A vowel is one of the two principal classes of speech sound, the other being a consonant. Vowels vary in quality, in loudness and in quantity, they are voiced, are involved in prosodic variation such as tone and stress. Vowel sounds are produced with an open vocal tract; the word vowel comes from the Latin word vocalis, meaning "vocal". In English, the word vowel is used to refer both to vowel sounds and to the written symbols that represent them. There are two complementary definitions of one phonetic and the other phonological. In the phonetic definition, a vowel is a sound, such as the English "ah" or "oh", produced with an open vocal tract. There is no significant build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis; this contrasts with consonants, such as the English "sh", which have a constriction or closure at some point along the vocal tract. In the phonological definition, a vowel is defined as syllabic, the sound that forms the peak of a syllable. A phonetically equivalent but non-syllabic sound is a semivowel.
In oral languages, phonetic vowels form the peak of many or all syllables, whereas consonants form the onset and coda. Some languages allow other sounds to form the nucleus of a syllable, such as the syllabic l in the English word table or the syllabic r in the Serbo-Croatian word vrt "garden"; the phonetic definition of "vowel" does not always match the phonological definition. The approximants and illustrate this: both are without much of a constriction in the vocal tract, but they occur at the onset of syllables which suggests that phonologically they are consonants. A similar debate arises over whether a word like bird in a rhotic dialect has an r-colored vowel /ɝ/ or a syllabic consonant /ɹ̩/; the American linguist Kenneth Pike suggested the terms "vocoid" for a phonetic vowel and "vowel" for a phonological vowel, so using this terminology, are classified as vocoids but not vowels. However and Emmory demonstrated from a range of languages that semivowels are produced with a narrower constriction of the vocal tract than vowels, so may be considered consonants on that basis.
Nonetheless, the phonetic and phonemic definitions would still conflict for the syllabic /l/ in table, or the syllabic nasals in button and rhythm. The traditional view of vowel production, reflected for example in the terminology and presentation of the International Phonetic Alphabet, is one of articulatory features that determine a vowel's quality as distinguishing it from other vowels. Daniel Jones developed the cardinal vowel system to describe vowels in terms of the features of tongue height, tongue backness and roundedness; these three parameters are indicated in the schematic quadrilateral IPA vowel diagram on the right. There are additional features of vowel quality, such as the velum position, type of vocal fold vibration, tongue root position; this conception of vowel articulation has been known to be inaccurate since 1928. Peter Ladefoged has said that "early phoneticians... thought they were describing the highest point of the tongue, but they were not. They were describing formant frequencies."
The IPA Handbook concedes that "the vowel quadrilateral must be regarded as an abstraction and not a direct mapping of tongue position."Nonetheless, the concept that vowel qualities are determined by tongue position and lip rounding continues to be used in pedagogy, as it provides an intuitive explanation of how vowels are distinguished. Vowel height is named for the vertical position of the tongue relative to either the roof of the mouth or the aperture of the jaw. However, it refers to the first formant, abbreviated F1, associated with the height of the tongue. In close vowels known as high vowels, such as and, the first formant is consistent with the tongue being positioned close to the palate, high in the mouth, whereas in open vowels known as low vowels, such as, F1 is consistent with the jaw being open and the tongue being positioned low in the mouth. Height is defined by the inverse of the F1 value: The higher the frequency of the first formant, the lower the vowel; the International Phonetic Alphabet defines seven degrees of vowel height, but no language is known to distinguish all of them without distinguishing another attribute: close near-close close-mid mid open-mid near-open open The letters are used for either close-mid or true-mid vowels.
