Griutungi

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Griutungi
Grēutungiskō, Gutiskō, Walþungiskō
Pronunciation /ˈɡreːu̯.tuŋ.ɡɪs.koː, ˈɡu.tɪs.koː, ˈwal.θuŋ.ɡɪs.koː/
Created by

BenJamin P. Johnson,
creator of:

Setting Northern Italy
Date 2018
Language family
Writing system Valthungian Alphabet
Latin script (transliteration)
ISO 639-3 qgt

Griutungi is an East Germanic language which was the ancestor of Valthungian. It was contemporaneous and likely mutually intelligible with Gothic. There was no written record of Griutungi, aside from a few possible examples written in the Gothic alphabet which may have been attributed to Gothic instead. It has been reconstructed with a very similar phonology:

Comparison of Gothic and Griutungi Orthography

Gothic Gothic IPA Griutungi Examples / Notes
𐌰 a ɑ a Go. apls, Gr. apls; Vl. aplas ‘apple’
𐌰 ā ɑː ā Go. gāhts, Gr. gāhts; Vl. gāfts ‘way’
𐌰𐌹 ɛ e Go. wair, Gr. wer; Vl. wer ‘man’
𐌰𐌹 ai, ái ɛː ǣ Go. ains, Gr. ǣns; Vl. ǣns ‘one’
𐌰𐌿 ɔ o Go. waurd, Gr. word; Vl. word ‘word’
𐌰𐌿 au, áu ɔː ǭ Go. auþs, Gr. ǭþs; Vl. ǭþs ‘easy’
𐌱 b b, β b Go. balgs, Gr. balgs; Vl. balǧ ‘bag’
𐌲 g g, ɣ g Go. gaits, Gr. gǣts; Vl. gǣts ‘goat’
𐌲𐌲 gg ŋg ng Go. gaggan, Gr. gangan; Vl. gangna ‘go’
𐌲𐌵 gq ŋkʷ, ŋkw nkw Go. igqis, Gr. inkwis; Vl. inkus ‘you two’
𐌲𐌺 gk ŋk nk Go. drigkan, Gr. drinkan; Vl. drinkna ‘drink’
𐌳 d d, ð d Go. dwals, Gr. dwals; Vl. dwals ‘stupid’
𐌴 ē ē Go. lētan, Gr. lētan; Vl. lētna ‘let’
𐌴𐌹 ei ī Go. þeiƕō, Gr. þīhwō; Vl. þīfua ‘thunder’
𐌵 q kʷ, kw kw Go. aqizi, Gr. akwizi; Vl. akuže ‘axe’
𐌶 z z z Go. airzeis, Gr. erzīs; Vl. ežis ‘wrong’
𐌷 h h h Go. hairtō, Gr. hertō; Vl. herta ‘heart’
𐌸 þ θ þ Go. þamma, Gr. þamma; Vl. þatma ‘that’
𐌹 i i i Go. inahs, Gr. inahs; Vl. inās ‘wise’
𐌹𐌿 iu iu̯ iu Go. iup, Gr. iup; Vl. jup ‘up’
𐌺 k k k Go. kalds, Gr. kalds; Vl. kalǧ ‘cold’
𐌻 l l l Go. leitils, Gr. lītils; Vl. lītils ‘little’
𐌼 m m m Go. mōtei, Gr. mōtī; Vl. mœuti ‘meeting’
𐌽 n n n Go. niunda, Gr. niunþa; Vl. njunþa ‘ninth’
𐌾 j j j Go. jēr, Gr. jēr; Vl. jēr ‘year’
𐌿 u u u Go. *uggwilō, Gr. ungwilō; Vl. ungwila ‘owl’
𐌿 ū ū Go. ūtaþrō, Gr. ūtaþrō; Vl. ūtaðra ‘outside’
𐍀 p p p Go. pund, Gr. pund; Vl. pund ‘pound’
𐍁 90 - - ‹𐍁› did not have a phonetic value in Gothic: It was used solely to represent the number ‘90’.
A variation of this letter was later used to represent palatalized /t/ and /k/; later, /ʧ/.
𐍂 r r r Go. rauan, Gr. rǭwan; Vl. rōgna ‘row’
𐍃 s s s Go. sauil, Gr. sǭwil; Vl. sōgil ‘sun’
𐍄 t t t Go. taihswa, Gr. tehswa; Vl. tǣsus ‘right’
𐍅 w w w Go. waddjus, Gr. waddjus; Vl. wǣǧis ‘wall’
𐍅 w ʏ y Go. hwssōpō, Gr. hyssōpō; Vl. hȳsapa ‘hyssop’
𐍆 f f f Go. faihu, Gr. fehu; Vl. fǣjo ‘cattle’
𐍇 x kh Go. xristus, Gr. khristus; Vl. kristus ‘Christ’
𐍈 ƕ hʷ, xw hw Go. ƕōtei, Gr. hwōtī; Vl. hwœuti ‘threat’
𐍉 ō ō Go. wōdans, Gr. wōdans; Vl. wōðnas ‘Odin’
𐍊 900 - - ‹𐍊› did not have a phonetic value in Gothic: It was used solely to represent the number ‘900’.

Key Differences Between Griutungi and the Biblical Gothic of Wulfila

Aside from a slightly modified orthography, Griutungi also differs from “Biblical” or “Wulfilian” Gothic in several minor but important ways.

