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Re: The Far Western Slavyane

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  • Alastair Millar
    Rick writes... ... I think the point is that they had already been scoured by various other migrating tribes beforehand, meaning that settled (let alone
    Message 1 of 17 , Aug 6, 2004
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      Rick writes...

      > There was only one rather strange
      > assertion... [snip]... that the lands
      > that had been german were (nearly)
      > deserted, before the slavs moved in.

      I think the point is that they had already been scoured by various other
      migrating tribes beforehand, meaning that settled (let alone semi-urbanised)
      life would have been extremely difficult.

      Certainly in Bohemia the Migration Period is an archaeological nightmare,
      with the disappearance of earlier material and then a whole jumble of
      not-easily-distinguishable stuff, and some semblance of order only coming
      with the arrival *and settlement* of the Slavs.

      Alastair

      -----------------------------------------------------
      Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
      Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
      P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
      Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
    • Alastair Millar
      Ello Ben! ... Well I d use a good Czech ahoj but I probably wouldn t be able to resist adding sailor to the end... ... Good point! Never given it much
      Message 2 of 17 , Aug 6, 2004
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        'Ello Ben!

        > so you'll have to be contented with a
        > simple 'Hello' this time!

        Well I'd use a good Czech "ahoj" but I probably wouldn't be able to resist
        adding "sailor" to the end...

        > ethnonyms - Laba, Gavola, Spreva [Spree???], Ukra,
        > Dolenitsa, Pena and Odra.
        > THat's seven at least. Not to mention the Wislane,
        > Slenzane and Buzhane

        Good point! Never given it much thought previously.

        But to play devil's advocate... how many of those were applied to the groups
        BY THEMSELVES, and how many were applied to them from outside? And how many
        are *back* formations, where the river has taken its name from the people?

        > I seem to have caught you, my boy. What's it to be then?
        > Codfish, or Dolphin? Or else opportunistic Seagull,

        Albatross more like... appearing round the neck in the millstone tradition
        ;-)

        > cackling at the amateur Fisherman's efforts? ;o)

        Never that ;-)

        > Naturally. Ageeva reports they call themselves Serby.

        Or Srby, depending where they are.

        > Any comments on this?

        Nope. I tend to be quite skeptical about things like this because (a) we
        aren't sure just WHEN the word came into use, and (b) linguistics is a very
        very easy place for amateurs to come unstuck through seeing false
        connections and incorrect roots.

        > I would if I could, but I don't know what you're talking about.

        Well, to put it another way: why do we NEED a more distinct terminology than
        the triple (linguistics-based) division of the Slavs into Western, Southern
        and Eastern, which is nevertheless less specific than particular tribal
        names? If we apply a single term (like "Polabian Slav" we are immediately
        implying social and/or cultural affiliations that *uniquely* apply to the
        people so grouped... and can we really justify this?

        > Am I being dense and merely not getting a Czeshkophile/
        > Bohemian-expansionist joke?!!?

        The Luchans were a minor tribe believed to have occupied a small area of
        what is now West Bohemia. They are mentioned in the early chronicles, solely
        because the "real" Czechs beat them in a war.

        > You don't disagree that a common term is needed
        > for these extinct groups?

        I most certainly do disagree (see above).

        > Would you consider them closer to the Poles or
        > the Czechs, or Kaszubs or whoever, I wonder?

        Would I consider WHO closer? If you mean the Lusatian Sorbs, then I would go
        no further than to say that they were reasonably closely related -
        linguistically! - to the Poles and the Czechs. And let's not forget that the
        Sorbs themselves are subdivisible.

        > Slava, svyashennomy znamyu vseslavyanskizma! [urgh, grammatichka...]
        Urgh, Russian...
        *ducks & runs before Yana notices*

        > Alastair, I can't thank you enough for this link. Scholar
        > and a Gentleman, so you are.

        Well one out of two ain't bad. I'm not saying whcih, tho'!

        > Long out of date, no doubt, but does anyone
        > know anything further about this little remnant?

        Not me.

        > I would have thought that my choice of phrase
        > there implied quite the opposite, as though we're
        > dealing with a series of uncoordinated
        > waves and ebbs.

        Personally, I'd see the use "the Slavs" in your original statement as
        suggesting something else, but I can be a pedantic so-and-so ;-)

        > Now that is curious.

        Not really. If we accept that the movement of Slavic peoples was the last
        great act of the Migration Period, why should such an event have occurred
        only once when it had been preceded by numerous such events (Langobards,
        Franks etc.)

        > Does it link in with the supposed greater
        > antiquity of such names as Khorvaty, Serby

        I didn't know these names were of supposedly greater antiquity? What is the
        evidence for this?

        > and Dudlebi?

        Never heard of this one.Who/what is it?

        > My point was that the smaller Houses would
        > have been more likely to engage in this sort
        > of practice with their more IMMEDIATE
        > neighbours.

        Possibly. Depends how much they needed protection from an aggressive
        neighbour, or how strategically placed they were, I suspect.

        > Shouldn't there be a funny old Zapadnoslavyansky
        > 'Z' after the 'R' in the Boehmischer dynasty's name,
        > by the way?

