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Re: Pliny's "Guthalvs"

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  • x99lynx@aol.com
    Piotr wrote (September 30, 2002 8:47) :
    Message 1 of 11 , Oct 1, 2002
      Piotr wrote (September 30, 2002 8:47) :
      <<You can't escape reconstructing the older form, and if you want to do that,
      you'd better use the methods worked out by linguists, weird as they may seem
      to you, rather than homespun ones.>>

      I have no problem with the methods worked out by linguists. It just seems
      sometimes you are measuring with a crooked ruler. You're eliminating things
      that you can't possibly know with any real certainty. You may be right about
      these things but its just as likely you are wrong. And that's what these
      homespun objections are about.

      Piotr also wrote:
      <<If the Germanic stem had ended in *-alw-, Pliny would have made it -ALVVS
      <-alvus> or -ALVA <-alva>.>>

      That's not true. If the Germanic word had originally been something like
      "Guthalws," Pliny would have seen <Guthalvs> in his sources, and would have
      written what he saw -- not knowing if the <v> stood for a /w/ or a /u/---
      ESPECIALLY SINCE HE PROBABLY HAD NEVER HEARD THE WORD SPOKEN. We have no
      record of Pliny ever making the trip north or even ever hearing a German
      speaker. (BTW, one would also think that Pliny would have avoided calling a
      "clear" river <alvus>, given the meaning of excremental terms like <alvus
      liquida> and <alvus varia>.)

      Piotr also wrote:
      <<*Gauta albiz, actually. Undateable? Conjectured? Both elements are attested
      separately (ON Gautr and elfr; the form I gave is more or less
      Proto-Scandinavian, but will work also for Pliny's time).>>

      Here's what works just as well for Pliny's time. What you find attested in
      languages 1200+ years later demonstrates that there were enough sound changes
      at work dialectically to bring <albis> to the later <elfr> and <a:lv>, and so
      <-alv> or <-alvs> (river) happening in between and showing up in 1st Cent AD
      Latin is no surprise.

      <<I merely put them together. The former is the genitive plural of the name
      of the Gauts. I hope you've heard of them -- the Geatas of Beowulf, and the
      people after whom Götaland and Göteborg were named.>>

      Göteborg was not named after "the people" -- it was named for the river, in
      the 18th Century. As far as what came first, the name of the land or the
      name of the people, history plainly tells us it could be one or the other.
      But for all we know, the "Goutoi", "Gutae" (Ptolemy) could have gotten their
      name the way Americans did, from a mistaken
      attribution of some geographer or cartographer.

      Piotr -- aka Mickey Mouse -- also wrote:
      <<Swedish Göta älv (_not_ Gota or Gote alv) is pronounced [jø:ta Elv], and if
      that's the same damn thing as Guthalus, I'm the same friggin' thing as Mickey
      Mouse.>>

      Well, Mickey, if you can connect Go:te to Gauts (which you do in your post) I
      don't understand what your problem with the modern pronounciation [jø:ta]?
      According to your own etymology, Go:te [jø:ta] referred to the same people
      Ptolemy called Goutoi (gr) and Gutae (latin), and perhaps Jordanes called
      Gouthigoths and later Germanics as <Guths>. So this argument doesn't make
      any sense -- you already admit that Go:te once did look and sound like Guth.
      And of course if you can connect Latin "Albis" to "Elbe" and "a:lv", then
      you should have no trouble seeing the connection between Latin -alvs and
      Swedish -a:lv. The conjecture that the -alvs in a river named Guth/alvs
      refers to "river" is not any kind of a surprise and nothing you've said
      prevents that conjecture. None of your attempts to eliminate the possibility
      work. But that's becomes obvious when you start using "damn" and "friggin'"
      to support a weak argument.

      Piotr also wrote:
      <<*gutxalsaz would have been Latinised as *Guthalsus...>>
      Or more likely -- especially given the river in Ptolemy that you cited --
      *gut chalsus -- which is not as close I guess as you would like and which
      doesn't make much sense as a river name explanation. Your ruler is a little
      crooked again. (BTW, just north of Go:te river is a town called <Kungälv>
      which is believed to have been the <Kongahälla> of the sagas. That
      transition may have more to do with "Guthalvs" than the <chalsus>
      explanation. A town at the river mouth that gave its name to a river, as in
      Detroit River, Chicago River, Los Angeles River, etc.)

      Piotr also wrote:
      <<Don't underestimate Pliny. The names that _can_ be verified (those of the
      Elbe, the Vistula, the Weser, the Maas or the Rhein) were transmitted very
      faithfully.>>

      Pliny is generally horrendous and naturalists and geographers have been
      correcting him for the last 400 years. Getting the rivers west of the Elbe
      right would be no big trick, nothing impressive at all. After all, Pliny is
      writing after Caesar and Drusus as well as works of many geographers we no
      longer have.

