Re: William Morris' _Markamannans_
> ... I have been thinking about this. If the _Markamannans_ belongto
> the Goths from the period from before the contacts with Greekfollow
> language and before Wulfilas' Bible translation, maybe I should
> accept different spelling of the such "Gothic" names? I would
> J.R.R. Tolkien and the way he presented the "Gothic" names of hisetc.
> Northmen (ancestors of the Rohirrim), e.g. Marhari, Vinitharia
> I mean names where /-ng-/ is spelled <-ng->, and not <-gg-> etc.Fair enough. In fact even the Gothic scribes occasionally used <ng>
in place of the usual <gg>.
> the way don't you think - I mean the people who know Tolkien'stheir
> writings - that these names of the Northmen are in fact not Gothic
> but *Ingweonic? If the Rohirrim in the LotR speak Old English,
> ancestors cannot be Gothic users - not in Tolkien's books! Tolkien(cf. "The
> was a wise linguist, he was interested in the _Inguaeones_
> Book of Lost Tales" for instance) and he was very careful inExcellent logic. Having looked at this, I've come to the tentative
> creating the consistent world.
conclusion that maybe it would be best to see a name like Marhwini
as Proto (Primitive/Prehistoric) Old English, prior to umlaut,
rather than Common Ingvaeonic, especially given the loss of medial
connecting vowel in Marhwini. This might be more consistent with
the final a in Vidugauja.
Though described by Christopher Tolkien as "Latin" spellings, JRRT
has actually corrected the attested Latin spelling 'Vidigoia' to the
form the name would have had in, for example, Biblical Gothic, or
some other early Germanic dialect... (I think JRRT used <v> in
Vidugavia, etc. to make the names look stranger to English eyes, and
thus suggest something more archaic than the language of the Mark.)
But you're right, Gothic would make no sense as the ancestor of the
Old English language of Rohan, and indeed Tolkien has forms such
as 'Marhwini', which is more like archaic Old English (the Gothic
form would be *Marhawins), and Marhari: Marh + hari < Gmc. *harjaz.
The relevent WG sound changes are dealt with in A Campbell "Old
English Grammar" 331.1.4 (loss of final unaccented /a/) and 400
(consequent syllabification of former semivowels). According to
331.1.4, connecting vowels in compounds were preserved in WG. They
survive in OHG, but are lost in prehistoric OE (Campbell 331.1.4 and
341), that's to say before the first extensive written records (but
see below for an example cited by Looijenga).
In UNFINISHED TALES Christopher Tolkien writes:
"It is an interesting fact, not referred to I believe in any of my
father's writings, that the names of the early kings and princes of
the Northmen and the Ëothëod are Gothic in form, not Old English
(Anglo-Saxon) as in the case of Leod, Eorl, and the later Rohirrim.
Vidugavia is Latinized in spelling, representing Gothic Widugauja
('wood-dweller'), a recorded Gothic name, and similarly Vidumavi
Gothic Widumawi ('wood-maiden').
...Since, as is explained in Appendix F(II), the language of the
Rohirrim was 'made to resemble ancient English', the names of the
ancestors of the Rohirrim are cast into the forms of the earliest
recorded Germanic language.
*Widugauja is known to history and legend as a Gothic hero, but his
name is also preserved in OE poems as Wudga (in Widsiþ), Widia (in
Waldere). Something that might not tie in with the names of
Tolkien's Northmen being Ingvaeonic is the masculine weak ending in
a(n), rather than ó(n) represented in literary OE by e and a
respectively. (These vowels survived due to the nasal.) I think
this swapping over of masculine and feminine weak declensions, in
the nominative singular, is supposed to be an innovation common to
the West Germanic languages, including South German, but I don't
know enough about these early stages to say quite when it happened,
or where it began, or whether that necessarily rules out the
possibility of Ingvaeonic having undergone its characteristic
changes first, before masc. on-stem nominatives became the norm in
WG. For what it's worth, some of the earliest runic inscriptions in
what is now Denmark apparently have masc. on-stems, others masc. an-
stems. Opinions vary on how best to define the language of these
inscriptions. Actually it's not even a simple swapping over of
declensions in OE, so I don't really know the full story about
this. OHG agrees with OE in the nom. sg. of masc. & fem. weak
nouns, but has extra complications in other cases, more like Gothic
but OE has levelled all weak nouns to an(a) / -um in the oblique
But maybe the final a in JRRT's Vidugauja is meant to represent the
development of WG ó(n) in Proto OE, rather than Germanic a(n)?
I'm not sure about Vinitharya. Could it be the cognate of Go.
