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Title: Old Saxon
Written By: James E Cathey

Old Saxon, spoken between approximately the 6th and 11th centuries by an
unknown number of speakers likely in the tens of thousands using several
dialects, is a member of the Western group of Germanic also including Old
Frisian and Old English that was characterized inter alia by a unified
pres. pl. marker and no High German sound shift. Saxon territory was
bounded roughly by the sea coast in the north, where not occupied by
Frisian speakers, and the rivers Rhein and Ysel in the west, Elbe and Saale
in the east, and Lippe and Ruhr in the south. Old Saxon and Old English
were close enough that Anglo-Saxon missionaries seem to have been able
communicate easily on Saxon territory. The language is best attested by
documents from the 9th C, most prominently by the so-called Hjliand, a
story of Christ in 5983 alliterating lines, and the Old Saxon Genesis in
337 lines. The Hjliand, which also shows influence from East Franconian, is
of particular interest as a proselytizing document which, while being
theologically correct, is couched in terms acceptable to a pre-Christian
sensibility of traditional poetics. The Genesis, of which only a fragment
exists, was translated into an Old English version of some 700 surviving
lines. Beyond these there are smaller attestations, including: the
so-called Heberollen, which are lists of tithes to churches or monasteries;
blessings; a confession of faith; a renunciation of the devil; single words
in manuscripts written in Latin; and personal and place names.

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Subject Language(s): Saxon, Old
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3895865141
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 60
Prices: U.S. $ 32.50
AUS $ 49.80