      As far as Pliny's list goes, he doesn't say much new and he's left a lot of
      rivers out. Perhaps he was limiting his list to "clari" (clear?) rivers as
      he says, but what is that supposed to mean? Is it a nautical term? Did he
      even understand what he was describing with "clari?" Thia all also might
      suggest he was reading from a list and not a map and had only the vaguest
      idea where these rivers were that "flowed into the Ocean." There's is nothing
      in Pliny that tells us that Vistula or Guthalvs was anything but a distant
      piece of hearsay, perhaps many times removed and poorly transmitted.

      Piotr also wrote:
      <<Dear Steve, Pliny Latinised all those rivernames. <-us>, <-is> and <-a> are
      _Latin_ endings, equivalent (roughly) to Germanic *-az (the usual ending of
      Germanic masculines), *-iz and *-o: (strong feminine declension).>>

      I'm beginning to suspect that this may be wrong too. Pliny probably never
      heard the words in the original and probably was reading most of his sources
      - so the words were already "latinized" or otherwise bastardized long before
      he got to them. What may actually have happened was that medieval clerics --
      working to figure out how medieval Germanics fit in the writings of classical
      authorities like Pliny -- Germanized or otherwise "corrected" Latin names and
      then attached them to whatever they seemed to fit or whomever they were
      working for. It's not impossible that the Vistula is a Latin corruption of a
      misread local name that became the official name for the river because it
      appeared in Latin. In preliterate times there were probably many different
      local names for the Vistula and perhaps even more than one river that was
      called the Vistula. But as I pointed out above, Pliny's "latinizing" did not
      necessarily have anything to do with "Guthalvs."

      Steve Long
    • Miguel Carrasquer
      ... Famous, well-known, important. ======================= Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv@wxs.nl
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 1, 2002
        On Tue, 1 Oct 2002 03:02:10 EDT, x99lynx@... wrote:

        >As far as Pliny's list goes, he doesn't say much new and he's left a lot of
        >rivers out. Perhaps he was limiting his list to "clari" (clear?) rivers as
        >he says, but what is that supposed to mean?

        Famous, well-known, important.

        =======================
        Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
        mcv@...
      • tgpedersen
        ... (those of the ... transmitted very ... been ... the Elbe ... Pliny is ... geographers we no ... a lot of ... rivers as ... term? Did he ... might ...
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 1, 2002
          --- In cybalist@y..., x99lynx@a... wrote:
          > Piotr also wrote:
          > <<Don't underestimate Pliny. The names that _can_ be verified
          (those of the
          > Elbe, the Vistula, the Weser, the Maas or the Rhein) were
          transmitted very
          > faithfully.>>
          >
          > Pliny is generally horrendous and naturalists and geographers have
          been
          > correcting him for the last 400 years. Getting the rivers west of
          the Elbe
          > right would be no big trick, nothing impressive at all. After all,
          Pliny is
          > writing after Caesar and Drusus as well as works of many
          geographers we no
          > longer have.
          >
          > As far as Pliny's list goes, he doesn't say much new and he's left
          a lot of
          > rivers out. Perhaps he was limiting his list to "clari" (clear?)
          rivers as
          > he says, but what is that supposed to mean? Is it a nautical
          term? Did he
          > even understand what he was describing with "clari?" Thia all also
          might
          > suggest he was reading from a list and not a map and had only the
          vaguest
          > idea where these rivers were that "flowed into the Ocean." There's
          is nothing
          > in Pliny that tells us that Vistula or Guthalvs was anything but a
          distant
          > piece of hearsay, perhaps many times removed and poorly transmitted.
          >
          > Piotr also wrote:
          > <<Dear Steve, Pliny Latinised all those rivernames. <-us>, <-is>
          and <-a> are
          > _Latin_ endings, equivalent (roughly) to Germanic *-az (the usual
          ending of
          > Germanic masculines), *-iz and *-o: (strong feminine declension).>>
          >
          > I'm beginning to suspect that this may be wrong too. Pliny
          probably never
          > heard the words in the original and probably was reading most of
          his sources
          > - so the words were already "latinized" or otherwise bastardized
          long before
          > he got to them. What may actually have happened was that medieval
          clerics --
          > working to figure out how medieval Germanics fit in the writings of
          classical
          > authorities like Pliny -- Germanized or otherwise "corrected" Latin
          names and
          > then attached them to whatever they seemed to fit or whomever they
          were
          > working for. It's not impossible that the Vistula is a Latin
          corruption of a
          > misread local name that became the official name for the river
          because it
          > appeared in Latin. In preliterate times there were probably many
          different
          > local names for the Vistula and perhaps even more than one river
          that was
          > called the Vistula. But as I pointed out above,
          Pliny's "latinizing" did not
          > necessarily have anything to do with "Guthalvs."
          >
          > Steve Long

