Svaren på Rökstenens gåtor: En socialsemiotisk analys av meningsskapande och rumslighet
2015 (Swedish)In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 6, 65-106 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This paper presents a radically new analysis of the Rök runestone inscription (Ög 136) based on social semiotics. The analysis starts by establishing three general principles for the spatiality of Viking Age runestone inscriptions: (1) the spatial organization typically leads the reader by steps towards the end of the inscription, (2) the interpersonal demand seems to be that the reader should respond to the speech acts of the inscription, and (3) the construal of agency typically concerns actions performed at the place of the runestone itself. The hypothesis advanced is that the Rök inscription does not depart from these principles. Firstly, the principle adopted for reading order leads to a new tripartite division of the inscription (after the two introductory lines) where each complex of riddles ends with a numerical cipher. Secondly, speech act analysis reveals that the seemingly odd numbering “twelfth” and “thirteenth” can quite simply be taken as numbering of the inscribed speech acts. Thirdly, it is argued that all three parts of the inscription refer to actions and events taking place in the vicinity of the stone: the first deals with the break of dawn and thus the daylight necessary for carving and reading the runes (rather than naming Theodoric), the second (about Vilinn) concerns the carving of the runes, and the third (about the twenty-four kings) regards the runes themselves and their reading.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo, Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2015. Vol. 6, 65-106 p.
Rök, runestones, Viking Age, reading order, speech acts, riddles, interpretation, social semiotics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-278891OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-278891DiVA: diva2:922588