Article published in:Runic Inscriptions and the Early History of the Germanic Languages
Edited by Robert Nedoma and Hans Frede Nielsen †
[NOWELE 73:1] 2020
► pp. 4–20
The Malt stone as evidence for a morphological archaism
Reconstructing the Proto-Nordic and Proto-Germanic systems of kinship terms
The form fauþr ‘father’ on the Malt stone is normally understood as a carving error for faþur, but could very well be read at face value as a one-syllable form fǫðr, an archaic accusative singular. In a wider Proto-Germanic context, I propose that this form is part of an early levelling process of the kinship terms to one-syllable stem forms, an alternative paradigm co-existing with the classical hysterodynamic paradigm documented in the Gothic singular. This levelling takes place not only in the plural, but also in the oblique cases of the singular. In a Scandinavian context, this reading sheds light on a handful of seemingly aberrant forms.
Published online: 29 April 2020
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