An Introduction to Old Frisian

History, Grammar, Reader, Glossary

| University of Leiden
ISBN 9789027232557 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027232564 | EUR 36.00 | USD 54.00
ISBN 9789027290045 | EUR 105.00/36.00*
| USD 158.00/54.00*
This is the first text book to offer a comprehensive approach to Old Frisian. Part One begins with a succinct survey of the history of the Frisians during the Middle Ages, their society and literary culture. Next follow chapters on the phonology, morphology, word formation and syntax of Old Frisian. This part is concluded by a chapter on the Old Frisian dialects and one on problems regarding the periodization of Frisian and the close relationship between (Old) Frisian and (Old) English. Part Two consists of a reader with a representative selection of twenty-one texts with explanatory notes and a full glossary. A bibliography and a select index complete the book. Written by an experienced teacher and researcher in the field, An Introduction to Old Frisian is an essential resource for students and researchers of Frisian, Old English and other ‘Old’ Germanic languages and cultures, and for medievalists working in this area. The second unrevised 2011 reprint of the original edition contains several corrections.
[Not in series, 147]  2009.  xii, 237 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Chapter I. History: The when, where and what of Old Frisian
Chapter II. Phonology: The sounds of Old Frisian
Chapter III. Morphology: The inflections of Old Frisian
Chapter IV. Lexicology: Word formation and loan words in Old Frisian
Chapter V. Syntax: The sentence elements of Old Frisian
Chapter VI. Dialectology: The faces of Old Frisian
Chapter VII. Two long-standing problems: The periodization of Frisian and the Anglo-Frisian complex
Index of words to chapters on grammar
“Bremmers in das Altfriesische einführendes Werk ist seit Längerem die erste Veröffentlichung dieser Art auf Englisch. [...] Das Buch lässt für Lernende des Altfriesischen eigentlich kaum Wünsche offen. Zusammen mit Hofmanns und Popkemas 2008 erschienen ‘Altfriesisches Handwörterbuch’ kann es jedem, der sich mit dieser Sprachstufe des Friesischen befasst, unbedingt empfohlen werden.”
“While one should normally be cautious about evaluating a textbook before one has taught with it, this work seems eminently suitable as a textbook. The grammatical descriptions are clear, concise, and, to the best of my knowledge, accurate. The explanatory notes are also praiseworthy, as they will help clarify tricky passages, and the sizable glossaries only enhance the book's value. I have also consulted it on a number of occasions to answer questions about Old Frisian. I would not hesitate to use this book to teach Old Frisian to graduate students or advanced undergraduates, and the author is to be lauded for his significant contributions to Frisian Studies.”
“Old Frisian has long been a well-kept secret in historical linguistics and philology -- despite the tremendous historical and cultural value of the texts, its status as the closest relative of English and important position within West Germanic, as well as the bright light Old Frisian evidence can shed on the broader history of the Germanic languages. We have long needed a solid, English-language introduction to the language from a leading specialist. This book provides all that in a most engaging way.”
“An exceedingly fine overview of the genesis, rationale, and layout of Bremmer's An Introduction to Old Frisian (hereafter IOF) is provided in the Preface (ix-xi). In it the reader learns that the IOF has been fifteen years in the making, that it offers neophytes the essentials of Old Frisian (OF) grammar 'for reading the texts on their own (x), and that it makes available to OF scholars insights into the more challenging questions informing the linguistic study of OF and its grounding in comparative Germanic.
The lure of the study of Old Frisian is to some significant extent its extralinguistic geographic, social, political, cultural factors, attractive as pacesetters of legal rights and freedom. Bremmer has eloquently woven these factors into his lucid presentation of the inner machinery of the Old Frisian language, thereby snatching this language from relative obscurity among the Germanic languages.”
“Bremmer manifestly is an expert of Old Frisian studies. [...] the Introduction is well written and succeeds in its aim of introducing Old Frisian.”
“There has never been an available "Reader" in English, and German introductions are not user-friendly or are out of print. Bremmer's book therefore fills a gap, and is particularly accessible for the modern student, graduate or undergraduate, with (as the subtitle says) "History, grammar, reader [and] glossary" all within the same covers. Working through the twenty texts selected would give anyone a good grasp of the language, and should be fairly easy for anyone who remembers their Old English. [...] Bremmer's book on its own is enough both to stimulate interest in a long-neglected language and literature, and to add a very welcome further perspective for students of comparative Germanic linguistics.”
