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F (linguistics)

(303 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] The use of the sixth letter of the alphabet  was restricted at an early stage in Greek, as the sound designated by it ( at the opening of the syllable) was already no longer available in the decisive Ionic-Attic language at the beginning of written records; in other dialects  is however still frequently attested ( Digamma). For the aspirated articulation that originated from * su̯- there was in Greek the spelling H [3. 23]. It was used in Italy for the fricative sound /f/ [1], in Etruscan and Venetian alternately with HF, also in early Latin FHE:FHAKED (Fibula Praen…

J (linguistics)

(129 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] Already in antiquity there were attempts to render the different phonetic values of the Latin letter I with different characters. But in general the same character applied to syllabic sounds ( i, ı̄) as well as to consonantal sounds ( , i̯i̯), a difficulty ancient grammarians were aware of [2. 2, 12-44]. Grammarians of early modern times, especially P. Ramus (P. La Ramée), made another attempt by first applying the purely graphic variant J to the consonantal sound [1. 12]. In this way jam, jocus, jubeo, Julius, cujus could be differentiated externally from etiam, ias…

E (linguistics)

(437 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] The fifth letter of the Greek  alphabet was at first called εἶ (pronounced ẹ̄; see below), later ἒ ψιλόν ( èpsilón) [1. 140]. It could indicate various e vowels in local alphabets, e.g in Old Attic: 1) the Early Greek short ĕ (ΕΧΣΕΝΕΝΚΕΤΟ ( EXSENENKETO); also in ΤΕΙΧΟΣ ( TEICHOS) with ‘true ει’), only the first value surviving (i.e. as short ĕ: ἐξενεγκέτω; exenenkétō; τεῖχος ( teîchos) soon became tẹ̄khos); 2) an open, long ę̄ from original Greek ē (ΑΝΕΡ; ANER, ΑΝΕΘΕ̱ΚΕ; ANETHEKE, later ἀνήρ; anḗr, ἀνέθηκε; anéthēke) or ā (ΜΝΕΜΑ, later μνῆμα; mnêma); 3) a closed, long ẹ̄ [2. …

H (linguistics)

(412 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] A. History of writing The eighth letter of the Greek alphabet is based on the Semitic consonant letter ḥet. Consequently H described the consonant phoneme/h/ in several local Greek alphabets, e.g. in ancient Attic ΗΟΡΟΣ = ὅρος; from this stems also the Latin use of H. In other Greek alphabets, e.g. that of Miletus (where/h-/ had disappeared), H was used for e-vowels. Occasionally H in the early period is also a symbol for the syllable /hē/ or /he/; hence in the Naxian Nicander inscription C…


(121 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] (Ἀρταῖοι; Artaîoi). A. was the name, according to Hdt. 7,61, by which the Persians were formerly referred to, by themselves and by their neighbours; Artaeus was also in common use as a Persian personal name (Hdt. 7,22; 66; Diod. Sic. 2,32,6). A. is derived from the Indo-Iranian noun árta-/r̥tá- = truth, consistency, order; cf. the many Persian personal names, formed with this prefix (e.g. Artabanus, Artaphrenes). The relationship between the tribal and the personal name is uncertain (cf. FGrH 4 Hellanicus fr. 60; Hsch. s.v. Ἀ.). Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) Bibliogr…

Word families

(317 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] Within the lexicon of an Indo-European language, words which share a meaning-bearing core element form a WF. It is always particular words belonging to the class of verbs, substantives, adjectives, and adverbs ('content words') that together make up a WF. The core element is often the stem of a primary verb, i.e. a verbal root: Gr. ἀγ(-ω), δεικ(-νυμι), φερ(-ω); or Lat. ag(-o), dīc(-o), fer(-o). A WF is enriched by word formation, particularly by suffixation (φορ-ά, in combination with ablaut; ag-men) and compounding (καρπο-φόρ-ος; frūgi-fer: these two each belon…

