Review: Langbroek, Erika/Quak, Arend/Roeleveld, Annelies/
Vermeyden, Paula , eds. (2000): Amsterdamer Beitraege
zur aelteren Germanistik Vol. 53 - 2000, ISSN: 0165-7305,
Amsterdam/Atlanta: Rodopi, 294 pp.
Reviewed by: Guido Oebel, Saga (Japan) National University
The book consists of two sections of which the first part (pp. 1 -
230) deals with eleven essays on various topics of the Old
Germanic language - the essays are as follows:
Essay 1 in English (pp. 1-6) by Dirk Boutkan: 'A New Etymology
D. Boutkan's (B. - henceforth) essay is about the etymology of
'Pregermanic Fishnames', i.e. the West-Germanic (WG -
henceforth) etymon 'herring'. Right from the beginning B. denies
the - as he calls them - unattractive etymologies formulated by
Vercouillie (1925) and Mueller-Graupa. B. supports the
standpoint that 'herring' has no outer-Germanic cognates and was
apparently borrowed from an non-Indo-European (IE - henceforth)
language. He uses the vowel variation in the root as an argument
that it cannot represent PIE 'ablaut' but rather has to be looked
upon as confirming the non-IE origin of 'herring'. B. offers
sufficiently comprehended proof for his theory that the WG
etymon 'herring' derives from a North European substrate root. In
the following he concludes that the same theory applies to
fishnames such as 'carp' and 'dab'.
Essay 2 in English (pp. 7-10) by Frederik Kortlandt:
'Preaspiration or Preglottalization':
Unlike Page F. Kortlandt (K. - henceforth) supports the
hypothesis that the vestjysk dialects are peripheral in relation to
other varieties of Danish, which in their turn were peripheral to
those of Norway and Sweden respectively at the time of the
Viking expeditions. That is why it seems more probable to K. that
preglottalization is ancient in Germanic and that the West
Scandinavian preaspiration developed from it by lenition. By
following K.'s manifold examples substantiating his hypothesis
the reader of his even only four pages comprising essay, of course,
may share his conclusive analysis.
Essay 3 in English (pp. 11-20) by Kenneth Shields Jr.: 'Old
English 'Einheitsplural': An Archaism?':
With regard to Adrados' so-called 'the new image' K. Shields' Jr.
(S. - henceforth) essay aims at exploring the possibility that the
'Einheitsplural' of Ingvaeonic constitutes an archaism reflecting a
basic structural characteristic of verbal inflection during the late
dialectal period of IE itself. By quoting renowned fellow-scholars -
besides the above-mentioned Adrados (1992) - such as Lehman
(1974) - who notes the strong resemblances between Germanic
and Anatolian conjugation -, or Prolome (1982) - who regards
Germanic reflecting a system very close to Proto-Anatolian -, S.
supports the hypothesis that in regard to the 'Einheitsplural' of
Ingvaeonic it might retain the ancient IE conjugational pattern.
Despite the widely held opinion that WG is the least archaic
dialect within the Germanic Family S. opposes the preclusion that
there do not appear any specific archaisms. According to S. the
divergence within Germanic dialects regarding the differentiation
of persons in the plural is consistent with cases in other dialect
groups involving a lack of correspondence in plural conjugation
thus implying the late appearance of person-specific suffixes in
S. admits that his thesis represemts a radical departure from
traditional thinking about the phenomenon of 'Einheitsplural',
however, he claims that it follows logically from the basic tenets of
'the new image' as well as typological implicature.
Essay 4 in German (pp. 21-31) by Mindy MacLeod: 'Hidden Bind-
Mindy MacLeod (ML. - henceforth) paper deals with the concept of
hidden bindrunes invoked by early runic scholars - in particular to
Erik Noreen - not yet completely discredited in the field of runic
epigraphy. According to ML. the principle of the occasional
presence of invisible letters is built on shaky foundations thus
breaking every conventional rule usually applying to ligatures
claiming the visibility of at least some element of each ligatured
letter. The number of possibilities this kind of interpretation
allows is almost without limit thus paving the way for arbitrary
and subjective guesswork. Despite the 'licentia runica', i.e.
omitting expected runes - especially vowels - in runic texts it is
almost impossible to differentiate between ordinary omissions
intended by rune-carvers and inscriptions possibly containing
elusive hidden characters. In the following ML. turns to Noreen's
theory (1945) that a bind-rune could also be totally contained
inside another rune quoting five examples for which the author
clearly prefers alternative as well comprehensible explanations.
