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Leofric
Wednesday, December 14th, 2005, 11:53 PM
There's something that's been troubling me a bit lately, and I'm hoping that many of you will have some helpful ideas on the topic.

What is it that defines Germanicity? Skadi's tripartite mission is the preservation of Germanicity culturally, racially, and spiritually. By that tripartite division, I know I can be classified as Germanic racially, and I am quite confident that I can also be classified as Germanic culturally, but spiritually I think I might have to be classified as Semitic (though I am not certain about that by any means — after all, "he came unto his own, and his own received him not"). I don't feel any less Germanic for being a Christian — indeed, Germanic people have shaped Christianity as I practice it for many centuries. But in terms of these three areas, I am only 2/3 Germanic (assuming equal weighting for each of the three).

I have a friend who has recently been classified as Nordid (not Halstatt Nordic, but still Nordid in general terms), but she is Ukranian and considers herself Slavic. I personally think of the Nordid races as being core Germanic races — other races are definitely Germanic too (Alpinid comes strongly to mind), but Nordid phenotypes seem to me to be less common among non-Germanic folk than any other class of phenotypes. So, I would consider my friend to be racially Germanic. She is probably culturally Slavic and, as a Christian, spiritually Semitic (maybe). Is she Germanic? Not by self-identification, of course; but she could still be (peripherally) Germanic it seems to me.

It often seems like we have in the back of our minds a sense of Germanicity being tied to language. I speak English natively, as have most of my ancestors for fifteen hundred years, so I am Germanic. But I have friends from Argentina with very German surnames who look very German and try to preserve their German cultural heritage but who speak only Spanish natively. Are they not Germanic, simply because of linguistic Romanization?

For that matter, what about northern France. When I travel abroad, I feel more at home in some places than in others — the places where I feel culturally at home are places like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and northern France. Southern France feels like Spain or Italy to me (which all feel remarkably like Mexico in my opinion), and very unlike home. In a place like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or northern France, people act like I expect people to act, they move like I expect them to move, they look at me like I expect them to look at me. In the south (or in Mexico), they don't. Poland seems to me to be about half and half (some seem like my kind, others do not). This gives me the feeling that northern France is largely culturally Germanic, despite their linguistic Romanization. Maybe my ability to accept linguistic Romanization is just due to my being a native speaker of English (although I've studied German and Norwegian as well, and in many ways they are also quite Romanized — in fact, in some areas they are more Romanized than English). But it seems to me that the northern French are racially and culturally Germanic, just as I am.

I find it very interesting that no one ever questions the Germanicity of the German people (probably simply because they retain the Latin name given to describe us all), yet many of them are racially indistinguishable from many non-Germanic types (unlike Scandinavians or the English), spiritually most of them are either Semitic or dead (just like the Scandinavians and the English), culturally they are often the closest of the Germanic peoples to Romance or Slavic folk, and linguistically they often suffer the most influence from Romance languages (except, perhaps, for the English — though I am not fully convinced of that in matters beyond the lexicon).

Consider some hypothetical cases as well. Suppose a man born and raised in Iceland who practices Asatru, speaks Hafronska, is culturally indistinguishable from any other such Icelander, but whose four grandparents were all Negroids from Nigeria. Or an Englishman who's a native speaker of Jerriais, practices Roman Catholicism, and is a Halstatt Nordic of pure Norman (ultimately Scandinavian) ancestry. Or a halfbreed whose father is pure Icelandic and whose mother is Sicilian and who is bilingually native in both Icelandic and Italian and prays to both Roman and Teutonic gods. Or a Saxon girl who chooses to adopt Islam as her religion but will only marry another Muslim Saxon and who wants to preserve all elements of her native culture that she can given her new religion.

Sadly, I am afraid that nothing more than a very ad hoc methodology for determining Germanicity can be attained. But if not, then what is it that makes a person Germanic? And if, as I suspect it is, it is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors, then at what point is the combination too diluted to be Germanic?

Some interesting threads related to this topic:

Nordicism or Teutonicism? — a poll by Discordia asking whether people would prefer a non-Germanic Nordic or a non-Nordic Germanic for a mate if all other factors were equal
Spiritual Race — Oskorei's posts on the inextricable relationship among blood (race), soul (culture), and spirit (religion) — the ideas expressed here are central to a lot of my Christian beliefs, interestingly enough
Which sense of belonging is the most important to you? — A poll by Variner asking people to prioritize their loyalties
Adopting religions/culture — a probing question by Requiem about the relationships among race, culture, and religion and ensuing discussion
Are the Netherlands Germanic?
Britain is not GERMANIC
The English are English
The Germanic Idea in England
Question : Is Scotland Germanic?
What Is The Superethnic/Metaethnic Identity of MOST Frenchmen/women?
Are the Netherlands part of Großdeutschland?

Skildur
Thursday, December 15th, 2005, 02:33 AM
She is probably culturally Slavic and, as a Christian, spiritually Semitic (maybe). Is she Germanic? Not by self-identification, of course; but she could still be (peripherally) Germanic it seems to me.





Sorry, man, you don't make any sense here.

Polak
Thursday, December 15th, 2005, 02:43 AM
Nordic looking Slavs aren't Germanic. They're Slavic.

Leofric
Thursday, December 15th, 2005, 03:50 AM
It would seem that the two of you are a little distracted from the question by the example, perhaps due to discussion on another thread.

Please substitute the following hypothetical example:

A large extended family — maybe an entire kindred — from southern Sweden (assume that when they were in Sweden, they were Germanic) moved to China in the 12th century, for whatever reason. They stayed there in China and adopted Chinese culture, language, and religion. They tried to maintain endogamous relationships within their community, and were mostly successful. A bit of admixture has definitely occurred over the centuries, and has even spread to affect most of the descendants of the kindred, but still to this day there can be found individuals who are racially indentical to the original immigrants. Nevertheless, they are all Chinese citizens, all monolingual speakers of some Chinese language, all fully integrated into Chinese culture. Are these people Germanic?

Please note that I am not trying to say that this example is equivalent to the one it is meant to replace. I only want an example where race has been maintained but culture, language, and religion have been obliterated. If the former example failed to offer that, then I think this one, at least, will.

Siegfried
Thursday, December 15th, 2005, 07:27 AM
The racial spectrum is Nordid at the centre and nothing beyond a general European. That doesn't mean anyone who falls within this spectrum is Germanic, but it does mean anyone within this spectrum is racially assimable (in greater numbers the closer to the core), imho.


It often seems like we have in the back of our minds a sense of Germanicity being tied to language. I speak English natively, as have most of my ancestors for fifteen hundred years, so I am Germanic. But I have friends from Argentina with very German surnames who look very German and try to preserve their German cultural heritage but who speak only Spanish natively. Are they not Germanic, simply because of linguistic Romanization?

I'll be blunt and say that indeed has made them less Germanic, as it means part of their culture has been eradicated. However, since they can trace their ancestry to the Germanic nations, are racially within range, and actively try to preserve their heritage, they are very assimable - bordering on already being assimilated.


Consider some hypothetical cases as well. Suppose a man born and raised in Iceland who practices Asatru, speaks Hafronska, is culturally indistinguishable from any other such Icelander, but whose four grandparents were all Negroids from Nigeria.

Ethnically not Germanic.


Or an Englishman who's a native speaker of Jerriais, practices Roman Catholicism, and is a Halstatt Nordic of pure Norman (ultimately Scandinavian) ancestry.

