Mōtung:Geānedu Rīcu American

Fram Wikipǣdian
Gān tō: þurhfōr, sēcan

Þés tramet sceolde béon genemned "Geánlǽht Underrícu American." Æfter þǽm worde "þá" in manigfealdlicre ríme, is hit "þá Geánlǽhtan Underrícu American." Séo endung "e" nis riht - héo is werlic, ac "underríce," þæt word þe mid "Geánlǽht" gemearcod biþ, is náht. Nis wíflic, nis werlic. Is náht. --James 15:27, 15 ÆGé 2005 (UTC)

Ah, I see. I used that name because I'd been forming adjectives based on rules from later in OE's development, when -e was used to terminate all adjectives applies to plural nouns in the nominative case. --Saforrest 17:17, 15 ÆGé 2005 (UTC)

Geánlǽht Rícu American[ādihtan fruman]

Íslenska: Bandaríki Ameríku


I finally made it down to the library to see what B&T says about ríce in print, as opposed to the brief versions online. It has all sorts of examples from actual Old English texts.

First, one should note that ríce is also an adjective, and none of its meanings as an adjective mean "king."

Further, as a substantive, "kingdom" is only a derivative meaning.

Ríce meant "state" with all its sundry connotations. A kingdom is just one of many examples of a state; it is a state with a king.

The primary meaning of ríce is "power, authority, dominion, rule, empire, reign." Thus, if sovereignty is popular, a republic or a democracy would be a ríce. The examples listed all have the connotation of "administration," "regime," "government," or state.

The secondary meaning is "the district in which power is exercised," including an ecclesiastical diocese or a nation, ie, state.

These definitions are online, but the copies I made from the print edition are clear that ríce at heart means "jurisdiction" or state.

In fact, there are settings where ríce replaces the "dom" in "kingdom" -- not "king." For example: cyninga ríce.

Also, "dóm" can be suffixed to ríce to give a more abstract alternate.

In short, it seems all agree that "underríce" is inappropriate. I think to keep with the meaning intended by the American Founding Fathers, and to use the simplest Old English word for "state," we should simply write: ríce.
--Walda 7 Mǽdmónaþ 2005 03:11 (UTC)


Neat idea, these pages!

"State" does not mean province or sub-state. Each of the United States were called "states" because they were viewed as states, not as provinces, or sub-states. The Founding Fathers were quite explicit about what the word meant at the time when they coined "United States." Their greatest fear was that one day a grand central government seated in Washington could form a single "consolidated" state, which would be worse for the people's freedoms then then was the central colonial government. Thomas Jefferson in the famous Kentucky Resolutions (#8) writes against this consolidation occurring: "[We] view this as seizing the rights of the States and consolidating them in the hands of the General Government, with a power assumed to bind the States, not merely as [to] cases made federal (casus foederis), but in all cases whatsoever, by laws made, not with their consent, but by others against their consent... This would be to surrender the form of government we have chosen and live under one deriving its powers from its own will and not from our authority." In his letter of 1882 to William Barry: "The foundations are already deeply laid by their decisions for the annihilation of constitutional State rights and the removal of every check, every counterpoise to the engulfing power of which themselves are to make a sovereign part." I quote these to show, that the Fathers considered each state sovereign, that is a full state, not a province or imaginary "sub-state." Indeed, Jefferson opens resolution #1 with the statement: "Resolved, That several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style of a Constitution for the United States... a government for special purposes -- ... reserving, each state to itself, the residuary mass of their right to their own self-government..."

Now certainly we no longer have such an arrangement today under the "evolving constitution" about which Scalia complains, but that is a political question. It may really be that the US is something like a single state, composed of sub-states. But the Founding Fathers didn't mean that when they coined the term "United States." In their use, the "states" were each a kingdom without a king, a complete sovereign political unit, and that's what the word state means today. State means state, rice.

Thus, to introduce "underricu" in place of "ricu" is a mistranslation. --Walda 23:36, 23 Sér 2005 (UTC)


You make a good case, and this is worth reconsidering. I believe the primary motivation for 'underrícu' was (as from reflecting the current political reality), that we were then using "Ríce" for 'kingdom.

It became difficult to distinguish "Geánlǽht Ríce" ('United Kingdom') from "Geánlǽht Rícu" ('United States'), especially in inflection. We now use 'Cýneríce' for 'Kingdom' in this case, but we should think about what exactly we are pressing 'ríce' into service for, and if maybe some other word wouldn't be better for 'state'.

