Department of Germanic Studies

Faculty Lecture Series - Assistant Proffessor Marc Pierce, PhD

"Books, Beech Trees, Runes, and Keys: Current Issues in Germanic Etymology"

Wed, September 23, 2009 | Burdine 337

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

copper beech
copper beech

After a period of relative neglect, the study of Germanic etymology is currently enjoying a comeback: new handbooks are appearing (e.g. Anatoly Liberman's monumental Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology), old ideas and etymologies are being refined and challenged, and Germanic etymology is being taken in exciting new directions (note here the etymological aspects of Theo Vennemann's theories about languages in prehistoric Europe).  This talk intends to give a brief snapshot of some of the current debates.  It begins by considering what makes a good etymology and then offers a few remarks on the history and current state of the field.  The bulk of the talk is occupied with evaluations of three currently controversial Germanic etymologies, 'book', 'rune', and 'key', each of which illustrates some new development in the field.

All the best and go Sox,



[Please note that this lecture is occurring at an atypical time; usually the faculty lectures will take place at 3:30 PM on varied Wednesdays]

Sponsored by: Germanic Studies

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