          Your idea of the relationship between "clerics" and the native
          population of the Germanic-speaking areas, calqued on the
          relationship between European settlers and native Americans, is
          wrong. For one thing, the Germanic-speakers survived and couldn't
          care less what what some cleric trhought their rivers should be
          called. The struggle between church and state, really a power
          struggle between Romance and native forces (in England the Thomas
          Beckett affair) had exact parallels in at least Germany (Canossa) and
          Denmark.
          As for Pliny's knowledge of the pronunciation of Germanic, all he'd
          have to do was ask a house slave.
          As for the Göta Älv opening to a large navigable basin including Lake
          Vänern: Göta Älv was not navigable past the falls at Trollhättan
          until locks were built in connection with the construction of the
          Göta Canal in the early 19th century.

          http://www.chalmers.se/hypertext/historia/brief/Industrilandet-E.html


          You might as well have argued for the Guden å on the Jutland side,
          navigable on a stretch of similar length.

          Torsten
        • Piotr Gasiorowski
          ... From: x99lynx@aol.com To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 9:02 AM Subject: [tied] Re: Pliny s Guthalvs ...
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 1, 2002
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 9:02 AM
            Subject: [tied] Re: Pliny's "Guthalvs"

            > Steve wrote:
            <I have no problem with the methods worked out by linguists. It just seems sometimes you are measuring with a crooked ruler.  You're eliminating things that you can't possibly know with any real certainty.  You may be right about these things but its just as likely you are wrong.  And that's what these homespun objections are about.>
             
             
            Few things in this world can be known with absolute certainty. I'm only eliminating low-plausibility stuff, giving reasons for excluding it. I'm also trying not to exclude those solutions that don't look altogether hopeless, which doesn't mean that I want to defend them. Actually, I think that there may be a still better explanation of "Guthalus", but I'll propose it when we finish the present dispute, to prevent this thread from branching too fast.


            >> Piotr also wrote:
            <<If the Germanic stem had ended in *-alw-, Pliny would have made it -ALVVS <-alvus> or -ALVA <-alva>.>>
             

            > Steve replied:
            <That's not true. If the Germanic word had originally been something like "Guthalws," Pliny would have seen <Guthalvs> in his sources, and would have written what he saw -- not knowing if the <v> stood for a /w/ or a /u/--- ESPECIALLY SINCE HE PROBABLY HAD NEVER HEARD THE WORD SPOKEN.  We have no record of Pliny ever making the trip north or even ever hearing a German speaker.  (BTW, one would also think that Pliny would have avoided calling a "clear" river <alvus>, given the meaning of excremental terms like <alvus
            liquida> and <alvus varia>.)>
             
             
            However, "-alws" is not a permissible Germanic sound combination. It would have had to be -alwaz, *-alwiz, or *-alw-o:n- to be phonetically and morphologically plausible, Latinised as -alvus, -alva or -alvo:, if you insist on having a *w in this word -- quite unnecessarily. Swedish <älv> is a common noun with a known history. It's never had a *w in it. I can't imagine what Victorian objections Pliny might have had to *-alvus. The chief meaning of the word in Latin was 'belly, womb'. Besides, Latin alveus means 'river-bed', aptly enough.
             

            >> Piotr also wrote:
            <<*Gauta albiz, actually. Undateable? Conjectured? Both elements are attested separately (ON Gautr and elfr; the form I gave is more or less Proto-Scandinavian, but will work also for Pliny's time).>>
             

            > Steve:
            <Here's what works just as well for Pliny's time.  What you find attested in languages 1200+ years later demonstrates that there were enough sound changes at work dialectically to bring <albis> to the later <elfr> and <a:lv>, and so <-alv> or <-alvs> (river) happening in between and showing up in 1st Cent AD Latin is no surprise.>
             
             
            Except that the same word appears unequivocally as Albiz (an exact match for the form reconstructed by the linguists in the same text. You are not free to produce ad hoc "dialectic" rules just to force a word to look like what it "should" look like. The question is not "why NOT *-alv?" but "why *-alv?". There's no justification for it, other than your wish to press a point.


            <<I merely put them together. The former is the genitive plural of the name of the Gauts. I hope you've heard of them -- the Geatas of Beowulf, and the people after whom Götaland and Göteborg were named.>>


            <Göteborg was not named after "the people" -- it was named for the river, in the 18th Century.  As far as what came first, the name of the land or the name of the people, history plainly tells us it could be one or the other.  But for all we know, the "Goutoi", "Gutae" (Ptolemy) could have gotten their name the way Americans did, from a mistaken attribution of some geographer or cartographer.>
             
