Jēran

Last updated
Name Proto-Germanic Old English Old Norse
*Jēra-GērĪorÁr
"year, harvest""year, harvest""eel""harvest, plenty"
Shape Elder Futhark Futhorc Younger Futhark
Runic letter jeran.svg Runic letter ior.svg Runic letter ger.svg Runic letter ior.svg Runic letter ar.svg Short-twig a rune.png
Unicode
U+16C3
U+16E1
U+16C5
U+16C6
Transliteration jjioa
Transcriptionjj ioa
IPA [j][j][jo][a]
Position in
rune-row
121228 or 2910

Jera (also Jeran, Jeraz) is the conventional name of the j-rune of the Elder Futhark, from a reconstructed Common Germanic stem *jēra- [1] meaning "harvest, (good) year".

Contents

The corresponding letter of the Gothic alphabet is Gothic 𐌾, named 𐌾𐌴𐍂 (jēr), also expressing /j/. The Elder Futhark rune gives rise to the Anglo-Frisian runes /j/, named gēr/jeːr/, and /io/, named ior, and to the Younger Futhark ár rune , which stood for /a/ as the /j/ phoneme had disappeared in Old Norse.

Note that also can be a variation of dotted Isaz used for /e/; e.g. in Dalecarlian runes.

Name

The reconstructed Common Germanic name *jēran is the origin of English year (Old English ġēar ). In contrast to the modern word, it had a meaning of "season" and specifically "harvest", and hence "plenty, prosperity".

The Germanic word is cognate with Greek ὧρος (horos) "year" (and ὥρα (hora) "season", whence hour), Old East Slavic ꙗра (jara) "spring" and with the -or- in Latin hōrnus "of this year" (from *hōjōrō), as well as Avestan 𐬫𐬁𐬭𐬆 (yārə) "year", all from a PIE stem *yer-o-.

Elder Futhark

The derivation of the rune is uncertain; some scholars see it as a modification of Latin G ("C () with stroke") while others consider it a Germanic innovation. The letter in any case appears from the very earliest runic inscriptions, figuring on the Vimose comb inscription, harja.

As the only rune of the Elder Futhark which was not connected, its evolution was the most thorough transformation of all runes, and it was to have numerous graphical variants. [2] In the later period of the Elder Futhark, during the 5th to 6th centuries, connected variants appear, and these are the ones that give rise to the derivations in Anglo-Saxon (as ᛄ ger and ᛡ ior) and Scandinavian (as ᛅ ár) traditions.

Gothic jer

The corresponding Gothic letter is 𐌾 (j), named jēr, which is also based on the shape of the Elder Futhark rune. This is an exception, shared with urus, due to the fact that neither the Latin nor the Greek alphabets at the time of the introduction of the Gothic one had graphemes corresponding to the distinction of j and w from i and u.

Anglo-Saxon runes

The rune in the futhorc is continued as gēr, with its epigraphical variant , and its manuscript variant (which does appear at least once epigraphically, on the Brandon Pin). Manuscripts also record an ior rune with the shape of , but its authenticity is questionable. [3]

Younger Futhark

During the 7th and 8th centuries, the initial j in *jara was lost in Old Norse, which also changed the sound value of the rune from /j/ to an /a/ phoneme. The rune was then written as a vertical staff with a horizontal stroke in the centre, sometimes transcribed as æ.

During the last phase of the Elder Futhark, the jēra-rune came to be written as a vertical staff with two slanting strokes in the form of an X in its centre ( H-rune.png ). As the form of the rune had changed considerably, an older 7th century form of the rune ( Long-branch Sol.png ) was assumed by the s-rune. [2] When the n-rune had stabilized in its form during the 6th and 7th centuries, its vertical stroke slanted towards the right ( Runic letter naudiz.svg ), which made it possible to simplify the jēra-rune by having only one vertical stroke that slanted towards the left, giving the ár-rune of the Younger Futhark. Since a simpler form of the rune was available for the /a/ phoneme, the older cross form of the rune now came to be used for the /h/ phoneme. [4]

The development of the Jēran rune from the earliest open form was not known before the discovery of the Kylver Stone in 1903, which has an entire elder futhark inscription on it. Therefore, the interpretation of the golden horns of Gallehus was slightly wrong before 1903, as it was believed this rune form could be an early form of the Ingwaz rune. The second word on the horns was thus interpreted as holtingaz rather than holtijaz. [5]

See also

Notes

  1. C.f. Page (2005:15). The word may have been either neuter or masculine in Common Germanic.
  2. 1 2 Enoksen 1998:51
  3. Page, R (1999), An Introduction to English Runes, pp. 42–46, 81.
  4. Enoksen 1998:52
  5. Enoksen 1998:56

Related Research Articles

Yngvi Germanic deity

Old Norse Yngvi, Old High German Inguin and Old English Ingƿine are names that relate to a theonym which appears to have been the older name for the god Freyr. Proto-Germanic *Ingwaz was the legendary ancestor of the Ingaevones, or more accurately Ingvaeones, and is also the reconstructed name of the Elder Futhark rune ᛜ and Anglo-Saxon rune ᛝ, representing ŋ.