Ancestry is Germanic, Roman Catholicism does not in itself disqualify one, race is within range, apparently identifies with the English folk. Based on this little information and under the assumption he knows how to speak English, I'll accept him as Germanic.


Or a halfbreed whose father is pure Icelandic and whose mother is Sicilian and who is bilingually native in both Icelandic and Italian and prays to both Roman and Teutonic gods.

Ethnic blend. Might be assimable.


Or a Saxon girl who chooses to adopt Islam as her religion but will only marry another Muslim Saxon and who wants to preserve all elements of her native culture that she can given her new religion.

She's Germanic, but I'm not so fond of her choice of religion.


Sadly, I am afraid that nothing more than a very ad hoc methodology for determining Germanicity can be attained. But if not, then what is it that makes a person Germanic? And if, as I suspect it is, it is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors, then at what point is the combination too diluted to be Germanic?

It's a gradient. Germanic is a useful concept, imho, precisely because it implies a collection of racial, cultural, spiritual and linguistic ranges. That makes it politically more viable and honest than the 'White' concept, provided the common Germanic folk here in Europe can overcome the negative associations with the term.

Leofric
Thursday, December 15th, 2005, 09:04 PM
Well I didn't really mean to offend anyone, at least not to the extent that I seem to have done so. I apologize for any rancor I may have caused.


It's a gradient. Germanic is a useful concept, imho, precisely because it implies a collection of racial, cultural, spiritual and linguistic ranges. That makes it politically more viable and honest than the 'White' concept, provided the common Germanic folk here in Europe can overcome the negative associations with the term.

I completely agree that Germanic is a useful concept, and of course it's eminently more useful than 'White.'

I also think you're right in terms of its being a gradient. In the linguistic study of semantics, among a slew of other theories, exist two rather well-credited ones that I think might shed light on this discussion.

The first has to do with semantic features. It holds that the meaning of any word can be broken down into a list of potential qualities in which that word might participate and a description of whether that word participates therein. So for example, man can be defined as [+human] [+adult] [+male]; boy would be [+human] [-adult] [+male]; woman would be [+human] [+adult] [-male]; and something like mare would be [+equine] [+adult] [-male]. This theory works really well with terms like these that I have presented, but it fails to distinguish between certain other terms, such as, for example, boot and shoe.

For explaining pairs like boot and shoe properly, the theory of prototypal semantics is much more useful. It holds that one has in one's mind a prototype for a given concept, that the likelihood of a given thing being labelled consistently with a given prototype is negatively proportional to its deviance from that prototype, and that in the gray areas that are roughly equidistant from neighboring prototypes there exists a great deal of variance in a community in the term applied to a given thing. So a loafer is a shoe to everyone and a cowboy boot is always a boot, but something in between might be a shoe to one person and a boot to another — or it might even be a shoe to a given person at one time or in one context and a boot at some other time or in some other context.

I think that defining Germanicity requires a prototypal model. I think we have a sense of the Germanic prototype (although I certainly wouldn't want to try to define that prototype) and we sense that as things deviate from the prototype they become less and less Germanic. My question is geared toward trying to find the boundaries of Germanicity, the points at which one ceases to be Germanic and becomes something else.

Now trying to define semantic boundaries in a prototypal model is something like writing an essay on a sand dune, with your pinky finger, in a stiff breeze. But it can be done. One method is to test a large sample's reaction to various things in the real world. As regards Germanicity, you might present cases as I have done (only including cases that are closer to the prototype and further from the prototype rather than merely around the boundary region) to a large sample and ask each participant whether the person in a given case is or is not Germanic. Each case is then classified according to the vote of the majority. Assuming a representative sample, this will tell you the boundaries of Germanicity according to a given population. That's kind of what I'm after, in an informal sense.

Siegfried, I find it interesting that you seem to focus on assimilability throughout your answer. I am inclined to feel the same way. It's almost like I am uncomfortable with being unable to decide the proper prototype for a given thing and want to move it closer to one of the two prototypal options — I'm certainly not trying to imply that's how you feel about it, just exaplining my feelings that produce a similar effect. Furthermore, I tend to agree with all of your assessments of these cases (although I wonder what you would feel in the unlikely event that the fellow from Jersey speak no English, but only Jerriais). What do you make of the case of the medieval Swedish kindred transplanted to China (admittedly silly in terms of real life, but perhaps no more so than the Hafronska-speaking Nigerian)?


The racial spectrum is Nordid at the centre and nothing beyond a general European. That doesn't mean anyone who falls within this spectrum is Germanic, but it does mean anyone within this spectrum is racially assimable (in greater numbers the closer to the core), imho.

Thank you for expressing this much better than I was able to. This is mainly what I was driving at in my discussion of my Slavic friend. My only addition to what you have said here is to wonder whether they might not also be culturally assimilable — and before anyone yells at me for that, let me remind everyone that I simply wonder — if you think I'm wrong, a calm and well-reasoned response informing me of that will suffice. :D



Thiuda, about the following:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leofric
Southern France feels like Spain or Italy to me (which all feel remarkably like Mexico in my opinion

Nonsense. :thumbdown


It really does feel that way to me when I go there. I understand that you do not feel the same way (I'm not precisely certain why, since you haven't explained your displeasure in detail). I am perfectly fine with the two of us feeling differently in the same places. But it is true that I feel what I have claimed to feel.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Leofric

Or a halfbreed whose father is pure Icelandic and whose mother is Sicilian and who is bilingually native in both Icelandic and Italian and prays to both Roman and Teutonic gods.

Halfbreed? :thumbdown


I have no idea why my use of this word should cause a problem. Compare with Adlai Stevenson's use of it:


I'm a half-breed myself. My father was from an old, staunch Democratic family, and he was a Presbyterian. My mother was from an equally old and staunch Republican family and she was a Unitarian.

If such small differences between parents as political and religious beliefs can suffice to make someone a halfbreed, then surely ethnic differences will do so — and I don't think anyone can honestly say that there are no ethnic differences between Icelanders and Sicilians.

It seems you might attach some sort of pejorative connotation to the term halfbreed. I do not. I believe one should be proud of who and what he is, whatever he is. I believe that a person who is half Nigerian and half English, for example, should be equally proud of his Nigerian and English ancestry and should strive to preserve and honor both his Nigerian and his English heritage. That is why I personally support Germanic preservation — it is my heritage and I feel it is my duty (and my pleasure) to work to preserve it. I didn't mean to express anything pejorative whatsoever about the hypothetical case of a person who is half Icelandic and half Sicilian, and I am quite sorry if you thought otherwise.


You claim to travel regularly in the old continent. But i don't believe that shit.:thumbdown

I am relieved that you do not believe falsehoods about me, which falsehoods a hold in similar disdain.

I have never claimed this. Were I to claim it, it would be untrue. There is nothing regular about the rate at which I travel in Europe. Furthermore, my travel in Europe has never been frequent (which is probably more what you meant). I only said that when I do travel in Europe, I feel the way I have described. It was merely one person's perception of a set of experiences he has had.


Your statements are both annoynig and just plain stupid.

I'm sorry you feel that way. I have often felt that your statements have tended to be rather intelligent and insightful, so it pains me to learn that someone like you, whose thoughts I respect, feels as you do about mine.

