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Gothic Online

Series Introduction

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Gothic is the language of the earliest literary documents of the Germanic peoples as a whole. The only linguistic remnants of Germanic peoples which antedate Gothic remains are some of the Runic inscriptions, with which the Gothic language shares not a few characteristics because of its general linguistic conservatism. The language itself belongs to what is termed the East Germanic branch of languages, and is in fact the sole documented survivor of the branch. Other languages presumed to have belonged to this group, such as Vandalic, have left no written records. The primary source of linguistic data for the Gothic language is what remains of a translation of the Bible made sometime in the 4th century AD. Aside from a few other remains, however, this period furnishes the only remains of the Gothic language. Gothic may have survived near the Black Sea, though in altered form, until at least the 16th century as a nonliterary language now termed Crimean Gothic.

1. Location of the Goths

Precise location of the Gothic homeland is difficult for two principal reasons:

  1. the Goths left no clear written or archaeological records which may be used to pinpoint their location;
  2. they seem not to have remained in one region for any lengthy period of time, being driven to migration by stimuli both internal and external.

From later sources, the general consensus is that the earliest known location of the Goths was somewhere in the reaches of northern or northeastern Europe. This may have included parts of Scandinavia, as well as the northern reaches of modern Poland. The Goths appear to have subsequently migrated to the regions bordering the Black Sea to the north, and to the east of the Danube river, which formed the border of the Roman empire.

From this region, the Goths ventured out in the mid-3rd century AD on a series of raids which marked the beginning of a centuries' long struggle between the Gothic peoples and the Roman empire. The Goths crossed the Danube into Roman territory in 376 AD.

At no point in their mention in the history books do the Goths seem to have been a completely unified people. In the period of their earliest raids, they seem to have been broken into several factions. By the time they became an overarching threat to the empire, they seem to have coalesced into two main groups, eventually termed the Visigoths and Ostrogoths.

Though the term Visigoth may have originated in an embellished rendering of an earlier appellation, Vesi, it soon came to connote 'west'; its counterpart Ostrogoth seems always to have connoted 'east', both terms agreeing with the relative locations of the tribes. The latter tribe eventually fought alongside the Huns as they ravaged Europe. The former eventually pushed its way through Italy and seized Rome itself. Their subsequent migrations and settlements have left linguistic remnants in regional names throughout Europe.

2. Position of Gothic in the Germanic Family
2.1 Characteristic Features of Gothic

The Gothic language has several characteristics which distinguish it from other languages of the Germanic family. The most salient of these are discussed in the following two sections.

2.1.1 Phonological Characteristics

The Proto-Germanic vowel *e1, probably pronounced [ǣ], became Gothic , though other Germanic languages have or . Compare the following forms:

Gothic Sound
Change
  Gothic   Old High
German
  Old
English
  Old
Norse
  Meaning
                     
*e1 >   qēmun   kāmun   cwōmon   kvāmu   'they came'
    mēna   māno   mōna   māne   'moon'

Though Gothic follows Greek orthographic practice in using a doubled-g to write the sound of Modern English ng in sing, i.e. gg = [ŋg], there are some instances of a true double consonant gg [gg]. These are always found before -w- and are reflexes of a general sound development in Gothic called Verschaerfung, or Sharpening. According to this rule, Proto-Germanic *ww became Gothic ggw; a similar development changed Proto-Germanic *jj to Gothic ddj. This sharpening is a feature Gothic shares with Old Norse. Compare the examples in the following table:

Gothic Sound
Change
  Gothic   Old High
German
  Old
English
  Old
Norse
  Meaning
                     
*ww > ggw   triggws   triuwi   trīewe   tryggr   'true, faithful'
    glaggwus   glau   glēaw   gluggr   'accurate; wise'
                     
*jj > ggj   twaddjē   zwei(i)o   twēg(e)a   tveggja   'of two'
    -waddjus           veggr   'wall'

Gothic alone does not show the effects of rhotacism which other Germanic languages display. Through this change, Proto-Germanic *z became r in most of the Germanic daughter languages (this *z sometimes appears as s in Gothic). The terminology derives from the Greek name for the equivalent of the letter r, i.e. rho. Consider the following examples:

Gothic Sound
Change
  Gothic   Old High
German
  Old
English
  Old
Norse
  Meaning
                     
*z > z   láisjan   lēren   lǣran       'teach'
    huzd   hort   hord   hodd   'hoard'
    wēsun   wārun   wǣron   váru   'they were'

Gothic displays the change of initial Proto-Germanic *fl- to þl-, which does not occur in other Germanic languages. But this seems only to have occured in the environment of -h, -hs, or *-kw. Consider the table below:

Gothic Sound
Change
  Gothic   Old High
German
  Old
English
  Old
Norse
  Meaning
                     
*fl- > þl-   þliuhan   fliohan   flēon   flýja   'flee'
    *þlahsjan       flīeman   flæma   'frighten, drive, chase'
                     
*fl- > fl-   flōdus   flōt   flōd   flōð   'flood'
    flōkan   fluohhōn   flōcan   flōkinn (ptcple.)   'bewail, strike, curse, distress'

Gothic did not undergo the i-umlaut and u-umlaut found in several other Germanic languages. Through this change, an i or j contained in one syllable would serve to front the vowel of the immediately preceding syllable, leaving its roundness unaffected; analogously an u or w in a given syllable would serve to round the vowel in the immediately preceding syllable, leaving frontness or backness unaffected. Consider the following examples:

PGmc   Gothic   Old High
German
  Old
English
  Old
Norse
  Meaning
                     
*gastiz   gasts   gast   giest   gestr   'stranger, guest'
*nasjan   nasjan   nerren   nerian       'save'
*handus   handus   hant   hond   hǫnd   'hand'
2.1.2 Morphological Characteristics

Gothic has retained the original nominative singular masculine ending of a-stem nouns, PGmc *-az, more or less intact as final -s:

PGmc   Gothic   Old High
German
  Old
English
  Old
Norse
  Meaning
                     
*dagaz   dags   tac   dæg   dagr   'day'
*gastiz   gasts   gast   giest   gestr   'stranger, guest'

Gothic likewise retains the Proto-Indo-European accusative plural ending *-ns, which elsewhere in Germanic loses the nasal, and sometimes the sibilant as well:

PGmc   Gothic   Old High
German
  Old
English
  Old
Norse
  Meaning
                     
*dagans   dagans   taga   dagas   daga   'days' (acc. pl.)

Gothic is unique among the Germanic languages in retaining a functioning morphological passive. Compare Gothic baírada 'is borne' to Greek phéretai and Sanskrit bhárate. This passive conjugation is only found in the present tense. The only remnants of such forms in other Germanic languages are possibly Runic haite, Old Norse heiti, Old English hātte 'I am called'.

Gothic is also unique in preserving a full class of reduplicating verbs, the seventh class of strong verbs. Strong verbs across the Germanic languages generally use vocalic alternation to signal a change in tense, but Gothic possesses in addition a fairly large number of verbs that reduplicate the root syllable to mark the past tense. Thus the 3rd person singular preterite indicative of háitan 'call (by name)' is haíháit. Compare Greek dé-dōka and Latin de-dī 'I have given'. Remnants of such a system survive in other Germanic languages, but the instances are few and far between: Old English hēt '(he) called' < he-ht, reduplicated preterite of hātan 'name'. Generally such verbs have shifted to a different strong verb class in the other Germanic languages, e.g. Old High German 3rd singular preterite hiaz from eizan 'be called'.

Gothic displays the ending -t in the second person singular preterite indicative of strong verbs. This feature is also found in Old Norse, but generally lost elsewhere in Germanic. In preterite-present verbs, however, the form survives across the Germanic languages. Compare the following examples of cognate strong verbs and cognate preterite-present verbs:

Verb Type   Gothic   Old High
German
  Old
English
  Old
Norse
  Meaning
                     
Strong   namt   nāmi   nōme   namt   'thou didst take'
                     
Preterite-Pres.   þarft   darft   þearft   þarft   'thou needest'

Gothic is the only language of the Germanic family to employ a polysyllabic dental suffix in forming the preterite of weak verbs. For example, where Old English has neredon 'we saved', Gothic has nasidēdum 'we saved'. While there is a single dental in the Old English suffix, Gothic shows the sequence -dēd- in plural forms.

2.2 Gothic and the Germanic Family Tree

The Germanic family tree is traditionally divided into three branches: North, West, and East Germanic. Of North Germanic, Old Norse is the primary exemplar; of West Germanic, Old English and Old High German are exemplars; of East Germanic, Gothic is the sole remnant. The three branches are not, however, as distinct as the terminology might first suggest. Gothic shares separate features with various languages in each of the other two branches.

Gothic shows several features in common with North Germanic (some of which have been discussed above), including the following:

  1. sharpening of *ww and *jj;
  2. the sound change *ngw > ng;
  3. a number of verbs of the -nan class;
  4. a 2nd person singular preterite ending -t;
  5. the lack of short forms, i.e. non-infixed forms, for 'stand' and 'go';
  6. the lack of a gerund.

Gothic and Old Norse also share a feminine participle formation in -īn, rather than the -jō formation found in West Germanic. For these reasons, and others, some scholars have argued that Gothic and Old Norse early formed a single branch of Germanic, which subsequently divided. This has the added benefit of geographical support. In particular, ancient sources describing the earliest locations of the Goths place them in the vicinity of Scandinavia. Such a location at an early date would surely have led to a period of common development.

There are, however, counterarguments to the close association of Gothic and North Germanic. Among these counterarguments is the fact that sharpening is the only clear common innovation within Gothic and Old Norse. All of the other commonalities can potentially be explained as facets of Proto-Germanic which all the Germanic languages would have shared, but which subsequently only Gothic and Old Norse retained. All other Germanic languages simply lost those features. What is more, the form of sharpening in the two languages differs: NGmc *jj > Gothic ddj, but Old Norse ggj. And it is not altogether clear that North Germanic had no short forms for the verbs 'stand' and 'go'. The earliest texts of Old Swedish do in fact show short forms stā 'stand' and gā 'go'.

To add to the mystery of how East Germanic is related to the other branches of the family, there is the fact that Gothic shares some common features with Old High German, in the West Germanic branch, to the exclusion of Old Norse. These include:

  1. third person pronoun, masculine nominative singular stem in i-, rather than h-: Gothic is and Old High German er as against Old Norse hinn, Old English hē, Old Saxon hē;
  2. third person singular present indicative form of 'to be' with final -t: Gothic ist and Old High German ist as against Old Norse er, Old English is, Old Saxon is, ist.

Such features suggest the possibility of close interaction between Goths and Germans of the southeastern regions. If these features can be dated to an early period, as some scholars argue, then this casts some doubts on a protracted period of common development between Gothic and Old Norse, and even on the grouping of the West Germanic dialects itself.

3. The Gothic Corpus

The corpus of the Gothic language consists chiefly of large portions of a translation of the New Testament Gospels and Epistles; the only surviving remnants of the Old Testament are chapters 5-7 of Nehemiah. This translation is generally ascribed to the bishop Wulfila in the middle of the 4th century AD, though there is no direct evidence that the translation that survives is actually in his words; the major manuscripts themselves all date from the late 5th to middle 6th century. What remain are references to the fact that Wulfila did in fact translate the Bible in its entirety, save for the Book of Kings. There are, however, no other references to a biblical translator among the Goths, so that the association of the surviving text with Wulfila is not likely to be far off the mark.

The Gothic biblical translation is apparently based on the Antiochene-Byzantine recension of Lucian the Martyr (c. 312), which was a Greek text dominant in the diocese of Constantinople. This exact version of the biblical writings does not survive, though some scholars have attempted to delimit the places in which it differs from the Greek manuscripts on which the modern received text is based. There are also apparent traces of influence from Latin translations of the Bible from the pre-Vulgate era.

Of the codices that contain the Gothic translation of the Bible, the Codex Argenteus, or Silver Codex, is by far the most impressive. The name comes from the binding, which is made of silver. Within this are contained 187 leaves out of a presumed original 336. The pages are purple parchment, though now a faded red, with letters of silver and gold. The beginnings of gospels, the first lines of sections and the Lord's Prayer, and the gospel symbols at the bottom of the pages are all in gold letters; the rest is written in silver. The codex was discovered in the abbey at Werden in the 16th century. It was subsequently taken to Prague; when the city fell to the Swedes in 1648, the codex was taken to Stockholm. After being transferred to Holland and then purchased again by the Swedish chancellor de la Gardie, it now resides in the library of the University of Uppsala. Another leaf was discovered in 1970 in the cathedral of Speyer on the Rhine.

The Codex Gissensis was found in Egypt in 1907. This consisted of four pages containing verses from Luke 23-24 in Latin and Gothic. It was subsequently ruined by water damage.

The Codex Carolinus is a palimpsest consisting of 4 leaves and containing verses from the Epistle to the Romans in both Latin and Gothic. It was found in the abbey of Weissenburg, though it originally belonged to the monastery at Bobbio in Liguria. It now resides in the Wolfenbuettel library.

The Codices Ambrosiani are likewise palimpsests. There are five of these codices, labelled A-E. Codex A contains 102 leaves, of which 6 are blank and another illegible. This contains various segments of the Epistles, as well as one page of a calendar. Codex B contains 78 leaves, which have the complete text of II Corinthians as well as parts of other Epistles. Codex C has two leaves, containing Matthew 25-27. Codex D contains 3 leaves, showing part of the book of Nehemiah.

The last of the Codices Ambrosiani, Codex E, contains eight leaves. In these survive a document, given the title Skeireins aíwaggēljons þaírh Iōhannēn 'Explanation of the Gospel according to John' by the editor Massmann in 1834, generally referred to simply as the Skeireins. The author of this commentary is not known; though possibly written by Wulfila, there is no evidence of this.

In addition there are very sparse remnants of other documents: a fragment of a calendar of martyrs, marginal notes in a Veronese manuscript, a Latin title deed from Ravenna written c. 551, and another Latin deed from Arezzo which has subsequently been lost. There are also examples of the letters of the Gothic alphabet written with their associated names. In addition, there are transcriptions of numerals in a Salzburg-Vienna manuscript of the 9th-10th centuries. A few phrases remain elsewhere in an almost phonetic Latin transcription.

One letter by the diplomat Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq is believed to contain the most recent traces of the Gothic language. It describes his encounter, sometime between 1555 and 1562, with two envoys from the Crimea who spoke a language presumed to be Gothic, or a closely related language. This letter was subsequently printed in Paris in 1589. The identification is not however air-tight, as the letter has only about 100 Gothic words, most of them grammatically isolated, and suffers from many problems of orthography and transmission.

Related Language Courses at UT

Most but not all language courses taught at The University of Texas concern modern languages; sometimes courses are offered in ancient languages, though more often at the graduate level. Germanic language courses, except for English, are taught in the Department of Germanic Studies (link opens in a new browser window). Other online language courses for college credit are offered through the University Extension (new window).

East Germanic Resources Elsewhere

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Gothic Online

Lesson 1

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Literary Origins of the Goths

The earliest literary references to the Goths are found in the works of Pliny, Strabo, and Tacitus. In his Natural History, Pliny the Elder mentions a certain Pytheas of Messalia, a Greek historian who records his observations on a journey through the 'parts near Ocean', sometime around the time of Alexander the Great. Pliny states that Pytheas believed a tribe called Gutones inhabited regions of Germania. Pliny's statement of Pytheas' findings concerning the Goths, however, presents scholars with two difficulties: (1) that the statement in question actually contains Guiones, which must be emended to Gutones to bring it in line with other presumed references to the Goths in Pliny; (2) the reference to Germania is clearly Pliny's own, since no such province was in existence in the time of Pytheas. Hence we cannot be sure what Pytheas himself said about their location. Pliny later mentions the Gutones as one of five tribes of the Germani.

Strabo, in his Geography, mentions the Gutones in a discussion of the Hercynian Forest. Once again, however, such an association rests on textual emendment: the manuscript reads Boutones, which scholars emend to Goutones. The location is not specified, which is not unexpected, since few authors could claim to know anything certain about regions beyond the Danube in this period.

Tacitus, in his work the Germania, written sometime around 98 AD, says in chapter 43: "beyond the Lugii, the Gotones are ruled by kings..., and next, close to the Ocean, the Rugii" and others. According to his account, the Suebi are in northern Europe, the Lugii beyond them, and the Gotones beyond them; but the latter must not quite be on the Baltic coast, since the Rugii and others are closer to the Baltic than the Gotones. Tacitus also mentions in his later work the Annales, chapters 2.62-63, that a certain Catualda was a noble among the Gotones.

In his Geography, Ptolemy locates the Guthones near the Vistula river. He elsewhere lists the Goutai as one of the seven tribes inhabiting Skandiai, presumably Sweden. It is not clear if both of these terms refer to the same tribe. If so, these are perhaps reflexes of strong and weak forms of the name. If not, one is not sure which ones are 'the' Goths. Some link the Goutai to the Geats of Beowulf, whose history thereafter is know from other medieval sources. But it is not clear that these are the Goths of Scandinavia.

The late 4th century, non-Christian author Ammianus Marcellinus is an important source for our understanding of the early movements of the Gothic tribes and their interaction with imperial forces. But he mentions nothing of Gothic origins, even though he mentions origins of others, such as the Alans, who descended from the Massagetae, and the Persians from the Scythians. Ammianus focuses on the movements of individual Gothic groups, most importantly the Tervingi and the Greuthungi.

Bishop Ambrose of Milan, in composing his work De Fide sometime around 380 AD for the emperor Gratian, links the Gothi with the Biblical Gog, ruler of the land Magog, which is perhaps set to the north, and maybe connected with islands. Ambrose seems to have taken the occasion to place Gratian's struggle with the Goths in a more divine setting, since in Revelations 20.7-10, Gog is destined to compass 'the camp of the saints'. The genealogist Josephus, earlier writing the Antiquitates in 93-94 AD, links Magogites with Scythians; Josephus is directly quoted by the later Gothic historian Jordanes.

Jerome, writing sometime c. 390, challenges the identification of the Goths with Gog and his people. He identifies Getae and Gothi. Orosius, writing the Historia adversum paganos in 417 AD and seeking to play down the prophetic overtones of a link between Goths and Gog, follows Jerome's association. The association was a simple one, since the Getae had lived along the lower Danube, and this was the origin of the Gothi in their attack on Rome. Augustine, however, writing De civitate Dei between 413 and 427 AD, denies the equation of Goths and Scythians, as well as that of Goths and Getae.

One of our most important sources of Gothic history is Jordanes, who wrote the Origins and Acts of the Goths or Getica in 550 AD in Constantinople. Though he wrote in Latin, Jordanes is unique among our sources because he is the only one who is himself a Goth. He states in his work that he relies on Gothic oral tradition, but nevertheless claims some personal acquaintance with the material he treats. He also mentions that he closely follows the written work of another historian, the Gothic History written by Cassiodorus, a Roman Senator in the 520s in the court of Theodoric the Great, the Ostrogothic king of Italy. He thrice mentions another historian, Ablabius, who perhaps wrote in the court of a Visigothic king.

The Getica gives an account of Gothic history from its inception, i.e. from the origin of the Gothic people to the time of writing, providing several concepts central to modern attempts to reconstruct Gothic history:

Under the assumption that there are no new peoples, just the same peoples with new names and new locations (a typical motif of ancient history writing), Cassiodorus, and hence Jordanes, were able to equate the Goths with Scythians, Amazons, Getes, and Dacians: the Gothic kingdom was founded before Rome, and the Goths fought in the Trojan war. Under Berig the Goths crossed the Baltic in 1490 BC, and under Filimer they moved to the Black Sea only five generations later, i.e before any of the earliest mentions of the Goths.

As modern scholarship sifts through the ancient sources it becomes clear that, by the time of the fourth century, some twelve or thirteen groups of Goths are known from the records. Five coalesce in the fifth century to form the well-known Visigoths and Ostrogoths, while the others remain distinct (after Heather, 1996):

Visigoths:   1   the greater part of the Tervingi
    2   the Greuthungi under Ermenaric
    3   Goths led by Radagaisus
         
Ostrogoths:   4   Amal-led Goths
    5   Goths under Theodoric Strabo
         
Others:   6   the remaining Tervingi, perhaps the same as those led by Arimer
    7   Greuthungi led by Farnobius
    8   Greuthungi led by Odotheus
    9   Goths under Bigelis
    10   Goths under Dengizich
    11   Crimean Goths
    12   Goths near the Sea of Azov

Ammanianus mentions that the Tervingi, groups 1 and 6, formed one unit; the Greuthungi under Ermenaric were another important political group of the 4th century. If the other groups eventually came under the control of Ermenaric, this might fall in line with the history of Jordanes; but the latter's account of Ermenaric is believed by some scholars to be more an embellished version of Ammianus' history rather than a previously attested tradition, and so Ermenaric's conquests have been exaggerated by Jordanes to put the Gothic leader on par with the later Attila.

In 399 the Roman poet Claudian wrote (In Eutropium, 2.152-153):

    Ostrogothis colitur mixtisque Gruthungis Phryx ager
    The Phrygian plain is inhabited by Ostrogoths and mixed Greuthungi.

If not merely a rhetorical device, this would make a further distinction between Ostrogoths and Greuthungi, both separate from the Tervingi, and thus adding to the number of Gothic tribes known in the 4th century.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following passage is the nativity scene found in Luke 2:1-14. The Gothic text has somewhat redundant material in Luke 2.2: at [wisandin kindina Swriais] raginondin Saurim Kwreinaiau, leading scholars to believe that a marginal gloss has crept into the text during its transmission. This particular phrase shows the common construction at + substantive + participle, an absolute construction in Gothic similar to the genitive absolute in Greek, or the ablative absolute in Latin.

The text also contains other notable grammatical features. Luke 2.3 shows the occasional use in Gothic of ei + subjunctive for purpose clauses: iddjēdun allái, ei melidái wēseina. The demonstrative þō appears in Luke 2.6 to refer to Joseph and Mary; Gothic uses the neuter plural to refer to individuals of different genders. This however is not exclusive: compare ins in Luke 2.9. Luke 2.7 gives an example of the use of the genitive in negated clauses: ni was im rumis, literally 'there was not for them of room'.

In Luke 2.14 we find an instance of the Gothic translation remaining more faithful to the Greek than the English of the King James Version. Where the English is 'and on earth peace, good will toward men', with 'peace' and 'good will' in apposition, Gothic in fact preserves the Greek genitive in godis wiljins 'of good will', qualifying the phrase 'among men': 'among men of good will'. Compare the Vulgate in hominibus bonae voluntatis, which is elaborated in the Spanish en la tierra paz, a los hombres que aman el Senor 'on earth peace to those men who love the Lord.'

2:1 - Warþ þan in dagans jainans, urrann gagrefts fram kaisara Agustau, gameljan allana midjungard.
  • warþ -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- it came to pass... (that)
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- and
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • dagans -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <dags> day -- days
  • jainans -- demonstrative pronoun used as adjective; accusative plural masculine of <jáins> that -- those
  • urrann -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <urrinnan> to rise, come from, go forth -- there went out
  • gagrefts -- strong noun, feminine; nominative singular of <gagrēfts> decree -- a decree
  • fram -- preposition; <fram> from, by, since, on account of -- from
  • kaisara -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <káisar> Caesar -- Caesar
  • Agustau -- strong proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Agustus> Augustus -- Augustus
  • gameljan -- weak verb class 1; infinitive of <gamēljan> to write, enroll -- (that... should) be taxed
  • allana -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <alls> all, every -- all
  • midjungard -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <midjungards> earth, world -- the world

2 - soh þan gilstrameleins frumista warþ at [wisandin kindina Swriais] raginondin Saurim Kwreinaiau.
  • soh -- demonstrative used as adjective; nominative singular feminine of <sa, so, þata> this, that + enclitic conjunction; <-uh> but, and, now, therefore -- this
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- and
  • gilstrameleins -- strong noun, feminine; nominative singular of <gilstramēleins> taxation, taxing -- taxing
  • frumista -- intensive adjective; nominative singular feminine of superlative of <fruma> former, first -- first
  • warþ -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- was... made
  • at -- preposition; <at> at, by, to, with, of -- when
  • wisandin -- strong verb class 5; dative singular masculine of present participle of <wisan> to be -- (was) # wisandin kindina Swriais -- a marginal gloss that has crept into the text
  • kindina -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <kindins> governor -- (governor)
  • Swriais -- strong proper noun, feminine; genitive singular of <Swria> Syria -- (of Syria)
  • raginondin -- weak verb class 2; dative singular masculine of present participle of <raginōn> to rule -- was governor
  • Saurim -- strong proper noun, masculine; dative plural of <Saúr> Syrian -- of Syria # literally 'among the Syrians'
  • Kwreinaiau -- strong proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Kwreinaíus> Cyrenius -- Cyrenius

3 - jah iddjedun allai, ei melidai weseina, ƕarjizuh in seinai baurg.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • iddjedun -- strong verb class 7; third person plural suppletive preterite of <gaggan> to come, go -- went
  • allai -- adjective used as substantive; strong nominative plural masculine of <alls> all, every -- all
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- to
  • melidai -- weak verb class 1; nominative plural masculine of preterite participle of <mēljan> to register, to enroll -- taxed
  • weseina -- strong verb class 5; third person plural past subjunctive of <wisan> to be -- be
  • ƕarjizuh -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ƕarjizuh> each, every -- every one
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- into
  • seinai -- possessive adjective; dative singular feminine of <*seins> one's own -- his own
  • baurg -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <baúrgs> city, town -- city

4 - Urrann þan jah Iosef us Galeilaia, us baurg Nazaraiþ, in Iudaian, in baurg Daweidis sei haitada Beþlahaim, duþe ei was us garda fadreinais Daweidis,
  • urrann -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <urrinnan> to rise, come from, go forth -- went up
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- and
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- also
  • Iosef -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iōsēf> Joseph -- Joseph
  • us -- preposition; <us> out, out of, from -- from
  • Galeilaia -- proper noun, feminine; dative singular of <Galeilaia> Galilee -- Galilee
  • us -- preposition; <us> out, out of, from -- out of
  • baurg -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <baúrgs> city, town -- the city
  • Nazaraiþ -- indeclinable noun; <Nazaraíþ> Nazareth -- of Nazareth
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- into
  • Iudaian -- proper noun, feminine; accusative singular of <Iudaia> Judea -- Judea
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- unto
  • baurg -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <baúrgs> city, town -- the city
  • Daweidis -- strong proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Daweid> David -- of David
  • sei -- relative pronoun; nominative singular feminine <saei> who, he who, which -- which
  • haitada -- strong verb class 7; third person singular present passive of <háitan> to call -- is called
  • Beþlahaim -- indeclinable noun; <Bēþlahaím> Bethlehem -- Bethlehem
  • duþe -- conjunction; <duþē> therefore, because, besides, on that account -- because
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- ...
  • was -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <wisan> to be -- he was
  • us -- preposition; <us> out, out of, from -- of
  • garda -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <gards> house, household -- the house
  • fadreinais -- strong noun, feminine; genitive singular of <fadreins> family, lineage -- (and) lineage # literally 'of the lineage', the Gothic lacking the conjunction of the English translation
  • Daweidis -- strong proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Daweid> David -- of David

5 - anameljan miþ Mariin sei in fragiftim was imma qeins, wisandein inkilþon.
  • anameljan -- weak verb class 1; infinitive of <anamēljan> to enroll -- to be taxed
  • miþ -- preposition; <miþ> with, among, together with, through, by, near -- with
  • Mariin -- proper noun, feminine; dative singular of <Maria> Mary -- Mary
  • sei -- relative pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <saei> who, he who, which -- ... # sei in fragiftim was imma qeins, literally 'who was wife to him in espousal'
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- ...
  • fragiftim -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <fragifts> a giving away, espousal -- espoused
  • was -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <wisan> to be -- ...
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- his
  • qeins -- strong noun, feminine; nominative singular of <qeins> wife -- wife
  • wisandein -- strong verb class 5; nominative singular feminine of present participle of <wisan> to be -- being
  • inkilþon -- adjective; dative singular feminine of <inkilþō> with child -- (great) with child

6 - warþ þan, miþþanei þo wesun jainar, usfullnodedun dagos du bairan izai.
  • warþ -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- so it was (that)
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- and
  • miþþanei -- conjunction; <miþþanei> while, during, when -- while
  • þo -- demonstrative used as person pronoun; nominative plural neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- they # neuter plural referring to individuals of different genders
  • wesun -- strong verb class 5; third person plural preterite of <wisan> to be -- were
  • jainar -- adverb; <jáinar> yonder, there -- there
  • usfullnodedun -- weak verb class 4; <usfullnan> to be fulfilled -- were accomplished
  • dagos -- strong noun, masculine; nominative plural of <dags> day -- the days
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- ...
  • bairan -- strong verb class 4; infinitive of <baíran> to bear, to carry -- should be delivered
  • izai -- personal pronoun; dative singular feminine of <is> he, she, it -- she

7 - jah gabar sunu seinana þana frumabaur jah biwand ina jah galagida ina in uzetin, unte ni was im rumis in stada þamma.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • gabar -- strong verb class 4; third person singular preterite of <gabaíran> to bring forth -- she brought forth
  • sunu -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <sunus> son -- son
  • seinana -- possessive adjective; accusative singular masculine of <*seins> one's own -- her
  • þana -- demonstrative used as article; accusative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • frumabaur -- adjective; strong accusative singular masculine of <frumabaúr> first-born -- first-born
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • biwand -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <biwindan> to wrap -- wrapped (in swaddling clothes)
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • galagida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <galagjan> to lay, put -- laid
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • uzetin -- weak noun, masculine; dative singular of <uzēta> manger -- a manger
  • unte -- conjunction; <untē> for, because, since, until -- because
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- no
  • was -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <wisan> to be -- there was
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- for them
  • rumis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <rūms> room -- room # literally 'of the room', the genitive because of the negation
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • stada -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <staþs> place; land -- inn
  • þamma -- demonstrative used as article; dative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the

8 - jah hairdjos wesun in þamma samin landa, þairhwakandans jah witandans wahtwom nahts ufaro hairdai seinai.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • hairdjos -- strong noun, masculine; nominative plural of <haírdeis> herdsman -- herdsmen
  • wesun -- strong verb class 5; third person plural preterite of <wisan> to be -- there were
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • þamma -- demonstrative used as article; dative singular neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • samin -- adjective; dative singular neuter of <sama> same -- same
  • landa -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <land> land, country -- country
  • þairhwakandans -- strong verb class 6; nominative plural masculine of present participle of <þaírhwakan> to stay awake -- abiding in the field
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • witandans -- weak verb class 3; nominative plural masculine of present participle of <witan> to keep watch, observe -- keeping
  • wahtwom -- weak noun, feminine; accusative singular of <wahtwō> watch -- watch
  • nahts -- weak noun, feminine; genitive singular of <nahts> night -- by night
  • ufaro -- preposition; <ufarō> above, upon, over -- over
  • hairdai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <haírda> herd -- flock
  • seinai -- possessive adjective; dative singular feminine of <*seins> one's own -- their

