Re: [tied] Re: Old English "a-spylian"

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 17506
Date: 2003-01-10

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From: <tgpedersen@...>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 11:50 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: Old English "a-spylian"

> I've seen it argued the <ek> (not <ik>) proved it's North Germanic. Of course the whole question is infected.

The problem is that we have no unambiguously West Germanic texts to compare from that early period, so we don't know if <ek(a)> is diagnostically North Germanic. In early Runic (5th-7th centuries) inscriptions from Jutland <ek(a)> is the most common form, but <ik> can be found as well.

> East North Germanic (in this case island Danish, Swedish and Southern and Eastern Germanic) has <jeg>/<jag>, West North Germanic <eg>, Jutland <a>. Where does the "automatic enter into this?. I thought perhaps this had to do with preserved -a in 1st. sg. (elided early in Jutland), such that in the frequent <adv>VSO sentences you'd have /-a eg/ > /a jeg/, ...

What do you mean by "Southern and Eastern Germanic"? I'm not sure about Jutland, but the rest is as it should be. The breaking of *e (which has nothing to do with the Slavic glide insertion) often failed on the western fringe of North Germanic in words that were affected in the eastern dialects. Old Icelandic <e> often corresponds to Old Swedish <iä> in the breaking environment. Thus, PNGmc. *eba- > OIc. ef ~ OSw. iäf 'doubt', PNGmc. *feta- > OIc. fet ~ OSw. fiät 'step'. Likewise, *eka > OIc. ek (> ég) ~ iäk (> jag, jeg).