Gothic language


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Gothic language,

dead language belonging to the now extinct East Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languagesGermanic languages,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by about 470 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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). Gothic has special value for the linguist because it was recorded several hundred years before the oldest surviving texts of all the other Germanic languages (except for a handful of earlier runic inscriptions in Old Norse). Thus it sheds light on an older stage of a Germanic language and on the development of Germanic languages in general. The earliest extant document in Gothic preserves part of a translation of the Bible made in the 4th cent. A.D. by UlfilasUlfilas
or Wulfila
[Gothic,=little wolf], c.311–383, Gothic bishop, translator of the Bible into Gothic. He was converted to Christianity at Constantinople and was consecrated bishop (341) by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia.
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, a Gothic bishop. This translation is written in an adaptation of the Greek alphabet, supposedly devised by the bishop himself, which was later discarded.

Bibliography

See J. Wright, Grammar of the Gothic Language and the Gospel of St. Mark (2d ed. 1954).

References in periodicals archive ?
Tolkien once said that the Gothic language took him by storm and moved his heart.
It is a gothic language, too, and Background in Tennessee, in part, is a gothic text, a work haunted by the memories--often racial memories--of Evelyn Scott's Tennessee childhood.
But there are even stronger ghosts of the Gothic language of revealed and encased natural light.
While my approach does not ignore the experiential component of learning about the Gothic, I believe that students must first grapple with how Gothic language functions by wrestling with a series of writing assignments that help them craft their own sense of what the Gothic entails.