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315_nahamna_ in the Atalante fragments

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  • Petri Tikka
    Feb 8, 2003
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      Ales Bican suggests in his study of the "Atalante Fragments"
      that _nahamna_ "to hýþe" (V:47) might be analyzed as _na-_ "to"
      prefixed preposition (V:374) + HAM- *"ground" (QL:39L) +
      _-na_ (?) noun ending. One problem with this is that _-na_ is not
      necessarily a noun ending; _-na_ in _samna_ "wooden post" <
      _STAB-_ might be an adjectival ending later developing a nominal
      meaning (since the original meaning of STAB- isn't known) as also
      _namna_ "statute" < *_nam-_ "judge" (in _namin_ "I judge",
      VT41:13). Another is that _-na_ might also be a form of the allative
      case ending _-nna_ before consonants, since _-nna_ is in all likelihood
      derived from _NÂ-_ (V:374).

      These are minor points, but I would rather analyze _nahamna_ as
      _na-_ "to" nominal prefix + HAM *"ground" + _-na_ allative case
      ending. A similar construction is _nuhuinenna_ (SD:246) < _nu_
      "under" (LR:398) + _huine_ "shadow" (LR:56) + _-nna_ allative
      case ending. *_nahan_ "to ground" is indeed where ships come when
      arriving at a harbour. Prefixed prepositions (indicating grammatical
      position in a sentence) are not used in the context where this word is
      found, but instead case endings (e.g. _kilyanna_ "to-chasm"). Suddenly
      having such a form would be surprising indeed, and the explanation
      of euphony seems fragile, since understanding the meaning is mostly
      outweighing in non-poetic texts.

      Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
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