“It is hard to overstate the advantages of Bremmer’s book over the existing introductions to Old Frisian. Bremmer has produced an admirably wide-ranging and up-to-date introduction to Old Frisian in English, and it is to be hoped that it will succeed in bringing this language and its literature to the attention of the wider range of philologists and medieval scholars which it deserves.”
“Reading An Introduction to Old Frisian, I was impressed to note how much work has been done in Old Frisian studies since my first encounter with the field in the late 1980's.”
“Alles in allem liegt mit Bremmers Introduction to Old Frisian ein Lehrbuch vor, welches endlich eine lange bestehende Lücke füllt und sowohl den Studierenden wie auch den Dozierenden ein modernes Lehrmittel and die Hand gibt...Zweifelsfrei liegt ein Lehrbuch vor, welches das Studium des Altfriesischen für Lernende und Lehrende attraktive macht und die Studierenden für diese wenig beachtete Altgermanische Sprache motivieren kann.”
“Es, pues, este manual una muy buena introducción en los estudios de frisística que, tal vez, algún día florezcan aquende Pirineos.”
“Dieses Buch eröffnet die Chance, auch das Altfriesische gelegentlich wieder in den Kanon historisch-germanistischer Lehrverantstaltungen aufzunehmen. Es ist ein ‘textbook’ in der angelsächsischen Tradition: Nach einer allgemeinen Einführung werden Phonologie, Morphologie, Lexikologie, Syntax und Dialekte des Altfriesischen grundlegend auf gut 100 Seiten dargestellt [...]. Das Buch is einführend, in gut lesbarem Englisch, und zugleich weiterführend durch sachkundige Kommentare und aktuelle Literaturverweise.”
“Those who have struggled with the difficult dialectal manifestations of Old Frisian, not sure if dialectal differences are the result of date of the texts, or of the localization of those texts, are sure to be pleased with a new grammar, and in English, in which there are answers to such questions.”
“Bremmer's book is a gem […] I am grateful for this book and consider it a prize for the field. We are fortunate to have such a primer from a seasoned Old Frisian scholar.”
An Introduction to Old Frisian fills a long-felt need in Frisian Studies, Germanic Philology and Medieval Studies. With its competent and up-to-date treatment of Old Frisian grammar and literature, its succinct survey of the (cultural) history of the Frisian countries in the Middle Ages and its careful selection of Old Frisian texts, Bremmer's book will appeal to a broad readership.”
“This text book is an inspiring and state-of-the-art introduction to Old Frisian language and literature. It will prove to be an essential tool not only for students focussing on Frisian, but also for those who want to study Old Frisian in the context of the Germanic language group.”
An Introduction to Old Frisian provides an outstanding, comprehensive introduction to a language that has remained inaccessible to a broad audience of scholars. The book is equally suitable as a course textbook or as a text for self-study. Bremmer’s engaging style as well as the wealth of linguistic, cultural, and historical information make for enjoyable reading and provide us with a modern, accessible, and affordable introduction to a fascinating corpus. As one reads the well-conceived chapters it becomes clear that the author is one of the only scholars in the world with the depth and breadth of expertise and with the extensive experience teaching Old Frisian who could write such a book. It is a major contribution to our field.”
“This is a good and a very useful introduction to the history, language and texts of Old Frisian, which I can hardly wait to use with my students!”
“As Bremmer, an experienced teacher, knew '...some may think that what is being offered here is too much, while others would have wished for more' (p.x). The inevitable caviling by a reviewer aside, it should be emphasized that the book offers as much as one expects from it and does so in an exemplary way. At every step, including the texts in the reader, one finds the imprint of the author's original scholarship, enjoys his control of the subject, and profits by his didactic talent. There is no doubt that this Introduction will serve generations of students and contribute in a most radical way to their familiarity with Old Frisian.”
“Rolf Bremmer's new text fills a long-standing gap in scholarship with an accessible introduction to the study of Old Frisian, the language most closely related to Old English.[...] The text contains much that will be informative to Germanic linguists specializing in English, German, or Scandinavian, yet the style is accessible to non-specialists. With such qualities, the book will be useful for students and scholars for years to come.”
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 10 september 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFF – Historical & comparative linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2008045390 | Marc record