             
            You're right about Göteborg. Still, the river's got a name that it connected with that of the Gauts. It flows through "Western Gautland" and Hygelac's capital was probably located near its mouth. It's called literally and transparently "The River of the Gauts", and I see no good reason to suspect a folk-etymology here. As for the Gauts, who were a rather famous people, there is really no need to make your own garbled variants of a name that is attested very clearly since early times: e.g. <gautoi> in Procopius (6th c.), <ge:atas> in Beowulf and Widsith, <gautar> in Old Icelandic and <gøtar> in Old Swedish. Since you have no problems with the methods of historical linguistics, you should be glad to learn that all therse forms reflect the same prototype: *gauta- with strong masculine endings (not to be confused, but alas often confused, with *gut(-o:n)- 'Goth'). Mind you, I'm not insisting that the name Göta älv is extremely old -- I'm just clarifying its motivation. For all I know, it may have been given to the river in the Middle Ages. But IF the name was (etymologically) the same in Pliny's time, it must have been close to the Proto-North-Germanic projection of Göta älv, i.e. *Gauta albiz.


            >> Piotr -- aka Mickey Mouse -- also wrote:
            <<Swedish Göta älv (_not_ Gota or Gote alv) is pronounced [jø:ta Elv], and if that's the same damn thing as Guthalus, I'm the same friggin' thing as Mickey Mouse.>>


            <Well, Mickey, if you can connect Go:te to Gauts (which you do in your post) I don't understand what your problem with the modern pronounciation [jø:ta]?  According to your own etymology, Go:te [jø:ta] referred to the same people Ptolemy called Goutoi (gr) and Gutae (latin), and perhaps Jordanes called Gouthigoths and later Germanics as <Guths>.  So this argument doesn't make any sense -- you already admit that Go:te once did look and sound like Guth.>
             
             
            No, Goofy. The Gauts were "Gauts" and nothing else. The fact that amateurs confuse references in ancient sources (which were not very clear about the identity of Scandia) to the "Gut-" people of Gotland (and the Goths) and the "Gaut-" people of Götaland does not mean that a linguist has a right to confuse them as well. True, there were 19th-century Anglo-Saxonists who identified the Geats in Beowulf with the Gotlanders, the Goths or even the Jutes, but we know better than that now. _I_ have no problem with the modern pronunciation, because I know where it comes from.
             
             
            <And of course if you can connect Latin "Albis" to "Elbe" and "a:lv", then you should have no trouble seeing the connection between Latin -alvs and Swedish -a:lv.  The conjecture that the -alvs in a river named Guth/alvs refers to "river" is not any kind of a surprise and nothing you've said prevents that conjecture.
             
             
            I have no trouble whatsoever with a derivation that's consistent with the known and independently established historical changes. Otherwise there is trouble indeed. You can't derive ON elfr or Swedish älv from PGmc. *alw- (Lat. alv-), but they derive regularly from *albiz without the slightest difficulty. Not via nonce changes invented by me a moment ago for the sake of the present argument, but via changes known to all students of Germanic.
             
             
            <None of your attempts to eliminate the possibility work.  But that's becomes obvious when you start using "damn" and "friggin'" to support a weak argument.>
             
             
            Hey, Steve, it was you who started using rhetorical "damn" to support a weak argument (_obviously_ weak, it seems! ;-)): "Especially since Gote Alv and Guthalvs look like the same damn thing".
             

            >> Piotr also wrote:
            <<*gutxalsaz would have been Latinised as *Guthalsus...>>
             
            > Steve:
            <Or more likely -- especially given the river in Ptolemy that you cited -- *gut chalsus -- which is not as close I guess as you would like and which doesn't make much sense as a river name explanation.  Your ruler is a little crooked again.
             
             
            It's a perfectly straight ruler. There was no phonemic contrast between [x] and [h] in early Germanic. Both were found as realisations of the /x/ phoneme (PGmc. *x). Roman sources were inconsistent about using <ch-> and <h-> spellings for *x (initial <ch-> lived especially long among the Franks, while there were more <h>'s in the east, presumably reflecting a weaker pronunciation). *<halsus> for *xalsaz would have been within the range of tolerance (cf. Harii and Hasdingi for *xarja- and *xazdinga-, but Charivaldus for *xarja-waldaz, later > Herewald, Harald, Harold).
             
             
            <(BTW, just north of Go:te river is a town called <Kungälv> which is believed to have been the <Kongahälla> of the sagas.   That transition may have more to do with "Guthalvs" than the <chalsus> explanation.  A town at the river mouth that gave its name to a river, as in Detroit River, Chicago River, Los Angeles River, etc.)
             
             
            But Kungälv means "Royal River". King's Hall (ON höll) on the King's River makes sense to me. Underlying both names is the word konungr 'king'. If the Göta river (or its part) were called "Kunghall-älv", it would be clear that it derives from the name of the town, but it ain't.


