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The Grammar of Names in Anglo-Saxon EnglandThe Linguistics and Culture of the Old English Onomasticon$
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Fran Colman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701675.001.0001

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Old English personal name formation

Old English personal name formation

(p.100) (p.101) 5 Old English personal name formation
The Grammar of Names in Anglo-Saxon England

Fran Colman

Oxford University Press

This addresses hypotheses about the principles of selection and combination of the elements of Germanic personal names, in forming names activated by nomination and placed in the lexicon. Discussion of the vocabulary and alliterative patterns of heroic verse, folk etymology, paronomasia, as well as theories of lexical-semantic change in common words, and of any relationship between grammatical and natural gender, confirms that names have no sense relations, no denotation. Germanic monothematic, single-element names—whether in origin shortened forms of dithematic ones, or lall names, or bynames—are subsumed under nicknames. Names may be suffixed. Derivational suffixes, associated with (an) inherent notional secondary feature(s), are entered in an onomasticon; but inflectional suffixes are not. The Chapter 6 therefore focuses on distinctions between derivational and inflectional morphology.

Keywords:   alliteration, byname, dithematic, gender, heroic verse, lall name, monothematic, nickname

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