        No. Correctly, one should write Premyslids in English, with a hook over the
        r. (This hook is correctly called a hac'ek in English - according to
        Chambers). Przemyslid is a horrible early/mid-20th century attempt to be
        cosmopolitan, and is very much avoided by translators today. (Trust me on
        this, in real life I am the leading translator of heritage and
        archaeological texts from Czech to English! ;-)).

        > Spasibo bolshoe!
        You're a ballet fan?

        Alastair

        -----------------------------------------------------
        Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
        Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
        P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
        Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
      • Ben McGarr
        ... resist ... Well don t mind me! Would that be moryak in Czeski then? We have a very funny word in Russkiy, matros. Apparently it s through German from
        Message 3 of 17 , Aug 9, 2004
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          --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:
          > Well I'd use a good Czech "ahoj" but I probably wouldn't be able to
          resist
          > adding "sailor" to the end...

          Well don't mind me! Would that be moryak in Czeski then? We have a
          very funny word in Russkiy, matros. Apparently it's through German
          from French Matelot from an original Dutch maat-genoot, or 'mess-
          mate', comrade, bloke you eat with.

          > Good point! Never given it much thought previously.
          > But to play devil's advocate... how many of those were applied to
          the groups
          > BY THEMSELVES, and how many were applied to them from outside?

          Which outside? Germans wrote them down, but they're not German, nor
          are they some kind of scholarly Latin creation. The suffices are
          obviously Slavonic. Why would a German invader care to find out what
          the Poles and Czechs call the Wendish subunits? They'd all just be
          Wends to him anyway. They must be local names. Maybe they were
          applied by members of one unit to another, but that's very normal for
          ethnonyms. Most Welsh are quite happy to use this Germanic adjective
          to describe themselves.

          And, Helmond knew their language, and even saw fit to elaborate on
          how some groups had second names, or entered into broader overgroups,
          and he even tried to etymologise some. Wouldn't he have said if the
          names in general use were in some way incorrect, or at least had
          alternatives?

          Anyway, we were talking about geographic distribution, and I argued
          for the use of watersheds [and other geographical boundaries] as some
          kind of vague guide, so if a tribe is named after [or even named] the
          river then what does it matter if this name is external or not?

          >And how many
          > are *back* formations, where the river has taken its name from the
          people?

          The Odra and the Elbe at least already bore those names when the
          Germanics were sstill living there in Ptolemy's day, and I bet a fair
          few other streams have Germanic names. Dolenitsa at least looks
          Slavonic, but I'd bet 10 Rubles on the majority predating Adventus
          Sclavonum.

          > Albatross more like... appearing round the neck in the millstone
          tradition

          I made a joke about this the first time I tried to reply, butchering
          a few lines of Coleridge's finest. However, I have thought better of
          it and repent. "Wends, Wends everywhere, and not a drop to ....

          > Or Srby, depending where they are.

          Nu, da. But we're not talking about the Balkans.

          > Nope. I tend to be quite skeptical about things like this because
          (a) we
          > aren't sure just WHEN the word came into use, and (b) linguistics
          is a very
          > very easy place for amateurs to come unstuck through seeing false
          > connections and incorrect roots.

          We have the Byzantine Imperator/Historian's first witness of the
          word, and I wouldn't call Trubachev, Fasmer, Ilinskiy or Schuster-
          S<ews amateurs. With sound phonological understanding such
          hypothesising is valid, and, what's more, the people demand it.

          > Well, to put it another way: why do we NEED a more distinct
          terminology than
          > the triple (linguistics-based) division of the Slavs into Western,
          Southern
          > and Eastern, which is nevertheless less specific than particular
          tribal

          Is the period under discussion 600 - 900+ too early to suppose any
          divergence in speech? No. Do the Polaby-Obodrichy-Serby display a
          broad linguistic unity amongst themselves vis a vis Polska and
          Czeska? I believe so, though am open to argument here. I would
          specifically like to compare what was written by Johannes Schultze
          near Hannover in the Eighteenth Century, and modern Luzhitski.
          Having heard nothing to the contrary about the unity of the group,
          and having seen entries of its language in my Russian dictionary, I
          say they need a term to distinguish them.

          Anyway, outside of linguistics, we're dealing wiht a group of groups
          that had the same historical fate. Look at the chimaera that is the
          Scottish 'nation'. A right ethnosociolinguistic hodgepodge, but
          there is this element of common historical fate.

          > names? If we apply a single term (like "Polabian Slav" we are
          immediately
          > implying social and/or cultural affiliations that *uniquely* apply
          to the
          > people so grouped... and can we really justify this?

          I'd say that anyone with half an ounce of intellectual discernment
          [and I suspect anyone who has seen fit to join this Group falls into
          this category!] would see that such is not the intended implication.

          > The Luchans were a minor tribe believed to have occupied a small
          area of
          > what is now West Bohemia. They are mentioned in the early
          chronicles, solely
          > because the "real" Czechs beat them in a war.

          Where exactly were they? Can you say anything as to their name? I
          see the Sedlichane, Litomerzhitsy and Dechane, among others are named
          after their home territory.

          > no further than to say that they were reasonably closely related -
          > linguistically! - to the Poles and the Czechs. And let's not forget
          that the
          > Sorbs themselves are subdivisible.