According to ML. It is easy to understand why scholars such as
Noreen have been tempted to infer the presence of bind-runes in
order to advantage their own readings. As a further argument
against the use of hidden bind-runes ML regards the placement of
the rune 'i' in Scandinavian same-stave runic inscriptions, none of
which contains the letter in the main-staff. Eventually ML arrives
at the conviction to have given the most satisfactory explanation
for all the various instances where the existence of hidden bind-
runes might have been considered.
Essay 5 in German (pp. 33-40) by Arend Quak: 'Wieder nach
A. Quak's (Q. - henceforth) essay is about the interpretation of the
runic writing of Bergakker (The Netherlands). On the occasion of
the anthology on the runic writing of Bergakker recently
published, in the following Q. has a critical look at the meanwhile
six interpretations of one and the same epigraph. Stimulated by
his fellow-scholar Bengt Odenstedt: 'We have an opportunity of
comparing notes, and the resulting, no doubt divergent, opinions
will obviously lead to a long-awaited discussion', Q. initiates this
discussion concluding that all scholars contributing their opinions
agree on the interpretation of the word 'ann' whereas the other
attempts at an interpretation remain divided.
Essay 6 in English (pp. 41-85) by Evert Wiesenekker:
'Translation Procedures in the West Saxon Prose Psalter':
Wiesenekker's (W.- henceforth) essay deals with lexis and
grammar applied in the West Saxon Prose Psalter (WSP -
henceforth), a translation of its Latin original. By presenting a
model psalm (no. 14, pp. 43-44) he initiates the discussion of the
lexical element by a so-called Lexical Selection Scheme (p. 45)
beginning with the strongest dependence on Latin word structure
moving towards independence in which the competent glosses in
the Vespasian, Regius and Lambeth psalters served as material
for comparison. Thus he demonstrates the strong pull towards
greater independence emphasized by the use of numerous
contextually fitting variants - following him unsurprisingly in an
free prose translation of the Latin original. Nevertheless, in the
categories of loan formations the influence of Latin word structure
is obvious in a relatively small number of cases. According to W.
this fact may point to the consultation of some few interlinear
renderings. W., however, remarks the addition of the manifold
number of variants of category 1 (multiple rendering of the same
lemma), category 2 (alternation in selecting equivalents for the
same lemma at different places in the same psalm) and diversity
(using different variants for the same lemma scattered within the
whole psalter. It might have been the translator's intention to
create the greatest possible variety. In this connection W.
emphasizes the use of a large number of so-called intensifiers thus
elucidating the Latin sacred source text. W. considers the
allegorical interpretation of the psalms as amply represented by
the many renderings and additions thus giving evidence for the
influence of patristic commentary.
Concerning grammar W. stresses the huge amount of translation
shifts - he counts roughly thirty-five - of any type, in which the
alternatives are often morphologically related thus offering
additional means to distinguish more accurately between
paraphrase and free translation.
W. concludes underlining the outstanding quality of the
translation greatly contributed to by the royal translator's
Essay 7 in German (pp. 87-122) by Mark Emanuel Amtstaetter:
'Elemente der Klanglichkeit und Sprachkomposition in der
The author M.E. Amtstaetter (A. - henceforth) undertakes the
attempt to comprehend an excerpt of the Old Saxon Genesis in its
linguistically formal 'Gestalt' as an aesthetic, self-contained, and
meaningful pattern. Referring to different scholar approaches
(inter alia Hoffmann's solely metric-statistical approach to types of
verse in the 'Heliand' and the Old Saxon Genesis; Siever's five-
type-system; its development by Biss; Sowinski's postulate of the
inseparableness of content and form within his stylistic analysis of
the 'Heliand') A. tries to give proof of the tonality ('Klanglichkeit') of
text units such as 'Sodom' and 'Kain' (pp. 91-120) describing the
elementary and thus somehow photographic effect of alliterating and
A. interprets the varying b-alliterations as variations
characterized from the three different standpoints: the narrator's,
Kain's, and God's. In this respect the recurrently varying
momentum giving different opinions - the times of day in Sodom -
resembles greatly the phenomenon in 'Kain'.
