Re: [tied] Question re a Germanic Name (Suartuas)

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 14725
Date: 2002-08-29

Hi, John,
It's Grimm, not Verner, that would get violated. The Gothic suffix was <-þwa> (*-þwo:). It was feminine and I've never seen it used in masculine PNs, even with any sort of "gender correction". I think it's a safe bet that Suartuas is *swart- 'black' plus something (there are ON names like Svertingr or Svartho:fði with this element). Since *swart-o:n- is a plausible and attested name (Swarto, ON Svarti), I'm inclined to think that the reflex of *-o: in the *swarto: may have been a high vowel in the dialect in question, hence the -u- [y] (plus a Greek extension). Note that the Slavic languages routinely identified Germanic weak stems with their own *u:-stems (nominatives in *-y).
----- Original Message -----
From: x99lynx@...
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 3:22 AM
Subject: [tied] Question re a Germanic Name (Suartuas)

In the 6th century, I believe, the Byzantines send one of the Herulians
living in Byzantium to lead a leaderless group of Herulians living north of
the Danube.  This is according to Procopius, who gives the fellow's name as

There is a question as to what Suartuas could mean and what it origin may be.
This is one of those circumstances where coeval Indo-European languages of
the dim past may offer alternative explanations.

One explanation given by someone else was:
----"Swerting" looks pretty probable. The "-as" suffix often does in Greek
what it often does in Germanic, i.e. it forms a patronymic adjective. This
makes the _-u-_ rather problematic, but it could easily be epenthetic,
helping to attach the Greek suffix to the Germanic stem.----

This doesn't look right to me.  -uas in Greek is rare.  there is no need for
a -u- to attach -as to -t- ending (Goth <swart>), at least not in Greek where
-tas is a common occurence. 

I'm wondering if the -tuas- is not the Gothic suffix -<th>wa, rendered in
Procopius' Greek.  Making a substantive out of Goth. <swaran>, to swear, take
an oath, pledge.  But does this violate Verner's Law.  I.e., would it be
Swari<th>wa-s (>Suratuas).  This assumes that "Herulian" is East Germanic and
just like Gothic.  And what about the -s ending?  Is it a gender correction?