Unity and Diversity in West Germanic II
  • ISSN 0108-8416
  • E-ISSN: 2212-9715
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Old English heofon (Christ and Satan, 343b) must not be interpreted as preterit in the plural, and therefore the form provides no support for positing a reduplicating verb OE hēafan ‘lament’ (< Gmc. *hauf-). The form heofon represents the infinitive OE hēofan. The Old English evidence fully agrees with a reconstructed root Gmc. *heuf- > OE hēofan. An alternative root Gmc. *hauf- is unsupported and should not be posited. The form hof (Genesis, 771a), a relic of the Old Saxon vorlage, evidences the strong preterit *hauf for West Germanic. The strong verb *heuf-, reliably attested in West Germanic, ultimately died out in the further development of the individual languages.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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