Terms

interpretation

Interpretations

Data

The database includes interpretations of the inscriptions in the older fuþark and the inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc.

For the inscriptions in the older fuþark, data from the Kieler Runenprojekt is shown. Within the framework of this project (1993-2010) the following was evaluated: literature on runes and runic inscriptions as well as publications on the historical linguistics of the Germanic languages and encyclopedia articles from the beginnings of runological research in the early 19th century up to the year 2009. The list of interpretations does not claim to be complete.

For the inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc data from the editions in preparation, i.e. Edition of the Old English Runic Inscriptions. Vol. 1: The Pre-Old English Inscriptions, ca. 400-600; Vol. 2: The Old English Inscriptions, ca. 600-1100, is shown.


Transliteration

The transliteration of the inscription presented in the respective publications.

1. The inscriptions in the older fuþark:
For the inscriptions in the older fuþark, the transliteration terms of the Kieler Runenprojekt are used.
Information provided in the course of the text was also taken into account and included in the transliteration.

Format Meaning
lines These are sequences of characters or written units, respectively, consisting of a continuous sequence of runes that can be read in the same direction.
Depending on the display mode, they stand next to each other or one below the other.
| A vertical stroke of full height marks the end of a line, even for inscriptions that only consist of one line.
Inscriptions that run in a circle and therefore have no actual end of line (e.g. inscriptions on bracteates) do not contain this stroke.
ˈ A vertical stroke of half height represents one or more word separators.
minuscules All unambiguously decipherable runes are given in lower-case Roman letters.
Bind-runes are broken down into their separate elements, but not specifically marked.
Reversed or inverted runes are not specifically marked.
majuscules All unambiguously decipherable non-runic characters are given in capital letters.
Z A "Z" stands for rune-like characters, imitations of Roman characters, symbols etc., e.g.,
Transliteration: (1Z) ˈ dorih |
(Wurmlingen lance head, SG-136)
O An "O" stands for ornamentally used runes, e.g.,
Transliteration: (2O)igaduz |
(Svarteborg medallion imitation, IK 181)
[ ] Square brackets mark all parts of an inscription where something is missing (gaps, abrasions, weathering in the material etc.).
There are the following options for reproducing the information from the respective publication for these passages:
[?] no information at all is given on the number of missing runes,
[2?] clear information about the number of missing runes is given,
[3-5?] no decision is made on how many runes are missing,
[0-?] it is unclear whether the inscription continues at all in one place (e.g. in the case of breaks in the material).
( ) Round brackets mark those parts of the transliteration that are not certain.
There are the following options for reproducing the information from the respective publication for these passages:
(3?) In the case of damaged and undecipherable runes, their number is given with a question mark,
(ehw) runes that are defective but decipherable and runes that are existent but uncertain are transliterated.
(e 1? w) If both – defective but decipherable, as well as undecipherable runes – occur together, they are given together in one set of round brackets.
There is a space between the letters and the information about the runes in question.
(1-?) If there are one or more undecipherable runes in one place, the information is given in a combination of a number and a question mark.
... Three dots are used if no information is given about part of an inscription or it is stated that it is not possible to transliterate that part of the inscription.


2. The inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc:
The symbols the respective authors use for the runic graphs in their transliterations are usually retained here; see the end of the table below for details.
Information regarding the suprasegmental level or the level of certainty of the identification of individual runes is provided uniformly according to the following principles, i.e. the respective transliterations of different authors have been modified accordingly:

Format Meaning
] marks the break-off of an inscription on the left-hand side.
[ marks the break-off of an inscription on the right-hand side.
[.] 1 character is missing or is illegible.
[..] 2 characters are missing or are illegible.
[...] 3 or more characters are missing or are illegible.
[?] The question mark in square brackets expresses uncertainty as to whether the character is a rune, a miscut or something that cannot be defined, or even an empty space.
( ) Round brackets mark those parts of the transliteration that are not certain.
{u/c} A slash indicates two possibilities: u or c. The two possibilities are placed in { } so that it is easier to read.
͡ Bind-runes are marked by an arc above the letters: ͡
A word or a sequence divider in the form of one dot.
: A word or a sequence divider in the form of two dots.
A word or a sequence divider in the form of three dots.
A word or sequence divider in the form of double lines.
A subscript arrow pointing to the left indicates the direction of writing is from right to left.
A subscript arrow pointing to the right indicates the direction of writing is from left to right.


Symbols used by other researchers which were retained when they occurred in quotations:

Format Meaning
ï, ɨ These symbols are used by some researchers to transliterate the yew-rune.
a1 Subscript a1 is used to transliterate (Pre-)OE/(Pre-)OFris. æ by some researchers.
a2 Subscript a2 is used to transliterate (Pre-)OE/(Pre-)OFris. a by some researchers.
a3 Subscript a3 is used to transliterate (Pre-)OE/(Pre-)OFris. o by some researchers.
o This character is used to transliterate Pre-OE o and OE œ by some researchers.




