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Re: [Lambengolmor] The _Born_ Identity

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  • Rich Alderson
    ... I just want to point out that English _pyre_ is not a cognate of Greek _pur_ but a borrowing of same. The actual English cognate is, of course, _fire_!
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 6, 2005
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      Patrick H. Wynne wrote:

      > Tolkien appears to have had considerable fun with "historical
      > 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').

      I just want to point out that English _pyre_ is not a cognate of
      Greek _pur_ but a borrowing of same. The actual English cognate
      is, of course, _fire_!

      Rich Alderson

      [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_
      'lotus, water-lily'.

      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]
    • David Kiltz
      ... On the note of etymological punning, there is not only the connection with IE *_peHur_/peuHr_ fire (as substance) but also the Germanic word family of
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 9, 2005
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        On 06.08.2005, at 16:13, Patrick H. Wynne wrote:

        > N. _bordd_
        > 'heat, rage' < *_mbúrya:_; _byr, buir_ 'fire' < *_mburye:_;
        > and _boir, boer_ 'hot, raging' < *_mburyá:_ (PE13:139) --

        On the note of etymological punning, there is not only the connection
        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.

        David Kiltz

        Main bibliography:
        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:
        Ludwig Reichert
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