Wayfarer
Thursday, December 15th, 2005, 10:14 PM
The theme of Skadi forum is Germanic cultural, racial and spiritual preservation and Germanicity is cenrtal to this theme and therefore must be asked. Of course we are all going to have our own ideas on what is and is not Germanic since Germanic is a generic term that includes a broad range of fields.

There should be no reason why anyone should be offended by the question.

Since the Germanic concept is broad then there is no "pure", "right" or "only" definition of Germanic. Nor is it like a linear spectrum with Germanic at one end and non Germanic at the other.
Also it is a living concept that evolves in time but with a basis on what was before.
Language is important. However languages can be learnt by anyone, can be forgotton or replaced and can be remembered as well.
Linguistics is a major defining field in defining Germanic, however it should and must be as a native or ancestral language and not an adopted one.
This is why i have a problem with francophones of Germanic heritage. It reminds me of Black English speakers. Surely if your culture and heritage is Germanic then your ancestral language is Germanic and not Romanic. Please note im not blaming French speakers of Germanic heritage who have had there ancestral language forced out of them.

Also like Leofric has said previously about his journeys in Europe, i have noticed something similar, and which is starkingly obvious in Belgium. leofric said it was the way people moved and acted. I find the work ethics among Northern Europeans and Germanic folks to be similar and in contrast to Southern Europeans. Maybe its just the weather :D

Germanic should also be a postive definition.
Alot of folk may say they hate blacks, jews, Slavs, Turks, Italians etc, basing there definition of Germanic on what they are not rather than what they are. This is negative and wrong.
And to further this postive connotation, Germanic is what you love about it, and therefore want to not only preserve in Germanic culture, race and spirit but also to promote and revive in Germanic culture, Germanic race and Germanic spirit.

I would also like to say congratulations to Leofric on becoming a moderator. A wise decision i must say on the part of the mods and admins.

Oskorei
Thursday, December 15th, 2005, 10:37 PM
There's something that's been troubling me a bit lately, and I'm hoping that many of you will have some helpful ideas on the topic.

What is it that defines Germanicity? Skadi's tripartite mission is the preservation of Germanicity culturally, racially, and spiritually. By that tripartite division, I know I can be classified as Germanic racially, and I am quite confident that I can also be classified as Germanic culturally, but spiritually I think I might have to be classified as Semitic (though I am not certain about that by any means — after all, "he came unto his own, and his own received him not"). I don't feel any less Germanic for being a Christian — indeed, Germanic people have shaped Christianity as I practice it for many centuries. But in terms of these three areas, I am only 2/3 Germanic (assuming equal weighting for each of the three).
Great question, it forces one to think. To me the Germanics are like an extended family, with a common ancestry and history. This makes the racial aspect important, even though I am aware that various other bloodlines have been assimilated into "Germanicdom" through history. Mostly European bloodlines, but also Roma, Jews and Lapps (individual bloodlines, not the whole groups, I might add).

Also the cultural aspect is important. Germanicity is a shared history, habitus, and experience. Thus, a Nordic slav (for example a slavicized german bloodline) is racially assimilable, but it is not presently a Germanic. And a person who shares Germanic culture but is not of Germanic racial stock is not at present a Germanic either (even though the bloodline might be assimilated in the future. In Sweden I guess that is realistically what will happen with our many adoptees). Language is an important part of a culture.

The same goes for spirituality. A certain spiritual outlook is central to Germanicity (what Spengler termed Faustian, and what Günther described as Indo-European). However, this outlook is the content, the name of the form is not as important, and Christianity can in many cases express it as well as paganism (and neo-paganism can be very non-Germanic as well). So I wouldn't agree that as a Christian you are necessarily of Semitic spiritual race.

This creates an Idealtyp, a core of Germanicity. At this core, spiritual, biological and cultural race are Faustian, Germanic and "Nordish", and the language is Germanic. A clear border against non-Germanicity is harder to draw. At the end of the day, it will be up to us as individuals to set that border. As individuals or as collectivities.

I might add that fides is important here as well. How does the person identify? Some people are objectively Germanic (when the language, the race, the culture and spirituality are all there), but in the case of the border-cases, self-identity and loyalty becomes important. Personally I tend to see the racial aspect as important (extended family) though, and have troubles accepting negroid germanics..

Vestmannr
Saturday, December 17th, 2005, 09:27 PM
Christianity as a whole isn't 'Semitic' but 'Catholic', belonging to the 'Oecumene' (meaning civilization). Locally, there is such a thing as Semitic Christianity (Syriac/Chaldean churches, and the dead ends of the Ebionites). Within the Oecumene there have always been local churches with local theologies: so we have the Greek East, Slavic East, Caucasian East, Armenian East, etc. In the Latin West there has long been a division between North, South, and Gallican/Insular:

-The Northern Catholic tradition (Germany, Scandinavia, Low Countries, Baltic) has been in disrepute for the last century because most of its members were Modernists, but also for the Old Catholics.

-The Gallican/Insular churches much earlier not only for the Caesaropapist form of Gallicanism (Church subject to the State), but also for the loss of the Church of England (which is still struggling internally between Protestant and Catholic sides) and the pure form of Gallicanism (a Western manifestation of Orthodox ecclesiology which simply held to the Eastern Orthodox/Old Catholic position of the importance of local tradition, the Pope being subject to an Ecumenical Council, etc.)

-The Southern or 'Mediterranean' tradition of Italy, Dalmatia, Austria, Provence, and most of Spain which has held the dominance: both with the Tridentine, and now Pauline rites.

As such, the creation of a 'Semitic' modern Christianity in the theological colleges is an attempt to erase the memory of a Germanic, or Northern, Christianity: particularly with German Catholicism, German Old Catholicism, and German Lutheranism (which is far more 'Catholic' still than the French Calvinism.)

But - to the main point: Germanicity is a tradition. I'd argue that the German State has it right when it speaks of being German as ethnicity, identity, and language - and also with reference to German education and culture.

Weg
Sunday, December 18th, 2005, 05:40 AM
But it seems to me that the northern French are racially and culturally Germanic, just as I am.


That's cool, but they remain French.

Btw, it seems you believe in a "Germanic race". You mean in the romantic way, right?

Anyway, what do you call Northern France exactly? Picardie and Nord-Pas-de-Calais or what's north of the Loire river?


I find it very interesting that no one ever questions the Germanicity of the German people (probably simply because they retain the Latin name given to describe us all),


And probably because it's literally unquestionable. Maybe Combatent would, though...

However, someone tried to demonstrate it; if I'm correct, I believe Gobinaud (or was it Chamberlain? No, Gobinaud.) wrote that Germans were not pure Germanics, this based on the fact that "schreiben" (sp?) (=to write) is of Latin origin and not Germanic. I know this theory is kind of weird, but that's what he wrote. Don't worry, finally, he changed his mind.


yet many of them are racially indistinguishable from many non-Germanic types (unlike Scandinavians or the English),

Do you think the Germanic mind is inseparable from a certain racial type?


culturally they are often the closest of the Germanic peoples to Romance or Slavic folk, and linguistically they often suffer the most influence from Romance languages

Find me a Germanic people without any Romance influence. Or better, just find me a people without any subtantial alien influence. Hmmm, maybe Pygmies or Papuans, if that!

You seem to agree anyway :
(although I've studied German and Norwegian as well, and in many ways they are also quite Romanized — in fact, in some areas they are more Romanized than English).


