] ''nehmen'') + thematic vowel ''-a-'' (from ''*o'') + suffix ''-m''.
Verbal inflexions in Gothic have two [[grammatical voice]]s: the active and the passive; three numbers: singular, dual (except in the thrid person), and plural; two tenses: present and preterite (derived from a former perfect tense); three [[grammatical mood]]s: [[indicative mood|indicative]], [[subjunctive mood|subjunctive]] (from an old [[optative mood|optative]] form) and [[imperative mood|imperative]]; as well as three kinds of nominal forms: a present [[infinitive]], a present [[participle]], and a past [[passive]]. Not all tenses and persons are represented in all moods and voices - some conjugations use [[Auxiliary verb|auxiliary forms]].
Finally, there are forms called "preterite-present" - old Indo-European perfect tenses that were reinterpreted as present tense. The Gothic word ''wáit'', from the proto-Indo-European ''*woid-h<sub>2</sub>e'' ("to see" in the perfect tense), corresponds exactly to its Sanskrit cognate ''véda'' and in Greek to
==Gothic compared to other Germanic languages==