--- In email@example.com
, "thiudans" <thiudans@...> wrote:
> *BNAUAN (GW 100)
> This word has caused a bit of confusion, I think unnecessarily,
> and some have even gone so far, on the basis of its single
> occurrence, to propose a grand lineage of origins, suggesting a
> Go. *bi-nauan, "germ. bnowwan (=binowwan?, abl. Seebold s. *
> nauan)". I think this Nom. Pl. M. Part. Pres. (surely Köbler is right
> here) to be found in Luke 6, 1 CA is nothing other than a
> misreading or miswriting of *hnauandans, i.e. Go. *hnauan "to
> The explanation of *hnauan seems preferable to Torp's
> suggestion, p. 298, entry 9, which provides varations on a root
> verb *nu-, nuwan, nowa "schaben, reiben", claiming "(=bi-
> nowan), red. vb. "zerreiben"; AN. nua, bnua, gnua (=ga-nowan)
> reiben; AHD niuwan (und hniuwan), nuan part. ginuwan, mhd.
> niuwen, nuwen zerstoßen, zerdrücken, zerstampfen, zerreiben." I
> cannot find any source for ON "bnu'a". Zoega refers ON nu'a =
> ON gnu'a, which in the present scheme may < NGmc. ga-
> The MS. not being available in this circumstance to check this
> possibility, we may trust to our familiarity with the Gothic hand
> and orthography and confidently note that the distinction of the
> Gothic characters for H and for B is to be made in almost one
> small stroke, viz. at the top of the long right-hand bar on the B,
> there is another stroke which curves up to the right, which the H
> does not have (the thin connecting bar at the base of the B
> seems nearly invisible and hardly of consequence). This "jot"
> could easily have been mistakenly added, or could be a blot of
> ink, or who knows what. It is enough that the rest of both
> characters is virtually similar. I am unfortunately unable to
> ascertain the various misreadings and their specific nature to
> corroborate the likelihood of such an error as here is proposed.
> Furthermore, we do not doubt that our version of CA is the
> handiwork of a copyist. In any event, were the characters to differ
> by more two or three minor strokes we should not find difficulty in
> maintaining the weight of the argument, which is in its simplicity.
> Now to the the etymological evidence supporting the correction.
> First, we find in Torp a few entries pertaining to the idea "rub":
> p.99 *HNO'- * HNU-, HNEWWAN. These seem to be of most
> interest here. Köbler in his Germanisches Wörterbuch, owing
> much to FFT, glosses Gmc. *hnu- "NHD. reiben", *hnu-, *
> hnewwan-, *hnaw "NHD. stoßen, reiben". The variance of the
> two forms presents little problem. We encounter in the Gothic
> perhaps a derivation of the first stem form (with shortend vowel
> grade) rather than the second stem form: Gmc. *hna(w)an- > Go.
> *hna'uan, like Go. bauan.
> One may alternatively propose a verb *gnauan, if one consider
> the possibility of G being mistaken for "B". This finds support in a
> root of similar meaning "reiben": p. 138 (entry 4): GNU-.
> However, it has been for present purposes imagined that H
> would be more easily transformed to B than would G. It seems
> altogether more likely
Hails aftra bi spedistin Þiudan!
I finally tracked down that Old Norse attestation in the Dialogues of
Gregory, Book 3, Chapter 17 [
]. The disputed verb *bnúa appears here in the preterite singular
form 'bneri'. To recap, this is cited by Fritzner as an alternative
form of ON núa, gnúa [
As for Go. bnauandans, the 'b' is quite clear in this image, seventh
line from the top [
], and not easily confused with 'h'. Harder to confuse Go. 'b' and
'h' than their Roman equivalents.
Stray thoughts: could the unique combination 'bn' be a piece sound
symbolism (onomatopoeia's more abstract cousin), suggesting the
resistance and roughness of the rubbed object. Although there aren't
any other examples of the prefix bi- being contracted like this, there
is one example of ga- contracted before a vowel: gaumjan < *ga-aumijan