Talk:Runes/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Irrelevant ? Picture source, doctored photo

[[Image:Björketorpsstenen runor.jpg|right|thumb|200px|Closeup of the runes on the Björketorp Runestone :There is something wrong with this picture. Notice Lichen plants which grows under the insctiption :)

Realy irrelevant? Nasz 18:27, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

First, I can see nothing wrong with the picture - I guess you are aware that stones like the one in the picture are regularly cleaned and that the red paint is not original (although it is generally assumed that the runes on Nordic runestones were initially painted in a red-ochre color) but a modern addition - so it is entirely possilbe for some lichen to apparently grow "behind" a rune because the rune has been recently cleaned and painted. And second, a comment like "There's something wrong with this" is always irrelevant to an article - comments and sidenotes have to stay out of articles, that's what the talk page is for. -- Ferkelparade π 19:52, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Redirect fixed

The SIG redirect was going to the goddess rather than the rune

—Preceding unsigned comment added by ASH1977LAW (talkcontribs) 11:53, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Revert linkspam?

It doesn't look like spam to me. I glanced through the article - full of typos, but English is not the author's native language. Here's the link:

Someone check this out please? Cbdorsett 09:02, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Ahh, the connection between the Germanic Futhark runes and the Turkish Orkhon runes is extremely speculative. We shouldn't link to this fringe theory as a given fact. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 10:56, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Correspondence table

I created a Runic table at User:Wakuran/Runic_Table with some of the more striking correspondences between the Elder Futhark and the Greek and Latin alphabets. I wonder if it could be useful, or if it's too unwieldy for the article. Probably some of the more probable alternate variants of Etruscan, Western Greek and Old Italic alphabets should be added, as well, if someone has images for these letter variants. Please give comments. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 10:56, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Violation of the rule to let the sources speak

I am very disturbed by this unsourced statements concercing the West Germanic hypothesis:

"However, it should be noted that the differences between Proto-Norse and other Germanic dialects were still minute and that the classification is mostly based on location rather than forms. References to unknown tribes are received with doubt."

Here the author takes the liberty to evaluate a scholarly investigation without resorting to a valid reference. According to his personal views?

  • It should be noted: does the writer, a specialist, fail to notice something by himself? If so, I would like to hear so from another scholar (sourced).
  • The difference between Proto-Norse and other Germanic dialects were still minute. We are talking here about the period 200-500AD, when the first runes appeared. F.i. Lucien Musset (p12) claims that by the fifth century the Germanic languages were already sufficiently different to render communication between the various people impossible. Since few Germanic survived from before 500AD, I think such a claim as if the differences between complete different branches were still "minute" at most a few centuries earlier is hard to believe without reference.
  • the classification is mostly based on location rather than forms: This statement is a known commonplace against the classical classification system, considered obsolete by many modern specialists. This argument is used to refer to the notion (Schwarz) that North Germanic and East Germanic are more closely related (Gotho-Scandinavian) and are in fact the opposite pole to Continental Germanic (this is West Germanic).
  • References to unknown tribes are received with doubt : By whom?

The editor fails to review the facts within the new context created to this West Germanic hypothesis by itself. My footnote concerning the most obvious consequence to this West Germanic hypothesis - that the Proto-Norse identity of the first runes would have to be reconsidered before making such a statement since this might even invalidate all preliminary conclusions about language differences - was silently deleted by the author. Indeed, something should be noted before trying to invalidate a theory using loose arguments.

All arguments are put forward to cast doubts on a certain theory. This is not the task of Wikipedia. Although I normally value logic, however, I consider the current arguments shaky, so I think this phrase should be properly sourced or deleted at all. Like this I would easily mistake the phrase for OR and POV. Rokus01 00:04, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