          There must be rough indices of lexical correspondence and
          intelligibility [very high between almost all Slovene, but surely at
          different rates between different groups] to determine their relative
          distance from other Western Slavs.

          > Personally, I'd see the use "the Slavs" in your original statement
          as
          > suggesting something else, but I can be a pedantic so-and-so ;-)

          Bringing out the pedant in me; we often use the definite article when
          dealing with ethnic matters. The Spanish, or the French are sets of
          people differing far more widely by language and culture and
          anthropology than the Wends ever did, yet we happily employ the 'the'
          here. To escape the criticism that these have long political
          traditions, I often say 'the Finns' when discussing humans living
          from anywhere between Norway and the Urals. There's no question of
          there ever having been any cohesion between the Livs and the Komi,
          but we say the Finns all the same.

          > > Does it link in with the supposed greater
          > > antiquity of such names as Khorvaty, Serby
          >
          > I didn't know these names were of supposedly greater antiquity?
          What is the
          > evidence for this?

          There are morphological reasons, but perhaps more tellingly, each
          name here is recorded for at least two [and possibly all] out of the
          three main zones of Slavdom. The names therefore predate the
          migrations. Croats for instance were found independently in the
          Sudeten, Illyria, and the Volyn.


          > > and Dudlebi?
          >
          > Never heard of this one.Who/what is it?

          Likewise a tribal name encountered in areas very far apart. One set -
          Dudleb - by the Dnestr, another [which I'm surprised a man who knows
          the Luchane hasn't heard of] lived in the extreme south of your
          Chekhiya.

          There's supposedly a consensus on a Germanic origin for the name.
          *daud-laiba [nasledstvo umershego] being one reconstruction. Gothic
          is even supposed.

          > r. (This hook is correctly called a hac'ek in English - according to
          > Chambers). Przemyslid is a horrible early/mid-20th century attempt
          to be
          > cosmopolitan, and is very much avoided by translators today.

          Influence of Polish orthography? Lots of people can't do haceks on
          their computers. I always find diacritics a real pain in the
          zadnitsa myself - I'm always having to switch encoding. I've got
          used to the fact that O-umlaut is a Cyrillic Ts, and the E Acute
          shows up as a Russkiy I-igrik.

          S nailuchshimi pozhelaniyami,
          Ben
        • Alastair Millar
          ... (a) no, it would usually be namor nik (lit. one who is on the sea/ocean ). Alternatives might under certain circumstances include lodnik (lit. one on a
          Message 4 of 17 , Aug 11, 2004
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            Ben writes:

            > Would that be moryak in Czeski then?

            (a) no, it would usually be namor'nik (lit. 'one who is on the sea/ocean').
            Alternatives might under certain circumstances include lodnik (lit. 'one on
            a boat'), marin'ak (slang, lit. 'mariner'), or plavec (river sailor, lit.
            'one who floats/swims').
            (b) what is Czeski? In English the language is called Czech... and in Czech
            we
            call it c'esky jayzk informally or c'es'tina more correctly.

            > Which outside?

            Well we have convincing evidence for Germans, Jews, Arabs and Byzantine
            Greeks in period. Later scholars have certainly applied names as well,
            however.

            > The suffices are obviously Slavonic.

            To take Polabian, the -ian suffix is most certainly not Slavonic. It's not
            related to the Slavonic -an or -c'an.

            > Why would a German invader care to find out what
            > the Poles and Czechs call the Wendish subunits? They'd all
            > just be Wends to him anyway. They must be local names.

            But that was my point. You were the one suggesting we need other 'group'
            names for collections of tribes; personally, I don't agree that geographic
            location should be the defining factor. This is not a subject I wish to
            debate any further: accept that we are not going to agree on this, please.

            > and I bet a fair few other streams have Germanic names.

            And many others, like the Ohr'e in Bohemia (known to the Germans as the
            Eger) are Celtic.

            > Nu, da.

            "Nuda" in Czech means "boredom"! :-(

            > But we're not talking about the Balkans.

            Aren't we?

            > We have the Byzantine Imperator/Historian's
            > first witness of the word,

            Ouch. We also have a Byzantine Emperor's word for "Great Moravia", which
            could have meant something very general indeed according to recent research.
            Who says the Byzantine Emperor was working from primary sources or direct
            knowledge?

            > With sound phonological understanding such
            > hypothesising is valid, and, what's more, the people
            > demand it.

            Well I agree, but the fact is that most people who try it are NOT experts,
            so unless I see a convincing reference cited I default to natural/healthy
            scepticism.

            > Is the period under discussion 600 - 900+ too
            > early to suppose any divergence in speech? No.

            Agreed.

            > Do the Polaby-Obodrichy-Serby display a
            > broad linguistic unity amongst themselves vis a vis
            > Polska and Czeska? I believe so, though am
            > open to argument here.

            I have no idea about the language of the Obdorites. Both flavours of
            Sorbian, however, are *extremely* close to Czech and Polish. (I have read
            Sorbian texts that are a lot closer to Czech than Slovak is, for instance).

            You don't seem to have taken on board my earlier reference to Zaroff,
            though - the Obdorites are a division of the 'Polabians' (a group defined
            geographically and not necessarily culturally/linguistically), and the
            latter are therefore not a separate tribe.

            Where is this place called Czeska by the way? I assume you mean Bohemia,
            known to the Czechs as C'echy. The Czech word "C'esko" (English translation:
            Czechia) is a 1992 invention designed to abbreviate "C'eska republika"
            (Czech Republic, i.e. Bohemia, Moravia and part of Silesia), and should not
            therefore be applied when referring to any historical region.

            > Having heard nothing to the contrary about the
            > unity of the group, and having seen entries of its
            > language in my Russian dictionary, I
            > say they need a term to distinguish them.

            They have one: "Polabian Slavs".

            > Anyway, outside of linguistics, we're dealing
            > wiht a group of groups that had the same
            > historical fate.

            I think that modern Sorbs would disagree with you there: they still exist,
            for a start.

            > I'd say that anyone with half an ounce of intellectual
            > discernment [and I suspect anyone who has seen fit
            > to join this Group falls into this category!] would see
            > that such is not the intended implication.

            I shall pretend not to be offended by that statement.

            > Where exactly were they? Can you say anything as
            > to their name?

            They were allegedly around what is now the town of Z'atec in West Bohemia.
            Previously this area, now called Z'atecko, was known as Lucko. A Luc'an is
            one from Lucko.

            For those with a further interest, I am proposing to submit a retelling of
            the story of the war of the Czechs and Luc'ans for Slovo.

            > I see the Sedlichane, Litomerzhitsy and Dechane, among others
            > are named after their home territory.

            (a) If you wish to be understood, you will have to stop making up spellings.
            (b) To take these in order:
            - the Sedlc'ane are "those living in farmstead families"
            - the second are correctly the L'utmirici, "the people of L'utomir"
            - the third are "the people of De'ka".

            These are CLAN names, not tribal names: there is no evidence that their
            language differed.

            In all three cases, the clan names gave rise to the place names (presumably
            clan centres - Sedlc'any, Litome'r'ice and De'c'in respectively), and not
            the other way around.

            Considering the baptism of the 14 Bohemian princes at Regensburg in 845 and
            that the 9th century Geographus Bavarus states that the Czechs (Bohemians)
            had 15 strongholds (civitates), it is interesting that these are considered
            a SINGLE people, distinct from, for example, the Moravians and Poles. This
            too implies that in Bohemia we are dealing with clan and not tribal names.
            This is an essential distinction.

            > There must be rough indices of lexical correspondence
            > and intelligibility

            I am sure that there are. We have to keep linguists off the streets
            somehow...

            > [very high between almost all Slovene,

            I assume you mean Slavs here. Slovenes are distinct group in their own
            right - their modern capital is Ljubljana.

            > Bringing out the pedant in me; we often use the
            > definite article when dealing with ethnic matters.

            Define "we", please. And don't bother trying to lecture me on English usage.

            >>> Does it link in with the supposed greater
            >>> antiquity of such names as Khorvaty, Serby
            >>
            >> I didn't know these names were of supposedly
            >> greater antiquity? What is the evidence for this?
            >
            > There are morphological reasons,

            Well disregarding your invention of Khorvat for what everyone refers to as
            Croats (or Charvats or Chorvats), this seems rather weak.

            > but perhaps more tellingly, each name here is
            > recorded for at least two [and possibly all] out of the
            > three main zones of Slavdom. The names therefore
            > predate the migrations.

            Er no, because AFAIK there is no evidence for them in the written sources of
            the
            pre-immigration period. We have no evidence that they were indeed applied IN
            PERIOD, however universal their application now.

            > Croats for instance were found independently in the
            > Sudeten, Illyria, and the Volyn.

            The Sudetenland (if you wish to offend people) or the Sudety. "The Sudeten"
            doesn't make sense. Also, I believe that you are not quite correct here:
            Croats/Charvats are said to have occupied an area in what is now north-EAST
            Bohemia,
            just beyond the Sudetenland as usually defined, and away from the Sudety.
            Charvat is still a common Czech surname.

            >>> and Dudlebi?
            >>>
            >> Never heard of this one.Who/what is it?
            >
            > Likewise a tribal name [snip]
            > [which I'm surprised a man who knows
            > the Luchane hasn't heard of] lived in the
            > extreme south of your Chekhiya.

            Czechia is an artificial term coined in 1992 to refer to the Czech Republic
            as a country (see above). Chekhiya is, I believe, a part of what is
            generally called Chechyna.

            Further, I have never claimed to possess encylopedic, or even complete,
            information; I do however heartily endorse the cornerstone of the SIG, which
            is to share what we know. I am quite happy to discuss anything provided that
            we agree at the outset that there are at least two points of view, neither
            of which need necessarily be correct.

            > There's supposedly a consensus on a Germanic origin
            > for the name. *daud-laiba [nasledstvo umershego]
            > being one reconstruction. Gothic
            > is even supposed.

            Er, but one set was by the Dnestr? So why a Germanic origin, given your
            earlier comments about the unlikelihood of German names being adopted into
            Slavonic?

            Anyway, having done a little digging, I have come up with Doudleby in South
            Bohemia, which I assume is the place you are talking about. My trusty
            'Zeme'pisna jmena v Cechach, na Morave' a ve Slezsku' ("Placenames in
            Bohemia, Moravia & Silesia", by I. Lutterer & R. S'ramek, publ. TOBIAS,
            Havlic'kuv Brod, 2004, ISBN 80-7311-025-3) notes that there is considerable
            disagreement over the origin of the name.

            Some authors see a link to a tribe known as the Dulebi or Dudlebi - with Al
            Masudi suggesting Dulabe (!) in the 10th cent. - supposedly present in
            Carinthia, Pannonia and Volynia as well as Bohemia. There is, and I quote,
            "a rich literature on the origin of this tribal name, opinions thus far at
            variance".

            One suggestion is indeed a root in the west German Deudo- ('people, tribe,
            land') and -laifs ('remnant, inheritance'), despite (quoting again) "its
            weakness being the assumption that it must have been adopted from the
            Germanic name into Slavonic prior to the shift in the Old High German
            consonant, i.e. before 600 AD".

            Others, perhaps not surprisingly, see a stronger connection to the common
            Slavonic duda-, meaning reed or (pan) pipe...

            >> Przemyslid is a horrible early/mid-20th century attempt
            >> to be cosmopolitan, and is very much avoided by
            >> translators today.
            >
            > Influence of Polish orthography?

            Possibly. But now archaic if not positively obsolete for use in Czech.
            Anyway, if a reader doesn't know how to pronounce r', how likely are they to
            know the correct pronunciation of a Polish rz (which is not the same sound
            anyway)?

            > Lots of people can't do haceks on their computers.

            No kidding? You will probably have noticed that due to the inability of
            e-mail to handle full 8-bit characters, I usually adopt the US Dept. of
            Defense (sic) standard, which is to indicate letters with a hac'ek by the
            use of an apostrophe after that letter, and to skip the other accents. This
            is the standard adopted on professional mailing lists for translators, for
            example (one of the more successful of which for Czech I happen to run).

            > S nailuchshimi pozhelaniyami,

            S pozdravem, snad

            Alastair

            -----------------------------------------------------
            Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
            Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
            P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
            Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
          • Ben McGarr
            Zdrave Alastair! ... sea/ocean ). A funny abstract idea for the landlocked Czechs! I wonder do they make good sailors? Joseph Conrad seemed to manage it
            Message 5 of 17 , Aug 11, 2004
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              Zdrave Alastair!

              --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:
              > (a) no, it would usually be namor'nik (lit. 'one who is on the
              sea/ocean').

              A funny abstract idea for the landlocked Czechs! I wonder do they
              make good sailors? Joseph Conrad seemed to manage it despite being
              born in Galich. And there's that Sorb polyarnik [polar explorer]
              Leichhardt.

              > (b) what is Czeski? In English the language is called Czech... and
              in Czech
              > we
              > call it c'esky jayzk informally or c'es'tina more correctly.

              Manc'estersky dialekt Vseslavjanskistic'eskogo yazyka, sorry!

              > > Which outside?
              >
              > Well we have convincing evidence for Germans, Jews, Arabs and
              Byzantine
              > Greeks in period.

              I doubt the latter three would have had much influence on the Germans
              who recorded the majority of the tribal names of this region known to
              us. What's the Jewish source if you please? I hadn't heard of this
              before.

              > > The suffices are obviously Slavonic.
              > To take Polabian, the -ian suffix is most certainly not Slavonic.
              It's not
              > related to the Slavonic -an or -c'an.

              Of course not, it's a modern word, originating in Anglophone media.
              Germans would say Polaben, the Russkies Polaby, and the fellows
              themselves - well, only Triglav knows! But it can't have been that
              far from the Russkiy. The root is Polab and the prefix and the
              metathesis of the River name are Very Slavonic.

              > > Why would a German invader care to find out what
              > > the Poles and Czechs call the Wendish subunits? They'd all
              > > just be Wends to him anyway. They must be local names.
              >
              > But that was my point.

              But he does care what the Wends themselves called them. Such
              knowledge would be vital for the interpretation of Intelligence by
              the Margraves in the face of possible uprisings, or in dealings with
              the Slavonic elites.

              >You were the one suggesting we need other 'group'
              > names for collections of tribes; personally, I don't agree that
              geographic
              > location should be the defining factor. This is not a subject I
              wish to
              > debate any further: accept that we are not going to agree on this,
              please.

              Alright, but I'm just chatting, I have no real axe to grind for the
              sake of these dead foreigners. >;o)

              > > and I bet a fair few other streams have Germanic names.
              > And many others, like the Ohr'e in Bohemia (known to the Germans as
              the
              > Eger) are Celtic.

              Marvellous! Any details on that and any others? I'm Three Eighths
              Bogtrotter myself, the remaining Five doubtless containing much
              residual Briton, so I like to cast a winsome eye over our Celtic
              Kin's former lands!

              > "Nuda" in Czech means "boredom"! :-(

              Nice. Is it some kind of slang? Looks like some kind of borrowing
              from Romance. Ennui, nudity, words not often seen in the same
              sentence...

              > > We have the Byzantine Imperator/Historian's
              > > first witness of the word,
              >
              > Ouch. We also have a Byzantine Emperor's word for "Great Moravia",
              which
              > could have meant something very general indeed according to recent
              research.
              > Who says the Byzantine Emperor was working from primary sources or
              direct
              > knowledge?

