Re: Rozwadowski's Change

From: Brian M. Scott
Message: 65519
Date: 2009-12-06

I meant to post this before I went out of town over

At 11:18:05 AM on Wednesday, November 25, 2009, Torsten


> [O]nly as long as Grimm's law functioned as a sociological
> marker between the incoming elite and the locals would
> Grimm's law be applied to local place names, after the
> hierarchical relationship is established the upper class
> will feel they can 'afford' to pronounce local names the
> local way; this means only backwaters get to keep the
> original non-Grimm names.

An unconvincing just-so story. Taffimai is disappointed.

> Cf.

'The extended version of that expression is "we say A - they
say B - you say B, and therefore we'll kill you". I know of
three examples.' None of your examples supports the
extended version: in every case the difference in
pronunciation is simply a tool for identifying enemies to
whom one is hostile for other reasons.

> For a similar example
> vs. eg.

Normalized forms in encyclopedias and history books are
generally worthless as evidence of contemporary practice.
In this case the various Wikipedias offer a nice object
lesson: the German Wikipedia article normalizes the name to
<Rudolf von Diepholz>, the French to <Rodolphe de Diepholt>,
and the Dutch, like the English, to <Rudolf van Diepholt>.

> The German place name should properly be either Low German
> Diepholt or High German Tiefholz; only -holt, recognizable
> as "wood" or "forest" has been 'translated' into High
> German, whereas diep-, which makes dubious sense as "deep
> forest", was opaque and has therefore not been translated.

As usual, you didn't bother to do even cursory checking. In
fact the oldest forms that I can find have <f>, and there
are at least two legends explaining the first element as
'deep'; see <> and its
references. With that as starting point I find, among

<Cono de Thefholte> 1160
<>, pp. 292-3

<Guillemus de Thieffholt> 1160
<>, p. 78

<Johannes de Thefholte> 1218
<>, p. 362

<Cono, Rodolfus, Godescalcus de Thefholte> 1219
<>, p. 374
'Die edlen Herren von Thefholte erscheinen häufig in
Osnabrückischen und Bremischen Urkunden. ... Der Bremische
Domherr Johannes findet sich unten in Urkunden vom Jahre
1219 bis 1230. Ferner 1231 also Propst zu St. Stephani zu
Bremen. ... 1239 Propst zu St. Wilhadi ... . Cono,
Domherr zu Halberstadt, in Urkunden vom Jahre 1253 bis
1258, angeführt in Rathlef Geschichte von Hoya und
Diepholz S. 129. Auch in der Urkunde vom Jahre 1257 ... .'

<ego Johannes et ego Cono fratres nobiles de Thefholte>
<>, p. 240
Identified in the regest as Edelherren von Diepholz.

<Cono de Defholte> 1243
<Cononem de Diepholte> 1245

<Rudulfus et Conradus fratres nobiles viri de Defholthe>,
<Rudolfo et Conrado nobilibus viris de Defholte> 1284
<>, p. 459

And if the admittedly old (1840) source cited for the likely
etymology is correct, the first element may not have been
opaque locally:

Das Wort Deven oder Dieven fände dann seine Ableitung in
dem altsächsischen Devern, nach der Dammeschen und
Osnabrückschen Mundart Diävern (das iä als Doppellauter
ausgesprochen), welches zittern, beben, d.i. die
schwankende Bewegung des mit Holze besetzten Moorbodens,

Deefholt wird noch gegenwärtig in der Umgegend der Ort
genannt, und Diepholz ist eine nach der oberdeutschen
Sprache umgemodelte Benennung, die mit der Reformation
aufkam, und seitdem erst in Schriften gebraucht wurde.