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.
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: