Re: [Lambengolmor] The _Born_ Identity
- Patrick H. Wynne wrote:
> Tolkien appears to have had considerable fun with "historicalI just want to point out that English _pyre_ is not a cognate of
> punning" in the derivatives of PURU-, which also include
> _pur (n)_ 'a fire (an artificial fire)' (cp. Grk. _pyr_ 'fire'
> and Eng. _pyre_ 'a heap of combustible material, esp. one
> for burning a corpse') and _pus (pust-)_ 'boil' (cf. Latin/Eng.
> _pus_ 'pus').
Greek _pur_ but a borrowing of same. The actual English cognate
is, of course, _fire_!
[Good point. Tolkien's historical puns from the "Lost Tales"
period often hinge on similarities of later forms rather than
coincidence of etymologies. An excellent example cited by
Christopher Tolkien in his appendix "Names in the _Lost
Tales_ -- Part I" is Q. _n�nu_ 'yellow water-lily' and _n�nuvar_
'pool of lilies', with which he compares Eng. _nenuphar_
'water-lily', Fr. _n�nufar_ (I:248). The Qenya forms appear
in QL as derivatives of NENE 'flow', but the etymology of
Eng. _nenuphar_ is totally different -- it traces back to
Sanskrit _n�l�tpala_ 'blue lotus', < _n�l_ 'blue' + _utpala_
Similarly, Latin _pus_, _puris_ 'corrupt matter' (< IE *_p�-_,
*_pu-_ 'to rot, decay') has no actual etymological connection
with Grk. _pyr_ 'fire' (< IE *_pew�r_, *_p�r-_), though the
similar Qenya forms _pus_ 'boil' and _pur_ 'a fire' both
derive from the same root PURU- 'consume by fire'. --PHW]
- On 06.08.2005, at 16:13, Patrick H. Wynne wrote:
> N. _bordd_On the note of etymological punning, there is not only the connection
> 'heat, rage' < *_mbúrya:_; _byr, buir_ 'fire' < *_mburye:_;
> and _boir, boer_ 'hot, raging' < *_mburyá:_ (PE13:139) --
with IE *_peHur_/peuHr_ 'fire' (as substance) but also the Germanic
word family of which ModE 'to burn' is a member, comes to mind. Cf.
Goth./ OHG/ OS _brinnan_, OIc. _brinna_, OE _beornan_/ birnan_ etc.
Especially often, we find 'alternative etymologies', i.e. Elvish
cognates where the etymology of a Germanic word isn't totally clear,
or wasn't at Tolkien's time. Pokorny (IEW:144) would derive the word
as a nasal-infix present from a root *_bh(e)reu-/ bhrêu-/bhru/bhrû_
'foam, seethe, bubble' etc. Derivatives are, inter alia, Latin
_ferv(e)o_ 'seethe, boil' and ModE _brew_.
For phonetical reasons, this etymology isn't widely favoured anymore
today but it was current in Tolkien's day. Lühr (MSS 35, 1976:78-9)
tried to connect it with a root *_bhreiH-_. Often, it is thought to
derive from IE *_gwher-_, which entails its own problems.
The important thing here, of course, isn't the precise etymology of
ModE _to burn_ and its cognates but that the Elvish forms are, by
craft or chance, reminiscent of Germanic words with, more or less,
the same meaning.
MSS == Münchner Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft.
IEW == Pokorny, J. (1994, 1st ed. 1959). Indogermanisches
etymologisches Wörterbuch. Bern: Francke.
LIV == Rix, H., & Kümmel, M. (2001). LIV, Lexikon der indogermanischen
Verben : die Wurzeln und ihre Primärstammbildungen. Wiesbaden: