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Methodische Überlegungen zur Rekonstruktion der Schriftverwendung bei den südgermanischen Runeninschriften

Chapter in book
Authors Michelle Waldispühl
Published in Glaser, Elvira; Seiler, Annina, Waldispühl, Michelle (Hrsg.). LautSchriftSprache. Beiträge zur vergleichenden historischen Graphematik
Pages 31–46
ISBN 978-3-0340-1015-3
Publisher Chronos
Place of publication Zürich
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Languages and Literatures
Pages 31–46
Language de
Keywords Runologie, Epigraphik, südgermanische Runeninschriften
Subject categories Languages and Literature


Previous runic studies generally focussed on two areas: on the writing system and on the linguistic information contained in runic inscriptions. However, inscriptions which lack linguistic meaning cannot be explained with reference to these approaches. Since such inscriptions are quite common in the South Germanic runic corpus, other tools of analysis have to be developed. As there are no literary or historical sources to explain a possible social function of runic writing in this geographical area, an analysis has to rely purely on the extant inscriptions. Based on a catalogue of epigraphic parameters, which includes both technological and layout compositional features, Waldispühl demonstrates how such inscriptions may be interpreted despite their apparent lack of lexical meaning. An epigraphical analysis shows that a wide range of writing practices was in use at the time when the South Germanic runic inscriptions were created, which suggests a variety of different functions of writing even in this rather small corpus comprising only about 85 inscriptions.

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