9 - iþ aggilus fraujins anaqam ins jah wulþus fraujins biskain ins, jah ohtedun agisa mikilamma.
  • -- conjunction; <iþ> but, however, if -- and lo
  • aggilus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <aggilus> angel, messenger -- the angel
  • fraujins -- weak noun, masculine; genitive singular of <fráuja> lord, master -- of the Lord
  • anaqam -- strong verb class 4; third person singular preterite of <anaqiman> to approach -- came upon
  • ins -- personal pronoun; accusative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- them
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • wulþus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <wulþus> splendor, glory -- the glory
  • fraujins -- weak noun, masculine; genitive singular of <fráuja> lord, master -- of the Lord
  • biskain -- strong verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <biskeinan> to shine around -- shone round about
  • ins -- personal pronoun; accusative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- them
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ohtedun -- preterite present verb; third person plural preterite of <*ōgan> to fear, to be afraid -- they were afraid
  • agisa -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <agis> fear -- ...
  • mikilamma -- adjective; dative singular neuter of <mikils> great -- sore

10 - jah qaþ du im sa aggilus: ni ogeiþ, unte sai, spillo izwis faheid mikila, sei wairþiþ allai managein,
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- them
  • sa -- demonstrative used as article; nominative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • aggilus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <aggilus> angel, messenger -- angel
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • ogeiþ -- preterite present verb; second person plural imperative of <*ōgan> to fear, to be afraid -- fear
  • unte -- conjunction; <untē> for, because, since, until -- for
  • sai -- interjection; <sái> lo, behold -- behold
  • spillo -- weak verb class 2; first person singular of <spillōn> to tell, relate -- I bring... (good tidings of)
  • izwis -- personal pronoun; dative plural of <þu> thou, you -- you
  • faheid -- strong noun, feminine; accusative singular of <fahēds> joy -- joy
  • mikila -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <mikils> great -- great
  • sei -- relative pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <saei> who, he who, which -- which
  • wairþiþ -- strong verb class 3; third person singular of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- shall be
  • allai -- adjective; dative singular feminine of <all> all, every -- to all
  • managein -- weak noun, feminine; dative singular of <managei> crowd, multitude -- people

11 - þatei gabaurans ist izwis himma daga nasjands, saei ist Xristus frauja, in baurg Daweidis.
  • þatei -- conjunction; <þatei> that, because, if -- for
  • gabaurans -- strong verb class 4; nominative singular masculine of preterite participle of <gabaíran> to bring forth -- born
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- is
  • izwis -- personal pronoun; dative plural of <þu> thou, you -- unto you
  • himma -- demonstrative adjective; dative singular masculine of <*his> this -- this
  • daga -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <dags> day -- day
  • nasjands -- weak verb class 1; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <nasjan> to save -- a Saviour
  • saei -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <saei> who, he who, which -- which
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- is
  • Xristus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Xristus> Christ -- Christ
  • frauja -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <fráuja> lord, master -- the Lord
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • baurg -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <baúrgs> city, town -- the city
  • Daweidis -- strong proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Daweid> David -- of David

12 - jah þata izwis taikns: bigitid barn biwundan jah galagid in uzetin.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • þata -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- this
  • izwis -- personal pronoun; dative plural of <þu> thou, you -- unto you
  • taikns -- strong noun, feminine; nominative singular of <táikns> sign, wonder -- a sign
  • bigitid -- strong verb class 5; second person plural of <bigitan> to find, meet -- ye shall find
  • barn -- strong noun, neuter; accusative singular of <barn> child -- the babe
  • biwundan -- strong verb class 3; accusative singular neuter of preterite participle of <biwindan> to wrap -- wrapped (in swaddling clothes)
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • galagid -- weak verb class 1; accusative singular neuter of preterite participle of <galagjan> to lay, put -- lying
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • uzetin -- weak noun, masculine; dative singular of <uzēta> manger -- a manger

13 - jah anaks warþ miþ þamma aggilau managei harjis himinakundis hazjandane guþ jah qiþandane:
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • anaks -- adverb; <anaks> at once, suddenly -- suddenly
  • warþ -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- there was
  • miþ -- preposition; <miþ> with, among, together with, through, by, near -- with
  • þamma -- demonstrative used as article; dative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • aggilau -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <aggilus> angel, messenger -- angel
  • managei -- weak noun, feminine; nominative singular of <managei> crowd, multitude -- a multitude
  • harjis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <harjis> army, host -- of the... host
  • himinakundis -- adjective; genitive singular masculine of <himinakunds> heavenly -- heavenly
  • hazjandane -- weak verb class 1; genitive plural masculine of present participle of <hazjan> to praise -- praising
  • guþ -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <guþ> God -- God
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qiþandane -- strong verb class 5; genitive plural masculine of present participle of <qiþan> to say, speak -- saying

14 - wulþus in hauhistjam guda
        jah ana airþai gawairþi in mannam godis wiljins.
  • wulþus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <wulþus> splendor, glory -- glory
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • hauhistjam -- strong noun, neuter; dative plural of <háuhisti> the highest -- the highest
  • guda -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <guþ> God -- to God
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- on
  • airþai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <aírþa> earth -- on earth
  • gawairþi -- strong noun, neuter; nominative singular of <gawaírþi> peace -- peace
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- toward
  • mannam -- irregular noun, masculine; dative plural of <manna> man -- men
  • godis -- adjective; genitive singular masculine of <gōþs, gōds> good -- good # godis wiljins, literally 'of good will'
  • wiljins -- weak noun, masculine; genitive singular of <wilja> will -- will

Lesson Text

2:1 - Warþ þan in dagans jainans, urrann gagrefts fram kaisara Agustau, gameljan allana midjungard. 2 - soh þan gilstrameleins frumista warþ at [wisandin kindina Swriais] raginondin Saurim Kwreinaiau. 3 - jah iddjedun allai, ei melidai weseina, ƕarjizuh in seinai baurg. 4 - Urrann þan jah Iosef us Galeilaia, us baurg Nazaraiþ, in Iudaian, in baurg Daweidis sei haitada Beþlahaim, duþe ei was us garda fadreinais Daweidis, 5 - anameljan miþ Mariin sei in fragiftim was imma qeins, wisandein inkilþon. 6 - warþ þan, miþþanei þo wesun jainar, usfullnodedun dagos du bairan izai. 7 - jah gabar sunu seinana þana frumabaur jah biwand ina jah galagida ina in uzetin, unte ni was im rumis in stada þamma. 8 - jah hairdjos wesun in þamma samin landa, þairhwakandans jah witandans wahtwom nahts ufaro hairdai seinai. 9 - iþ aggilus fraujins anaqam ins jah wulþus fraujins biskain ins, jah ohtedun agisa mikilamma. 10 - jah qaþ du im sa aggilus: ni ogeiþ, unte sai, spillo izwis faheid mikila, sei wairþiþ allai managein, 11 - þatei gabaurans ist izwis himma daga nasjands, saei ist Xristus frauja, in baurg Daweidis. 12 - jah þata izwis taikns: bigitid barn biwundan jah galagid in uzetin. 13 - jah anaks warþ miþ þamma aggilau managei harjis himinakundis hazjandane guþ jah qiþandane: 14 - wulþus in hauhistjam guda
        jah ana airþai gawairþi in mannam godis wiljins.

Translation

From the King James version:
2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
    14 Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Grammar

1 The Alphabet

The Gothic alphabet closely resembles the Greek uncial alphabet of the fourth century AD. Where the Greek uncials proved insufficient for rendering some of the sounds, Roman or runic letters were borrowed. These alphabetic characters are also used to represent numerals. Rather than work with the Gothic alphabet itself, scholars generally work with a transliteration using the Roman alphabet, augmented with two additional characters and with the acute accent mark. The following chart lists the transliterated letters, their corresponding numerical values, and a rough guide to pronunciation.

Letter   Number   Pronunciation   Environment
             
a   1   [a], o as in 'cot'    
        [], a as in 'father'    
b   2   [v], v as in 'have'   medially after vowel or diphthong
        [b], b as in 'bob'   otherwise
g   3   [ŋ], n as in 'sing'   before k, g, q
        [x], ch as in 'Bach'   finally, or before s, t
        [], g as in North Ger. 'sagen'   otherwise
d   4   [ð], th as in 'father'   medially after vowel or diphthong
        [d], d as in 'did'   otherwise
e   5   [], a as in 'gate'    
q   6   [kw], qu as in 'queen'    
z   7   [z], z as in 'buzz'    
h   8   [x], ch as in 'Bach'    
þ   9   [þ], th as in 'with'    
i   10   [i], i as in 'with'    
k   20   [k], k as in 'kick'    
l   30   [l], l as in 'lazy'    
m   40   [m], m as in 'mouth'    
n   50   [n], n as in 'nose'    
j   60   [j], y as in 'you'    
u   70   [u], o as in 'do it'    
        [], oo as in 'boot'    
p   80   [p], p as in 'pin'    
    90        
r   100   [r], trilled r as in Sp. 'rueda'    
s   200   [s], s as in 'hiss'    
t   300   [t], t as in 'tin'    
w   400   [u], oo as in 'boot'   between consonants, finally after consonant
        [w], w as in 'with'   otherwise
f   500   [f], f as in 'fife'    
x   600   [k], k as in 'kick'    
ƕ   700   [xw], ch w as in 'Bach was'    
o   800   [], o as in 'phone'    
    900        

We use the numerical values to establish the order of the alphabet. The numerical value assigned to each letter corresponds closely to the Greek system employed at the time, supporting the assertion initially based on visual similarity that the Gothic alphabet was in fact modeled on the Greek. The symbols used to represent 90 and 900 occur only in their numeral function, never representing sounds of the Gothic language. They consequently have no transliterations.

The duration of doubled consonants is roughly twice that of their single counterparts. For example, inn 'within' has the prolonged n sound in English 'penknife', while in 'into' has the short n of 'cannon'; fulla 'full' (strong adj., fem. nom. sg.) has the prolonged l of 'call later', while fula 'foal' (noun, fem. nom. sg.) has the short l of 'caller'. Similarly atta 'father' has the prolonged t of 'Fat Tuesday', and likewise for other consonants. The exception to this practice is gg. As in Greek, gg is used to represent the the sound of ng in English 'finger', cf. Goth. figgrs. This practice extends to all velars, so that g before any velar represents the same nasal sound before that velar. For example, gk in drigkan represents the nasal plus unvoiced velar plosive as in the corresponding English 'drink'; gq in sigqan 'sink' represents roughly the sound of nkw in English 'inkwell'. Some words -- e.g. bliggw- 'scourge', glaggw- 'accurate', skuggw- 'mirror', triggw- 'faithful' -- may have contained a true prolonged g as in (a slow pronunciation of) English 'doggone', but this has probably given way to the sound [ŋ] by the time of Wulfila's translation.

The letter w is often found in words borrowed from Greek, where the Greek contains upsilon. As can be seen from the alphabetic order and numerical value, the Gothic symbol for w actually is the Greek upsilon. For this reason some editors of Gothic texts instead use y in such loanwords, breaking from a more uniform transliteration with w. Thus Lwstrws, the dative plural of 'Lystra', is transcribed by some editors as Lystrys.

Other sounds of the Gothic language are represented by digraphs. Specifically, the long-i sound [] is represented by ei, mimicking the contemporaneous Greek pronunciation of epsilon followed by iota. The digraph ai has a threefold distinction. In some instances ai represents the short-e vowel [ɛ] found in Modern English 'bet' (or perhaps a slightly more open sound, as in the a of 'hat'). In other instances ai represents the long version of the same sound. And in the last instance ai represents the diphthong formed by its two constituents, namely the sound of i in Modern English 'white'. In transcription, these three values are distinguished by placement of an acute accent mark: aí is [ɛ], ai is [ɛ̄], and ái is [ai]. A similar threefold distinction holds for the digraph au: aú is the vowel sound in Modern English 'bought', au is a long version of the same sound, and áu is the diphthong represented by ou in Modern English 'about'. The digraph iu represents a falling diphthong (i.e. a diphthong accented on its first element) much like the eu of Modern English 'reuse' when the re- carries the stress. The situation is summarized in the following chart.

Digraph   Pronunciation
     
ei   [], ee as in 'meet'
aí   [ɛ], e as in 'bet'
ai   [ɛ̄], same as above, but prolonged
ái   [ai], i as in 'white'
aú   [ɔ], ou as in 'bought'
au   [ɔ̄], same as above, but prolonged
áu   [au], ou as in 'about'
iu   [íu], eu as in 'reuse'

It appears that these sounds were in fact all distinct in the period leading up to the emergence of Gothic and in its earliest stages. But the three values of ai may have merged by the time of Wulfila's translation, and likewise the three values of au may also have merged.

2 The Sound System

Being that of the earliest documented Germanic language, the sound system of Gothic is of great importance for historical studies. Some sound changes have occurred, however, in the span of time leading up to Wulfila's translation, so that Wulfila's own pronunciation is not necessarily the nearest approximation to the original sound system which Gothic inherited from Proto-Germanic. From a synchronic point of view, it is clear that o [] is already colored with some of the qualities of u, since we find spelling mistakes confusing the two, e.g. supūda for supōda. Likewise e [], though open, was close enough to be confused with ei [], e.g. qeins for qēns. It is also likely that h is in Wulfila's time closer to the h of Modern English 'he' than it is to the ch of 'Bach', and similarly with ƕ. Nevertheless, on etymological grounds and because of the archaic nature of the morphology, it is common in scholarship to ascribe values to Gothic letters which preserve the distinctions between, say, ei and , or between ái, ai, and aí, though they may be prior to Wulfila's time, and not in accordance with Wulfila's own pronunciation. By the same token, given the fact that the same spelling mistakes are made in several languages of the other branches of Germanic, it is possible that the distinctions were never actually as clean as the historical linguist would like. In this scenario, the marking of these distinctions is merely a theoretical construct, but one to which we shall nevertheless adhere.

2.1 Consonants

We may group the archaic pronunciation of the Gothic consonants according to points of articulation. This is done in the following chart.

Consonants       Labial   Dental   Palatal (Alveolar)   Velar   Labio-Velar
                         
Stops                        
    Voiceless:   p   t, tt       k (x), kk   q
    Voiced:   b   d, dd       g, gg [gg]    
Fricatives                        
    Voiceless:   f   þ, þþ       h   ƕ
    Voiced:   b [v]   d [ð]       g []    
Sibilants                        
    Voiceless:       s, ss            
    Voiced:       z            
Nasals       m, mm   n, nn       gg [ŋ]    
Liquids                        
    Continuant:           (l, ll)        
    Trilled:           (r, rr)        
Semi-Vowels       w       j        

Note that gg is listed among the nasals, reducing to g when marking a nasal before k or q. The letters b, d, and g appear both as stops and fricatives. The above chart is a phonetic, rather than phonemic, description. For example the difference in pronunciations of d is purely conditioned by environment (allophonic), never serving as the sole distinction of a word's change in meaning.

2.2 Vowels

The vowels may similarly be organized according to articulation. This is done in the following chart.

Short Vowels   Front           Central           Back
    Unrounded           Unrounded           Rounded
High   i                       u
                             
Middle                            
            aí       aú        
Low               a            
                             
Long Vowels                            
                             
High   ei                      
                         
Middle           ai       au        
                             
Low                          

Note that the Gothic letters e and o always denote long vowels, and respectively. On the other hand, i always denotes a short vowel.

The above system is complemented by the three diphthongs ái, áu, iu, which are all stressed on the initial vowel. The resonants l, m, n, r may also function as vowels. For example: fugls 'bird', máiþms 'treasure', táikns 'token', ligrs 'bed'. The semivowel w may also form the nucleus of a syllable. For example, waúrstw 'work'.

2.3 Syllables and Stress

Conventionally scholars divide syllables in the Gothic language so that non-initial syllables begin with a consonant. Thus haír-tō 'heart', slē-piþ 'sleeps', af-lēt 'forgive thou'. Syllables ending in a short vowel are short, all others are considered long.

In general initial stress is the norm, though there are some exceptions. We may say there are three types of stress: primary, secondary, and weak stress. If we use bold italics to represent primary stress, italics for secondary stress, and no marking for weak stress, then these correspond to the stresses in the Modern English word 'incubate'. Primary stress falls on the first syllable, secondary stress on the last, and weak stress on the intervening syllable. The stress system of Gothic is similar. More specifically, root syllables bear primary stress when initial, secondary when non-initial. Consider the following examples:

Root   Initial   Non-initial
         
haírtō 'heart'   haírtō   hráinja-haírts
gulþ 'gold'   gulþ   figgra-gulþ

In matters of stress, it helps to realize that not all prefixes are equal. Adverbial prefixes to nouns, and the reduplicated syllables of verbs, follow the same rule as above. For example:

Prefix   Unprefixed   Prefixed
         
un- 'un-, not'   mahts   unmahts
saí- (redupl. syll.)   slē-piþ   saí-slēp

However, adverbial prefixes to verbs (i.e. preverbs) bear secondary stress. For example:

Prefix   Unprefixed   Prefixed
         
af 'from'   lēt   af-lēt
ana 'into'   saí-slēp   ana-saí-slēp

Thus stress alone may in some instances serve to distinguish verbs and nouns. Consider the following pair:

Prefix   Infinitive   Verb   Noun
             
af 'from'   lētan 'let'   af-lēt 'forgive thou'   af-lēt 'forgiveness' (acc.)

The contrast is similar to that found in Modern English 'project' (noun) vs. 'project' (verb). An exception to the secondary stress of preverbs is ga-, which carries weak stress: ga-saƕ 'saw'.

Suffix syllables (but not endings), when following a weakly stressed syllable, follow the accentuation rules of root syllables. Compare sal-bōnd 'they anoint' vs. salbō-dēdeina 'they might anoint'; mi-kils 'great' vs. mikil-dūþs 'greatness'.

Weak stress falls on syllables between those with primary or secondary stress. Compare -ra- in figgra-gulþ above, and also -na- in ana-saí-slēp. In general, the prefix ga-, the interrogative particle -u, and the conjunction -uh 'and' carry weak stress. For example: ga-leiks 'like'; ga-u-laubjats 'do ye two believe'; ub-uh-wōpida 'and he cried out'.

3 Noun Inflection and Strong Declension

Nouns in Gothic are inflected for case, number, and grammatical gender. There are three grammatical genders: masculine, feminine, neuter. For nouns with clear sexual gender, the grammatical gender generally agrees with the sexual gender. For example, qēns 'woman' is feminine, so that natural gender and grammatical gender agree; but graba 'ditch' is also feminine, though the referent has no natural gender. There are two numbers: singular and plural (though personal pronouns and verbs also have a dual number). There are four cases: nominative (N), accusative (A), genitive (G), dative (D).

Case inflection is essentially a means of marking by suffixes grammatical functions which would otherwise be signalled by prepositions in Modern English. The most obvious remnant of the older case system in English is 's (apostrophe-s), which at the end of a noun fills the same role as the preposition of before a noun. For example, the bark of a dog is the same as a dog's bark. In much the same way, the nouns of Gothic use suffixes in order to denote grammatical function within a clause. Below is a short description of the case system of Gothic.

We may get a jump-start on nominal syntax if we step back for a moment and discuss what we might term logical cases. That is to say, before we pin down the meanings of the specific cases found in Gothic, we may first discuss a number of possible cases. We will take as our starting point the case system of Sanskrit, as being reasonably robust among the Indo-European languages. The chart below gives the eight cases found in the Sanskrit language, along with the basic meanings associated with those cases. (The fact that Sanskrit's case system is being used is immaterial -- the only purpose is to make certain logical distinctions among types of grammatical occurrences; the fact that these distinctions also happen to be made explicit in the suffixal system of a particular language is merely an added bonus.)

Logical Case   Description of Use   Basic Preposition   Example of Use
             
Nominative   case of the subject   (none)   I killed him.
    case of something predicated to the subject   (none)   The sky is blue.
Accusative   case of the direct object   (none)   I killed him.
    case of the terminus of directed motion   (none), to(wards)   I ran (to the) east.
    case of an expression involving extent in time or space   (none), for   The event lasted (for) five days.
Instrumental   case of the instrument of an action   with   I killed him with a knife.
    case of accompaniment   with   I travelled with my friend.
Dative   case of the indirect object   (none)   He gave me a book.
        to   He gave a book to me.
        for   I wrote a recommendation letter for my student.
Ablative   case of origin, source, or separation   from   I went from New York to Austin.
Genitive   case of possession   of   The shoes of the man are dirty.
        's   The man's shoes are dirty.
    case of the sphere of relation   of   I shed tears of joy.
            This soup needs a pinch of salt.
            The canyon is a day's journey from here.
    case of the subject or object of nominalized action   of, 's (s')   Man's killing of man speaks to human nature.
Locative   case of location in space or time   in, on, at, within   I stood on the corner for an hour.
Vocative   case of direct address   (none), o!   (O) Luck, be a lady tonight!

As one can see from the chart, the logical meanings of the cases may be expressed in a language, even if such a case system is not present. English retains overt marking only of the genitive, so that prepositions take over the role of the case system. Gothic declension, however, is more robust than that of Modern English, though more sparse than that of Sanskrit. One may then envision the syntax associated with the Gothic case system in terms of the following question: how do the eight logical cases above fit into the four extant cases of Gothic? The following chart gives the cases of Gothic, along with the logical cases whose role each has subsumed.

Gothic Case   Logical Case   Example   Translation
             
Nominative   Nominative   frija ist þis witōdis   'she is free of that law'
    Vocative   atta unsar þu in himinam   'our Father, thou in heaven'
Accusative   Accusative   gasaíƕiþ þana sunu mans   'ye shall see the son of man'
    Vocative   hails þiudan Jūdaiē   'hail, king of the Jews'
Genitive   Genitive   gasaíƕiþ þana sunu mans   'ye shall see the son of man'
    Ablative   frija ist þis witōdis   'she is free of (from) that law'
Dative   Dative   gif mis sei undrinnái mik dáil áiginis   'give me the portion of property which is coming to me'
    Instrumental   wōpida Iēsus stibnái mikilái   'Jesus cried with a loud voice'
    Locative   swēgnida ahmin Iēsus   'Jesus rejoiced in spirit'
    Ablative   sa afar mis gagganda swinþōza mis ist   'he who comes after me is mightier than me'
             

The above identifications are not iron-clad, nor should they be taken for actual historical evolution. But they do go a long way to explaining the syntactic descriptions of Gothic case usage found in the standard handbooks.

Like the other Germanic languages, Gothic has strong and weak nominal declensions. These are terms originally applied by J. Grimm to distinguish two types of declension within Germanic languages. Among nouns, the property of being strong or weak is inherent, each noun being either strong (only) or weak (only). Adjectives, by contrast, can be strong or weak depending on the situation: adjectives are declined strong when indefinite, weak when definite.

3.1 a/ja/wa-Stems

The a/ja/wa-stem nouns historically derive from o/jo/wo-stem nouns, respectively, and some grammars use the historical terminology. These nouns are generally masculine or neuter. Among masculine nouns, dags 'day' and hláifs 'loaf, bread' are a-stems; harjis 'army' and haírdeis 'herdsman' are ja-stems; þius 'servant' is a wa-stem. Their declensions are as follows.

Masculine   a-Stem       ja-Stem       wa-Stem
                     
Stem   daga-   hláiba-   harja-   haírdja-   þiwa-
                     
N Sg.   dags   hláifs   harjis   haírdeis   *þius
A, V   dag   hláif   *hari   haírdi   *þiu
G   dagis   hláibis   harjis   haírdeis   *þiwis
D   daga   hláiba   harja   haírdja   *þiwa
                     
N Pl.   dagōs   hláibōs   harjōs   haírdjōs   þiwōs
A   dagans   hláibans   harjans   haírdjans   *þiwans
G   dagē   hláibē   *harjē   haírdjē   þiwē
D   dagam   hláibam   harjam   haírdjam   *þiwam
                     

When the nominative singular ends in -s, the -s is lost for the vocative, and so the vocative and accusative fall together. In the plural, nominative and vocative are the same. Note the substitution of b for f between vowels in the paradigm of hláifs; that is, intervocalic [f] becomes the voiced allophone [v].

Final -s drops when it immediately follows the combination (short vowel) + (consonantal r). For example one finds nominative singular waír + s > waír 'man', baúr + s > baúr 'son', both nouns following the declension of dags.

Among neuter nouns, waúrd 'word' and witōþ 'law' are a-stems; kuni 'race' and reiki 'kingdom' are ja-stems; kniu 'knee' is a wa-stem. Their declensions are as follows.

Neuter   a-Stem       ja-Stem       wa-Stem
                     
Stem   waúrda-   witōda-   kunja-   reikja-   kniwa-
                     
N Sg.   waúrd   witōþ   kuni   reiki   *kniu
A   waúrd   witōþ   kuni   reiki   *kniu
G   waúrdis   witōdis   kunjis   reikjis   *kniwis
D   waúrda   witōda   kunja   reikja   *kniwa
                     
N Pl.   waúrda   witōda   kunja   reikja   *kniwa
A   waúrda   witōda   kunja   reikja   kniwa
G   waúrdē   witōdē   kunjē   reikjē   kniwē
D   waúrdam   witōdam   kunjam   reikjam   kniwam
                     

The nominative and accusative singular forms of neuter nouns are always identical, as are the plural forms. The vocative is identical with these. As with f and b in hláifs, the þ of witōþ alternates with d between vowels: intervocalic [þ] becomes the voiced allophone [ð].

3.2 /jō/wō-Stems

The /jō/wō-stem nouns historically derive from /jā/wā-stem nouns, respectively. These nouns are exclusively feminine. The noun giba 'gift' is an -stem; sunja 'truth', bandi 'band, bond', and mawi 'maiden' are jō-stems; triggwa 'covenant' is a wō-stem. Their declensions are as follows.

Feminine   -Stem   jō-Stem           wō-Stem
                     
Stem   gibō-   sunjō-   bandjō-   máujō-   triggwō-
                     
N Sg.   giba   sunja   bandi   mawi   triggwa
A   giba   sunja   bandja   máuja   triggwa
G   gibōs   sunjōs   bandjōs   máujōs   triggwōs
D   gibái   sunjái   bandjái   máujái   triggwái
                     
N Pl.   gibōs   sunjōs   bandjōs   máujōs   triggwōs
A   gibōs   sunjōs   bandjōs   máujōs   triggwōs
G   gibō   sunjō   bandjō   máujō   triggwō
D   gibōm   sunjōm   bandjōm   maujōm   triggwōm
                     

The declension of wō-stems follows that of the -stems. The jō-stems fall into two types, depending on whether or not the nominative and accusative singular forms are the same.

4 Strong Verb Conjugation

Verbs in Gothic, as in the other Germanic languages, fall into two categories: strong and weak. These terms have no relation to the same names applied to nouns and adjectives.

There are two tenses in Gothic, present and preterite. As with other Indo-European languages exhibiting this type of two-tense system, the distinction between preterite and present is the distinction between past and non-past, since the present forms are used for both present and future. This is similar to Modern English 'I am going on vacation next week', where the present tense has future meaning, equivalent to 'will go'. Likewise, the preterite forms subsume the roles of several different tenses in Modern English, such as the simple past 'did', perfect 'has done', and pluperfect 'had done'. There are three moods: indicative, subjunctive, imperative. The moods are formed with either the preterite or present stems, except for the imperative, which only employs the present stem. Generally the past subjunctive forms denote potential completed actions, whereas the present subjunctive has no such implication of completion. This parallels somewhat Modern English 'might have done' vs. 'might do'. There are also two voices in Gothic: active and (medio)passive.

4.1 Strong Verb Classes

As in English, ablaut, or vowel gradation, characterizes the strong verbs of Gothic. This system employs vowel alternation within a root to signify change in meaning or function. Take, for example, the English forms: sing-sang-sung-song. Within the base s-ng, an i gives present forms, an a past forms, a u the past participle, and o a derived noun. Other verbs may follow the same ablaut pattern in full or in part, e.g. ring-rang-rung (with no o-grade form). Still other verbs follow an entirely different ablaut pattern, e.g. hold-held-held.

There are seven classes of strong verbs. Six of these are characterized solely by ablaut. The seventh is characterized by reduplication, or by reduplication coupled with ablaut. In order to distinguish, then, the different ablaut classes, specific forms are listed illustrating the gradation sequence. This can be accomplished by listing four principal parts, from which all forms of a given verb may be derived:

  • 1st Principal Part, from which are derived all forms of the present;
  • 2nd Principal Part, from which are derived the finite forms of the preterite singular;
  • 3rd Principal Part, from which are derived all non-singular finite forms of the preterite;
  • 4th Principal Part, from which is derived the preterite participle.

The forms chosen as principal parts are, respectively, (1) the infinitive, (2) the first (or third) person singular preterite, (3) the first person plural preterite, (4) the nominative singular masculine preterite participle. The different strong verb classes are listed below with verbs illustrating the vowel gradation.

Class   Meaning   (1) Infinitive   (2) 1st Sg. Pret.   (3) 1st Pl. Pret.   (4) Past Ptcple.
                     
Ia   'ascend'   steigan   stáig   stigum   stigans
Ib   'tell'   ga-teihan   ga-táih   ga-taíhum   ga-taíhans
                     
IIa   'choose'   kiusan   káus   kusum   kusans
    'shut'   ga-lūkan   ga-láuk   ga-lukum   ga-lukans
IIb   'lead'   tiuhan   táuh   taúhum   taúhans
                     
IIIa   'bind'   bindan   band   bundum   bundans
IIIb   'become'   waírþan   warþ   waúrþum   waúrþans
                     
IVa   'come'   qiman   qam   qēmum   qumans
IVb   'bear'   baíran   bar   bērum   baúrans
                     
Va   'say'   qiþan   qaþ   qēþum   qiþans
Vb   'see'   saíƕan   saƕ   sēƕum   saíƕans
                     
VI   'rebuke'   sakan   sōk   sōkum   sakans
                     
VIIa   'call'   háitan   haíháit   haíháitum   háitans
VIIb   'let'   lētan   laílōt   laílōtum   lētans
                     

As can be seen, the singular and plural preterite forms of class VII are derived from the same stem. The seventh class functions somewhat differently from the rest, and this will be treated in more detail in a later lesson.