Homeric language

(1,214 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] A. Archaic character Because of the great age of the Iliad and Odyssee, Homeric language (HL) contains archaicisms that disappeared in an early stage in Greek and in later texts are attested usually only on the basis of imitation of Homer (see below E.): in the noun the instr. in -φι (ἶφι, ναῦφι; otherwise only in Mycenaean), Ζῆν' (accusative) ‘Zeus’ (in the verse end before a vowel) = Old Indian dyā́m, the suffix of ἀνδρο-μέος; in the verb, additional root presents (ἔδ-μεναι, στεῦ-ται) and aorists (ἔ-κτα-το, ὦρ-το), presents (δάμ-νη-μι), short-vowelled subjuncti…

I (linguistics)

(533 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] A. Phonology The tenth letter of the Greek  alphabet had the following sounds: 1. vocalic (syllabic) ı̆ in δίκη, τίς, 2. vocalic ı̄ in ἴς ‘strength’, 3. consonantal (non-syllabic.) i̯, the latter applies to short diphthongs ( ai̯; early classical ei̯; oi̯), long diphthongs ( āi̯; ę̄i̯; ǭi̯) as well as after vocalic i (non-phonematic): αἴθω, δείκνυμι, οἰνή, τοῖο; χώρᾹι dat., τιμῆι, ἀγρῶι, ἠῶιος; Pamphylian διια [5. 312]. I had a similar value in Latin: 1. ı̆ in dictus, quis, 2.  ı̄ in uı̄s ‘strength’, fı̄o, 3. in Old Latin aide accusative ‘temple’, ex-deicendum, oino ac…

B (Linguistically)

(155 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] The second letter in the Greek and Latin  alphabet. Originally, it denoted a plosive (as in New High German Band) but later became a fricative at times (Lat. epigraphy IVVENTE = iubente; Modern Greek). In the Indo-European base language, the sound/b/ was probably quite rare. In words inherited from Greek or Latin, the letter b rarely harks back to the sound b (as in βελτίων) and more often to different sounds: for instance, to gw in βοῦς, bōs ( Gutturals); to m- in βραχύς, breuis; to bh in lubet; to dh in ruber, iubeō; to du̯ in bis (Old Latin duis). However, b is predominantly k…

W (linguistics)

(46 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] W is a letter that does not appear until after antiquity, arising out of the ligature of V V that represents consonantal in Western Germanic languages [1. 102 § 105]. V (linguistics) Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) Bibliography 1 W. Braune, H. Eggers, Althochdeutsche Grammatik, 141987.

A (linguistics)

(160 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] The first letter of the Greek  alphabet designates two Greek sounds, short a and long ā; the same thing applies to the Latin (and other languages). In the Indo-European  ablaut, a and ā, despite their dispersal among the languages of the world, were notably not basic vowels. In many inherited Greek and Latin words, a-vowels came into existence only through the effect of a vanished or transformed  laryngeal: ἄγ-ω, ag-o <  2eǵ-; ἀντ-ί, ant-e <  2ent-i; στα-τός, sta-tus <  st2-tos; στᾶ-θι, stā-men <  ste2-; lat. gnā-tus <  ǵn̥1-tos. Furthermore, the Greek ă(…

K (linguistics)

(385 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] The 11th letter of the Greek alphabet is still in use today. Not so in Latin: The sound /k/ could initially be rendered as C K Q. Due to an orthographic rule - probably brought about by the names of the letters cē kā qū - K was especially used in front of a vowel [3. 10; 5. 15-18]; but since it was superfluous beside C (and Q), it fell out of use as early as the 6th cent. BC. The spelling <KA> beside <CA> was, however, preserved in old-established words: in proper names ( Karthago, Kastrum, Kaeso, Karus) as well as in legal ( iudika-, kaput) and religious expressions ( interkalaris, Kalenda…


(85 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] (in linguistics). The third letter of the Greek  alphabet was used for the voiced/g/ (as in New High German Gold) in accordance with the Semitic model; also used for the nasal [], e.g. in ἄγκος ( ánkos). However, the Etruscans gave this letter the sound of [k]; it was also used accordingly in Rome, where later on a new letter was invented for a voiced/g/. More under  G;  K; Italy (alphabetic scripts). Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) Bibliography Leumann, 9f. R. Wachter, Altlat. Inschr., 1987, 14-18.