              Conscientious chap though, heart in the right place, with an Empire's
              resources at his academic disposal [enviable position!] and probably
              sensitive to criticism from those in the know, and wishing to prove
              himself a capable man of affairs. Be thankful he wrote anything at
              all!

              > > With sound phonological understanding such
              > > hypothesising is valid, and, what's more, the people
              > > demand it.
              > Well I agree, but the fact is that most people who try it are NOT
              experts,
              > so unless I see a convincing reference cited I default to
              natural/healthy
              > scepticism.

              Schuster-S'ewc H. 1985 Zur Geschichte und Etymologie des
              ethnischen Namens Sorb / Serb / Sarb / Srb. Zeitschrift Slawistik
              Bd.30, H6 S. 851-856.


              > I have no idea about the language of the Obdorites. Both flavours of
              > Sorbian, however, are *extremely* close to Czech and Polish. (I
              have read
              > Sorbian texts that are a lot closer to Czech than Slovak is, for
              instance).

              This is what I'm after. If only you had access to some older Polab
              stuff to compare.

              You know, I've noticed a peculiar thing out in Russia, and maybe you
              have in That Place You Live In Which I Daren't Now Attempt To Spell.
              As an outsider I can look at familiar Russian and compare it with
              what I hear now and then of Polish [like today in that film 'Three
              Colours; White'] or SerboCroat [in that Bosnian War film with the
              bouncing mine] and be amazed at how similar still they all are, apart
              from accent and a few phrases; and YET, Russians themselves will
              obstinately insist they are not understanding any of it! I know I'm
              being very superficial in my PanSlavic fervour but the Russians do
              often act like that. Maybe it's a feature of Former Dominant
              Nationalities?

              > You don't seem to have taken on board my earlier reference to
              Zaroff,
              > though - the Obdorites are a division of the 'Polabians' (a group
              defined
              > geographically and not necessarily culturally/linguistically), and
              the
              > latter are therefore not a separate tribe.

              I did! I just skipped my stubby little paws over the keyboard and
              let the memory of the glorious Veleti slip into oblivion...

              Zaroff reckons

              "The names used to describe the Slavic inhabitants of these region is
              a confusing issue due to lack of commonly accepted terminology.
              Recently, it has become more common to call them Polabians or Polabs,
              instead of Wends. There are also some problems with their division.
              In the following work three large tribal groups are distinguished:
              Obodrites in north-west, Veleti in north-east and Sorbs in the south
              (for their distribution see Appendix 2)."

              I interpret this as merely a means for readers to gain a mental
              purchase on the peoples and territories under discussion, groupings
              which coincidentally accord with the different manners of
              Germanisation in different areas. I don't think he's implying any
              fundamental ethnic or linguistic division.

              In my Russkiy book it says of the Khizhane, Cherezpenyane, Dolenchane
              and Ratary quoting Helmold's Slavic Chronicle that "These four tribes
              for their bravoury are called Viltsy or Lyutichi." Any idea why
              Veleti is spelt so strangely here? Lyutiy, for non Russkiys means
              Ferocious, as in the epithet of our King Harold Godwinson's Daughter
              Gytha's Great Grandson Mstislav Lyutiy of Kiev. Does Czech have the
              word too?

              > Where is this place called Czeska by the way? I assume you mean
              Bohemia,
              > known to the Czechs as C'echy. The Czech word "C'esko" (English
              translation:
              > Czechia) is a 1992 invention designed to abbreviate "C'eska
              republika"
              > (Czech Republic, i.e. Bohemia, Moravia and part of Silesia), and
              should not
              > therefore be applied when referring to any historical region.

              Ponyal.

              > > Anyway, outside of linguistics, we're dealing
              > > wiht a group of groups that had the same
              > > historical fate.
              >
              > I think that modern Sorbs would disagree with you there: they still
              exist,
              > for a start.

              Barely! And yet German names, customs and dress are well entranched
              among them.

              > > I'd say that anyone with half an ounce of intellectual
              > > discernment [and I suspect anyone who has seen fit
              > > to join this Group falls into this category!] would see
              > > that such is not the intended implication.
              >
              > I shall pretend not to be offended by that statement.

              I'll pretend not to be surprised at the offence taken for none was
              intended. You were talking about the need to be wary of using broad
              brush language when dealing with complex past realities for fear some
              will take statements on face value, and I feel that we can be over
              careful here, as I know, and you know, and I know that you know, and
              we both know that the vast majority of people reading this will know,
              that things are like that in the human universe.

              > For those with a further interest, I am proposing to submit a
              retelling of
              > the story of the war of the Czechs and Luc'ans for Slovo.

              Lovely.

              > > I see the Sedlichane, Litomerzhitsy and Dechane, among others
              > > are named after their home territory.
              > (a) If you wish to be understood, you will have to stop making up
              spellings.

              HEY! I'm just transliterating as best I can from Cyrillic! I try to
              indicate pronunciation and if that galls a Czechophone reader then so
              be it. I like to have a bit of fun now and then with the languages
              and the influence of my Manc'esterskiy dialect of Russian
              occasionally interferes with my English, I must admit, but we all
              know the Roman alphabet is occasionally a rather hit and miss tool!

              > (b) To take these in order:
              > - the Sedlc'ane are "those living in farmstead families"

              Sedlo being the ancestor to modern Russian Selo or village/hamlet.