In any case, when proposing a change in name of a major page like this, which is linked from lots of other articles, please allow some time for discussion before going ahead and making the change. I've reverted your changes for now. Let's see what people have to say. I myself am now convinced that "underríce" is not the right word for 'state'. --Saforrest 11:30, 24 Sér 2005 (UTC)

Sounds good. --Walda 03:31, 25 Sér 2005 (UTC)
I completely agree with the move. The word "state" refers to an fully independent entity, and it's only relatively recently that US centralization has given the word a connotation of being a sub-entity. The current version translates more to "United Provinces of America", and even though that is the political reality nowadays, especially after Raich vs. Ashcroft, it isn't a very good translation. --Blabak
As I said above, I do think underríce ought to change. What I am unsure of is what the OE equivalent of 'state' should be.
The meaning of ríce is arguably 'kingdom'. A few other options for 'state' might be: cynewíse, þéod, léodscip, þéodscipe. Any comments? Saforrest 00:22, 28 Sér 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, underríce may not be the best translation for 'state'. Some possibilities:
  • boldgetæl [] n (-es/-talu) collection of houses; (political) district, county, province
  • eard [] m (-a/-a) 1. native soil, native land, native country, country, province, region, place of residence, dwelling, home; dwelling place, estate, cultivated ground; 1a. (1) in connection with persons, (a) the country where a person lives or is going to live; (b) of a more limited area, the place where a person lives, habitation, dwelling, home; (2) in connection with things, natural place, native soil (of plants); 2. earth or land, in contrast to water, as a firm place on earth or on land; 3. state, station, condition; fate
  • folcscearu2 [] f (-e/-a) people, nation, province; people’s land
  • land [] n (-es/-) earth, land, soil; territory, realm, province, district; landed property; country (not town); ridge in a ploughed field; ǽhte ~ landed property; gelǽtan néah ~ approach the shore?; wéste ~ waste land, desert
  • landmearca [] m (-n/-n) land, country
  • landríce [] n (-es/-u) territory
  • landscearu [] f (-e/-a) tract of land, province, country; boundary, landmark
  • landscipe [] m (-es/-as) region
  • landseten [] f (-e/-a) occupation of land; occupied land, estate
  • landstede [] m (-es/-as) region
  • mǽgþ1 [] 1. f (-e/-a) family group, clan, tribe, generation, stock, race, people; province, country; 2. longing, ambition; greed
  • mearc [] f (-e/-a) 1 mark, sign, line of division; standard; 1 boundary, limit, term, border; defined area, district, province; tó þæs ge~es þe in the direction that
  • mearcland [] n (-es/-) border-land, march, moor; 2 province, country, district; sea-coast
  • scéat [] m (-es/-as) 1. a corner, an angle, edge, point; applied to the earth or heaven, corner, quarter; 2. a projection, promontory, point; 3. a nook, corner, quarter, district, region (in the phrases eorþan, foldan ~); 4. a lap, bosom, fold; 4a. the bosom, surface (of the earth); 5. a bay; 5a. inlet, creek; 6. a garment; 7. a cloth, napkin, sheet; 7a. with the idea of concealment, cloak, fold, covering, garment; [Ger schoß]; 7b. of a protective covering; 8. past 3rd sing of scéotan;
  • scír [] f (-e/-a) 1. office, appointment, charge, authority, supremacy, business, administration, government; 1a. where the term refers to an English official; 2. a district, province, shire, as an ecclesiastical term diocese, parish, see; 2a. the people of a district, a tribe; 2b. a hut; 3. as a technical English term, a shire; 3a. the people of a shire, the community inhabiting a shire; 4. as an ecclesiastical term, the district in charge of an ecclesiastic (bishop, etc.), a diocese, parish;
I've used scír before in the sense of county, as in Duval scír, but for state in the US sense of the word, is "any of the territorial and political units that together constitute a federal government, as in the US.; the territory of a state" - landmearca, perhaps? and maybe speaking about one's own state, swǽs and eard could be used? --James 04:58, 28 Sér 2005 (UTC)
And, political questions are outside our realm here on the wikipedia. I'm very politically active outside the wiki. --James 04:58, 28 Sér 2005 (UTC)
This is getting complicated. I still think there is a simple solution staring at us...
Just remember that the confusion exists in Modern English, too, and comes from the notion of divided sovereignty. Jefferson and the "country party" favored strong state governments with most of the operation of government performed in rural counties where it could be more accountable to the people. On other hand, Hamilton and the "court party" wanted to create a unitary state like Great Britain's in order to create conditions favorable to mercantilist combination and expansion. So Madison, a member of the "country party" came up with the compromise of divided sovereignty, under which there were two kinds of "states:" the states, which were the countries or republics making up the federation, and the treaty-state, the federal government. The latter gives us the office "Secretary of State." That's two kinds of "states" in America. The American innovation of divided sovereignty partly leads to our confusion today.
State was applied to the sundry republics to emphasize that all sovereignty (ríce) lay in the states (rícas). Federal, which comes from Latin foedus, "compact" or "treaty," was applied to the general government to emphasize that it was a creation of the sovereign states. For example, since roads were bad, people travelled little and called their state their "country," "commonwealth," or "republic." Thus, the Founding Fathers and the People alike viewed the states as equal to kingdoms. (But naturally, since they didn't elect kings, they had to call them something else.)
Today, we use "state" in the same fashion. But sometimes we become confused with our own states, because we no longer view them as sovereign states united under a common treaty, as "From the many comes the one." Instead, we think of one sovereign State divided into several provinces, as "From the one come the many." But despite the confusion, the word state still means sovereign entity (ríce), equal to a kingdom.
Imagine if England were organized as a heptarchy of seven separate kingdoms. In theory, that is how the US is organized: as fifty kingdoms called "states" without kings.
Germany likewise began as a confederation of kingdoms. But as it consolidated, it changed the nomenclature, demoting the kingdoms to duchies and the like, and reserving Reich only for what used to be a confederation. The Germans now apply Länder to what are somewhat equivalent to the old kingdoms. The U.S. never made that change in nomenclature.
Then there is the European union of states with a new, proposed Constitution (France will have other chances to approve one). If approved, this proposed government promises to evolve into a consolidated government like in the US, and expect its constituent countries to be still called "states." Some of these states are still kingdoms. Don't forget the Commonwealth of Independent States with a common government in Moscow. Historically, some of them were also kingdoms.
Alright, I just wrote a small tome because I find the topic intriguing, and I wish to emphasize that our states are not really shires (counties) or marks (frontiers). I also think that it is fitting to reflect the American concept of divided sovereignty correctly in the terminology. This unique, American concept is either a confusing relic of the past, or it is an intriguing witness of how American government works in practice. Moreover, ríce preserves the conceptual paradox and it accurately reflects the real political debate over the "big federal government," no matter what side anybody falls on.
Thanks, everyone, for the fascinating discussion!
--Walda 18:32, 28 Sér 2005 (UTC)