4.2 Active Paradigm

The class IV verb baíran 'bear, carry' illustrates the active forms of the strong verb.

Strong Verbs   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
Present            
1 Sg.   baíra   baíráu    
2   baíris   baíráis   baír
3   baíriþ   baírái   baíradáu
             
1 Du.   baírōs   baíráiwa    
2   baírats   baíráits   baírats
             
1 Pl.   baíram   baíráima   baíram
2   baíriþ   baíráiþ   baíriþ
3   baírand   baíráina   baírandáu
             
Past            
1 Sg.   bar   bērjáu    
2   bart   bēreis    
3   bar   bēri    
             
1 Du.   bēru   bēreiwa    
2   bēruts   bēreits    
             
1 Pl.   bērum   bēreima    
2   bēruþ   bēreiþ    
3   bērun   bēreina    
             
Infinitive   baíran        
             
Pres. Ptc.   baírands        
             
Past Ptc.   baúrans        

Note how all present forms are built from the first principal part, and all the preterite forms except the singular are built from the third principal part. The second principal part supplies the singular preterite forms, and the fourth principal part the preterite participle.

4.3 Mediopassive Paradigm

The notion of voice concerns the way in which logical action is manifested in a grammatical statement. By 'logical action' is meant action in the abstract, or the underlying process being referred to. Any action may be referred to in a number of ways, and the morphology of the language dictates whether different expressions of the same action may be rendered concisely or through circumlocution. Within the arena of logical action, one may distinguish agent and patient. The agent is the logical actor, the one doing the logical action; the patient, by contrast, is the one undergoing the logical action, the logical recipient. Within the arena of the grammatical action, one distinguishes the (grammatical) subject and the (direct) object. The grammatical subject denotes the one performing the action expressed by the verb in the statement; the direct object denotes the recipient of that verbal action, when different from the grammatical subject. A statement is active when agent and subject are the same. For example, 'I ate the cookie' is active; the logical action is that of 'eating', and 'I' is the agent of this logical action. 'I' is also the subject of the verb expressed: 'ate'. Here the patient, 'the cookie', is the direct object. On the other hand, a statement is passive when patient and subject are the same. For example, 'The cookie was eaten (by me)'. Here again the logical action is 'eating', and 'I' is the agent, while 'the cookie' is still the patient. But now the patient is the subject of the verb expressed: 'was eaten'. The agent, 'I', need not even be expressed, though it is possible with the phrase 'by me'.

A third voice is distinguished, called the middle voice. The middle voice is somewhere between the active and passive voices, where the distinction between agent and patient is blurred. In many of the ancient Indo-European languages, this voice denotes action which is reflexive (e.g. 'you'll get (yourself) killed'), for the personal benefit of the subject (e.g. 'I had a house built'), or representing an internal process (e.g. 'I wondered at its beauty'). In these languages, the morphology denoting the middle voice is often the same as that denoting the passive. Such uses of the morphological passive in Gothic are not very common, and the term mediopassive, rather than simply passive, is employed based largely on historical and comparative grounds.

Gothic has a morphological mediopassive only in the present. The forms of baíran 'carry' illustrate the conjugation.

Strong Verbs   Indicative   Subjunctive
         
1 Sg.   baírada   baíráidáu
2   baíraza   baídáizáu
3   baírada   baíráidáu
         
1 Du.        
2        
         
1 Pl.   baíranda   baíráindáu
2   baíranda   baíráindáu
3   baíranda   baíráindáu
         

There are no forms for the dual.

5 Word Order and Concord

Any mention of Gothic word order and syntax must begin by saying that the Gothic translation of the New Testament follows the Greek extremely closely. The case system of Gothic is as robust as that of Greek, so that one to one correspondence of constructions is possible. Nevertheless, Gothic use often departs from Greek use, perhaps most conspicuously in the occurrence of Greek genitive absolute constructions, which are rendered in Gothic by dative constructions. (Ironically, the same dative rendering occurs in Old Church Slavonic, which possesses an even richer case system.)

In matters of word order, then, the concern is not solely to what degree the extant Gothic matches its Greek source, but also to what degree the extant Gothic matches patterns expected by comparison with other Germanic languages. Because of the antiquity of the Gothic documents and the general conservatism Gothic displays in morphology, the most pertinent comparanda are the early runic inscriptions. As the Gallehus inscription, c. 400 AD, shows,

    ek hlewagastiz holtijaz horna tawidō
    I, Hlewagastiz, son of Holtagastiz, the horn made

the unemphatic word order of the earliest Germanic documents was predominantly

    (Subject) + Object + Verb.

This word order apparently lasted well into the time period of the Gothic documents. The same word order is frequently found in the Old English poem Beowulf, as in the opening lines:

    Hwæt, wē Gār-dena in gēardagum
    þēodcyninga þrym gefrūnon,
    hū ðā æþelingas ellen fremedon.
     
    Listen! We have heard the glory of the Spear-danes,
    of the people's kings, in days past,
    how the heroes performed courageous deeds.

In both clauses, the verbs (gefrūnon, fremedon) occupy the last position, and the object directly precedes them. Such word order is even found in comparative constructions in Old English, e.g. stāne heardran 'than-stone harder', and in Old Norse, e.g. sólo fegra 'than-(the)-sun fairer'. It is then quite likely that typical Gothic word order -- that is, word order emphasizing no particular element of the utterance -- during the time of Wulfila's translation was also SOV. The Gothic translation of Mark 8.23,

    frah ina ga-u-ƕa-seƕi
    asked him if he saw anything

is, as often, a word-for-word translation of the Greek. But the second clause ga-u-ƕa-seƕi suggests that the tendency for object to precede verb was strong enough that the object could even intervene between verb and prefix.

Wulfila's translation of the New Testament, however, frequently departs from SOV word order, and does so more often than one would expect if such departure were merely for stylistic reasons. For example, simple declarative sentences often have the structure

    Subject + Verb (+ Adverb) (+ Object),

as in mannē sums áihta twans sununs 'a certain one among men had two sons' (Luke 15.11). This generally agrees with the Greek word order. When the Adverb is placed first, the Verb often follows directly, and the Subject is moved to the position following the Verb:

    Adverb + Verb + Subject (+ Object),

e.g. suns qimiþ Satans 'immediately Satan comes' (Mark 4.15). This also agrees with the Greek. The common conjunction jah 'and' is frequently followed by the verb of the second clause. Thus,

    S + V (+ Adv) (+ O) + jah + V + S (+ O).

For example, þaruh is qaþ du imma þatei brōþar þeins qam, jah afsnáiþ atta þeins stiur þana alidan 'then he said to him (that) your brother came, and your father killed a fattened calf' (Luke 15.27). Again this construction agrees with the Greek. When Gothic breaks with Greek word order, it frequently reverts back to verb-final word order: jah gaírnida sad itan haúrnē þōei matidēdun sweina, jah manna imma ni gaf 'and he yearned to eat his fill of the husks which the swine were eating, and the man did not give him (any)' (Luke 15.16). Here the Greek has kai oudeis edídou autōi, literally 'and no one gave to him'.

As the verb-final structure of Modern German subordinate clauses and Modern English indirect questions shows, one might expect subordinate clauses in Gothic to preserve SOV word order. But even here the word order tends to follow the same Greek patterns found in main clauses:

    Relative (+ Subject) + Verb (+ Adverb) (+ Object), or
    Relative (+ Adverb) + Verb (+ Subject) (+ Object).

For example, und þatei usleiþiþ himins jah aírþa, jōta áins aíþþáu áins striks ni usleiþiþ af witōda 'up to the point when heaven and earth pass, not one iota or one bit shall pass from the law' (Matthew 5.18). If the subject is simply a single relative pronoun, then the dependent word order may be

    Rel.Pron. + Verb (+ Adverb) (+ Object), or
    Rel.Pron. + Adverb + Verb (+ Object).

For example, iþ þan sa sunus þeins, saei frēt þein swēs miþ kalkjōm, qam 'but then your son, who squandered your fortune on harlots, came' (Luke 15.30).

An adjective may either precede or follow its referent. They agree in gender, case, and number, with some exceptions. Feminine substantives are occasionally modified by masculine adjectives, or even neuter if the feminine noun denotes a thing. For example, ei kanniþ wēsi... handugei guþs 'that the wisdom of God... might be known' (Ephesians 3.10), where the neuter adjective kanniþ 'known' modifies the feminine abstract noun handugei 'wisdom'. A plural adjective or pronoun referring to two nouns of different gender is put in the neuter, e.g. ba (Zakarias jah Aileisabaiþ) framaldra wesun 'both (Zachary and Elizabeth) were very old' (Luke 1.7). A possessive pronoun generally follows the noun it governs, e.g. ahman izōs 'her spirit', and likewise for possessive adjectives: atta þeins 'your father', miþ frijōndam meináim 'with my friends'. Though there is a definite article in Gothic, or rather a demonstrative adjective which frequently assumes the role of an article, it often does not modify a noun governed by a genitive, e.g. in þiudangardjái himinē 'in the kingdom of heaven'. Either noun, however, may also appear with an article: þana attan þizōs máujōs 'the father of the(se) maidens'.

The general conservatism displayed by Gothic in terms of morphology leads scholars to expect the unemphatic word order was typically SOV in accordance with the earliest Germanic inscriptions. The Gothic New Testament however generally looks to be a mirror image of its Greek model. Given the rich morphology of the Gothic language, such word order would not have posed much difficulty for the intended audience, be it a native speaker's choice of word order or not.

Gothic Online

Lesson 2

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Archaeological Origins of the Goths

Definite archaeological remains of the early Goths are even more elusive than clear literary references. Part of the problem concerns dating: the are many sites which offer possible remains of Gothic culture, but the relevant timeframes are difficult to establish. In general closed archaeological finds (e.g. burial finds) with Roman coins and pottery provide the best sources for dating, but the time lag between production and placement leaves a certain amount of uncertainty. It is therefore easier to establish relative chronology by looking at the development of certain specific types of objects, e.g. brooches, buckles, pots, combs. The simpler forms are considered earlier, the more complex later. Such dating, however, does not apply well to individual objects, rather only to groups of objects. The more objects in a closed area, the more secure the relative chronology.

This still leaves open a crucial issue, namely that a material culture is not the same as an ethnic culture, or even political, social, or linguistic culture. Material items, and technology in general, have the ability to move across socio-ethnic boundaries much quicker than linguistic or ethnic traits. When however archaeologists discover not only continuity of material items, but also of ritual practice, such as burial rites, then this strengthens the argument that the material in question is associated with a somewhat homogenous culture. Keeping these caveats in mind, then, we may discuss the two cultures on which archaeologists have focused in their attempts to find physical traces of the Goths.

Wielbark Culture

The Wielbark culture is named after an area in the north of present-day Poland in which many characteristic remains were discovered. This material culture formed in the middle of 1st century AD in Pomerania on both sides of the Vistula, which is roughly the area in which Tacitus, Ptolemy, and Strabo place the Goths, and at roughly the same time. An early phase of development lasted for roughly a century. Then followed a second phase which spread over a wider area, first encompassing the northernmost regions of Poland and Mazovia east of the Vistula (c. 160-210), and then extending farther south along the Vistula, San, and Bug rivers into Byelorussia, Volhynia, and northern Ukraine (c. 180-230). This area is where the Chernjakhov culture, discussed below, later developed.

The Wielbark culture is characterized by stone circles found in cemeteries. In trying to align the movement of this culture with the picture presented in the literary record, especially as pertains to the purported Scandinavian origin of the Goths, it is important to find traits common to material cultures both in Scandinavia and on the southern shore of the Baltic, and furthermore among which the Scandinavian finds are the clear antecedents. These stone circles in cemeteries are the only practice found to be earlier in Scandinavia than on the European mainland. They do not, however, appear in the earliest Wielbark cemeteries.

Another trait of the culture is that inhumation and cremation graves are found side by side in Wielbark cemeteries. Surrounding burial sites do not display this two-fold practice, but instead display only cremation burials. A rather peculiar trait is that the members of the Wielbark culture did not bury iron objects, most importantly weapons, with any male dead. By contrast, the surrounding sites, as well as earlier inhabitants of the same areas, did bury iron weapons with the dead. Thus, if this culture does in fact represent the archaeological remains of the Goths, they appear to have broken with the typical Germanic tradition of burying the dead with their weapons. In addition, women's dress, at least in burials, was characterized by a double brooch, one on each shoulder.

The period of the second phase of the Wielbark culture coincides with the Marcomannic wars, c. 150 AD, which caused dramatic changes in the material cultures of present-day Poland. This phase of the Wielbark culture spread into the area of the Przeworsk culture, the area south of Pomerania, between the Notec and Warta rivers, and to Masovia in the southeast. The period 180-300 AD finds not only the expansion of Wielbark culture, but the incorporation of Wielbark traits into other cultures, particularly the Chernjakhov.

Chernjakhov Culture

The Chernjakhov culture began in the middle of the 3rd century. It reached its fullest extent in the 4th century, covering a large area between the Danube and Don, to the north and west of the Black Sea, and to the south and east of the Carpathian mountains. The temporal overlap with the Wielbark culture is also physically accompanied by shared features of material culture, particularly handmade pottery, some types of brooch, and the style of women's dress.

More intriguing, perhaps, are the shared cultural practices. As with the Wielbark culture, the Chernjakhov culture left behind cemeteries with mixed inhumation and cremation burials. The majority of Chernjakhov inhumation graves are placed along a north-south line, with the head of the deceased to the north. Also like the Wielbark culture, the Chernjakhov culture did not bury weapons with their male dead. There are however a few cemeteries in Cozia-Iasi, Todireni, and Braniste where the dead were buried with weapons. These weapons may have originated outside the Wielbark culture, though, perhaps in Przeworsk; the other equipment is consonant with the idea of Germanic intruders from the north. They also buried some wheel-made pottery with the dead, as well as some bone combs and iron implements.

The houses of the Chernjakhov culture are of two types. The most numerous are sunken huts. These are usually rectangular, though there are some with a more oval shape. These huts are cut into the ground, some so deep that only roofing would need to be added. The earthen floors are generally between 5 and 16 square meters. The walls were wattle and daub, and each house had a hearth. The other type of houses were surface dwellings. These are often found in the same settlements as the sunken huts. The smaller ones are usually between 6 and 8 square meters, the larger between 11 and 16 square meters. They were divided in two parts, one providing quarters for people, the other for animals.

If the Chernjakhov culture is in fact the continuation of the Wielbark culture, then the shared burial practices, as well as the shared mode of women's dress and the style of other implements, show not only a carryover of material culture, but also a carryover of social customs and beliefs. The Wielbark culture did not nevertheless cease to exist when the Chernjakhov culture began. The latter is therefore unlikely to be the result of a near total migration of the former.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following passage, Luke 2:41-52, gives an account of an incident in Jesus's boyhood, the only boyhood incident reported in the New Testament. Luke says that Jesus was twelve years old: the Gothic translates twalibwintrus, literally 'twelve winters' (Luke 2.42). Ancient Germanic cultures often used 'winter' as an equivalent of 'year' when reckoning spans of time. Similar constructions occur in both the Old English Beowulf and the Old Saxon Heliand: xii wintra tīd 'a span of twelve winters' (B.147); gebad wintra worn 'he endured countless winters' (B.264); Huand wit habdun aldres ēr efno tuēntig uuintro an uncro uueroldi, ēr than quāmi that uuīb ti mi 'the two of us had an age of about twenty winters in our world when that woman came to me' (H.144-145). Even the Old English translation of this biblical passage has and ða he wæs twelf wintre, hy foron to Hierusalem 'and when he was twelve winters (old), they went to Jerusalem'.

This phrase is followed by an example of the Gothic dative absolute: jah biþē warþ twalibwintrus, usgaggandam þan im in Iaírusaúlwma bi biūhtja dulþáis jah ustiuhandam þans dagans, literally 'when he became twelve-years-old, (with) them then going out to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, and (with them) fulfilling the days...' (Luke 2.42-43). These absolute constructions constitute a substantive and associated participle to give what would be in English a subordinate clause.

Luke 2.48 provides a notable instance in which Gothic employs the plural where one might expect the dual: ƕa gatawides uns swa? sai, sa atta þeins jah ik winnandona sokidedum þuk 'why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.' Here uns and sokidedum clearly refer to Mary and Joseph, and so the reader might expect the dual ugkis for uns and the dual sokidedu for sokidedum. Evidently the dual in Gothic, as in many other Indo-European languages, was a category in decline (by the time of the New Testament it had completely fallen out of the Greek language). In this particular instance, as some scholars suggest, the difference in gender (as evidenced by the neuter form of the adjective winnandona) might have triggered the use of the plural in place of the dual. But in other passages we find the plural replacing the dual with no obvious trigger.

Luke 2.49 also begins with an interesting collocation: ƕa þatei sōkidēduþ mik? The phrase ƕa þatei is a compressed phrase 'what is this?', the þata then pointing to what follows, hence the relative marker ei. This phrase has, by the time of the Gothic text, become frozen as a way of saying 'why'. A similar development happened within Latin during the Middle Ages, where quid est quod -- literally 'what is (this, the fact) that...' -- came simply to denote 'why'.

2:41 - jah wratodedun þai birusjos is jera ƕammeh in Iairusalem at dulþ paska.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- now
  • wratodedun -- weak verb class 2; third person plural preterite of <wratōn> to go, to journey -- went
  • þai -- demonstrative used as article; nominative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • birusjos -- strong noun, masculine; nominative plural of <birusjōs> parents -- parents
  • is -- personal pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- his
  • jera -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <jēr> year -- year
  • ƕammeh -- indefinite pronoun; dative singular neuter of <ƕazuh> each, every -- every
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- to
  • Iairusalem -- indeclinable noun; <Iaírusalēm> Jerusalem -- Jerusalem
  • at -- preposition; <at> at, by, to, with, of -- at
  • dulþ -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <dulþs> feast -- the feast
  • paska -- strong noun, feminine; indeclinable <paska> Passover -- of the passover

42 - jah biþe warþ twalibwintrus, usgaggandam þan im in Iairusaulwma bi biuhtja dulþais,
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • biþe -- conjunction; <biþē> while, when, after that, as soon as; then, thereupon -- when
  • warþ -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- he was
  • twalibwintrus -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <twalibwintrus> twelve years old -- twelve years old
  • usgaggandam -- strong verb class 7; dative plural masculine of present participle of <usgaggan> to go out -- went up # dative absolute
  • þan -- adverb; <þan> then, when -- ...
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- they
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- to
  • Iairusaulwma -- strong proper noun, feminine; accusative singular of <Iaírusaúlwma> Jerusalem -- Jerusalem
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- after
  • biuhtja -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <biūhti> custom -- the custom
  • dulþais -- strong noun, feminine; genitive singular of <dulþs> feast -- of the feast

43 - jah ustiuhandam þans dagans, miþþane gawandidedun sik aftra, gastoþ Iesus sa magus in Iairusalem, jah ni wissedun Iosef jah aiþei is.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ustiuhandam -- strong verb class 2; dative plural masculine of present participle of <ustiuhan> to lead out; to complete -- when they had fulfilled # continuing the dative absolute of the preceding verse
  • þans -- demonstrative used as article; accusative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • dagans -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <dags> day -- days
  • miþþane -- conjunction; <miþþanei> while, during, when -- as
  • gawandidedun -- weak verb class 1; third person plural preterite of <gawandjan> to bring back, return -- they returned
  • sik -- reflexive pronoun; accusative of <sik> himself, herself, oneself -- ...
  • aftra -- adverb; <aftra> back, again -- ...
  • gastoþ -- strong verb class 6; third person singular preterite of <gastandan> to stay -- tarried behind
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • sa -- demonstrative used as article; nominative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • magus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <magus> boy, son -- child
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • Iairusalem -- indeclinable noun; <Iaírusalēm> Jerusalem -- Jerusalem
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • wissedun -- preterite present verb; third person plural preterite of <*witan> to know -- knew... (of it)
  • Iosef -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iōsēf> Joseph -- Joseph
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • aiþei -- weak noun, feminine; nominative singular of <áiþei> mother -- mother
  • is -- personal pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- his

44 - hugjandona in gasinþjam ina wisan qemun dagis wig jah sokidedun ina in ganiþjam jah in kunþam.
  • hugjandona -- weak verb class 1; nominative plural neuter of present participle of <hugjan> to think, to suppose -- but... supposing # neuter plural referring to individuals of mixed gender
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • gasinþjam -- weak noun, masculine; dative plural of <gasinþja> companion, company -- the company
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • wisan -- strong verb class 5; infinitive of <wisan> to be -- to have been
  • qemun -- strong verb class 4; third person plural preterite of <qiman> to come, arrive -- they... went
  • dagis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <dags> day -- a day's
  • wig -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <wigs> way, road, journey -- journey
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • sokidedun -- weak verb class 1; third person plural preterite of <sōkjan> to seek, ask -- they sought
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- among
  • ganiþjam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <ganiþjis> kinsman -- their kinsfolk
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- ...
  • kunþam -- adjective used as substantive; dative plural neuter of <kunþs> known, acquaintance -- acquaintance

45 - jah ni bigitandona ina gawandidedun sik in Iairusalem sokjandona ina.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • bigitandona -- strong verb class 5; nominative plural neuter of present participle of <bigitan> to find, meet -- when they found
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • gawandidedun -- weak verb class 1; third person plural preterite of <gawandjan> to bring back, return -- they turned back
  • sik -- reflexive pronoun; accusative of <sik> himself, herself, oneself -- ...
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- to
  • Iairusalem -- indeclinable noun; <Iaírusalēm> Jerusalem -- Jerusalem
  • sokjandona -- weak verb class 1; nominative plural neuter of present participle of <sōkjan> to seek, ask -- having sought
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him

46 - jah warþ afar dagans þrins, bigetun ina in alh sitandan in midjaim laisarjam jah hausjandan im jah fraihnandan ins.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • warþ -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- it came to pass (that)
  • afar -- preposition; <afar> after, according to -- after
  • dagans -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <dags> day -- days
  • þrins -- numeral; accusative plural masculine of <*þreis> three -- three
  • bigetun -- strong verb class 5; third person plural preterite of <bigitan> to find, meet -- they found
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • alh -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <alhs> temple -- the temple
  • sitandan -- strong verb class 5; accusative singular masculine of present participle of <sitan> to sit -- sitting
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • midjaim -- adjective; dative plural masculine of <midjis> middle -- the middle of
  • laisarjam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <láisareis> teacher, master -- the doctors
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- both
  • hausjandan -- weak verb class 1; accusative singular masculine of present participle of <háusjan> to hear, listen -- hearing
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- them
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • fraihnandan -- strong verb class 5; accusative singular masculine of present participle of <fraíhnan> to ask, question -- asking... questions
  • ins -- personal pronoun; accusative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- them

47 - usgeisnodedun þan allai þai hausjandans is ana frodein jah andawaurdjam is.
  • usgeisnodedun -- weak verb class 4; third person plural preterite of <usgeisnan> to be amazed, astonished -- were astonished
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- and
  • allai -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <alls> all, every -- all
  • þai -- demonstrative used as relative pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- that
  • hausjandans -- weak verb class 1; nominative plural masculine of present participle of <háusjan> to hear, listen -- heard
  • is -- personal pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- at
  • frodein -- weak noun, feminine; dative singular of <frōdei> wisdom, understanding -- understanding
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • andawaurdjam -- strong noun, neuter; dative plural of <andawaúrdi> answer -- answers
  • is -- personal pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- his

48 - jah gasaiƕandans ina sildaleikidedun, jah qaþ du imma so aiþei is: magau, ƕa gatawides uns swa? sai, sa atta þeins jah ik winnandona sokidedum þuk.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • gasaiƕandans -- strong verb class 5; nominative plural masculine of present participle of <gasaíƕan> to see -- when they saw
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • sildaleikidedun -- weak verb class 1; third person plural preterite of <sildaleikjan> to wonder, to marvel -- they were amazed
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • so -- demonstrative used as article; nominative singular feminine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • aiþei -- weak noun, feminine; nominative singular of <áiþei> mother -- mother
  • is -- personal pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- his
  • magau -- strong noun, masculine; vocative singular of <magus> boy, son -- son
  • ƕa -- interrogative adverb; <ƕa> why -- why
  • gatawides -- weak verb class 1; second person singular preterite of <gatáujan> to do, make -- hast thou... dealt
  • uns -- personal pronoun; dative plural of <ik> I -- with us # Referring to Mary and Joseph. Gothic often employs a plural where a dual might be expected. The instances in this verse likely arise from the difference in gender of the referents, cf. winnandona; but this is not a necessary condition for the use of plural in place of dual.
  • swa -- adverb; <swa> so, thus, as -- thus
  • sai -- interjection; <sái> lo, behold -- behold
  • sa -- demonstrative used as article; nominative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • atta -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <atta> father -- father
  • þeins -- possessive adjective; nominative singular masculine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ik -- personal pronoun; nominative singular of <ik> I -- I
  • winnandona -- strong verb class 3; nominative plural neuter of present participle of <winnan> to suffer -- sorrowing # neuter plural referring to individuals of mixed gender
  • sokidedum -- weak verb class 1; first person plural preterite of <sōkjan> to seek, ask -- have sought # For the use of the plural, see the note above for uns.
  • þuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thee

49 - jah qaþ du im: ƕa þatei sokideduþ mik? niu wisseduþ þatei in þaim attins meinis skulda wisan?
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- he said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- them
  • ƕa þatei -- interrogative pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <ƕas> who, what + relative pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <saei> who, he who, which -- how (is it) that
  • sokideduþ -- weak verb class 1; second person plural preterite of <sōkjan> to seek, ask -- ye sought # For the use of the plural, see the note in the previous verse for uns.
  • mik -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <ik> I -- me
  • niu -- adverb; <ni> not + interrogative particle; <-u> (interrogative particle, attached enclitically to first word of its clause) -- not
  • wisseduþ -- preterite present verb; second person plural preterite of <*witan> to know -- wist ye # For the use of the plural, see the note in the previous verse for uns.
  • þatei -- conjunction; <þatei> that, because, if -- that
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- about
  • þaim -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative plural neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- business
  • attins -- weak noun, masculine; genitive singular of <atta> father -- Father's
  • meinis -- possessive adjective; genitive singular masculine of <meins> my, mine -- my
  • skulda -- preterite present verb; first person singular preterite of <*skulan> to owe, be obliged -- I must
  • wisan -- strong verb class 5; infinitive of <wisan> to be -- be

50 - jah ija ni froþun þamma waurda þatei rodida du im.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ija -- personal pronoun; nominative plural neuter of <ita> it -- they # neuter plural referring to individuals of mixed gender
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • froþun -- strong verb class 6; third person plural preterite of <fraþjan> to understand -- understood
  • þamma -- demonstrative used as article; dative singular neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • waurda -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <waúrd> word -- saying
  • þatei -- relative pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <saei> who, he who, which -- which
  • rodida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <rōdjan> to speak -- he spake
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- them

51 - jah iddja miþ im jah qam in Nazaraiþ, jah was ufhausjands im; jah aiþei is gafastaida þo waurda alla in hairtin seinamma.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • iddja -- strong verb class 7; third person singular suppletive preterite of <gaggan> to come, go -- he went (down)
  • miþ -- preposition; <miþ> with, among, together with, through, by, near -- with
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- them
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qam -- strong verb class 4; third person singular preterite of <qiman> to come, arrive -- came
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- to
  • Nazaraiþ -- indeclinable noun; <Nazaraíþ> Nazareth -- Nazareth
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • was -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <wisan> to be -- was
  • ufhausjands -- weak verb class 1; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <ufháusjan> to obey, to be obedient -- subject
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- unto them
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- but
  • aiþei -- weak noun, feminine; nominative singular of <áiþei> mother -- mother
  • is -- personal pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- his
  • gafastaida -- weak verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <gafastan> to keep, hold fast -- kept
  • þo -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative plural neuter of <þata> this, that -- these
  • waurda -- strong noun, neuter; accusative plural of <waúrd> word -- sayings
  • alla -- adjective; accusative plural neuter of <alls> all, every -- all
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • hairtin -- weak noun, neuter; dative singular of <haírtō> heart -- heart
  • seinamma -- possessive adjective; dative singular neuter of <*seins> one's own -- her

52 - jah Iesus þaih frodein jah wahstau jah anstai at guda jah mannam.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • þaih -- strong verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <þeihan> to thrive, to prosper -- increased
  • frodein -- weak noun, feminine; dative singular of <frōdei> wisdom, understanding -- in wisdom
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • wahstau -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <wahstus> size, stature -- stature
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • anstai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <ansts> grace, favor -- in favor
  • at -- preposition; <at> at, by, to, with, of -- with
  • guda -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <guþ> God -- God
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • mannam -- irregular noun, masculine; dative plural of <manna> man -- man

Lesson Text

2:41 - jah wratodedun þai birusjos is jera ƕammeh in Iairusalem at dulþ paska. 42 - jah biþe warþ twalibwintrus, usgaggandam þan im in Iairusaulwma bi biuhtja dulþais, 43 - jah ustiuhandam þans dagans, miþþane gawandidedun sik aftra, gastoþ Iesus sa magus in Iairusalem, jah ni wissedun Iosef jah aiþei is. 44 - hugjandona in gasinþjam ina wisan qemun dagis wig jah sokidedun ina in ganiþjam jah in kunþam. 45 - jah ni bigitandona ina gawandidedun sik in Iairusalem sokjandona ina. 46 - jah warþ afar dagans þrins, bigetun ina in alh sitandan in midjaim laisarjam jah hausjandan im jah fraihnandan ins. 47 - usgeisnodedun þan allai þai hausjandans is ana frodein jah andawaurdjam is. 48 - jah gasaiƕandans ina sildaleikidedun, jah qaþ du imma so aiþei is: magau, ƕa gatawides uns swa? sai, sa atta þeins jah ik winnandona sokidedum þuk. 49 - jah qaþ du im: ƕa þatei sokideduþ mik? niu wisseduþ þatei in þaim attins meinis skulda wisan? 50 - jah ija ni froþun þamma waurda þatei rodida du im. 51 - jah iddja miþ im jah qam in Nazaraiþ, jah was ufhausjands im; jah aiþei is gafastaida þo waurda alla in hairtin seinamma. 52 - jah Iesus þaih frodein jah wahstau jah anstai at guda jah mannam.

Translation

From the King James version:
2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Grammar

6 Sound Rules
6.1 Rules Characterizing Germanic: Grimm's and Verner's Laws

The most conspicuous sound shift affecting the Germanic languages is Grimm's Law. According to this rule, the following sound correspondences obtain between Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Germanic:

PIE                   PGmc                
    p   t   k   kw       f   þ   x   xw
    b   d   g   gw       p   t   k   kw
    bh   dh   gh   gwh       b   d   g   gw

In addition

    p, t, k remain unchanged after s, and
    t remains unchanged after p, k.

