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[gothic-l] Re: Iggwjans

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  • Mike Adams
    Such as the way that Greek by the time of Cyril/Methodius that B had become V, so they had to come up with an alternate for B.I know Latin, as on the
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 1, 1999
      Such as the way that Greek by the time of Cyril/Methodius that B had become V, so
      they had to come up with an alternate for B.

      I know Latin, as on the monuments is classical latin, and it basically did not
      change (much), but the language of the people did change. I do know that Romanian
      is a Romance language. So even if a person wrote something of the Goths and their
      alfabet, would it be in dielect Latin of the region they were from, or ..

      As to Cymru (Kumree?), well, don't fault the Welsh, fault the persosn who taught
      them their letters, or the English (Sanacht) their for an error?

      Mike Adams
      (Mother was Ni'Donnabhain?)
    • David Salo
      I had a hunch that the author of the letter-names document was familiar with the writing system of something besides Latin (which does not use, for instance,
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 1, 1999
        I had a hunch that the author of the letter-names document was
        familiar with the writing system of something besides Latin (which does not
        use, for instance, uu to represent w!) -- since the ms. is, I think,
        associated with Salzburg, I thought I would take a look at the writing
        system of Old High German. Here's what I found out (it is no doubt "well
        known", but not to me):

        The letter c was, as in many post-Roman European languages,
        bivalent; before back vowels a, o, u it was [k]; before front vowels i, e
        The letter ch was used for the affricate [kx], which had developed
        in Upper German [Bavarian-Alemannic, including Austrian] dialects of OHG
        from older [k].
        The letter g, though normally [g], also had the value [j], though
        [j] could also be represented by i or even e (between a consonant and a
        [kw] was represented by qu
        OHG did have a sound represented by th (possibly [ð]) but this
        gradually became [d], starting in 8th century Upper German. So if this
        document really does come from the area of Salzburg, nothing like [þ] may
        have existed in the author's speech; though he may have had some knowledge
        of places where it or [ð] was used, and spelled th.
        z was used with two values; one [ts], as in modern German; the
        other a variant of [s], when that sound arose from older t. So, for
        instance, NHG Wasser "water" was OHG uuazzar.
        Oh, yes, uu was used for [w].

        This makes the forms in the ms. look like Upper German. Chozma (if
        we accept the reading, or ignore possible copy errors) presumably
        represents [kxosma], and shows that either a), our author's informant spoke
        Gothic with a heavy Bavarian accent, or b), the author perceived the Gothic
        in a way which allowed him to approximate it to his spelling standards.
        OHG did have an [iu], which suggests that the spellings thyth, tyz
        really do indicate a sound change, either [iu] > [y] or [iu] > [i]; I would
        guess the former more likely, though y doesn't actually have this value in
        OHG, where [y] did not yet exist.
        z can be taken, as I guessed, to represent an [s].
        geuua ought to represent [gewa]; but we may suspect here a) the
        influence of OHG geba "gift"; b) that [v] was close enough to [w] in any
        case to allow the author to represent it with uu. Of course we can't rule
        out a sound change [v] > [w], but I am somewhat doubtful.
        Doubled vowels could occasionally be used to represent length; so
        it is possible that daaz, haal, really represent [da:s], [ha:l], and that
        the g [3] sound had totally disappeared by this date, with compensatory
        lengthening of the vowel. We certainly have a long vowel in iiz = [i:s].
        I still guess that gaar is a mistake (in reading or copying) for geer =
        [je:r]. The pronunciation g = [j] would be more justified before a front
        vowel (e) than before a back vowel (a); but a copyist's error geer > gaar
        could have come in by assimilation to OHG iar (iaar) "Jahr", year.
        Since c = [ts], ezec could be read as a form of azets "easy". cz
        also seems to occur as a very irregular spelling for [ts]; so noicz could
        presumably be read as [noits], with ts being either a development or a
        mishearing of [þs]. That does nothing, unfortunately, to explain the i,
        which I would still guess to be the result of an error.
        With reference to winja vs. wunja, the OHG method of writing [wu]
        was uu; just the same as [w]. Wunja would then have to be written uunia
        or uunea; depending on the type of writing, it's possible that uuinne could
        be a deformation of one of the two.

        The ae in uuaer is not explicable by reference to OHG.

        About sauil vs. sigel (segl, sægl); as far as I can tell, the g in
        the latter was never pronounced other than as [j] (i.e. [sijel]). But this
        is likely true with sugil as well (=[sujil]). There is neither [g] nor [j]
        in PGmc *so:wila-. Sigel looks to me like it comes from a different
        source, though I wouldn't swear to it right now.

        OHG is actually pretty archaic -- not as archaic as Gothic, but not
        that far off either. I bet a Goth could have found himself conversing
        (brokenly) in OHG after only a few weeks of exposure. I was able to read
        some OHG sentences straight off, without any real knowledge of the
        language, just by thinking in Gothic! As the following, from a translation
        of Tatian's Diatessaron (a very old Gospel harmony):

        OHG: In themo sehsten mânude gisentit uuard engil Gabriel fon gote in thie
        burg Galileae,
        Go: In thamma saihtsin menoþ sandiþs warþ aggilus Gabriel af guda in þizai
        baurg Galeilaias,

        thero namo ist Nazareth, zi thiornûn gimahaltero gommanne, themo namo was
        Joseph, fon hûse
        þizos namo ist Nazaraiþ, du magaþai gawadjodai guma-mann, þizei namo was
        Ïosef, af husa

        Davides, inti namo thero thiornûn Maria.
        Daweidis, jah namo þizos magaþais Maria.

        The corresponding passage in Wulfila is: þanuh þan in menoþ
        saihstin insandiþs was aggilus Gabriel fram guda in baurg Galeilaias sei
        haitada Nazaraiþ du magaþai in fragibtim abin, þizei namo Iosef, us garda
        Daweidis, jah namo þizos magaþais Mariam.
        The constructions are a bit different (e.g., use of dative and
        genitive) in the OHG, and there are some different choices of words, and
        some words not found in Gothic at all (thiorna "virgin", which I think may
        be related to þius, þiwi, and mahalen "betroth"); but on the whole the
        resemblance, both in vocabulary and in structure, is quite close.

        \/ WRAIQS NU IST <> David Salo
        <dsalo@...> <>
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