The problem here is your removal of this text:
However, it should be noted that the differences between Proto-Norse and other Germanic dialects were still minute and that the classification is mostly based on location rather than forms.
I don't remember who wrote that or when, but I fail to see what kind of problem you have here since the Vimose inscriptions are considered to be Proto-Norse with a few scholars poiting out that they may be west Germanic. The text you removed only states that the differences between West and North Germanic were so small at the time that the categorization of runic inscriptions is based on location. Moreover, I hope you are aware of the fact that West and North Germanic were still part of a linguistic continuum in the area which makes some scholars subsume both as Northwest Germanic (see article for references) a situation which lasted until c. 500 AD. Since you have not given a valid reason for deleting the section, I will take the liberty of reinserting it.--Berig 19:41, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Please display your knowledge of Begging the question in assuming an argument in favour of "differences between Proto-Norse and other Germanic dialects were still minute", with all we know about Proto-Norse being runes theorized here to be West Germanic. Since this kind of phoney counter arguments against such a West Germanic hypothsis are not sourced, I am justified in suspecting OR. The Northwest Germanic theory only has significance within the context of this runes whose "scantiness .... makes it impossible to be sure of the relationship of this language to Germanic and its daughter languages. It is traditionally known as Scandinavian but shows few if any distinctively North Germanic features and MAY reflect a stage, sometimes called Northwest Germanic" (Britannica, 22:650). However, the generally accepted archeological view is explained in Britannica 22:642. 750BC: a relatively uniform Germanic spoken from the Netherlands to the Vistula and southern Scandinavia (by the way, where is Jastorf? never mind); 250BC five general groups are distinguishable, including North Germanic, North Sea Germanic, Rhine Weser Germanic, Elbe Germanic and East Germanic. You see? No Northwestern Germanic mentioned in this list. Indeed, North Germanic + Northsea Germanic + Rhine-Weser Germanic shared a sound change, but the same has been argued to apply to Northsea Germanic and a later stage of (Roman-?)Keltic (k=>sj in cheese and chateaux): this is not enough to assume small differences - I've even heard of sound changes being triggered by language contacts. A language continuum, I agree, but what would this mean more than to assume non-representative local dialects?

"However, it should be noted that the differences between Proto-Norse and other Germanic dialects were still minute and that the classification is mostly based on location rather than forms. References to unknown tribes are received with doubt."

No, I try but can't make any sense out of this all too obvious an example of OR. I would appreciate you could find a source supporting all of this. Who says the Britannica classification is based on location? And so what, does this support your claim that Germanic languages did not differentiate enough to be distinguisable? Who's theory is this and where it says so? And who received the references to unknown tribes with doubt? I really want to know. Rokus01 23:27, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Rokus01, the only reason for classifying Negau helmet as "Proto-Germanic" and the Vimose inscriptions as "Proto-Norse" is their locations. You say that you agree that there was a language continuum (A language continuum, I agree) and the discussion where you want to remove the text as OR (sic.) concerns precisely the Northwest Germanic region where you would later find the "divide" between West Germanic and North Germanic, and where by consequence the local idiom would be most indeterminate and hard to pinpoint. So what are you trying to achieve Rokus01? Why don't you just add a {{fact}} tag instead of removing a quite correct statement?--Berig 03:49, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
PS, your speculations about the wide dialectal differences within the Nortwest Germanic region before the arrival of written documentation (runes) are exactly what is targeted by WP:OR. Since this theory of yours is your motivation behind your removals, *you* are in fact to be considered in violation of WP:OR, and not the original contributor.--Berig 03:55, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Berig, read and notice I address the objections to a theory for being both unsourced and private. I am willing to add a {{fact}} tag ONLY if the existence of sources -able to support a certain statement- is reasonable to assume. I already explained extensively above why here such is not the case. I summarize:

  • Without sourced reference, to say the differences ARE minute is as OR as to say the differences ARE big. If you don't want to mention sources and derive your knowledge from unspecified reasoning your are obliged to say at least MIGHT.
  • No uniform Northwestern linguistic region is generally assumed to have existed after 250 BC. Also, this grouping is not very common or broadly used, having already other and more current groupings. To make others believe otherwise (again, unsourced) is OR and POV pushing. The context of Northwestern Germanic is confined to the disputed runes and nothing else.
  • You can not defend a theory by refering to a tentative North Germanic "Proto-Norse", the knowledge of which is disputed by this very theory.
  • The definition of Proto-Norse "by location instead of linguistic characteristics" reduce your objection to the runes being West-Germanic to utter nonsense. The theory holds the runes to be West Germanic based on linguistic characteristics, not location. Indeed, Proto Norse is just a name and would pass over to the West Germanic branch without shedding any light to North Germanic. The name would be reduced to a misnomer without any sense. Don't abuse a possible misnomer for being an (unsourced) argument against this theory!
  • To my knowledge, nobody ever doubted the existence of unknown tirbes.

