Answering back in Old High German


John L. Flood

Institute of Germanic Studies, University of London


While the old Germanic languages as a group have a wide range of verbs for 'to answer', early ninth-century OHG has two principal lexemes, antuurten and antlingen, both of which occur in the Benedictine Rule and the Tatian translations. Both verbs occur very frequently in the Tatian, and their distribution pattern in this text is analysed to see to what extent it can throw light on the way the translation was produced and to ascertain how far the distribution pattern may have been determined by the Latin lemmata. It is concluded that though there is some evidence that stylistic considerations may have influenced the choice of verb in some instances, the distribution pattern was probably most strongly determined by the geographical origins and the ages of the translators involved.
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