Fram gewritum[ādihtan fruman]

Geánlǽht Underrícu American
Us flag large.png
Fana Geánlǽhtra Underríca (GU)
Usgreatseal.png
Þæt Æðele Insegel
Cynelic gecwide: E Pluribus Unum
(Læden: Of manigum án); In God We Trust
(In Gode tréowaþ wé)
Þénunglice geþéode: Nán; Níwe Englisc is de facto
Cynesetl: Wascington, DC
Cynesetles hǽraród: 38°53′ N 77°02′ W
Rícesang: Sé Stéorrena-Specfáh Gierela
Feoh: GU Doler ($) (USD)

Name of the country, again[ādihtan fruman]

The current name of the article and of the land is Geānlǣht Rīcu American (give or take a yogh). That cannot be correct.

The noun ("rīce") is nominative plural. The unwritten "Þa" makes the adjective weak. Thus it should take an "-an" suffix.

As to the rest, there are choices. Rīce can have plurals rīce, rīciu or rīcu (of which the last has been chosen for the article).

The declension of "America" depends on wheter you take it to be weak masculine, like all normal "-a" nouns, or feminine like the other continents known to OE, Asia, Affrica and Europe, and like all "-ia" land names. I had assumed a feminine by analogy with Affrica. If it is a feminine then it takes "-e", not "-an".

On the other hand, America was not known to Old English. Corsica bears a Latin name but attracts a "him" at one point. America does not have an "-ia" ending which would definitively be feminine (though neither does Affrica). We have a choice.

Thus we have:

  • Geānlǣhtan Rīce/Rīciu/Rīcu Americe/American

Hogweard 10:37, 19 Solmōnaþ 2009 (UTC)