In short, the edit is unacceptable "as is". If removal is not an option, I would rather propose the following: "However, it should be noted that differences between Germanic languages still might have been minute. The nomer Proto-Norse would continue to be based on location, without reflecting any (North Germanic) classification based on linguistic forms. References to unknown tribes could increase our knowledge of the Germanic culture, but fail to support new divisions along linguistic lines." Rokus01 22:13, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Rokus, your basic understanding that sources should be responsibly cited is correct. However, you continue to nitpick in an unconstructive manner. It is far from clear what you are trying to achieve, but it appears that it is ultimately about some private obsession of yours regarding Proto-Germanic and the Netherlands. I still don't quite understand what you want, but it appears you have a bee in your bonnet about some native and ancient specifically West-Germanic culture rooted in your native soil. In other words, boring old national mysticism. Instead of trying to insert whatever it is you prefer to believe, you take to sniping at perfectly mainstream statements, which is alwasy possible since, surprise surprise, nothing in Iron Age linguistics is dead certain or undisputed. It is true that the phrasing "minute" could be altered to something less assertive, but that's really it. A minor matter of more careful phrasing, nothing that needs to be drawn out into a vitriolic dispute. The difference between Germanic dialects of the 2nd century AD certainly was rather minor (give us one major isogloss between Proto-North-Germanic and Proto-West-Germanic!) dab (𒁳) 11:08, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

A fairly recent theory on a West Germanic interpretation is impossible to counter with "perfectly mainstream statements." So how do you reconcile mainstream with nothing being dead certain or disputed? Never mind, I think you did a good thing giving more alternatives and giving more details, since only after some effort I understood the comments were made with some kind of Northwestern Germanic view in mind. However, contrary to what you assert, Northwestern Germanic is not "mainstream", it is just also one of many perspectives and possibilities, and definitely different from the generally accepted genesis of the Germanic languages as exposed in Britannica, that certainly does not assume beforehand a common development of North and West Germanic until the 5th century. Only few scholars would readily agree to posing East Germanic in an opposite pole to North Germanic+West Germanic. Please be careful with this word "mainstream", since it gives undue weight to other opinions that might be just yours. Since you like to make a habit of speculating about my alleged hidden agenda, let me make clear to you that sniping against sneering away valuable contributions of wikipedians and scholars alike in the name of some kind of undefined "mainstream" thing is perfectly legal. Rokus01 14:31, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Punctuation, esp ᛭ "runic cross" usage.

The page Runic alphabet give no clue on how the punctuation marks are used. Can someone cite a hint?

Punctuation Name Description of usage Example of usage
single punctuation  ?  ?
multiple punctuation  ?  ?
cross punctuation  ?  ?

ThanX NevilleDNZ 10:30, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I think they are just used to split a sentence between words (such as the space in many modern alphabets) similar to, and probably inspired by, symbols such as Interpunct. I don't think there's evidence for any difference in usage of the three punctuation marks, and they were probably only used differently depending on the carver's preferred taste. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 12:22, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Wakuran is right. There were either : or x between words, and no punctuation. To confuse the matter some words could be joined into a single word if the first word ended with the same rune as the initial rune of the second word. To give an example okrimulfr could represent ok Grimulfr ("and Grimulf").--Berig 21:00, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
That's an Old Norse, example, btw, where many runes had disappeared/merged with other sounds. At least in Norse Runic writing, there were no double runes in writing, either for double vowel or consonant length. The only exception should be occasional usage when the same rune was used for different sounds, such as a ie/je ("ye") combination. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 01:13, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I suspect (based on a "modern example") that the "᛭" runic-cross is actually a form of quotation mark. Can someone comment or provide an original example? NevilleDNZ 05:18, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

as with the rest of the runic blocks, these are really glyphs, not characters. It was completely arbitrary to include those, and not others (like triple dots etc.), or common bindrunes. The Skåäng Runestone has little crosses as word dividers. Other inscriptions use other "punctuation". You cannot say "this or that symbol was used in this or that sense". Frankly, the Unicode encoding of the runic alphabet as it stands is patently pointless, since you'll only ever want to give the runic letters when they are not standard in some way. The block would have had to encode the complete set of letter variants to be useful. dab (𒁳) 07:17, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

ThanX for that. The Skåäng Runestone is a useful example.

