Edited by Hans Frede Nielsen † and Patrick V. Stiles
[NOWELE 66:2] 2013
► pp. 225–236
The Germanic Root *heuf- 'lament' and its Reflexes in Old English
Old English heofon (Christ and Satan, 343b) must not be interpreted as preterit in the plural, and therefore the form provides no support for positing a reduplicating verb OE hēafan ‘lament’ (< Gmc. *hauf-). The form heofon represents the infinitive OE hēofan. The Old English evidence fully agrees with a reconstructed root Gmc. *heuf- > OE hēofan. An alternative root Gmc. *hauf- is unsupported and should not be posited. The form hof (Genesis, 771a), a relic of the Old Saxon vorlage, evidences the strong preterit *hauf for West Germanic. The strong verb *heuf-, reliably attested in West Germanic, ultimately died out in the further development of the individual languages.