Certain discrepancies in the correspondences appear upon closer inspection of the data. In particular, one frequently finds that the Germanic voiceless spirants (f, þ, x, xw) and s become voiced:

    f, þ, x, xw, s > v, ð, ḡ, ḡw, z.

Many of these counterexamples are explained by Verner's Law. This states that the voiceless spirants remain when initial, or when immediately preceded by the PIE accent. For example, *t > þ in PIE *bhréH-ter > Gothic broþar, but *t > ð in PIE *pH-tér > fadar [faðar]. Note in this last example that initial *p > f, with no voicing.

Consider the following examples:

PIE   Comparandum   PGmc   Gothic   Shift   Law
                     
p-   podós (Gk.)   f-   fōtáus 'of the foot'   p > f   Grimm
-p-   kléptēs (Gk.)   -f-   hliftus 'thief'   p > f   Grimm
-p-   kapálam (Skt.)   -v-   háubiþ 'head'   p > v   Verner
                     
t-   tu (Lat.)   þ-   þu 'thou'   t > þ   Grimm
-t-   várte (Skt.)   -þ-   waírþa 'I become'   t > þ   Grimm
-t-   patér (Gk.)   -ð-   fadar 'father'   t > ð   Verner
                     
k-   cordis (Lat.)   x-   haírtins 'of the heart'   k > x   Grimm
-k-   déka (Gk.)   -x-   taíhun 'ten'   k > x   Grimm
k-   com-mūnis (Lat.)   -ḡ-   ga-máins 'common'   k >   Verner
                     
s-   sá (Skt.)   s-   sa 'that'   s > s   Grimm
-s-   geú(s)ō (Gk.)   -s-   kiusa 'I choose'   s > s   Grimm
-s-   bhárase (Skt.)   -z-   baíraza 'art borne'   s > z   Verner

Note in the instance of Latin commūnis and Gothic gamáins that Verner's Law applies to proclitics. The example of Sanskrit bhárase and Gothic baíraza illustrates that the accent must be on the vowel immediately preceding the consonant for Grimm's Law to apply.

6.2 Rules Characterizing Gothic

Among the ancient Germanic languages Gothic is uniquely conservative in terms of phonology. As will be seen in the section on the weak preterite, the dental suffix retains a fuller expression than in languages such as Old English or Old Norse. Gothic also preserves a situation which precedes regular umlaut due to i in a following syllable. For example, compare Gothic alþeis 'old' and alþiza 'older' to Old English eald and ieldra, respectively; similarly compare PGmc. *gastiz > Goth. gasts to Old Norse gestr.

Gothic does, however, show some important sound changes. Some of the more notable examples appear below.

6.2.1 Initial *fl-

Initial *fl- > þl- in syllables ending in h /x/. Compare Old Saxon and Old High German fliohan 'flee' to Gothic þliuhan. The same may also occur in stems ending in q /kw/: for example, Gothic þlaqus 'putting out leaves, tender' with possible relation to Old High German flah 'flat', Latin placidus ('flat, even' and hence) 'gentle, quiet'. The change *fl- > þl- does not occur in stems with other final consonants. For example, compare Gothic flōdus to Old English and Old Saxon flōd 'flood, stream'.

6.2.2 Final -s

As mentioned in Section 3.1, final -s > zero before (short vowel) + (consonantal r). For example, waír + -s > waír 'man'; similarly baúr 'son', anþar 'second', unsar 'our'. Compare dags 'day', gasts 'guest', akrs 'field', swērs 'honored', skeirs 'clear', G brōþrs 'of a brother'.

Additionally, -s > zero before stem-final s. For example, runs + -s > runs 'a running'. Compare accusative runs, showing the s is part of the stem, not the nominative ending.

6.3 Sound Changes in Gothic Strong Preterites

Several sound changes occur frequently when consonants become final in the past tense or combine with the second person singular past tense ending -t. These are collected here for reference.

  • Final b > f after a vowel or diphthong in the 1st and 3rd person singular, e.g. gadaban 'be fitting' yields gadōf.
  • Final d > þ after a vowel or diphthong in the 1st and 3rd person singular, e.g. bidjan 'entreat' yields baþ.
  • b > f before -t in the 2nd person singular, e.g. giban 'give' yields gaft.
  • d > s before -t in the 2nd person singular, e.g. anabiudan 'command' yields anabáust.
  • t > s before -t in the 2nd person singular, e.g. bigitan 'find' yields bigast.
  • þ > s before -t in the 2nd person singular, e.g. qiþan 'say' yields qast.
7 Strong Declension
7.1 i-Stems

Several nouns have stems ending in i. As mentioned above, this does not lead to regular umlaut of the root vowel as it does in other Germanic languages such as Old Norse and Old English. The nouns gards 'court', staþs 'place', and gasts 'guest' illustrate the masculine forms of the i-declension; ansts 'grace', fahēþs 'joy', and qēns 'woman' illustrate the feminine forms. Recall that ei is the Gothic spelling of [].

i-Stem   Masculine           Feminine        
                         
Stem   gardi-   stadi-   gasti-   ansti-   fahēdi-   qēni-
                         
N Sg.   gards   staþs   gasts   ansts   fahēþs   qēns
A, V   gard   staþ   gast   anst   fahēþ   qēn
G   gardis   stadis   gastis   anstáis   fahēdáis   qēnáis
D   garda   stada   gasta   anstái   fahēdái   qēnái
                         
N Pl.   gardeis   stadeis   gasteis   ansteis   fahēdeis   qēneis
A   gardins   stadins   gastins   anstins   fahēdins   qēnins
G   gardē   stadē   gastē   anstē   fahēdē   qēnē
D   gardim   stadim   gastim   anstim   fahēdim   qēnim
                         

Note that, because of the lack of umlaut, the singular forms of masculine i-stems parallel those of the a-stems. Feminine abstract nouns in -ōns and -áins, derived from verbs of the second and third weak conjugation, decline like ansts. For example, laþōns 'invitation' from laþōn 'to invite', mitōns 'a thought' from mitōn 'to think over', bauáins 'a dwelling' from bauan 'to inhabit', libáins 'life' from liban 'to live'.

Some nouns which belong to the i-declension in Gothic belong to the a-declension in sister languages. For example, compare Gothic gards to the Old Norse a-stem garðr, but Goth. gasts and ON gestr are both i-declension. By contrast, Gothic qēns appears both as i-stem in the Eddic form kvæn and as the ōn-stem kona (G pl. kvenna) in Old Norse.

The masculine noun náus 'corpse' has plural forms N. naweis and A. nawins. The feminine noun háims 'village' follows the declension of ansts in the singular, but follows the -stem giba in the plural (see Section 3.2). Feminine abstract nouns in -eins follow the declension of ansts, except for N pl. -ōs and G pl. -ō. The forms of the masculine náus 'corpse' and of the feminine háims 'village' and láiseins 'doctrine' are given below.

    Masculine   Feminine    
             
Stem   nawi-   háimi-   láiseini-
             
N Sg.   náus   háims   láiseins
A, V       háim   láisein
G       háimáis   láiseináis
D       háimái   láiseinái
             
N Pl.   naweis   háimōs   láiseinōs
A   nawins   háimō   láiseinins
G       háimō   láiseinō
D       háimōm   láiseinim
             
7.2 u-Stems

The u-stem nouns appear in all genders, though there are few remnants of neuter forms. The masculine sunus 'son', feminine handus 'hand', and neuter faíhu 'cattle' illustrate the declension.

u-Stem   Masculine   Feminine   Neuter
             
Stem   sunu-   handu-   faíhu-
             
N Sg.   sunus   handus   faíhu
A, V   sunu   handu   faíhu
G   sunáus   handáus   *faíháus
D   sunáu   handáu   faíháu
             
N Pl.   sunjus   handjus    
A   sununs   handuns    
G   suniwē   handiwē    
D   sunum   handum    
             

Some scribes write N sg. sunáus beside sunus, D sg. sunu beside sunáu, and V sg. sunáu beside sunu. The neuter noun filu 'much' falls under this declension, with G sg. filáus used adverbially with comparatives in the sense 'very'.

8 Personal Pronouns

Because of the rich morphology of the Gothic verb, subject pronouns are generally unnecessary. They are used only for emphasis. In addition to singular and plural, the first and second person pronouns also distinguish a dual number, e.g. wit 'we two', igqara 'of you two'.

8.1 First and Second Person Pronouns

The forms of the Gothic first and second person pronouns are as follows.

    1st Person   2nd Person
         
N Sg.   ik   þu
A   mik   þuk
G   meina   þeina
D   mis   þus
         
N Du.   wit   *jut
A   ugkis   igqis
G   *ugkara   igqara
D   ugkis   igqis
         
N Pl.   weis   jus
A   uns, unsis   izwis
G   unsara   izwara
D   unsis, uns   izwis
         

Note that the first person plural A uns and D unsis often interchange with one another. The oblique forms fill the role of first and second person reflexive pronouns, so that e.g. Modern English 'I hit myself' would be more literally in Gothic 'I hit me'.

8.2 Third Person Pronouns

The third person pronoun is built from a stem i-. Unlike the first and second person pronouns, these do not serve as reflexives. Instead the forms sik, seina, sis serve as reflexives. Though the forms are singular, they serve as reflexives for all genders and numbers. Thus the reflexive of is in the accusative is sik 'himself', and likewise the reflexive of neut. N pl. ija in the accusative is sik 'themselves'. The forms of the third person pronoun and the reflexive are given below.

3rd Person   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine   Reflexive
                 
N Sg.   is   ita   si   -
A   ina   ita   ija   sik
G   is   is   izōs   *seina
D   imma   imma   izái   sis
                 
N Pl.   eis   ija   *ijōs   -
A   ins   *ija   ijōs   sik
G   izē   *izē   izō   seina
D   im   im   im   sis
                 
9 Weak Verb Conjugation

Weak verbs form a category separate from strong verbs. Whereas vowel gradation (ablaut) characterizes strong verbs (cf. Modern English sing-sang-sung-song), this is not so for weak verbs. Rather the addition of a dental suffix -d- in the past tense characterizes weak verbs (cf. Modern English arrive-arrived). This dental suffix is appended to the verbal stem, before the addition of personal endings. The dental suffix is found not only in finite verbal forms, but also in the past participle (cf. Modern English 'That problem, addressed by Einstein, was the beginning of modern quantum theory').

9.1 Weak Verb Classes

Gothic has four classes of weak verbs. These classes are distinguished by the vowel which precedes the dental suffix, and the presence or absence of a nasal appended to the stem: -i-, -ō-, -ái-, -nō-. These correlate with different forms of the infinitive. The following chart lists examples of the Gothic weak verb classes.

Class   Preterite (1/3 Sg.)   Infinitive   Meaning
             
i   nas-i-da   nas-jan   'save'
ii   salb-ō-da   salb-ōn   'anoint'
iii   hab-ái-da   hab-an   'have'
iv   full-nō-da   full-nan   'become full'
             
9.2 Active Paradigm

The class i verb nasjan 'save' illustrates the active forms of the weak verb.

Weak Verbs   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
Present            
1 Sg.   nasja   nasjáu    
2   nasjis   nasjáis   nasei
3   nasjiþ   nasjái   nasjadáu
             
1 Du.   nasjōs   nasjáiwa    
2   nasjats   nasjáits   nasjats
             
1 Pl.   nasjam   nasjáima   nasjam
2   nasjiþ   nasjáiþ   nasjiþ
3   nasjand   nasjáina   nasjandáu
             
Past            
1 Sg.   nasida   nasidēdjáu    
2   nasidēs   nasidēdeis    
3   nasida   nasidēdi    
             
1 Du.   nasidēdu   nasidēdeiwa    
2   nasidēduts   nasidēdeits    
             
1 Pl.   nasidēdum   nasidēdeima    
2   nasidēduþ   nasidēdeiþ    
3   nasidēdun   nasidēdeina    
             
Infinitive   nasjan        
             
Pres. Ptc.   nasjands        
             
Past Ptc.   nasiþs        

All present forms derive from the infinitive, minus the -an ending. All past forms contain the dental suffix. Note that all finite preterite forms, except for the singular indicative, contain the suffix -dēd- rather than simply -d-.

9.3 Mediopassive Paradigm

As with the strong verbs, the morphological mediopassive has only present forms. The forms of nasjan 'save' illustrate the paradigm.

Weak Verbs   Indicative   Subjunctive
         
1 Sg.   nasjada   nasjáidáu
2   nasjaza   nasjáizáu
3   nasjada   nasjáidáu
         
1 Du.        
2        
         
1 Pl.   nasjanda   nasjáindáu
2   nasjanda   nasjáindáu
3   nasjanda   nasjáindáu
         

There are no forms for the dual. Be careful to note that the -d- of the mediopassive forms is found in all verbs, strong and weak; it is not to be confused with the -d- of the weak dental preterite. The stem of these forms derives from the infinitive, as with the present active forms.

10 Particles and Conjunctions

Gothic makes use of a number of conjunctions. The simple joining of two clauses in a copulative fashion is most often accomplished with jah 'and'. This conjunction stands as the first element in its clause: warþ hūhrus abrs and gawi jáinata, jah is dugann alaþarba waírþan 'a great famine came over that people, and he started to become very poor' (Luke 15.14). jah is also found sentence-initially, continuing a previous sentence in a style parallel to Greek kaí in the New Testament. The enclitic -uh 'and' affixes to the first word of its clause: Galáiþ in praitaúria aftra Peilātus jah wōpida Iēsu qaþuh imma... 'Pilate came into the pretorium again and called Jesus and said to him...' (John 18.33). Following 'but', the conjunction -uh generally attaches to the verb of the clause: iþ Iesus iddjuh miþ im 'and then Jesus went with them' (Luke 7.6). The negative copulative is nih 'and not', a combination of ni 'not' and -uh. nih generally stands at the beginning of its clause: ni maúrnáiþ sáiwalái izwarái ƕa matjáiþ jah ƕa drigkáiþ nih leika izwaramma ƕē wasjáiþ 'have no thought for your life, what you shall eat and what you shall drink; nor for your body, how you shall dress' (Matthew 6.25).

The general disjunctive particle is aíþþáu 'or'. The sequence 'either... or' is typically jabái... aíþþáu or andizuh... aíþþáu. For example, untē jabái fijáiþ áinana jah anþarana frijōþ, aíþþáu áinamma ufháuseiþ iþ anþaramma frakann 'for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other' (Matthew 6.24). In direct questions of a disjunctive nature one finds -u... þáu '(either)... or', where -u is appended to the first word of the first question: abu þus silbin þu þata qiþis, þáu anþarái þus qēþun bi mik? 'Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?' (John 18.34) Indirect disjunctive questions usually omit -u, though þáu remains to mark the second part.

There are several adversative particles: iþ, aþþan, ak, akei. These generally stand at the head of their clause: Háusidēduþ þatei qiþan ist þáim áirizam: ni maúrþrjáis; saei maúrþreiþ skula waírþiþ stauái. aþþan ik qiþa izwis... 'Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you...' (Matthew 5.21-22). The particle ak generally follows a negative introduction, while akei follows a positive. For example, ni hugei hauhaba, ak ogs 'Be not highminded, but fear' (Romans 11.20); compare all binah, akei ni all daug 'All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient' (1 Cor. 10.23).

The main causal conjunctions are áuk, allis, raíhtis, untē. The particles áuk, allis, raíhtis generally occupy second position in their clause, though áuk and raíhtis may also occupy third position. For example: mahteigs áuk ist 'for [God] is able' (Romans 14.4); maht wēsi áuk 'For it might have been' (Mark 14.5). áuk may combine with raíhtis or allis: sa áuk raíhtis 'for he' (Mark 6.17); saei áuk allis 'for whoever' (Mark 9.41). By contrast, untē 'for, because, until' occupies the first position in its clause: áudagái þái hráinjahaírtans, untē þái guþ gasaiƕand 'Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God' (Matthew 5.8).

For ease of reference, the most common connective particles are listed in the following chart, along with their essential roles and basic translations.

Conjunction   Type   Meaning
         
aíþþáu   disjunctive   'or'
         
ak   adversative   'but'
         
akei   adversative   'but'
         
allis   causal   'for, because'
         
andizuh... aíþþáu   disjunctive   'either... or'
         
aþþan   adversative   'but, however'
         
áuk   causal   'for, because'
         
biþē   temporal   'while'
         
duþē (duþþē)   conclusive   'therefore'
    final   'to the end that, because'
         
duþþē ei   final   'to the end that, because'
         
du þamma ei   final   'to the end that, because'
         
ei   final   'that, so that'
         
eiþan   conclusive   'therefore'
         
faúrþizei   temporal   'before that'
         
ƕáiwa   comparative   'how'
         
ibái (iba)   final   'lest, that... not'
         
  adversative   'but, however'
         
jabái   conditional   'if'
         
jah   copulative   'and'
         
jah... jah   copulative   'both... and'
         
jaþþē... jaþþē   disjunctive   'whether... or'
         
miþþanei   temporal   'while'
         
ni þatáinei... ak jah   copulative   'not only... but also'
         
ni (nih)... ni (nih)   disjunctive   'neither... nor'
         
nibái (niba)   conditional   'unless, if... not'
         
nih   copulative   'and not'
         
nih... ak jah   copulative   'not only... but also'
         
nu   conclusive   'therefore'
         
nunu   conclusive   'therefore'
         
nuh   conclusive   'therefore'
         
raíhtis   causal   'for, because'
         
sunsei   temporal   'as soon as'
         
swaei   final   'so that'
         
swaswē   final   'so that'
    comparative   'so as'
         
swē   temporal   'just as'
    comparative   'as'
         
swēþáuh   concessive   'indeed, however'
         
þan   adversative   'but, however'
    temporal   'when, as long as'
         
þandē   causal   'inasmuch as'
    temporal   'when, as long as'
        'until, until that, as long as'
         
þannu   conclusive   'therefore'
         
þanuh   conclusive   'therefore'
         
þaruh   conclusive   'therefore'
         
þatei   final   'that'
         
þáu   concessive   'in that case'
         
þáuhjabái   concessive   'even though'
         
þēei   causal   'because'
    final   'that'
         
þei   final   'that'
         
uh (encl.)   copulative   'and'
         
und þatei   temporal   'until, until that, as long as'
         
untē   causal   'for, because'
    temporal   'until, until that, as long as'

Gothic Online

Lesson 3

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Linguistic Origins of the Goths

The linguistic remains of Gothic provide a window into the origin and history of the Gothic tribes that sometimes complements, and sometimes conflicts with, literary and archaeological records. Specifically, the words borrowed by Gothic from different languages, as well as those borrowed by other languages from Gothic, provide clues about cultural contact, and hence possible geographic location. Generally, at least in the ancient world, languages are assumed to borrow from neighboring languages. Such an assumption certainly leads to some objections, but on the whole it forms a good working hypothesis, which may lead to conclusions that can be compared with the archaeological and literary records for confirmation. If such a hypothesis fails, however, scholars must look for other means for the languages to come into contact, such as through travel along common trade routes.

The Gothic language as recorded in Wulfila's translation contains loan-words from Latin and Celtic. This could imply that either the Goths were settled close to Roman or Celtic populations, or they were in contact with them via commerce or some other means. Since the literary sources pertaining to the Goths generally speak of their origins near the Baltic Sea, scholars have primarily looked for what modes of contact the Goths may have had with these peoples from a distance. For example, if the Goths were never proximate to the Romans, the Latin loans may have come from Gothic mercenaries in Roman employ, since many of the loans have a military character: Gothic *annō from Latin annōna 'military wages'; Gothic militōn 'serve in the army' from Latin mīlēs, pl. mīlitēs 'soldier'. Such loans could could date to the period of contact between Romans and Gutones, when Drusus, son of Tiberius, convinced Catualda, chief of the Gotones, to enter the fight against the Marcomanni.

Celtic loans are likewise often of a military or political character, such as Gothic reiks: compare Gaulish -rīx, and Old Irish rī, genitive rīg. Such Celtic acculturation was possible during the Wielbark period, where the Gutones in the region belonged to the Lugian cult league. Scholars suspect the Lugians were considered Celts before the birth of Christ, but after a century had come to be considered Germanic, closely allied to the Vandals. This holdover of Celtic terms, as with Latin terms possibly borrowed during the Marcomannic wars, requires the Gutonic language to carry over into 4th century Gothic. Proximity to Celtic Lugians does not explain why these particular elements are common only to Celtic and Gothic, since other Germanic tribes were part of the Lugian league.

There are some facts (see Kortlandt, 2000) which argue against a theory of Scandinavian origin for the Goths. On the one hand, much of the source material, admittedly for Jordanes and perhaps for his predecessors Ablabius and Cassiodorus as well, is in the form of oral traditions, the interpretation of which may change within a culture as the culture itself changes. On the other hand, there are some problems with the notion of large-scale migration from the Baltic to the Black Sea. One problem is that the region between the point of origin and the destination is believed to be the homeland of the Slavs, who seem not to have moved until the advent of the Huns. This seems unlikely if there was a mass migration of Goths through the territory. (It is subject to the same argument that supposes the advent of the Huns is what caused the Goths to press into Roman territory.) In addition, the general trend of migration near the borderland of the steppes was westward from poorer lowland to richer upland, not eastward. Another typical trend of the period is that of migration toward more civilized areas rather than away from them, hence in this case toward the Roman Empire's nearest border, the Danube -- a direction in which the Slavs in fact moved, a few centuries later.

Therefore a different proposal arises (Kortlandt, 2000), namely that the Gutones moved south early, toward Italy and the Roman Empire, until they came to the Danube. There they adopted the speech of Alemannic tribes that had previously migrated to the region from the west, and whose speech would already be colored by Roman contact. They were prevented from entering Roman territory, and joined forces with other Germanic tribes in Lower Austria. This mingling of the Gutones with other Germanic tribes in the region resulted in the Gothic ethnogenesis.

One simple fact supporting such a theory is the panoply of names applied to the Goths in the course of their migrations, none of which is actually 'Goth' until a fairly late date. It seems especially likely that the Gothic tribe through the 3rd and 4th centuries was composed of several fluid factions. To add to such literary observations, there is linguistic data as well that may support a Gothic ethnogenesis in southern Germany.

In particular, some of the linguistic features deemed most conservative in Gothic, such as the reduplicated suffix in the past plural of weak verbs, may in fact be innovations. If the origin of the weak verbs is the dh-determinative, then the reduplication found in Gothic may not be an archaic holdover, but rather a form based on analogy with such forms as the preterite of *dhē in Old High German.

In reference to Latin, the fact that the Latin suffix -ārius is productive in the Gothic words such as bōkareis 'scribe', láisareis 'teacher', liuþareis 'singer', mōtareis 'toll-taker', sōkareis 'disputer', may argue for closer contact than merely mercenary jargon. Other cultural loans from Latin, lacking military character, are common, e.g. aurali 'napkin' < Lat. ōrārium; kubitus 'reclining (company) at a table' < Lat. cubitus; aurti-gards, with first element from Latin hortus; mēs < Vulgar Latin mēsa < Latin mēnsa. The word lukarn 'lamp' is an early borrowing from Latin; aket, akeit 'vinegar', a borrowing from Latin acētum, because of non-palatalized c-, may have been borrowed in 1st-3rd centuries, before migration to Russia. Also borrowed from Latin were Kreks 'Greek' and marikreitum 'pearls', showing the change of Latin g to Gmc k, interesting in light of the fact that the Alemannic dialects lack voiced obstruents. In fact, Greek words often appear in Latinized forms, e.g. aípistula 'letter', aíwaggeljō 'gospel', paúrpura 'purple', diabulus 'devil'. Greek words with accented -í- often show -j-, i.e. no accent, in Gothic: aikklesjō 'congregation', skaúrpjōnō 'of scorpions'. In general Greek o is represented by Gothic , as in Gothic Aírmōgaínēs corresponding to Greek Ermogénēs. However the fact that Greek o-stems are inflected as Gothic u-stems in the singular, and as i-stems in the plural, may be a result of Latin transmission: Iudaius, -áus sg.; Iudaieis, ē pl.

Thus there may have been a protracted period of close contact between the Goths and Romans well before Wulifila's translation, and the Celtic loans need not have come from Lugians in the north, but possibly from the Bastarni (if they were in fact Celts) in the Balkans. Certain words adopted from Latin into Gothic also show devoicing characteristic of Alemannic dialects, which suggests that the Goths may have been in close proximity to southern Germanic dialects for an extended period. It seems that the linguistic picture of Gothic origins is as heterogeneous as that derived from the literary and archaeological remains.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following passage is from John 6.1-14, in which Jesus provides enough bread and fish to feed the multitude. The Gothic translation shows some noteworthy linguistic features. In 6.6, the phrase habáida táujan '(what) he would do' provides an example of a compound future tense, with a sense of necessity given by haban. The following verse, John 6.7, has the phrase twáim hundam skattē hláibōs ni ganōhái sind, literally 'loaves at (the price) two hundred of coins are not enough'. This shows the common use of the genitive with a numeral, analogous to Modern English 'a little bit of money'; likewise it illustrates the use of an instrumental dative with genōhs to denote price. John 6.8 contains the genitive Paítráus. Greek loan words in -os tend to be declined according to the Gothic u-declension.

We find in verse 6.11 some insight into the original Greek source of the Gothic translation. As with the Old English translation and Wycliffe's translation of 1389, Gothic lacks the phrase 'to the disciples, and the disciples'. This suggests that the Gothic translator worked with a manuscript different from that used to prepare the King James Version, but belonging to the same family as that of earlier English translations.

Note also the syntax of the word wáihts in John 6.12 : wáihtái ni fraqistnái 'that nothing be lost'. Here the dative of wáihts (with negative ni) is used with an impersonal verb, giving more literally '(that) it be lost for (no)thing' or 'at (no)thing', equivalent to '(that) it be lost in no way, in no respect'. The syntax of John 6.14 is similarly noteworthy: gasaíƕandans þōei gatawida táikn Iēsus, literally 'seeing the-which-(Jesus)-did miracle', where the relative clause has been pulled to the front, before its actual antecedent. This fronting of the relative clause is common to many of the Indo-European languages, including Sanskrit and even its modern daughters, such as Hindi.

