Re: [tied] Re: Ingvar and Ivar

From: Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
Message: 6166
Date: 2001-02-18

On Sat, 17 Feb 2001 20:27:40 +0100, "Piotr Gasiorowski"
<gpiotr@...> wrote:

>> 1) the name of the 13th rune is usually reconstructed as *i:waR
>What kind of "evidence" is this? The name is also commonly reconstructed as *i:xWaz, and with good reason. If it was originally *i:waz, what's the final <-h> doing in its Anglo-Saxon name (<ih>/<eoh>)?

The reconstruction *i:waz means "yew, bow". I thought the problem was
that *i:hwaz doesn't mean anything?

>> 2) the names of the runes (except, obviously, *ingwaR for /N/ and *algiR for /R/) are acrophonic.
>If Rune 13 stood for long /i:/, its name WAS acrophonic. If it stood for dorsal (velar/palatal) fricatives as opposed to word-initial lenited [h], its name can't have been acrophonic for the same reason that ruled out acrophony for /N/ and /z/ -- segments that did not occur word-initially. But *i:waz (let alone *i:hWaz) would hardly have been acrophonic for /iu/ in Proto-Germanic or Proto-NW-Germanic terms.
>> 3) Vowel length was not distinguished.
>Nor was it in Gothic, EXCEPT for i/i:, as you noted yourself.

Because vowel length was not marked, *i:waz was *too* acrophonic for
/iu/, or so I would claim the inventor(s) of the rune thought. They
were wrong, or rather, misunderstood, as it turned out.

I would consider Gothic <ei> for /i:/ an accident, like <o[u]> for /u/
in Gothic, Cyrillic and Armenian. The futhark was not based on Greek.

>> 4) Last but not least: the inventor(s) of the runes knew what they were doing.
>So what? How does it follow from (4) that the phonetic value of Rune 13 was [iu]? If the inventors bothered to write [iu] with a single rune, why didn't they do the same for [au] and [ai], just in order to be consistent?

Depending on the exact source/inspiration for the runic script
(Etruscan, Celto-Etruscan, Latin ?), <ai> and <au> would have been
written as such in the model (Latin has <ae>, mot <ai>, of course).
The diphthong <iu> ~ <eo> is rather peculiar to Germanic, and may well
have been thought worthy of a symbol of its own. It would have been
my choice, if I had to choose just one.

>Why isn't the Old English value [e:@] < *iu?

Because of the acrophony of course, same as with /a/ > /o/ for *ansuR.

>Finally, why are reflexes of *iu spelt <iu> or <eu> in extant Early Runic and Old English inscriptions although Rune 13 is preserved in the futharks in question?

Because *i:waR was taken to be acrophonic for /i(:)/ instead of /iu/,
leading to the rarity and eventual disuse of <ï> itself, and the use
of <iu> or <eu> to mark the diphthong.

>> The above can only lead to one conclusion: the 13th rune originally stood for /iu/ when the runes were first invented (either in Denmark or in the neighbourhood of the Roman limes, around the beginning of our era). Unfortunately, the origins of the runic script are still obscure and very few early runic inscriptions are known, so we may
>never know for sure.
>The conclusion is a non-sequitur. But suppose the runic script was inspired by an Etruscan or Venetic prototype in which the combination of E and I looked exactly like H (the variant with three crossbars) -- this similarity might have led to the orthographic identification of EI [i:] and H [h/x]. Both a three-bar H and EI are represented in the Negau Helmet inscription (HARIGASTITEIWAI...), a "Germanoid" text in a North Italic alphabet.

Does <ei> really stand for <i:> here, or for /ei/?

>Note that both Rune 9 (*hagalaz, especially its Anglo-Frisian variant) and Rune 13 resemble varieties of Venetic H, and that those which could serve as prototypes of Rune 13 (a vertical staff flanked by two shorter lines or dots) are confusible with Venetic <.I.>.

What is the sound value of <.I.>?

>One could think of various reasons why this particular rune should have had more than one phonetic value.

I still think it doesn't make any sense. The futhark is otherwise an
exact (niceties such as vowel length excluded) match for the old
Germanic phonological system. Whatever other (politico-religious)
agenda the inventor(s) of the runes had, they sure knew their
phonology. A rune for "sometimes /i/, sometimes /h/" has no place in
the original concept (even if that's what we see attested several
centuries later in Anglo-Saxon England).

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal