Die 'friesischen' Wörter in der Lex Frisionum


  • A.P. Versloot


Those legal terms in the Lex Frisionum of the late 8th century that are introduced by the phrase ‘quod uocant’ or ‘quod dicunt’ are generally considered to be Frisian. In this study, the phonological and morphological character of these words is analysed and compared to evidence from the contemporaneous Frisian runic corpus and later Old Frisian. It turns out that none of the fourteen words show an unambiguously Frisian shape, while various instances lack features that are expected to have been present in the Frisian language of that time. It is therefore concluded that the fourteen words cannot be considered as Frisian from a phonological and morphological perspective. They are most likely Low Franconian. This means a severe reduction of the linguistic evidence for Frisian from that early period. In a lexicological sense, the words can very well be Frisian and probably originate in the Frisian legal terminology of those days.