Gegaderung

Gegaderung => Old English Language => Topic started by: Iohannes on February 11, 2011, 08:25:40 AM

Title: Translation of 'grammar'
Post by: Iohannes on February 11, 2011, 08:25:40 AM
Hi folks!


We all know that 'grammar', as a subject, is 'stæfcræft' in OE. But how would you translate it in the sense of 'grammar book'? I've thought of the following variants, but none sounds satisfactory to me:

stæfcræftboc
stæfcræftes boc
boc be stæfcræfte

I don't even know if there's already a corresponding OE term attested somewhere. Any ideas? Looking forward to your suggestions.


Bye for now.
Title: Re: Translation of 'grammar'
Post by: Deorca on February 14, 2011, 05:42:37 PM
Éalá leof!

The Thesaurus of Old English (http://libra.englang.arts.gla.ac.uk/oethesaurus/ (http://libra.englang.arts.gla.ac.uk/oethesaurus/)) only gives matches for plain old 'stæfcræft', though there are some interesting words in BT like 'stæfcyst' (excellence in letters or book-learning) so maybe a shorter version is possible?

stæfbóc

I'm in two minds about this, but it makes sense etymologically - the original Gk was 'grammatika tekhne' where 'grammatika' is the adjectival form of 'gramma' meaning 'letter'. So maybe that's enough, 'letter-book', though I suppose your suggestions would show a fuller meaning. Personally I can't see anything wrong with 'stæftcræftbóc' when you consider that Alfred saw fit to translate Pastoral Care as 'Hierdebóc'.

Jim
Title: Re: Translation of 'grammar'
Post by: Iohannes on February 15, 2011, 01:24:24 PM
Ic þe þancas do, freond min  :)! I like 'stæfboc' ; I find this term quite attractive. And I also like your deductions based on Ancient Greek. You're a DP man, but you deserve a MA in classical studies, leof  :D!

I'm in two minds between 'stæfboc'  and 'stæfcræftboc' . It will still take some more reflection  ;).
Title: Re: Translation of 'grammar'
Post by: Linden on February 15, 2011, 05:01:27 PM
..........
I'm in two minds between 'stæfboc'  and 'stæfcræftboc' . It will still take some more reflection  ;).

Logically speaking, I prefer 'stæfcræftboc' because of an analogy with 'rim/gerim' and 'gerimcræft'.

A 'gerimboc' is a 'numeral or calendar' - that is a book/writing using numbers rather than about numbers.  To make it clear that it was a book about arithmetic and numbers one would presumably have had to say 'gerimcræftboc'. 

Similarly one could interpret a 'stæfboc' as any book/writing using letters (perhaps a book showing the different forms of letters?) whereas a 'stæfcræftboc' would make it quite clear that the book was about grammar.

Having said all that, language is not necessarily logical.

Title: Re: Translation of 'grammar'
Post by: Deorca on February 16, 2011, 09:20:07 AM
Lá leof, þú dést mé lícettunge swá is þé gewuna!  ;)

Yep, the logic of stæfcræftbóc is more obvious whereas the conciseness of stæfbóc perhaps is more attractive. One option not mentioned yet is using an adjectival form - stæflicu bóc? Maybe not likely, and unattested as far as I'm aware, but worth a mention, I thought.
Title: Re: Translation of 'grammar'
Post by: Iohannes on February 16, 2011, 10:32:08 AM
Ic þancie heortlice minum freondum, Lindene and þæm Deorcan Riddan!

In fact stæfcræftboc sounds more transparent and logical, but I do find the conciseness of stæftboc more attactive. The reason for this may be my supposition that OE might have made up noun compounds similarly as Modern German. Although Modern German combines words into noun componds quite actively and freely, this process often seems to be subject to a sort of 'economy principle'.  As a consequence of this, the less important components of the noun compound are cut out so as not to make the word too complex and heavy - provided, of course, that the meaning remains clear. There are thousands of examples, but now I can only think of these ones:

Lorry/truck= r Lastkraftwagen (-) (also LKW)
                    but also r Lastwagen (-)
Tilted lorry/truck= r Planen(Lastkraft)wagen (-)

etc (there are lots of better examples, but I'm afraid none come to my mind now).


I still can't make up my mind, but maybe... with (some more) little help from my friends... ;)
Title: Re: Translation of 'grammar'
Post by: Iohannes on February 16, 2011, 10:41:05 AM
I'm not totally convinced about stæflicu boc, instead.
Title: Re: Translation of 'grammar'
Post by: Linden on February 16, 2011, 12:32:29 PM
......In fact stæfcræftboc sounds more transparent and logical, but I do find the conciseness of stæftboc more attactive. ....................
I still can't make up my mind, but maybe... with (some more) little help from my friends... ;)

You could go in the opposite direction and make the expression longer (but more 'balanced' perhaps) instead.

B&T Addendum
hand-boc. .............
II. a hand-book, manual :--
"We gesetton on þissum enchiridion, þæt ys mannalis on lyden and handboc on englisc, manega þing ymbe gerimcræft"  Angl. viii. 321, 34. 

Thus 'stæfcræftes handboc'????
Title: Re: Translation of 'grammar'
Post by: Iohannes on February 16, 2011, 01:47:39 PM
Quote
Thus 'stæfcræftes handboc'?


Linden, your suggestion is very interesting. I'll think it over.