Regarding Danube, Thomas Czarnecki proposes the Gothic form *DONAWI
to account for Polish Dunaj. "Die Bezeichnung dieses großen Flusses
ist zu den Slawen entweder durch die Vermittlung des Balkangotischen
(got. *Donâwi) gekommen oder sie ist eine einheimische Bildung, die
im Osten des Gebietes des Volkes entstanden ist." [ "Gotisches im
Wortschatz des Polischen"
The /o:/ would be the normal development of /a:/ in Germanic,
supposing the name came from the Celtic source for Latin Danuvius,
Danubius. The long vowel /a:/ is present in native Gothic words
where a nasal has been lost before /h/. I don't think that applies
here. Is a long vowel essential to the argument I wonder? Or could
we imagine the end of the name was identical, or assimilated, to Go.
*awi "low lying marshy meadowland, surrounded or partly surrounded
by water" (cognate with Icelandic ey, German Au, English i(land) <
Huns as a mixed u/i-stem is an interesting idea, and might account
for the fluctuations between a- and i-stem in the other Germanic
languages. Note though that in such names the nom. sg. end in -us
(e.g. Iudaius "Jew", Skwþus "Scythian", barbarus "'barbarian'"). On
the other hand, the names of peoples which follow this declension
may all be borrowed from Latin or Greek, and based partly on the
Latin second declension with nominative sg. -us, pl. -i. But
wouldn't the Huns have been known to the Goths first? Naturalised
names don't necessarily follow this declension, cf. Kreks "a Greek",
It's been pointed out to me that many ancient tribal names follow
the i-stem declension, at least in the plural. There was an
interesting discussion of this at the Theudiskon group [
"Hunnish" would presumably be uncontracted in Gothic: *Húnisks.
Hervarar saga also contains an ON name for the river Dniepr. In one
version of the saga, 'á Danparstöðum' is the name of the district
where the Gothic citadel Árheimar lies. In another, it is the name
of the citadel itself, and Árheimar the name of the district. The
form 'á Danparstöðum' could mean "on the Banks of the Dniepr", or
the second element could be "steads", as in Atlakviða, stanza 5 'ok
staði Danpar' (which has obvious echoes of Hlöðskviða in Hervarar
saga). Both staþ-s "bank, shore, landing place" and stad-s "place"
are attested in Gothic. Jordanes calls the river Danaper.
Other ancient names from Hervarar saga include Gotþjóð (=Go.
Gutþiuda, attested in the Calender fragment), Húnaland "the land of
the Huns", Reiðgotaland "land of the (H)reið-Goths", and Harvaða
fjöll "the Carpathian mountains" (showing the influence of the
Germanic consonant shift, Grimm's Law), and of course
Myrkviðr "Mirkwood", which would give Gothic *Maírqiwidus.
--- In email@example.com, "Roman Rausch" <aranwe@m...> wrote:
> >For a complete list of names recorded in
> >the Gothic Bible, including many Greek placenames, see Koebler's
> >Gotisches Woerterbuch, Anhang 2 "biblisch-gotischen Namen" [
> >http://www.koeblergerhard.de/gotwbhin.html ]. If you want to try
> >hand at reconstructions, you might want to look at this essay on
> >declension of foreign names in Gothic [http://www.nthuleen.com/
> Thanks, these links are indeed useful. So far two attempts:
> Looking into the Norse 'Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks' (http://norse.
> ulver.com/ontexts/forn/hervarar.html, maybe a millenium too late,
> still it's better than nothing) I've found there:
> _Húnar_ 'huns' (obviously strong masc.)
> Zoëga's Old Icelandic dictionary (http://www.northvegr.org/zoega/
> index002.php) gives also the alternative form _Húnir_ (m.) as well
> the adjectives _húnskr, húnlenzkr, hýnskr_.
> According to Nancy Thuleen's quote from Gaebeler 'Völkernamen'
> decline like masculine i-stems, sometimes mixed with u-stems. All
> taken together, would it be as simple as the following paradigma:
> N *Huns *Huneis
> A *Hunu *Hununs
> G *Hunáus *Hune
> D *Hunáu *Hunum
> and the adjective _*hunsks/*hunisks_? Otherwise it seems that it
> be 'ordinary' masculine i-stem as well.
> Zoëga also gives _Dun-á_ (f.) 'the Danube'. In the 'Hervarar saga'
> this is however only attested in the compound _á Dúnheiði_. The
> element is, as it seems, _heiðr_ (fem.) 'heath, moor'. Maybe it's
> attested somewhere else with a more clear hint on it's gender and
> ending. I also wonder whether it's connected to _duna_ 'a rushing,
> thundering noise'..
> Again according to Nancy Thuleen's article foreign place names in
> Gothic are a mix of feminine o- and i-stems. So (similar to the
> declensions of _Achaia_ and _Ruma_):
> N *Duna
> A *Duna
> G *Dunáis
> D *Dunái
> (Interestingly the Russian word for the Danube is 'Dunaj'.)