Germania Semitica explores prehistoric language contact in general, and attempts to identify the languages involved in shaping Germanic in particular. The book deals with a topic outside the scope of other disciplines concerned with prehistory, such as archaeology and genetics, drawing its conclusions from the linguistic evidence alone, relying on language typology and areal probability. The data for reconstruction comes from Germanic syntax, phonology, etymology, religious loan names, and the writing system, more precisely from word order, syntactic constructions, word formation, irregularities in phonological form, lexical peculiarities, and the structure and rules of the Germanic runic alphabet. It is demonstrated that common descent is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for reconstruction. Instead, lexical and structural parallels between Germanic and Semitic languages are explored and interpreted in the framework of modern language contact theory.
The series publishes state-of-the-art work on core areas of linguistics across theoretical frameworks as well as studies that provide new insights by building bridges to neighbouring fields such as neuroscience and cognitive science. The series considers itself a forum for cutting-edge research based on solid empirical data on language in its various manifestations, including sign languages. It regards linguistic variation in its synchronic and diachronic dimensions as well as in its social contexts as important sources of insight for a better understanding of the design of linguistic systems and the ecology and evolution of language.