RE: [gothic-l] Re: Gothic & Greek B in Slabonic
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Hi Llama nom!
Thank you for an interesting and useful excursus,
but Finnish borrowings from Common Germanic remain
a mystery. It is a pity. All the rest has a little
connection to Gothic.
No one contends against the fact that the Slavs
borrowed the word <korabl'> just because they
had not got practice in seafaring and just from Greek
because the Greeks had it a lot. The point is whether
the loan took place in a written or oral way.
The first one is easily explainable while the second
needs a serious elucidation of early contacts between
the Slavs and Greeks.
I can't say anything about <*oldija> as a ship, but
Old Russian knew the word <lodja> as a big boat
(<ladja> in modern Russian with the same meaning
and an archaic shade, also the chess rook).
As far as I know, this word is assumed to be
original Russian. The modern Russian for a boat is
<lodka> where the root is <lod>, <k> is a diminutive
suffix, and <a> is an ending (N. fem.). However,
the root <lod> is not productive in Russian that
implicitly allows a borrowing to be surmised.
I have no substantial comments on istuba >> izba.
I encountered the opinion deriving <izba> from Germanic
but never heard about any Romance sources. Moreover,
my mind fails to imagine the Romans living in izbas.
The common sense supposes a northern origin of the word.
I seem the general appearance of the word looks as Baltic.
From: llama_nom [mailto:penterakt@...]
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 4:15 PM
Subject: [gothic-l] Re: Gothic & Greek B in Slabonic
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, ������ �������� <vegorov@i...> wrote:
> ****<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-
> Finnish borrowings from the Common Germanic are
> an intriguing riddle that gives me no rest.
> Where and when the Finns had contacts with speakers
> of Common Germanic? Besides, is the form <hlaibaz>
> really attested in Germanic? (BTW, the same question
> in respect of the form <hlaibaR> in ON.)
> However that may be, Finnish actually has borrowings
> from Common Germanic, not Norse, that is a fact and--
> a mystery!
I'm not aware of of any Proto-Norse inscriptions containing the word
*hlaibaz/*hlaibaR itself, but there is attested, on the Tune rune-
stone, Norway c. 400, a Proto-Norse compound word, or perhaps a
phrase: WITANDAHALAIBAN. This is usually taken as a compound of
witanda- 'protecting' + hlaiba, dat. sg. masculine n-stem, a
derivative of hlaibaR 'bread'. The sense is probably 'lord',
literally 'bread-protector', cf. MnE lord < OE hlaford < hlaf +
weard, with the same meaning. Alternatively, HALAIBA (the first A is
a parasitic/svarabhakti vowel, quite common in these inscriptions)
might represent a Proto-Norse cognate of Got. gahlaiba, OHG
galeipo 'comrade, colleague, companion' (literally: 'mess-mate,
someone you eat bread together with). For more details, see the
indepth discussion of the Tune inscription on the Theudiskon group
some months ago, and check out the Kiel Runenprojekt site, which
offers the interpretations of various scholars.
> If it is of interest, the pronunciation _hlep_
> in Russian is not a "development" from _hleb_.
> In all Slavonic languages, more or less, voiced stops
> at the end of words are pronounced as paired unvoiced.
> That is, <hleb> is a written form, which was pronounced,
> from the very beginning, as _hlep_. To compare,
> the genitive is <hleba> with the same pronunciation _hleba_.
> I have mentioned this example only in order to show that
> a Slavonic ear took Gothic <hlaifs> as containing a stop
> (its voicing is here of no importance) rather than
> a fricative (Old Slavonic knew both _f_ and _v_).
> Perhaps this feature sheds a little light upon specificity
> of the Gothic _b/f_.
The early runic inscriptions don't necessarily offer much clue about
the development of <b>, since in the earliest times, the same rune
was used initially for a stop and medially for a fricative. Probably
when they were invented the initial sound was a fricative too.
An early borrowing into Latin, Suevi, suggests as we'd expect a
fricative medially rather than a stop. Ptolemy, writing in Greek,
has Sueeboi, presumably also representing a fricative, but without
the means of making that clear.
Some more Latin spellings of Gothic names (reconstructed on the
Recciverga (657) < -bairga
Sunhivadus (6th c.) < Sunjabadws
Tilgeva (6/7th c.) < Tilagiba
Spellings such as fragibtim (L 1,27) suggest that the fluctuation in
the manuscripts of voiced and voiceless spirants was not necessarily
reflected in speech, but might just be analogical spellings. The
admittedly late (9/10th c.) Vienna-Salzburg codex regularly
transcribes Gothic final <s> into Roman script as <z>, but this could
be voiceless following the conventions of OHG.
I've read one idea that the Slavs may have taken the Germanic/Gothic
word for bread because previously they only knew rye bread, and the
loan was a useful term to refer to the innovation of wheat bread,
which perhaps reached Germanic areas first.
> Of course, it is hardly to suppose the word <korabl'>
> having been an early borrowing as the Slavs never were
> seafarers and just did not sense necessity in borrowing
> words to express a notion of a ship (vessel) until
> the word appeared in translated Greek texts.
I wonder... Often the lack of a commodity or practice among one
people is taken as grounds for accepting loanwords from another
culture which does have that practice, whether the practise itself is
adopted too, or just the idea. That is to say: If the Greeks had a
certain kind of boat the Slavs didn't, the Slavs could well have
taken the Greek name for it (Whether they actually did or not at an
early date, is another matter...). But I'm always a bit suspicious
of theoretical proofs of what words could or couldn't be borrowed,
let alone must or must not! They can help us to consider the
likelihood, but if we follow the theory too dogmatically, we end up
ignoring the quirkiness of history. Sometimes words for quite
familiar concepts are borrowed, for cultural reasons which might not
be clear to us now. Or in some cases there may have been a nuance in
meaning which is now obscure. To know the full story, we might need
to consider not only the subtly shifting meanings of the words in
question, but how they fit into the evolving web of semanticly
Do you know anything about a Slavonic word *oldija 'ship' (Entwhistle
& Moris) which is supposed to lie behind OIc ellidi 'a kind of ship'
(Zoega). This could be a case in point. The Varangians/Rus
presumably had a wider knowledge of ships than the Slavs at the time
of contact, but maybe this word originally stood for a type of boat
the Norsemen didn't know. Or the word might just have been used back
in Scandinavia for the sake of local colour, or out of sheer love of
words, or as a synonym for the sake of rhyme and alliteration (or
obscurity) in their poetry. In Fridthjof's Saga, Ellidi appears as
the proper name of a ship.
Also, what do you think about the etymology of OB istuba, Russ.
izba? I've seen two radically different ideas about this, one
deriving it (and presumed relatives outside of Slavonic) ultimately
from Romance (perhaps via German), the other from a native Germanic
(Excuse the rant!)
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In email@example.com, James Young <daddio52@s...> wrote:
> Hail Llama Nom,CE? Wow! Is that must from runic evidence? And that must be
> Sorry for the delay.
> Did you say that there was no German word for "Greeks" before 350
Scandanavian. Maybe that is too far west. Still, what a shocking
omission. It disappoints me to learn that there were no German
stories of Persians or Parthians, no references to Cyrus or Darius
and their trans Danube forays.
I read some articles about the Germanic graves of Gommern (ca. 300)
and Hassleben. The former is the riches Germanic grave ever
discovered. Gommern and Hassleben are in Germany. These graves
included objects from the Black Sea region and the dead even got a
Charons penny in their mouths, indicating that some Greek practices
had travelled north as well.