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Thread: The Gothic Language

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    The Gothic Language

    Source:Razdai Gutans (Gothic Language)

    This language allows us to judge definitely about the East Germanic languages, for the other two of this subgroup lack texts, just having several inscriptions. Gothic states left us rich literature from their kngdoms existing in Europe in the 4th - 7th centuries AD. Gothic was spoken by the Ostrogoths of ancient Germany and Italy and by the Visigoths of eastern Europe and Spain. It was replaced by other Germanic and Romance tongues in the period between the 7th and 9th centuries AD. Except for a few Norse inscriptions in runes, records of Gothic are older than those for any other Germanic language.
    Most knowledge of Gothic is derived from fragments of a translation of the Bible made by the 4th-century Gothic bishop Ulfilas (or Wulfila). The largest and most splendid of these fragments is the Codex Argenteus, containing about half of the Gospels. The Gothic alphabet, traditionally devised by Ulfilas, consisted of 27 characters: 25 modified Greek symbols and 2 runes.

    Here are some main traits distinguishing Gothic from other Germanic tongues:

    1) We know that Common Germanic had three voices: active, passive and medium, but only Gothic preserved all three, using mediopassive voice in the present and past tenses.
    2) Gothic used the method of reduplication (double stem) in constructing the perfect stem of the verb. This feature is common with Latin and Greek, but is not seen anywhere else in Germanic.
    3) Diphthongs were shorted into long vowels in Gothic, and ai > é, au > ó.
    4) The strong verbs of the V class lost the suffix -j- (ligjan > ligan)

    Gothic was extensively rich with preverbs, or verbal prefixes, which were quite productive in making new verbs. Gothic died leaving just a small dialectal group of Crimean Gothic which can hardly be considered as a descendant of this tongue.
    Sa Şiudans ni slepiŞ jah gibiŞ maiŞm.

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    EXCELLENT POST! Conquistador. I'm glad I'm not the only one on this site that has an interest in Gothic!

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    Lightbulb English-Gothic dictionary

    A dictionary for the oldest written Germanic language:
    http://freespace.virgin.net/o.e/egd/letters.htm
    Tolerance is a proof of distrust in one's own ideals. Friedrich Nietzsche


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    Thumbs Down Excellent Post!

    EXCELLENT THREAD/POST Zy.!!!! RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!!!

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    Post Gothic Language links

    There's no forum for the extinct East Germanic branch, so here's a couple links to get started. Could be of interest to all Germans, Italians, Spaniards, Belorussians, Bulgarians and anyone else who supposes they may have Gothic ancestry, whether rightly or not.

    Language Lessons:
    http://members.terracom.net/~dorothe...hic/index.html

    Wulfila Project (online texts, etc.):
    http://www.wulfila.be/

    Skeireins Project:
    http://syllabus.gmxhome.de/gotica/Skeireins/

    Gothic Etymological Dictionary by Gerhard Koebler
    http://www.koeblergerhard.de/gotwbhin.html

    English - Gothic Dictionary (PDF)
    http://www.koeblergerhard.de/germani...uch/NE-GOT.pdf

    Connected to this last two links you will also find online other Koebler publications, many searchable online, of value generally to Germanic linguistics:
    http://www.koeblergerhard.de/publikat.html

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    Post Re: Gothic Language links

    I would certainly vote for a Sub-Forum on this extinct branch. That the mysteries and insights of their language and culture were lost to history, and the Germanic world is a lesson I contemplate often.

    I have a number of books on Gothic (Visi- or Ostro- ) and one that included some Vandalic dialect, which is thought to be in the same family.

    It would be interesting if this language could be reconstructed, and learned the way Ancient Greek is.

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    Post Re: Gothic Language links

    Quote Originally Posted by Todesritter
    I would certainly vote for a Sub-Forum on this extinct branch.
    There wouldnt be enough interest in one language to justify creating a subforum here.

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    Post Re: Gothic Language links

    Great post, thanks!

    I have a number of books on Gothic (Visi- or Ostro- ) and one that included some Vandalic dialect, which is thought to be in the same family.
    Vandal was one of the East Germanic languages along with Burgundian. Both are lost. Even what we have of Gothic comes primarily from bible translations done by Wulfila, a Goth Christian missionary.

    I agree there would not be sufficient interest to sustain a subforum based on a single dead language alone. Perhaps we could begin a thread on Gothic in the Linguistics subforum and if it gains enough momentum it could turn to a sticky.

    By the way, anyone interested in dead Germanic languages should get a copy of Orrin W. Robinson's "Old English and Its Closest Relatives". It gives you a good and easily digestible overview of the languages as well as the people who spoke them.

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    Post Re: Gothic Language links

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gothic-l/



    Quote Originally Posted by Todesritter
    It would be interesting if this language could be reconstructed, and learned the way Ancient Greek is.

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    Thumbs Up Re: Gothic Language links

    Great! That's what i look for so long!!


    Regards!!!!

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