While the word group of OHGruof m. ‘roof’ is generally derived from PGmc. *χrōfa-, the Old Swedish forms written with <gh> show that the reconstructed form must be *χrōƀa-. PGmc. *χrōƀa- belongs together with the Slavic word group of OCSstropъ m. ‘roof’ but must be separated from the Celtic word group of mir. cró m. ‘enclosure’. The Germanic and Slavic forms lead back to a root PIE *k̂rep- ‘to cover’. From this root also Lat. creper ‘dark’ is derived.
As part of an ongoing larger project collecting and analyzing the alliterating word-pairs in early German (especially Old and Early Middle High German) texts, we turn to Herzog Ernst in an effort to assess the anonymous author’s use of the widely used rhetorical device in the context of earlier and then contemporary praxis. For the first time, the entire body of word pairs in Herzog Ernst are documented and studied in their narrower and broader contexts, including questions of literary genre, semantics, pragmatics, and stylistics. Findings from earlier studies are included and assessed, where necessary also emended. Hence, we have a better appreciation of the author’s rhetoric in its Early Middle High German and especially the Spielmannsepos context.