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RFV discussion: September 2016–March 2017[edit]

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"Proper noun: An ancient Germanic language written using runes." I suppose you might apply "Runic" to any language written in runes, but I have certainly never heard of any language called "Runic". We also have Category:User Runr; is it reasonable to merge the various runic alphabets?__Gamren (talk) 08:57, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

There's no one runic language. The earliest runic inscriptions were written in a kind of common northwestern Germanic (at a time when Western Germanic and Northern Germanic languages would have likely been mostly mutually comprehensible). Later inscriptions are in later specific languages... AnonMoos (talk) 13:39, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
I have heard "Runic" used as a synonym for Germanic or Proto-Germanic (deflecting reference to modern day German). I wonder if that is what was meant... ? Leasnam (talk) 22:40, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Looking through the histories SemperBlotto seems to have created it to avoid it being redirected or erroneously created to mean runic (adj.). The page histories are confusing because Runic was moved to runic and then recreated to mean runic in error. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:49, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Google Books has a line, variously attributed to William Chauncey Fowler's 1850 The English Language in Its Elements and Forms or Robert Gordon Latham's 1841 The English Language, that "Sometimes, by an extension of meaning, the old Norse language, wherein [runes] most frequently ocour, is called the Runic language. This is as incorrect as to call a language an Alphabetic language." But then it also has a line attributed to Frank Sayers, ‎William Taylor, 1830 Poetical works: "The Runic language and characters were introduced into England by our Saxon ancestors". And William Pinnock's 1830 A comprehensive grammar of the English language says: "The Runic language is that of the ancient Goths, which is more frequently called the Teutonic, from the Teutones, a tribe of Goths, an ancient people who inhabited the northern part of Germany."
  • Richard Lee Morris 1988 Runic and Mediterranean Epigraphy: "with intra- and extralinguistic factors contributing to change and variation within Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Frisian, Dutch, German, English, Gothic and the early Runic language.
  • Benjamin W. Fortson's 2009 Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction: "The Runic language of the earliest runic inscriptions, as discussed above, may be ancestral to Old Norse (see §15.37)."
  • John Allen Giles 1863 Memorials of King Alfred: "And, as for those books in the Runic language, they were composed in those times when Christianity began to be prevalent in the north, as may be easily determined by many proofs, and especially, because Romish characters are found".
I think this cites a sense like Indian#Proper_noun's two senses, and we could change "an" to "any" (as I have done). We could label it "nonstandard" or find another way of indicating that the usage is uncommon and lax. People can be quite lax in what they lump together as a language — I can also find hits that treat e.g. "South American" as a language ("They speak South American though")! - -sche (discuss) 23:25, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The 19th-century citations are obsolete according to modern scholarship (more archaic than rare). The later citations make use of somewhat loose and sloppy wording (in my view), but basically refer to what I mentioned in my previous comment above... AnonMoos (talk) 23:37, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
RFV-passed (citations above). If the definition needs to be modified, e.g. to say "...especially proto-Germanic", please modify it. - -sche (discuss) 05:09, 18 March 2017 (UTC)