Preverbs and Idiomatization in Gothic

by John M. Bucsko (Author)
©2012 Monographs XVIII, 326 Pages


It is very common in Indo-European languages to derive new, compound verb forms from verb bases by adding prefixes to them. These prefixes, or preverbs, are originally derived from invariant forms and generally come from one of three categories: adverbs, adpositions (prepositions or postpositions), and inseparable particles. Preverbs and Idiomatization in Gothic focuses on these attributes of the Gothic language. The use of preverbs in Gothic is quite extensive in that over half of the verbs in Gothic show prefixation. Of the many stems that have preverbs attached, some alter the meaning of the original verb while others do not appear to change the meaning significantly. This book examines the use of preverbs in Gothic, with the specific focus on significant meaning changes or idiomatization, in which the resultant form does not mean simply the sum of its parts but takes on a new meaning that may or may not be clearly related to the meanings of the original forms.


XVIII, 326
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2012 (February)
Historical Linguistics Gothic Preverbs Preverbation Metaphorical Metaphorization Compound Verbs Germanic Idiomatization Indo-European Semantic Change
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2011. XVIII, 326 pp., num. tables

Biographical notes

John M. Bucsko (Author)

John M. Bucsko, «Jack» to most people, has had a varied career in the education and information technology fields. After three years of service as a computer programmer in the United States Marine Corps, he attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a BA and an MA in general linguistics. He served on the faculty of the Linguistics Department at the University of Pittsburgh for six years as Director of the Language Acquisition Institute (the Uncommonly Taught Languages Program) and also taught both linguistics and ESOL. For nearly two decades, he worked in the information technology area, specializing for a dozen years in artificial intelligence, followed by general technology and management consulting. Dr. Bucsko returned to teaching at the secondary level in 2002 and earned a PhD in linguistics from the University of Georgia. He currently teaches Spanish at Johns Creek High School outside of Atlanta, Georgia.


Title: Preverbs and Idiomatization in Gothic