(except, perhaps, for the English — though I am not fully convinced of that in matters beyond the lexicon).

It's pretty obvious though. Isn't there a concensus among linguists?


Suppose a man born and raised in Iceland who practices Asatru, speaks Hafronska, is culturally indistinguishable from any other such Icelander, but whose four grandparents were all Negroids from Nigeria.


Maybe he would fit in an attraction park, nowhere else.


Or an Englishman who's a native speaker of Jerriais, practices Roman Catholicism, and is a Halstatt Nordic of pure Norman (ultimately Scandinavian) ancestry.


He can't be of "pure" Norman breed. There's no such thing in Jersey. Where do you think the natives went when the Norman established there? Vanished in thin air?


Or a halfbreed whose father is pure Icelandic and whose mother is Sicilian and who is bilingually native in both Icelandic and Italian and prays to both Roman and Teutonic gods.


Well, I bet if this person is an attractive girl, she would pass the test. On the contrary case, he/she would be dismissed because of his/her "tainted blood".


Or a Saxon girl who chooses to adopt Islam as her religion but will only marry another Muslim Saxon and who wants to preserve all elements of her native culture that she can given her new religion.

"Whiggerism" -> High treason


[...] what is it that makes a person Germanic? And if, as I suspect it is, it is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors, then at what point is the combination too diluted to be Germanic?

Yes, you put it right. It is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors.



No offense intended and Maybe it's an American thing- but I feel the exact same way, about the exact same areas of europe feeling like mexico.I will admit my european travels have been few and far between ...

Bah, no offense. You just confirm a thought many Europeans had in mind for long. It's an American thing. Which discredits you anyway. "Caramba!" :P

Siegfried
Monday, December 19th, 2005, 06:33 PM
Please remember this is not the Free Speech forum, people.

Aragorn
Monday, December 19th, 2005, 06:41 PM
For me, being Germanic means that the bloodline is completly or at least for a large part of Germanic stock. With Celtic blood I have no problems. Slavic blood is another issue. Although there are many nordic-Germanic looking Slavs, however, there are also many of them with typical Slavic features. Especially with east-Slavs, Polacks and Serbs is very good to recognize them. A blond Slav doesnt make automatyically mean he can be assimilate into our people. Each one of them should been tested on race-purity, especially Russians for the presence among them of Mongol blood.

Secondly, being Germanic means that a person shares a common history, a common culture, a common language and a common consciouness. A German or Dutch native speaker but with large Asiatic-Russian-Mongol features doesnt quallified for being Germanic. Certainly, the Nordics are the most purest Germanics, but more caunts for that before someone is been Germanic. Black heared are onacceptable.

Religion is not quite needed. Personly, I would like to see that the Germanic peoples return to their ancestral roots, which include paganism. Christianity has Jewish roots and is foreign. It was forced upon our people, like my own ancestors; The Saxons.

Siegfried
Monday, December 19th, 2005, 06:57 PM
Please remember this is not the Free Speech forum, people.

Since debate started to heat up and move in directions that have relatively little to do with the Germanic concept, I have moved part of the discussion to Free Speech so you can continue your argument there. See here; http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=44703 I trust this is acceptable to all parties. Nothing has been deleted; all comments that were removed from this thread, can be read in Free Speech :)

Leofric
Tuesday, December 20th, 2005, 11:52 PM
Oskorei, I really appreciate what you said about Germanic spirituality and its ability to manifest itself in many different religious expressions. I would have to say that my Christian beliefs are pretty Faustian. I take quite literally what Paul wrote (Romans 8:16–17):

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

I interpret this to mean that those who believe in and follow Christ will become gods just as surely as Christ himself ascended to become God after his death and resurrection. Believing in man's potential for literal deification seems rather Faustian to me, so I guess I'm not so spiritually non-Germanic as I thought.

Weg, I want to reply to your post, but I've rearranged it a bit for ease of response. I hope you don't mind. Also note that I'll reply to the part of your post that's now in another thread in that other thread.





But it seems to me that the northern French are racially and culturally Germanic, just as I am.


That's cool, but they remain French.

Anyway, what do you call Northern France exactly? Picardie and Nord-Pas-de-Calais or what's north of the Loire river?

I have no problem with the northern French being French. I don't think that necessarily prevents them from also being Germanic, despite their linguistic Romanicization (French < Frankish, incidentally — as I am quite sure you already know). I'm not trying to say that northern France rightly belongs in any kind of Großdeutschland or anything like that, but if the concept of a Germanic nation were ever developed and the northern French felt like they were part of it, then I wouldn't feel inclined to deny their membership within the group — if a Germanic nation-state came about, though, I think it would be good for the Germanic French to politically sever themselves from the Latin French before allowing any portion of what is now France into the Germanic nation-state. But that's a very speculative realm of thought that would better be pursued elsewhere, in my opinion (like here, for instance).

As far as the boundary between northern France and southern France goes, I don't think I'm qualified to place it exactly. For purposes of this discussion, I would be inclined to include everything north of the Loire, except perhaps for Bretagne (not because I have been there, but because the Bretons I have met have not seemed to me like my kind of people in the same way that, say, your kind of people have). I would probably also include other parts of France, particularly Burgundy. Provence and Gascony, though, have seemed to me to have the aspect of foreignness that I have mentioned. I wasn't intending to draw any sort of line in the sand — just expressing a difference I have noticed between the more northerly folk and the more southerly folk, and my own greater degree of comfort among the more northerly group.





culturally they are often the closest of the Germanic peoples to Romance or Slavic folk, and linguistically they often suffer the most influence from Romance languages

Find me a Germanic people without any Romance influence. Or better, just find me a people without any subtantial alien influence. Hmmm, maybe Pygmies or Papuans, if that!

You seem to agree anyway :


(although I've studied German and Norwegian as well, and in many ways they are also quite Romanized — in fact, in some areas they are more Romanized than English).


No, I'm not trying to say that Germanic people with absolutely no Romance influence exist. My only thought is that there is probably a point at which Romanization becomes too much for a people to continue to be Germanic, and I wonder where that point might lie. Some argue that the English are too Romanized. Some consider the Normans to be too Romanized. Some consider German Argentines to be too Romanized.

I am mostly English (I do have some Dutch, Mecklenburger, and Prussian ancestry as well, plus one immigrant ancestor who came from Norway to New Amsterdam back in the 1600s), and I consider myself Germanic because of being mostly English (not in spite of it). What about even more Romanized cultures?

Perhaps this is where Oskorei's mention of fides becomes important. The German Argentine or the Norman who considers himself Germanic (even while retaining loyalty to Argentina or to France) is clearly more Germanic than their counterparts who do not. Maybe the way to find the boundary in the gray areas is to hoist our central banner and see who flocks to it, as it were. As a Christian, that image (and its similarity to the function of the cross) is very appealing to me — but I say this without meaning to imply that it should appeal only to Christians.





Suppose a man born and raised in Iceland who practices Asatru, speaks Hafronska, is culturally indistinguishable from any other such Icelander, but whose four grandparents were all Negroids from Nigeria.


Maybe he would fit in an attraction park, nowhere else.

Yes, the Hafronska-speaking Negroid Asatruar is admittedly an odd hypothetical case. But I think it and the responses it has generated demonstrate that no amount of cultural assimilation can overcome excessive racial variation from the Germanic norm.