However, if more precision is required, true-mid vowels may be written with a lowering diacritic. The Kensiu language, spoken in Malaysia and Thailand, is unusual in that it contrasts true-mid with close-mid and open-mid vowels, without any difference in other parameters like backness or roundness. Although English contrasts six heights in its vowels, they are interdependent with differences in backness, many are parts of diphthongs, it appears that some varieties of German have five vowel heights that contrast independently of length or other parameters. The Bavarian dialect of Amstetten h
Christiern Pedersen was a Danish canon, humanist scholar, writer and publisher. Christiern Pedersen was born in Denmark, he was studied from 1496 at the University of Greifswald. He from 1505 was a canon at Lund Cathedral, he studied at the University of Paris from 1508 to 1515, where in 1511 he received a Master of Arts degree. During his stay in Paris he developed an interest in writing and publishing. At that time Paris was the undisputed capital of the still-new printing press. While considering writing a new Latin-Danish lexicon, he wrote a replacement for the 300-year-old Latin grammar, written in 1199 by Alexander of Villedieu, still used as standard in the schools of Denmark at that time. In 1510 he published his new Latin-Danish lexicon, called Vocabularium ad usum Dacorum, he wanted to re-publish the huge 300-year-old chronicle of Denmark, Gesta Danorum, written by Saxo Grammaticus, but he did not know the location of the original manuscript. At that time the most knowledge of this work came from a summary called Compendium Saxonis located in Chronica Jutensis, dated about 1342.
Undoubtedly this is how Pedersen knew of it. Pedersen began to send letters to friends all over Denmark, trying to locate the original Saxo work, but they either did not have it or did not want to release it to him, he travelled to Denmark to search through libraries and monasteries, but still could not find one. Unexpectedly a letter arrived from Archbishop Birger Gunnersen of Lund stating that he had found a copy in his district and it would be made available to Pedersen. With the help of Jodocus Badius Ascensius, whose relationship with Pedersen had now grown to more than just a professional one, they published this new work-over of Gesta Danorum, titled Danorum Regum heroumque Historiae, 15 May 1514, in Paris; this is today the oldest known complete copy of Saxo’s Gesta Danorum. In 1516, Pedersen worked for Archbishop Birger Gunnersen. In 1522, he became Kanzler under Johann Wess. However, during the reign of the next Archbishop, Aage Sparre, Pedersen was accused of treason, among other things, resulting in Pedersen leaving for Germany.
As he was loyal to King Christian II, he followed him in exile to the Netherlands in 1526, after meeting him in Berlin, where he spent the next five years in the then-Dutch city of Lier. In 1529, he became Lutheran. Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Low Countries asked Christian II to dismiss him, but the exiled king ignored her request, he did not return to Denmark before 1532, got permission to settle in Malmø, where he opened a printing press shop. His continued loyalty towards King Christian II gained him no friends among the nobility, it did not get better when he participated in the Civil War on the losers' side, he married Else Jacobsdatter in 1534 in Malmø, who died during childbirth in 1539. Pedersen sold his printing press shop and moved to Copenhagen in 1541. During these years he translated the Bible to Danish; this was to become his life's work, which sometimes earns him the title "the father of Danish literature". Finished in 1543, but first published in 1550, this work, was not only a masterpiece of translation, but technically excellent, with good-quality graphics and woodcuts.
This is the first complete Danish Bible translation. 3000 copies were printed by Ludwig Dietz. Pedersen was ill during the last 10 years of his life, but he continued to work until his death in 1554, while he was living with relatives in Helsinge. Pedersen's notable works include: 1510, Vocabularium ad usum Dacorum 1514, Danorum Regum heroumque Historiae 1515, "Jærtegnspostil" 1529, "Det Ny Testamente" 1533, "Nøttelig Legebog faar Fattige och Rige Unge och Gamle" 1534, "Karl Magnus Krønike" 1534, "Kong Holger Danskes Krønike" 1550, "Biblia - Christian d.3.s Bibel" Additionally, a revised edition of the Danish "Rimkrøniken" and a Danish translation of Saxo’s "Gesta Danorum" were produced. It was never published and was lost in the library fire at Copenhagen University in 1728, he has written many other smaller works. Apoteker Sibbernsens Saxobog, C. A. Reitzels Forlag, Copenhagen, 1927 Anders Sørensen Vedel, Den Danske Krønicke Saxo-oversættelse 1575 udgivet i facsimile af Det danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab, G. E.
C Gad, Copenhagen, 1967 Helle Stangerup, Saxo Hans værk – Hans verden, Høst & Søn forlag 2004, ISBN 87-14-29949-6 "Pedersen, Christiern". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. Works by or about Christiern Pedersen at Internet Archive
Old Swedish is the name for two distinct stages of the Swedish language that were spoken in the Middle Ages: Early Old Swedish, spoken from around 1225 until 1375, Late Old Swedish, spoken from 1375 until 1526. Old Swedish developed from the eastern dialect of Old Norse; the earliest forms of the Swedish and Danish languages, spoken between the years 800 and 1100, were dialects of Old East Norse and are referred to as Runic Swedish and Runic Danish because at the time all texts were written in the runic alphabet. The differences were only minute and the dialects began to diverge around the 12th century, becoming Old Swedish and Old Danish in the 13th century, it is not known when Old Gutnish and Elfdalian began to diverge from Swedish, but Old Gutnish diverged long before Old Danish did. Early Old Swedish was markedly different from modern Swedish in that it had a more complex case structure and had not yet experienced a reduction of the gender system and thus had three genders. Nouns, adjectives and certain numerals were inflected in four cases: nominative, genitive and accusative.
The writing of the Westrogothic law marked the beginning of Early Old Swedish, which had developed from Old East Norse. It was the first Swedish language document written in the Latin alphabet, its oldest fragments have been dated to around the year 1225. Old Swedish was stable during this period; the phonological and grammatical systems inherited from Old Norse were well preserved and did not experience any major changes. Most of the texts from the Early Old Swedish period were written in Latin, as it was the language of knowledge and the Church. However, Old Swedish was used as a literary language as well, laws were written in it. Much of the knowledge of Old Swedish comes from these law texts. In addition to laws, some religious and poetic texts were written in Old Swedish; the Catholic Church and its various monastic orders introduced many new Greek and Latin loanwords into Old Swedish. Latin had an influence on the written language; the Middle Low German language influenced Old Swedish due to the economic and political power of the Hanseatic League during the 13th and 14th centuries.
Many German speakers worked in trade and administration. Accordingly, loanwords relating to warfare, trade and bureaucracy entered the Swedish language directly from Low German, along with some grammatical suffixes and conjunctions; the prefixes be-, ge- and för- that can be found in the beginning of modern Swedish words came from the Low German be-, ge- and vor-. Some words were replaced with new ones: the native word for window, vindøgha, was replaced with fönster, eldhus was replaced with kök and gælda with betala; some of these words still exist in Modern Swedish but are considered archaic or dialectal. Many words related to seafaring were borrowed from Dutch; the influence of Low German was so strong that the inflectional system of Old Swedish was broken down. In contrast to the stable Early Old Swedish, Late Old Swedish experienced many changes, including a simplification of the grammatical system and a vowel shift, so that in the 16th century the language resembled modern Swedish more than before.
The printing of the New Testament in Swedish in 1526 marked the starting point for modern Swedish. In this period Old Swedish had taken in a large amount of new vocabulary from Latin, Low German and Dutch; when the country became part of the Kalmar Union in 1397, many Danish scribes brought Danicisms into the written language. Old Swedish used some letters that are no longer found in modern Swedish: ⟨æ⟩ and ⟨ø⟩ were used for modern ⟨ä⟩ and ⟨ö⟩ and ⟨þ⟩ could stand for both /ð/ and /θ/. In the latter part of the 14th century ⟨þ⟩ was replaced with ⟨th⟩ and ⟨dh⟩; the grapheme ⟨i⟩ could stand for both the phonemes /i/ and /j/. The graphemes ⟨u⟩, ⟨v⟩, ⟨w⟩ were used interchangeably with the phonemes /v/ and /u/, ⟨w⟩ could sometimes stand for the consonant-vowel combinations /vu/ and /uv/: dwa. Certain abbreviations were used in writing, such as ⟨mꝫ⟩ for meþ; the letter combinations ⟨aa⟩ and ⟨oe⟩ were written so that one of the letters stood above the other as a smaller letter, which led to the development of the modern letters ⟨å⟩, ⟨ä⟩, ⟨ö⟩.
