In the past there seemed to be quite an amount of consensus of how the older Runic inscriptions were to be read (cf. W. Krause, Die Runeninschriften im älteren Futhark. I. Text. II. Tafeln. Mit Beiträgen von Herbert Jankuhn. Göttingen, 1966). This consensus was also codified in a nearly coherent grammar of the early Runic inscriptions (cf. W. Krause, Die Sprache der urnordischen Runeninschriften. Heidelberg, 1971). This consensus lasted till the edition of E. H. Antonsen (A concise grammar of the older runic inscriptions. Tübingen, 1975), who proposed lots of deviating readings and had a structuralist approach towards the grammar. In recent times there again have been many rereadings of Runic inscriptions (cf. e.g. readings given by Seebold, Imer, Graf, Graf – Waldispühl). Some of these new readings have an effect on how the grammar of the early Germanic languages looked like, cp. e.g.:
a. Silver clasp of Gårdlösa (ca. 200): Is the sequence after ek to be read as PN unwodz or as a sequence of a PN unwod and an abbreviated verb form f/w? When the latter is right, there is a nom.sg. form without a trace of the expected ending – can this and when yes how does this fit into the grammar system?
b. There seem to be three separate endings of the 3.sg.pret. of the weak verbs: ‑dai (only silver clasp of Lundegårde/Nøvling [ca. 200]) : –de (shield mount 2 of Illerup Ådal 2 [ca. 200], wooden box of Garbølle [ca. 400]) : ‑da (only silver rosette clasp of Skovgårde/Udby [ca. 200]). Are they in view of the grammar of the later Germanic languages all to be taken at face value or must –dai be read as –da + division mark or is –da a misspelling for –dai?
Examples like these will be addressed in the talk, asking how different readings affect our understanding of the grammar and how a decision between deviating readings can be made on the basis of what is known of the grammar of the early Germanic languages.