Or an Englishman who's a native speaker of Jerriais, practices Roman Catholicism, and is a Halstatt Nordic of pure Norman (ultimately Scandinavian) ancestry.


He can't be of "pure" Norman breed. There's no such thing in Jersey. Where do you think the natives went when the Norman established there? Vanished in thin air?

The natives of Jersey needn't have vanished for him to be the product of a millenium of Norman endogamous breeding. Such endogamy was what I was assuming in posing this hypothetical example. Perhaps I only considered the possibility because my own paternal ancestors came to New Jersey, encountered a native population (which even killed some of them — after they had reproduced obviously), and yet maintained strict endogamy vis-à-vis the natives.




Or a halfbreed whose father is pure Icelandic and whose mother is Sicilian and who is bilingually native in both Icelandic and Italian and prays to both Roman and Teutonic gods.
Well, I bet if this person is an attractive girl, she would pass the test. On the contrary case, he/she would be dismissed because of his/her "tainted blood".

Cute.





Or a Saxon girl who chooses to adopt Islam as her religion but will only marry another Muslim Saxon and who wants to preserve all elements of her native culture that she can given her new religion.

"Whiggerism" -> High treason

An interesting response. First, I think her attraction to Islam could have nothing to do with affinity for any Islamic population or culture. It might be the appeal of the principle of complete and total submission to the will of God, as well as the relative simplicity of the religion. If that were the case, it would explain her insistence on choosing a Saxon mate and preserving her culture.

Second, you call her act treason. That implies that she was at least a member of the group before converting. What about her great great grandchildren who will be raised faithful Muslims from the beginning (assume the preservation of racial and cultural purity equal to her own through the generations)?




I find it very interesting that no one ever questions the Germanicity of the German people (probably simply because they retain the Latin name given to describe us all),
And probably because it's literally unquestionable. Maybe Combatent would, though...

However, someone tried to demonstrate it; if I'm correct, I believe Gobinaud (or was it Chamberlain? No, Gobinaud.) wrote that Germans were not pure Germanics, this based on the fact that "schreiben" (sp?) (=to write) is of Latin origin and not Germanic. I know this theory is kind of weird, but that's what he wrote. Don't worry, finally, he changed his mind.

If I were to question the Germanicity of Germans on linguistic grounds, I wouldn't choose lexical matters (although it has long interested me that English uses a Germanic word for 'write' while almost all other Germanic languages use a Romance word — it might have to do with English's earlier literary tradition). Lexicon is a rather uninteresting part of language from a comparative point of view.

Rather, I would point to some of the following Romanizations in German: the use of the Parisian r; the use of reflexive for passive (Dieses Buch liest sich schnell, for example); the use of the present perfect in place of the simple past. The first and the third of these are clearly due to areal influence from Romance languages. I think the second is as well, though I am not certain. At any rate, the extent to which these Romance influences exist in German is much higher than in any other Germanic language. I think these phonological and syntactic Romanizations (and others like them) might well constitute a higher degree of Romanization than the well-known double lexicon in English, simply because they are systemic Romanizations while the lexical borrowings in English are not.





(except, perhaps, for the English — though I am not fully convinced of that in matters beyond the lexicon).

It's pretty obvious though. Isn't there a concensus among linguists?

No it's not obvious at all, and there is no such consensus among linguists. Everyone knows, of course, that there is a large number of Romance words in English that act as doubles of previously existing Germanic words (although post-1066 semantic specialization has served to make them more than redundant), but beyond the lexicon, there is very little Romance influence in English.

Consider this for example:


In the transition from Old English to Middle English, English underwent a number of pervasive changes in the phonology, morphology, vocabulary and syntax. These changes have often been ascribed to French influence due to the Norman Conquest of England. It is doubtful whether this is correct, though. The Norman Conquest started in the south of the country, and left its imprint mainly in the top layers of society. It is clear that this caused a tremendous influx of Romance loanwords. There is little evidence, however, that French influence penetrated the language much deeper than that. The changes in the phonology of unaccented syllables (reduction of unstressed vowels to schwa) that had a domino effect in the morphology (reducing case endings) were already on the way in the north of England in the Old English period, before French influence could take effect. Recent work on the matter hypothesizes that it is the Viking conquest of the north and east of England in the ninth and tenth centuries that had the more profound influence, as it resulted in longterm settlement and assimilation of invading and native population. However plausible this is, we cannot verify it because the text material from the relevant period is in the Alfredian West Saxon literary tradition; since it was King Alfred's business to get the Vikings out of England, or at least to keep them at a distance, Scandinavian influence is not apparent there.

Source: van Kemenade, A. (1994). Old and Middle English. In E. König & J. van der Auwera (Eds.), The Germanic languages (pp. 110–141). London: Routledge.

The only Romanization in the shift from OE to ME was in the lexicon. In other, more systemic areas (phonology, syntax, morphology, &c.), English has undergone next to zero Romanization since arriving on the island.



Btw, it seems you believe in a "Germanic race". You mean in the romantic way, right?



yet many of them are racially indistinguishable from many non-Germanic types (unlike Scandinavians or the English),

Do you think the Germanic mind is inseparable from a certain racial type?

Is the Germanic mind inseperable from a certain racial type? Very interesting question. I think it's safe to say that one's mind is largely influenced by one's brain, both physically and chemically. I also think it's safe to say that one's genes largely influence both one's race and the physical/chemical aspects of one's brain. That would seem to imply the existence of a connection between the Germanic mind and some kind of Germanic race. The strength of such a connection and any kind of causal direction within the connection are issues I don't feel qualified to address. I wouldn't go so far as to that mind and race are inseparable. But it would seem that as race varies too far from the prototype (whatever that prototype might be), one's genes start to interfere with the development of a fully Germanic mind.

Is there a Germanic race? I think so. I don't know for certain whether it corresponds to any of Coon's subraces, but I still think it exists. If it doesn't, then what is the point of the Germanic racial preservation we all affirm to uphold?




[...] what is it that makes a person Germanic? And if, as I suspect it is, it is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors, then at what point is the combination too diluted to be Germanic?
Yes, you put it right. It is a combination of racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic factors.

So what amount of deviation from the prototype is acceptable? Perhaps it's my penchant for mathematics, but I would love to be able to define this so exactly that we could develop a formula for determining the extent of Germanicity in a given specimen. I don't think I'll spend a lot of my time trying to develop such a formula, since it seems like something of a pipe dream, but part of me thinks it would be nice.

How much racial, cultural, spiritual, and linguistic deviation is acceptable for a person to still be Germanic? If you'll accept the metaphor, at what point does the mix shift from being cakes and start to be loaves of bread on the one hand or cookies on the other? It could be that the final determining factor for the gray areas between prototypes will be this concept of fides that Oskorei has mentioned. But some folk, like the Icelandic Negroid, will never be Germanic no matter what their fides. At what point then do people become inevitably non-Germanic?

Skildur
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005, 12:14 AM
especially Russians for the presence among them of Mongol blood.



Care to provide any source backing up this statement? ;)


Black heared are onacceptable -

I believe you are talking about black hair? Do you know that there are some Nordids (sub-Nordids) with dark hair? Are you going to exclude your own people just because they don't have blonde hair?

Secondly, why do you think someone non-Germanics want to be "qualified" as Germanic (if that makes any sense at all)?

Dr. Solar Wolff
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005, 06:21 AM
I can't pronounce this word Germanicity. Is it a real word? While awaiting a legal opinion on this I will use the word Germanic in its place.

