Re: Derrivation suffixes in Gothic
- 45. Word Derivation
Words in Gothic are generally simple, derivative, or compound. Simple
words have no discernable internal parts with meaning of their own. Take
for example the nouns abba 'father', áihs 'oath', dags 'day',
fótus 'foot', stáins 'stone', waúrd 'word'. Nouns may be
derived from other words, such as adjectives and verbs, by means of
various suffixes and prefixes. For example suffixation converts the
adjective laggs 'long' into the noun laggei 'length', manags 'much' into
managei 'multitude', milds 'mild' into mildiþa 'mildness'. Examples
of nouns derived from verbs are the following: dragk 'a drink' from
drigkan 'to drink', saggws 'song' from siggwan 'to sing', giba 'gift'
from giban 'to give', un-witi 'ignorance' from *witan 'to know'.
Compound nouns are formed by the conjoining of two or more words to form
a noun. In Gothic, the second element is always a noun, though the first
element can be a noun, adjective, or particle. When the first element is
an a-stem noun or adjective, the -a- of the stem usually remains:
áiÆa-tundi 'thornbush', dwala-waúrdei 'foolish talk',
weina-triu 'vine'. The -a- remains in short ja-stems, but not in long
ja-stems: midja-sweipáins 'the flood', niuja-satiþs 'novice'; but
arbi-numja 'heir', agláiti-waúrdei 'indecent language'. The
Å-, jÅ-, i-, and u-stems generally retain their stem vowels
when they form the first element of compounds: mÅta-staþs
'toll-place', þÅ«sundi-faþs 'leader of a thousand men',
mari-sáiws 'sea', fÅtu-baúrd 'footboard'. The n-stem nouns
employ -a- in compounds: áuga-daúrÅ 'window',
staua-stÅls 'judgement seat'. When consonant stems form the first
member of a compound, they sometimes employ the vowel -a- by analogy
with the a-stems, e.g. brÅþra-lubÅ 'brotherly love' and
Examples of simple adjectives are baírhts 'bright', fagrs 'fair',
háils 'whole', siuks 'sick'. Adjectives, like nouns, could be derived
by means of prefixes: ana-siuns 'visible', fram-aldrs 'very old',
un-fagrs 'unfit'. They could likewise be derived through suffixes: the
noun stáins 'stone' yields the adjective stáinahs 'stony',
waúrd 'word' yields waúrdahs 'verbal'. Nominal composition might
even result in an adjective, the so-called bahuvrÄ«hi or exocentric
compound, which describes a person or thing related to the elements of
the compound. Modern English is replete with examples: a blackbelt is
not a belt, but a martial artist possessing a belt which is black;
Blackbeard is not a beard, but a pirate whose beard is black;
well-intentioned descibes a person with good intentions. Examples in
Gothic are manag-falþs 'having many parts, manifold', láus-handus
Examples of some simple verbs are the following: gaggan 'go', lÄ"tan
'let', lisan 'gather', niman 'take', waírþan 'become'. Verbs were
often derived from nouns and adjectives by means of prefixes and
suffixes. For example, the noun áigin 'property' gives
ga-áigin-Ån 'take possession of'; skalks 'servant' gives
skalkinÅn 'serve'. Many members of the weak verb classes are
examples of just such a process, though at times it is difficult to
discern which is primary, the nominal item or the verbal. For example,
fisks 'a fish' vs. fiskÅn 'to fish'; namÅ 'a name' vs. namnjan
'to name'; weihs 'holy' vs. weihnan 'become holy'.
The following sections provide charts listing the most common prefixes
and suffixes employed in noun, adjective, and verb derivation.
45.1. Nominal and Adjectival Prefixes
Nouns and adjectives employ the same prefixes in the process of
derivation. The following chart gives many of the more important
prefixes, together with their antecedents in the proto-languages, as
well as some examples of their use within Gothic.
*ápo- + -ero
the next day
the first day after the Sabbath
near, at, with
one of the same household
of the same household
with, under, between
under an oath
out of, utterly
*wi- + -tero
45.2. Nominal Suffixes
Some suffixes were employed solely to derive nouns. The following chart
gives many of the more important suffixes used to derive nouns, together
with their antecedents in the proto-languages, as well as some examples
of their use within Gothic.
45.3. Adjectival Suffixes
Other suffixes were employed specifically to derive adjectives from
other elements. The following chart gives many of the more important
suffixes used in deriving adjectives, together with their antecedents in
the proto-languages, as well as some examples of their use within
apt to teach
45.4. Verbal Prefixes
Many of the prefixes listed above are also used in forming verbs. There
are, however, a few which are proper only to verbs within Gothic. The
following chart gives the more important prefixes applied to verbs,
together with their antecedents in the proto-languages, as well as some
examples of their use within Gothic.
