That which is brewed : an etymology of Germanic words for 'beer'

Date
2015-05
Authors
Sartin, Tavis Brelsford
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Abstract

Etymological scholarship on 'beer' has progressed to a point where one of two etymologies appears possible: either (1) a native, Germanic etymology or (2) a contact etymology from Latin. With no new empirical data available, scholars such as Fell (1975), Polomé (1996), and Murphy (1999) have moved beyond strictly linguistic factors in order to argue for one etymology over the other. What follows is a similar approach to the etymology of 'beer'. This paper similarly moves beyond the linguistic data to include historical, archeological, as well as cultural data in order to argue for a native, Germanic etymology. Unlike the previously mentioned scholars, however, this paper presents a new linguistic interpretation through which 'beer' (as well as other debatable etymologies) may be viewed: the Product-Process relationship.

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