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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

Identifying Feminine Names in Medieval Lombardy

N S Catledge
student, United States

Using a list of names from Spoleto that I compiled from a facsimile of the Codex diplomaticus Cavensis, I attempted to ascertain whether the deuterotheme in a 10th century bithematic Lombard name served as a reliable marker of the gender of that name; i.e., specifically, whether that name would have been borne only by a female. I found the identified deuterothemes to be accurate at the 95% level of confidence for the sample: out of 20 deuterothemes identified in feminine names from the Codex, 19 were used only by females. The specific gender identification of the names was further verified by reference to several other primary and a few secondary sources from Spoleto and other Lombard areas. Lists of Anglo-Saxon and other Germanic names also appear to identify bithematic feminine names by the use of specific deuterothemes; therefore, general Germanic naming practices do not appear to contradict the name formation practices verified in the names from the Codex.

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