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qwallath

Qwallath

Hi, I'm Oscar, a historical linguist from the Netherlands who also likes to write about music, games, and history. Check out my longer blog posts and other writings on Sub Specie.

Currently reading

Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo
Mary Douglas
Signs: an Introduction to Semiotics
Thomas A. Sebeok, Marcel Danesi
Language and Space
Lynn Nadel, Mary A. Peterson, Paul Bloom
Norwegian Runes and Runic Inscriptions (Publctn/Lincoln Record Society) - Terje Spurkland

Norwegian Runes and Runic Inscriptions is not only a good introduction to runes in Norway, but also to runology in general. The main developments in the history of the script(s) are covered, with plenty of examples, complete with the original runes, transliterations, transcriptions, and translations. Black and white pictures give an idea of what the Norwegian inscriptions looked like: generally more sober than the sometimes lavishly decorated stones that have been found in Sweden.

 

Most importantly, the book combines a technical history of how a script develops linguistically with the diversity of messages written in it. The content of runic inscriptions includes, among other things, memorials for the dead, accounts of journeys, founding of churches, business correspondence, magic, marking, and humour.

 

Being the dirty bastard that I am, I'm sharing something from the latter category with you. As Spurkland says, imagine three rowdy guys sitting in a tavern and carving on a stick. They go by the names of John Silk, Guthorm the Licker, and John Ball:

 

http://www.evernote.com/shard/s314/sh/ca8895c7-f11e-4cce-bcc8-19cb17c553d9/311ea5a6760fc4a5af7c12143896c0c5