Does anyone remember the Kultur-Kreise concept of the last century? There were circles maping out areas of culture or cultural influence in Europe. At the borders one shaded into another such as Slav-German in places like Moravia and Bohemia. Culture is not race and all people who identify themselves as having a Germanic culture are probably cultural Germans. In terms of race, some Anthropologists have used words such as Teuton or German to reference Hallstatt Nordics, for instance. This caused a confusion of biology and culture, especially for non-Hallstatt Germanics who might have felt less German than other Germans. Germanic spirt is more vague. As we know the Nazis devoted a lot of ink to "the Germanic soul" and similar subjects. Willigut had his version of things. Somehow the word Aryan was mixed into all this. We know the ancient Germans had a religion which is still known to us today which further confuses the issue of "spirit".

To me, Christianity is non-German. Non-European races cannot be Germanic. German culture resides in language and some mutually held beliefs and values. An example of the latter would be privacy. It seems to me that Germanic peoples put a premium on privacy and a certain distance (physical, mental and spiritual) between themselves and other individuals as compared to some other cultures.

As an example, the Slavic children taken to Germany and raised as Germans under the Lebensborn program are Germans if they so self identify since they fit in racially and have learned Germanic culture. Children born to German women and US military men stationed in Germany are Germans if the father was of European ancestry and the mother was a German, they are living in Germany and practicing German culture. If they are living in America, then the children are Americans (I know a man who fits this). Americans CAN be Germanic in race and culture but they can also be non-Germanic in both. Black children born of American black males and German women should not be considered German any more than they would be considered white in America (in my opinion) regardless of culture.

Nordgau
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005, 01:43 PM
If I were to question the Germanicity of Germans on linguistic grounds, I wouldn't choose lexical matters (although it has long interested me that English uses a Germanic word for 'write' while almost all other Germanic languages use a Romance word — it might have to do with English's earlier literary tradition). Lexicon is a rather uninteresting part of language from a comparative point of view.

The etymologically related word to English "write" in modern German is "ritzen", which is in English, again--"scribe". :D

Anyway, here's something from the Net related:

Wrītan 'reißen' (> engl. write 'schreiben', anord. rita 'schreiben': eigentlich Fachausdruck für die Runen; im Deutschen ist reißen, Riss heute Fachausdruck fürs technische Zeichnen. Dieses Wort benutzt Ulfila überhaupt nicht, dagegen einmal (Luk 16,17) writs = κεραία 'Strich, Teil eines Buchstabens' (ursprünglich wohl 'einer Rune').
Ein anderes Wort für 'Buchstabe' in der Bibel ist στοιχεîον (stoikheîon), das Ulfila mit stafs übersetzt. Im biblischen Zusammenhang (Gal 4,3.9; Kol 2,20) bedeutet das Wort aber 'Elemente, Grundbestandteile'. Vielleicht stammt auch stafs aus der Runenschrift.
Die Südgermanen übernahmen mit ahd. scrîban, scrift, asächs. skrîƀan das lateinische scribere, scriptum 'schreiben,Schrift'. Die Nordgermanen behielten ihre Runenwörter rita, rit und verwendeten das lateinische Wort als scrifa, script für 'zeichnen, malen, Bild'.


Rather, I would point to some of the following Romanizations in German: the use of the Parisian r; the use of reflexive for passive (Dieses Buch liest sich schnell, for example); the use of the present perfect in place of the simple past. The first and the third of these are clearly due to areal influence from Romance languages. I think the second is as well, though I am not certain. At any rate, the extent to which these Romance influences exist in German is much higher than in any other Germanic language. I think these phonological and syntactic Romanizations (and others like them) might well constitute a higher degree of Romanization than the well-known double lexicon in English, simply because they are systemic Romanizations while the lexical borrowings in English are not.

I couldn't say anything about the background of the second one. About the first one, I read about the French R that it didn't appear before the early 19th century in (northern) German. I suppose it's imitated from French though I couldn't tell for sure about its background or theories about that. Interestingly, Siebs's "Deutsche Bühnenaussprache", being until the 1960s the only actual dictionary work of codified pronounciation, didn't accept it before 1958 as equal (but it was also used in radio, movies etc. already earlier). Today, it is quite predominating in media etc. and seen as the real High German standard R, though, the rolling R, limited to Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland has theoretically equal "rights" ...

Regarding the third, which has its origin in southern Germany, its causes are, however, connected with inner-German developments:

Es ist eine allgemein bekannte Tatsache, daß in süddeutschen Dialekten das Präteritum fehlt und das Perfekt die "normale" Erzählzeit darstellt. Dieser Schwund tritt in der geschriebenen Sprache im 15. Jh. zuerst auf. Er wird in der Regel als direkte Nachfolge der Apokepe des e betrachtet. Als bei schwach gebildeten Imperfektformen wie er sagte, lebte, steckte usw. das -e wegfiel, war es in der 3. Pers. nicht mehr vom Präsens er sagt, lebt, steckt zu unterscheiden. Zur Anzeige der Vorzeitigkeit mußte auf andere Formen ausgewichen werden: Das Perfekt trat an die Stelle des Imperfekts und ist heute noch in den südd. Dialekten praktisch allein herrschend. (Werner König: dtv-Atlas Deutsche Sprache, Munich 2001 [13th edition])

There are some other grammatical detail specifics in German which were constructed after Latin. I think, for example, that applies for the Futur II (e. g. Joschka Fischer wird als Leiche am Boden gelegen haben; a rather rarely used form, however). But such hasn't to do with an areal influence from the (then) present Romance languages, but because the grammarians in the early modern age used Latin as model for some final polishes when bringing the German language and grammar into really systematic rules.

What strikes me, beyond lexicon, in English as Romance influence is the comparative degree and superlative with "more" and "most". I also guess that the plural with -s is so almost solely dominating has to do with Romance influence?

Weg
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005, 03:23 PM
My only thought is that there is probably a point at which Romanization becomes too much for a people to continue to be Germanic, and I wonder where that point might lie. Some argue that the English are too Romanized. Some consider the Normans to be too Romanized. Some consider German Argentines to be too Romanized.


Well English are Germanics to me. Maybe specific Germanics as far as language is concerned, though they've Germanic ancestors as your German Argentine. They carry a genetic heritage in us. Maybe the most important thing as for perservationism.


What about even more Romanized cultures?


Well I'd simply tend to say they're stricto sensus, not Germanic anymore.

Léon Degrelle (a walloon) called himself a Germanic of French language. Way too much romanized maybe, eh? :D



Perhaps this is where Oskorei's mention of fides becomes important.

I'd understand it better in this case, yes.


But I think it and the responses it has generated demonstrate that no amount of cultural assimilation can overcome excessive racial variation from the Germanic norm.

Yes. If you care about your culture, you've to care about the ones who've created this very culture. :) On the contrary case, our combat for the preservation of our repective cultures would make no sense at all.


An interesting response. First, I think her attraction to Islam could have nothing to do with affinity for any Islamic population or culture. It might be the appeal of the principle of complete and total submission to the will of God, as well as the relative simplicity of the religion. If that were the case, it would explain her insistence on choosing a Saxon mate and preserving her culture.