            >> Piotr also wrote:
            <<Don't underestimate Pliny. The names that _can_ be verified (those of the Elbe, the Vistula, the Weser, the Maas or the Rhein [I should have added the Ems -- Piotr]) were transmitted very faithfully.>>


            <Pliny is generally horrendous and naturalists and geographers have been correcting him for the last 400 years. Getting the rivers west of the Elbe right would be no big trick, nothing impressive at all. After all, Pliny is writing after Caesar and Drusus as well as works of many geographers we no longer have.>
            <As far as Pliny's list goes, he doesn't say much new and he's left a lot of rivers out.  Perhaps he was limiting his list to "clari" (clear?) rivers as he says, but what is that supposed to mean?  Is it a nautical term?  Did he even understand what he was describing with "clari?"  Thia all also might suggest he was reading from a list and not a map and had only the vaguest idea where these rivers were that "flowed into the Ocean." There's is nothing in Pliny that tells us that Vistula or Guthalvs was anything but a distant
            piece of hearsay, perhaps many times removed and poorly transmitted.>
             
             
            I'm not defending Pliny's general credibility but just this particular piece of geography. His sources seem to have been quite reliable here. By "clari" he meant "distinguished", i.e. major rivers. As for such rivers, the only surprising omission between the Vistula and the Rhine seems to be the Oder, but if George is right and Guthalus IS the Oder, then the list is complete. No other name is garbled, so why should Guthalus be an exception? (Let me write it with two U's, and if you want to be consistent, spell it GVTHALVS).


            >> Piotr also wrote:
            <<Dear Steve, Pliny Latinised all those rivernames. <-us>, <-is> and <-a> are
            _Latin_ endings, equivalent (roughly) to Germanic *-az (the usual ending of
            Germanic masculines), *-iz and *-o: (strong feminine declension).>>


            <I'm beginning to suspect that this may be wrong too.  Pliny probably never heard the words in the original and probably was reading most of his sources -- so the words were already "latinized" or otherwise bastardized long before he got to them.  What may actually have happened was that medieval clerics -- working to figure out how medieval Germanics fit in the writings of classical authorities like Pliny -- Germanized or otherwise "corrected" Latin names and then attached them to whatever they seemed to fit or whomever they were working for.  It's not impossible that the Vistula is a Latin corruption of a misread local name that became the official name for the river because it appeared in Latin.  In preliterate times there were probably many different local names for the Vistula and perhaps even more than one river that was called the Vistula.  But as I pointed out above, Pliny's "latinizing" did not necessarily have anything to do with "Guthalvs.">


            I don't believe this clerical conspiracy theory. European rivernames are often rather conservative, also in areas completely unknown to ancient geographers. It happens, especially with large rivers, that more than one name has been in use (as with Da:nuvius/Istros), but our rivers are usually small by American standards and there isn't anything remotely comparable to the Mississippi in all Germania. Related Germanic languages were spoken along the entire course of the Elbe, for example, and when the Slavs arrived in those parts, they adopted Germanic *alb- (from whatever residual pre-Slavic population they found there), just giving it a Slavic feminine ending. Then they subjected it to liquid metathesis: > Laba. It all happened when the Slavs were still heathen and pre-literate. There were no clerks about to tell them what they _should_ call the river, or to make them "correct" this Slavic deformation of the Classical name. Yet the name survived and developed according to the regular changes of the language, not according to anyone's prescriptions.
             
            Piotr
          • ravichaudhary2000
            ... actually.. The former is the genitive plural of the name of the Gauts. I hope you ve heard of them -- the Geatas of Beowulf, and the people after whom
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 1, 2002
              --- In cybalist@y..., Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@i...>
              wrote:
              >

              ----- Original Message ----- >> Piotr also wrote:<<*Gauta albiz,
              actually.. The former is the genitive plural of the name of the
              Gauts. I hope you've heard of them -- the Geatas of Beowulf, and the
              people after whom Götaland and Göteborg were named.>><Göteborg was
              not named after "the people" -- it was named for the river, in the
              18th Century. As far as what came first, the name of the land or the
              name of the people, history plainly tells us it could be one or the
              other. But for all we know, the "Goutoi", "Gutae" (Ptolemy You're
              right about Göteborg. Still, the river's got a name that it connected
              with that of the Gauts. It flows through "Western Gautland" and
              Hygelac's capital was probably located near its mouth. It's called
              literally and transparently "The River of the Gauts", and I see no
              good reason to suspect a folk-etymology here. As for the Gauts, who
              were a rather famous people, there is really no need to make your own
              garbled variants of a name that is attested very clearly since early
              times: e.g. <gautoi> in Procopius (6th c.), <ge:atas> in Beowulf and
              Widsith, <gautar> in Old Icelandic and <gøtar> in Old Swedish. Since
              you have no problems with the methods of historical linguistics, you
              should be glad to learn that all therse forms reflect the same
              prototype: *gauta- with strong masculine endings (not to be confused,
              but alas often confused, with *gut(-o:n)- 'Goth'). Mind you, I'm not
              insisting that the name Göta älv is extremely old -- I'm just
              clarifying its motivation. For all I know, it may have been given to
              the river in the Middle Ages. But IF the name was (etymologically)
              the same in Pliny's time, it must have been close to the Proto-North-
              Germanic projection of Göta älv, i.e. *Gauta albiz. The Gauts
              were "Gauts" and nothing else. The fact that amateurs confuse
              references in ancient sources (which were not very clear about the
              identity of Scandia) to the "Gut-" people of Gotland (and the Goths)
              and the "Gaut-" people of Götaland does not mean that a linguist has
              a right to confuse them as well. True, there were 19th-century Anglo-
              Saxonists who identified the Geats in Beowulf with the Gotlanders,
              the Goths or even the Jutes, but we know better than that now. _I_
              have no problem with the modern pronunciation, because I know where
              it comes from.
              Ravi> Even I request some clarification, Piotr if you would ?
              The classical writers refer to the Massagetae and Thyssagetae in The
              Jaxartes. Oxus areas, whom some writers identify with the Getae, and
              whom the Chinese sources term as Yueh Chi. The Chinese words are
              translated as Gaut, ( a reference to De Groot, by WW Tarn or Ngwat,
              pronounced Gaut, or Jat.

