A few posts ago we highlighted the fact that in the Polyptyque d’Irminon, from early 9th C France, some evidence for parents’ choice of names for their children can be “read off” from the fact that elements from the parents’ names are often used in new combinations for the children. Looking at a number of such examples made us think of an interesting broader question, namely: How many of the possible combinations of two Germanic elements are witnessed in this document? We are still in the process of transcribing the names, so we won’t be able to give a complete answer until that is finished, but in the meantime we’ve started collecting and sorting the data we have, by investigating what points in the Cartesian product of name space we currently have witnesses for:
This is only a portion of the full chart we’ve produced so far, and it should be noted that this doesn’t give the complete state space: Every row and column has at least one entry in it. This means that the prototheme (row) and deuterotheme (column) axes are not the same: There are some elements that were only used as protothemes and some only used as deuterothemes, and thus these show up only in the rows or in the columns and not both.
One version exciting consequence of collating the data collected so far in this way is that it allows us to make predictions. On the basis of the data we have collected so far, we can predict that with high probability, by the time we’ve transcribed the rest, we will find examples of the following names (so far unwitnessed in what we’ve covered of this text so far):
For a few others, our confidence level is lower, but we still hypothesize that these are more likely than not to turn up in the remainder of the data:
We’ll keep you posted on how well our predictions turn out to be!
3 responses to “Combinations of Germanic elements in 9th C France”
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I’m sure you will sooner or later find an Arn(e/a)fridus, here is one even with a (German) Wikipedia entry: Arnefrid (lat. Arnefridus) war von etwa 736 bis etwa 746 Bischof von Konstanz und Abt des Klosters Reichenau.
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/ArnefridArnefrid (lat. Arnefridus) war von etwa 736 bis etwa 746 Bischof von Konstanz und Abt des Klosters Reichenau.
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