Well it also could be explain by her extreme naïvety that leads to this sort of fascination modern white/european women (and men as well) have for the non-european/non-white cultures. It's not so rare to see european girls with Fatima's hand around their neck while they know absolutly nothing about the true face of this alien religion/culture. Propaganda effects at their summum. :thumbdown


Second, you call her act treason. That implies that she was at least a member of the group before converting. What about her great great grandchildren who will be raised faithful Muslims from the beginning (assume the preservation of racial and cultural purity equal to her own through the generations)?


She was a member before converting. She ceased to be. Her g. g. grandchildren will be simply an enemy. Or rather say, he'll consider us as his enemies. So there's no alternative. This child has great chances to be partly non european moreover...


Rather, I would point to some of the following Romanizations in German: the use of the Parisian r;

Parisian R? You mean the guttural r? We ruled our R (at least) untill the 18th c (a bit like Québécois). The "parisian" R, as you call it, is a more recent thing. Some still rule it btw. :)


the use of the present perfect in place of the simple past.


Hu? They'd not be really use in the same case though.


I wouldn't go so far as to that mind and race are inseparable. But it would seem that as race varies too far from the prototype (whatever that prototype might be), one's genes start to interfere with the development of a fully Germanic mind.


While I don't really understand that view concerning the subracial type (passed a limit you're not Germanic anymore -even if fully Europid? -what's too far?), I agree with what you said on the mind.


Is there a Germanic race? I think so. I don't know for certain whether it corresponds to any of Coon's subraces, but I still think it exists. If it doesn't, then what is the point of the Germanic racial preservation we all affirm to uphold?

Romantic, you're. ;) From what I had gathered, it's about preservation of the Germanic group, whatever is the racial type of its members. All those who've a majority of Germanic ancestors and are Germanics themselves. No?

Afterall, this is not to the guest I'm to give an answer.


So what amount of deviation from the prototype is acceptable? Perhaps it's my penchant for mathematics, but I would love to be able to define this so exactly that we could develop a formula for determining the extent of Germanicity in a given specimen. I don't think I'll spend a lot of my time trying to develop such a formula, since it seems like something of a pipe dream, but part of me thinks it would be nice.


You're clearly a romantic nationalist or something else. A soft dreamer. I don't know if it exists in English. :D



At what point then do people become inevitably non-Germanic?


It's the one million $ question. Hard to tell since nobody seems to agree.

sceagacros
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005, 04:28 PM
It's the one million $ question. Hard to tell since nobody seems to agree.
Agreed...and good point.
I think the only safe assumption is that "Germanicity" is such a broad term that any number of definitions and perceptions would be found to be valid.My own personal definition is admittedly based on generalizing the term "anglo-saxon" (as I think most people these days do) , and acknowledging that the "anglo-saxon" culture (a misnomer I know- but used incorrectly to such a point these days , as to become -for all intents and purposes - a "valid" modern expression ), essentially derives from largely "germanic" sources.You've asserted that to be English is to be "germanic", and I agree . I would venture to guess that the typical "skadi-forumite" is in a completely different league of awareness of "gemanicity" and it's various cultural , linguistic , and historical influence on today's "anglo-saxon" cultures, than you're "average guy on the street".I would imagine also that a large portion of your "average guy's in the street" are entirely unaware that to classify oneself as "anglo-saxon" is to classify oneself as "germanic" , and would likely argue quite passionately that they are "english"-as if that has as deep and valid a "root" as "germanic".Are they technically wrong ?Yes-but so MANY are wrong as to create a new consensual reality.Is this stupid and offensive to "those in the know"?I would say most definitely!What would that same "uneducated Majority " define as "germanic"? Probably something entirely different than we here on this board. And finally would "their definition" be valid? I say yes -because we all participate to such a great degree in consensual reality as to (for all intents and purposes ) "make it so".:)
Are the Various "other" definitions found to have as much practical validity?Again I would say yes ...
"Germanicity" it seems to me -is too broad a term to concisely define in a way that's going to please all people who use the term.(Although I too am unaware of "germanicity" actually BEING a term -I think we all know what Leofric meant...)


And on another note I most sincerely apologize to all for my part in "heating up" this thread.Out of respect to the stimulating authorship I find here and enjoy so much - I will in the future learn to ignore what I find inflamatory, in hopes of not "derailing" any of the thought provoking and well informed threads that I participate in.Please forgive my faux puas...

Dr. Solar Wolff
Thursday, December 22nd, 2005, 03:41 AM
The fact that German has borrowed from French, just as English has, doesn't necessarily make either less Germanic. This is always a two-way street. It is the total Gestalt of the language which makes it what it is, not a few loan words. I know the Germans are upset about borrowing from Engish in this respect but this goes two ways and everything in English is now "Ueber"-something rather than super. But borrowing between two Germanic languages shouldn't be an issue in Germanicity. The question in this regard might be: Are or were the Normans Germanic? They settled in France, adopted French language after 3 generations. Most of their customs were French by that time but their blood ancestry was Germanic---so what were they?

Vestmannr
Tuesday, December 27th, 2005, 09:31 PM
The Normans had their own new concept of 'Normanitas' which they saw as the successor to the old 'Romanitas'. They seem to have considered themselves still 'Northern' (Germanic), but 'civilized' Christian Germans. That idea of Normanicity goes a long ways towards explaining their warlike behavior vis-a-vis Sicily, Byzantium, England, the Levant, etc. In fact, a study of the idea of 'Normanitas' will show that their goal in invading such places as England was to 'purify' and 'reinvigorate' lands they believed to have fell into decline and corruption. In most cases, native thanes agreed: Normans in every case had an 'invite' from the locals, and years of involvement via aid, military service, etc. before moving in in full force.

I would suggest the 'Normanitas' vision was something akin to the 'Pan-Mediterranean' view of the Romans, but placed in a Northern perspective. Consider the Army at Hastings - not only did it include some English, but the wings of the Army were Flemish and Breton (only the center was actually Norman) - so they seem to have had an idea of a unified 'Northern' centered Europe.

Rhydderch
Wednesday, December 28th, 2005, 01:45 AM
The only Romanization in the shift from OE to ME was in the lexicon. In other, more systemic areas (phonology, syntax, morphology, &c.), English has undergone next to zero Romanization since arriving on the island.In fact, I've read that when Middle English first emerged, it was very different from Old English, yet it had little French influence, even in the vocabulary. The French vocabulary seems to have gradually accumulated over time, due to the fact that French was widely used in higher circles.

Vestmannr
Wednesday, December 28th, 2005, 10:56 PM
I believe it was a by-product of the academic establishment, as well as the first printers (at least the successful ones). More Germanic uses survived (and have survived) in the local English dialects. There was a movement, in Oxford U. no less, to recover the 'Anglo-Saxon'-ness of English, to purge it of its Frankification. (I believe Prof. Tolkien was one proponent). Since English was my UG subject, I tend to agree with this approach: and, Scots has preserved much of that. I believe it was Prof. Tolkien who made the statement somewhere along the lines of 'anything you want to say in English, there is a term of Anglo-Saxon origin that will work just as well as a term of Norman French origin'.

nurnberg
Thursday, December 29th, 2005, 11:52 AM
Nordic looking Slavs aren't Germanic. They're Slavic.

I agree; Germanic or Slavic is a cultural distinction.

Leofric
Sunday, May 7th, 2006, 01:35 AM
Since I initially posted this question, I've taken a course in phonology theory and have come to learn about Optimality Theory. It's a new way of looking at phonology that has taken the phonolgy world by storm since its invention in 1993.