              I have thus seen various writers connect them to the Sakas, or
              Sacae, and the Getae of Thracia, and the Goths and Guts, the Juts,
              the Jutes.

              The Jats in India, are also known as Juts, Guts, Juton, Guton,

              All this may very well be similar sounding words, but I am not a
              linguist, and would welcome some clarification.

              Ravi
            • x99lynx@aol.com
              I wrote: in his sources, and would have written what he
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 1, 2002
                I wrote:
                <<If the Germanic word had originally been something like "Guthalws," Pliny
                would have seen <Guthalvs> in his sources, and would have written what he saw
                -- not knowing if the <v> stood for a /w/ or a /u/--->>

                Piotr replied:
                <<However, "-alws" is not a permissible Germanic sound combination. It would
                have had to be -alwaz, *-alwiz, or *-alw-o:n- to be phonetically and
                morphologically plausible,...>>

                Let me stop you there. My Gothic dictionary gives some examples of -ws and
                -alw-:
                áiws, sm. time, lifetime, age, world
                ni áiw, never
                alêws, adj. of olives;
                saggws, sm. song, music
                triggws, adj. true, faithful
                af-walw-jan, wv. I, to roll away
                wilw-an, sv. III, to rob, plunder, take by force

                So why again is -alws or -alw- against all Germanic sound laws?

                I wrote:
                ESPECIALLY SINCE HE PROBABLY HAD NEVER HEARD THE WORD SPOKEN.  We have no
                record of Pliny ever making the trip north or even ever hearing a German
                speaker.

                Piotr replied:
                <<...Latinised as -alvus, -alva or -alvo:, if you insist on having a *w in
                this word -- quite unnecessarily. Swedish <älv> is a common noun with a known
                history. It's never had a *w in it.>>

                Well maybe its "known" history in the first century AD should include -alws
                then? Or has the train left the station? I certainly be interested in what
                a:lv's "known" history was like before 600AD.

                More importantly once again you insist that Pliny wrote exactly what he heard
                and I must object that he probably heard nothing in German, but got it second
                or third hand. So its very possible that what Pliny wrote was an
                approximation of whatever the original word was. (I notice in the Gothic
                dictionary that the Latin oliva was transliterated as the Gothic ale:w, which
                only makes me doubt these literal transliterations of far away places names
                and peoples even more - the Goths were right there and the spellings don't
                even look close. My point again is that Guthalvs can be interpreted any
                number of ways and there is no real way to judge among them.)

                <<I can't imagine what Victorian objections Pliny might have had to *-alvus.
                The chief meaning of the word in Latin was 'belly, womb'.>>

                Lewis&Short includes "bowels" in the primary meaning and a substantial number
                of examples refer to the bowels and the Pliny cite relates to constipation.
                I'll stop there. A good republican Roman may have avoided even the semblance
                of such a reference. And of course whether he would have or not isn't a
                simply a matter of linguistics.

                Piotr wrote:
                <<Besides, Latin alveus means 'river-bed', aptly enough.>>

                Just between you and me, I suspect this may be the real ultimate source of
                <Albis> et al and it wasn't originally a Germanic name at all.

                Steve Long
              • Piotr Gasiorowski
                Gothic is found only after vowels ( is a special case -- a labiovelar consonant). is impossible also in Gothic. and only
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 2, 2002
                  Gothic <-ws> is found only after vowels (<gw> is a special case -- a labiovelar consonant). <-lws> is impossible also in Gothic. <walwjan> and <wilwan> only show that postconsonantal /w/ could occur before vowels and glides (as in my examples -- *-alwaz, etc.). Where it occurred, <-ws> (in Wulfila's late Gothic dialect) resulted from vowel reduction in the original ending, e.g. saiws < *saiwaz. When representic Gothic words and proper names, the Romans substituted their own equivalent morphology, replacing final -s (< -*az) with their own -us.
                   
