Since I haven’t updated in forever, I wanted to post to say that I just finished with something that was taking up all of my time and intend to rededicate myself to this website. I have learned a lot in the past few months and am probably going to revamp a lot of the content that’s already on here along with new stuff. I expect that this will start probably next week or so.
Everything I know (or think I know) about the names of the runes of the elder fuþark. Complete with hypothetical Norse/Old English cognates for rune names appearing only in one or the other.
It always disappoints me that there aren’t more people into the actual viking runes. I think it’s because the vowel system is confusing. I try to explain it in a way that makes sense. I mostly ignore the ą́ss rune ᚮ but I do discuss nasalization a little bit.
I’ve just posted a very brief overview of language change and the path from Proto-Indo-European to Icelandic. Nothing too serious, but probably establishes some working definitions for Orðstírr that might otherwise have been a little ambiguous.
Instead of starting to work on new pages like I should, I’ve continued reading about /ʀ/, partially to make sure what I’ve said so far is right, and partially because it really is a pretty complicated subject with a lot of nuance.
Anyway, I found two things which I thought were interesting, the first being that I can read Norwegian (never tried before! But it’s like Danish – which I can kind of read – except that it makes sense), and the second being that there are loanwords from North Germanic languages into Saami that may be helpful in determining the identify of /ʀ/.
So that you don’t have to go digging through the page to see what I added, here it is:
I’ve just read, in Frå urnordisk til norrønt språk by Odd Einar Haugen, that Harald Bjorvand, a Norwegian historical linguist, pointed out that the Proto-Norse word *diuʀą (“animal”; cognate to deer; ON dýr) was adopted into the Saami languages as divra. I’m afraid I don’t know much about Saami languages. Looking through an article, On Germanic-Saami contacts and Saami prehistory by Ante Aikio, which notes a variety of North Germanic loanwords into older Saami languages at various points in time, it seems most instances of Germanic /ʀ/ became Saami /s/ (Proto-Norse *haitaʀ ‘hot’> Northwest Saami *hājttēs > Northern Saami háittis ‘very hot (of a stove)’).
However I did find two other interesting examples mentioned…
- Proto-Norse(?) *hrauʀōʀ ‘groin’ (plural) > Pre-Saami *rawša ‘udder’
- Proto-Norse(?) *nāƀiʀōʀ ‘birch bark’ > Pre-Saami *napra ‘birch bark’
The š, I would have to believe, represents /ʃ/, which is the English ‘sh’ sound. That’s what it usually represents anyway.
The reason I question-marked the ‘Proto-Norse’ is that the dating of the first seems uncertain, and because Aikio protests that the second was actually *nāƀirōʀ, with a “regular” /r/ instead of a /ʀ/, on the grounds that Saami wouldn’t have taken it as an /r/. But if Harald is right about divra, I wonder if that may be evidence that /ʀ/was analyzed by Saami speakers in different ways depending on whether or not it came at the end of a word.
Harald Bjorvand considers the sound of /ʀ/ to be the raised alveolar non-sonorant trill [r̞], which is the ř-sound in the Czech name Dvořák, like the composer.
Read the About page.
I’ve started this project for primarily English-speaking heathens who, due to their religion, frequently encounter words which are unfamiliar to them. In many cases this can cause problems which should be easy to resolve, but unfortunately it can be difficult for people to know where to look for help. This website will attempt to address that.