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[gothic-l] Re: compounds

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  • Christian Petersen
    ... ??? Shouldn t it rather be PIE *ghed- with a secondary nasal infix? But whatever the case may be - my examples were chosen intentionally to show that
    Message 1 of 1 , May 15, 1999
         get vs. forget
         IE ghend- > Germ. *getan 'take, get, get hold of' > Germ. *fergetan
      ??? Shouldn't it rather be PIE *ghed- with a secondary nasal infix?
      But whatever the case may be - my examples were chosen intentionally to show that despite obvious etymology of the morphemes, they sometimes - not always - are by no means separable any more in later times
      - be it in MEANING: every German would know 'verlieren', but none *'lieren'; or know 'vergessen', but no *'gessen'.
      - be it in FORM: Unless he had looked it up, or learned about it otherwise, it's doubtful whether anyone would know about the origin of  'sport' which is a contracted 'dis-port', or of 'fressen' which is a contracted 'ver-essen' (note the distortion in writing here; unfortunately no English counterparts).
      I do not say that your undertaking/enterprise is 'wrong', Matt; but I have some reservations about its scientific value.
      It made me smile a bit that Salo once cited POKORNY's I.E.W. which dates back to the 50ies (i.e.2 human generations). Not only because many equations are somewhat outdated; but rather because the linguists have meanwhile realized exactly what WATKINS has stated (and you have quoted), viz. that often the meanings
           diverge shaprly [?] from one another and the scholar finds himself
           reduced in practice to inferring only what seems to him a reasonable, or
           even merely possible, semantic common denominator.  The result is that
           reconstructed words and particularly roots are often assigned hazy,
           vague, or unspecific meanings.
      That's also why - more and more often - in etymological dictionaries, you'll find comments like 'of unknown origin', or 'with obscure etymology'. From my point of view, this is far more honest than any frantic attempts of reducing to a common denominator.
      Christian
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