Interpretation

The Interpretation of the inscription represented in the respective publications.

1. The inscriptions in the older fuþark:
For the inscriptions in the older fuþark, the guidelines of the Kieler Runenprojekt are used.
Information provided in the course of the text is also taken into account and integrated into the interpretations. Uncertain transliterations, "improvements" to the runic text, word forms developed on the basis of linguistic criteria, additions to gaps and breaks, etc. are marked. The symbols that stand for separation marks and markers at the end of a line in the field Interpretation are not used.

Format Meaning
brackets Brackets from the fiel Transliteration are also used in the field Interpretation.
In addition, square and round brackets are used in the following cases:
[ ] Square brackets are used for additions.
This includes the filling of gaps or breaks, inserted vowels, "corrections" or "improvements" made to the runic text, arbitrary additions to the transliteration with invented sounds or words, etc., e.g.,
Transliteration: mkmrlawrta
Interpretation: m[i]k M[ē]r[i]la w[o]rta.
(Etelhem relief brooch, G 98)
Square brackets are not used when the interpretation is due to runic spelling conventions, such as the writing of a single character for a double consonant, omission of before a consonant, e.g.,
Transliteration: ligi
Interpretation: liggi
(Strøm whetstone, N KJ50)
Transliteration: widuhudaʀ
Interpretation: Widuhundaʀ
(Himlingøje rosette brooch, Sj 74)
( ) Round brackets mark interpretations that differ from clear transliterations, e.g.,
Transliteration: luwatuwa
Interpretation: la(þ)u(l)a(þ)u
(Raum Vadstena bracteate, IK 377,1)
full stop The only punctuation mark that is used is the full stop.
If there is a question mark or an exclamation mark used in the respective publication in the interpretation, it is replaced by a full stop. Other punctuation marks are not rendered.
macrons Macrons set in the respective publication are rendered.
If no macrons are used in the respective publication, these have not been added here.
If two interpretations only differ in that in one case macrons were used and in the other they were not, they are combined here in one interpretation with macrons.
capitalization Only names are capitalized (i.e. PN, NAM and PLN; for differentiating between these groups, see Syntactic Structure below).
Beginnings of sentences are written in lower case letters.
logographic runes As a rule, logographic runes are not resolved, but are rendered as minuscules.
Z Characters marked as "Z" in the field Transliteration (see above) are resolved and rendered as minuscules if they are read and interpreted as runes.
If they are interpreted as a symbol, they also appear here as "Z", e.g.,
Transliteration: (1Z) ˈ dorih |
Interpretation: (1Z) Dorih
(Wurmlingen lance head, SG-136)
O Characters marked as "O" in the field Transliteration (see above) also appear in the interpretation as "O", e.g.,
Transliteration: (2O)igaduz |
Interpretation: (2O) Ingaduz
(Svarteborg medallion imitation, IK 181)
Runes transliterated with "ᴀ" in the field Transliteration are rendered in the interpretation in two ways:
They are rendered as "superscript a" when interpreted as Svarabhakti, e.g,
Transliteration: haþuwolᴀfʀ
Interpretation: Haþuwola
(Stentoften stone, Bl 3)
They are rendered as normal "a" when merely a particular spelling is assumed, e.g,
Transliteration: mᴀʀ und mᴀunᴀ
Interpretation: māʀ und mauna
(Setre comb, N KJ40)
ŋ A rune transliterated as "ŋ" in the field Transliteration is resolved here as "ng" if it is part of a word.
If it is part of a fuþark inscription, it also appears here as "ŋ".
ï A rune transliterated as "ï" in the field Transliteration is rendered here as "ī" or "i", "e" or "ǣ", depending on the view expressed in the publication about its phonetic value, if it is part of a word.
If it is part of a fuþark inscription or interpreted as a logo graphic rune, it also appears here as "ï".
? A question mark stands for the case that no interpretation is given for an entire inscription or the inscription is expressly declared uninterpretable.
... Three dots represent the parts of an inscription that are not interpreted in the respective publication.
MEMO The entry "MEMO" refers to a comment relating to the translation in the field Comment.


2. The inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc:
The interpretations are given in the way the respective scholars have provided them, retaining all notations.


German Translation

German translation of the interpretation given in the field Interpretation.

1. The inscriptions in the older fuþark:
The translations of inscriptions given in English, Scandinavian or other language publications are translated into German. Some of them are shortened and simplified, and the wording and punctuation are standardized, especially when the same interpretation was represented in different publications.
Translations from German-language publications are rendered, usually not verbatim, but edited in accordance with the translations from other language publications. This achieves greater uniformity and thus comparability of the translations.
For details see the table under English Translation.


