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Re: [TIED] Apple

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  • Piotr Gasiorowski
    ... From: Glen Gordon To: Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 12:25 AM Subject: Re: [TIED] Itchy and Scratchy Stops
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 1, 2000

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Glen Gordon <glengordon01@...>
      To: <cybalist@egroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 12:25 AM
      Subject: Re: [TIED] Itchy and Scratchy Stops

      Ah, this! I should have remembered G&I's derivation, but there'a a lot of lexical gymnastics in their book :). Have you read it? Their brand-new IE phonemes (*s^, *q, etc.) have not kindled much enthusiasm in the linguistic circles so far; nor have their sensational IE etymologies for elephants and monkeys.

      But to the point. The reconstructable prototype of apple, epli, jabloko, jabLko, afal, úll, Abella, Avalon (< Emhain Abhlach), etc., is rather different from *amlu/*samlu. It is *abo:l-/*abl-o- for the fruit and *abel-jo-, *abel-no-, *abl-o:n- or *ab@l-n-o:n- for the tree (*@ instead of *a would work too). There are of course more cognate words in the branches mentioned by McCallister. The most likely common denominator for all these shapes is *abo:l (*x(a)bol-) with regular ablaut in the case forms (*abl-ó-) and derivatives (*abel-jo- etc.). There is no convincing evidence either for an old *-m-, nor for a *-u- stem (in Slavic *ablUko the yer (*U) goes with the diminutive suffix).
      It's true that in a number of IE branches (including Celtic, Italic, Greek and Indo-Iranian) and possibly in PIE itself *ml-, *mr-, *nr- > *bl-, *br-, *dr- word-initially (actually OIrish tolerated some ml-/bl- variation, as in mlicht/blicht, cf. Welsh blith 'milk' < *mlik-t- < *m@lg-). But the intervocalic reflexes are invariably *-mbl-, *-mbr-, *ndr- (if -ml- etc. are not tolerated). I've never heard of such clusters suffering nasal loss in medial positions, either in PIE or in later developments. The different treatment of *NR initially and medially can be illustrsted with Greek examples:
      brotos (*mrotos < *m@rtos) 'mortal' : ambrosia (< *a-mrot-ia)
      blo:sko: (*mlo:-sko: < *m@lH-sko:) : reduplicated perfect memblo:ka (*me-mlo:-)
      ane:r 'man' (*x(@)ne:r) : Gen. andros : dro:ps (probably < *nr-o:kW-s)
      Stop epenthesis (with the nasal intact) in such clusters is extremely common cross-linguistically, as in English thunder, thimble (without a medial stop even in Old English) or French sembl- < Latin simul-, while I know of no change like -ml- > -bl- (medially, of course). *amlu- could have yielded *amblu- but I fail to see how *ablo- could be derived from it.
      The lengthening of the initial vowel in Balto-Slavic is a regular instance of Winter's Law (lengthening between plain voiced stops, in traditional terms). Winter's Law is a common BSl change, and the Balto-Slavic reflexes generally look rather archaic. For this reason I'm reluctant to accept Theo Vennemanns theory that the word is "Atlantic", i.e. brought to Europe by his hypothetical Atlantiker (Afroasiatic speakers) and borrowed west to east by the northern IEs. *abo:l is indeed dialectal (restricted to Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, Slavic and maybe Italic), but if it's a Wanderwort of the European Plain, it seems to have travelled east to west at an early date.
      As for Vennemann's risky attempt to connect it with Afroasiatic *'abol 'genitals, testicles', see
      As I said, I don't accept it, though I must admit that phonologically *'abol is a damn sight better tham *samlu, with or without the *s.
      My conclusion is that the Anatolian word is not related to *abol-, nor is the southern dialecticism, *maxl- (Latin ma:lus, Greek me:lon, ? Hitt. mahla-). Whether the LATTER can be connected with Hittite sam(a)lu, Skt. a:mra- 'mango' and vaguely similar words in neighbouring families (Turkic *alVma, cf. Alma Ata = Abella 'Appleton'), is a different question.

      > >     And *(s)amlu is...? And what's this optional *s? Talking of
      > > >illusions, "alim
      ~ samlu" doesn't look too good. With so much
      > >freedom you might just as well add lemon as a cognate ;) .
      Ah, Piotr. A skeptic to the end. That's why I love you. You're the perfect
      > devil's advocate :) The *s- is seen in Anatolian languages and I
      > that the phenomenon is related to the optional *s- found
      elsewhere in IE
      > verbs, not to mention the Semitish loan *(s)teuros
      "bull" (Semitic *Tawru
      > with initial dental fricative).
      Searching the LinguistList.org archives for the IE List, I got
      > etymology. On the Nostratic List was a post on this
      topic as well
      > G&I's proposal. Here's a synthesis of the
      viewpoints (including my own)
      > presented so far between the Nostratic and
      IE lists:
      >    *(s)amlu- "apple,
      >       Germanic
      >          OE
      aeppel; OHG apful
      >          OIr uball,
      Welsh afal
      >          Oscan
      Abella "apple town"
      >          O Sl
      ablűko; OCS jabl'ko; Lith. óbuolas
      Anatolian *sam(a)la-
      >          Hitt.
      samaluwanza "apple tree", Palaic samluwa-
      > Miguel Carrasquer
      Vidal states March 8, 1999 on the LinguistList.org
      > Nostratic
      >   "Gamqrelidze & Ivanov reconstruct PIE
      *s^amlu-, with *s^, which,
      >    according to them, gives
      zero outside of Anatolian (sakuwa ~
      >    *okw- "eye",
      sankui- ~ *onogh- "nail, claw")."
      > Now, I'm not sure about this
      new *s^ phoneme that goes zero but if we
      > reconstruct *(s)amlu-, at
      least, things are less speculative. I'd like to
      > know where this word was
      borrowed from too. Semitish **Tamlu:, perhaps?
      > Buddha only
      > - gLeN
      Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
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    • Piotr Gasiorowski
      ... From: Piotr Gasiorowski To: cybalist@egroups.com Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 1:22 PM Subject: Re: [TIED] Apple It s embarrassing to have to respond to
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 1, 2000
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 1:22 PM
        Subject: Re: [TIED] Apple

        It's embarrassing to have to respond to one's own posting, but this slip really needs correcting.
        I wrote:
        The lengthening of the initial vowel in Balto-Slavic [*ab- > *a:b-] is a regular instance of Winter's Law (lengthening BETWEEN plain voiced stops, in traditional terms).
        Read BEFORE for BETWEEN.
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