Land och fæ : strukturellt-rättsfilologiska studier i fornnordiskt lagspråk över beteckningar för egendom i allmänhet med underkategorier
KeywordsSpråk och litteratur
property in general
movable and immovable property
Scandinavian languages and literature
Nordiska språk (språk och litteratur)
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AbstractThis study investigates the stock of words for PROPERTY IN GENERAL with the subcategories MOVABLE and IMMOVABLE PROPERTY in the regional medieval Scandinavian laws and makes a linguistic-geographical analysis of these words with the aim of establishing a relative term chronology. A crude analysis shows that <i>fé/fæ</i> for PROPERTY IN GENERAL and <i>land</i> for IMMOVABLE PROPERTY were the oldest terms. A series of exchanges started in the south, probably in Denmark. As <i>fé/fæ</i> and <i>land</i> are both completely dominating in Grágás, and there only, Grágás constitutes a terminological relic. A detailed analysis shows the order <i>koster</i>, <i>eghn</i>, <i>goþs</i>, (<i>munir</i>), <i>goþs</i>, (<i>pænninger,</i> s. & pl.), <i>goþs</i> to be the most likely one for the superordinate terms and the order <i>iorþ</i>, (<i>eghn</i>), <i>iorþ</i> for the terms for IMMOVABLE PROPERTY. The words in parentheses disappeared without ever becoming the dominant terms. A reconstruction of the pre-medieval terminology shows that there has been a structural shift. The conventional juridical distinction between movable and immovable property (<i>res mobiles et immobiles</i>) lacks support in the terminology of Grágás, which merely consists of <i>fé</i> for PROPERTY IN GENERAL and <i>land</i> for what is shown to be ARABLE LAND or GRAZING LAND. <i>Fé</i> and <i>land</i> together constituted the original pre-medieval superordinate terminology. To this there was a substructure, which distinguished between attached and non-attached property, where <i>óðal</i> represented <i>land</i> attached to the family as opposed to <i>kaupland</i> 'purchased <i>land</i>', and <i>búfé</i> represented <i>fé</i> attached to the <i>bú</i>'home, homestead' as opposed to <i>lauss eyrir, lausir aurar</i>, pl. The first set of subcategory terms for the new Roman law structure was borrowed from the original Scandinavian terminology by structural adaptation. <i>Land</i> was made the term for IMMOVABLE PROPERTY in the north-west, but, due to a term exchange which had already taken place, <i>iorþ</i> was made the term in the south and the east. <i>Lauss eyrir (lös örir), lausir aurar (lösir örar)</i>, pl., was made the term for MOVABLE PROPERTY in the north-west and east, but <i>bofæ, bolfæ</i> in the south. In Gotland the variety <i>oyrar (örar)</i> was chosen. During the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Age the <i>lös</i>-terms became the prevailing Nordic terms. The structural shift and, possibly, the successive term exchanges as well, were initiated by the establishment of the Christian church. When original texts in Latin were translated to Old Danish by bilingual representatives of the Church assisting in the drawing up of donation contracts, Lat. <i>res, terra, possessio</i> and <i>bona</i>, pl., could have been rendered by ODan. <i>koster, iorþ, eghn</i> and <i>goþs</i>, respectively, as loans of terminological function.