Crimean Gothic

Rick Mc Callister rmccalli at sunmuw1.MUW.Edu
Mon Apr 23 02:45:20 UTC 2001

	April 2001 Natural History (pp. 30-38) has an interesting article
"Deaths of Languages" (for amateurs, at least) on Crimean Gothic (et alii)
by Jared Diamond.
	Diamond points out that the recorder's informant was a Greek
familiar with Crimean Gothic, which was spoken by Muslim subjects of
Turkey. The informant translated the etyma into Greek, which was translated
into Italian for the recorder, who was Flemish. The recorder translated the
etyma into Latin and used Dutch or German ortography for the etyma. A copy
of the material was later published in France. It's amazing the material
survived at all.
	Diamond lists the following etyma --with Diamond's observations

ada "egg" < Gmc. ajjaz; note /-jj-/ > /-d-/
apel "apple"
atha "8"
boga "bow"
bruder "brother"
cadariou "soldier" < Latin centurio
furdeitheien "40"
fyder "4"
fynf "5"
geen "to see"
goltz "gold"
handa "hand"
lachen "to laugh"
marzus "wedding" < ?
menus "meat" < Hungarian me/n-hu/s
nyne "9"
oeghene "eyes"
rinck "ring"
sada "100" < Iranian sad "100"
salt "salt"
schieten "to shoot"
schlipen "to sleep"
seuene "7"
siluir "silver"
sune "sun"
telich "foolish" < Turkish telyq
thiine "10"
thiinetria "13"
thiinetua "12"
treithyen "30"
tria "3"
tua "2"
tzo "thou"

	I'm surprised the list is so readily recognizable --almost too
recognizable! The citations I've seen from Ulfila's Gothic don't look that
close to English, German and Dutch. Did Diamond just leave out the truly
hard stuff?
	Any thoughts from Germanic scholars?

Rick Mc Callister
Mississippi University for Women
Columbus MS 39701

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