Gothic language

(redirected from Ulfilian Gothic)

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.
..... Click the link for more information.
). 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, a Gothic bishop. This translation is written in an adaptation of the Greek alphabet, supposedly devised by the bishop himself, which was later discarded.


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

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.