Publication details [#1032]

Vázquez González, Juan Gabriel. 2006. Corpus Linguistics and the Rediscovery of Anglo-Saxon Heathenism. Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 12 pp. URL
Publication type
Book – conference proceedings
Publication language


This paper examines the notion of death as the return of man’s soul to the pagan gods in Anglo-Saxon England. It analyzes a group of lexical units which have been mostly associated with the Christian belief in the separation of body and soul. The group is comprised of compound words whose second element, ‘gedāl’, has been generally interpreted to stand for ‘division’, ‘separation’. However, it is argued that ‘gedāl’ should be rather interpreted in terms of ‘distribution’, that this ‘distribution’ is categorized under Old English verbs of giving and that it conceptualizes the return of man’s soul, his most precious gift, to the gods (LIFE IS A GIFT).