Vowel Epenthesis in Early Germanic Runic Inscriptions
2015 (English)In: Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies, ISSN 1892-0950, E-ISSN 1892-0950, Vol. 6, 21-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A number of runic inscriptions from the entire Germanic area from between A.D. 200 and 800 exhibit non-etymological, epenthetic vowels, such as worahto for *worhto ‘did’. An analysis of all (likely) instances of epenthesis in early Germanic languages shows that epenthesis developed only in clusters involving /r/, /l/ or /n/.
Epenthesis was an optional feature of nearly every early Germanic dialect, being most abundantly attested in southern Sweden. There is no statistically significant evidence of an increase or decrease in the amount of epenthesis during the period. A detailed analysis reveals two different phonological environments for epenthesis. Scandinavian attestations of epenthesis occur mostly in heterorganic consonant clusters, irrespective of their sonority sequence, where epenthesis is a result of a transition in articulatory gestures. The epenthetic vowels appear as a (or ᴀ) in Scandinavia. In inscriptions from southern Germany, however, epenthetic vowels are concentrated in clusters with a marked sonority sequence, irrespective of their place of articulation. While the epenthetic vowels in the inscriptions from Germany are either a or u, the few potential instances of epenthesis in marked sonority sequences in Scandinavia are rendered by vowels other than a. The epenthetic vowels in Anglo-Frisian inscriptions resemble the Scandinavian type, but only partially.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo, Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, Universitetet i Oslo , 2015. Vol. 6, 21-64 p.
epenthesis, homorganic/heterorganic consonant clusters, marked/unmarked phonological sequences, runic inscriptions, Early Runic, Continental Runic, pre-Old High German, Scandinavian-Low German language contact
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-281912OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-281912DiVA: diva2:922596