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The Gothic Language

Grammar, Genetic Provenance and Typology, Readings


Irmengard Rauch

The Gothic Language: Grammar, Genetic Provenance and Typology, Readings, now in its second edition, is designed for students and scholars of the oldest known language with a sizeable corpus, belonging to the English, German, Dutch, and Scandinavian language clade. The Gothic language is seminal to the history of the study of each of these languages. Gothic grammar is a standard text in courses on Indo-European and general linguistics since Gothic serves as the prototype Germanic language in the study of historical comparative world language typologies. Particularly pan-Germanic is the innermost core of the grammar, the genetic phonology, which is reconstructed within the most recent approaches of laryngeal and glottalic theories. Most challenging to traditional viewpoints is the total novel restructuring of Gothic synchronic phonology via current theoretical approaches such as underspecification theory and optimality theory. While the Gothic inflectional morphology is rendered in full paradigmatic display, its understanding is enhanced by the application of underspecification theory and the use of inheritance networks, a computational linguistic concept. Brief «Syntactic Considerations» concluding the grammar present a network of head-driven phrase structures. This book also brings the reader into the ambience of the fourth-century Goths. Readings from the Wulfilian Bible, the extant eight pages of the Skeireins, together with a glossary, definitions of linguistic technical terms, a bibliography, and an index complete this volume.