The root syllable length in Old Swedish could be long or overlong. During the Late Old Swedish period the short root syllables were lengthened and the overlong root syllables were shortened, so modern Swedish only has the combinations V:C and VC:. Unlike in modern Swedish, a short vowel in Old Swedish did not entail a long consonant. There were eight vowels in Early Old Swedish: /iː, yː, uː, oː, eː, aː, øː, ɛː/. A vowel shift occurred during the Late Old Swedish period, which had the following effects: became became became The consonant sounds were the same as in modern Swedish, with the notable exceptions of /ð/ and /θ/, which do not exist in modern Swedish; the Modern Swedish tje-sound and sje-sound were and, respectively. A similar change can be seen from Old Spanish and to Modern Spanish
The medieval runes, or the futhork, was a Scandinavian 27 letter runic alphabet that evolved from the Younger Futhark after the introduction of dotted runes at the end of the Viking Age and it was formed in the early 13th century. Due to the expansion, each rune corresponded to only one phoneme, whereas the runes in the preceding Younger Futhark could correspond to several; the medieval runes were in use throughout Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, provided the basis for the appearance of runology in the 16th century. Towards the end of the 11th century, the runic alphabet met competition from the introduced Latin alphabet, but instead of being replaced, the runes continued to be used for writing in the native Old Norse language; the Latin alphabet, on the other hand, was used by the clergy for writing in Latin, but Latin prayers could be written down with runes. Whereas the Latin letters were written with quill and ink on expensive parchment, the runes were carved with sharp objects on prepared wood staffs that were cheaper.
Although, it may at first appear that the church did not provide a congenial environment for tradition of writing in medieval runes, there are many known church objects that were engraved with runes, such as reliquaries, baptismal fonts, iron work on church doors, church porches and church walls. In fact, one of the last runestones was raised in memory of the archbishop Absalon. Most of the runes in the medieval runic alphabet can be traced back to forms in the Younger Futhark as the runemasters preferred to use, or modify, old runes for new phonemes rather than invent new runes. At the end of the 10th century, or the early 11th century, three dotted runes were added in order to represent the phonemes in a more exact manner. Rather than create new runes for the /e/, /ɡ/ and /y/ phonemes, dots were added to the i, k and u runes. At the mid-11th century, the ą and the R runes had become obsolete, instead they were reused for other phonemes; when the distinction between /r/ and /ɽ/ was lost, the R rune was used for /y/ instead, when the nasal /ɑ̃/ changed into /o/, this became the new phoneme for the ą rune.
Towards the end of the 11th century and in the early 12th century, new d and p runes were created through the addition of dots to the t and b runes. When the medieval runic alphabet was developed in the early 13th century, it mixed short-twig and long-branch runes in a novel manner; the short-twig a rune represented /a/, while the long-branch one represented /æ/. The short-twig ą rune represented /o/, whereas the long-branch form represented /ø/; as the two alphabets were used alongside each other, there was a mutual influence. The Latin alphabet early borrowed the þ rune to represent the /θ/ and /ð/ phonemes, but in Denmark it was used. In the 15th century and Swedes stopped using the þ letter, but the Icelanders still retain it in their Latin alphabet. Due to the Latin alphabet the m and the l runes changed places. In addition, Scandinavians began to double spell runes for consonants, influenced by this use in the Latin alphabet. In the oldest Scandinavian manuscripts that were written with Latin letters, the m rune was used as a conceptual rune meaning "man".
This suggests that the medieval Scandinavian scribes had a widespread familiarity with the names and the meanings of the individual runes. In the oldest preserved manuscript of the Poetic Edda from 1270, and, written with the Latin alphabet, the m is used as a conceptual rune meaning "man" and in Hávamál it appears 43 times. In the early 13th century, the runes began to be threatened by the Latin letters as the medieval Scandinavian laws were written; until the laws had been memorized and recited by the lawspeakers. Still, when the runes began to experience competition, they went through a renaissance. A thorough reformation of the runes appeared and the medieval runes reached their most complete form; this may be because the laws were written down, the oldest manuscript with a Scandinavian law, the Codex Runicus, was written in runes. The Latin letters were introduced during the 13th century, but farmers and traders continued to write with runes to communicate or to mark goods, it appears that in many parts of Sweden, people considered Latin letters to be a foreign practice throughout the Middle Ages.
Still in the 16th century, the runes were engraved on official memorials or as secret writing in diaries. In the mid-16th century, the parson of the parish of Runsten on Öland wrote a sign on the chancel-wall of the church that said "The pastor of the parish should know how to read runes and write them", it is that the text represented the general opinion of the parishioners. Since the runes were still known and used in the 16th century, when the first runologists began to do scholarly work on the runes, the runic tradition never died out. Many manuscripts written in Iceland through the 16th to 19th centuries featured Medieval runes, Rune Poems and secret rune sets; when Linnaeus visited the province Dalarna in 1734, he noted the common use of runes, this province has been called "the last stronghold of the Germanic script". In Dalarna as in the rest of Sweden, the medieval tradition of using runic calendars was universal until the 19th century. A notable case of a runic calendar is the calendar from Gammalsvenskby in Ukraine.