He concludes recommending the visualization of this poetry's
formal structure as today's readers can understand neither the
tonal stresses of single elements nor their fitting together in
Essay 8 in English (pp. 123-144) by Albrecht Classen: 'The Bloody
Battle Poem as Negative Examples: The Argument against Blood
Feud and Images of Peaceful Political Negotiations in German
A. Classen (C.- henceforth) focuses on literary documents of heroic
poetry in which both sides pro and con war, i.e. the extreme
positions between peacemakers and warmongers and clergy and
knights respectively are represented. In the course of his essay he
examines the messages pertaining to war and questions to what
extent they contain ideas about peace and the containment of
violence, too. Following C.'s - at first glance for me, the reviewer -
surprising hypothesis medieval German poets were greatly
concerned with the consequences of war and indeed spoke out in
favour of peaceful settlements of conflicts. Unlike crusade
literature idealizing any kind of violence against the heathens
justified by the religious cause, according to C. the physical force
prevailing in the 'Nibelungenlied' proves to be ineffective, yes
even self-destructive. Thus this heroic epic does no longer stand
for providing model characters rather reducing their primitive
reliance on physical force as the only means of interaction to
absurdity. In the following C. compares the 'Nibelungenlied' and
the anti-war message - contained between the lines - with the
more unmistakeably pacifism advocating 'Klage' concluding they
both give evidence of the inability to solve conflicts of society
using violence - as the latter-one may only engender more violent
acts. With 'Kudrun' concludes the history of German heroic epic
yet strongly advocating reconciliation with formerly hostile
opponents thus establishing peace among them instead of
carrying on warfare and its fatal consequences.
I take the opportunity of this review to express my appreciation of
C.'s point of view considering his essay the most interesting of all
contributions to the current issue.
Essay 9 in English (pp. 145-166) by Brian Murdoch: 'Two
Heavenly Crowns: Hartmann's 'Der arme Heinrich' and the
Middle English 'Pearl'':
B. Murdoch (M. - henceforth) begins his essay offering reasons for
his comparison between Hartmann von Aue's poem 'Der arme
Heinrich' and the work of the Middle English Gawain-poet known
as 'Pearl' as, supposedly, there has not been any attempt at doing
it yet. Besides the obvious similarity in shortness (1,500 and 1,200
lines respectively) they both share a number of theological
elements. Furthermore they have in common the presentation of
the exposition of the nature of salvation as a divine mystery as
well as the need for submission to the divine will. Most obvious
points of comparison are the respective male and female main
protagonists in each work: The male central character 'Der arme
Heinrich' is struck with leprosy in punishment for sin. He is
granted, however, the opportunity of a cure when a maiden
sacrifices herself for him. This act of sacrifice then ensures her
gaining a heavenly crown by becoming Christ's bride in heaven.
In 'Pearl' the male central character - the narrator himself - lost a
pearl, symbolizing his dead daughter. He dreams he might see her
again in paradise as a bride of Christ. Besides the similarity
between the two principal male figures the maidens' resemblance
is as evident, e.g. in terms of innocence and beauty, looked at from
the point of sacrificing themselves and their sacrifice being
eventually repaid by divine status. M. quotes numerous
conclusive passages thus proving for substantiating his
hypothesis of parallel phenomena in both works. Furthermore the
two 'works complement each other just as the purity of the image
of the pearl, applicable to both of the maidens, complements the
frailty of the human condition represented by the dreamer,
obsessed by his loss, and Heinrich the leper' (p. 166).
Essay 10 in German (pp. 167-186) by Lambertus Okken:
'Nochmals zu Hartmann's 'Erec'':
Lambertus Okken's (O. - henceforth) contribution is the critical
revision of conjectures made by him at an earlier stage. He admits
that consulting the ATB- (Altdeutsche Textbibliothek) edition No.
39 EREC von Hartmann von Aue, edited by Albert Leitzmann, 6th
edition, provided by Christoph Cormeau and Kurt Gaertner, led
him to the conclusion that some of his previous conjectures had to
be discarded. Unfortunately he, however, added a few new
conjectures whose correctness he, after all, had to question, too.
That is why O. wished to publish his meanwhile thoroughly
revised so-called 'catalogue of conjectures' within the framework of
the current volume of the 'Amsterdamer Beitraege'. O. attributes
his earlier misinterpretations mainly to professional rhyming
errors intended by authors and copyists respectively. He then
concludes appealing to his fellow-scholars to revise their
knowledge on courtly poetry of the 'Hartmann' era - due to these
Essay 11 in German (pp. 187-230) by Christoph J. Steppich: 'Zu
Wolframs Vergleich der Antikonie mit der Markgraefin auf Burg
Haidstein (Pz. 403, 21-404, 10)'.