The thing that prompted my query is the 1950s/60s German ALCOR (pre-ASCII) computer character set. This character set includes the runic cross, eg (and is also refered to as a iron cross). Certainly in Germany - in the 1930s - using Runic characters was "trendy", eg ᛋᛋ. But I would like to figure out why the "᛭" suddenly appears in only the 1960s German ALGOL character set. I guess I need to search elsewhere. ThanX NevilleDNZ 07:42, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

The Iron Cross decoration has nothing to do with runes, it is an 1813 design based on the emblem of the Teutonic Knights. Afaics, the character in question is a simple Jerusalem cross (cross potent ☩) and while it may be inspired by the Iron Cross I see no reason to assume it has anything to do with runes. dab (𒁳) 09:57, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, aside from the Jerusalem cross (☩), I also found the Maltese Cross (✠). Your 1813 vintage cross potent seems quite likely. NevilleDNZ 11:37, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Corpus seems vague to me

are there really no runes in all of Finland?? EVER. also inscriptions from when?? I still write runes - are those inscriptions? do they count? I think could be better written. also contradicts article as some runes in north America, Russia - are these included in this corpus? is it just stones? or books too? vis. morla stone and be good to know where source is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

No dispute

I'm not disputing the fact that that Macleod and Mees reference is a valid one but does anyone think that that part should be deleted because there isn't any note to that reference. For all we know the editor could have made that up. If no one responds to this query then I'll assume that no one cares and delete it myself (It's in the magic section). Lighthead þ 23:46, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


It is incredible how this article is featured, and there is nothing written in it about the bulgarian runes, probably one of the first runic alphabets used in Europe. Here's a table and some other things about it -- Tangra —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:42, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

The Bulgarian "runes" are not technically runes, and don't belong in this article, if they are significant otherwise, with scholarly reviews, they could merit their own article, linked to at the article's "See also" section. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 12:00, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I believe that the Bulgarian runes are the same as those treated in the article Orkhon script.--Berig 13:33, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure, by looking at the images linked, the letter shapes don't seem to correspond. Does anyone know anything else about these "Proto-Bulgarian runes"? Know about scholarly works to cite? 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 15:50, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
When I have a closer look some of the Bulgarian "runes" resemble cyrillic letters.--Berig 16:31, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
This article connects the Bulgarian "runes" to the Cyrillic alphabet although it states that some of the letters are unique. It also says that they were at first thought to be derived from the Orkhon script, because of which the first interpretations failed.--Berig 16:40, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

yes, this sometimes comes up in Slavic national mysticist fringecruft. We used to have an article on this, but I can't find it now (maybe it was deleted). The Kuban alphabet of the Turkic Bulgars is a bona fide separate topic otoh. --dab (𒁳) 17:02, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I've got it, the keyword is "черъты и рѣзы" ("черти и резки"/"черты и резы"). This is the term Chernorizets Hrabar uses for a sign system of the early Slavs. The Russian article is at ru:Славянские руны (!), the English one at Pre-Cyrillic Slavic writing. We could link it from the "see also" section here. dab (𒁳) 17:13, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Great! Perhaps a redirect named "Bulgarian runes" could go there.--Berig 18:10, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
The Czech article on the Interwiki seems (?) to be about a different topic, though. On the image , several letters actually seem to be derived from runes (from the younger futhark). 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 18:14, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
that's probably because the Czech article is wild-eyed WP:SYN. dab (𒁳) 18:28, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't know any Czech, but I tried to read the article cs:Venedské_písmo for sources and historical information, but there didn't seem to be much given. 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 23:15, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
for the record, this is the source used by Nasz (talk · contribs) in his original article on the topic: an attempt to identify the Kuban inscriptions with the alleged Slavic "черъты и рѣзы" (viz., Slavic decipherment of Turkic inscriptions). dab (𒁳) 20:35, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh my! Skimming it, I thought the text looked plausible until he began to talk about the Phaistos Disc and Osiris.--Berig 20:40, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

The Rune "Uruz"