                  Piotr
                   
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 6:58 AM
                  Subject: [tied] Re: Pliny's "Guthalvs"

                  I wrote:
                  <<If the Germanic word had originally been something like "Guthalws," Pliny
                  would have seen <Guthalvs> in his sources, and would have written what he saw
                  -- not knowing if the <v> stood for a /w/ or a /u/--->>

                  Piotr replied:
                  <<However, "-alws" is not a permissible Germanic sound combination. It would
                  have had to be -alwaz, *-alwiz, or *-alw-o:n- to be phonetically and
                  morphologically plausible,...>>

                  Let me stop you there.  My Gothic dictionary gives some examples of -ws and
                  -alw-:
                  áiws, sm. time, lifetime, age, world
                  ni áiw, never
                  alêws, adj. of olives;
                  saggws, sm. song, music
                  triggws, adj. true, faithful
                  af-walw-jan, wv. I, to roll away
                  wilw-an, sv. III, to rob, plunder, take by force

                  So why again is -alws or -alw- against all Germanic sound laws?

                • Piotr Gasiorowski
                  As far as I can see, the identification of the Massagetae and Thyssagetae with the Getae results from a misunderstanding. The suffix -ta (
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 2, 2002
                    As far as I can see, the identification of the Massagetae and Thyssagetae with the Getae results from a misunderstanding. The suffix -ta (< *ta:) in a group of northern Iranian languages (including Sogdian and modern Ossetic and Yaghnobi) forms plural (historically collective) nouns, hence its frequent occurrence in tribal names (cf. Paralatae, Sarmatae). The common part in the two names above is not -getae but rather -sage-tae (*-sagI-ta) = the plural of *sagI < *sakah 'Saka'. The names are explained as "Great Sakas" and "Strong Sakas", respectively, in Iranian terms.
                     
                    The name of the Jats (Hindi ja:t.) is usually etymologised as Middle Indo-Aryan *jat.t.a- < Old Indo-Aryan *jarta- (cf. Skt. jartika-, a tribal name), which is all that I can tell you about its supposed origin at the moment. English "aw/au" (pronounced [O:], of course) for Hindi <a:> was a common substitution in colonial times, as in "juggernaut" for <jaganna:tH>. The OED gives the alternative early spellings Jett, Jutt (17th c.) and Jaut (18th c.), but I've never come across variants with initial <g->. What's your source for them?
                     
                    Piotr
                     
                     
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 11:17 PM
                    Subject: [tied] Re: Pliny's "Guthalvs"

                    The classical writers refer to the Massagetae and Thyssagetae in The Jaxartes. Oxus areas, whom some writers identify with the Getae, and whom the Chinese sources term as Yueh Chi. The Chinese words are  translated as Gaut, ( a reference to De Groot, by  WW Tarn  or Ngwat, pronounced Gaut, or Jat.

                    I have thus seen various writers connect them to the Sakas, or Sacae, and the Getae of Thracia, and the Goths  and Guts, the Juts, the Jutes.

                    The Jats in India, are also known as Juts, Guts, Juton, Guton,

                    All this may very well be similar sounding words, but I am not a linguist, and would welcome some clarification.
                  • ravichaudhary2000
                    As far as I can see, the identification of the Massagetae and Thyssagetae with the Getae results from a misunderstanding. The suffix -ta (
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 3, 2002
                      As far as I can see, the identification of the Massagetae and
                      Thyssagetae with
                      the Getae results from a misunderstanding. The suffix -ta (< *ta:) in
                      a group of
                      northern Iranian languages (including Sogdian and modern Ossetic and
                      Yaghnobi) forms plural (historically collective) nouns, hence its
                      frequent
                      occurrence in tribal names (cf. Paralatae, Sarmatae). The common part
                      in the
                      two names above is not -getae but rather -sage-tae (*-sagI-ta) = the
                      plural of
                      *sagI < *sakah 'Saka'. The names are explained as "Great Sakas"
                      and "Strong
                      Sakas", respectively, in Iranian terms.


                      Ravi> Thanks.

                      On Masagagetae and Getae.

                      Would you read Getae, as Ge – tae or Get – ae ?.

                      The Ta Yueh Chi (Chinese source) or Siao- Yueh chi, and I see
                      different variants
                      are also known as the Greater Yueh chi and Little Yueh chi. The
                      Kushans are
                      taken to a part of the Yueh Chi. (Kushan is not a tribe but Jat clan
                      and they
                      evolve their empire across north and central India)

                      A reference to Degroot in WW Tarns's " the Greeks in India and
                      Bactria, pp 296,
                      give De Groot's reading of Yueh chi as " Goat – Si."

