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On the Etymology of Gothic Alew

  • Giuseppe Pagliarulo (a1)

Abstract

Gothic alew ‘oil’ is ultimately derived from Latin oleum. Its phonological features, however, seem hardly reconcilable with those of the Latin word. This has prompted scholars to postulate that the Latin word was not borrowed directly into Gothic but rather via a third language: continental Celtic, Illyrian or Raetic. This article examines the weaknesses of these theories and proposes that the unexpected features of the Gothic item may be explained in terms of proper Gothic or Latin developments, making direct derivation of alew from oleum the most plausible and parsimonious hypothesis.

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Corresponding author

Università degli Studi di Torino, Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature straniere e Culture Moderne, Via Verdi 10, 10124, Torino, Italy [giuseppe.pagliarulo@unito.it]

References

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Journal of Germanic Linguistics
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  • EISSN: 1475-3014
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