6:1 - Afar þata galaiþ Iesus ufar marein þo Galeilaie jah Tibairiade.
  • afar -- preposition; <afar> after, according to -- after
  • þata -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <þata> this, that -- these things
  • galaiþ -- strong verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <galeiþan> to go, travel -- went
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • ufar -- preposition; <ufar> over, above, beyond -- over
  • marein -- weak noun, feminine; dative singular of <marei> sea, lake -- sea
  • þo -- demonstrative used as article; accusative singular feminine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • Galeilaie -- strong proper noun, masculine; genitive plural of <Galeilaius> Galilean -- of Galilee # literally 'of the Galileans'
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • Tibairiade -- strong proper noun, masculine; genitive plural of <*Tibaíriadeis> Tiberians -- (which is the sea of) Tiberias # literally '(and) of the Tiberians'

2 - jah laistida ina manageins filu, unte gaseƕun taiknins þozei gatawida bi siukaim.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • laistida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <láistjan> to follow -- followed
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • manageins -- weak noun, feminine; genitive singular of <managei> crowd, multitude -- multitude
  • filu -- strong noun, neuter; nominative singular of <filu> much, many -- a great
  • unte -- conjunction; <untē> for, because, since, until -- because
  • gaseƕun -- strong verb class 5; third person plural preterite of <gasaíƕan> to see -- they saw
  • taiknins -- strong noun, feminine; accusative plural of <táikns> sign, wonder -- (his) miracles
  • þozei -- relative pronoun; accusative plural feminine of <saei> who, he who, which -- which
  • gatawida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <gatáujan> to do, make -- he did
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- on
  • siukaim -- adjective used as substantive; dative plural masculine of <siuks> sick -- them that were diseased

3 - usiddja þan ana fairguni Iesus jah jainar gasat miþ siponjam seinaim.
  • usiddja -- strong verb class 7; third person singular suppletive preterite of <usgaggan> to go out -- went up
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- and
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- into
  • fairguni -- strong noun, neuter; accusative singular of <faírguni> mountain -- a mountain
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • jainar -- adverb; <jáinar> yonder, there -- there
  • gasat -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <gasitan> to sit -- he sat
  • miþ -- preposition; <miþ> with, among, together with, through, by, near -- with
  • siponjam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <sipōneis> disciple -- disciples
  • seinaim -- possessive adjective; dative plural masculine of <*seins> one's own -- his

4 - wasuh þan neƕa pasxa, so dulþs Iudaie.
  • wasuh -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <wisan> to be + enclitic conjunction; <-uh> but, and, now, therefore -- was
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- and
  • neƕa -- preposition; <nēƕa> near -- nigh
  • pasxa -- strong noun, feminine; indeclinable <paska> Passover -- the passover
  • so -- demonstrative used as article; nominative singular feminine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • dulþs -- strong noun, feminine; nominative singular of <dulþs> feast -- a feast
  • Iudaie -- strong proper noun, masculine; genitive plural of <*Iudaieis> Jew -- of the Jews

5 - þaruh ushof augona Iesus jah gaumida þammei manageins filu iddja du imma, qaþuh du Filippau: ƕaþro bugjam hlaibans, ei matjaina þai?
  • þaruh -- conjunction; <þaruh> therefore, but, and; there; now -- When... then
  • ushof -- strong verb class 6; third person singular preterite of <ushafjan> to lift up -- lifted up
  • augona -- weak noun, neuter; accusative plural of <áugō> eye -- (his) eyes
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • gaumida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <gáumjan> to observe, perceive, see -- saw
  • þammei -- relative pronoun; dative singular neuter of <saei> who, he who, which -- ...
  • manageins -- weak noun, feminine; nominative plural of <managei> crowd, multitude -- company
  • filu -- strong noun, neuter; nominative singular of <filu> much, many -- a great
  • iddja -- strong verb class 7; third person singular suppletive preterite of <usgaggan> to go out -- come
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • qaþuh -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak + enclitic conjunction; <-uh> but, and, now, therefore -- he saith
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • Filippau -- strong proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Filippus> Philip -- Philip
  • ƕaþro -- adverb; <ƕaþrō> whence, where -- whence
  • bugjam -- weak verb class 1; first person plural of <bugjan> to buy -- shall we buy
  • hlaibans -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <hláifs> bread, loaf -- bread
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- that
  • matjaina -- weak verb class 1; third person plural present subjunctive of <matjan> to eat -- may eat
  • þai -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- these

6 - þatuh þan qaþ fraisands ina: iþ silba wissa þatei habaida taujan.
  • þatuh -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that + enclitic conjunction; <-uh> but, and, now, therefore -- this
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- and
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- he said
  • fraisands -- strong verb class 7; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <fráisan> to tempt -- to prove
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • -- conjunction; <iþ> but, however, if -- for
  • silba -- reflexive pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <silba> self -- himself
  • wissa -- preterite present verb; third person singular preterite of <*witan> to know -- he... knew
  • þatei -- relative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <saei> who, he who, which -- what
  • habaida -- weak verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <haban> to have -- he would
  • taujan -- weak verb class 1; infinitive of <taujan> to do -- do

7 - andhof imma Filippus: twaim hundam skatte hlaibos ni ganohai sind þaim, þei nimai ƕarjizuh leitil.
  • andhof -- strong verb class 6; third person singular preterite of <andhafjan> to answer -- answered
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • Filippus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Filippus> Philip -- Philip
  • twaim -- numeral; dative plural masculine of <twa> two -- two
  • hundam -- numeral; dative plural masculine of <hund> hundred -- hundred
  • skatte -- strong noun, masculine; genitive plural of <skatts> coin, denarius -- pennyworth of
  • hlaibos -- strong noun, masculine; nominative plural of <hláifs> bread, loaf -- bread
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • ganohai -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <ganōhs> enough -- sufficient
  • sind -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person plural of <wisan> to be -- is
  • þaim -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- for these
  • þei -- conjunction; <þei> that, so that; as -- that
  • nimai -- strong verb class 4; third person singular present subjunctive of <niman> to take, receive -- may take
  • ƕarjizuh -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ƕarjizuh> each, every -- every one (of them)
  • leitil -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular neuter of <leitils> little -- a little

8 - qaþ ains þize siponje is, Andraias, broþar Paitraus Seimonaus:
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- saith (unto him)
  • ains -- numeral; nominative singular masculine of <áins> one -- one
  • þize -- demonstrative used as article; genitive plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • siponje -- strong noun, masculine; genitive plural of <sipōneis> disciple -- disciples
  • is -- personal pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- his
  • Andraias -- weak proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Andraías> Andrew -- Andrew
  • broþar -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <brōþar> brother -- brother
  • Paitraus -- strong proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Paítrus> Peter -- Peter's
  • Seimonaus -- strong proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Seimōn> Simon -- Simon

9 - ist magula ains her, saei habaiþ ·e· hlaibans barizeinans jah ·b· fiskans; akei þata ƕa ist du swa managaim?
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- there is
  • magula -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <magula> little boy -- lad # diminutive of magus 'child, boy'
  • ains -- numeral; nominative singular masculine of <áins> one -- a
  • her -- adverb; <hēr> here -- here
  • saei -- relative pronoun; nominative masculine singular of <saei> who, he who, which -- which
  • habaiþ -- weak verb class 3; third person singular of <haban> to have -- hath
  • ·e· -- numeral; <fimf> five -- five
  • hlaibans -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <hláifs> bread, loaf -- loaves
  • barizeinans -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <barizeins> of barley -- barley
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ·b· -- numeral; <twái> two -- two
  • fiskans -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <fisks> fish -- (small) fishes
  • akei -- conjunction; <akei> but, yet, still, nevertheless -- but
  • þata -- demonstrative used as person pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- they
  • ƕa -- interrogative pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <ƕas> who, what -- what
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- are
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- among
  • swa -- adverb; <swa> so, thus, as -- so
  • managaim -- adjective used as substantive; dative plural masculine of <managáim> much, many -- many

10 - iþ Iesus qaþ: waurkeiþ þans mans anakumbjan. wasuh þan hawi manag ana þamma stada. þaruh anakumbidedun wairos raþjon swaswe fimf þusundjos.
  • -- conjunction; <iþ> but, however, if -- and
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • waurkeiþ -- weak verb class 1; second person plural imperative of <waúrkjan> to work, to make -- make
  • þans -- demonstrative used as article; accusative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • mans -- irregular noun, masculine; accusative plural of <manna> man -- men
  • anakumbjan -- weak verb class 1; infinitive of <anakumbjan> to recline, to sit down -- sit down
  • wasuh -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <wisan> to be + enclitic conjunction; <-uh> but, and, now, therefore -- there was
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- now
  • hawi -- strong noun, neuter; nominative singular of <hawi> grass -- grass
  • manag -- adjective; nominative singular neuter of <manag> much, many -- much
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- in
  • þamma -- demonstrative used as article; dative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • stada -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <staþs> place; land -- place
  • þaruh -- adverb; <þaruh> therefore, but, and; there; now -- so
  • anakumbidedun -- weak verb class 1; third person plural preterite of <anakumbjan> to recline, to sit down -- sat down
  • wairos -- strong noun, masculine; nominative plural of <waír> man -- the men
  • raþjon -- weak noun, feminine; dative singular of <raþjō> number -- in number
  • swaswe -- adverb; <swaswē> as, just as; so as; so as to, so that -- about
  • fimf -- numeral; <fimf> five -- five
  • þusundjos -- numeral; nominative plural feminine of <þūsundi> thousand -- thousand

11 - namuh þan þans hlaibans Iesus jah awiliudonds gadailida þaim anakumbjandam; samaleiko jah þize fiske, swa file swe wildedun.
  • namuh -- strong verb class 4; third person singular preterite of <niman> to take, receive + enclitic conjunction; <-uh> but, and, now, therefore -- took
  • þan -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- and
  • þans -- demonstrative used as article; accusative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • hlaibans -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <hláifs> bread, loaf -- loaves
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • awiliudonds -- weak verb class 2; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <awiliudōn> to give thanks -- when he had given thanks
  • gadailida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <gadáiljan> to divide -- he distributed
  • þaim -- demonstrative used as person pronoun; dative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- to them # the part 'to the disciples, and the disciples' does not occur in the Gothic text
  • anakumbjandam -- weak verb class 1; dative plural masculine of participle of <anakumbjan> to recline, to sit down -- that were set down
  • samaleiko -- adverb; <samaleikō> in like manner, likewise -- likewise
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • þize -- demonstrative used as article; genitive plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- of the
  • fiske -- strong noun, masculine; genitive plural of <fisks> fish -- fishes
  • swa -- adverb; <swa> so, thus, as -- as
  • file -- strong noun, neuter; genitive plural of <filu> much, many -- much
  • swe -- adverb; <swē> like, as, just as; so that; about -- as
  • wildedun -- irregular verb; third person plural preterite of <wiljan> to will, wish -- they would

12 - þanuh, biþe sadai waurþun, qaþ du siponjam seinaim: galisiþ þos aflifnandeins drauhsnos, þei waihtai ni fraqistnai.
  • þanuh -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however + enclitic conjunction; <-uh> but, and, now, therefore -- ...
  • biþe -- conjunction; <biþē> while, when, after that, as soon as; then, thereupon -- when
  • sadai -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <*sads> satisfied -- filled
  • waurþun -- strong verb class 3; third person plural preterite of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- they were
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- he said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • siponjam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <sipōneis> disciple -- disciples
  • seinaim -- possessive adjective; dative plural masculine of <*seins> one's own -- his
  • galisiþ -- strong verb class 5; second person plural imperative of <galisan> to gather -- gather up
  • þos -- demonstrative used as article; accusative plural feminine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • aflifnandeins -- weak verb class 4; accusative plural feminine of present participle of <aflifnan> to remain -- that remain
  • drauhsnos -- strong noun, feminine; accusative plural of <dráusna> piece -- fragments
  • þei -- conjunction; <þei> that, so that; as -- that
  • waihtai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <waíhts> thing -- -thing # literally 'in (no)thing'
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- no-
  • fraqistnai -- weak verb class 4; third person singular subjunctive of <fraqistnan> to be lost, to perish -- be lost

13 - þanuh galesun jah gafullidedun ·ib· tainjons gabruko us fimf hlaibam þaim barizeinam, þatei aflifnoda þaim matjandam.
  • þanuh -- conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however + enclitic conjunction; <-uh> but, and, now, therefore -- therefore
  • galesun -- strong verb class 5; third person plural preterite of <galisan> to gather -- they gathered (them) together
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • gafullidedun -- weak verb class 1; third person plural preterite of <gafulljan> to fill -- filled
  • ·ib· -- numeral; <twalif> twelve -- twelve
  • tainjons -- weak noun, feminine; accusative plural of <táinjō> basket -- baskets
  • gabruko -- strong noun, feminine; genitive plural of <gabruka> fragment -- with the fragments
  • us -- preposition; <us> out, out of, from -- of
  • fimf -- numeral; <fimf> five -- five
  • hlaibam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <hláifs> bread, loaf -- loaves
  • þaim -- demonstrative used as article; dative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • barizeinam -- adjective; dative plural masculine of <barizeins> of barley -- barley
  • þatei -- relative pronoun; nominative singular neuter of <saei> who, he who, which -- which
  • aflifnoda -- weak verb class 4; third person singular preterite of <aflifnan> to remain -- remained (over and above)
  • þaim -- demonstrative used as person pronoun; dative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- them
  • matjandam -- weak verb class 1; dative plural masculine of present participle of <matjan> to eat -- that had eaten

14 - þaruh þai mans gasaiƕandans þoei gatawida taikn Iesus, qeþun þatei sa ist bi sunjai praufetus sa qimanda in þo manaseþ.
  • þaruh -- conjunction; <þaruh> therefore, but, and; there; now -- then
  • þai -- demonstrative used as adjective; nominative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- those
  • mans -- irregular noun, masculine; nominative plural of <manna> man -- men
  • gasaiƕandans -- strong verb class 5; nominative plural masculine of present participle of <gasaíƕan> to see -- when they had seen
  • þoei -- relative pronoun; accusative singular feminine of <saei> who, he who, which -- that # taking its gender from táikns following
  • gatawida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <gatáujan> to do, make -- did
  • taikn -- strong noun, feminine; accusative singular of <táikns> sign, wonder -- the miracle
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • qeþun -- strong verb class 5; third person plural preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • þatei -- conjunction; <þatei> that, because, if -- ...
  • sa -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- this
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- is
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- of
  • sunjai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <sunja> truth -- a truth
  • praufetus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <praúfētus> prophet -- prophet
  • sa -- demonstrative used as adjective; nominative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- that
  • qimanda -- strong verb class 4; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <qiman> to come, arrive -- that should come
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- into
  • þo -- demonstrative used as article; accusative singular feminine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • manaseþ -- strong noun, feminine; accusative singular of <manasēþs> mankind, the world -- world

Lesson Text

6:1 - Afar þata galaiþ Iesus ufar marein þo Galeilaie jah Tibairiade. 2 - jah laistida ina manageins filu, unte gaseƕun taiknins þozei gatawida bi siukaim. 3 - usiddja þan ana fairguni Iesus jah jainar gasat miþ siponjam seinaim. 4 - wasuh þan neƕa pasxa, so dulþs Iudaie. 5 - þaruh ushof augona Iesus jah gaumida þammei manageins filu iddja du imma, qaþuh du Filippau: ƕaþro bugjam hlaibans, ei matjaina þai? 6 - þatuh þan qaþ fraisands ina: iþ silba wissa þatei habaida taujan. 7 - andhof imma Filippus: twaim hundam skatte hlaibos ni ganohai sind þaim, þei nimai ƕarjizuh leitil. 8 - qaþ ains þize siponje is, Andraias, broþar Paitraus Seimonaus: 9 - ist magula ains her, saei habaiþ ·e· hlaibans barizeinans jah ·b· fiskans; akei þata ƕa ist du swa managaim? 10 - iþ Iesus qaþ: waurkeiþ þans mans anakumbjan. wasuh þan hawi manag ana þamma stada. þaruh anakumbidedun wairos raþjon swaswe fimf þusundjos. 11 - namuh þan þans hlaibans Iesus jah awiliudonds gadailida þaim anakumbjandam; samaleiko jah þize fiske, swa file swe wildedun. 12 - þanuh, biþe sadai waurþun, qaþ du siponjam seinaim: galisiþ þos aflifnandeins drauhsnos, þei waihtai ni fraqistnai. 13 - þanuh galesun jah gafullidedun ·ib· tainjons gabruko us fimf hlaibam þaim barizeinam, þatei aflifnoda þaim matjandam. 14 - þaruh þai mans gasaiƕandans þoei gatawida taikn Iesus, qeþun þatei sa ist bi sunjai praufetus sa qimanda in þo manaseþ.

Translation

From the King James version:
6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

Grammar

11 Strong Declension

Not all nominal stems end in a vowel. Several end in consonants. The type most common in Gothic, the n-stems, will be discussed in a subsequent lesson. The consonant stems in the present section are fewer in number, but generally denote important concepts, the names for which are undoubtedly survivals from a very archaic stage of the language.

11.1 r-Stems

The r-stem nouns form a small but important fraction of the Gothic vocabulary. All r-stems in Gothic are inherited directly from Proto-Indo-European. The nouns fadar 'father', brōþar 'brother', daúhtar 'daughter', and swistar 'sister' illustrate the declension. All Gothic r-stems denote familial relation, with the grammatical gender following the natural gender.

r-Stem   Masculine       Feminine    
                 
Stem   brōþar-   fadar-   daúhtar-   swistar-
                 
N Sg.   brōþar       daúhtar   swistar
A, V   brōþar   fadar (V)   daúhtar   swistar
G   brōþrs       daúhtrs   swistrs
D   brōþr       daúhtr   swistr
                 
N Pl.   brōþrjus       daúhtrjus   swistrjus
A   brōþruns       daúhtruns   swistruns
G   brōþrē       daúhtrē   swistrē
D   brōþrum       daúhtrum   swistrum
                 

The word fadar occurs only once in the vocative, the word atta 'father' being used elsewhere. The declensions of the nouns are the same, being reproduced for the sake of completeness. The nominative plural ending -jus comes by analogy with sunjus, the r-stems already having accusative and dative plurals identical to the u-stems (see Section 7.2).

11.2 nd-Stems

The nd-stems derive from an original present participle formation, but were frozen as substantives. These nouns are generally masculine. The nouns frijōnds 'friend', fijands 'enemy', nasjands 'savior' illustrate the declension.

nd-Stem   Masculine        
             
Stem   frijōnd-   fijand-   nasjand-
             
N Sg.   frijōnds   fijands   nasjands
A, V   frijōnd   fijand   nasjand
G   frijōndis   fijandis   nasjandis
D   frijōnd   *fijand   nasjand
             
N Pl.   frijōnds   fijands   nasjands
A   frijōnds   fijands   nasjands
G   frijōndē   fijandē   nasjandē
D   frijōndam   fijandam   nasjandam
             

Note the identical forms of the nominative singular and nominative and accusative plural. The following nouns decline similarly: allwaldands 'the Almighty'; bisitands 'neighbor'; dáupjands 'baptizer, baptist'; fráujinōnds 'ruler'; fraweitands 'avenger'; gibands 'giver'; mērjands 'proclaimer'; midumōnds 'mediator'; talzjands 'teacher'.

11.3 Other Consonant Stems

Some noun stems end in consonants different from those above. Their declensions are not prevalent enough to warrant separate discussion, so they are collected below. The nouns mēnōþs 'month', reiks 'ruler' are masculine; baúrgs 'city', mitaþs 'measure', nahts 'night' are feminine; fōn 'fire' is neuter. Their forms are given below.

Cons. Stems   Masculine       Feminine           Neuter
                         
Stem   mēnōþ-   reik-   baúrg-   mitaþ-   naht-   fōn-
                         
N Sg.   mēnōþs   reiks   baúrgs   mitaþs   nahts   fōn
A, V   *mēnōþ   *reik   baúrg   mitaþ   naht   fōn
G   *mēnōþs?   reikis   baúrgs   mitads   nahts   funins
D   mēnōþ   reik   baúrg   mitaþ   naht   funin
                         
N Pl.   *mēnōþs   reiks   baúrgs   mitaþs   nahts    
A   mēnōþs   reiks   baúrgs   mitaþs   nahts    
G   *mēnōþē   reikē   baúrgē   mitaþē   nahtē    
D   mēnōþum   reikam   baúrgim   mitaþim   nahtam    
                         

Note: the feminine genitive and dative plurals were formed by analogy with i-stems, except the dative plural nahtam which parallels dagam. Note also the -d- in the genitive singular of mitaþs. The only neuter noun of this type is fōn, with no plural forms attested.

12 Demonstratives and the Definite Article

In comparison to other Germanic languages, Gothic has a fairly reduced set of demonstratives. The demonstratives could generally be used as deictic adjectives, or in a substantival role as demonstrative pronouns.

The most common demonstrative is sa, þata, sō. As adjective, it may point to something relatively close ('this') or relatively distant ('that') from the perspective of the speaker. In a less marked sense, the demonstrative is used as a simple definite article 'the'. As pronouns, the same forms may translate as 'this one' or 'that one'. The forms are as follows.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   sa   þata   sō
A   þana   þata   sō
G   þis   þis   þizōs
D   þamma   þamma   þizái
             
N Pl.   þái   þō   þōs
A   þans   þō   þōs
G   þizē   þizē   þizō
D   þáim   þáim   þáim
             

The final a of þata is often elided before ist: þat' ist. A neuter instrumental singular is preserved in certain phrases and as part of some conjunctions: ni þē haldis 'none the more'; bi-þē 'while'; jaþ-þē 'and if'; du-þē 'therefore'; þē-ei 'that'. A locative or instumental form survives as the relative particle þei 'that'.

The emphatic demonstrative sah, þatuh, þōh 'that, that in particular, that especially' is formed by adding the enclitic -uh to the forms of sa, þata, sō. This demonstrative expresses not only emphasis, but contrast as well. The attested forms are as follows.

    Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   sah   þatuh   sōh
A   þanuh   þatuh    
G   þizuh   þizuh    
D   þammuh   þammuh    
             
N Pl.   þáih        
A   þanzuh   þōh    
G            
D       þáimuh    
             

When the simple pronoun ends in -a, the -a is elided before the following -u, except in the nominative singular masculine (that is, weakly stressed -a is lost). When the simple pronoun ends in a long vowel or diphthong, the following -u is elided. Final -s changes to -z before -uh. The instrumental occurs in the adverb bi-þēh 'after that, then afterward'.

There are remnants of a demonstrative built to the stem hi-. These are confined, for the most part, to a small number of temporal adverbial phrases: himma daga 'on this day, today'; und hina daga 'to this day'; fram himma 'henceforth'; und hita (nu) 'till now, hitherto'; also hidrē 'to here'.

The demonstrative jáins 'that, that there, yon' declines as a strong adjective (the nom. and acc. pl. neut. is always jáinata). The demonstratives silba 'self' and sama 'same' decline as weak adjectives.

13 Adjectives: Strong Declension

Adjectives employ two different sets of endings, strong and weak. These names only reflect a binary system, equivalent to Type A and Type B, respectively; the adjectives 'strong' and 'weak' have no other connotations. Whereas a given noun is either strong (inherently) or weak (inherently) but not both, a given adjective by contrast may employ either strong or weak endings as the context requires. There is thus a difference in use and connotation between strong adjectival endings and their weak counterparts. The term 'strong adjective' is generally used as a shorthand for 'adjective with strong endings'; similarly 'weak adjective' means 'adjective with weak endings'. Using this terminology, the difference in usage is the following: strong adjectives are indefinite, weak adjectives are definite.

13.1 a/ja/wa-Stems

The strong adjective endings are a mixture of the endings of strong nouns like dags, waúrd, giba (cf. Section 3) and of pronouns (cf. Sections 8.2 and 12). The adjective blinds 'blind' illustrates the declension of a-stem adjectives. Pronominal endings are italicized.

Strong a-Stem   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   blinds   blind, blindata   blinda
A   blindana   blind, blindata   blinda
G   blindis   blindis   blindáizōs
D   blindamma   blindamma   blindái
             
N Pl.   blindái   blinda   blindōs
A   blindans   blinda   blindōs
G   blindáizē   blindáizē   blindáizō
D   blindáim   blindáim   blindáim
             

The ja-stem adjectives divide into two groups: (1) those with short radical syllable, and those whose stems end in a vowel; (2) those with a long radical syllable. The difference between the two only appears in the singular forms. The adjective midjis 'middle' illustrates the endings of group (1).

Strong ja-Stem   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
Group (1)            
N Sg.   midjis   *midi, midjata   midja
A   midjana   *midi, midjata   midja
G   midjis   midjis   midjáizōs
D   midjamma   midjamma   midjái
             
N Pl.   midjái   midja   midjōs
A   midjans   midja   midjōs
G   midjáizē   midjáizē   midjáizō
D   midjáim   midjáim   midjáim
             

The adjective wilþeis 'wild' serves to illustrate the endings of group (2). The forms which differ from those of Group (1) are in boldface.

Strong ja-Stem   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
Group (2)            
N Sg.   wilþeis   wilþi, wilþjata   wilþi
A   wilþjana   wilþi, wilþjata   wilþja
G   *wilþeis   *wilþeis, -jis?   wilþáizōs
D   wilþjamma   wilþjamma   wilþjái
             
N Pl.   wilþái   wilþja   wilþjōs
A   wilþjans   wilþja   wilþjōs
G   wilþjáizē   wilþjáizē   wilþjáizō
D   wilþjáim   wilþjáim   wilþjáim
             

The wa-stem adjectives are sparsely attested. The adjective triggws 'true' serves to illustrate the attested forms.

Strong wa-Stem   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   triggws   triggw    
A   *triggwana   *triggw    
G   *triggws   triggws, triggwis    
D   *triggwamma   *triggwamma    
             
N Pl.   triggwái       triggwōs
A   *triggwans        
G   *triggwáizē   *triggwáizē   *triggwáizē
D   *triggwáim   *triggwáim   triggwáim
             

Only a handful of wa-stem adjectives remain in the surviving Gothic texts. The adjective lasiws 'weak' occurs only in the nominative singular maculine. Other wa-stems such as *qius 'alive', *fáus 'little', *usskáus 'vigilant' do not occur in the nominative singular masculine at all.

13.2 i-Stems

The strong forms of the i-stem adjectives differ from the ja-stem forms only in the nominative singular of all genders, the accusative singular neuter, and the genitive singular masculine and neuter. The adjective hráins 'clean' serves to illustrate the paradigm. The forms differing from the ja-stems are in boldface.

Strong i-Stem   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   hráins   hráin   hráins
A   hráinjana   hráin   hráinja
G   hráinis   hráinis   *hráinjáizōs
D   hráinjamma   hráinjamma   hráinjái
             
N Pl.   hráinjái   hráinja   hráinjōs
A   hráinjans   hráinja   hráinjōs
G   hráinjáizē   hráinjáizē   hráinjáizō
D   hráinjáim   hráinjáim   hráinjáim
             

The following adjectives decline similarly: analáugns 'hidden'; anasiuns 'visible'; andanēms 'pleasant'; áuþs 'desert'; brūks 'useful'; gafáurs 'well-behaved'; gamáins 'common'; sēls 'kind'; skáuns 'beautiful'; skeirs 'clear'; suts 'sweet'.

13.3 u-Stems

The u-stem adjectives also employ for the most part the endings of the ja-stem declension. Only the nominative singular of all genders and the accusative singular neuter show different forms, following the declensions of sunus 'son', feminine handus 'hand', and neuter faíhu 'cattle' (see Section 7.2). Though the genitive singular likely followed the form of u-stem nouns, no instances survive; likewise no dative singular forms are attested, nor nominative and accusative plural neuter. The adjective hardus 'hard' serves to illustrate the paradigm. Forms differing from the ja-stems are boldface.

Strong u-Stem   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   hardus   hardu, hardjata   hardus
A   hardjana   hardu, hardjata   hardja
G            
D            
             
N Pl.   hardjái       hardjōs
A   hardjans       hardjōs
G   hardjáizē   hardjáizē   hardjáizō
D   hardjáim   hardjáim   hardjáim
             

The following adjectives decline similarly: aggwus 'narrow'; aglus 'difficult'; hnasqus 'soft'; kaúrus 'heavy'; manwus 'ready'; qaírrus 'gentle'; seiþus 'late'; tulgus 'steadfast'; twalibwintrus 'twelve years old'; þaúrsus 'withered'; þlaqus 'soft'.

13.4 Possessive Adjectives

The possessive adjectives decline exclusively as strong adjectives (there are no weak forms of possessives). These forms are built from the genitive forms of the respective pronouns, with the addition of adjectival endings, e.g. ik 'I', with G sg. meina, gives adjectival *meina-s > meins 'my' (N. sg. masc.). The forms of meins 'my, mine' serve to illustrate the paradigm.

Possessive   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   meins   mein, meinata   meina
A   meinana   mein, meinata   meina
G   meinis   meinis   meináizōs
D   meinamma   meinamma   meinái
             
N Pl.   meinái   meina   meinōs
A   meinans   meina   meinōs
G   meináizē   meináizē   meináizō
D   meináim   meináim   meináim
             

The second person builds a possessive adjective þeins, and the reflexive pronoun has possessive *seins (as it points back to the subject of the clause, only oblique forms occur). The dual and plural forms of the personal pronouns also build possessives:

Person   Stem   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
                 
1 Sg.   meina-   meins   mein, meinata   meina
2   þeina-   þeins   þein, þeinata   þeina
refl. (Acc.)   seina-   seinana   sein, seinata   seina
                 
1 Du.   *ugkara-   ugkar   ugkar   ugkara
2   igqara-   igqar   igqar   igqara
-                
                 
1 Pl.   unsara-   unsar   unsar   unsara
2   izwara-   izwar   izwar   izwara
-                
                 

The reflexive possessive adjective *seins serves as a reflexive for any number, just like the pronoun itself. The dual possessive *unqar 'of us two' does not occur. Note that final -s (-z) drops after a short vowel followed by consonantal -r (cf. Section 6.2.2), hence the nominative forms of the dual and plural possessives lack final -s. The neuter nominative and accusative singular of the dual and plural possessives do not show the ending -ata. In all other forms, *ugkara- 'of us two', igqara- 'of you two', unsara- 'of us (all), our, ours' and izwara- 'of you (all), your, yours' follow the paradigm of meins.

The third person pronouns have no corresponding possessive adjectives, using simply the genitive forms of the personal pronoun (singular is, is, izōs; plural izē, *izē, izō) or of the demonstrative pronoun (singular þis, þis, þizōs; plural þizē, þizē, þizō).

14 Past Participle

Like Modern English, Gothic has a past participle whose formation depends on whether the verb is strong or weak. Unlike, e.g., classical Greek or Sanskrit, which have morphologically distinct past active and past passive participles, Gothic makes no morphological distinction between active and passive participles. One and the same formation generally has different interpretations based on the transitivity of the root: the past participle of transitive verbs is construed as passive (e.g. 'having been eaten'), while the past participle of intransitive verbs is construed as active (e.g. 'having gone').

14.1 Formation

The formation of past participles in Gothic parallels that of Modern English, as well as the other Germanic languages. There are two types of past participle, reflecting the distinction between strong and weak verbs. Note there is no correlation between the terms 'strong' and 'weak' as applied to verbs, and the same terms as applied to adjective endings. A strong verb forms a past participle, which may be declined as either a strong or a weak adjective; likewise a weak verb's past participle may take either weak or strong adjectival endings. The weak adjective endings are treated in Section 17.1.

Strong verbs form the past participle by adding the suffix -an to the verbal stem, which in general displays ablaut. Compare Modern English eat-en. Strong a-stem or weak adjective endings are then added to the -an suffix. Because of the relative unpredictability of ablaut, the past participle is typically given as one of the principal parts. For example, the strong class IVa verb qiman 'come' has principal parts qiman, qam, qēmun, qumans. The past participle stem is thus quman-. The nominative singular forms for strong and weak declension of quman- are as follows.

Strong Vb. PPl.   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
Strong   qumans   quman, qumanata   qumana
Weak   qumana   qumanō   qumanō
             

Weak verbs form the past participle by means of a dental suffix , as one finds in e.g. Modern English ask-ed. This is added to the stem, sometimes with an intervening vowel, and adjective endings are added to this. The intervening vowel depends on weak verb class. Consider the following exemplars.

Class   Past Ptcpl. (Str. N Sg. Masc.)   Infinitive   Meaning
             
i   nas-i-þs   nas-jan   'save'
ii   salb-ō-þs   salb-ōn   'anoint'
iii   hab-ái-þs   hab-an   'have'
iv       full-nan   'become full'
             

No verbs of the weak class iv leave any past participle forms in the records. Though it is often remarked in grammars that this class contains only intransitive verbs, this does not explain a priori the absence of such participles, as the example qumans shows above (see also þaúrsjan 'thirst' below). A small number of verbs of the weak class i add the dental suffix with no intervening vowel. The most common are listed below.

Infinitive   Meaning   Preterite (1/3 Sg.)   Past Ptcpl. (Str. N Sg. Masc.)
             
briggan   'bring'   brāhta   *brāhts
brūkjan   'use'   brūhta   *brūhts
bugjan   'buy'   baúhta   baúhts
þagkjan   'think'   þāhta   þāhts
þugkjan   'seem'   þūhta   þūhts
waúrkjan   'work'   waúrhta   waúrhts
             

As with the participles of strong verbs, those of weak verbs decline as either strong a-stem or weak adjectives as the context demands. The nominative singular forms for strong and weak declension of quman- are as follows.

Weak Vb. PPl.   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
Strong   nasiþs   nasiþ, nasidata   nasida
Weak   nasida   nasidō   nasidō
             

Note the the change of -þ- to -d- between vowels.

14.2 Past Participle Usage

As mentioned above, the past participle of transitive verbs is construed as passive in sense; the past participle of intransitive verbs is construed as active. For example, qiman 'to come' (intransitive) vs. qumans 'come' (active -- cf. Shakespearean 'I am come' = 'I have arrived'), but baíran 'to bear' (transitive) vs. baúrans 'borne' (passive); likewise nasjan 'to save' (transitive) vs. nasiþs 'saved' (passive), but þaúrsjan 'thirst' (intransitive) vs. af-þaúrsiþs '(having) thirsted, thirsty' (active). Even this distinction, though, is not absolute. For example, the transitive verb drigkan 'to drink' has a past participle with active sense, drunkans 'having drunk', hence simply 'drunk': drunkans ist in Col. 11.21 translates Greek methúei 'is intoxicated'.

The past participle frequently appears in the dative in an absolute contruction, much as Old Church Slavonic dative, Latin ablative, Greek genitive, and Sanskrit locative. Such constructions convey an event grammatically separate (hence 'absolute') from the main clause. For example, jah usleiþandin Iēsua in skipa, gaqēmun sik manageins filu du imma 'and Jesus having passed over in the ship, there came together to him a great multitude'; dalaþ þan atgaggandin imma af faírgunja, láistidēdun afar imma iumjōns managōs 'then having come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed after him'. The nominative is found on rare occasions in such absolute constructions: waúrþans dags gatils '(and) a fitting day being come'.

