The Malt stone as a witness of a morphological archaism: Reconstructing the Proto-Nordic and Proto-Germanic systems of kinship terms

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The form fauþr ‘father’ on the Malt stone is normally understood as a carving error for faþur, but could very well be read at face value as a one-syllable form fǫðr, an archaic accusative singular. In a wider Proto-Germanic context, I suggest that this form is part of an early levelling process of the kinship terms to one-syllable stem forms, an alternative paradigm co-existing with the classical hystero-dynamic paradigm documented in the Gothic singular. This levelling takes place not only in the plural, but also in the oblique cases of the singular. In a Scandinavian context, this reading sheds light on a handful of seemingly aberrant forms.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Apr 2018

ID: 195350821