It was made on Dagö in 1766 before the Swedish settlement was deported on a forced march to the steppes of Ukraine. During 134 years, the people of Gammalsvenskby in Ukraine used it to calculate the passage of time, until 1900 when a member of the community brought it to Stockholm; the prominent Swedish runo
The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews and Rastafarians. What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; the Hebrew Bible overlaps with the Christian Old Testament. The Christian New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians, believed to be Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century Koine Greek. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon about the Apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect. Attitudes towards the Bible differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred tradition, while Protestant churches, including Evangelical Anglicans, focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone.
This concept arose during the Protestant Reformation, many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching. The Bible has been a massive influence on literature and history in the Western World, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history and culture than any book written, its influence on world history is unparalleled, shows no signs of abating." With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, it is considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells 100 million copies annually; the English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, translit. Ta biblia "the books". Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book", while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural, it came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun in medieval Latin, so the word was loaned as a singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe.
Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια tà biblía tà ágia, "the holy books". The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book", it is the diminutive of βύβλος byblos, "Egyptian papyrus" so called from the name of the Phoenician sea port Byblos from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. The Greek ta biblia was "an expression. Christian use of the term can be traced to c. 223 CE. The biblical scholar F. F. Bruce notes that Chrysostom appears to be the first writer to use the Greek phrase ta biblia to describe both the Old and New Testaments together. By the 2nd century BCE, Jewish groups began calling the books of the Bible the "scriptures" and they referred to them as "holy", or in Hebrew כִּתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ, Christians now call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible "The Holy Bible" or "the Holy Scriptures"; the Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and it was divided into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne and is now cited by book and verse.
The division of the Hebrew Bible into verses is based on the sof passuk cantillation mark used by the 10th-century Masoretes to record the verse divisions used in earlier oral traditions. The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, it is known as the Codex Vaticanus; the oldest copy of the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic dates from the 10th century CE. The oldest copy of a complete Latin Bible is the Codex Amiatinus. Professor John K. Riches, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, says that "the biblical texts themselves are the result of a creative dialogue between ancient traditions and different communities through the ages", "the biblical texts were produced over a period in which the living conditions of the writers – political, cultural and ecological – varied enormously". Timothy H. Lim, a professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh, says that the Old Testament is "a collection of authoritative texts of divine origin that went through a human process of writing and editing."
He states that it is not a magical book, nor was it written by God and passed to mankind. Parallel to the solidification of the Hebrew canon, only the Torah first and the Tanakh began to be translated into Greek and expanded, now referred to as the Septuagint or the Greek Old Testament. In Christian Bibles, the New Testament Gospels were derived from oral traditions in the second half of the first century CE. Riches says that: Scholars have attempted to reconstruct something of the history of the oral traditions behind the Gospels, but the results have not been too encouraging; the period of transmission is short: less than 40 years passed between the death of Jesus and the writing of Mark's Gospel. This means that there was little time for oral trad
Sagas of Icelanders
Not to be confused with The saga of Icelanders, based on historical events from the 13th century. The Sagas of Icelanders known as family sagas, are prose narratives based on historical events that took place in Iceland in the 9th, 10th, early 11th centuries, during the so-called Saga Age, they are the best-known specimens of Icelandic literature. They are focused on history genealogical and family history, they reflect the struggle and conflict that arose within the societies of the early generations of Icelandic settlers. Many of these Icelandic sagas were recorded in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The'authors', or rather recorders of these sagas are unknown. One saga, Egils saga, is believed by some scholars to have been written by Snorri Sturluson, a descendant of the saga's hero, but this remains uncertain; the standard modern edition of Icelandic