LINGUIST List 11.1659

Mon Jul 31 2000

Qs: Expressions for "Language", Old Frankish

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  1. G�nter Radden, Expressions for "Language"
  2. Chris Beckwith, Old Frankish

Message 1: Expressions for "Language"

Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 15:55:49 +0200
From: G�nter Radden <>
Subject: Expressions for "Language"

Expressions for 'language'

Dear Linguists,
I am researching metonymic and metaphorical expressions
in the domain of language which reflect a folk model of

'Language' is commonly expressed metonymically by words for
the tongue (as in Latin _lingua_ or English _native tongue_);
more rarely other body parts are used as in German
_Mundart_ 'mouth manner' or Tok Pisin 'neck'. Another
common source for 'language' are words meaning 'speaking'
(as in English _speech_ or German _Sprache_).

Words for 'speaking' and 'saying' typically derive from
roots meaning 'sound', 'voice' or are related to words of
cognition such as German _reden_, which is related to Latin
_ratio_ 'reason'. An interesting form is Polish _po-wiedziec_
'say', lit. 'after-know'.

Expressions referring to 'articulation' tend to develop
the sense of 'eloquent' as in English _articulate_ or
Polish _wy-mowny_ from _wy-mova_ 'pronunciation', lit.

I would appreciate more data from on other, also
non-Indoeuropean languages.
A summary of the responses will be posted.

Guenter Radden,
Hamburg University
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Message 2: Old Frankish

Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 18:02:23 -0500 (EST)
From: Chris Beckwith <>
Subject: Old Frankish

I have been trying to find out what, if anything, has been done on the Old
Frankish language, meaning specifically the language spoken by the Franks
of the Frankish kingdom (of Western Europe), which became the Holy Roman
Empire under the Frankish king/emperor Charlemagne (Carl the Great), which
broke up when Louis the Pious died in 840 A.D. 

There is a great deal of material on this language in the law codes
(written in Latin) of the various tribes of Franks and their relatives,
but I haven't been able to find anything of a linguistic nature on it.
I'm interested in the phonological system (vis a vis other Germanic
languages), and glossaries or dictionaries (both ways), if any exist.
Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place or under the wrong name? (I'm not a
Germanic specialist.)

Is there a Germanic Linguistics list out there?

I'll post anything relevant.

Chris Beckwith
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