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The Antipodes

Mid (Miᚦ) and Wid (Wiᚦ)


Joannes Richter

M
W
the bipolar consonants M and the vowel couple “double U” (W)
Abstract
Germanic languages seem to have focused on the concept of two antipodes, which may be
identified as associating versus dissociating symbols.
Both associating and dissociating processes are elementary concepts in human societies. For
matrimonial couples marriage is an associating phase. Simultaneously both parental families both
suffer the loss of the couple's partners from their homes. As a rule each associating event may also
evoke a dissociating event. Eventually each marriage will also be hit by a disruption.
Basically these associating and dissociating forces are encoded in languages by M and W, which in
a graphical sense are vertically mirrored letters.
In fact the M is a genuine singular letter symbolizing a bipolar (male & female) couple “Man” and
W (as a “double U”) originally may also be considered as a pair of two identical letters U
respectively V.
The analysis of the symbolism of both letters M and W turned out to be rather complex.
• First of all the English language complicated the concept of two antipodes by redefining the
associating and dissociating elements “Mid” and “With” to “With” respectively “Mid”. This
transformation took place around the Norman conquest (1066).
• Additionally the letter W also seems to have been associated with the Digamma ("Ϝ" or its
modern lowercase variant "ϝ"), which had been lost in several languages for example in the
Greek transformation of Woinos in Oinos (“wine”), the transformation of Wilusa to Ilion
(“Troy”) and the Nordic transformation of Wodan to Odin (the sky-god).
The Madr-symbol “M” may represent Man (Adam) in his associated phase before the separation in
Man & Woman whereas the Stupmadr-symbol “U” symbolized the dissociated state of Man in
Adam and Eve after their and separation in the first couple of Man & Woman.
The following overview may suggest an intermediary, but unsecured concept:
• The “I” (The self, descendants “Y”, “ic” and Proto-Italic *egō) symbolizes a singular
character.
• Me may symbolize the centered (associated) couple (“we two”).
• We (“we all”) symbolizes the we-group.
• Mid (Miᚦ) symbolizes the associated couple (“we two”).
• Wid (Wiᚦ) symbolizes the dissociated couple (“we two”).
This paper summarizes the details for the antipodes Mid (Miᚦ) and Wid (Wiᚦ).
Introduction
Germanic languages seem to have focused on the concept of two antipodes, which may be
identified as associating versus dissociating symbols.
Both associating and dissociating processes are elementary concepts in human societies. For
matrimonial couples marriage is an associating phase. Simultaneously both parental families both
suffer the loss of the couple's partners from their homes. As a rule each associating event may also
evoke a dissociating event. Eventually each marriage will also be hit by a disruption.
Basically these associating and dissociating forces are encoded in languages by M and W, which in
a graphical sense are vertically mirrored letters.
In fact the M is a genuine singular letter symbolizing a bipolar (male & female) couple “Man” and
W (as a “double U”) originally may also be considered as a pair of two identical letters U
respectively V:

M
W
Text 1: the consonant M (Mannus) and the consonant couple “double U” (W)

The analysis of the symbolism of both letters M and W turned out to be rather complex.
• First of all the English language complicated the concept of two antipodes by redefining the
associating and dissociating elements “Mid” and “With” to “With” respectively “Mid”. This
transformation took place around the Norman conquest (1066).
• Additionally the letter W also seems to have been associated with the Digamma ("Ϝ" or its
modern lowercase variant "ϝ"), which had been lost in several languages for example in the
Greek transformation of Woinos in Oinos (“wine”), the transformation of Wilusa to Ilion
(“Troy”) and the Nordic transformation of Wodan to Odin (the sky-god).
The Madr-symbol “M” may represent Man (Adam) in his associated phase before the separation in
Man & Woman whereas the Stupmadr-symbol “U” symbolized the dissociated state of Man in
Adam and Eve after their and separation in the first couple of Man & Woman.
This paper summarizes the details for the antipodes Mid (Miᚦ) and Wid (Wiᚦ).
The widest letters of the alphabet
In a website the problem of the widest letters has been solved for under- and uppercase as follows:
• mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
• wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
• MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
• WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
The result depends on the fonts. But the fact is, most fonts follow the same conventions, and often
the capital W will be the widest1.
The W is actually not an upside down M and has been designed as an overlapping VV, in which the
overlapping section may be varying. Both the standard designs for M and W however are both the
widest.

