Gothic "au"

X99Lynx at X99Lynx at
Thu Mar 22 17:47:45 UTC 2001

In a message dated 3/21/2001 10:29:39 PM, dlwhite at writes:
<< That Gothic "au" was, among other things (probably), a spelling for
/o/, as "ai" was for /e/, is not disputed by most observers.  The evidence,
some of which we have just seen, is too strong. >>

This appears to miss the point.  There are loads of words in Wright's where
Gothic words contain an <o>.  The point is that practically every time
indicated where Gothic borrowed a word with a Greek <o> it is transliterated
as <au> (or rarely <u>).  This does not appear to be random or occasional.
If I remember correctly, the rare exceptions are where the vowel begins the
word or is from the Hebrew.  The significance might be at minimum that what
could mistakenly be attributed to a Germanic ablaut would appear to be
actually the orthographic changes that happened in borrowing.

Steve Long

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