It will be about the rules of reading in the Gothic language, namely the reading of digraphs (combinations of vowels).

Digraph - Combination of two vowels, e.g. "au".


Monoftong - reading a combination of two vowels as one, e.g. "au = o".

Diphthong - reading the digraph as two vowels,

e.g. "au = ay."


There are two points of view, according to which, ai and au digraphs should be read in accordance with the rule, that is, as diphthongs, except when they stand before the letters ( r, h, ƕ) and also in borrowed words, for example, “ aikklesjo "- Ecclesio, according to the Greek analogue of" εκκλησία ", or the opposite theory, which consists in the fact that all these diphthongs at the time of Wulfila actively began to congregate into monophthongs, which of course will simplify reading in Gothic.

At the moment, it is customary to follow the theory of complete monophthongization and in modern times, when using the Gothic, it is it that is used.

The rationale for the theory:

1) The monophthongization of these digraphs affected the majority of modern Germanic languages, which affected the spelling of these words:

Goth. Stains = Swede Sten, Nid. Steen (stone)

Goth. Augo = Swede Öga, Nid. Oog (eye)


Note: in German such changes did not happen: Stein (Stein) - stone, Auge (Auge) - eye.


2) The spelling of Latin words in later texts according to the rules of Gothic spelling: lat. Cautio is written in Gothic as kawtjo , where the Latin diphthong is not recorded through au , but through aw, which means that the au digraph was no longer used to transmit the diphthong.


3) In the Alcuin manuscript, the word libaida “lived” is translated as libeda with the commentary of the author: “diphtongon ai pro e longa”, which implies that those diphthongs that were monophthongized began to denote a long vowel sound, as opposed to monophthongs that already exist, which indicate a short vowel.


4) In the preserved small materials of other East Germanic languages, this process is fixed in writing:

- Vandal froja = Gothic frauja

- Hepidian " sterno " = Gothic " stairno "


5) Many philologists and linguists who dealt with this issue believe that the new Wulfila Alphabet could not give such a notation system where the same sign would be pronounced both as a diphthong and as a simple vowel.


Note: in this case, for the transmission of diphthongs (ay / ay) in Gothic it is used (aw / aj), respectively.


In cases where after the digraph is a vowel, they are read as follows


ai - before (a) “saian” [saan] - long “a”;

au - before (a / i) “bauan” [bån, reads as Swedish “å” [oa] / “sauil” [såil]);