*ápo- + -ero
near, at, with
put in the fire
two, separate, apart
depart from one, diverge
out of, utterly
*wi- + -tero
go to meet
go to meet
45.5. Verbal Suffixes
The most common suffixes employed in deriving verbs have actually been
dealt with separately. These are in fact the suffixes of most of the
weak verb classes. In many instances, however, such derivation had taken
place long before Gothic became a separate language in the Germanic
family. There are, however, a few additional suffixes used to derive
verbs; but they are not sufficiently numerous to form separate verb
classes as such. The following chart lists these suffixes, together with
their antecedents in the proto-languages, as well as some examples of
their use within Gothic.
be a priest
take possession of
--- In email@example.com, "kevin.behrens@..."
>gothic. First there are verbal nouns like "the making", how are they
> I am always wondering, how to make nouns out of verbs or adjectives in
made of the several verbs? And how are those made like "the search" out
of "to search"? (I only read that -jan verbs turn into -eins -> sokjan,
sokeins. But what about the other verbs?) And last but not least, how
are the nouns created that say, that somebody is doing something: "to
drive" -> "driver". I have to know it for all the verb classes, I guess
there are different variations how to make that. Could you please help
me or know some sources where this is explained?
> Thank you very much.[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Well. The board won't let me post this the way it should look. Let me put it all in a word file and upload it to the group, then I'll link it here. Sorry.
- Alright, it's uploaded to the group. The file name is called GothicSuffixes. It has both prefixes and suffixes, with translations and examples so you know what they do and how they work. I hope this helps!
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "anheropl0x" <anheropl0x@...> wrote:
> Well. The board won't let me post this the way it should look. Let me put it all in a word file and upload it to the group, then I'll link it here. Sorry.
have you written that on your own? I really thank you! That's amazing. But some questions still remain.
Are -arja and -and the only suffixes to mark an agent noun? And are they in a free variety or is -arja just for -jan verbes and the -and for all other verbs?
It's pretty good to finally see a chart of the suffixes in gothic. But is there a certain rule, how these endings are divided?
And how are those forms built as: "the making" etc.?
Thank you very much for so far! ;)
- No, these all came from my friend who works with Germanic languages even more than I do. He sites it in an e-mail as just Slocum & Krause. So I'm not sure where it came from.
Verbal nouns, or abstract nouns, like in your original post (the search) can be made from weak nouns of specific classes, and are declined like i-stems. The differences, according to Wright, are that 2 & 3 class weak verbs are declined one way, and 1 class another. Where they differ is that the nom. and gen. pl. of class 1 verb-nouns are like the o-declension, but otherwise follow the i-stem like the other two classes.
Example: class 2: nom. sing. mitons (from miton), nom. pl. mitonies, gen. pl. mitone
class 3: nom. sing. libains (from liban), nom. pl. libaineis, gen. pl. libaine
class 1: nom. sing. laiseins (from laisjan), nom. pl. laiseinos, gen. pl. laiseino
When you're trying to find the nomina agentis, though, the two versions from the table are what you will use. Here's where it gets confusing. -arja, for all of the examples I can find, follows a noun. (bokareis = boka + arja, laisareis = laiseins + arja) You might wonder, in the case of laisareis, why not just go from the verb to nomina agentis, rather than verb to noun to nomina agentis? That's what -and is for after all (nasjands = nasjan + and), but keep in mind that this form literally means "the Xing one," where X is the verb. Nasjands is the masc. nom. sing. present participle of nasjan, and means saving. But to say sa nasjands would be "the saving one" or savior. So why not use *laisjands? Other than the fact that there is the word talzjands which means the same thing, I can't pinpoint the reason why. I can come up with a few theories though: 1. The corpus that we have is almost nothing but Biblical writings, a huge portion of which is merely a Greek-Gothic gloss. Not very handy for every day, common Gothic speech. 2. It's possible that these words, while Gothic in formation, were meant to be somewhat more abstract or carry a different weight. 3. Or maybe Gothic was just a weird language like the ones that exist today and have seemingly unrelated words for related things, like English watch (that you wear on your arm) and clock (that you put on a wall). I'm not sure, but part of me wants to say that if you make a noun with -and, it should be declined like -nd stems, such as frijonds and nasjands. But if you're keeping it as an adjective, remember to decline it as such and not mix the two up.
Hopefully someone can help me with that.
But as you can see, -arja isn't for -jan verbs at all, but for nouns and nouns derived from verbs. -and is for everything, but is basically for making present participles, and simply using them as a noun. I hope this helps, if you have any more questions, please ask.
--- In email@example.com, "kevin.behrens@..." <becareful_icanseeyourfuture@...> wrote:
> have you written that on your own? I really thank you! That's amazing. But some questions still remain.
> Are -arja and -and the only suffixes to mark an agent noun? And are they in a free variety or is -arja just for -jan verbes and the -and for all other verbs?
> It's pretty good to finally see a chart of the suffixes in gothic. But is there a certain rule, how these endings are divided?
> And how are those forms built as: "the making" etc.?
> Thank you very much for so far! ;)
> Liubos goleinins