Christoph J. Steppich's (St. - henceforth) focuses on the question
whether there is really a parallel between the protagonist of the
novel, Antikonie, and the real female person, the respective
margravine, providing evidence for the interpretation of a certain
erotic 'libertinage'. St.'s - in my judgement successful -
argumentation aiming at both women's vindication proceeds in
three stages: firstly giving an intertextual argument, secondly
offering an intratextual argument and thirdly re-verifying texts of
historical source on Berthold and Elisabeth von Vohburg.
Adrados, Francisco (1992): The New Image of Indoeuropean: The
History of a Revolution, in: Indogermanische Forschungen 97.
Boutkan, D. (1999): Pregermanic fish in Old Saxon Glosses. On
alleged Ablaut patterns and other formal deviations, in: Gmc.
Substratum words in: Amsterdamer Beitraege zur aelteren
Germanistik 52. Amsterdam/Atlanta.
Catford, J.C. (1965): A linguistic Theory of Translation. London.
Hagenlocher, A. (1998): Wunschvorstellungen gewaltlosen
Friedens in deutscher Literatur um 1300, in: Zeitschrift fuer
Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik 28.
Jones, M. (1988): Changing Perspectives on the Maiden in 'Der
arme Heinrich', in: Hartmann von Aue, Changing Perspectives,
eds McFarland, T./Ranawake, S. Goeppingen.
Lehmann, W. (1974): Proto-Indo-European Syntax. Austin.
Noreen, E. (1945): Nagra urnordiska inskrifter, ANF 60.
Odenstedt, B. (1999): The Bergakker Inscription. Transliteration,
Interpretation, Message: Some Suggestions, in: Bammesberger.
Page, B.R. (1997): On the origin of preaspiration in Scandinavian,
in American Journal of Germanic Linguistics and Literatures 9/2.
Prolome, E. (1982): Germanic as an Archaic Indo-European
Language, in: Jankowsky, K./Dick, E. (eds.), Festschrift fuer Karl
Sowinski, B. (1985): Darstellungsstil und Sprachstil im Heliand.
The second part (pp. 231-294) of the book comprises several
reviews which will be at least mentioned in the following,
however, as this current review cannot be subject of reviews done
by other reviewers mentioning them - as a kind of source for
further reference work - should suffice:
Review 1 in German by Maurice Bogaers (pp. 231-232): Friedrich
Ohly ed. (1998): 'Das St. Trudperter Hohelied. Eine Lehre der
liebenden Gotteserkenntnis', ISBN 3-618-66010-0,
Frankfurt/Main: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, 1,402 pp.
Review 2 in English by Dirk Boutkan (pp. 232-233): Michael
Schulte (1998): 'Grundfragen der Umlautphonemisierung. Eine
strukturelle Analyse des nordgermanischen i/j-Umlauts unter
Beruecksichtigung der aelteren Runeninschriften', ISBN 3-11-
016161-3, Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, 321 pp.
Review 3 in German by Walter De Cubber (pp. 233-237):
Hermann Paul (1998): 'Mittelhochdeutsche Grammatik, 24. Aufl.',
ISBN 3-484-10233-0/3-484-10232-2, Tuebingen: Niemeyer, 638 pp.
Review 4 in Dutch by J.M. van der Horst (pp. 237-240): Anne und
Ernst Dittmer (1998): 'Studien zur Wortstellung -
Satzgliedstellung in der althochdeutschen Tatianuebersetzung',
ISBN 3-525-20349-7, Goettingen: Vandenhoeck/Rupprecht, 264
Review 5 in German by John M. Jeep (pp. 240-241): Williams,
Ulla/Williams-Krapp, Werner eds. (1998): 'Die 'Offenbarungen'
der Katharina Tucher', ISBN 3-0484-32098-2, Tuebingen:
Niemeyer, viii + 71 pp.
Review 6 in German by John M. Leep (pp. 241-243): Max Wehrli
(1998): 'Gegenwart und Erinnerung. Gesammelte Ausaetze in
Berliner Beitraege zur Geistes- und Kulturgeschichte des
Mittelalters und der Neuzeit, Bd. 12', ISBN 3-615-00192-3,
Hildesheim/Zuerich: Weidmann, vii + 331 pp.
Review 7 in English by Willem Koopman (pp. 243-246): Hans
Frede Nielsen (1998): 'The Continental Background of English
and its Insular Development until 1154' in NOWELE Supplement
vol. 19, ISBN 87-7838-420-6, Odense: University Press, xiv + 234
Review 8 in German by Cobie Kune (pp. 246-252): Christian
Kiening (1998): 'Schwierige Modernitaet. Der 'Ackermann' des
Johannes von Tepl und die Ambiguitaet historischen Wandels',
ISBN 3-484-89113-0, Tuebingen: Niemeyer, 718 pp.