Basically, Optimality Theory (OT) is a way of dealing with conflicting rules in languages. Every language is rule-governed, but there are exceptions to every rule. Those exceptions all occur because of a need to comply with some other rule (especially when considering that certain rules are roughly equivalent to "that's the way we've always done it"). OT calls these rules "constraints."

Let me illustrate with an example from Dutch:

In determining the voicing of Dutch consonants, there are several constraints. One constraint is that consonants should be voiced if they've historically been voiced. Another constraint is that word-final obstruents (which is what most consonants are) should never be voiced. These two constraints conflict with one another in a word like bed. The word-final 'd' should be voiced ([d]) because historically, that's the way it was. But the word-final 'd' should be voiceless ([t]) because it's word-final. Conflicting constraints.

OT proposes to deal with conflicting constraints by ranking them. That way, violating a constraint isn't in itself, a bad thing. But once the constraints are ranked, then higher-ranking constraints take precedence over lower-ranking ones. If one possible pronunciation violates a high-ranking constraint that a competing possible pronunciation does not violate, then it is considered more optimal than the other constraint, even if it violates all the lower-ranking constraints, and even if the less optimal candidate violates none of the lower-ranking constraints.

So we can look at that Dutch word again and see how the constraints are ranked (* indicates a violation and ! indicates a fatal violation):
<html><center><table border><tr><td>/bed/<td>Faithfulness<td>Word-final [-voice]<tr><td>bet<td>*!<td BGCOLOR="#C0C0C0"><tr><td>bed<td><td BGCOLOR="#C0C0C0">*</table></center></html>

Well clearly that's not the right constraint ranking, since the word is actually pronounced bet. So let's try the other ranking:
<html><center><table border><tr><td>/bed/<td>Word-final [-voice]<td>Faithfulness<tr><td>bet<td><td BGCOLOR="#C0C0C0">*<tr><td>bed<td>*!<td BGCOLOR="#C0C0C0"></table></center></html>

This tells us that this constraint ranking yields the correct optimal candidate for pronuncation of this Dutch word. The constraint prohibiting voiced obstruents in word-final position is more important than the constraint requiring faithfulness, so bet is more optimal than bed for pronouncing the word bed.

This constraint works for the plural as well:
<html><center><table border><tr><td>/bedden/<td>Word-final [-voice]<td>Faithfulness<tr><td>betten<td><td>*!<tr><td>bedden<td><td></table></center></html>

So, because of the constraint ranking, even though bet is more optimal for the singular, bedden is more optimal for the plural.

In English, the ranking of these two constraints for the word bed goes the other way around.

That's the basic idea behind OT. You can read more about it here:
http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~uffmann/pho04-session10.pdf
http://roa.rutgers.edu/files/482-1201/482-1201-MCCARTHY-0-1.PDF
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~dresher/col6.html

Here's an excerpt from that last source:

OT is not so much a theory of phonology or syntax as a philosophy of life. Life makes conflicting demands, and to satisfy some we must violate others. OT proposes that these demands (constraints) are ranked; a candidate solution which satisfies a higher-ranking constraint, even at the cost of violating many lower-ranking ones, is preferred to a solution which violates a higher-ranking constraint, even if by so doing it satisfies many lower-ranking ones. In its pure form, OT is simply a theory of constraint interaction, independent of what the constraints are; hence, it is applicable, in principle, to any domain that can be formulated in terms of constraints.

Viewed in this light, phonology looks like less fertile soil for such a theory than other aspects of life, like ethics or political theory.

And that's exactly what I want to do with OT — apply it to the question of what defines Germanicity.

It seems to me that a number of constraints come into play. Here are a few possible constraints:

Germanics speak a Germanic language
Germanics are Nordid
Germanics are Heathen
Germanics are Europid
Germanics are Protestant
Germanics are Faustian
Germanics consider themselves Germanic
Many other constraints could be included in the list. Note that any of these constraints could be violated without necessarily cancelling the Germanic status of anyone. The stereotypical Bavarian grandfather is Alpinid rather than Nordid, but he's still Germanic. And how can a person be both Protestant and Heathen? He can't. But a candidate need not comply with every constraint to still achieve optimality. That's the beauty of OT.

So it seems to me that we might be able to come up with a definition of Germanic by means of Optimality Theory. We would need a list of constraints, and a ranking for those constraints. I also think that rather than finding one optimal candidate, it would be better to determine at what point in the hierarchical constraint evaluation candidates cease to be Germanic. That would allow a great deal of diversity within Germanicity without allowing so much that the word becomes meaningless.

Any thoughts?

Oswiu
Wednesday, May 17th, 2006, 01:07 AM
Any thoughts?
Methinks some Mercian Earls have been getting a little too much booklearning for their own good!

We don't need all these formulas and involved sophistry. It should more be about gut feeling.
What defines our Germandom? In my book, a significant blood connection with the tribes that the Romans would unhesitatingly have described as Germani, without adulteration from exotic stocks I would lable as 'incompatible' [most simply put; people who are not our traditional near neighbours, thus allowing for mixing with near enough all our kindred European peoples]. That's the absolute requisite, but then forms only a fundament upon which other necessary elements must be placed. We need a cultural/behavioural-stereotype element and that is to be found in our traditional virtues - steadfastness, reserve, straightforwardness and so on. Linguistic Germanicness is important, but honourable exceptions can be made for Romanised or Slavonicised folk should they wish it and make an effort to commemorate their Germanic heritage in other ways.

You had a little difficulty with the spiritual aspect above, and yet I think I can see our commonality here, without distracting references to creed or denomination - consider our relationship with Nature. We all love our temperate woodland glades and wild windswept uplands or seashores, do we not? Our way of appreciating that is true spirituality to me.

Theudiskaz
Wednesday, May 17th, 2006, 01:53 AM
You had a little difficulty with the spiritual aspect above, and yet I think I can see our commonality here, without distracting references to creed or denomination - consider our relationship with Nature. We all love our temperate woodland glades and wild windswept uplands or seashores, do we not? Our way of appreciating that is true spirituality to me.Oh yes. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I read that. Our deep connection to temperate forests is undeniable! I read a book several years ago called The Germans which was a really fascinating meditation on Germanicnesss and all its little quirks that we don't always think about consciously. It truly held the beating heart of Teutondom within its pages. It was really enjoyable.

RedJack
Friday, May 19th, 2006, 08:03 PM
Sounds like a book I read a few years ago, as well. Also had a fascinating bit on the German attitude to rules. The example the author used was a football game between German and Italian teams. The Italians gleefully fouled the Germans left and right, while the Germans slowly fumed about the disgusting flouting of the rules until one of them could stand it no longer and lost his temper. The resulting major penalty contributed to the Italian's win.

Theudiskaz
Friday, May 19th, 2006, 08:09 PM
Sounds like a book I read a few years ago, as well. Also had a fascinating bit on the German attitude to rules. The example the author used was a football game between German and Italian teams. The Italians gleefully fouled the Germans left and right, while the Germans slowly fumed about the disgusting flouting of the rules until one of them could stand it no longer and lost his temper. The resulting major penalty contributed to the Italian's win.That's the one!:thumbup

RedJack
Friday, May 19th, 2006, 08:24 PM
I really enjoyed that book. Now I'm going to have to find it again. Where the hell did I put it?