Otto/Ottonen

Perseas

Senior Member
Greek
This was the name of four kings of Germany, starting in the 10th century with Otto I, the first Holy Roman emperor.
In German it has two inflected forms, "Otto" and "Ottos".
But I've also encountered the plural form "Ottonen" and the adjectiv "ottonisch" ("Ottonische Renaissance"). How can be explained that an "n" was developed in those words? Is this a phenomenon of the German language-OHG then, or did this occur maybe due to an influence of Latin? (In Latin the name is inflected Otto,Ottonis,Ottoni,Ottonem). Thank you.
 
  • berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    -(e)n, genitive -(e)ns is the traditional oblique ending of proper names in German. This ending decayed in the 19th century. In the first half of the 20th century only the genitive ending -ens had survived in Names Ending with -s in the root in order to mark the genitive, like Klausens Haus instead of the modern form Klaus Haus, where the genitive remains unmarked.

    Insofar, there is no real need for an explanation. The use of the oblique form in the derived words would be sufficiently explained by the awkwardness of *ottoisch and *Ottoen with two clashing vowels.

    Having said that, the fact that ottonisch is stressed on the second o suggest that the word is at least influenced by the Latinized forms you mentioned.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Thank you both.
    The use of the oblique form in the derived words would be sufficiently explained by the awkwardness of *ottoisch and *Ottoen with two clashing vowels.
    I guess, "n" is viewed here as an euphonic consonant, which is inserted between the two vowels.
    I didn't know that. Thanks again.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Thank you both.

    I guess, "n" is viewed here as an euphonic consonant, which is inserted between the two vowels.
    I didn't know "n" could have this function. Thanks again.
    You probably know that -(e)n is the oblique ending in what is called "weak nouns" in German. The traditional oblique forms for proper names are probably derived from that declension schema.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Otto is a common German name. There is no "would have been" outcome. I don't quite understand what the missing MHG weakening from -o to -e has to do with the -n- infix.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    the fact that ottonisch is stressed on the second o suggest that the word is at least influenced by the Latinized forms you mentioned.
    I meant that all these forms in -o and -a are bookish and hence had a separate life in texts different from what could be expected if they were naturally evolving in the spoken language. And yes, I don't contest that the stress in ottonisch is latinized.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I meant that all these forms in -o and -a are bookish and hence had a separate life in texts different from what could be expected if they were naturally evolving in the spoken language.
    Only in the sense that 900 years ago it inhibited one single sound shift. That doesn't make the entire name over its more than 1000 year history "bookish".
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Yesterday I didn't quite understand your replies. If you mean that this -n- is a rather recently added formal element aimed at enabling declension and avoiding "awkwardness" of **ottoisch and **Ottoen, then I disagree and reiterate that I consider these otton- to be the petrified Old High German forms preserved in this particular royal name due to its life in texts and, in particular, indeed, in Latin (and French) texts — in the sense that this name has always had this -n- in German, over all the last 12+ centuries
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    If you mean that this -n- is a rather recently added
    No I didn't mean that. The oblique-n has always existed in German but we also find it in Latin derivations from the name, like in the medieval adjective ottonensis. The akwardness of *ottoisch or *Ottoer has certainly prevented the Latin-influenced forms from being superseded by more regular modern derivations like in Staufer, Salier, Habsburger, ...
     
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    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    I am not aware since when the hellenized name "Όθων" is attested in sources. In Byzantines sources probably. Before opening this thread, I had assumed that the Greek 'ν' in "Όθων" (inflection: Όθων/ος/ι/α) was a Latin influence, but given your answers, I can't be sure. It may have come directly from German (OHG) or German must have played a role anyway.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    The n-stems were routinely adapted to the existing inflection types in all Indo-European languages in contact, e. g. Greek, Latin, Celtic, Germanic, etc. Cp. the much earlier Stilicho : Στιλίχων (Vandalic). The East Germanic Nom. Sg. at that period was actually -a (i. e. *Stilika), and late Latin / early Romance even made attempts to create a separate an-declension for them: e. g. forms like Totila/Totilanem (masculine) are attested, and even for inherited feminine words like nonnanes "nuns" and names cum Popilia Marciane and for corresponding Germanic feminine ā-stems: Bertha/Berthanem.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    The East Germanic Nom. Sg. at that period was actually -a (i. e. *Stilika), and late Latin / early Romance even made attempts to create a separate an-declension for them: e. g. forms like Totila/Totilanem (masculine) are attested, and even for inherited feminine words like nonnanes "nuns" and names cum Popilia Marciane and for corresponding Germanic feminine ā-stems: Bertha/Berthanem.
    Interestingly, this system survived and further expanded in Old French, cp. Nominative Singular : Oblique Singular none : nonain, ante : antain, Berte : Bertain, Eve : Evain (Old French: A Concise Handbook). Since Frankish had the Nom. Sg. -o in the place of the East Germanic -a, this declension type in France didn't involve masculines, for which the type Otes : Oton was created, with the innovative -s in the Nom. Sg. (The Romance of Names), se also Le type Charles-Charlon ou Eve-Evain en ancien français - vraiment un reflet du superstrat germanique ?
     

