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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. Anonymous Poems, 2. Liðsmannaflokkr, 6 [Vol. 1, 1023]

[2] Ullkell: An East Anglian leader also mentioned in Sigv Víkv 7/3. The ms. tradition has Ulfkell : gullu, so that the line lacks full aðalhending. Accordingly, Konráð Gíslason (1892, 165) emended gullu ‘screamed’ to skulfu ‘shook’, following ÞKolb Eirdr 14/8: Ulfkell, bláar skulfu. However, a more conservative emendation of Ulfkell to Ullkell produces a form consistent with phonological developments in later OE, where clusters of three unlike consonants, including [lf] plus consonant, were sporadically reduced, especially in proper names (Campbell 1959, 191). The spelling Ulfcytel/Ulfcetel for the name of Knútr’s opponent is standard in English sources, but forms such as Wlketel(us), Vlkill and Ulkil occur alongside Vlfketel, Vlfkil, and Vlfkel to denote other men of the same name (cf. Hauberg 1900, 92-103, 265; Whitelock 1941, 129, 145). There is no parallel reduction in consonant clusters in OWN proper names (Seip 1971, 174, 190), which suggests that this form would be an Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Scandinavian feature.


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