Reasons for dual concepts in the designs of the M and W


This result may suggest the idea of dual concepts in the designs of the M and W. Both M and W are
equipped by some arguments for duality:
• The phoneme /w/ refers to the Digamma (2 x gamma) and double U (2 x V or 2 x U).
• The name Madr (man) for the runic letter M may refer to a dual concept for Adam.

1 Which letter of the English alphabet takes up most pixels?


The relations between the runic symbols M (ᛗ) and W (ᚹ) or U (ᛦ)
In Elder Futhark alphabets the runic element Madr (“Man”, ᛗ) may be symbolizing the first human
couple “Adam & Eve”, before they had been separated in two individuals.

Text 2: The consonant Madr (M, ᛗ) as a pair of opposite runic elements W (ᚹ) in
Elder Futhark alphabets

Strange as it may seem the Younger Futhark uses another opposite structure named Stupmadr
(“reversed man”: ᛦ) as a defined as a vowel “U”:
ᛦ: de U (lees: u) of R, ŷr (lees: uur), boog; een gespannen boog met een pijl er op, de
koorde ontbreekt; dus een half cirkeltje, van onderen open, door de verticale lijn
doorsneden en in twee quadranten verdeeld; juist het omgekeerde van de vorige figuur,
en daarom ook wel stupmadr, d.i. omgekeerde man, genoemd; de boog wordt ook hier
soms door twee rechte lijntjes vervangen2.

Text 3: The consonant M (ᛗ) as an opposite symbol to the runic element


Stupmadr (“reversed man”: ᛦ, defined as a vowel “U”) in Younger Futhark
alphabets

2 Iets over het runenschrift, ter toelichting van den oorsprong der letterteekens. (published in De Taalgids Zesde
jaargang (1864) by L.A. te Winkel)
The runic final symbol “R-finale” (Aur, Yr, Stupmadr)
Dieterich also explains the last alphabetical symbol as a runic final symbol “R-final” (Aur, Yr,
Stupmadr) and a “famous” Sanskrit vowel3:

1 Dieterich's entry for the runic final symbol “R-finale” (Aur, Yr, Stupmadr)

This letter “R” seemed to be a trailing element for the alphabet and as a trailer or vowel for singular
words.

The associated and dissociated phases of Creation


The Madr-symbol “M” may represent
• Man (Adam) in his associated phase before the separation in Man & Woman
whereas the Stupmadr-symbol “U” symbolized
• the dissociated state of Man in Adam and Eve after their separation in the first couple of
individual persons Man & Wo-Man.
This separation of M-Man and Wo-Man suggests a correlation between M (for the male M-Man)
and W (for the female Wo-Man).

3 r bezeichnet außer dem bekannten Sanskritvocal das runische r finale (Aur, Yr, Stupmadr);
documented in Vergleichendes Worterbuch der gothischen Sprache by Diefenbach, Lorenz, 1806-1883
The dissociating “W”-words
The analysis of the runes in the Futhark alphabet resulted in a remarkable concentration of
symbolic Tiw- and Wit-related words.
The list of Tiw-dictionary includes most of the FuþiR/ Faþir-symbols in some of the
Germanic languages, but only English language allows us to identify all 9 Fuþ-categories as
integrated inside FuþiR/ Faþir which are correlated to the “fuþ”-core in “fuþark”:
(1) to feed up, (2) fat, (3) father, (4) fodder, (5) foster, (6) wod, (7) fud, (8) butt, (9)
futter, (10) fetter4.
In this paper I returned to the controversial role of the Antipodes Mid (Miᚦ) and Wid (Wiᚦ)
which in English seemed to have switched their meaning.
Originally the words “Mid” (Miᚦ) symbolized the centering of two or more elements,
whereas Wid (Wiᚦ) described the distancing effect of withdrawing a number of elements.
In English the word “with” seemed to have lost the centrifugal force and turned into a
centering force. This transformation of “with” from withdrawal to centering forces had been
restricted to English and is missing in Dutch and German5.