                      Another reading I came across is ngwattia. Pronounced - Gutia,
                      attributed to
                      Karl Gren (reference in Dr H.S Pauria's book – Jats- origins,
                      antiquities and
                      migrations.

                      The jats were known to Timur as Jateh in central Asia, and he had a
                      hard time
                      with them, until his prayers were answered and their horses were
                      struck with
                      disease. ( In his memoirs, to his chagrin he met up with them in
                      India too and
                      our version of his travels in India are a little different from his,
                      but that is another
                      story)

                      What this seems to imply is that today's Jats, knew themselves as
                      Jit, Jet, Get,
                      Jateh, Git, Gitta, Jitta, Jut, Djat, and so on, and different people,
                      they ran into
                      would have known them and describes addressed them differently.

                      ####.


                      The name of the Jats (Hindi ja:t.) is usually etymologised as Middle
                      Indo-Aryan
                      *jat.t.a- < Old Indo-Aryan *jarta- (cf. Skt. jartika-, a tribal name)

                      Ravi> as a trivia, Jartika is confused as a tribal name, but is not
                      thought to be so
                      by the Jat historians. It only occurs once in the Mahabharata and not
                      anywhere
                      else and that too only in later recessions

                      Jarta is attested inscriptional 6th century ad by the grammarian
                      Chandragomin,
                      who says – Ajay jarto Hunan- The Jats defeated the Huns.

                      And Panini attests Jat.( 5century BC?)

                      Also in this period Gut or Gut-ia, Gut- asya, also show up, and the
                      early seals of
                      the 2nd Guptas (3rd to 6th century AD) show them as calling
                      themselves Gut or
                      Gutasya. Their clan name is Dharan, which is a Jat clan name. ####





                      s all that I can tell you about its supposed origin at the moment.
                      English "aw/au"
                      (pronounced [O:], of course) for Hindi <a:> was a common substitution
                      in colonial
                      times, as in "juggernaut" for <jaganna:tH>. The OED gives the
                      alternative early
                      spellings Jett, Jutt (17th c.) and Jaut (18th c.), but I've never
                      come across
                      variants with initial <g->. What's your source for them?

                      Ravi >On the British rendering of 'Gaut,' for Jat I got this from a
                      Hindi book, from
                      a person who had served in the British Indian Army, and was a jat
                      himself.

                      This is just input, and your linguistic views would be most welcome !

                      Ravi
                    • Piotr Gasiorowski
                      ... From: ravichaudhary2000 To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 11:01 PM Subject: [tied] Re: Pliny s Guthalvs ... Get-a-,
                      Message 10 of 11 , Oct 3, 2002
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 11:01 PM
                        Subject: [tied] Re: Pliny's "Guthalvs"

                        > Would you read Getae, as Ge – tae or Get – ae ?.
                         
                        Get-a-, definitely, though it's hard to risk an etymology for an ethnonym in a practically unknown language. _Very_ tentatively, one might perhaps suggest a connection with *gWet- 'speak' (as in "Quoth the raven, Nevermore.").

                        > What this seems to imply is that today's Jats, knew themselves as Jit, Jet, Get,
                        Jateh, Git, Gitta, Jitta, Jut, Djat, and so on, and different people, they ran into
                        would have known them and describes addressed them differently.

                        But here <g>, <j> and <dj> represent the same sound.
                         
                        Piotr
                      • ravichaudhary2000
                        ... ethnonym in a practically unknown language. _Very_ tentatively, one might perhaps suggest a connection with *gWet- speak (as in Quoth the raven,
                        Message 11 of 11 , Oct 3, 2002
                          --- In cybalist@y..., Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@i...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: ravichaudhary2000
                          > To: cybalist@y...
                          > Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 11:01 PM
                          > Subject: [tied] Re: Pliny's "Guthalvs"
                          >
                          >
                          > > Would you read Getae, as Ge - tae or Get - ae ?.
                          >
                          > Get-a-, definitely, though it's hard to risk an etymology for an
                          ethnonym in a practically unknown language. _Very_ tentatively, one
                          might perhaps suggest a connection with *gWet- 'speak' (as in "Quoth
                          the raven, Nevermore.").
                          >
                          > > What this seems to imply is that today's Jats, knew themselves as
                          Jit, Jet, Get,
                          > Jateh, Git, Gitta, Jitta, Jut, Djat, and so on, and different
                          people, they ran into
                          > would have known them and describes addressed them differently.
                          >
                          > But here <g>, <j> and <dj> represent the same sound.
                          >
                          > Piotr

                          Ravi> Thanks for your patience.

                          The Jat Indian writers

                          see

                          in Get-a, Get- ae, the J sound.


                          and in Git, Gut, the G sound.

                          Gut-ia, Gut- asya,( both meaning of the" Gut") as G or J.

                          To add to the fun, a people called the Gut-i, also appear in
                          Analatolia, some 2200 BC.

                          Ravi
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