--- In cybalist@..., Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...>
> Gut + hals? Impossible, since 'good' was <go:d-> in Gothic. It
became <gut> in High German, many centuries later. The 'neck' word
was <hals> already in Gothic (< *xalsaz), and there was never a vowel
between the /l/ and the /s/. I can only offer some tentative guesses:
Pliny's <guthalus> could be related to ME gothelan < OE
*goþelian '(of water) make a low noise', which might derive from
hypothetical *guþla- 'noise (?), bubbling (?)'. Remember that this is
merely a bold conjecture.
As a description "hals" is OK. Houken: "Håndbog i danske stednavne"
lists 16 place names using "hals" in Denmark alone. (..."used in
placenames of places which can be compared to a neck, eg narrow
straits connecting wider land or water areas", pardon the literal
translation), among them /Hals/, the eastern entrance (and a village
there) of the Limfjord (Heimskringla: at Hálsi), and the towns of
Helsingør and Helsingborg at the narrowest stretch of the Øresund.
One of the problems of keeping Low and High German separate is
Langobardic: According to their own tradition they came from the
Baltic coast, thus Low German, but the remains of their language
shows second German sound shift, thus High German. Perhaps the Low
German/High German dichotomy started as sociolects in Low German
One thing puzzles me: the Danish dialects of Sønderjylland (North
Schleswig) stand alone in having -B- (-w-) > -f-, -G- (-w-) > -x-,
also between vowels (køf&nhaUn "Copenhagen", std. Da. køb&nhaUn
(older køU&nhaUn). One might argue High German influence from the
centuries of German-language administration, but -VwV- > -VfV-, -VGV-
> -VxV- (devoicing between vowels!) doesn't look right. The
alternative would be to place the change before the Danish lenition
(already Saxo: Svipdawwus "Svipdagr"), thus -VpV- > -VfV-, -VkV- > -
VxV-, a kind of High German shift much north of High German. But on
the other hand, the Sønderjysk shift takes place also in original -b-
, -g- (tox "train", std. Da. toG), so that path seems blocked.
As for /älv/ in /Göta Älv/, the Swedish word for domestic river, it
is cognate with the river name Lat. Albis "Elbe river". That doesn't
look much like /-alus/. Or perhaps he heard /-alws/?
Perhaps this is useful: Houken:
Ål, Old Da. *a:l(æ), West Nordic áll "stripe", in place names it
means "deep valley or gap between mountains or ridges" (Fritzner)
among the place names
Ålborg [originally the easternmost crossing point on the Limfjord,
approx 30 km from Hals]
Ålborg, *1231 Aleburgh. First element Old Da. ål "navigation channel".