4 The Role of the Dual Form in the Evolution of European Languages


5 In English, Dutch and German the dual form is still alive
Wiktionary's overview of the word “with”
According to the Wiktionary entry the word “with” originally described an adverse attribute wiþer
(“against”), which shifted to the current attracting attribute “with”. In the following overview of the
Wiktionary entry with I marked the with-words yellow and the opposite mit-words blue:
From Middle English with, from Old English wiþ (“against, opposite, toward”), a
shortened form of wiþer, from Proto-Germanic *wiþr- (“against”), from Proto-Indo-
European *wi-tero- (“more apart”); from Proto-Indo-European *wi (“separation”).
Cognate with Old Frisian with (“against, again”), Old Saxon with (“against, again”),
Dutch weder (“again”) and weer (“again, opposite”), Low German wedder (“again,
against, opposite”), German wider (“against”) and wieder (“again”), Danish ved (“by,
near, with”), Swedish vid (“by, next to, with”). In Middle English, the word shifted to
denote association rather than opposition, displacing Middle English mid (“with”), from
Old English mid (“with”), from Proto-Germanic *midi, cognate with Old-Frisian mith
(“with”), Modern Frisian mei (“with”), Old Norse með (“with”), Icelandic með (“with”),
Dutch met (“with”) and German mit (“with”). 6

Middle English (abbreviated to ME[2]) was a form of the English language, spoken after the
Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century7.

6 Source: Wiktionary with


7 Middle English
The loss of the letters “W”

Classical Greek
The /w/ sound was lost at various times in various dialects, mostly before the classical period.
In Ionic, /w/ had probably disappeared before Homer's epics were written down (7th century BC),
but its former presence can be detected in many cases because its omission left the meter defective.

Ἄναξ, οἶνος, Italia, Veneti, vates


For example, the words ἄναξ "(tribal) king, lord, (military) leader".[1] found in the Iliad, would
have originally been ϝάναξ /wánaks/ (and is attested in this form in Mycenaean Greek[2]), and
οἶνος "wine" are sometimes used in the meter where a word starting with a consonant would be
expected. Further evidence coupled with cognate-analysis shows that οἶνος was earlier ϝοῖνος
/wóînos/[3] (cf. Cretan Doric ibêna, cf. Latin vīnum and English "wine").
There have been editions of the Homeric epics where the wau was re-added, particularly in the late
19th and early 20th centuries, but these have largely fallen out of favor.
Aeolian was the dialect that kept the sound /w/ longest. In discussions by ancient Greek
grammarians of the Hellenistic era, the letter is therefore often described as a characteristic Aeolian
feature.
Loanwords that entered Greek before the loss of /w-/ lost that sound when Greek did.
For instance, Oscan Viteliu ("land of the male calves", compare Latin: vitulus "yearling, male calf")
gave rise to the Greek word Italia.
The Adriatic tribe of the Veneti was called in Ancient Greek: Ἐνετοί, translit. Enetoi.
In loanwords that entered the Greek language after the drop of /w/, the phoneme was once again
registered, compare for example the spelling of Οὐάτεις for vates.8 9
Name Name including a digamma Name without a digamma
Troy Ϝιλιον (Wilion) ᾽Ιλιον (Ilion)
Veneti Veneti Ἐνετοί (Enetoi)
Italia Viteliu ("land of the male calves") Italia
wánaks Ϝάναξ (wánaks) ἄναξ "(tribal) king
wine ϝοῖνος /wóînos/[3] οἶνος "wine"
Table 1 Samples for the loss of the phoneme /w/ in various words

Ilion = Wilion
Recent evidence also adds weight to the theory that Wilusa is identical to archaeological Troy.
Hittite texts mention a water tunnel at Wilusa, and a water tunnel excavated by Korfmann,
previously thought to be Roman, has been dated to around 2600 BC.

8 In modern English, the nouns vates (/ˈveɪtiːz/) and ovate (British /ˈɒvət/, /ˈəʊveɪt/, U.S. /ˈoʊˌveɪt/), are used as
technical terms for ancient Celtic bards, prophets and philosophers.
9 Classical Greek (Digamma)
The identifications of Wilusa with Troy and of the Ahhiyawa with Homer's Achaeans remain
somewhat controversial but gained enough popularity during the 1990s to be considered majority
opinion. That agrees with metrical evidence in the Iliad that the name ᾽Ιλιον (Ilion) for Troy was
formerly Ϝιλιον (Wilion) with a digamma. 10

