‘Glossing the Old Frisian Psalter: Pragmatics and Competence’

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Abstract

The essay takes into examination the interlinear glosses in Old Frisian in the fragment of Psalter in ms. Groningen, Universiteitsbibliotheek 404. This is the oldest medieval Frisian fragmentary codex to survive and contains verses of Psalms XVII, XXVII, and XVIII, accompanied by glosses in the vernacular. This essay is the first lengthy study specifically devoted to the typology of the glosses themselves and their peculiarities (within the field of interlinear glosses). On close inspection, the OF glosses show a large internal coherence and individual quality. As far as the lexicon is concerned, the glosses feature a series of words belonging to the juridical lexicon, whereas other word-choices betray a keen attention to building techniques and buildings themselves. In a number of instances, it is evident that the glossator has tried to reproduce the structure of the Latin word, in general a verb. Among the other relevant features is the glossator’s penchant for simplifying the language of the Latin Psalms, toning down the biblical speech. A feature, which seems typical of this fragmentary gloss, is the use of periphrasis instead of a single word to render a particularly complex lemma of the Latin. The omission of a number of renderings seems intentional and is carried out regularly. The choice to include in the text only the most relevant information helps to explain the most striking feature of these in-text glosses (as far as unglossed words are concerned): the omission of the demonstrative and possessive adjectives. The renderings of the Psalters are compared with other interlinear glosses to the Psalter, i.e. those in Old English. The essay has been reviewed by the Scientif Committee of the Journal "Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik” and the editorial board of the volume published by Rodopi (Amsterdam/New York), which features the contributions of the twenty-plus international authors and is devoted to Old Frisian philology. The book is a monographic number of the Journal “Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik”, which is ranked among the FASCIA A JOURNALS of scientific area (10/M1) I belong to by the ANVUR. The volume has been reviewed by Benjamin G. Jones The Linguist list. International Linguistic Community online. http://linguistlist.org:8888/issues/26/26-3133.html.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)302-327
Numero di pagine26
RivistaAMSTERDAMER BEITRAGE ZUR ALTEREN GERMANISTIK
Volume73
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

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