    Cossue

    Senior Member
    Galician & Spanish
    I think that this illustrates what ahvalj wrote: here are some Galician place names formed inside Late Latin/early Romance from East Germanic (Suebic/Gothic) names declined as -a / -anis:
    Fefiñáns < villa *Faffilanis (gen.) <- Faffila (nom.)
    Firmistáns < villa *Frumistanis <- Frumista
    Forxás < Frogianes 1007 < villa *Froyanis <- Froya
    Franqueás < villa *Frankilanis <- Frankila
    Freáns < Froilanes 954 < villa *Froilanis <- Froila
    Freás < villa Froilanes 1131 < villa *Froilanis <- Froila
    Frollais < Froilanes 1125 < villa *Froilanis <- Froila
    Goiáns < villa *Gaudilanis/Godilanis <- Gaudila/Godila
    Guimaráns < villa *Guimaranis <- Uimara
    Guimarás < Vimaranes 1074 < villa *Wimaranis <- Uimara
    Requiáns < villa *Riquilanis <- Riquila
    Requiás < Riquilanes 1024 < villa *Riquilanis <-Riquila
    Sandiás < Sindilanes 934 < villa *Sindilanis <- Sinþila

    References: GMH, CODOLGA, Aquén
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Latin/early Romance from East Germanic (Suebic/Gothic) names declined as -a / -anis:
    These -n-s belong Latin suffixes. In our case here, we have a convolution of both, the Germanic -n ending and a Latin suffix contributing another n in the Latin adjective derivation: Otto - Ottonensis (as in solidus Ottoninsis on a medieval coin) or in the Latin-derived English adjective Ottonian.
     
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    Cossue

    Senior Member
    Galician & Spanish
    These -n-s belong Latin suffixes.
    I can't agree. I don't know if you're implying that these derive from older -enses / -ensis (Freáns < Froilanes < **Froilanenses), but that is not the case, as -enses / -ensis evolve into -eses in Galician:
    Armeses < Asmeses < *Asmenses "people from the Asma (River valley)"
    Astureses < *Asturenses "people from Asturia"

    The former toponyms I mentioned were studied by Georg Sachs in 1932 ("Die germanischen Orstnamen in Spanien und Portugal") and later by Joseph M. Piel and Dieter Kremer ("Hispano-Gotisches Namenbuch", 1976). These later authors wrote (page 38):
    "Die gotisch-lateinische Genetivendung -anis, zu maskulinen Namen auf -a, zeigt in der heutigen Toponomastik folgende Gestalt: ast-kast-leon. -anes, kat. -ans, gal. -ans/-ás, pg. -ães/-ãis."
    It's notable that Hydatius Limicus (5th century) adapts the Germanic names he mentions to the Latin declension ("Suevi qui remanserant in extrema parte Gallaeciae, Massiliae filium nomine Maldram sibi regem constituunt."), but Isidore of Seville, a century later, already use a new mixed declension for these names ("Aera CDXXCVI, Recchiarius, Recchilanis filius, catholicus factus, succedit in regnum annis IX, accepta in conjugium Theuderedi regis Gothorum filia"). This last declension is very much what you find in local Medieval charters, for example: Riquila, Frankila, Froila, Brandila, etc.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I don't know if you're implying that these derive from older -enses / -ensis (Freáns < Froilanes < **Froilanenses), but that is not the case, as -enses / -ensis evolve into -eses in Galician:
    Armeses < Asmeses < *Asmenses "people from the Asma (River valley)"
    Astureses < *Asturenses "people from Asturia"
    I see.
     
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