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Photo: Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, Ms. Rh. hist. 27, f. 62v-98 – Reichenauer Verbrüderungsbuch
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Workshop: Linguistic and philological perspectives on Old Germanic

Culture and languages
Society and economy

This workshop provides an informal forum for researchers studying Old Germanic languages and language varieties. The researchers present their ongoing work and/or project ideas in the fields of (corpus) linguistics and/or philology. Organized within the research areas Linguistic Structures and Language in Society. All interested are welcome!

Workshop
Date
3 Dec 2021
Time
09:00 - 12:10
Location
Online via Zoom; you will receive the zoom-link when you register

Good to know
The workshop will be held in English

The workshop is free of charge. Register by sending an email to evie.cousse@gu.se before 2 December 2021 in order to receive the zoom-link to the workshop.
Organizer
Department of Languages and Literatures

Focus

The workshop has a special focus on theoretical and methodological reflections on how linguistic and philological perspectives on Old Germanic can inform and enrich each other.

Program

(see abstracts at the bottom of this page)

9:00-9:20

Arend Quak (Amsterdam): Old Dutch morphology in place names

9:20-9:40

Arjen Versloot (Amsterdam): Runology as corpus research

9:40-9:50

Break

9:50-10:10

Evie Coussé (Göteborg): Searching for complex verb constructions in Old Dutch. A corpus linguistic approach.

10:10-10:30

Valentina Concu (Universidad del Norte): Expressive speech acts in Old Saxon and Old High German: a Survey

10:30-10:40

Break

10:40-11:00

Michelle Waldispühl (Göteborg): Language encounters in medieval personal names: Philological and linguistic approaches

11:00:11:20

Daria Aeberhard (Zürich): Old High German place and personal names in boundary descriptions

11:20-11:30

Break

11:30-11:50

Ludwig Rübekeil (Zürich): Germanic words in Latin transmission: If, why and how

11:50-12:10

Carla Falluomini (Perugia): Toward a new edition of the Gothic texts: philological and linguistic considerations

Abstracts

Daria Aeberhard (Zürich)

Old High German place and personal names in boundary descriptions

The general aim of my project is to determine the linguistic and historical value of Old High German place and personal names in early medieval boundary descriptions. While the project focuses on the linguistic analysis of the name material and its primary sources, it also aims for an in-depth interpretation of the material within its historical context. The names and the boundary descriptions have only been studied occasionally or rarely in the past. Therefore, the project promises new and complementary information regarding Old High German onomastics and language history.

Valentina Concu (Universidad del Norte)

Expressive speech acts in Old Saxon and Old High German: a Survey

Expressive speech acts are one of the five categories of speech acts identified by Searle (1976) and they have been described as a verbal act in which the speaker expresses to the hearer a psychological state in relation to a proposition. Speech acts that follow in this category are usually compliments, insults, apologies, and congratulations. This project aims to analyze the repertory of these speech acts in Old Saxon and Old High German, shedding light on the cultural, social, and pragmatic variations in the early stages of the history of German.

Evie Coussé (Göteborg)

Searching for complex verb constructions in Old Dutch. A corpus linguistic approach.

This presentation discusses the roots of complex verb constructions in Dutch. Complex verb constructions combine two or more auxiliaries with a main verb and are widely used in present-day Dutch. The question is whether this type of complex construction already existed in Old Dutch. Scattered evidence from the existing literature suggests that the construction is very rare in the oldest source of Dutch. This presentation reports on a systematic corpus study of complex verb constructions in Old Dutch, showing that the construction is infrequent in absolute frequency, but in relation to the small size of the available texts in Old Dutch, its relative frequency is comparable to that in present-day Dutch.

Carla Falluomini (Perugia)

Toward a new edition of the Gothic texts: philological and linguistic considerations

The purpose of this presentation is to share with you the working methods underlying the new edition of the Gothic texts, through some examples. The new edition of the Gothic Bible aims to get as close as possible to the text that came out of Vulfila's writing centre, highlighting certain or possible alterations that have occurred during the 150 years of its tradition, and to present the non-biblical texts in the form that circulated to the time of their copy.

Arend Quak (Amsterdam)

Old Dutch morphology in place names

As the sources for Old Dutch are rather few and scattered over time and place the Old Dutch Dictionary (ONW) in Leiden has used place names for information about appellatives in Old Dutch. It can be interesting to see, whether the place names of the oldest period (before 1000) can give information about the morphology of Old Dutch as well. 

Ludwig Rübekeil (Zürich)

Germanic words in Latin transmission: If, why and how

The Germanic languages have adopted many words borrowed from Latin during the time of the Roman Empire, when speakers of early Germanic and Vulgar Latin were in close contact. Well known examples are English wine, toll < Latin vinum, teloneum or German Mauer, Keller < Latin mūrus ‘wall’, cellārium ‘storage room’. The medieval Germanic languages, on the other hand, left their traces in Romance during the medieval kingdoms on former Roman territory. Italian/Spanish guerra, sala, French guerre, salle < Germanic *werrō ‘war’, *sali- ‘hall, house’ might serve as examples here. Yet, there is a third and older group of words, which are quoted in Latin literature and inscriptions long before the Roman Empire came to an end and individual Romance languages emerged. Well known examples are glaesum ‘amber’, ūrus ‘aurochs’ or framea ‘spear’. Some  of these words have established themselves as loanwords in Latin, while the status of others is less clear. My presentation focusses on a few examples from this third group and the methodological and analytical implications connected to their investigation. The main questions are if and how a Germanic origin can be substantiated and what sort of processes were involved.

Arjen Versloot (Amsterdam)

Runology as corpus research

Runic inscriptions are notoriously few and problematic, compared to other linguistic sources. Over the last couple of years, we have seen comprehensive descriptions of various runic sub-corpora in digital or book form. Focussing on high-frequency phenomena, it turns out that multiple examples can be collected, which, in their entirety can shed more light on major linguistic developments and lead to mutual clarification of individual occurrences in the corpus. I will give the example of the nom.sg.masc. a-stem ending, PGmc. *-az.

Michelle Waldispühl (Göteborg)

Language encounters in medieval personal names: Philological and linguistic approaches

In medieval so-called libri vitae, thousands of personal names of people originating from different language regions are gathered in the same book. In some of the 12 preserved libri vitae manuscripts, the names even span several centuries and hence, stem from different time periods. This material provides an immense richness for onomastic and linguistic study. However, the philological nature of the material also presents a couple of challenges. For example, the names were written down in a wide variety of scripting situations: As autographs, as copies from exemplar lists or written down by dictation. In this presentation, I will discuss some examples and methodological approaches of how philological and linguistic analysis can be combined in order to explain and understand processes and results of language encounters in personal names. Moreover, I want to weigh Digital Humanities solutions to facilitate preparation and quantitative analysis of the data in libri vitae.