Vates
Celtic wātis is widely thought to have cognates in the Germanic languages, such as the Gothic term
wods 'possessed'[3] (though Rübekeil 2003 has suggested that the name of the Germanic god
*Wōđinaz may in fact be an early loanword, an adjective *vatinos based on Celtic vates).
If the Celtic word *wātis, the Latin vates, and similar Germanic words are cognates rather they
borrowings, they can be derived from an Indo-European word *(H)ueh₂t-i- "seer".[3] 11
In wider Germanic mythology and paganism, Odin was known in Old English as Wōden, in Old
Saxon as Wōdan, and in Old High German as Wuotan or Wōtan, all stemming from the
reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym *wōđanaz12.

10 Hittite and Egyptian records (Troy)


11 History of terminology Vates
12 Odin
“Mid” (“me two”) and “Wiþ” (“we two”)
In an earlier paper I suggested the interpretation “Mid” (“me two”) and “Wiþ” (“we two”) for the
first two generations of mankind.
Now I realized there also may be an explanation for both definitions “Mid” (“me two”) and “Wiþ”
(“we two”) in one generation, which had to be associated to the primary state “Mid” (“me two”)
before the separation respectively “Wiþ” (“we two”) after the separation.
We may claim that the prepositions (in Dutch:) “met”, (in English:) “mid”, (in German:)
”mit” respectively (in Dutch:) “weder”, (in English:) “wiþ”, (in German:) “wider”) behave
like dual forms, which have been derived from the accusative personal pronoun “me”
(singular), respectively the nominative “we” (plural) by adding a “þ” or “t”.
In modern Icelandic language the preposition við (“with” and the ancient dual form við (“we
two”) are identical, which proved to be a general rule for several Germanic languages
(checked for Dutch, English and German).
The prepositions “met”, “mid”, ”mit” symbolize cooperative phases, whereas the
corresponding antipodes “weder”, “wiþ”, “wider” symbolize “withstanding” phases.
In modern English and compared to German and Dutch “wiþ” symbolizes a controversial
status, which probably has been caused by a loss of philosophical principles in the
alternating phases of cooperation and decoupling.
The Icelandic prepositions við may have evolved in a similar way, in which the við-
prepositions are translated as beside, near, next to, respectively (between people) with, to. In
Old Norse however við is interpreted as against, towards, along with, with, among, for.
The archaic system used two dual forms for personal pronouns: one cooperative dual form
“mid” (“me two”) and one adverse dual form “wiþ” (“we two”). In order to understand the
philosophical logic behind the concept I designed a Biblical model for the involved couples.
The cooperative couple “Adam and Eve” would formulate themselves as “mid” (“me two”)
and the adverse couple “Cain and Abel” would formulate themselves as “wiþ” (“we two”).
Obviously the dual forms for these personal pronouns were also to be used as prepositions
“mid” (“cooperative”) respectively “wiþ” (“adverse”).
This essentially illustrates how the archaic system may have been designed. Unfortunately
the English language did not really stick to the original pattern and misunderstood the
principle by mixing up both definitions “mid” and “wiþ”.
Other designs of prepositions in Germanic languages may follow similar rules. Therefore the
dual forms may still be found in modern languages such as English, Dutch and German....13
• “Mid” (“me two”) may symbolize Adam & Eve before the separation.
• “Wiþ” (“we two”) may symbolize Adam & Eve after the separation and/or “Cain and Abel”.
In this overview the phrase “Wiþ” (“we two”) may symbolize Adam & Eve after the separation,
respectively also for the partners in a matrimonial state.

13 In English, Dutch and German the dual form is still alive


The Runic alphabet ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ (Futharc)
The similarity between the Elder Futhark and Younger Futhark is illustrated by graphical
comparison of the M-symbols (“man”) ᛗ, ᛘ, the W-symbols ᚹ, the U-symbols ᚢ and the “reversed
man” (Stupmadr) ᛦ14.
Algiz is the name conventionally given to the "z-rune" ᛉ of the Elder Futhark runic alphabet. Its
transliteration is z, understood as a phoneme of the Proto-Germanic language, the terminal *z
continuing Proto-Indo-European terminal *s.

