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Re: Of Elves and Mountains (Hesperic etymologies)

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  • Jörg Rhiemeier
    Hallo conlangers! ... The name of the _Alb_, a lesser mountain range north of the Alps in southern Germany, probably has the same origin. This range certainly
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 6 1:15 PM
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      Hallo conlangers!

      On Tuesday 05 March 2013 21:15:05 I wrote:

      > Hallo conlangers!
      >
      > I have a new Hesperic etymological finding to report.
      >
      > On New Year's Day, I had written:
      > > Also, Alpianic
      > >
      > > *alp- 'mountain' looks like a regular descendant of PH *xalb-,
      > > perhaps from the notion that high mountains (such as those of
      > > the Alps where Alpianic languages are spoken) are snow-capped
      > > and thus "white".
      >
      > Actually, this is wrong. The Alpianic reflex of PH *xalb- is
      > *ôpa 'ancestor'. The word *alpa 'mountain' is a cognate of
      > Old Albic _arb_ < PH *xarb 'hill, mountain' (the shift *r > *l,
      > counterfeeding *al > *ô, is regular before stops). This is in
      > turn an extended form of the PH root *xar- 'high' (cf. Old Albic
      > _ar_ 'high', _aran_ 'up'). So no connection between Elves and
      > mountains, despite the similarities of the words.

      The name of the _Alb_, a lesser mountain range north of the Alps
      in southern Germany, probably has the same origin. This range
      certainly wasn't named for its whiteness, as the Alb is not
      snow-capped but forested and therefore dark green and in no way
      "white". Apparently, the above mentioned changes to the liquids
      happened in the unknown Hesperic language of southern Germany as
      well, because otherwise, the Alb would be known as the "Arb".

      --
      ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
      http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
      "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
    • Olivier Simon
      I rather think that alp(es) is a word older than the arrival of Indo-Europeans in Europe. It may mean something like mountain meadow (cf. French alpage ),
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 7 11:22 PM
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        I rather think that "alp(es)" is a word older than the arrival of Indo-Europeans in Europe. It may mean something like "mountain meadow" (cf. French "alpage"), or simply "mountain".
        Some have tried to connect it with the antique name of Gibraltar, famous for being clustered atop a rock : Calpe (from * (k)alpe ?)

        Olivier
      • BPJ
        Do you know that the Romance language of the western Alps apparently have the opposite change at least before labials (and perhaps elsewhere. The language
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 8 12:24 AM
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          Do you know that the Romance language of the western Alps apparently have
          the opposite change at least before labials (and perhaps elsewhere. The
          language autonym is Arpitan and Mons Silvius has become Cervin
          (Matterhorn).

          /bpj

          Den tisdagen den 5:e mars 2013 skrev Jörg Rhiemeier:

          > Hallo conlangers!
          >
          > I have a new Hesperic etymological finding to report.
          >
          > On New Year's Day, I had written:
          >
          > > Also, Alpianic
          > > *alp- 'mountain' looks like a regular descendant of PH *xalb-,
          > > perhaps from the notion that high mountains (such as those of
          > > the Alps where Alpianic languages are spoken) are snow-capped
          > > and thus "white".
          >
          > Actually, this is wrong. The Alpianic reflex of PH *xalb- is
          > *ôpa 'ancestor'. The word *alpa 'mountain' is a cognate of
          > Old Albic _arb_ < PH *xarb 'hill, mountain' (the shift *r > *l,
          > counterfeeding *al > *ô, is regular before stops). This is in
          > turn an extended form of the PH root *xar- 'high' (cf. Old Albic
          > _ar_ 'high', _aran_ 'up'). So no connection between Elves and
          > mountains, despite the similarities of the words.
          >
          > --
          > ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
          > http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
          > "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
          >
        • Jörg Rhiemeier
          Hallo conlangers! ... Sure. And my Hesperic languages are meant to flesh out a group of these pre-IE languages as fictional languages. ... Maybe. A Hesperic
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 8 7:33 AM
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            Hallo conlangers!

            On Friday 08 March 2013 08:22:58 Olivier Simon wrote:

            > I rather think that "alp(es)" is a word older than the arrival of
            > Indo-Europeans in Europe. It may mean something like "mountain meadow"
            > (cf. French "alpage"), or simply "mountain".

            Sure. And my Hesperic languages are meant to flesh out a group
            of these pre-IE languages as fictional languages.

            > Some have tried to connect it
            > with the antique name of Gibraltar, famous for being clustered atop a rock
            > : Calpe (from * (k)alpe ?)

            Maybe. A Hesperic name is not entirely out of the question
            there, and the initial /k/ may be a strengthened laryngeal
            (the Proto-Hesperic form is *xalb-; and while most Hesperic
            languages have lost that *x, that has happened much later
            than the breakup of Proto-Hesperic).

            On Friday 08 March 2013 09:24:16 BPJ wrote:

            > Do you know that the Romance language of the western Alps apparently have
            > the opposite change at least before labials (and perhaps elsewhere. The
            > language autonym is Arpitan and Mons Silvius has become Cervin
            > (Matterhorn).

            This is interesting. Maybe instability of liquids is an areal
            feature of the western Alps. Or the /l/ > /r/ change arose from
            a hypercorrection of the /r/ > /l/ change acquired from an
            Alpianic substratum.

            --
            ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
            http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
            "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
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