Re: Question re a Germanic Name (Suartuas)

From: x99lynx@...
Message: 14761
Date: 2002-08-29

Piotr writes:
<<It's Grimm, not Verner, that would get violated. The Gothic suffix was
<-fiwa> (*-fiwo:). It was feminine and I've never seen it used in masculine
PNs, even with any sort of "gender correction".>>

So if I was writing in Gothic and I wanted to say that the Fifth Horesman's
name was "Hatred", a substantive, what would I write? (fija<thorn>wa, hatred
< fijan, to hate.) (Of course, <th>wa is a Gothic construction and you would
not expect it specifically in other Germanic languages.)

<<I think it's a safe bet that Suartuas is *swart- 'black' plus something
(there are ON names like Svertingr or Svartho:f›i with this element).>>

Is going by ON naming practices unnecessarily limiting, especially for the
period and time in question? If an East Germanic speaker took a conversion
name like "Honorarius" or just plain "Honor", how would he translate that to
'Gothic'? (swe:ran, to honor) Substantives do appear in northern Germanic
tradition, although not necessarily in connection with northern kings. Saxo
calls the legendary Danish king "Frotho" or "Frothius" (Peace). How would a
"Gothic" speaker translate an adopted name that meant substantive 'sworn,
oath, pledge, faith' (from swaran, to swear)?

Piotr also wrote:
<<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).>>

How does that jive with the first -u- in Suartuas? Shouldn't it consistently
be S[w]art[w]as? Or S[y]art[y]as? (Based on this high vowel idea, I'm
curious as to how Procopius would have transliterated a word like OHG
'triuwida', truth.)

Since there really doesn't appear to be a name exactly like Suartuas in ON or
elsewhere in early Germanic, an alternative might be that something else than
the pat swart = black answer might suggest itself. And perhaps a 13 Century
ON comparison is unnecessarily "pan-Germanic' in cultural assumption with
regard to 6th Century Greece? Suartuas is living in a particular time when
new proper names had historically entered languages wholesale (conversion to
Christianity, exposure to Roman/Byzantium culture.) One could conjecture the
oddness of Suartuas reflects a new name in the language, one that did not
transfer or ever even existed in ON. The Greek ending -as seems odd, at
least in Classic Greek. Perhaps the Greek extension was simply to add an -s
to a name that would in Greek otherwise end in a feminine -a?

Steve Long