sagas is known as Íslenzk fornrit. Among the several literary reviews of the sagas is that by Sigurður Nordal's Sagalitteraturen, which divides the sagas into five chronological groups distinguished by the state of literary development: 1200 to 1230 – Sagas that deal with skalds 1230 to 1280 – Family sagas 1280 to 1300 – Works that focus more on style and storytelling than just writing down history Early 14th century – Historical tradition 14th century – Fiction Atla saga Ótryggssonar Bandamanna saga – Bandamanna saga Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss Bjarnar saga Hítdœlakappa Droplaugarsona saga Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar – Egil's Saga Eiríks saga rauða – Saga of Erik the Red Eyrbyggja saga Færeyinga saga Finnboga saga ramma Fljótsdæla saga Flóamanna saga Fóstbrœðra saga Gísla saga Súrssonar, of an outlaw poet – Gísla saga Grettis saga - Saga of Grettir the Strong Grœnlendinga saga – Greenland saga Gull-Þóris saga Gunnars saga Keldugnúpsfífls Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu Hallfreðar saga Harðar saga ok Hólmverja Hávarðar saga Ísfirðings – The saga of Hávarður of Ísafjörður Heiðarvíga saga Hrafnkels saga Hrana saga hrings Hænsna-Þóris saga Kjalnesinga saga Kormáks saga Króka-Refs saga Laurentius Saga Laxdæla saga Ljósvetninga saga Njáls saga Reykdœla saga ok Víga-Skútu Skáld-Helga saga Svarfdœla saga Valla-Ljóts saga Vatnsdœla saga Víga-Glúms saga Víglundar saga Vápnfirðinga saga Þorsteins saga hvíta Þorsteins saga Síðu-Hallssonar Þórðar saga hreðu Ölkofra saga The Saga of Gaukur á Stöng is believed to have existed but is now considered lost.
The saga – set in the anthology of sagas known as Möðruvallabók between Njáls saga and Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar – tells of a man named Gaukur Trandilsson who lived in the 10th century. Gaukur is mentioned in chapter 26 of Njáls saga. Icelandic professor and poet Jón Helgason managed to decipher a line that read "Let Trandilsson's story be written here. I am told that Grim knows it." However, the story was never put to paper. The Grim mentioned in the manuscript is believed to have been Grímur Þorsteinsson and governor. Gaukur is reported to have been an exceptionally gentle man, he was the foster brother of Ásgrimur. However, it is said that he had a falling out with his foster brother, who killed him. Gaukur must have been a well-known figure in Icelandic folklore as he is mentioned in not only Njáls Saga but the Íslendigadrápa, a poem about the Icelandic heroes, he is mentioned on a tomb in the Orkney Islands, where a runic inscription translates to "These runes were carved by the man, the most knowledgeable of runes in the west of the sea, using the axe that belonged to Gaukur Trandilsson in the south of the land".
The south of the land refers to Iceland. Icelanders produced a high volume of literature relative to the size of the population. Historians have proposed various theories for the high volume of saga writing: The unique nature of the political system of the Icelandic Commonwealth created incentives for aristocrats to produce literature; because new principalities lacked internal cohesion, a leader produced Sagas "to create or enhance amongst his subjects or followers a feeling of solidarity and common identity by emphasizing their common history and legends". Leaders from old and established principalities did not produce any Sagas, as they were cohesive political units; the production of literature was a way for chieftains to create and maintain social differentiation between them and the rest of the population. Saga-writing was motivated by the desire of the Icelandic aristocracy to maintain or reconnect links with the Nordic countries by tracing the ancestry of Icelandic aristocrats to well-known kings and heroes to which the contemporary Nordic kings could trace their origins.
It has been proposed that the Icelandic settlers were so prolific at writing in order to capture their settler history. Historian Gunnar Karlsson does not find that explanation reasonable though, given that other settler communities have not been as prolific as the early Icelanders were. Early nationalist historians emphasized how the ethnic characteristics of the Icelanders were conducive to a literary culture, but these types of explanations have fallen out of favor with academics in modern times, it has been argued that a combination of available parchment and long winters encouraged Icelanders to take up writing. Historian Gunnar Karlsson has proposed the theory that Iceland's peripheral location put it out of reach of the continental kings of Europe and that those kings could therefore not ban subversive forms of literature
The Elder Futhark, Elder Fuþark, Older Futhark, Old Futhark or Germanic Futhark is the oldest form of the runic alphabets. It was a writing system used by Germanic tribes for Northwest Germanic dialects in the Migration Period, the dates of which are debated among scholars. Runic inscriptions are found on artifacts, including jewelry, tools, and, runestones, from the 2nd to the 8th centuries. In Scandinavia, beginning from the late 8th century, the script was simplified to the Younger Futhark, the Anglo-Saxons and Frisians extended Elder Futhark, which became the Anglo-Saxon futhorc. Anglo-Saxon futhorc and the Younger Futharks remained in use during the Early and the High Middle Ages respectively. Knowledge of how to read the Elder Futhark was forgotten until 1865, when it was deciphered by Norwegian scholar Sophus Bugge; the Elder Futhark has 24 runes arranged in three groups of eight runes. In the following table, each rune is given with its common transliteration: þ corresponds to the Greek letter.