2. The inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc:
As a rule, translations from German-language publications were taken over verbatim.


English Translation

English translation of the interpretation given in the field Interpretation.

1. The inscriptions in the older fuþark:
The translations of inscriptions in German, Scandinavian or other language publications are translated into English. Some of them are shortened and simplified, and the wording and punctuation are standardized, especially when the same interpretation was represented in different publications.
Translations from English-language publications are rendered, usually not verbatim, but edited in accordance with the translations from other language publications. This achieves greater uniformity and thus comparability of the translations.

Format Meaning
brackets Brackets from transliteration and interpretation are not included in the translation.
names (PN, NAM, PLN) When translating proper names, a distinction is made between the groups PN, NAM and PLN (for the differentiation of the groups see also below under Syntactic Structure):
1. PN = „personal names“, i.e. single- or multi-partite names otherwise attested are not translated, but only reproduced.
2. NAM = "names not otherwise attested" are first reproduced and then provided with a translation in brackets, e.g.,
Interpretation: Harja
Translation: Harja (=who belongs to the army: warrior)
(Vimose comb, Fyn 19).
Titles or designations of ethnic groups also recorded as "Names" (NAM) are not translated, but only reproduced, e.g.,
Interpretation: Gutanī
Translation: the Goths'
(Pietroasele ring, KJ41).
PN (= "personal names") und NAM ("names") are always rendered in the nominative form. The case used in the interpretation can be marked by placing a definite article or a preposition in front of it.
3. PLN = "place names" are mostly given in their current form, e.g.,
Interpretation: [I]ltahu
Translation: an der Ilzach
(Pforzen buckle, SG-97)
FUTHARK For a whole rune row or parts of it, the field Translation says "FUTHARK".
Dashes stand between syntactically unconnected words or parts of sentences.
logographic runes For logographic runes a translation of their value is given, e.g.,
Interpretation: Gutanī (ō)
Translation: the Goth's hereditary property
(Pietroasele ring, KJ41)
Z Characters designated with "Z" in the fields Transliteration and Interpretation, which are interpreted as a symbol, also appear here as "Z", e.g.,
Interpretation: (1Z) Dorih
Translation: (1Z) - Dorih
(Wurmlingen lance head, SG-136)
O Characters marked with "O" in the fields Transliteration and Interpretation also appear here as "O", e.g.,
Interpretation: (2O) Ingaduz
Translation: (2O) - Ingaduz
(Svarteborg medaillion imitation, IK 181)
? A question mark is used when no translation is provided for an entire inscription.
... Three dots are used if parts of the inscription are not translated.
MEMO The entry "MEMO" refers to a comment relating to the translation in the field Comment.


2. The inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc:
As a rule, translations from English-language publications were taken over verbatim.


Syntactic Structure

Representation of the syntactic structure of the interpretation with grammatical determination of the individual words.

The inscriptions in the older fuþark:
Since many publications do not provide any or at least no explicit information on the syntactic structure of an inscription or on the grammatical determination of individual words, the content of this field consists partly of our own additions. These are based either on the interpretations and/or translations represented in the respective publications or result from the documented word forms themselves, e.g. the specification "PN1" for a masculine personal name with the ending -aʀ.

The following abbreviations are used:

