This paper scrutinizes the lexical content and sociocultural functions of the recently discovered Hogganvik runestone from 4th- or 5th-century Norway. Archaeological excavations in 2010 did not confirm the general expectation that the stone belongs to a grave and hence supported the suspicion that this type of runic monument neither constitutes a gravestone nor a prototypical memorial stone commemorating the dead. I argue that Hogganvik functions as an emblem of status and identity and hence prefigures sociocultural structures of power not unlike those evidenced by the early 7th-century Blekinge inscriptions with their lycophoric names, e.g., hAriwolAfz (KJ 96 Stentoften). This lexical analysis focuses on the sequence inananaboz, the by-name erafaz (ON jerfr “wolverine”), and the personal names kelbabewaz and naudigastiz, all present in the Hogganvik inscription. Drawing on comparative evidence of names and appellatives, the article places the Hogganvik stone in an early Scandinavian setting with particular stress on West Scandinavian correspondences in lexis.
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Vol. 2013 • No. sp4