(2,256 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) | Untermann, Jürgen (Pulheim/Köln)
Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) Untermann, Jürgen (Pulheim/Köln) [German version] A. General Remarks (CT) Onomastics (the study of names) is the linguistic discipline for the investigation of names. In their most common form, names (proper names, onómata in Greek) are a subclass of nouns, which every language in the world uses to designate individuals as opposed to the classes to which they belong: Φίλιππος in Φίλιππος βασιλεύς, Garganus in Garganus mons, Ebro in río Ebro. Individuals from numerous classes of concrete or fictitious categoriesn can be named: divinities…

D (linguistics)

(208 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] The fourth letter of the Greek and Latin  alphabet denoted a voiced plosive (as in New High German Ding, Modern English dove); its partial development into a fricative (Mod. Greek δέκα with  as in Engl. there) did not take place until fairly late. The similarity in  pronunciation between Greek and Latin is shown by  loan-words: diadēma, κουστωδία ( koustōdía). In Greek and Latin inherited words, d frequently represents Proto-Indo-European d: δέκα; déka, decem < * deḱṃ; ἰδ-εῖν; ideĩn, uid-ēre < * u̯id-; δεξιτερός; dexiterós, dexter etc. On the other hand, e.g. Lat. medius…

Greek literary lan­guages

(1,321 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] A. General and historical Only utility texts have survived from the Mycenaean period. The oldest extant literary texts, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey (8th cent. BC), are written in the epic literary language. While predominantly in the Ionic dialect, the language also displays the influences of earlier, partly linguistically different (Aeolic), sources and artificialities. Consequently, the epic literary language does not correspond to any particular local dialect. Even after Homer, however, it displays a…

G (linguistics)

(193 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] The letter G is a Latin peculiarity. Because the Latin  C, which had taken the place of the Greek Gamma, had acquired the phonetic value/k/, there was a need for a letter to represent the common Latin phoneme/g/; the new letter was produced by adding a line to the letter C, and in the Latin alphabet took the place of the redundant  Z. This major achievement is ascribed to a certain Sp.  Carvilius [2] (GRF 3 [5. 324-333; 3. 70-72]). In words with Indo-European roots, the Greek and Latin media/g/ as a rule continues from the proto-Indo-European g (velar) or ǵ (palatal) [4. 83; 2…

Y (linguistics)

(77 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen)
[German version] In Greek, the letter Y (ypsilon) first represented the vowel [u], later [ü]; the first was kept in Greek dipthongs (ναῦς = [nau̯s]; Ζεύς = [zeu̯s]) and in the Old Latin letter V (RVFVS; AVT). The Y that was later adopted into the Latin alphabet mainly represented Greek [ü] (LYRA, LYDVS), as well as a similar sounding variation in original Latin words (inscriptional FYDES) [1. 9, 51 f.]. V (linguistics) Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) Bibliography 1 Leumann.


(2,918 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
I. Ancient Greek [German version] A. Age, Sources The earliest extant Greek texts date from around 1400 BC. Greek is thus the oldest known language transmitted in Europe and takes second place (after  Hittite) amongst the Indo-European languages. As Greek has a partly accessible prehistory (see B., C. below) and survives today, its linguistic history can be traced over about 5,000 years. The most important linguistic sources of Ancient Greek are textual. They range from functional ( Mycenaean,  Papyri) to literary texts. The latter are transmitted, sometim…

Baltic languages

(981 words)

Author(s): Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) | Forssman, Berthold (Jena RWG)
Forssman, Bernhard (Erlangen) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) The term Baltic languages (BL) refers to an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, a branch that includes Lithuanian, Latvian and Old Prussian, the last of which died out c. 1700. Trade contacts between the Baltic peoples and the Romans ( Trade/Trade routes) had existed as early as Antiquity along the Amber Road, but evidence of linguistic contact at that early time does not exist. The Baltic peoples do not enter i…