              > - the second are correctly the L'utmirici, "the people of L'utomir"

              I know it's quite unrelated, but does anyone have any idea of the
              meaning of the Lud element in German Ludwig? It's spelt Chlodowic by
              the Franks too, so there's obviously nothing in common with our
              Slavonic element, I'm just asking out of curiosity.

              > - the third are "the people of De'ka".

              Being a personal name? [Some of my Romanian nationalist friends
              would have a field day on this 'Dacian' name - should I tell them in
              the interests of mischief, or restrain myself and save mainstream
              linguistics from yet more PseudoDacian headaches?]

              > These are CLAN names, not tribal names: there is no evidence that
              their
              > language differed.

              Accepted, but as a digression how much do we really know of clan
              instituions in old Boii-home?

              > > [very high between almost all Slovene,
              >
              > I assume you mean Slavs here. Slovenes are distinct group in their
              own
              > right - their modern capital is Ljubljana.

              Lovely Laibach. I'm just using the reconstructed word that the first
              Slavs used themselves. I didn't put an S on the end. Don't the
              Slovenes call themselves Slovenci any way? I dislike the word Slav
              myself, not enough syllables and annoying connotations.

              Funny how a little group can just keep on calling themselves by the
              name they always have done, while things elsewhere go their own way
              until the day when someone comes along and tells them that their name
              has a different official meaning now. Like the Rusyns, or the
              speakers of Ladin in Switzerland.

              Slovene as a title was also preserved by the Eastern Slavs around
              Lake Il'men, and Lord Novgorod the Great. Has anyone else here
              visited that area? I saw one of the most amazing sights of my life
              on that lake, I'll tell yous about it another time if ye like.

              I hear that the Kaszubs also bore a name Slovintsy too.

              > > Bringing out the pedant in me; we often use the
              > > definite article when dealing with ethnic matters.
              > Define "we", please.

              Ben McGarrs.

              > Well disregarding your invention of Khorvat for what everyone
              refers to as
              > Croats (or Charvats or Chorvats),

              Oh excuse me, I didn't know that all 200,000,000+ Russians,
              Ukrainians and Belorussians had been disqualified from being counted
              under the term 'everyone'.

              >this seems rather weak.

              Why? We can discern several layers of ethnonyms among the Slavs,
              judging by function, source and formation principles and Khorvat is
              included by some in the earlier strata. There's no obvious means of
              breaking down XorBat into any constituent parts, and it makes little
              sense if looked at in Slavonic isolation. I still stand by the logic
              of the 'being in three separate places' subsequent to the Great
              Migrations argument. How do you account for it otherwise?

              I invoke in support of this perceived ancientness of name Ivanov,
              V.V. & Toporov, V.N. 1980 O Drevnikh Slavyanskikh Etnonimakh. Kiev.
              and Kovalev, G.F. 1991 Etnonimiya Slavyanskikh Yazykov. Voronezh.

              > > but perhaps more tellingly, each name here is
              > > recorded for at least two [and possibly all] out of the
              > > three main zones of Slavdom. The names therefore
              > > predate the migrations.
              >
              > Er no, because AFAIK there is no evidence for them in the written
              sources of
              > the
              > pre-immigration period.

              Bozhe! THere's no evidence for ANYTHING AT ALL pre-immigration. We
              still have to find ways of explaining situations that were written
              down.

              >We have no evidence that they were indeed applied IN
              > PERIOD, however universal their application now.

              Where did they come from then?

              > The Sudetenland (if you wish to offend people)

              It wouldn't offend my FinnoGerman mate's Grandmother who was forcibly
              evicted from there as a child!

              >or the Sudety. "The Sudeten"
              > doesn't make sense.

              I have heard and read it. I'll try and think where.

              >Also, I believe that you are not quite correct here:
              > Croats/Charvats are said to have occupied an area in what is now
              north-EAST
              > Bohemia,
              > just beyond the Sudetenland as usually defined, and away from the
              Sudety.

              Okay. I don't really know anything of Czech geography.

              > Charvat is still a common Czech surname.

              Superb!

              > Czechia is an artificial term coined in 1992 to refer to the Czech
              Republic
              > as a country (see above). Chekhiya is, I believe, a part of what is
              > generally called Chechyna.

              Chekhiya is how the Russkies say Czechia. Do you mean Chechnya in
              your last sentence? A place rather near the bottom of my To visit
              when back in Russia list.

              > Further, I have never claimed to possess encylopedic, or even
              complete,
              > information; I do however heartily endorse the cornerstone of the
              SIG, which
              > is to share what we know. I am quite happy to discuss anything
              provided that
              > we agree at the outset that there are at least two points of view,
              neither
              > of which need necessarily be correct.

              For sure, but you do know some pretty obscure facts.

              > > There's supposedly a consensus on a Germanic origin
              > > for the name. *daud-laiba [nasledstvo umershego]
              > > being one reconstruction. Gothic
              > > is even supposed.
              >
              > Er, but one set was by the Dnestr? So why a Germanic origin, given
              your
              > earlier comments about the unlikelihood of German names being
              adopted into
              > Slavonic?