Abbreviation Meaning
S1-7/1-3 Substantiv (Kasus/Numerus)
Kasus: 1: Nominativ, 2: Genitiv, 3: Dativ, 4: Akkusativ, 5: Vokativ, 6: Instrumental, 7: Lokativ
Numerus: 1: Singular, 2: Dual, 3: Plural
PN1-5 Personenname (Kasus)
Unter "Personennamen" (= PN) werden ein- oder mehrgliedrige Namen verstanden, die auch anderweitig belegt sind, z.B.:
Interpretation: Hariwola
Syntaktische Struktur: PN1
(Stein von Stentoften, Bl 3).
NAM1-4 Name (Kasus/Pluralformen auch mit Numerus)
Unter "Namen" (= NAM) werden anderweitig nicht belegte Namen verstanden, ebenso wie Umschreibungen von Personen, Göttern, Waffen oder anderen Gegenständen, z.B. Harja (Kriegerbezeichnung, Kamm von Vimose, Fyn 19), Rannja (Waffenname, Lanzenblatt von Dahmsdorf, KJ32). Als "Namen" werden auch Titel, z.B. Erilaʀ (Lanzen-/Speerschaft von Kragehul, Fyn 7), oder Bezeichnungen von Ethnien, z.B. Gutanī (Ring von Pietroasele, KJ41) aufgefasst.
Interpretation: Gutanī
Syntaktische Struktur: NAM2/3
(Ring von Pietroasele, KJ41)
PLN1-4 Ortsname (Kasus)
Unter "Ortsnamen" (= PLN) werden (zumeist in den jeweiligen Interpretationen angenommene oder erschlossene) Namen und Bezeichnungen von Gehöften, Inseln, Flüssen und Ländern verstanden, z.B. [I]ltahu (Schnalle von Pforzen, SG-97).
Interpretation: [I]ltahu ⇨
Syntaktische Struktur: PLN3
(Schnalle von Pforzen, SG-97)
ADJ1-4/1-3 Adjektiv (Kasus/Numerus)
ADV Adverb
persPRON1-4/1-3 Personalpronomen (Kasus/Numerus)
demPRON1-4/1-3 Demonstrativpronomen (Kasus/Numerus)
possPRON 1-4/1-3 Possessivpronomen (Kasus/Numerus)
relPRON1-4/1-3 Relativpronomen (Kasus/Numerus)
interPRON Interrogativpronomen
indefPRON Indefinitpronomen
relPART Relativpartikel
INT Interjektion
NEG Negation
CONJ Konjunktion
PRP Präposition
POSTP Postposition
NUM1-4 Numerale (Kasus)
V finites Verb
Vinf Infinitiv
Vpps Partizip Präsens
Vppt Partizip Präteritum
Vcop Kopula
B Begriffsrune
Z Zeichen, Symbol, o.ä. (s.o. unter Transliteration)
O ornamental verwendetes Zeichen (s.o. unter Transliteration)
FUTHARK ganze Runenreihe oder Teile davon
+ Pluszeichen stehen nur zwischen syntaktisch verbundenen Wörtern und Zeichen, z.B.:
Interpretation: Haþuwolafʀ gaf j
Syntaktische Struktur: PN1+V+B
(Stein von Stentoften, Bl 3)
Zwischen enklitisch verbundenen Wörtern steht kein Pluszeichen, z.B.:
Interpretation: fel(ah)eka
Syntaktische Struktur: VpersPRON1/1
(Stein von Stentoften, Bl 3)
ˈ Ein senkrechter Strich mit halber Höhe steht zwischen syntaktisch unverbundenen Wörtern, z.B.:
Interpretation: Hiwigaʀ Saralu
Syntaktische Struktur: PN1 ˈ PN1
(Stein von Årstad, N KJ58)
Punkte Ein Punkt steht am Satzende.
Als Sätze werden nur solche syntaktischen Verbindungen aufgefasst, die ein Verb enthalten.
Klammern Klammern aus den Feldern Transliteration und Interpretation werden nicht übernommen.
? Fragezeichen stehen als einziger Eintrag im Feld Syntaktische Struktur, wenn für eine ganze Inschrift keine Interpretation vorliegt.
... Drei Punkte werden, analog zur Verwendung in den Feldern Interpretation und dt./engl. Übersetzung, für diejenigen Inschriftenteile verwendet, für die keine Interpretation gegeben wurde.




Probability

Here an, albeit very cautious, evaluation of the interpretation is made.

1. The inscriptions in the older fuþark:
There are the following alternatives for this field:

Symbol Meaning
+ High probability of the interpretation.
blank The interpretation is possible but no clear positive decision can be made.
~ Interpretation represented in the underlying publication only with reservations.
- Low probability of the interpretation (e.g. if it is based on a very uncertain transliteration or differs greatly from the transliteration due to numerous additions).


2. The inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc:

The Anglo-Frisian inscriptions are ranked into two categories: a) the so-called master transliteration(s) (cf. the field Transliteration in the fact sheet of the find) and the respective interpretation(s), which are regarded as the most probable, and b) all other suggestions, which are not given any further ranking.


German Comment

1. Die Inschriften im älteren fuþark:
This field contains additional information on the fields Transliteration, Interpretation, Syntactic Structure and Probability. Information on individual words, comments and explanations taken from the respective publication as well as references to similar inscriptions.

The field to which the comment refers is given before the respective remark, e.g.,
"Lesung:" in the case of an explanatory or restrictive addition to the field Transliteration,
"Deutung:" in the case of a commentary on the field Interpretation or
"Lesung/Deutung:" when the comment refers to both fields and separate entries are not useful here.

In many cases, comments are provided with bibliographical references, which are given with the name of the author, year and page number. The specifications "a", "b" etc. after the years refer to the literature references in the database of the Kieler Runenprojekt and have no correspondence in the literature references of the RuneS database.


English Comment

The inscriptions in the Anglo-Frisian fuþorc:
This field may contain additional information on the fields Transliteration and Interpretation. The information is largely taken from the respective edition and partly comments on the respective interpretation.

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