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By William Pierce Shephard

From the INTRODUCTION.
In all languages owning a good constructed expiratory accessory there's chanced on an inclination to weaken the syllables which stand at the reduce phases of accentuation. The power dedicated to the creation of the syllable on which the primary accessory rests makes beneficial a discount within the strength of the expiration of the opposite syllables of the be aware. The vowels of those syllables then convey a lack of sonority; and are prone to be decreased to that caliber which calls for the smallest amount of expiratory strength for his or her articulation. simply that half is left that is completely beneficial for the life of the syllable. Or, in different instances, the aid may match nonetheless farther. Then the weaker syllables disappear solely; the power as soon as expended on their creation is going to swell the strain given to the extra hugely accented syllables, and so they lose their self sustaining lifestyles. to watch the impact of those trends, now we have purely to check a language with a chromatic—or musical—accent with one owning a robust expiratory pressure. within the former, all of the vowels are articulated fairly and customarily preserved via lengthy classes of improvement; within the latter, they're first decreased in strength, their articulation is slurred or hasty, and so they frequently disappear totally. for instance, in old Greek, which had surely a tone-accent, there are virtually no examples of the syncope of unaccented vowels. the single situations of loss are as a result of next contraction of 2 vowels status in hiatus after the outfall of an intervocal j or w. yet within the Teutonic department, nonetheless, the vowels of the unaccented syllables are continually weakened; from the earliest interval this tendency might be saw, and its operation is unchecked at this time day. In glossy English those vowels are always slurred in pronunciation, and are usually weakened to the so-called '' irrational'' vowel (the sound of u in but), that's mostly an insignificant voice-glide, with out determined articulation.

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Que faut-il comprendre ? Ils sont pris ici en défaut : le cas n'est pas prévu par la loi. En conséquence, ils recherchent la formule qui palliera cette défail­ lance. Ne la trouvant - évidemment - pas, ils se précipitent sur les armes et marchent vers leur propre mort. Même à l'époque chrétienne, quelque chose est resté de ce sentiment que le droit débouchait directement sur le sacré. L'enceinte du thing reste inviolable, le condamné est intou­ chable dans certaines limites précisées par le code, le tribunal d'exécution d'une sentence ne peut se réunir qu'à une certaine distance, sacrée elle-même (ôrskotshelgr), du domicile de l'accusé, le porteur de trêve jouit d'une totale impunité, le veto légal (lyritr) prononcé par un godi est irrécusable.

Aussi ne connaît-on pas d'exemple, avant la Sturlunga Saga qui est la chronique des familles islandaises au xme siècle, de rivalité entre père et fils ou entre frère et frère. Au pire, les dis­ sensions peuvent s'élever entre parents par alliance, j amais entre parents au premier degré. Le seul cas de rivalité entre frères - la querelle mortelle Reginn-Fafnir - est tellement scan­ daleux qu'il a provoqué le plus grand cycle tragique de poèmes héroïques. Car voilà le seul crime absolument inexpiable : ils ont tué leur père, ils s'entre-tueront donc ensuite, et l'objet de tant de crimes abominables, l'or du Rhin, fera le malheur de tous ceux qui s'en empareront.

Voici qui est plus remarquable encore : la langue norroise ne possède pas de mot pour traduire « religion ». Elle dit à la place sidr, qui correspond à notre culte ou à notre coutume. Le paga­ nisme c'est l'heidinn sidr (la pratique, la coutume païenne ; on trouve aussi Jorn sidr : pratique ancienne). Ce détail est éclai­ rant car il suffit à nous autoriser à conclure que la religion ger­ manique n'existe qu'en tant qu'ensemble de pratiques et d'opé­ rations cultuelles. Hors du culte, point de religion.

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