It seems that when I see the image version of Uruz here on Wikipedia, it is a straight line with another line pointing out to the side reaching the bottom. I've only seen this with Junicode. Every other runic font I have used (Code2001, Skiers, etc) or seen has a "staple style" uruz which looks like the corresponding character in the Gothic alphabet. Which one is correct here? Jacques Pirat Talk 22:44, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

both variants (and intermediate forms) occur from early times. E.g. compare the shapes of Kylver with Seeland-II-C, Tjorkö and Stentoften. --dab (𒁳) 15:14, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and the problem with unicode is that it only shows a fraction of all the forms that runes took in the inscriptions and in the various forms of the Younger futhark, see e.g. ansuz rune. I am considering scanning pictures from a book I have, but that would take some time.--Berig 15:31, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
this is not really a "problem" of Unicode as such, since Unicode was never intended to render epigraphy in the first place. We could devise a library of glyph shapes for Wikipedia and discuss them at Runic paleography or similar. A dedicated OTF font could be built to address all glyph variants and ligatures needed, but this will be useless for the purposes of internet typography. --dab (𒁳) 15:34, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Ah, that makes sense. Thank you. Jacques Pirat Talk 20:46, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Number of runic inscriptions per square kilometer

I removed the calculations of the number of runic inscriptions in the Scandinavian countries divided by the area of the Scandinavian countries in square kilometers. First of all, it clearly qualifies as Original Research, but more importantly, it's irrelevant and misleading, for these reasons: The calculations are based on the area of the Nordic countries, as of 2007. The present borders of Denmark date from after the first world war, and of Sweden and Norway also from modern times. The number of square kilometers these countries make up today bears no relevance to the world in which the runic inscriptions were made. Norway and Sweden contain large tracts of uninhabited mountains and forests, which Denmark does not. The northern parts of Sweden and Norway were not populated, or at least only very scarcely, by old Norse speaking rune-users in the time period when runes were used. About one sixth of the area of Norway, as used in the table, is made up of Svalbard, which wasn't even discovered until the 12th century (probably), and even today only has a semi-permanent population. If one wants to say something meaningful about the geographical distribution of runic inscriptions, this isn't the way to do it, this is just a meaningless game with numbers. What could be interesting is pointing out clusters of runic inscriptions, smaller areas where especially large numbers might have been found (such as the Bryggen inscriptions in Bergen, or the Maeshowe inscriptions), and so on. --Barend (talk) 15:29, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree. There might be some merit in doing this by province though. Also, a scatterplot of find locations would be excellent (do we have the data for this?) dab (𒁳) 17:28, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

I where the one who added the number of runic inscriptions per square kilometer. I agree that info about clusters of runic inscriptions would be awesome. But none of the less a "per square kilometer" row, is in my opinion not at all misleading in any way. It's not a competition, about where there are most runic inscriptions or anything. Svalbard being a part of Norway, now and not then, is not the point. It's a standard statistic info, witch inform of the whereabouts of the Vikings, and indeed the viking placements of the rune stones, in the country borders we know now. Just as number of runic inscriptions are placed in. I only added calculations for the Scandinavian countries, hoping others would add, calculations for the others. This is my first talk page edit, hope I'm doing it right. UlrikOldenburg (talk) 21:41, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

the problem is, as Barend has pointed out, that the current sizes of the countries of Sweden and Norway has nothing to do with the size of historical Sweden and Norway.They are, rather, determined by the amount of land stretching north from the polar circle, which was uninhabited anyway, so that a calculation along the lines you propose would be meaningless. dab (𒁳) 21:56, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Staveless runes

Staveless runes lack HORIZONTAL strokes, NOT vertical. You can see this clearly in the image. Also, a stave (aka "staff") is a horizontal bar. It's obvious what it should be but someone keeps changing it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:18, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Look it up in any reference work. The staffs are the vertical strokes. Staveless runes lack them.--Barend (talk) 01:31, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Will you link me then please? The image for Staveless Runes contains MANY vertical strokes and not a single horizontal one. Saying they lack vertical strokes when the image shows plenty of vertical strokes is quite contradictory. I agree with ·:RedAugust (talk) 20:24, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
what are you talking about? None of the runes have any horizontal strokes, that has nothing to do with it. The point is that all of the Younger Futhark have a full length vertical stroke, while only two of the staveless ones do (and these consist of the stroke, they are not attached to it). dab (𒁳) 17:58, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
OK that makes a LOT more sense. To anyone who doesn't make that connection (such as myself and the above) it's very ambiguous. I think it should be edited to be worded the way you've just done. ·:RedAugust (talk) 05:21, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
feel free to have a go :) --dab (𒁳) 09:11, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Portal icon placement

FYI, you can add a link to Portal:Norway in this article, by placing {{Portal|Norway}} at the top of the see also section (or the external links section if the article has no see also section). This will display

Cirt (talk) 09:26, 8 March 2008 (UTC)