Review 9 in English by Jan Meijer (pp. 252-258): Per Stille (1999):
'Runstenar och runristare I det vikingatida Fjaedrundaland. En
studie I attribuering (Runroen 13)', ISBN 91-506-1341-3, Uppsala:
Uppsala universitet, 245 pp.
Review 10 in German by Lambertus Okken (pp. 258-262):
Heidrum Alex ed. (1998): 'Der Spruchdichter Boppe. Edition -
Uebersetzung - Kommentar' in Hermaca, Germanistische
Forschungen. Neue Folge, Bd. 82, ISBN 3-484-15082-3,
Tuebingen: Niemeyer, vii + 242 pp.
Review 11 in German by Lambertus Okken (pp. 262-266): Francis
B. Brevart ed. (1999): 'Das Eckenlied' in Altdeutsche
Textbibliothek, Nr. 111, ISBN 3-484-20211-4/3-484-21211-X,
Tuebingen: Niemeyer, vi + 112 pp.
Review 12 in German by Arend Quak (pp. 267-274): Duewel,
Klaus/Nowak, Sean eds. (1998): 'Runeninschriften als Quellen
interdisziplinaerer Forschung. Abhandlungen des Vierten
Internationalen Symposiums ueber Runen und Runenschriften in
Goettingen vom 4.-9. August 1995', ISBN 3-11-015455-2,
Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, xiv + 812 pp.
Review 13 in German by Arend Quak (pp. 274-276): Karlene
Jones-Bley/Angela Della Volpe/Miriam Robbins eds. (1999):
'Proceedings of the Tenth Annual UCCLA Indo-European
Conference, Los Angeles May 21-23, 1998', ISBN 0-941694-70-40,
Washington D.C.: Institute for the Study of Man, 289 pp.
Review 14 in German by Arend Quak (pp. 276-277): Hans Ulrich
Schmidt (1999): '-lih-Bildungen. Vergleichende Untersuchungen
zu Herkunft, Entwicklung und Funktion eines althochdeutschen
Suffixes in Studien zum Althochdeutschen', ISBN 3-525-20350-0,
Goettingen: Vandehoeck/Ruprecht, 671 pp.
Review 15 in German by Arend Quak (pp. 278-281): Marianne E.
Kalinke ed. (1999): 'Norse Romance I'. 'The Tristan Legend II'.
'Knights of the Round Table. III'. Harra Ivan in Arthurian
Archives III-V, ISBN 0-85991-552-2, -556-5, 560-3, Cambridge:
D.S. Brewer, 294 pp, 329 pp, 313 pp.
Review 16 in English by Annelies Roeleveld (pp. 281-283):
Thomas Stanley Baker Johnston (1998): 'Codex Hummercensis
(Groningen, UB, PEIP 12)'; An Old Frisian Legal Manuscript in
Low Saxon Guise, ISBN 90-6171-858-9, Leeuwarden: Vrije
Universiteit te Amsterdam, 626 pp.
Review 17 in Dutch by Kees Samlonius (pp. 283-286): 'Blandade
runstudier 2 (Runroen, Runologiska bidrag utgivna av
Institutionen foer nordiska sprak vid Uppsala universitet 11)'
(1997), ISBN 91-506-1199-2, Uppsala: Uppsala Universtet, 201 pp.
Review 18 in Dutch by Tanneke Schoonheim (pp. 286-292):
M.K.A. van den Berg (1998): 'De Noordnederlands historiebijbel -
een kritische editie met inleiding en aantekeningen van Hs. Ltk
231 uit de Leidse Universiteitsbibliotheek', ISBN 90-6550-027-8,
Hilversum: Verloren, 846 pp.
Review 19 in German by Ekaterina Skvairs (pp. 292-293): Beate
Henning (1998): 'Kleines Mittelhochdeutsches Woerterbuch', 3.,
ergaenzend bearbeitete Aufl., ISBN 3-484-10696-4, Tuebingen:
Niemeyer, xxv + 496 pp.
Note: Throughout the text the German Umlaut is transcribed ae,
oe, and ue, the German Eszett ss, and accents are omitted as
these special and accented characters may not show up correctly
on recipients' screens.
Reviewer's Bio: Guido Oebel (PhD in linguistics) is a native
German and currently employed as an associate professor for
German as a Foreign Language and FLL with Saga National
University on the Southern island of Kyushu/Japan. His main
areas of research are: comparative language studies (Modern
European languages - Japanese), German dialects,
sociolinguistics, bilinguism, and general adult language