*Winiþareis (EG -árís = WG -ár(i)ja < Gmc. árijaz), or of Go.*Winiþ
(a)-harjis (Gmc. *harjaz > WG *harja > Proto-OE *hari / hæri > OE
here)? Why not *Vinithari, like Marhari?
Runic evidence from England (dates according to Page):
Caister-by-Norwich astralagus (5th c.): raihan (= OE rahan >
ran) "of a (male?) roe deer" (genitive, or some oblique case).
Watchfield fitting (6th c.): hariboki wusa (a name?).
Loveden Hill urn (5th - 6th c.): siþæbæd [p/þ?]ic[p/þ?] hlæ[?], or
maybe `siþæbld'. The first word is a name, the last probably
Chessel Down scabbard (6th c.): æco sori (the first word has been
linked to the OE personal name Acca).
From, or theoretically from, the Netherlands (dates according to
Folkstone gold coin / tremissis (650): aniwulufu (Friesian)
Skanomodu solidus (575-610): skanamodu
(unknown find spot, belonged to Emglish king George III, but
probably Friesian origin). Note the connecting vowel, albeit not
the expected i-, if this first element is indeed skauni-
"beautiful" as Page suggests (An Introduction to English Runes 185).
Chessel Down scabbard mount (mid 6th c.): æco sri (a name? If so,
Arum small wooden sword (late 8th c.) edæ:boda "oath messenger"
(In reference to this word, Looijenga suggests that this <æ> is a
connecting vowel (Kompositionsfugenvokal), and even cites an early
English example: fulæ-trea.)
Well, that's all I've got time for now, but see ch. 9 here for more
Netherlands runic inscriptions:
>Good point. OE wylfingas, ON ylfingr -- but I guess *Wulfungos is
> And why not *_Wulfunns_ (like _Greutungi_). What is the rule, that
> sometimes we can see the suffix _-ugg-_, and sometimes _-igg-_?
just as likely. Not sure if there's any rule, but I wonder if a
particular ending would come to be normal for a particular name.
E.g. how consistent were Roman authors in writing Greutungi, and how
well does Roman usage match the Polish topographic evidence? The
index to Peter Heather's "The Goths" has Tervingi, Greutungi,
Silingi... But Gordon "Introduction to Old Norse" cites Latin
Greutingi (ON Grýtinga "of the Greutings"). I've also see a Greek
spelling Groqiggoi (q = theta). The difference is due to vowel
gradation (ablaut), as in Vandali, Vanduli, Vandili, all of which
are reflected later in Old Norse.
>That's right. This is closer to runic spelling too. Are you
> In my "archaic" spelling can I write *_Wulfings_/*_Wulfungs_?
> > 2) *Mairqiwidus ('mierce' is a ja-stem in OE)
> So in my spelling *_Merkwiwidus_? Etc.
intending to distinguish vowel length?
> My new question concerns the character bringing the name _Elfhere_Yes, Go. harjis is cognate with OE here. As a separate word it
> in Morris. Shall I translate it into *_Albaharjis_? What is the
> Gothic equivalent of the Old English _-here_ 'warrior'?
means "army" in Go., OE and ON. As far as I know the
meaning "warrior" is confined to names. *Alba- is probably right
too, although there is some possibility that it could have been
*Albi-. Go. personal names recorded in Latin include Albis, Albila,
Alverigus. But these don't always reflect unstressed vowels
accurately -- or maybe they weren't clear even in native Gothic
speech when recorded. The word "elf" is an a-stem in Norse, OS &
MHG; i-stem MDu. OE has both a-stem and i-stem.
>No, but I'd like to when I get time. I was glad to find it at this
> Have you read Morris' "The Tale of the House of the Wolfings"?
William Morris site, along with many of his other works:
The place-name articles look extremely interesting. I wish I could
read Polish. Is the distinction between -ung and -ing preserved in
the Polish names as a,g and a,dz (using a comma to represent the
Have you noticed any evidence in these place names for differences
between early Gothic / East Germanic, and the language of the Gothic
bible? For instance, is it possible to date the loss of the stem
vowel in a word like Go. *baks < Gmc. *bakiz? Or the devoicing of
final /b/, /d/, and /z/? Or whether Gmc. /ai/ and /au/ had become
monophthongs in any positions (stressed or unstressed). Or the
change jj > ddj? Or whether /e/ had fallen together with /i/. Is
there any evidence that a-mutation ever operated in the dialects of
Germanic that supplied these place names in Poland? Crimean Gothic
appears to show a-mutation, e.g. 'goltz', 'schuos' (probably an
error for *schnos), but Biblical Gothic doesn't. Are there any
features of the place names that suggest distinctively East Germanic
origin to you? Ah, so many questions...