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357Re: [Lambengolmor] Re: Possible ON -r derivation?

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  • David Kiltz
    Mar 16, 2003
      On Sonntag, März 16, 2003, at 05:34 Uhr, Patrick H. Wynne wrote:

      > I will add that the reading _ndakro_ 'slaughter, battle' in the
      > published _Etymologies_ is entirely accurate; the final _-o_ is
      > clear, and there is no final hyphen.

      If I read it correctly, _ndakro_ is given as a ON form (just as
      _ndagno_ "slain").

      [Absolutely -- this is not a contested point. I merely wished
      to make it clear that the reading was not _**ndakra_ or
      _**ndakro-_. -- PHW]

      ON already shows the transition PQ _â_ > _ô_ as exemplified by *_ndâkô_
      > ON _ndóko_ in the same entry. This allows us to retrace the form to
      either PQ *_ndakrô_ or _ndakrâ_.

      [Not necessarily. Original long final _*-â_ usually yields _-a_ in ON,
      as in ON _gâesra, gêrrha_ 'dreadful' < _*gaisrâ_, ON _tára_ 'lofty'
      < _*târâ_, and ON _wóra_ 'soiled, dirty' < _*wa3râ_, to only cite
      those forms ending in _-ra_ (V:358, 389, 397). There is one
      certain example of an ON form with _-o_ < _*-â_ -- _batthô'-_
      'trample' < _*battâ'-_ (V:351-2) -- but this is set against a
      majority of forms in which PQ _*-â_ > ON _-a_. -- PHW]

      In Indo-European transitions from agent to action noun are frequent.
      In Elvish, however, *_-ô_ (and thus *_-rô_) seems to refer explicitly
      to (male) persons. If, however, we take the form to be originally in
      *_-râ_ (with +_â_ seemingly representing a kind of neuter, or at least
      a not sex/person-specific form) we end up with something like
      "the slaying, killing thing, event, aut sim.".

      This interpretation is, in my eyes, especially suggestive, since two
      English semantically very close words, namely _slaughter_ and _murder_
      are formed similarly.

      The first is a loan from OldNorse and derives from a root *_slax-_ "to
      slay, butcher". The corresponding Old Norse from is _slátr_ "butcher's
      meat". The second word derives from OldEnglish _morthor_ (influenced by
      OldFrench _murdre_).Proto-forms can be reconstructed as *_slaxtram_
      and *_murthram_ (the latter can also be masculine).

      What, I think, makes the comparison so compelling, is that both words
      are neuter _-r_ extensions. Cf. also the shorter forms in
      (Modern) German _Schlacht_ "battle" and _Mord_ "murder".
      So, maybe we're dealing with a suffix *_-râ_ here. At any
      rate, I think the Germanic parallel is suggestive.

      David Kiltz
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