Goths Say... Jutes Say...

Folio 106 Verso:
This folio contains segments with Germanic cognates of content words operating with “little” words such as prepositions, conjunctions, and particles to make plausible sentences. The folio, like the other two dozen folios without drawings, is full of such relationships.

This analysis will first show the transliteration of the original character set followed by the possible translation, for example (goθar ŕiðã) meaning “Goths say”, and in another example (goθeṇ oã oθeṇ) meaning “in Gothic and in Jute”. Repetitions of these and similar sets, buttressed by the format in which lines of text need not completely fill available space and at least some spacing is provided to separate words, provide convincing evidence that this line of analytic approach is valid.

To be sure, the glosses are a highly limited sample, but their frequent appearance in this folio suggest some kind of linguistic description of two or even several dialects may be involved, specifically members of the Germanic family referred to as (Gotar) and (Otar). These have been tentatively glossed, respectively, as “Goths" and “Jutes,” without any certainty as to the historical correctness of the citations. The Goths had pretty much disappeared from history by 700 C.E. and the Jutes are, at best, a people barely mentioned by historians, e.g. “Angles, Saxons, and Jutes" or contained in the geographic term such as “Jutland”.

The syntactic frame of the analysis of this folio (see lines six and seven) may be valid. The second and third words in line six (teiṇ ŕtar) appear to make up an adjective-noun phrase as a masculine plural subject, close to Old Norse. The fifth and sixth words in line six (θah ŕθã) have the form of a direct object phrase, though the gender suffix for the plural noun is closer to Old Saxon than to Old Norse.

The question of stress

There is good reason to suppose that with the words five through seven in line seven (ŕohteṇ ŕoteiṇ) the writer is contrasting an initially stressed phrase with one having a final stress (ŕoh teṇ) versus (ŕoteiṇ). The original script includes the symbol for h following o in the first example whereas it has an i following the e in the second example. These apparently are used as lengtheners for back vowels and front vowels, respectively, as well as having the status of letters. It seems likely that it is a question of either the relative loudness of the stressed syllable as against the unstressed syllable or the differences in pitch.

Detailed concordance

These pages are intended as proofs of concept rather than full translations. What follows is a select line analysis of this folio. While there are 47 lines in this folio, only 13 will be analyzed in this installment.