The past participle is sometimes used with the suppletive verb wisan 'to be' or with waírþan 'to become' to form a periphrastic passive. For example, miþþanei wrohiþs was 'when he was accused' (Matthew 27.12); afar þatei atgibans warþ Iohannes 'after that John was put...' (Mark 1.14); skal sunus mans uskusans waírþan 'the son of man shall be rejected' (Mark 8.31).

15 Prepositions

Each Gothic preposition governs objects in one or more of the oblique cases. The case governed is a property of the preposition: each preposition governs only a specific case or cases. If a preposition governs more than one case, its meaning may or may not change depending on the case employed. Generally the genitive is used after a preposition to denote source, cause, or instrument. The dative commonly denotes position in space or time without motion, or it may denote source, cause, or instrument. The accusative is used after a preposition to denote motion to or through space or time, or to denote a point of time within a certain period, opposition, or correspondence. A few adverbs have prepositional force when combined with a noun in the genitive. The following chart lists the primary Gothic prepositions, together with the cases they govern and the associated meanings.

Preposition   Case   Meaning
         
af   dat.   of, from
         
afar   acc.   after, according to
    dat.   after, according to
         
ana   acc.   on, upon
    dat.   on, upon
         
and   acc.   along, through, over
         
andwaírþis   gen.   opposite
         
alja   dat.   except
         
and   acc.   along, throughout, towards
         
at   acc.   at, by, to
    dat.   at, by, to
         
bi   acc.   by, about, around, against
    dat.   by, about, around, against
         
du   dat.   to
         
faírra   gen.   far from
         
faúr   acc.   for, before
         
faúra   dat.   before
         
fram   dat.   from
         
hindana   gen.   from beyond
         
hindar   acc.   behind, beyond, among
    dat.   behind, beyond, among
         
in   acc.   in, into, towards
    dat.   in, into, among
    gen.   on, on account of
         
innana   gen.   from within
         
inuh   acc.   without
         
miþ   dat.   with
         
nēƕa   dat.   nigh to, near
         
þaírh   acc.   through, by
         
uf   acc.   under
    dat.   under
         
ufar   acc.   over, above
    dat.   over, above
         
ufarō   dat.   over
    gen.   over
         
und   acc.   until, up to
    dat.   for
         
undar   acc.   under
         
undarō   dat.   under
         
us   dat.   out, out of
         
utana   gen.   from outside, up to
         
utaþrō   gen.   from outside
         
wiþra   acc.   against

Gothic Online

Lesson 4

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

The Earliest Raids of the Goths

The Goths began their famous foray into the history books in the third century AD, when they launched the first attack of what would become in the eyes of contemporaries a barbarian ravaging and pillaging machine. Their first entry into the literary records comes with their attacks on the Roman empire. At the time, the most exposed province was Transylvanian Dacia; but this region was protected by the Carpathian mountains, hence attacks generally came from south of the range across the lower reaches of the Danube or through a stretch of land connecting the so-called Dacian Salient to the Roman-occupied regions of the Balkans. The first known attack was the sack of Histria at the mouth of the Danube in 238. This was followed some 10 years later by other land attacks: Marcianople, a city inland from the westernmost extent of the Black Sea, was sacked in 249 by a Gothic group led by Argaith and Guntheric; in 250 Cniva crossed the Danube at Oescus and captured Philippopolis, wintered his army, and then in 251 defeated Roman forces and killed the emperor Decius at Abrittus.

The Goths then changed tactics and led sea-borne attacks via the Black Sea, the first series coming sometime around 255-257. The first attack fell on Pityus, on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, but was unsuccessful. In the next attack a year later, the 'Boranoi' -- a group possibly including the Goths -- ravaged Pityus, Trapezus, and a large part of the Pontus, the region of Asia Minor bordering the Black Sea in the southeasternmost reaches. A year later the Goths explicitly attacked the cities Apamea, Chalcedon, Nicaea, Nicomedia, Prusa, as well as the surrounding areas of Bithynia and Propontis, lying near the southwesternmost reaches of the Black Sea.

The next attacks came another 10 years later. In 268 the Goths and other tribes formed a large fleet which headed across the Black Sea to the south, unsuccessfully attacking Tomi and Marcianople, and subsequently (also unsuccessfully) Cyzicus and Byzantium. They pushed through the Dardanelles into the Aegean and dispersed in three forces: (1) composed of Heruli attacking the northern Balkans near Thessalonica -- subsequently defeated by Emperor Gallienus in 268; (2) composed of Goths and Heruli, attacking Attica -- after pushing north over land they were defeated by Claudius at Naissus in 270; (3) probably led by the Gothic chieftains Respa, Thuruar, and Veduc, and attacking Asia Minor, then Rhodes and Cyprus, then Side and Ilium and Ephesus, destroying the temple of Diana. This third group was pushed back to the Black Sea in 269. After this foray into the Mediterranean, there were no other attacks through the Dardanelles.

The Goths returned to land battles in an attack across the Danube in 270 against Anchialus and Nicopolis. This was followed by a Roman attack across Danube in 271, defeating the Gothic king Cannabaudes. The Goths attacked the Pontus again in 276-277, pushing farther inland to Galatia and Cilicia.

The impact of these waves of Gothic attacks is clearly felt in the Canonical Letter of Gregory Thaumaturgus, bishop of Neocaesarea (modern Niksar) in the Pontus region of Asia Minor. His episcopate fell during the emperor Decius's persecution of Christians, which started c. 250 AD. He may have lived until the reign of Aurelian (270-275 AD). The letter is a response to a neighboring bishop's questions concerning the conduct of Roman soldiers during and after the most recent period of Gothic raids in the Pontus (translated in Heather and Matthews, 1991):

Canon 5   Others delude themselves by keeping the property of others which they have found, in place of their own which they have lost, in order that, since the Boranoi and Goths worked on them deeds of war, so they may become Boranoi and Goths to others. I have therefore sent my brother... [that he may] advise you whose accusations you should accept....
Canon 6   Concerning those who forcibly detain captives (who have escaped) from barbarians.... Send men out into the countryside, lest divine thunderbolts descend upon those who perpetrate such wickedness!
Canon 7   ... As for those who have been enrolled among the barbarians and followed after them as prisoners, forgetting that they were men of Pontus, and Christians, and have become so thoroughly barbarised as even to put to death men of their own race by the gibbet or noose, and to point out roads and houses to the barbarians, who were ignorant of them; you must debar them even from the ranks of Hearers, until a common decision is reached about them by the assembly of saints, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Canon 8   ... As for those who brought themselves to attack the houses of others, if they are convicted after accusation, let them not be fit even to be Hearers. If however they confess their own guilt and make restitution, they are to prostrate themselves among the ranks of the penitent.

It thus seems clear that the raiding parties, though in origin homogeneous groups of Goths or other individual tribes, were soon augmented by other enterprizing -- or coerced -- individuals within the lands they attacked. The attacks themselves thus only left a transitory material calamity. More long-term problems were felt when the raids had ceased, and there arose the issues of readmitting offenders and presumed offenders into the societies to which they formerly belonged.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following passage is Luke 4.1-13, in which Jesus is tempted by Satan. In the first verse, we find the collocation gawandida sik 'returned', encountered in several places in other readings. This phrase is more literally 'brought himself back'. Though Gothic has a functioning morphological mediopassive which might, on Indo-European historical grounds, serve to connote exactly the meaning reached here, Gothic is already very close to other Germanic languages in the frequent use of such periphrastic reflexive collocations to render transitive verbs intransitive.

In Luke 4.3 we find a nominative form sunáus instead of the proper nominative sunus 'son'; a similar form diabuláus replaces the proper nominative diabulus in Luke 4.5. It is likely that, shortly after the time of Wulfila (if not before), the diphthong áu was monophthongized and subsequently indistinguishable from u, leading to occasional scribal confusion. Similar phonetically derived scribal confusion occurs in Luke 4.4: we find the forms hláib and libáid, which do not show the expected devoicing of final -b and -d to -f and -þ, respectively.

Note also the construction in Luke 4.3: qiþ þamma stáina ei waírþái hláibs 'command this stone that it be made bread'. This is an example of the particle ei used to introduce an indirect command. The particle ei was originally a general relative marker, setting off an entire phrase as dependent on surrounding material. Only later did this particle become attached to demonstrative pronouns to form relative pronouns, such as saei. Some of these subsequently became subordinate conjunctions, e.g. þatei. Gothic may also use prepositional constructions for subordinate clauses, such as Luke 4.10: du gafastan '(in order) to support' shows the frequent use in Gothic of the preposition du with the infinitive in purpose constructions.

The phrase in Luke 4.7, in andwaírþja meinamma 'in my presence', translates the Greek enōpion emou, which is not explicit in the King James Version. The English phrase 'Get thee behind me, Satan' in Luke 4.8 does not appear in the Gothic, an indication that the Gothic translation was made from a different manuscript than the King James Version.

4:1 - Iþ Iesus, ahmins weihis fulls, gawandida sik fram Iaurdanau jah tauhans was in ahmin in auþidai
  • -- conjunction; <iþ> but, however, if -- and
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • ahmins -- weak noun, masculine; genitive singular of <ahmins> spirit, the Spirit -- Ghost
  • weihis -- adjective; genitive singular masculine of <weihs> holy -- of the Holy
  • fulls -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <fulls> full -- (being) full
  • gawandida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <gawandjan> to bring back, return -- returned
  • sik -- reflexive pronoun; accusative of <sik> himself, herself, oneself -- ...
  • fram -- preposition; <fram> from, by, since, on account of -- from
  • Iaurdanau -- strong proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <*Iaúrdanus> Jordan -- Jordan
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • tauhans -- strong verb class 2; nominative singular masculine of preterite participle of <tiuhan> to lead, to guide -- led
  • was -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <wisan> to be -- was
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- by
  • ahmin -- weak noun, masculine; dative singular of <ahmins> spirit, the Spirit -- the Spirit
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- into
  • auþidai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <áuþida> desert, wasteland -- the wilderness

2 - dage fidwor tiguns, fraisans fram diabulau. jah ni matida waiht in dagam jainaim, jah at ustauhanaim þaim dagam, biþe gredags warþ.
  • dage -- strong noun, masculine; genitive plural of <dags> day -- days
  • fidwor tiguns -- numeral; accusative plural of <fidwōr tigjus> forty -- forty
  • fraisans -- strong verb class 7; nominative singular masculine of preterite participle of <fráisan> to tempt -- (being) tempted
  • fram -- preposition; <fram> from, by, since, on account of -- of
  • diabulau -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <diabaúlus> devil -- the devil
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- no-
  • matida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <matjan> to eat -- he did eat
  • waiht -- strong noun, feminine; accusative singular of <waíhts> thing -- -thing
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • dagam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <dags> day -- days
  • jainaim -- demonstrative pronoun used as adjective; dative plural masculine of <jáins> that -- those
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • at -- preposition; <at> at, by, to, with, of -- when
  • ustauhanaim -- strong verb class 2; dative plural masculine of preterite participle of <ustiuhan> to lead out; to complete -- were ended
  • þaim -- demonstrative used as person pronoun; dative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- they
  • dagam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <dags> day -- ...
  • biþe -- adverb; <biþē> while, when, after that, as soon as; then, thereupon -- afterwards
  • gredags -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <grēdags> hungry -- hungered
  • warþ -- strong verb class 3; third person singular preterite of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- he

3 - jah qaþ du imma diabulus: jabai sunaus sijais gudis, qiþ þamma staina ei wairþai hlaibs.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • diabulus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <diabaúlus> devil -- the devil
  • jabai -- conjunction; <jabái> if, even if, although -- if
  • sunaus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <sunus> son -- the Son # scribal error for regular nominative sunus
  • sijais -- strong verb class 5; athematic second person singular present subjunctive of <wisan> to be -- thou be
  • gudis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <guþ> God -- of God
  • qiþ -- strong verb class 5; second person singular imperative of <qiþan> to say, speak -- command
  • þamma -- demonstrative used as adjective; dative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- to this
  • staina -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <stáins> stone -- stone
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- that
  • wairþai -- strong verb class 3; third person singular subjunctive of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- it be made
  • hlaibs -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <hláifs> bread, loaf -- bread

4 - jah andhof Iesus wiþra ina qiþands: gamelid ist þatei ni bi hlaib ainana libaid manna, ak bi all waurde gudis.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • andhof -- strong verb class 6; third person singular preterite of <andhafjan> to answer -- answered
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • wiþra -- preposition; <wiþra> against, over against; by, near; to, in reply to, in return for; on account of, for -- ...
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • qiþands -- strong verb class 5; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <qiþan> to say, speak -- saying
  • gamelid -- weak verb class 1; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <gamēljan> to write, enroll -- written
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- it is
  • þatei -- conjunction; <þatei> that, because, if -- that
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- by
  • hlaib -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <hláifs> bread, loaf -- bread # final -b for final -f
  • ainana -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <áins> alone, only -- alone
  • libaid -- weak verb class 3; third person singular of <liban> to live -- shall... live # final -d for final -þ
  • manna -- irregular noun, masculine; nominative singular of <manna> man -- man
  • ak -- conjunction; <ak> but, however -- but
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- by
  • all -- adjective used as substantive; dative singular neuter of <alls> all, every -- every
  • waurde -- strong noun, neuter; genitive plural of <waúrd> word -- word # literally 'by every (one) of the words'
  • gudis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <guþ> God -- of God

5 - jah ustiuhands ina diabulaus ana fairguni hauhata, ataugida imma allans þiudinassuns þis midjungardis in stika melis.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ustiuhands -- strong verb class 2; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <ustiuhan> to lead out; to complete -- taking... up
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • diabulaus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <diabaúlus> devil -- the devil # scribal error for regular nominative diabulus or diabaúlus
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- into
  • fairguni -- strong noun, neuter; accusative singular of <faírguni> mountain -- a... mountain
  • hauhata -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <hauhs> high -- high
  • ataugida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <atáugjan> to show, to appear -- shewed
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- unto him
  • allans -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <alls> all, every -- all
  • þiudinassuns -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <þiudinassus> kingdom -- the kingdoms
  • þis -- demonstrative used as article; genitive singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- of the
  • midjungardis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <midjungards> earth, world -- world
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • stika -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <stiks> point, moment -- a moment
  • melis -- strong noun, neuter; genitive singular of <mēl> time, season -- of time

6 - jah qaþ du imma sa diabulus: þus giba þata waldufni þize allata jah wulþu ize, unte mis atgiban ist, jah þisƕammeh þei wiljau, giba þata.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • sa -- demonstrative used as article; nominative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • diabulus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <diabaúlus> devil -- devil
  • þus -- personal pronoun; dative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thee
  • giba -- strong verb class 5; first person singular of <giban> to give, yield -- will I give
  • þata -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- this
  • waldufni -- strong noun, neuter; accusative singular of <waldufni> authority -- power
  • þize -- demonstrative; genitive plural neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • allata -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <alls> all, every -- all
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • wulþu -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <wulþus> splendor, glory -- the glory
  • ize -- personal pronoun; genitive plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- of them
  • unte -- conjunction; <untē> for, because, since, until -- for
  • mis -- personal pronoun; dative singular of <ik> I -- unto me
  • atgiban -- strong verb class 5; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <atgiban> to give, deliver -- delivered
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- that is
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • þisƕammeh -- indefinite pronoun; dative singular masculine of <þisƕazuh> whoever, whosoever -- to whomsoever
  • þei -- conjunction; <þei> that, so that; as -- ...
  • wiljau -- irregular verb; first person singular of <wiljan> to will, wish -- I will
  • giba -- strong verb class 5; first person singular of <giban> to give, yield -- I give
  • þata -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- it

7 - þu nu jabai inweitis mik in andwairþja meinamma, wairþiþ þein all.
  • þu -- personal pronoun; vocative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thou
  • nu -- adverb; <nu> now, therefore -- therefore
  • jabai -- conjunction; <jabái> if, even if, although -- if
  • inweitis -- strong verb class 1; second person singular of <inweitan> to worship -- wilt worship
  • mik -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <ik> I -- me
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- (in)
  • andwairþja -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <andwaírþi> face, presence -- (presence)
  • meinamma -- possessive adjective; dative singular neuter of <meins> my, mine -- (my)
  • wairþiþ -- strong verb class 3; third person singular of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- shall be
  • þein -- possessive adjective; nominative singular neuter of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thine
  • all -- adjective used as substantive; nominative singular neuter of <all> all, every -- all

8 - jah andhafjands imma Iesus qaþ: gamelid ist, fraujan guþ þeinana inweitais jah imma ainamma fullafahjais.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • andhafjands -- strong verb class 6; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <andhafjan> to answer -- answered (and)
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- unto him
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • gamelid -- weak verb class 1; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <gamēljan> to write, enroll -- written
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- (for) it is
  • fraujan -- weak noun, masculine; accusative singular of <fráuja> lord, master -- the Lord
  • guþ -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <guþ> God -- God
  • þeinana -- possessive adjective; accusative singular masculine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • inweitais -- strong verb class 1; second person singular present subjunctive of <inweitan> to worship -- thou shalt worship
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • ainamma -- adjective; dative singular masculine of <áins> alone, only -- only
  • fullafahjais -- weak verb class 1; second person singular present subjunctive of <fullafahjan> to satisfy, to serve -- shalt thou serve

9 - þaþroh gatauh ina in Iairusalem jah gasatida ina ana giblin alhs jah qaþ du imma: jabai sunus sijais gudis, wairp þuk þaþro dalaþ;
  • þaþroh -- adverb; <þaþrōh> afterwards, thence -- afterwards
  • gatauh -- strong verb class 2; third person singular preterite of <gatiuhan> to lead, to bring -- he brought
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- to
  • Iairusalem -- indeclinable noun; feminine of <Iaírusalēm> Jerusalem -- Jerusalem
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • gasatida -- weak verb class 1; third person singular preterite of <gasatjan> to set, to place -- set
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- on
  • giblin -- weak noun, masculine; dative singular of <gibla> gable, pinnacle -- a pinnacle
  • alhs -- strong noun, feminine; genitive singular of <alhs> temple -- of the temple
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- unto
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • jabai -- conjunction; <jabái> if, even if, although -- if
  • sunus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <sunus> son -- the Son
  • sijais -- strong verb class 5; athematic second person singular present subjunctive of <wisan> to be -- thou be
  • gudis -- strong noun, masculine; genitive singular of <guþ> God -- of God
  • wairp -- strong verb class 3; second person singular imperative of <waírpan> to throw, to cast -- cast
  • þuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thyself
  • þaþro -- adverb; <þaþrō> thence -- from hence
  • dalaþ -- adverb; <dalaþ> down -- down

10 - gamelid ist auk þatei aggilum seinaim anabiudiþ bi þuk du gafastan þuk,
  • gamelid -- weak verb class 1; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <gamēljan> to write, enroll -- written
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- it is
  • auk -- conjunction; <áuk> for, because; but, also -- for
  • þatei -- conjunction; <þatei> that, because, if -- ...
  • aggilum -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <aggilus> angel, messenger -- angels
  • seinaim -- possessive adjective; dative plural masculine of <*seins> one's own -- his
  • anabiudiþ -- strong verb class 2; third person singular of <anabiudan> to command, order -- he shall give... charge
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- over
  • þuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thee
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- to
  • gafastan -- weak verb class 3; infinitive of <gafastan> to keep, hold fast -- keep
  • þuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thee

11 - jah þatei ana handum þuk ufhaband, ei ƕan ni gastagqjais bi staina fotu þeinana.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • þatei -- conjunction; <þatei> that, because, if -- ...
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- in
  • handum -- strong noun, feminine; dative plural of <handus> hand -- (their) hands
  • þuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thee
  • ufhaband -- weak verb class 3; third person plural of <ufhaban> to hold up, to bear up -- they shall bear... up
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- ...
  • ƕan -- adverb; <ƕan> at any time -- at any time
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- lest
  • gastagqjais -- weak verb class 1; second person singular present subjunctive of <gastangqjan> to dash against -- thou dash
  • bi -- preposition; <bi> by, about; concerning; around, against; according to, on account of; for; at; after; near -- against
  • staina -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <stáins> stone -- a stone
  • fotu -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <fōtus> foot -- foot
  • þeinana -- possessive adjective; accusative singular masculine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy

12 - jah andhafjands qaþ imma Iesus þatei qiþan ist: ni fraisais fraujan guþ þeinana.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • andhafjands -- strong verb class 6; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <andhafjan> to answer -- answering
  • qaþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular preterite of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- unto him
  • Iesus -- strong proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iēsus> Jesus -- Jesus
  • þatei -- conjunction; <þatei> that, because, if -- ...
  • qiþan -- strong verb class 5; nominative singular neuter of preterite participle of <qiþan> to say, speak -- said
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- it is
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • fraisais -- strong verb class 7; second person singular present subjunctive of <fráisan> to tempt -- thou shalt... tempt
  • fraujan -- weak noun, masculine; accusative singular of <fráuja> lord, master -- the Lord
  • guþ -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <guþ> God -- God
  • þeinana -- possessive adjective; accusative singular masculine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy

13 - jah ustiuhands all fraistobnjo diabulus, afstoþ fairra imma und mel.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ustiuhands -- strong verb class 2; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <ustiuhan> to lead out; to complete -- when... had ended
  • all -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular neuter of <alls> all, every -- all
  • fraistobnjo -- strong noun, feminine; genitive plural of <fráistubni> temptation -- the temptation # literally 'all of the temptations'
  • diabulus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <diabaúlus> devil -- the devil
  • afstoþ -- strong verb class 6; third person singular preterite of <afstandan> to stand off, to depart -- he departed
  • fairra -- preposition; <faírra> far from -- from
  • imma -- personal pronoun; dative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him
  • und -- preposition; <und> up to, until, for -- for
  • mel -- strong noun, neuter; accusative singular of <mēl> time, season -- a season

Lesson Text

4:1 - Iþ Iesus, ahmins weihis fulls, gawandida sik fram Iaurdanau jah tauhans was in ahmin in auþidai 2 - dage fidwor tiguns, fraisans fram diabulau. jah ni matida waiht in dagam jainaim, jah at ustauhanaim þaim dagam, biþe gredags warþ. 3 - jah qaþ du imma diabulus: jabai sunaus sijais gudis, qiþ þamma staina ei wairþai hlaibs. 4 - jah andhof Iesus wiþra ina qiþands: gamelid ist þatei ni bi hlaib ainana libaid manna, ak bi all waurde gudis. 5 - jah ustiuhands ina diabulaus ana fairguni hauhata, ataugida imma allans þiudinassuns þis midjungardis in stika melis. 6 - jah qaþ du imma sa diabulus: þus giba þata waldufni þize allata jah wulþu ize, unte mis atgiban ist, jah þisƕammeh þei wiljau, giba þata. 7 - þu nu jabai inweitis mik in andwairþja meinamma, wairþiþ þein all. 8 - jah andhafjands imma Iesus qaþ: gamelid ist, fraujan guþ þeinana inweitais jah imma ainamma fullafahjais. 9 - þaþroh gatauh ina in Iairusalem jah gasatida ina ana giblin alhs jah qaþ du imma: jabai sunus sijais gudis, wairp þuk þaþro dalaþ; 10 - gamelid ist auk þatei aggilum seinaim anabiudiþ bi þuk du gafastan þuk, 11 - jah þatei ana handum þuk ufhaband, ei ƕan ni gastagqjais bi staina fotu þeinana. 12 - jah andhafjands qaþ imma Iesus þatei qiþan ist: ni fraisais fraujan guþ þeinana. 13 - jah ustiuhands all fraistobnjo diabulus, afstoþ fairra imma und mel.

Translation

From the King James version:
4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. 8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Grammar

16 Weak Nominal Declension

The weak declension of nouns is nothing more than n-stem nominal formation. In principle it is no different from the formation of r-stems or nd-stems: the affix -Vn- intercedes between nominal root and endings, where V is some vowel. Just as brōþar 'brother' is inherently an r-stem noun (employing no other formations), likewise weak nouns are inherently weak, i.e. only n-stem. While adjectives may employ strong or weak declension (see Sections 13 and 17) according to contextual demands, a given noun by contrast employs only one declension at all times: a weak noun always declines weak, a strong noun always strong.

16.1 an/jan/wan-Stems

The an/jan/wan-stem nouns are generally masculine or neuter. Nouns with the j- or w-augment take the same endings as those without. The nouns atta 'father', arbja 'heir', and gawaúrstwa 'fellow-worker' -- respectively an-, jan-, and wan-stems -- serve to illustrate the masculine forms. The nouns haírtō 'heart', áugō 'eye', and sigljō 'seal' -- respectively an-, an-, and jan-stems -- serve to illustrate the neuter forms.

Weak an-Stem   Masculine           Neuter        
                         
Stem   attan-   arbjan-   gawaúrstwan-   haírtan-   áugan-   sigljan-
                         
N Sg.   atta   arbja   gawaúrstwa   haírtō   áugō   sigljō
A   attan   arbjan   gawaúrstwan   haírtō   áugō   sigljō
G   attins   arbjins   gawaúrstwins   haírtins   áugins   *sigljins
D   attin   arbjin   gawaúrstwin   haírtin   áugin   *sigljin
                         
N Pl.   attans   arbjans   gawaúrstwans   haírtōna   áugōna   *sigljōna
A   attans   arbjans   gawaúrstwans   haírtōna   áugōna   *sigljōna
G   attanē   arbjanē   gawaúrstwanē   haírtanē   áuganē   *sigljanē
D   attam   arbjam   gawaúrstwam   haírtam   áugam   *sigljam
                         

Note that the dative plural is built by analogy to a-stem nouns, without the intervening Vn-affix. The nouns aba (masc.) 'man, husband'; aúhsa (masc.) 'ox'; namō (neut.) 'name'; and watō (neut.) 'water' have different forms in the plural. These are boldfaced in the chart below. The masculine noun manna 'man' generalized the zero-grade of the n-stem formation (-n- rather than -Vn-), yielding a peculiar declension.

Weak an-Stem   Masculine           Neuter    
                     
Stem   ab(a)n-   aúhs(a)n-   man(a)n-   nam(a)n-   wat(a)n-
                     
N Sg.   aba   aúhsa   manna   namō   watō
A   aban   aúhsan   mannan   namō   watō
G   abins   aúhsins   mans   namins   watins
D   abin   aúhsin   mann   namin   watin
                     
N Pl.   abans   aúhsans   mans, mannans   namna   watōna
A   abans   aúhsans   mans, mannans   namna   watōna
G   abnē   aúhsnē   mannē   namnē   watanē
D   abnam   aúhsam   mannam   namnam   watnam
                     

For the zero-grade forms of manna, compare Latin declension: nom. sg. carō 'flesh' with acc. carnem, as opposed to nom. sg. homō 'man' with acc. hominem.

16.2 ōn/jōn/wōn-Stems

The ōn/jōn/wōn-stem nouns are generally feminine. Nouns with the j- or w-augment take the same endings as those without. The nouns tuggō 'tongue', arbjō 'heiress', and ūhtwō 'early morning' -- respectively ōn-, jōn-, and wōn-stems -- serve to illustrate the forms.

Weak ōn-Stem   Feminine        
             
Stem   tuggōn-   arbjōn-   ūhtwōn-
             
N Sg.   tuggō   arbjō   ūhtwō
A   tuggōn   arbjōn   ūhtwōn
G   tuggōns   arbjōns   ūhtwōns
D   tuggōn   arbjōn   ūhtwōn
             
N Pl.   tuggōns   arbjōns   ūhtwōns
A   tuggōns   arbjōns   ūhtwōns
G   tuggōnō   arbjōnō   ūhtwōnō
D   tuggōm   arbjōm   ūhtwōm
             

The vowel has generalized throughout the declension, so that the dative, though characteristically lacking any sign of the n-stem, still maintains the vowel.

16.3 īn-Stems

The īn-stem nouns (recall [] is spelled ei in Gothic) are generally feminine. These nouns derive for the most part from adjectives, forming the associated abstract noun. The nouns managei 'multitude', áiþei 'mother', and frōdei 'understanding' serve to illustrate the forms.

Weak īn-Stem   Feminine        
             
Stem   managein-   áiþein-   frōdein-
             
N Sg.   managei   áiþei   frōdei
A   managein   áiþein   frōdein
G   manageins   áiþeins   frōdeins
D   managein   áiþein   frōdein
             
N Pl.   manageins   áiþeins   frōdeins
A   manageins   áiþeins   frōdeins
G   manageinō   áiþeinō   frōdeinō
D   manageim   áiþeim   frōdeim
             

The formation is similar to the declension of ōn-stems. The vowel has generalized throughout the declension, so that the dative maintains the vowel while losing the n.

17 Adjectives: Weak Declension

Adjectives decline according to weak or strong paradigms based on the requirements of context (cf. Section 13 on strong adjective declension). The choice is one of specificity: Gothic employs weak adjective forms to modify a definite noun, and strong forms to modify an indefinite noun. For example, ahma sa weiha 'the holy ghost' and þái ana aírþái þizái gōdōn saianans 'they that are sown on the good ground' (Mark 4.20). For comparison, weihs ahma would be 'a holy spirit', ana gōdái aírþái 'on (some) good ground', saianái 'sown'. Weak endings are generally used for nominalized adjectives: unkarjans 'careless (ones)'. Compare weihs 'holy' (strong) to weiha 'priest' (weak), literally '(the) holy one'. From a morphological point of view, weak adjective endings are simply n-stem endings. In this way, their use for definite reference parallels proper names in Latin, e.g. catus 'sly' vs. Catō (G. Catōnis) 'the Sly One', and in Greek, e.g. platús 'broad' vs. Plátōn 'the Broad (Shouldered) One'.

17.1 Weak Adjective Formation

As mentioned above, the weak declension of adjectives is actually simply n-stem declension. The weak masculine endings of a-stem adjectives exactly parallel those of the an-stem noun atta, and the neuter a-stem weak endings those of the an-stem haírtō (Section 16.1); the feminine weak endings of a-stem adjectives parallel those of the ōn-stem noun tuggō (Section 16.2). Again the adjective blinds 'blind' illustrates the declension.

