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Old Frisian: Renewed interest in an ‘old’ Germanic language

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For a century, Old Frisian has largely remained in the shadows of its Germanic sister languages. While dictionaries, concordances, and grammars have been readily and widely available for learning and researching other Germanic languages such as Middle High German, Middle Low German and Middle English, whose timelines roughly correspond to that of Old Frisian, or their earlier counterparts, e.g., Old High German, Old Saxon and Old English, few materials have been available to scholars of Old Frisian. Moreover, as Siebunga (Boutkan & Siebunga 2005: vii) notes, “not even all Old Frisian manuscripts are available as text editions”1 making the production of comprehensive core research materials more difficult. Consequently, what materials there have been, e.g., von Richthofen (1840), Heuser (1903), Holthausen (1925), and Sj√∂lin (1969), have typically not taken into consideration the full range of extant Old Frisian texts, or have focused on specific major dialects, e.g. Boutkan (1996), Buma (1954, 1961). This has left a gap in the materials available providing an opportunity for Old Frisian scholars to make substantial contributions to the field by filling these gaps.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • International Journal for Historical Linguistics

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