The Batavian name Pero is best understood as a derivative of Germanic *perō ‘pear’. Names that also feature the root per- are recorded from other parts of the Roman Empire in connection with Germanic speakers and seem to reflect the influence of pear growing in the Roman provinces. This influence was so great that the name of the p-rune also appears to have been derived from *perō ‘pear’. The early Germanic names Pero, Uxperus and Gamuxperus seem to represent occupation names, and are consistent with archaeobotanical evidence for the development of pear cultivation in the Germanic-speaking provinces of the Empire.
The reconstructed name of the early Germanic god *Wōdanaz is generally traced to a Proto-Indo-European root *u̯ā̆t- meaning ‘spiritually aroused, possessed’. The signification contrasts sharply with the attributes of the primal Germanic sky and war god *Tīwaz, whose name references the bright sky. In a cultural development not yet fully explained, the former displaces the latter as the chief god. In this article, a homophone of the above PIE root, designated *u̯ā̆t- (2), and meaning ‘to bow down, bend, stoop’, is posited as the root of a theonym meaning ‘the bent, stooped one’. He is identified as the Germanic psychopomp and lord of the dead with ties to an ancestor cult. From a largely quiescent role as the bowed or bent-knee god, he emerges from the underworld, when Germanic tribes resemanticized the reflex of the *u̯ā̆t- (2) root ‘bent, bowed’ – militarized it. The new chief god was understood as ‘the master of battle rage’, based on the prioritization of the signification inherent in the root *u̯ā̆t- (1).
The Norman Conquest and its tremendous linguistic impact on the English language is widely acknowledged among scholars and triggered a substantial body of literature. The great influx of French loanwords into the lexis of Middle English not only led to a profound restructuring of the lexicon, but also deeply affected the English morphology and patterns of derivation (Kastovsky 1994), as well as the English syntax to some extent (Smith 2012; Haeberli 2010). However, few studies have focused on a detailed analysis of these loans. Most researchers chose to focus on the quantitative aspects of the period of extensive lexical borrowing in Middle English, without dedicating much attention to the way and the extent to which French loanwords actually integrated and interacted with native vocabulary. This study thus sought to examine some excerpts of Middle English texts in more detail with the aim of getting closer to understanding whether these borrowings were already fully integrated in Middle English by the time these texts were written, whether this integration was determined by internal or external factors, and whether the process itself was abrupt or rather continuous.
Old Frisian religious texts are relatively scarce. In fact, several pastoral pieces survive amongst the large body of Old Frisian legal texts. In this context, the fifteenth-century legal collection known as Thet Autentica Riocht (‘The Authentic Law’) is of special interest because it includes a sequence of short didactic texts, dealing with Christian topics. The present study focuses on The Ten Signs in the Host, one of the catechetical texts of Thet Autentica Riocht. It presents a discussion of the text, its Latin sources, their manuscript tradition, and a Middle High German analogue of the Old Frisian text.
From verse 2593 to the end, the Middle Dutch Ferguut becomes a more independent adaptation of its model, the Old French Fergus: the author starts to operate on a deeper level, namely giving more space and importance to the main female character and, for instance, humanizing the hero’s figure. This article investigates the rewriting strategy adopted in the second part of the romance in order to understand what could have motivated the choices of the unknown poet.
The B text of the Old English Bede copied in the first half of the eleventh century into CCCC 41 by two scribes differs editorially, linguistically, and rhetorically from other witnesses. Although the two B scribes are generally credited with the alterations, Campbell (1951), Scragg (1990), and Waite (2014) point out that some of the distinctive traits of the B version may have originated in an anterior copy or copies. Waite (2014) also objects to the indiscriminate treatment of the work of the two B scribes as it obscures the contribution of each copyist. The present study examines seven distinctive linguistic characteristics of the B text. To determine which traits may derive from an anterior copy and which ones may be attributed to the B scribes, it compares and contrasts the Bede manuscripts and the B scribes’ practices. This inquiry not only sheds light on the methods of scribal revision but also the English of the first half of the eleventh century.
For the first time, the alliterating word-pairs in Wirnt’s von Gravenberg “Wigalois” are completely listed and analyzed, especially in comparison with previous attestations in Old and Middle High German. Thus, the comprehensive history of the alliterating word-pair in German moves into the second decade of the thirteenth century, by which time over 1,500 such pairs are recorded. References to Ulrich’s von Zatzikhoven “Lanzelot,” often considered together with “Wigalois,” are included. Texts thought to be similar do not necessarily reveal a comparable phraseological inventory, while the authors appear to employ a similar strategy of creating new pairings.