From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Writing systems (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article falls within the scope of WikiProject Writing systems, a WikiProject interested in improving the encyclopaedic coverage and content of articles relating to writing systems on Wikipedia. If you would like to help out, you are welcome to drop by the project page and/or leave a query at the project’s talk page.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Norse history and culture (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Norse history and culture, a WikiProject related to all activities of the North Germanic peoples, both in Scandinavia and abroad, prior to the formation of the Kalmar Union in 1397. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


I was always of the opinion regarding the Lindholm Amulet, that the "Alu" reffered to beer, or ale, as that entire line is seperated from the "ek erilaz saliwaga hateka" part. Primarly because "Alu" sounds very similiar to Finnish "Olu" the prefix for beer in that language (loanword from Germanic), and many Germanic cognates in Finnish typically show a very close resemblance to what is considered Proto-Germanic (look at the Finnish words for King, rope,etc.) Besides, the rest of the runes after "Alu" could very well be incoherent talk. It always made me wonder if rune-carvers had a sense of humor. Just some musings. -S Nelson


The section entitled Etymology looks rather confused to me and conflicts with the more professional assessment given in the first paragraph of the article. First, regardless of whether one agrees with the theory put forward here, it should be pointed out that Latin and Greek transcriptions of Germanic names often omit h or add a spurious h quite unsystematically, since the phoneme /h/ had disappeared from the Latin and Greek languages. Therefore the inclusion or otherwise of h in the work of a Roman writer can have no bearing on the etymology. Apart from these Classical spellings, I'm not aware that there is any evidence within the Germanic languages for an initial /h/ in erilaz or earl and its cognates. The language-internal evidence seems far stronger than that of non-native Classical writers unfamiliar with Germanic. Nor am I aware of any such sound change as is being suggested here in which initial /h/ was freely dropped or added for the sake of clarity, nor of any parallel instances which would support the argument.

The initial h in *harjaz was never dropped (eg. Heer), most likely because there were other words that needed to be distinguished from it by the h. Dropping it would have caused it to sound like another existing word. However, with Herilaz, there were no competing words. In this situation an initial h often becomes optional.

Not in the early Germanic languages. The phoneme /h/ was perfectly stable in initial position, as far as I'm aware; and indeed there are a number of homonyms beginning with h in the Germanic languages. Furthermore, both -il- and -ul- suffixes existed, the variation being due -- according to the normal linguistic view, as pointed out in the first paragraph of this article -- to ablaut (vowel gradation, caused by differing position of the accent in Proto Indo-European) rather than umlaut (anticipatory vowel mutation) as suggested here. Does u necessarily imply a lower sound than i? Not in the IPA based on the Roman alphabet. The article ought, at least, to make it clear that the theory is not a conventional view among linguists.

-- Dependent Variable.

Had the H sound really disappeared from Latin (and Greek) that early? Anyway, maybe the article should make more clear, that this is apparently a hypothesis. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 07:37, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I must admit, I'm not an expert on the history of Latin and Greek phonology, but the 3rd century Appendix Probi, a list of common errors to be avoided when writing Latin, cautions people to write hostiae not ostiae, and adhuc not aduc, etc. The loss of h is shared by all of the Romance languages; Elcock doesn't discuss it in The Romance Languages; he just lists it among other changes that were universal in Latin. According to Dag Norberg, The aspiration h, on its way out of use from the time before Latin writing, served in the later language only as an orthographic sign, giving rise to much confusion: on the one hand, ac, ortus, ordeum, aduc, etc. for hac, hortus, hordeum, adhuc, on the other, habundare, perhennis, choibere, hanelare (cf. Fr. haleiner) for abundare, perennis, cohibere, anhelare. Latin at the End of the Imperial Age The quotes in Lord's The Roman Pronunciation of Latin suggest that h was pronounced by educated Romans, at least in early times, but that many speakers were given to dropping the h or inserting it where it didn't belong. Even if the authors of Latin works that preserve Germanic names used h correctly when speaking their own dialect, the names could have come to them via speakers of the popular language, soldiers, merchants, etc. As for Greek, the loss of the aspirate appears to have been complete by the 2nd century AD, although in some areas it went back to Classical Greek. --Dependent Variable.
I believe Germanic initual h was usually represented in Latin by ch or sometimes c, but not h until much later, so the sound definitely remained a fricative for a long time. This can be seen in Chamavi (thought to be *haim-), Chlodovech (*hlūd-), Charibert (*harja-), Chatti (*hat-, now seen in Hessen with the High German sound shift) and other names. CodeCat (talk) 13:45, 18 July 2011 (UTC)


Can the word 'erilaz' really have existed that early? It shows signs of umlaut (a > e before i), but I don't know if umlaut already occurred in such an early time. And if the e is not the result of umlaut from an earlier a, then it must have been i, because umlaut of e to i occurred already in Proto-Germanic before Proto-Norse split off. This means that either the Germanic word was irilaz or arilaz, or the intervening vowel was different, perhaps eralaz, erulaz or erlaz. CodeCat (talk) 15:33, 18 April 2011 (UTC)