Phonology

/nd/ vs. /nθ/

  • The Gothic third person plural and gerund ending –nd shows the variation –nþ in Griutungi. The –nþ ending also appears in the ordinal forms of some numbers where we would otherwise expect –nd, e.g. njunþa ‘ninth’ instead of expected **njunda, or frīnþs ‘friend’ instead of **frīnǧ. However, we cannot posit a post-Gothic change of nd > nθ, because other instances of nd still occur in several nouns, such as winǧ ‘wind’ (genitive windis) or þūsunde ‘thousand’ (plural þūsunǧis).

Retention of Siever’s Law

  • Griutungi (and indeed even modern Valthungian) maintains the Siever’s Law distinction (i.e. the distinction between “long-stem” and “short-stem” roots) in the neuter of ja-stem nouns and adjectives. This distinction was retained in the masculine in Gothic, but was lost in the neuter. E.g. Compare Gothic stukkjis, genitive of stukki ‘piece’ to Griutungi stukkīs. This distinction can still be observed in Modern Valthungian in that these “long-forms” do not show palatalization; here, stȳkis, whereas, if if were descended directly from the Gothic, we would find stȳčis.

Glide Retention

Based on the later development of Verschärfung in words like rōgna ‘to row’ or sǣǧin ‘to sow’, it is likely that the long vowel lowering that Gothic underwent did not happen in the same way in the development of Griutungi, and that the latter must have retained a glide between stressed and unstressed vowels: e.g. Gothic rauan, saian (/rɔ̄an/, /sɛ̄an/), but Griutungi rǭwan, sǣjan (/rɔ̄wan/, /sɛ̄jan/).

Pronouns

  • The most immediately noticeable difference between Gothic and Griutungi is the second person pronoun. Each has þu for the nominative, but the accusative and dative forms in Gothic replaced the vowel with the /u/ of the nominative (þuk and þus) while Griutungi retained the Germanic form (þik and þis).

Verbs

  • Griutungi also retained the “short forms” of the anomalous verbs gangan and standan, which either disappeared from Gothic entirely or were never used in any of the texts that have survived to our time. Specifically, the verb gǣn ‘to go’ was used beside the long form gangan (Gothic gaggan), and stǣn ‘to stand, to stay’ beside standan. Griutungi also retained the verb dōn ‘to do’, which was usually expressed in Gothic by the verb taujan (Griutungi tǭjan).

Prepositions

  • The Germanic preposition remains in Griutungi as , while in Gothic it inexplicably – despite several conflicting theories, all of which seem like a bit of a stretch – became du; Griutungi seems to have also had du, used in a benefactive sense, though it was likely borrowed from Gothic proper sometime in the fifth or sixth century while the two languages were still fairly mutually intelligible.

Nouns

  • Griutungi retains r/n alternation in certain heteroclitic nouns which only show /n/ in Gothic, e.g. fōr/funin ‘fire’ (Gothic fōn/funin), watra/watna ‘water’ (Gothic wata/watna), and otherwise unattested in Germanic, ǧikur/ǧikun ‘liver’.
  • Several nouns show a difference in gender from their Gothic counterparts. Many of these differences may have occurred during later stages of the language, but some must necessarily have occurred before Gothic, such as retention of the feminine for ‘sun’ – sauil (n) in Gothic but sōwilō (f) in Griutungi.

Adverbs

  • The final vowel is not reduced in adverbs formed with –ba (from earlier Germanic bi), resulting in Valthungian –ve instead of the expected **–f, so Griutungi likely had –bi in this position instead of –ba.

Differences Likely Due to Later Changes

  • The final –t of the neuter interrogative pronoun (‘what’) was lost in Gothic, likely due to Coronal Consonant Deletion, but persists in Valthungian, though it is likely that –t was lost initially and then later added back from analogy with other neuter nominative and accusative pronouns, determiners, and adjectives (e.g. it, þat, hit, gōðat, &c.)
  • Weak verbs in Valthungian show no trace of the ‹d›-reduplication that occurs in Gothic (e.g. Gothic kambidēdun ‘they combed’ versus Griutungi kambidun). This is possibly a leveling of the paradigm, though it is likely that it was never manifested in the same manner that it was in Gothic.
  • Gothic has a small class of feminine nouns (sometimes called “i/ō-stems”) which follow the i-stem paradigm in the singular and the ō-stem in the plural. These nouns exclusively follow the i-stem in Griutungi. E.g. Gothic haims, plural haimōs, compared to Griutungi hǣms, hǣmīs.
  • The genitive singular of feminine i- and ō-stem nouns and adjectives in Valthungian appears as –is instead of expected –as (e.g. Gothic qēnais ‘wife’s’, gibōs ‘gift’s’, but Valthungian kwēnis, givis). This may be partially due to paradigmatic levelling, but it is assumed that at least the feminine i-stem paradigm in Griutungi was identical to the masculine in all cases except for the dative.
  • Gothic shows an alternation in the comparative and superlative of adjectives where some take an ō- ending and other take i-. Valthungian exclusively takes i- for comparison. It is unknown whether Griutungi used both forms.
  • The numbers 70, 80, and 90 in Gothic took a different ‘tens’ form which does not appear in Valthungian, though likely due to later paradigmatic levelling. Gothic sibuntēhund ‘70’, ahtautēhund ‘80’, niuntēhund ‘90’, but Griutungi sibuntigjus, ahtǭtigjus, niuntigjus; Valthungian sivuntiǧis, ātatiǧis, njuntiǧis.
  • Valthungian also has a curious “trial distributive,” þrǣ, comparable to the dual (Gothic bai), though this is likely an innovation to the language well after Gothic times.