Weak a-Stem   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   blinda   blindō   blindō
A   blindan   blindō   blindōn
G   blindins   blindins   blindōns
D   blindin   blindin   blindōn
             
N Pl.   blindans   blindōna   blindōns
A   blindans   blindōna   blindōns
G   blindanē   blindanē   blindōnō
D   blindam   blindam   blindōm
             

The ja-stem adjectives decline analogously, the masculine forms following the jan-stem noun arbja, the neuter following sigljō, the feminine following arbjō. The distinctions of Group (1) and Group (2) ja-stems do not play a role in weak declension. Likewise, i-stem and u-stem adjectives follow the same weak declension as ja-stems, exhibiting the same j-augment in all forms. The adjectives niujis 'new' and wilþeis 'wild' illustrate the weak declension of ja-stems; hráins 'clean' illustrates the i-stems; hardus 'hard' illustrates the u-stems. The forms are as follows.

Masculine   ja-Stem (1)   ja-Stem (2)   i-Stem   u-Stem
                 
N Sg.   niuja   wilþja   hráinja   hardja
A   niujan   wilþjan   hráinjan   hardjan
G   niujins   wilþjins   hráinjins   hardjins
D   niujin   wilþjin   hráinjin   hardjin
                 
N Pl.   niujans   wilþjans   hráinjans   hardjans
A   niujans   wilþjans   hráinjans   hardjans
G   niujanē   wilþjanē   hráinjanē   hardjanē
D   niujam   wilþjam   hráinjam   hardjam
                 
Neuter                
                 
N Sg.   niujō   wilþjō   hráinjō   hardjō
A   niujō   wilþjō   hráinjō   hardjō
G   niujins   wilþjins   hráinjins   hardjins
D   niujin   wilþjin   hráinjin   hardjin
                 
N Pl.   niujōna   wilþjōna   hráinjōna   hardjōna
A   niujōna   wilþjōna   hráinjōna   hardjōna
G   niujanē   wilþjanē   hráinjanē   hardjanē
D   niujam   wilþjam   hráinjam   hardjam
                 
Feminine                
                 
N Sg.   niujō   wilþjō   hráinjō   hardjō
A   niujōn   wilþjōn   hráinjōn   hardjōn
G   niujōns   wilþjōns   hráinjōns   hardjōns
D   niujōn   wilþjōn   hráinjōn   hardjōn
                 
N Pl.   niujōns   wilþjōns   hráinjōns   hardjōns
A   niujōns   wilþjōns   hráinjōns   hardjōns
G   niujōnō   wilþjōnō   hráinjōnō   hardjōnō
D   niujōm   wilþjōm   hráinjōm   hardjōm
                 

The wa-stem adjectives maintain the w-augment. Few weak forms are extant. The adjective triggws 'true' exhibits only the weak N sg. triggwa and D sg. triggwin. The wa-stem adjectives lasiws 'weak', *qius 'alive', *fáus 'little', *usskáus 'vigilant' show no weak forms.

17.2 Comparative, Superlative, and Intensive Adjectives

The comparative of adjectives is formed by addition of the suffix -iz- or -ōz-. The superlative is derived by addition of the suffix -st- or -ōst-. Consider the following examples.

Meaning   Positive   Comparative   Superlative
             
'much, many'   manags   managiza   managists
'wise'   frōþs   frōdōza    
'poor'   arms       armōsts
'strong'   swinþs   swinþōza    
'old'   alþeis   alþiza    
'sweet'   suts   sutiza   sutists
'hard'   hardus   hardiza    
'high'   *háuhs       háuhists
             

As with the positive degree, the superlative degree declines either strong or weak according to the requirements of context. The superlative, however, does not take the alternate pronominal ending -ata in the neuter singular nominative or accusative. The comparative, by contrast, only assumes weak adjectival endings, regardless of context. The only difference between comparative endings and general weak adjectival endings occurs in the feminine: the feminine declines like the īn-stem managei, rather than tuggō. The adjective jūhiza 'younger', from juggs 'young', serves to illustrate comparative declension.

Comparative   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   jūhiza   jūhizō   jūhizei
A   jūhizan   jūhizō   jūhizein
G   jūhizins   jūhizins   jūhizeins
D   jūhizin   jūhizin   jūhizein
             
N Pl.   jūhizans   jūhizōna   jūhizeins
A   jūhizans   jūhizōna   jūhizeins
G   jūhizanē   jūhizanē   jūhizeinō
D   jūhizam   jūhizam   jūhizeim
             

Several adjectives are members of suppletive systems, whereby the positive forms derive from a base different than that of the comparative and superlative. A few of the most common such adjectives appear below.

Meaning   Positive   Comparative   Superlative
             
'good'   gōþs   batiza   batists
'little'   leitils   minniza   minnists
'great'   mikils   máiza   máists
'old'   sineigs       sinista
'evil'   ubils   waírsiza    
             

The superlative sinista generally translates Greek presbúteros 'elder': þái sinistans 'the elders'.

Intensive adjectives are formed by addition of the ending -(t)uma. These formations inflect like comparatives, but they generally do not mark any specific comparison. These have a superlative formed by adding -(t)umist-. Consider the following examples.

Intensitve   Meaning   Superlative   Meaning
             
aftuma   'latter, following'   aftumists   'last'
aúhuma   'high'   aúh(u)mists   'highest'
fruma   'former, prior'   frumists   'first'
        hindumists   'hindmost, uttermost'
hleiduma   'the left'        
iftuma   'next, following'        
innuma   'inner'        
miduma   'middle'        
        spēdumists   'last, latest'
             

Compare af-tuma to Lat. op-timus, as well as in-timus and Sanskrit án-tamas. Likewise compare the formation of ordinals such as Lat. septimus, Sanskrit saptamás.

The dative case is used in conjunction with a comparative to denote the standard of reference or comparison, as denoted by the Modern English 'than'. For example, swinþō mis 'mightier than me'.

18 Relatives, Interrogatives, and Indefinites
18.1 Relatives

As with the other Germanic languages, Gothic has no independent pronoun which functions specifically as a relative. The most prominent relative marker is the particle ei, which functions analogously to Old Norse es (later er) or sem (or even the conjunction at 'that') and to Old English þe. These particles are self-standing markers introducing subordinate clauses and as such have no inherent meaning of their own. In Gothic the relative use of the particle ei is restricted to a few phrases involving temporal or modal expressions. For example, sijáis þahands jah ni magands rodjan und þana dag ei waírþái þata 'thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that this should happen' (Luke 1.20); fram þamma daga ei anabáuþ mis 'from the time that it befell me' (Nehemiah 5.14); fram þamma daga ei háusidēdum 'since the day we heard it' (Colossians 1.9); aþþan þamma háidáu ei Jannis jah Mambrēs andstōþun Mōsēza 'Now in the manner in which Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses' (2 Timothy 3.8).

The particle ei occurs most frequently in a relativizing role conjoined to the demonstrative pronoun sa, þata, sō 'this, that, the'. This yields a relative pronoun for the third person. The declension is as follows.

Relative Pron.   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   saei (izei)   þatei   sōei (sei)
A   þanei   þatei   þōei
G   þizei   þizei   þizōzei
D   þammei   þammei   þizáiei
             
N Pl.   þáiei (izei)   þōei   þōzei
A   þanzei   þōei   þōzei
G   þizēei   þizēei   *þizōei
D   þáimei   þáimei   þáimei
             

When the particle ei is suffixed, a preceding weakly stressed a is lost, and s becomes z. The nominative singular masculine is of the third person pronoun also forms a relative in this manner: izei. This is occasionally found instead of the corresponding relative saei. It also occurs in the role of the nominative masculine plural instead of þáiei. The nominative singular feminine si of the third person pronoun similarly forms a relative si + ei > sei.

The first and second person pronouns form relatives in the same fashion. The particle ei is suffixed to the appropriate form of the pronoun: ikei 'I who'; þuei 'thou who'; þukei 'thee whom'; þuzei 'to thee whom'; juzei 'ye who'; izwizei 'to you whom'.

Like Modern English, but unlike Old English and Old Norse, the relative pronoun saei, þatei, sōei derives its case from its function in the relative clause. In the Modern English sentence 'and a man came whose name was Jairus', the relative whose derives its case (genitive) from its function in the clause 'whose name was Jairus', not from the clause in which its antecedent man appears (otherwise it would be the nominative who, agreeing with man). By contrast, Old Norse favors a construction in which the demonstrative agrees with the antecedent in the main clause: hann sendi hingat til lands prest þann es hét Þangbrandr 'he sent there to the land a priest who was called Thangbrand'. The phrase þann es exactly parallels the formation of the relative pronoun in Gothic, being the union of the demonstrative pronoun followed by the relative particle (es in ON, ei in Gothic). But in the Old Norse phrase, þann is accusative, modifying the direct object of the main clause, even though the antecedent of þann subsequently becomes the subject of the relative clause. The same generally occurs in Old English with the particle |e. Gothic uses the relative saei, þatei, sōei in the fashion of Modern English. For example, jah sái qam waír þizei namō Iaeirus 'And a man came whose name (was) Jairus' (Luke 8.41). The relative þizei takes its genitive case from its function in the relative clause, not from the main clause.

18.2 Interrogatives

The interrogative pronoun ƕas, ƕa, ƕō 'who?, what?' occurs only in the singular. The forms are as follows.

Interrogative   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   ƕas   ƕa   ƕō
A   ƕana   ƕa   ƕō
G   ƕis   ƕis   *ƕizōs
D   ƕamma   ƕamma   ƕizái
             

The neuter instrumental form ƕē occurs with the meaning 'with what, wherewith, how'. The plural is preserved in the form ƕanzuh: insandida ins twans ƕanzuh 'he sent them forth two and two'.

The interrogative adjective ƕaþar 'which (of two)' occurs only in the nominative singular masculine and neuter. This contrasts with ƕarjis 'which (of more than two)', which declines like midjis (cf. Section 13.1), though the neuter nominative singular always ends in -ata. The interrogative adjectives ƕileiks 'what sort of' and *ƕēláuþs (fem. ƕēláuda) 'how great' follow the declension of blinds (cf. Section 13.1), as do their respective correlatives swaleiks 'such' and swaláuþs (fem. swaláuda) 'so great'.

The enclitic particle -u is often appended to the first word of an interrogative statement. For example, niu 'not?'; skuldu ist 'is it lawful?'; abu þus silbin 'of thyself?'

18.3 Indefinites

Simple indefinites, formed by suffixing the particle -hun to forms of ƕas 'who', manna 'man', and áins 'one', occur only in negated constructions. See Section 21.2 on Negatives.

A general indefinite, akin to Modern English 'whosoever, whoever', is formed by the combinations ƕazuh saei, saƕazuh saei, and saƕazuh izei. These occur only in the nominative singular masculine. The neuter counterpart, þataƕah þei 'whatsoever', occurs only in the accusative singular. Indefinites of similar meaning are formed by prefixing þis (genitive of þata) to forms of ƕazuh. These are followed by the relative saei, or by þei. The attested forms are as follows.

þisƕazuh saei 'whosoever'   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   þisƕazuh saei   þisƕah þei (þatei)    
A   þisƕanōh saei   þisƕah þei (þatei)    
G       þisƕizuh þei    
D   þisƕammēh saei   þisƕammēh þei    
             

The form þatei occasionally replaces þei in the neuter. No feminine forms occur.

áin- 'one, anyone, a certain one' always declines according to the strong declension of blinds (Section 13.1), e.g. masc. N sg. áins, pl. áinái; neut. N sg. áin(ata), pl. áina; fem. N sg. áina, pl. áinōs. The plural forms are used in the sense 'only, alone'. Note correlated structures: áins... jah áins 'the one... and the other'.

all- 'all, every, whole' always declines according to the strong declension of blinds, e.g. masc. N sg. alls, pl. allái; neut. N sg. all(ata), pl. alla; fem. N sg. alla, pl. allōs.

anþar- 'second, other' always declines according to the strong declension of blinds, though the neuter N sg. never takes the pronominal ending -ata. For example, masc. N sg. anþar (cf. Section 6.2.2), pl. anþarái; neut. N sg. anþar, pl. anþara; fem. N sg. anþara, pl. anþarō.

sum- 'some one, a certain one' always declines according to the strong declension of blinds, e.g. masc. N sg. sums, pl. sumái; neut. N sg. sum(ata), pl. suma; fem. N sg. suma, pl. sumōs. Forms of this pronoun are often repeated in correlated structures: sums... sums 'the one... the other'. The particle -uh is frequently suffixed to the second member of such constructions, and occasionally to both members: sumái(h)... sumáih 'some... and others' (masc. nom. pl.).

19 Present Participle

The present participle adds the suffix -nd- to the present stem (yielding a stem which resembles the 3rd person plural, present indicative active). Adjectival endings are then added to the resulting stem. The present participle declines exclusively as a weak adjective, with the sole exception of the masculine nominative singular, which has an alternate strong ending. The feminine forms follow the declension of īn-stem nouns like managei, rather than ōn-stems. The verb niman 'take' has present participle stem nimand-. The declension is as follows.

Present Ptcple   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   nimanda, nimands   nimandō   nimandei
A   nimandan   nimandō   nimandein
G   nimandins   nimandins   nimandeins
D   nimandin   nimandin   nimandein
             
N Pl.   nimandans   nimandōna   nimandeins
A   nimandans   nimandōna   nimandeins
G   nimandanē   nimandanē   nimandeinō
D   nimandam   nimandam   nimandeim
             

The present participle denotes an action ongoing at the time of the main verb. The present participle generally takes its object in the same case as the finite forms of the participle, though frequently the object is omitted. For example, þái waúrd háusjandans 'those hearing the word' (Mark 4.18); Sa saijands waúrd saijiþ 'The one sowing sows the word', equivalent to 'The sower sows the word' (Mark 4.14).

Some nouns, such as the nd-stem fijands 'enemy', were originally participles but have subsequently become frozen in a substantive role. These infrequently take objects in the accusative, instead generally employing the genitive. Compare the following contructions: þans fijands galgins Xristáus 'the enemies of the cross of Christ' (Philippians 3.18) vs. þáim fijandam izwis 'to those hating you' (Luke 6.27). Also note the following passage: aþþan ik qiþa izwis: frijōþ fijands izwarans, þiuþjáiþ þans wrikandans izwis, wáila táujáiþ þáim hatjandam izwis, jah bidjáiþ bi þans usþriutandans izwis 'But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those abusing you' (Matthew 5.44).

20 Adjective Use

Adjectives agree with the nouns they modify in gender, case, and number. But the adjective at times agrees with the natural gender of the referent, rather than with the gender of the noun representing it. Consider the following example, where the feminine noun handugei 'wisdom' is modified by a neuter adjective agreeing with the genderless concept represented by handugei: ei kanniþ wēsi handugei guþs 'that the wisdom of God be known'. Note also the following, where neuter áinhun (leikē) 'any (of bodies)' is modified by a masculine singular adjective taking its gender from the person or man whom the circumlocution represents: ni waírþiþ garaíhts áinhun leikē 'no man becomes just'.

When a singular noun denotes a collection of individual members, the adjective may take its number and gender according to the individuals. For example, the feminine singular managei 'multitude, people' is generally modified by adjectives in the masculine plural: jah was managei beidandans Zakariins 'and the people were waiting for Zacharias'. This likewise occurs with the noun hiuhma 'crowd': jah alls hiuhma was manageins beidandans 'and the whole crowd of people was waiting'.

Unlike many of the Indo-European languages, but like e.g. Old Norse, an adjective modifying both masculine and feminine beings takes a neuter plural form. For example, wēsunuh þan garaíhta ba andwaírþja guþs 'they were both righteous before God', where the referents are Zacharias and Elizabeth.

Adjectives take either strong or weak endings. Strong adjective forms modify indefinite nouns. Consider the following examples: stibnái mikilái 'in a loud voice'; gaguds ragineis 'a good counselor'; wastjái ƕeitái 'in a white cloth'. Predicate adjectives regularly take strong endings: goþ þus ist hamfamma in libáin galeiþan 'it is better for thee to enter into life maimed'. All cardinal numerals only decline strong, as well as the ordinal anþar 'second'; likewise the possessive adjectives like meins 'my'; pronominal adjectives like sums 'some', alls 'all', jáins 'that', swaleiks 'such'; and other adjectives like fulls 'full', ganōhs 'enough', halbs 'half', midjis 'middle'.

Weak adjective forms modify definite nouns, and therefore generally accompany the definite article. For example, stiur þana alidan 'the fattened calf'; (áina) anabusnē þizō minnistōnō '(one) of the smallest commandments'; wastja þō frumistōn 'the best garment'; ni mag bagms þiuþeigs akrana ubila gatáujan 'a good tree cannot bear evil fruits'. A weak adjective generally accompanies a noun in the vocative: atta weiha 'holy father!'; o unfrodans Galateis 'O foolish Galatians'. All ordinal numerals beside anþar exhibit only weak declension. The same is true for comparatives, as well as intensives ending in -ma, e.g. aftuma 'latter'. The present participle takes weak endings, except for the alternate strong ending in the masculine nominative singular. The adjectives sama 'same' and silba 'self' always take weak endings.

Gothic Online

Lesson 5

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Early Contact between Goths and Huns

Scholars have long looked for an explanation of the Goths' sudden and destructive entrance into history in the middle of the 3rd century. They have generally attributed Gothic movements to a response to the marauding Huns who came swiftly from the east and attacked and displaced the formerly sedentary Goths. Of course this begs the question as to the reason for the Huns' entrance into eastern Europe: overpopulation, drought, or the search for richer grazing areas have all been suggested as possibilities.

The Huns first attacked and subdued the Alans, a nomadic Iranian people neighboring the Goths to the east of the Don. Together the Huns and Alans attacked the Goths. Their combined forces first attacked the Greuthungi, whose leader was Ermenaric. Upon his death, Vithimer became leader of the Greuthungi and paid some Huns to fight alongside the Goths. Vithimer was eventually killed in battle against a force consisting mostly of Alans, and the subsequent leaders Alatheus and Saphrax led a retreat to the Dniester.

This westward movement of the Greuthungi was countered by the Tervingi, who, led by Athanaric, marched from the east to the Dniester to hold them off. Hunnic attacks eventually forced Athanaric to fall back, until he built a defensive wall running from the river Gerasius (modern Prut) to the Danube. Further Hunnic attacks interrupted construction of the walls, and Alavivus and Fritigern led splinter groups to seek refuge in the Roman empire across the Danube. This then left the Greuthungi free to cross the Dniester, and they too pushed to the Danube and sought entry into Roman territory. The two groups sought to enter Roman territory sometime in 376.

This rapid turn of events is, however, likely a synopsis of a situation which developed over a substantial period of time. It is more likely that Huns did not come in the form of a lightning storm of invaders, but rather that pressure upon neighboring Gothic tribes built up over time. In fact the Tervingi request for asylum presumably involved several stages, all taking considerable time: (1) deliberations among the Goths themselves as to how best to escape the Huns; (2) a request made to local Roman officials for permission to enter Roman territory; (3) referral of the matter to the emperor Valens, to whom the Goths eventually sent embassies; (4) a period of waiting while Valens made a decision from his present location in Antioch; (5) another waiting period while the embassies returned from Antioch, travelling over 1000km each way.

As it turns out, the Goths themselves still remained the major concern of the Roman empire in the region of the Danube in 376 and after. The Huns by contrast only operated in small raiding parties at the time. Athanaric's Tervingi established a new settlement in the Carpathians in late 370s. When Athanaric was ousted c. 380, the Goths he ruled remained in north of the Danube. This suggests that the Huns were not such oppressive raiders that the Goths were in a particular hurry to flee. Another Gothic group under Arimer, perhaps the former subjects of Athanaric, also remained north of the Danube until the mid 380s. Yet another group of Greuthungi under Odotheus tried in 386 to cross south into Roman territory. They were defeated and resettled to Asia Minor. Much later, in 405-406, the Gothic king Radagaisus crossed the Roman border and invaded Italy. But though Odotheus and Radagaisus may have been Hunnic refugees, no sources contradict the possibility that they were simply leaders of independent groups of Goths.

The Huns themselves did not press the Roman border: in 395 (20 years after the initial Gothic requests to pass into Roman territory), a large group of Huns crossed the Caucasus. One part headed for Persia, another for Roman territories in Armenia, Cappadocia, and Syria, going as far as Antioch, Edessa, and Cilicia. Though these may have been Huns from the Danube, this would have involved a journey of more than 1000km around the Black Sea and through the difficult Caucasus, a harsh journey for men and horses alike. It is likely that the Huns' center was somewhat father east of the Danube, closer to the Don and Volga.

One story of the Huns' arrival is given in the Ecclesiatical History of the 5th century church historian Sozomen (translated in Heather and Matthews, 1991):

2   The Goths, who in former times inhabited the region beyond the Ister and were masters of the other barbarians, were driven from their lands by the people called the Huns and crossed over into Roman territory.
3   Now this race, so they say, was previously unknown to the Thracians living by the Ister and to the Goths themselves, and lived as their neighbors without either party realising it -- the reason for their ignorance being that a huge lake lay between them, each people believing that the country in which they lived was the last dry land to exist, and that beyond lay sea and an infinite expanse of water. It came about, however, that an ox, driven mad by insects, ran through the lake and was follwoed by its herdsman, who saw the land on the other side and reported it to his fellow-tribesmen.
4   Others say that a deer, fleeing in the chase, showed its Hunnish pursuers the way, which lay concealed by the surface of the water; and that the hunters, admiring the country with its gentler climate and ease of cultivation, at once turned back and reported what they had seen to the ruler of their race.
5   The Huns first tried the strength of the Goths with a small force of men, and later attacked in full force, defeating the Goths in battle and taking possession of their entire country. The victims of the attack made to cross the river, and coming over to the Roman frontiers sent envoys to the emperor, promising their services as his allies in the future and asking his agreement to settle wherever he chose.
6   The leader of this embassy was Ulphilas, the bishop of the Goths; and, negotiations proceeding as they hoped, they were allowed to live in Thrace.

In this account, Sozomen seems to pass over the fact that Wulfila (here Ulphilas, for Ulfila) was expelled from Gothic lands during the persecutions of the 340s, and so likely had no personal connection to the events of the 370s related here. However it was possible during that period to pass somewhat freely over the imperial borders, and so it is not impossible that Wulfila maintained some connection with these events.

Ambrose of Milan, writing c. 380, sums up the story of the Huns' arrival thus (quoted in Heather, 1996):

    The Huns threw themselves upon the Alans, the Alans upon the Goths, and the Goths upon the Taifali and Sarmatae... and this is not yet the end.

Evidence of more permanent Hunnic presence on the Danube only begins c. 400 AD, when a leader of the Huns called Uldin announced his presence by sending the head of an imperial general Gainas to imperial authorities in Constantinople.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following passage is Matthew 6.1-15, relating the famous Sermon on the Mount. The Gothic selection contains numerous possessive forms, as in Matthew 6.1: izwara 'your'. This form could be either the genitive plural of þu 'thou' or the feminine singular nominative or accusative of the possessive adjective izwar 'your, yours'. The possessive adjectives are in fact derived from appending adjectival endings to the genitive of the personal pronouns. Compare Modern English mine to the Old English genitive singular of the first person pronoun: mīn. The decision as to which analysis should be given to izwara is based primarily on proximity to the form izwaramma, which is unambiguously adjectival, as well as on parallelism in the structures of the following verses. Similar ambiguity surrounds þeina in verses 6.3-4 and 6.13.

In Matthew 6.3 we find iþ þuk táujandan armaiōn 'but when thou doest alms'. This is an example of an accusative absolute, consisting of a substantive (here þuk) and an associated participle (here táujandan) placed in the accusative case to related information that would generally occupy a full subordinate clause in Modern English. Such constructions are far less common in Gothic than their dative counterpart.

We also find in this passage several uses of the present subjunctive, most frequently here equivalent to imperatives. The use in Matthew 6.5 -- jah þan bidjaiþ 'when you pray' -- shows use of the present subjunctive to denote hypotheical events in the future. In the jargon of traditional grammars of Greek and Latin, this is a present subjunctive in the protasis of a present general condition.

In this reading we encounter several terms of relating to tribal structure. In particular we find the general term þiuda 'people' (Matthew 6.7). This seems to denote any ethnically or culturally identifiable group, as the Gothic term of self-reference, Gut-þiuda 'Gothic people', attests. We also find the term þiudinassus 'kingdom' (Matthew 6.10) and þiudangardi 'kingdom' (Matthew 6.13), built from þiudans 'head of a þiuda, king'.

The last part of Matthew 6.13, untē þeina ist þiudangardi jah mahts jah wulþus in áiwins 'for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever', is a phrase which is absent from the traditional Greek text, as well as from the Old English translation of c. 995, Wycliffe's translation of 1389, and Tyndale's of 1526.

6:1 - Atsaiƕiþ armaion izwara ni taujan in andwairþja manne du saiƕan im; aiþþau laun ni habaiþ fram attin izwaramma þamma in himinam.
  • atsaiƕiþ -- strong verb class 5; second person plural imperative of <atsaíƕan> to observe, to take heed -- take heed (that)
  • armaion -- weak noun, feminine; accusative singular of <armaiō> pity, alms -- alms
  • izwara -- possessive adjective; accusative singular feminine of <izwar> your, yours -- your # form indistinguishable from the genitive plural of the personal pronoun þu 'thou, you'
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • taujan -- weak verb class 1; infinitive of <táujan> to do, to make -- (ye) do
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- ...
  • andwairþja -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <andwaírþi> face, presence -- before
  • manne -- irregular noun, masculine; genitive plural of <manna> man -- men
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- to
  • saiƕan -- strong verb class 5; infinitive of <saíƕan> to see -- be seen
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- of them
  • aiþþau -- conjunction; <aíþþáu> or, else -- otherwise
  • laun -- strong noun, neuter; accusative singular of <láun> reward, wage -- reward
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- no
  • habaiþ -- weak verb class 3; second person plural of <haban> to have -- ye have
  • fram -- preposition; <fram> from, by, since, on account of -- of
  • attin -- weak noun, masculine; dative singular of <atta> father -- Father
  • izwaramma -- possessive adjective; dative singular masculine of <izwar> your, yours -- your
  • þamma -- demonstrative used as relative pronoun; dative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- which (is)
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • himinam -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <himins> heaven -- heaven

2 - þan nu taujais armaion, ni haurnjais faura þus, swaswe þai liutans taujand in gaqumþim jah in garunsim, ei hauhjaindau fram mannam; amen qiþa izwis: andnemun mizdon seina.
  • þan -- adverb; <þan> then, when -- when
  • nu -- adverb; <nu> now, therefore -- therefore
  • taujais -- weak verb class 1; second person singular present subjunctive of <táujan> to do, to make -- thou doest
  • armaion -- weak noun, feminine; accusative singular of <armaiō> pity, alms -- (thine) alms
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • haurnjais -- weak verb class 1; second person singular present subjunctive of <haúrnjan> to blow a horn -- do... sound a trumpet
  • faura -- preposition; <faúra> before, for -- before
  • þus -- personal pronoun; dative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thee
  • swaswe -- adverb; <swaswē> as, just as; so as; so as to, so that -- as
  • þai -- demonstrative used as article; nominative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • liutans -- weak noun, masculine; nominative plural of <liuta> hypocrite -- hypocrites
  • taujand -- weak verb class 1; third person plural of <táujan> to do, to make -- do
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • gaqumþim -- strong noun, feminine; dative plural of <gaqumþs> assembly, synagogue -- the synagogues
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • garunsim -- strong noun, feminine; dative plural of <garuns> street -- the streets
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- that
  • hauhjaindau -- weak verb class 1; third person plural passive subjunctive of <háuhjan> to exalt, to glorify -- they may have glory
  • fram -- preposition; <fram> from, by, since, on account of -- of
  • mannam -- irregular noun, masculine; dative plural of <manna> man -- men
  • amen -- interjection; <amēn> amen, truly -- verily
  • qiþa -- strong verb class 5; first person singular of <qiþan> to say, speak -- I say
  • izwis -- personal pronoun; dative plural of <þu> thou, you -- unto you
  • andnemun -- strong verb class 4; third person plural preterite of <andniman> to receive, to take -- they have
  • mizdon -- weak noun, feminine; accusative singular of <mizdō> reward -- (their) reward

3 - iþ þuk taujandan armaion ni witi hleidumei þeina, ƕa taujiþ taihswo þeina,
  • -- conjunction; <iþ> but, however, if -- but
  • þuk -- personal pronoun; accusative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thou
  • taujandan -- weak verb class 1; accusative singular masculine of participle of <táujan> to do, to make -- when... doest
  • armaion -- weak noun, feminine; accusative singular of <armaiō> pity, alms -- alms
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • witi -- preterite present verb; third person singular present subjunctive of <*witan> to know -- let... know
  • hleidumei -- adjective used as substantive; nominative singular feminine of <hleiduma> left; (fem. subst.) left hand, left side -- left hand
  • þeina -- possessive adjective; nominative singular feminine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy # form indistinguishable from the genitive singular of the personal pronoun þu 'thou, you'
  • ƕa -- interrogative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <ƕas> who, what -- what
  • taujiþ -- weak verb class 1; third person singular of <táujan> to do, to make -- doeth
  • taihswo -- adjective used as substantive; nominative singular feminine of <taíhswa> right; (fem. subst.) right hand, right side -- right hand
  • þeina -- possessive adjective; nominative singular feminine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy # form indistinguishable from the genitive singular of the personal pronoun þu 'thou, you'

4 - ei sijai so armahairtiþa þeina in fulhsnja, jah atta þeins saei saiƕiþ in fulhsnja, usgibiþ þus in bairhtein.
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- that
  • sijai -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular subjunctive of <wisan> to be -- be
  • so -- demonstrative used as article; nominative singular feminine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • armahairtiþa -- strong noun, feminine; nominative singular of <armahaírtiþa> charity, alms -- alms
  • þeina -- possessive adjective; nominative singular feminine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy # form indistinguishable from the genitive singular of the personal pronoun þu 'thou, you'
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • fulhsnja -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <fulhsni> hidden thing, secret -- secret
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • atta -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <atta> father -- Father
  • þeins -- possessive adjective; nominative singular masculine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • saei -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <saei> who, he who, which -- which
  • saiƕiþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular of <saíƕan> to see -- seeth
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • fulhsnja -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <fulhsni> hidden thing, secret -- secret
  • usgibiþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular of <usgiban> to reward, to give out -- shall reward
  • þus -- personal pronoun; dative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thee
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- ...
  • bairhtein -- weak noun, feminine; dative singular of <baírhtei> brightness -- openly

