Lombardic language

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Lombardic is the extinct language of Lombards (Langobardi), the Germanic speaking settlers in Italy in the sixth century C. E..

Phonologically, Lombardic is close to High German, especially Bavarian. It seems to have participated in the second sound shift, and some researchers (e.g. Ernst Schwarz) see these sound changes even as originating with Lombardic. Formerly, Lombardic has been classified as Ingaevonian (North Sea Germanic), but this classification is considered obsolete. The classification of Lombardic within the Germanic languages may be complicated by issues of orthography. According to Hutterer (1999) it is close to Old Saxon. According to Paulus Diaconus (8th century) and the Codex Gothanus (9th century), the Lombards were of Scandinavian origin ultimately, but they had settled at the Elbe before entering Italy, and Tacitus counts them among the Suebi.

Longbardic fragments are preserved in runic inscriptions, in latinized forms, and in transcriptions influenced by Old High German orthography. This Lombardic alphabet, as commonly transcribed, consists of the following graphemes:

a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q(u), r, s, ʒ, t, þ, u, w, z

The qu represents a [kw] sound. The ʒ is [s], e.g. skauʒ [skaus] "womb". The z is [ts]. h is [h] word-initially, and [x] elsewhere.

Among the primary source texts are short inscriptions in the Elder Futhark, among them the "bronze capsule of Schretzheim" (late 6th century),

arogis d alaguþleuba dedun
(maybe "Arogis and Alaguth made love")

And also the two fibulae of Pallersdorf, Hungary, likewise dating to the late 6th century,

A godahid unja
B karsiboda segun
(A: "Godahild — joy!", B: "I, Arsiboda — hail!")


References

  • Claus Jürgen Hutterer, Die Germanischen Sprachen, Wiesbaden (1999), 336–341.


de:Langobardische Sprache
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