I'd disagree - if the article is unwritten, then the adjective is strong. If it is written, then the adjective is weak. As an analogy, in German, they write "Vereinigte Staaten" which is weak. If you say 'the', you write "die Vereinigten Staaten". It might be best to simply say "Geānlǣht Rīcu" and leave it at that, as that's the most common convention across the various wikis. --James 18:36, 5 Sēremōnaþ 2009 (UTC)
The weak form is not as mechanistic as that. In this case there is a definite article: the page is on "Þā Geānlǣhtan Rīcu American"; it is just that by convention one omits the "Þā" in giving the page a title. Þā appears throughout the text.
The weak form mostly occurs after a definite article or equivalent word or phrase, so after þæt, þis, min, Ælfredes etc. The weak form is also used (without an article) in ordinal numbers and in some vocative expressions:
"Eala ðu leofa cyning!" , "Þu yfla þeow and slawa!"
- where the sense of definiteness is meant without using a definite article.
In the name of this page we have a definite article but it is unwritten. The one place one finds that in the texts is poetry. For example:
"swoncre seonbende on syllan monn.
Hogweard 00:17, 6 Sēremōnaþ 2009 (UTC)

Duplicate ?[ādihtan fruman]

Hello, isn't Geānlǣhtan Rīcu American a duplicate of Ȝeānlǣhtan Rīcu American? Thanks. Nakor 02:16, 26 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2009 (UTC)

Yes but it's been determined that this is necessary actually. — ᚹᚩᛞᛖᚾᚻᛖᛚᛗ 02:25, 26 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2009 (UTC)
OK. Just for curiosity I am in interested in the reason why. Nakor 03:26, 26 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2009 (UTC)
It's just for the simple fact that there never was, is not, and most likely never will be, any standard way of writing the language. Dual pages satisfies the two majority camps of view. — ᚹᚩᛞᛖᚾᚻᛖᛚᛗ 03:23, 27 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2009 (UTC)
OK. Thanks for the explanation. Nakor 11:51, 27 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2009 (UTC)

Weak declension[ādihtan fruman]

Why is the weak declension used in the name ("geanlæhtan") when there is no cause for it? Willcume ic þec on míne brúcendsídan! 03:56, 14 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, my best guess is an assumed (but absent) "(The) United States of America," as I believe that's the correct/assumed/full title. — ᚹᚩᛞᛖᚾᚻᛖᛚᛗ (ᚷᛖᛋᛈᚱᛖᚳ) 04:03, 14 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2010 (UTC)
Aye, that is the reason. Likewise for "(þæt) Geānlǣhte Cynerīce" and a few others. As for whether it ought to be "geānlæht" or "geāned" or something else, I will say nothing for now! Hogweard 12:35, 14 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2010 (UTC)
German doesn't use the weak declension, and Icelandic uses the definitive article as part of the name. I don't think we should be using declensions which reflect assumed words. Which way to turn...? Willcume ic þec on míne brúcendsídan! 02:42, 15 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2010 (UTC)
I say make it strong, exclude "The," (as it's redundant), and change it to Ȝeānedu, in order to line it up with German Vereinigen (I think that's what they use). Plus ȝeāned has less syllables. Comes off better than ȝe-on-latched anyway. — ᚹᚩᛞᛖᚾᚻᛖᛚᛗ (ᚷᛖᛋᛈᚱᛖᚳ) 02:59, 15 Þrimilcemōnaþ 2010 (UTC)

Unnecessary moving[ādihtan fruman]

Þis ne scolde habban ȝeƿorden ȝeƿēȝed - hit ƿæs ȝemǣnre tō secȝenne "ȝeāndu" þonne "ȝeānedu". It was common practice to take out an unstressed vowel, especially "e", when after a short consonant and a long vowel, and before another syllable. Þes tramet scolde ƿesen eft ȝeƿēȝed, and ic bidde þætte se mann þe þā ƿēȝunȝe dyde, eft ƿēȝe hine. Elles meahtlīce dō ic self sƿā. Benmoreandflower.JPG  Ƿes hāl!   Fiordland Lake Marian.jpg 07:28, 11 Ēastermōnaþ 2011 (UTC)

True but on Wikipedia it's more of a common practice to standardize into a dictionary form, plus this move matched the vowel usage with all other instances of Ȝeāned* for article titles. So for uniformity, this move was indeed needed. — ᚹᚩᛞᛖᚾᚻᛖᛚᛗ (ᚷᛖᛋᛈᚱᛖᚳ) 17:03, 11 Ēastermōnaþ 2011 (UTC)
Ic ne āƿende þis ƿeorc þīn, for þȳ þe næs þǣr on Enȝlisce nǣniȝ full fæst laȝu be þǣm þe mann scolde ƿrītan. Ic ȝīet secȝe þæt hit ƿæs full unþearf for þǣre ȝōdan ƿeorcunȝe þisre Ƿikipǣdie. Benmoreandflower.JPG  Ƿes hāl!   Fiordland Lake Marian.jpg 06:21, 12 Ēastermōnaþ 2011 (UTC)