Elder ᚠ ᚢ ᚦ ᚨ ᚱ ᚲ ᚷ ᚹ ᚺ ᚾ ᛁ ᛃ ᛇ ᛈ ᛉ ᛊ ᛏ ᛒ ᛖ ᛗ ᛚ ᛜ ᛟ ᛞ
Futhark f u þ a r k g w h n i j æ p z s t b e m l ŋ o d

ᚠ u/w ᚦ ᚬ ᚴ ᛁ ᛅ ᛏ ᛒ
Younger ᚱ ᚼ ᚾ ᛦ ᛋ ᛘ ᛚ
f/ , þ, ą, o, k, — — i, a, — — t, b, — — — —
Futhark r h n ʀ s m l
v y, ð æ g e æ d p
o, ø
2 The evolution of the Futhark design from Wikipedia's section History in Younger Futhark

14 ᛦ yr ("yew") . (Rune names in Younger futhark)


The names of the 16 runes of the Younger futhark are recorded in the Icelandic and Norwegian rune poems.
Dictionary of the Mid (Miᚦ) and Wid (Wiᚦ)-related words
As an adverb *me (“with”) symbolizes the center of a relevant location.
Outside the Roman empire the dual personal pronouns of the 1 st person “ƿit“, “wut” or
“wit” correlate to the sky-god Tyr, Tuw, Tiw. Therefore the corresponding personal
pronouns of the 1st person singular never really needed to be modified to match the
divine names. These ego-pronouns are still in use although the dual personal pronouns
of the 1st person “ƿit“, “wut” or “wit” in fact have disappeared in modern languages.

The suggestion that the ego-pronouns correlate to the Creator's name may be supported
by the ego-pronoun adam (nominative) and Mana (genitive) in Old Persian, although
the symbolic cores for these words have been extended by suffixes. Maybe the name
Adam has been derived from the Old Persian ego-pronoun adam (nominative).15

The “w*t”-core describes two dissociated elements whereas the “m*t”-core relates to an associated
center.
In both cases at least one other element should be around to complete the *me-definition.
Word English Type Language
I The self ; “I” (nominative) Personal ego-pronoun English
*me “with”, → in the middle of, near, Adverb Proto-Indo-European
by, around,
Adam “I” (nominative) Personal ego-pronoun Old Persian
Mana “I” (genitive) Personal ego-pronoun Old Persian
Man “man” (person of unspecified substantive Old English
(word) gender)
mid “With”, “amid”, “amidst” Preposition Middle English
we “we all” Personal ego-pronoun English
plural
Wit, wut “We two” Personal ego-pronoun old-English
dual
Table 3 Dictionary of the Mid (Miᚦ) and Wid (Wiᚦ)-related words

Overview of the I, Me, We, Mid, Wid-concept(s)


The following overview may suggest an intermediary, but unsecured concept:
• The “I” (The self, descendants “Y”, “ic” and Proto-Italic *egō) symbolizes a singular
character.
• Me may symbolize the centered (associated) couple (“we two”).
• We (“we all”) symbolizes the we-group.
• Mid (Miᚦ) symbolizes the associated couple (“we two”).
• Wid (Wiᚦ) symbolizes the dissociated couple (“we two”).

15 Another Sight on the Unfolding of Language | Joannes richter


Contents
Abstract............................................................................................................................................2
Introduction......................................................................................................................................3
The widest letters of the alphabet ...................................................................................................4
Reasons for dual concepts in the designs of the M and W..........................................................4
The relations between the runic symbols M (ᛗ) and W (ᚹ) or U (ᛦ)................................................5
The runic final symbol “R-finale” (Aur, Yr, Stupmadr).............................................................6
The associated and dissociated phases of Creation.....................................................................6
The dissociating “W”-words ...........................................................................................................7
Wiktionary's overview of the word “with”.................................................................................8
The loss of the letters “W”...............................................................................................................9
Classical Greek...........................................................................................................................9
Ἄναξ, οἶνος, Italia, Veneti, vates.............................................................................................9
Ilion = Wilion..............................................................................................................................9
Vates..........................................................................................................................................10
“Mid” (“me two”) and “Wiþ” (“we two”).....................................................................................11
The Runic alphabet ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ (Futharc).............................................................................................12
Dictionary of the Mid (Miᚦ) and Wid (Wiᚦ)-related words...........................................................13
Overview of the I, Me, We, Mid, Wid-concept(s).....................................................................13