There is a strong case to be made for Scandinavian input here, but its precise form depends on how the relationship between the OE and ON terms (all ultimately connected to PGmc *sakan-
) is interpreted. Spellings of this n. in ME indicate a vocalism directly derived from ON, cp. OIcel sátt
'settlement, agreement, concord, peace' and sætt
'reconciliation, agreement' (and further sætta
'to reconcile' and sáttr
'reconciled, at peace') rather than late OE seht
'settlement, arrangement, agreement' (which has also been derived from ON, but on arguments for interpreting this vocalism as native, see SPS 42-3, with references). ON /a:/ (and i-
mutated /æ:/) could be explained either as an instance of lengthening preceding the consonant cluster assimilation */xt/ > /tt/ (on the apparent absence of assimilation reflected by the English forms, see Dance 2003: 138-9, 153-4) or by postulating an original PGmc *sanxt-
. The existence of the latter is potentially supported by a connection to Lat sancire
'to hallow, make binding' etc. (though Bj. also notes the lack of evidence for such a root in Gmc). Though the phoentic evidence is inconclusive, the concentration of OE forms in <a>/<æ> in ?a1160 Peterb.Chron.
(LdMisc 636) is also suggestive.
It has further been argued that the phrase 'sete saʒte' is borrowed directly from a common ON formulation, cp. 'setja sátt (frið, grið etc.)' (Goll 1201n, McGee 375; EVG also compares 'setja sátta').
*saxtiz or *sanxtiz
Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)
sátt 'settlement, agreement, concord, peace', sætt 'reconciliation, agreement'
(ONP sátt (sb.), sætt (sb.))
Other Scandinavian Reflexes
Far sætt, Icel sætt, Norw sætt
seht, seaht 'settlement, agreement'
Phonological and morphological markers
[ON / ɑ:/ < PGmc */anx/]