Goths, Naming and Ablaut
David L. White
dlwhite at texas.net
Sat Mar 3 02:41:54 UTC 2001
> Yes, my copy of Wright's (O. L. Sayce, ed., OUP 1954) says that Gothic
> <giutan> is a "class 5" strong verb
?!? It is a class II strong verb. See section 302, p. 142.
> With regard to OE, you write, "_gutans_ , which would correspond to the OE
> form." I have for OE, <ge:otan (inf), ge:at (p sing), guton (p plu), goten
> (pp)>. (And for OHG, <gioz:an>.) If we have the ablaut set PIE *eu-ou-u
> Gothic iu-au-u, then it is at least possible that the name Goth never took
> the form <Gutan>.
I do not follow.
> Perhaps it was a name given by other Germanic speakers and therefore had the
> -o- from the start -- e.g., OE, <Gotan> 'Goth', <goten> pp 'poured'.
Nothing in Germanic has /o/ "from the start". The distinction
between /o/ and /a/ was lost in the development of early Germanic and was
only recreated with the development of /aa/ from /anx/, if I am remembering
correctly. /o/ in later past participles is the result of
vowel-harmony--like lowering before a following low vowel. The OE word is
almost certainly from Latin.
> Once again we have no good reason to be sure Goth was first a
> self-name (cf., "Germans", "Apaches", "Basques").
I agree. There are, as I see it, three theoretically possible
sources of the difference between Latin /o/ and Greek /u/.
1) The Vulgar Latin change of short /u/ to /o/.
2) A possible Gothic change of /au/ to /o/.
3) Latin borrowing from other Germanic with /o/, Greek borrowing
from Gothic, with /u/ for other Germanic /o/.
The evidence of attestation may well exclude one or more of these from
Dr. David L. White
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