A Study of the Terms for 'father' In Gothic

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Yoon, Hyejoon

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서울대학교 언어교육원
어학연구, Vol.41 No.4, pp. 931-948
GothicProto lndo-European languagekinship termnursery wordsemantic fieldcacophonyanalogycasecognate
This article is a study of the kinship term for 'father' in Gothic, in comparison with other Indo-European languages. Gothic is an old germanic language which belongs to the now extinct East Germanic group. It has special value for Indo-European linguists because it was recorded several hundred years before the oldest surviving texts of all the other Germanic languages. 1) Namely, Gothic shows the transition and development from the Proto Indo-European language to various Germanic languages. It is well known that the Indo-European kinship terms are the most consistent and the best attested terms. They are observed in almost all lndo-European languages with clear concordances, therefore, they show the Proto lndo-Europan glossary (Adamantidis, 2003, p. 2). Without exception, the gothic kinship terms inherited from the Proto Indo-European language are also well preserved in the r-stem class with cognates in other lndo-European languages. Then, for the kinship terns, there are in the lndo-European languages another kind of words in addition to archaic forms, which are generally called nursery words. Although these nursery words are derived from the language of children, their distributions are very extensive. Therefore, they suggest the Proto Indo-European status also. Only, considering the occurrence, the inherited forms in r-stem class are surely much more used than these nursery words in almost all Indo-European languages. But, in Gothic, remarkably, atta, the nursery word for 'father,' is more generally used than radar, the inherited from the Proto Indo-European language. The word radar is attested only once in the remained Gothic Bible, namely, in Galatians 4:6, e.g. abba fadar=⍺ᵝᵝ⍺ б 𝝿⍺𝜏𝜂𝜌 '0, my father,' while atta is attested total 255 times (Sncedal, 1998, pp. 100-104). To explain this peculiar distribution, various arguments have been made by many researchers in phonological aspects (Jellinek, 1926 etc.), semantic aspects (Sen, 1972; Ebbinghaus, 1974; Bammesberger, 1994 etc.) and other various aspects (Sturtevant, 1951 etc.). In this article, I deal with this problem reconsidering existing arguments through analysis and with criticism on them, and try to find a solution in correlation with the another kinship term for 'mother' which shows in Gothic like the terms for 'father' a remarkable character.
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Language Education Institute (언어교육원)Language Research (어학연구)Language Research (어학연구) Volume 41 Number 1/4 (2005)
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