The Elder Futhark Odal rune, also known as the Othala rune, represents the o sound. Its reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is *ōþalan "heritage; inheritance, inherited estate".

Runes Ancient Germanic alphabet

Runes are the letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets, which were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialised purposes thereafter. The Scandinavian variants are also known as futhark or fuþark ; the Anglo-Saxon variant is futhorc or fuþorc.

is the rune denoting the sound p in the Elder Futhark runic alphabet. It does not appear in the Younger Futhark. It is named peorð in the Anglo-Saxon rune-poem and glossed enigmatically as follows:

The Younger Futhark, also called Scandinavian runes, is a runic alphabet and a reduced form of the Elder Futhark, with only 16 characters, in use from about the 9th century, after a "transitional period" during the 7th and 8th centuries. The reduction, somewhat paradoxically, happened at the same time as phonetic changes that led to a greater number of different phonemes in the spoken language, when Proto-Norse evolved into Old Norse. Thus, the language included distinct sounds and minimal pairs that were written the same.

Elder Futhark System of runes for Proto-Germanic

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, amulets, plateware, tools, weapons, and, famously, runestones, from the 2nd to the 8th centuries.

Algiz is the name conventionally given to the "z-rune" of the Elder Futhark runic alphabet. Its transliteration is z, understood as a phoneme of the Proto-Germanic language, the terminal *z continuing Proto-Indo-European terminal *s.

Kylver Stone

The Kylver stone, listed in the Rundata catalog as runic inscription G 88, is a Swedish runestone which dates from about 400 AD. It is notable for its listing of each of the runes in the elder futhark.

Gyfu is the name for the g-rune in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem, meaning ‘gift’ or ‘generosity’:

Haglaz Rune

*Haglaz or *Hagalaz is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name of the h-rune , meaning "hail".

Anglo-Saxon runes system of runes for Old English

Anglo-Saxon runes are runes used by the early Anglo-Saxons as an alphabet in their writing. The characters are known collectively as the futhorc (fuþorc), from the Old English sound values of the first six runes. The futhorc was a development from the 24-character Elder Futhark. Since the futhorc runes are thought to have first been used in Frisia before the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, they have also been called Anglo-Frisian runes. They were likely used from the 5th century onward, recording Old English and Old Frisian.

Proto-Norse Progenitor of the Old Norse languages

Proto-Norse was an Indo-European language spoken in Scandinavia and a reconstructed proto-language of Old Norse that is thought to have evolved as a northern dialect of Proto-Germanic in the first centuries CE. It is the earliest stage of a characteristically North Germanic language, and the language attested in the oldest Scandinavian Elder Futhark inscriptions, spoken from around the 2nd to the 8th centuries CE. It evolved into the dialects of Old Norse at the beginning of the Viking Age around 800 CE, which later themselves evolved into the modern North Germanic languages.

The rune is called Thurs in the Icelandic and Norwegian rune poems. In the Anglo-Saxon rune poem it is called thorn, whence the name of the letter þ derived. It is transliterated as þ, and has the sound value of a voiceless dental fricative.

Cipher runes Cryptographical replacement of the letters of the runic alphabet

Cipher runes, or cryptic runes, are the cryptographical replacement of the letters of the runic alphabet.

A runic inscription is an inscription made in one of the various runic alphabets. They generally contained practical information or memorials instead of magic or mythic stories. The body of runic inscriptions falls into the three categories of Elder Futhark, Anglo-Frisian Futhorc and Younger Futhark.

Ansuz is the conventional name given to the a-rune of the Elder Futhark, . The name is based on Proto-Germanic *ansuz, denoting a deity belonging to the principal pantheon in Germanic paganism.

Runic transliteration and transcription are part of analysing a runic inscription which involves transliteration of the runes into Latin letters, transcription into a normalized spelling in the language of the inscription, and translation of the inscription into a modern language. In machine-processed text, there is a long-standing practice of formatting transliterations in boldface and transcriptions in Italic type, as the two forms of rendering a runic text have to be kept distinct.

*Sowilō or *sæwelō is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic language name of the s-rune, meaning "sun". The name is attested for the same rune in all three Rune Poems. It appears as Old Norse sól, Old English sigel, and Gothic sugil.

Medieval runes Scandinavian 27 letter runic alphabet that evolved from the Younger Futhark after the introduction of dotted runes at the end of the Viking Age

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 fully 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.

Pseudo-runes are letters that look like Germanic runes but are not true runes. The term is mostly used of incised characters that are intended to imitate runes. Pseudo-runes in this sense are difficult to distinguish from cipher runes, which are characters used as a replacement of standard runes but which do have an intended reading, while pseudo-runes have no linguistic content.

References