Ï is transliterated as æ and may have been either a diphthong or a vowel close to the or. Z was Proto-Germanic, evolved into Proto-Norse /r₂/ and is transliterated as ʀ; the remaining transliterations correspond to the IPA symbol of their approximate value. The earliest known sequential listing of the alphabet dates to 400 AD and is found on the Kylver Stone in Gotland: Two instances of another early inscription were found on the two Vadstena and Mariedamm bracteates, showing the division in three ætts, with the positions of ï, p and o, d inverted compared to the Kylver stone: f u þ a r k g w. H n i j ï p... T b e m l d The Elder Futhark runes are believed to originate in the Old Italic scripts: either a North Italic variant, or the Latin alphabet itself. Derivation from the Greek alphabet via Gothic contact to Byzantine Greek culture was a popular theory in the 19th century, but has been ruled out since the dating of the Vimose inscriptions to the 2nd century. Conversely, the Greek-derived 4th century Gothic alphabet does have two letters derived from runes, and.
The angular shapes of the runes an adaptation to the incision in wood or metal, are not a Germanic innovation, but a property, shared with other early alphabets, including the Old Italic ones. The 1st century BC Negau helmet inscription features a Germanic name, Harigastiz, in a North Etruscan alphabet, may be a testimony of the earliest contact of Germanic speakers with alphabetic writing; the Meldorf inscription of 50 may qualify as "proto-runic" use of the Latin alphabet by Germanic speakers. The Raetic "alphabet of Bolzano" in particular seems to fit the letter shapes well; the spearhead of Kovel, dated to 200 AD, sometimes advanced as evidence of a peculiar Gothic variant of the runic alphabet, bears an inscription tilarids that may in fact be in an Old Italic rather than a runic alphabet, running right to left with a T and a D closer to the Latin or Etruscan than to the Bolzano or runic alphabets. An "eclectic" approach can yield the best results for the explanation of the origin of the runes: most shapes of the letters can be accounted for when deriving them from several distinct North Italic writing systems: the p rune has a parallel in the Camunic alphabet, while it has been argued that d derives from the shape of the letter san in Lepontic where it seems to represent the sound /d/.
The g, a, f, i, t, m and l runes show no variation, are accepted as identical to the Old Italic or Latin letters X, A, F, I, T, M and L, respectively. There is wide agreement that the u, r, k, h, s, b and o runes correspond directly to V, R, C, H, S, B and O; the runes of uncertain derivation may either be original innovations, or adoptions of otherwise unneeded Latin letters. Odenstedt 1990, p. 163 suggests that all 22 Latin letters of the classical Latin alphabet were adopted, with two runes left over as original Germanic innovations, but there are conflicting scholarly opinions regarding the e, n, þ, w, ï and z, ŋ and d runes. Of the 24 runes in the classical futhark row attested from 400, ï, p and ŋ are unattested in the earliest inscriptions of ca. 175 to 400, while e in this early period takes a Π-shape, its M-shape gaining prevalence only from the 5th century. The s rune may have either three or four strokes, only from the 5th century does the variant with three strokes become prevalent.
Note that the "mature" runes of the 6th to 8th centuries tend to have only three directions of strokes, the vertical and two diagonal directions. Early inscriptions show horizontal strokes: these appear in the case of e, but in t, l, ŋ and h; the general agreement dates the creation of the first runic alphabet to the 1st century. Early estimates include the 1st century BC, late estimates push the date into the 2nd century; the question is one of estimating the "findless" period separating the script's creation from the Vimose finds of ca