5 - jah þan bidjaiþ, ni sijaiþ swaswe þai liutans, unte frijond in gaqumþim jah waihstam plapjo standandans bidjan, ei gaumjaindau mannam. Amen, qiþa izwis þatei haband mizdon seina.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • þan -- adverb; <þan> then, when -- when
  • bidjaiþ -- strong verb class 5; second person plural present subjunctive of <bidjan> to ask, to pray -- thou prayest # the King James Version translates as singular, though the Gothic has plural
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • sijaiþ -- strong verb class 5; athematic second person plural present subjunctive of <wisan> to be -- thou shalt... be # the King James Version translates as singular, though the Gothic has plural
  • swaswe -- adverb; <swaswē> as, just as; so as; so as to, so that -- as... (are)
  • þai -- demonstrative used as article; nominative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • liutans -- weak noun, masculine; nominative plural of <liuta> hypocrite -- hypocrites
  • unte -- conjunction; <untē> for, because, since, until -- for
  • frijond -- weak verb class 2; third person plural of <frijōn> to love -- they love
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • gaqumþim -- strong noun, feminine; dative plural of <gaqumþs> assembly, synagogue -- the synagogues
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • waihstam -- weak noun, masculine; dative plural of <waíhsta> corner -- the corners
  • plapjo -- strong noun, feminine; genitive plural of <*plapja> street, square -- of the streets
  • standandans -- strong verb class 6; nominative plural masculine of present participle of <standan> to stand -- standing
  • bidjan -- strong verb class 5; infinitive of <bidjan> to ask, to pray -- to pray
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- that
  • gaumjaindau -- weak verb class 1; third person plural passive present subjunctive of <gáumjan> to observe, perceive, see -- they may be seen
  • mannam -- irregular noun, masculine; dative plural of <manna> man -- of men
  • Amen -- interjection; <amēn> amen, truly -- amen
  • qiþa -- strong verb class 5; first person singular of <qiþan> to say, speak -- I say
  • izwis -- personal pronoun; dative plural of <þu> thou, you -- unto you
  • þatei -- conjunction; <þatei> that, because, if -- ...
  • haband -- weak verb class 3; third person plural of <haban> to have -- they have
  • mizdon -- weak noun, feminine; accusative singular of <mizdō> reward -- reward
  • seina -- possessive adjective; accusative singular feminine of <seina> one's own -- their

6 - iþ þu þan bidjais, gagg in heþjon þeina jah galukands haurdai þeinai bidei du attin þeinamma þamma in fulhsnja, jah atta þeins saei saiƕiþ in fulhsnja, usgibiþ þus in bairhtein.
  • -- conjunction; <iþ> but, however, if -- but
  • þu -- personal pronoun; nominative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thou
  • þan -- adverb; <þan> then, when -- when
  • bidjais -- strong verb class 5; second person singular subjunctive of <bidjan> to ask, to pray -- thou prayest
  • gagg -- strong verb class 7; second person singular imperative of <gaggan> to come, go -- enter
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- into
  • heþjon -- weak noun, feminine; accusative singular of <hēþjō> room, chamber -- chamber
  • þeina -- possessive adjective; accusative singular feminine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • galukands -- strong verb class 2; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <galūkan> to shut, to close -- when thou hast shut
  • haurdai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <haúrds> door -- door
  • þeinai -- possessive adjective; dative singular feminine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • bidei -- strong verb class 5; second person singular imperative of <bidjan> to ask, to pray -- pray
  • du -- preposition; <du> to, towards; against; in -- to
  • attin -- weak noun, masculine; dative singular of <atta> father -- Father
  • þeinamma -- possessive adjective; dative singular masculine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • þamma -- demonstrative used as relative pronoun; dative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- which (is)
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • fulhsnja -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <fulhsni> hidden thing, secret -- secret
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • atta -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <atta> father -- Father
  • þeins -- possessive adjective; nominative singular masculine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • saei -- relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <saei> who, he who, which -- which
  • saiƕiþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular of <saíƕan> to see -- seeth
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • fulhsnja -- strong noun, neuter; dative singular of <fulhsni> hidden thing, secret -- secret
  • usgibiþ -- strong verb class 5; third person singular of <usgiban> to reward, to give out -- shall reward
  • þus -- personal pronoun; dative singular of <þu> thou, you -- thee
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- ...
  • bairhtein -- weak noun, feminine; dative singular of <baírhtei> brightness -- openly

7 - bidjandansuþ-þan ni filuwaurdjaiþ, swaswe þai þiudo; þugkeiþ im auk ei in filuwaurdein seinai andhausjaindau.
  • bidjandansuþ-þan -- strong verb class 5; nominative plural masculine of present participle of <bidjan> to ask, to pray + enclitic conjunction; <-uh> but, and, now, therefore + conjunction; <þan> when, as (long as); then, at that time; but, and, however -- but when ye pray # the -h of -uh assimilates to the following þ- of þan
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • filuwaurdjaiþ -- weak verb class 1; second person plural present subjunctive of <filuwaúrdjan> to use many words, to be wordy -- use... vain repititions
  • swaswe -- adverb; <swaswē> as, just as; so as; so as to, so that -- as... (do)
  • þai -- demonstrative used as article; nominative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- the
  • þiudo -- strong noun, feminine; genitive plural of <þiuda> people; (pl.) heathens, Gentiles -- heathens
  • þugkeiþ -- weak verb class 1; third person singular of <þungkjan> to seem -- think
  • im -- personal pronoun; dative plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- they
  • auk -- conjunction; <áuk> for, because; but, also -- for
  • ei -- conjunction; <ei> that, so that; whether; (relative particle) -- that
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- for
  • filuwaurdein -- weak noun, feminine; dative singular of <filuwaúrdei> wordiness -- much speaking
  • seinai -- possessive adjective; dative singular feminine of <seina> one's own -- their
  • andhausjaindau -- weak verb class 1; third person plural passive present subjunctive of <andháusjan> to hear, to obey -- they shall be heard

8 - ni galeikoþ nu þaim; wait auk atta izwar þizei jus þaurbuþ, faurþizei jus bidjaiþ ina.
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • galeikoþ -- weak verb class 2; second person plural imperative of <galeikōn> to be like -- Be... ye... like
  • nu -- adverb; <nu> now, therefore -- therefore
  • þaim -- demonstrative used as person pronoun; dative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- unto them
  • wait -- preterite present verb; third person singular of <*witan> to know -- knoweth
  • auk -- conjunction; <áuk> for, because; but, also -- for
  • atta -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <atta> father -- Father
  • izwar -- possessive adjective; nominative plural masculine of <izwar> your, yours -- your # note loss of masculine nominative singular -s after a short vowel followed by -r-, cf. Section 6.2.2
  • þizei -- relative pronoun; genitive singular neuter of <saei> who, he who, which -- what things
  • jus -- personal pronoun; nominative plural of <þu> thou, you -- ye
  • þaurbuþ -- preterite present verb; second person plural of <þaúrban> to need, to be in want -- have need of
  • faurþizei -- conjunction; <faúrþizei> before -- before
  • jus -- personal pronoun; nominative plural of <þu> thou, you -- ye
  • bidjaiþ -- strong verb class 5; second person plural present subjunctive of <bidjan> to ask, to pray -- ask
  • ina -- personal pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <is> he, she, it -- him

9 - swa nu bidjaiþ jus:

        atta unsar þu in himinam,
        weihnai namo þein.
  • swa -- adverb; <swa> so, thus, as -- after this manner
  • nu -- adverb; <nu> now, therefore -- therefore
  • bidjaiþ -- strong verb class 5; second person plural present subjunctive of <bidjan> to ask, to pray -- pray
  • jus -- personal pronoun; nominative plural of <þu> thou, you -- ye
  • atta -- weak noun, masculine; vocative singular of <atta> father -- Father
  • unsar -- possessive adjective; vocative singular masculine of <unsar> our, ours -- our
  • þu -- personal pronoun; nominative singular of <þu> thou, you -- which (art)
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • himinam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <himins> heaven -- heaven
  • weihnai -- weak verb class 4; third person singular present subjunctive of <weihnan> to be hallowed -- hallowed be
  • namo -- weak noun, neuter; nominative singular of <namō> name -- name
  • þein -- possessive adjective; nominative singular neuter of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy

10 - qimai þiudinassus þeins.
        wairþai wilja þeins,
        swe in himina jah ana airþai.
  • qimai -- strong verb class 4; third person singular present subjunctive of <qiman> to come, arrive -- come
  • þiudinassus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <þiudinassus> kingdom -- kingdom
  • þeins -- possessive adjective; nominative singular masculine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • wairþai -- strong verb class 3; third person singular present subjunctive of <waírþan> to become, to happen -- be done
  • wilja -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <wilja> will -- will
  • þeins -- possessive adjective; nominative singular masculine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy
  • swe -- adverb; <swē> like, as, just as; so that; about -- as (it is)
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- in
  • himina -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <himins> heaven -- heaven
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- ...
  • ana -- preposition; <ana> in, on, upon, at, over; to, into; against -- in
  • airþai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <aírþa> earth -- earth

11 - hlaif unsarana þana sinteinan gif uns himma daga.
  • hlaif -- strong noun, masculine; accusative singular of <hláifs> bread, loaf -- bread
  • unsarana -- possessive adjective; accusative singular masculine of <unsar> our, ours -- our
  • þana -- demonstrative used as article; accusative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • sinteinan -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <sinteins> daily -- daily
  • gif -- strong verb class 5; second person singular imperative of <giban> to give, yield -- give
  • uns -- personal pronoun; dative plural of <ik> I -- us
  • himma -- demonstrative adjective; dative singular masculine of <*his> this -- this
  • daga -- strong noun, masculine; dative singular of <dags> day -- day

12 - jah aflet uns þatei skulans sijaima,
        swaswe jah weis afletam þaim skulam unsaraim.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • aflet -- strong verb class 7; second person singular imperative of <aflētan> to leave, to forgive -- forgive
  • uns -- personal pronoun; dative plural of <ik> I -- us
  • þatei -- conjunction; <þatei> that, because, if -- ...
  • skulans -- adjective used as substantive; nominative plural masculine of <skula> owing, in debt, guilty; (weak subst.) debtor -- (our debts)
  • sijaima -- strong verb class 5; athematic first person plural subjunctive of <wisan> to be -- ... # literally '(forgive us) if we be debtors'
  • swaswe -- adverb; <swaswē> as, just as; so as; so as to, so that -- as
  • jah -- adverb; <jah> and, also -- ...
  • weis -- personal pronoun; nominative plural of <ik> I -- we
  • afletam -- strong verb class 7; first person plural of <aflētan> to leave, to forgive -- forgive
  • þaim -- demonstrative used as article; dative plural masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • skulam -- adjective used as substantive; dative plural masculine of <skula> owing, in debt, guilty; (weak subst.) debtor -- debtors
  • unsaraim -- possessive adjective; dative plural masculine of <unsar> our, ours -- our

13 - jah ni briggais uns in fraistubnjai,
        ak lausei uns af þamma ubilin;
        unte þeina ist þiudangardi jah mahts
        jah wulþus in aiwins. amen.
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • briggais -- weak verb class 1; second person singular present subjunctive of <briggan> to bring -- lead
  • uns -- personal pronoun; accusative plural of <ik> I -- us
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- into
  • fraistubnjai -- strong noun, feminine; dative singular of <fráistubni> temptation -- temptation
  • ak -- conjunction; <ak> but, however -- but
  • lausei -- weak verb class 1; second person singular imperative of <láusjan> to free, to deliver -- deliver
  • uns -- personal pronoun; accusative plural of <ik> I -- us
  • af -- preposition; <af> from, of -- from
  • þamma -- demonstrative used as article; dative singular neuter of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- ...
  • ubilin -- adjective used as substantive; dative singular neuter of <ubils> bad, evil -- evil
  • unte -- conjunction; <untē> for, because, since, until -- for
  • þeina -- possessive adjective; nominative singular feminine of <þeins> thy, thine, your, yours -- thy # form indistinguishable from the genitive singular of the personal pronoun þu 'thou, you'
  • ist -- strong verb class 5; athematic third person singular of <wisan> to be -- is
  • þiudangardi -- strong noun, feminine; nominative singular of <þiudangardi> kingdom -- the kingdom
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • mahts -- strong noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mahts> power -- the power
  • jah -- conjunction; <jah> and, also -- and
  • wulþus -- strong noun, masculine; nominative singular of <wulþus> splendor, glory -- the glory
  • in -- preposition; <in> into, towards; on account of; in, among, by -- for
  • aiwins -- strong noun, masculine; accusative plural of <áiws> time, lifetime, age, eternity -- ever
  • amen -- interjection; <amēn> amen, truly -- amen

14 - unte jabai afletiþ mannam missadedins ize, afletiþ jah izwis atta izwar sa ufar himinam.
  • unte -- conjunction; <untē> for, because, since, until -- for
  • jabai -- conjunction; <jabái> if, even if, although -- if
  • afletiþ -- strong verb class 7; second person plural of <aflētan> to leave, to forgive -- ye forgive
  • mannam -- irregular noun, masculine; dative plural of <manna> man -- men
  • missadedins -- strong noun, feminine; accusative plural of <missadēþs> misdeed, sin -- trespasses
  • ize -- personal pronoun; genitive plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- their
  • afletiþ -- strong verb class 7; third person singular of <aflētan> to leave, to forgive -- will... forgive # note identity of form with 2nd person plural
  • jah -- adverb; <jah> and, also -- also
  • izwis -- personal pronoun; dative plural of <þu> thou, you -- you
  • atta -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <atta> father -- Father
  • izwar -- possessive adjective; nominative singular masculine of <izwar> your, yours -- your
  • sa -- demonstrative used as relative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <sa, so, þata> this, that -- (who is)
  • ufar -- preposition; <ufar> over, above, beyond -- ...
  • himinam -- strong noun, masculine; dative plural of <himins> heaven -- heavenly

15 - iþ jabai ni afletiþ mannam missadedins ize, ni þau atta izwar afletiþ missadedins izwaros.
  • -- conjunction; <iþ> but, however, if -- but
  • jabai -- conjunction; <jabái> if, even if, although -- if
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- not
  • afletiþ -- strong verb class 7; second person plural of <aflētan> to leave, to forgive -- ye forgive
  • mannam -- irregular noun, masculine; dative plural of <manna> man -- men
  • missadedins -- strong noun, feminine; accusative plural of <missadēþs> misdeed, sin -- trespasses
  • ize -- personal pronoun; genitive plural masculine of <is> he, she, it -- their
  • ni -- adverb; <ni> not -- n-
  • þau -- adverb; <þáu> then, in that case -- -either
  • atta -- weak noun, masculine; nominative singular of <atta> father -- Father
  • izwar -- possessive adjective; nominative singular masculine of <izwar> your, yours -- your
  • afletiþ -- strong verb class 7; third person singular of <aflētan> to leave, to forgive -- will... forgive # note identity of form with 2nd person plural
  • missadedins -- strong noun, feminine; accusative plural of <missadēþs> misdeed, sin -- trespasses
  • izwaros -- possessive adjective; accusative plural feminine of <izwar> your, yours -- your

Lesson Text

6:1 - Atsaiƕiþ armaion izwara ni taujan in andwairþja manne du saiƕan im; aiþþau laun ni habaiþ fram attin izwaramma þamma in himinam. 2 - þan nu taujais armaion, ni haurnjais faura þus, swaswe þai liutans taujand in gaqumþim jah in garunsim, ei hauhjaindau fram mannam; amen qiþa izwis: andnemun mizdon seina. 3 - iþ þuk taujandan armaion ni witi hleidumei þeina, ƕa taujiþ taihswo þeina, 4 - ei sijai so armahairtiþa þeina in fulhsnja, jah atta þeins saei saiƕiþ in fulhsnja, usgibiþ þus in bairhtein. 5 - jah þan bidjaiþ, ni sijaiþ swaswe þai liutans, unte frijond in gaqumþim jah waihstam plapjo standandans bidjan, ei gaumjaindau mannam. Amen, qiþa izwis þatei haband mizdon seina. 6 - iþ þu þan bidjais, gagg in heþjon þeina jah galukands haurdai þeinai bidei du attin þeinamma þamma in fulhsnja, jah atta þeins saei saiƕiþ in fulhsnja, usgibiþ þus in bairhtein. 7 - bidjandansuþ-þan ni filuwaurdjaiþ, swaswe þai þiudo; þugkeiþ im auk ei in filuwaurdein seinai andhausjaindau. 8 - ni galeikoþ nu þaim; wait auk atta izwar þizei jus þaurbuþ, faurþizei jus bidjaiþ ina. 9 - swa nu bidjaiþ jus:

        atta unsar þu in himinam,
        weihnai namo þein. 10 - qimai þiudinassus þeins.
        wairþai wilja þeins,
        swe in himina jah ana airþai. 11 - hlaif unsarana þana sinteinan gif uns himma daga. 12 - jah aflet uns þatei skulans sijaima,
        swaswe jah weis afletam þaim skulam unsaraim. 13 - jah ni briggais uns in fraistubnjai,
        ak lausei uns af þamma ubilin;
        unte þeina ist þiudangardi jah mahts
        jah wulþus in aiwins. amen. 14 - unte jabai afletiþ mannam missadedins ize, afletiþ jah izwis atta izwar sa ufar himinam. 15 - iþ jabai ni afletiþ mannam missadedins ize, ni þau atta izwar afletiþ missadedins izwaros.

Translation

From the King James version:
6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
    Our Father which art in heaven,
    Hallowed be thy name.
    10 Thy kingdom come.
    Thy will be done
    in earth, as it is in heaven.
    11 Give us this day our daily bread.
    12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we forgive our debtors.
    13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil:
    For thine is the kingdom, and the power,
    and the glory, for ever. Amen.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Grammar

21 Distributive and Negative Pronouns and Adjectives
21.1 Distributives

The interrogative ƕaþar forms a distributive by addition of the particle -uh: ƕaþaruh 'each (of two)'. Only the dative masculine occurs, both alone (ƕaþarammēh) and in composition (áinƕaþarammēh 'to each one (of two)').

The pronoun ƕas, ƕa, ƕō also forms a distributive by suffixing -uh: ƕazuh, ƕah, ƕōh 'each, every'. The declension is as follows.

ƕazuh 'each'   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   ƕazuh   ƕah   ƕōh
A   ƕanōh   ƕah   ƕōh
G   ƕizuh   ƕizuh   *ƕizōzuh
D   ƕammēh   ƕammēh   *ƕizáih
             
N Pl.            
A   ƕanzuh        
             

The only plural form is the masculine accusative plural ƕanzuh. Before -uh, an s changes to z. The u of the suffix -uh drops after a long vowel or stressed a.

The adjective ƕarjis likewise forms a distributive by affixing -uh: ƕarjizuh 'each, every'. The declension is as follows.

ƕarjizuh 'each'   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   ƕarjizuh   ƕarjatōh   *ƕarjōh
A   ƕarjanōh   *ƕarjatōh   ƕarjōh
G   ƕarjizuh   *ƕarjizuh   *ƕarjizōzuh
D   ƕarjammēh   ƕarjammēh   *ƕarjáih
             

This adjective occurs with the uninflected prefix áin- to form the compound áinƕarjizuh 'every one'. The attested forms are as follows.

áinƕarjizuh 'every one'   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   áinƕarjizuh   áinƕarjatōh    
A   áinƕarjanōh       áinƕarjōh
G   áinƕarjizuh        
D   áinƕarjammēh        
             

The stem ba- 'both' only survives in a few forms, naturally plural. The attested forms are as follows.

ba- 'both'   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Pl.   bái, bajōþs   ba    
A   bans   ba    
G            
D   báim, bajōþum        
             
21.2 Negatives

The particle -hun is suffixed to forms of ƕas 'who', manna 'man', and áins 'one' to form indefinite pronouns, ƕashun, mannahun, áinshun. These always occur with the negative particle ni in the meaning 'no one, nothing, no, none'. The compound form of ƕas occurs only in the nominative singular masculine: ni ƕashun 'no one'. The compound forms of manna occur only in the masculine singular. The compound forms of áins occur at least in part for all genders. The attested forms of these pronouns are as follows.

-hun Compounds   Masculine   Masculine   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
                     
N Sg.   ƕashun   mannahun   áinshun   áinhun   áinōhun
A       mannanhun   áinnōhun, áinōhun   áinhun   áinōhun
G       manshun   áinishun   *áinishun   *áináizōshun
D       mannhun   áinummēhun   *áinummēhun   *áináihun
                     

Note that the first element of each compound declines, while only the -hun remains invariant. The base áins- declines according to the strong declension of blinds (Section 13.1), except that is has -ē- or -ō- where blinds has a final -a. Note also the forms áin-(n)ō-hun (masc. acc.; compare blind-ana) and áin-ummē-hun (masc. dat.; compare blind-amma). For the particle -hun, compare Sanskrit -ca-ná (where -na is a negative particle) in kás caná 'any one'. Note also -que in Latin quisque 'whoever'.

The feminine noun waíhts 'thing, matter' occurs with the negative ni 'no, not', as does a neuter form waíht, to express 'nothing' (Greek oudén or mēdén).

22 Numerals
22.1 Cardinals and Ordinals

Below is a list of the attested cardinal and ordinal numerals in Gothic.

Number   Cardinal   Ordinal
         
1   áins 'one'   fruma (frumists) 'first'
2   twái   anþar
3   þrija (neut.)   þridja
4   fidwōr    
5   fimf   fimfta-
6   saíhs   saíhsta
7   sibun    
8   ahtáu   ahtuda
9   niun   niunda
10   taíhun   taíhunda
11   *áinlif (dat. áinlibim)    
12   twalif (dat. twalibim)    
13        
14   fidwōrtaíhun    
15   fimftaíhun   fimftataíhunda (dat. fimftataíhundin)
16        
17        
18        
19        
20   twái tigjus    
30   *þreis tigjus (acc. þrins tiguns)    
40   fidwōr tigjus    
50   fimf tigjus    
60   saíhs tigjus    
70   sibuntēhund    
80   ahtáutēhund    
90   niuntēhund (gen. niuntēhundis)    
100   taíhuntēhund, taíhuntaíhund    
200   twa hunda    
300   þrija hunda    
400        
500   fimf hunda    
600        
700        
800        
900   niun hunda    
1,000   þūsundi    
2,000   twōs þūsundjōs    
3,000   g (= þreis) þūsundjōs    
4,000   fidwōr þūsundjōs    
5,000   fimf þūsundjōs    
         
         
10,000   dat. taíhun þūsundjōm    
20,000   dat. twáim tigum þūsundjō    
         

The form tigjus which appears in the cardinal decades 20-60 is the nominative plural of a u-stem noun meaning 'group of ten, decade' (cf. Section 7.2). These numerals govern the genitive case. The hundreds 200, 300, 500, 900 combine the individual units and the neuter noun hund 'hundred', which declines like the neuter a-stem waúrd (Section 3.1). These numerals govern the genitive case. The feminine noun þūsundi 'thousand' declines like the jō-stem noun bandi (Section 3.2). The numerals denoting thousands govern the genitive case.

22.2 Numeral Declension

The cardinal numbers 1 through 3 are decline as adjectives, agreeing with the noun they modify in gender, number, and case. The numeral áins 'one' occurs in both singular and plural; in the plural it means 'only, alone'. It follows the strong a-stem adjective declension of blinds. The cardinals 2 and 3 naturally occur only in the plural. No forms of 3 occur in the nominative, though the expected masculine and feminine form is *þreis, and neuter *þrija mimicking the accusative. The declensions are given below.

áins 'one'   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   áins   áin, áinata   áina
A   áinana   áin, áinata   áina
G   áinis   áinis   áináizōs
D   áinamma   áinamma   áinái
             
N Pl.   áinái   áina   áinōs
A   áinans   áina   áinōs
G   áináizē   áináizē   áináizō
D   áináim   áináim   áináim
             
twái 'two'            
             
N Pl.   twái   twa   twōs
A   twans   twa   twōs
G   twaddjē   twaddjē    
D   twáim   twáim   twáim
             
*þreis 'three'            
             
N Pl.   *þreis   *þrija   *þreis
A   þrins   þrija   þrins
G   þrijē        
D   þrim   þrim    
             

The cardinal numbers 4-15 generally remain uninflected, though some inflected forms occur. The attested forms are genitive and dative plurals exhibiting i-stem declension. For example, dative forms are fidwōrim, taíhunim, áinlibim, twalibim, fimf taíhunim; genitives are niunē, twalibē.

The attested ordinals decline as adjectives. The ordinal fruma 'first' (cf. Section 17.2) declines as a weak adjective, with the feminine following the īn-stem declension of managei. The forms are as follows.

fruma 'first'   Masculine   Neuter   Feminine
             
N Sg.   fruma   frumō   frumei
A   fruman   frumō   frumein
G   frumins   frumins   frumeins
D   frumin   frumin   frumein
             
N Pl.   frumans   frumōna   frumeins
A   frumans   frumōna   frumeins
G   frumanē   frumanē   frumeinō
D   frumam   frumam   frumeim
             

The form frumists may be declined strong (following blinds) or weak, though when weak it does not take the pronominal ending -ata in the neuter singular nominative and accusative. The ordinal anþar 'second' only declines strong like blinds, and likewise does not take the ending -ata: N sg. masc. anþar, neut. anþar, fem. anþara. The other ordinals -- þridja 'third', fimfta 'fifth', saíhsta 'sixth', ahtuda 'eighth', niunda 'ninth', taíhunda 'tenth', fimftataíhunda 'fifteenth' -- all decline weak according to the pattern of blinda.

22.3 Distributive and Multiplicative Numerals

The distributive ba- signifies 'both', occurring in only a few forms. See Section 21.1 above.

The only distributive numeral is tweihnái 'two each'. Only the feminine accusative tweihnōs and dative tweihnáim are attested. Otherwise, distributive numerals are expressed by phrases involving a preposition or a distributive pronoun such as ƕazuh 'each, every' or ƕarjizuh 'each, every'. For example, bi twans aíþþáu máist þrins 'by twos or at most (by) threes'; ana ƕarjanōh fimftiguns 'by fifties in each' (more literally 'according to each fifty(es)'); insandida ins twans ƕanzuh 'he sent them forth two each', i.e. 'two and two' or 'by twos'.

The adjective -falþ, corresponding to Modern English '-fold' in e.g. 'manifold', is appended to cardinals to form multiplicative numerals. The following are attested: áinfalþs 'onefold, simple'; fidurfalþs 'fourfold'; taíhuntaíhundfalþs 'hundredfold'; managfalþs 'manifold'.

22.4 Numeral Adverbs

Numeral adverbs denoting frequency or the number of times of occurrence are composed of a numeral in conjunction with the dative singular or plural of the noun *sinþs 'a going, time'. These are áinamma sinþa 'once'; anþaramma sinþa 'a second time'; twáim sinþam 'twice'; þrim sinþam 'thrice'; fimf sinþam 'five times'; sibun sinþam 'seven times'.

23 The First Strong Conjugation

Strong verbs are characterized by vocalic alternation accompanying morphological change. This so-called ablaut pattern differs among verbs, but similarities are frequent enough that strong verbs fall into a small number of ablaut classes, the members of a given class sharing the same sequence of vocalic alternation. The particular sequence characterizing a given strong verb class is the result of a number of sound changes from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) to Proto-Germanic (PGmc), and from the latter to the respective daughter languages. The morpheme structure of the root in PIE uniquely characterizes the ablaut class to which a verb belongs; subsequent evolution into Germanic and the resulting daughter languages, however, has restructured this characterization. The following chart shows an example of the evolution of a verb from PIE to the PGmc class I strong conjugation, and then gives examples of class I strong verbs from Gothic.

Class I   Root Shape   Present   Past Sg.   Past Pl.   Past Part.   Meaning
                         
PIE   (K)Vi(C)   e   o   zero   zero    
        *ghréibō   *ghróiba   *ghribmé   *ghribón   'seize'
                         
PGmc   (K)V(C)     ai   i (EG i/e)   o (EG i/e)    
        *grīpu (EG -a)   *graip   *gripum   *gripan   'seize'
                         
Goth.       ei []   ái   i / aí [e]   i / aí [e]    
        greipa   gráip   gripum   gripans   'seize'
        -teiha   -táih   -taíhum   -taíhans   'tell'
                         

EG stands for East Germanic, the branch of Germanic to which Gothic belongs. K stands for any consonant sequence, C for any single consonant, V for any vowel. Items in parentheses may or may not be present. The resulting ablaut pattern characterizing the first strong conjugation in Gothic thus becomes the following.

Class   Present   Past Sg.   Past Pl.   Past Part.
Ia   ei []   ái   i   i
Ib   ei []   ái   aí [e]   aí [e]

The difference between Classes Ia and Ib lies solely in the vowel of the past plural and participle stems. The change is conditioned by the consonant following the vowel. Generally the vowel i occurs, but this is replaced by aí when followed by h. Take for example the past participles stigans vs. þaíhans.

The verb greipa 'seize', with prinicpal parts greipa -- gráip -- gripum -- gripans, serves to illustrate the forms of the first conjugation. The forms are as follows.

Class I   Active           Mediopassive    
                     
    Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative   Indicative   Subjunctive
Present                    
1 Sg.   greipa   greipáu       greipada   greipáidáu
2   greipis   greipáis   greip   greipaza   greipáizáu
3   greipiþ   greipái   greipadáu   greipada   greipáidáu
                     
1 Du.   greipōs   greipáiwa            
2   greipats   greipáits   greipats        
                     
1 Pl.   greipam   greipáima   greipam   greipanda   greipáindáu
2   greipiþ   greipáiþ   greipiþ   greipanda   greipáindáu
3   greipand   greipáina   greipandáu   greipanda   greipáindáu
                     
Past                    
1 Sg.   gráip   gripjáu            
2   gráipt   gripeis            
3   gráip   gripi            
                     
1 Du.   gripu   gripeiwa            
2   griputs   gripeits            
                     
1 Pl.   gripum   gripeima            
2   gripuþ   gripeiþ            
3   gripun   gripeina            
                     
Infinitive   greipan                
                     
Pres. Ptc.   greipands                
                     
Past Ptc.               gripans    
24 The Second Strong Conjugation

The second strong conjugation comprises verbs whose present system often shows the diphthong iu. The historical evolution of these verbs is shown in the chart below.

Class II   Root Shape   Present   Past Sg.   Past Pl.   Past Part.   Meaning
                         
PIE   (K)Vu(C)   e   o   zero   zero    
        *néudō   *nóuda   *nudmé   *nudón   'enjoy'
                         
PGmc   (K)V(C)   eu (EG iu)   au   u (EG u/o)   o (EG u/o)    
        *néutu (EG *níuta)   *naut   *nutum   *notan (EG *nutan)   'enjoy'
                         
Goth.       iu   áu   u / aú [o]   u / aú [o]    
        niuta   náut   nutum   nutans   'enjoy'
        tiuha   táuh   taúhum   taúhans   'lead'