Root nouns in Elfdalian: Categorisation and etymology

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Elsewhere I have proposed a set of rules according to which we may categorise Germanic root nouns into three chronological layers. In this article, I present a synchronic classification of all of the Elfdalian actual and potential root-noun continuants as well as their etymologies and derivational histories in light of this proposal and in order to reveal (i) some interesting aspects of the general processes involved in shifts of inflectional class, and (ii) whether or not some of these processes in Elfdalian when compared to other Nordic varieties may shed light on the cladistical status of Elfdalian within North Germanic. The analysis shows that, while those Elfdalian root-noun continuants whose ancestral forms belong to layers I, IIa and IIb generally remain stable and keep their appurtenance to the root-noun inflectional class, some of the (non-)root-noun continuants actually and potentially belonging to layer III deserve additional attention with regard to this twofold aim.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Linguistics
Volume44
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)25-37
ISSN0332-5865
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - root nouns, Elfdalian, Övdalian, etymology, stratification, Germanic, Nordic, language history

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