              I didn't say it was unlikely that a Slavonic tribe should have a
              Germanic title, merely that the specific names known from modern East
              Germany don't look German. Germanics got about a fair bit before the
              Slavs ever came on the scene, especially the "Glorious Goths" so it's
              only natural that some echoes should be felt in a later period when
              these lands had become Slavonicised.


              > Anyway, having done a little digging, I have come up with Doudleby
              in South
              > Bohemia, which I assume is the place you are talking about. My
              trusty
              > 'Zeme'pisna jmena v Cechach, na Morave' a ve Slezsku' ("Placenames
              in
              > Bohemia, Moravia & Silesia", by I. Lutterer & R. S'ramek, publ.
              TOBIAS,
              > Havlic'kuv Brod, 2004, ISBN 80-7311-025-3) notes that there is
              considerable
              > disagreement over the origin of the name.
              > Some authors see a link to a tribe known as the Dulebi or Dudlebi -
              with Al
              > Masudi suggesting Dulabe (!)

              French aristos! Maybe the Arabic alphabet's lack of vowels is the
              problem here.

              >in the 10th cent. - supposedly present in
              > Carinthia, Pannonia and Volynia as well as Bohemia. There is, and I
              quote,
              > "a rich literature on the origin of this tribal name, opinions thus
              far at
              > variance".
              > One suggestion is indeed a root in the west German Deudo- ('people,
              tribe,
              > land') and -laifs ('remnant, inheritance'), despite (quoting
              again) "its
              > weakness being the assumption that it must have been adopted from
              the
              > Germanic name into Slavonic prior to the shift in the Old High
              German
              > consonant, i.e. before 600 AD".

              THat's not so much a weakness if we suppose an Eastern Germanic
              source, as in the Gothic Daud-laiba.

              Has anyone considered a Celtic etymology? The same IE root gives
              Tuath in Irish, the Gaulish God Teutates, and gave another word in
              Old Welsh which is now obsolete but which gave the first part of the
              rather well known name 'Tudor'. [Funny how Tudor means exactly the
              same as Englisc Theodric and Gothic Theodoric, and the Deutsch name
              Volker and Dietrich, and the very word Deutsch itself]. The same
              Celtic root is sometimes supposed to underly the name of the Germanic
              tribe Teutones, so Douleby wouldn't be alone if regarded as a Celtic
              borrowing.

              There were plenty of Celts around in the area, and who knows into
              what divergent forms their language developed once they slipped from
              the notice of Classical chroniclers into the mists of the endless
              wanderings of folks.

              > Others, perhaps not surprisingly, see a stronger connection to the
              common
              > Slavonic duda-, meaning reed or (pan) pipe...

              Doesn't ring true on the face of it, but there's nowt so queer as
              folk so who knows. I would say though, that I wouldn't expect so
              many reeds or marshes in the mountainous areas concerned. What's
              the -leby bit if the first part is fife?

              > > Lots of people can't do haceks on their computers.
              >
              > No kidding? You will probably have noticed that due to the
              inability of
              > e-mail to handle full 8-bit characters, I usually adopt the US
              Dept. of
              > Defense (sic) standard, which is to indicate letters with a hac'ek
              by the
              > use of an apostrophe after that letter, and to skip the other
              accents. This
              > is the standard adopted on professional mailing lists for
              translators, for
              > example (one of the more successful of which for Czech I happen to
              run).

              Awkward for me, I use apostrophes to indicate the Cyrillic soft sign,
              and two apostrophes for the hard sign. In welsh they have the 'ty
              bach' ['little house'] sign like a French circumflex accent, and the
              Welsh convention is to use a + sign; maybe that would have been a
              better choice for the Pentagon. Or else the '>' or '<'. I wonder
              what the Frenchies do? In practice the Welsh usually just miss it
              out on the web. Too ugly. Jonny Foreigner should consider adopting
              a purely phonetic and simplified orthography, just like in
              English. ;o))

              By the bye, it's the 12th of Avgust, so Happy Beating-Of-The-Apostles-
              Saints-Paul-And-Silas Day!
              http://www.days.ru/Images/im1097.htm

              All the Bestest,
              Ben
            • Ben McGarr
              Hi everyone, I ve just posted a map I d found deep at the bottom of my hard drive showing the tribes me and Alastair have been talking about, if you d like to
              Message 6 of 17 , Aug 11, 2004
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                Hi everyone,

                I've just posted a map I'd found deep at the bottom of my hard drive
                showing the tribes me and Alastair have been talking about, if you'd
                like to see.

                Its in the Files section at the group's webssite under the name
                Karte2.

                All the Best
                Ben
              • Alastair Millar
                Ben writes... ... Ah well done, that s the one that vanished off my own hard drive! I still don t agree with its designation of Polaben as a single and
                Message 7 of 17 , Aug 13, 2004
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                  Ben writes...
                  > I've just posted a map... [snip]

                  Ah well done, that's the one that vanished off my own hard drive!

                  I still don't agree with its designation of "Polaben" as a single and
                  distinct group tho'!

                  Alastair
                • Alastair Millar
                  Ben writes... ... Naaah. There s this litle river called the Elbe that leads straight down to the sea, navigable since the late 18th century IIRC (and
                  Message 8 of 17 , Aug 13, 2004
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                    Ben writes...

                    > A funny abstract idea for the landlocked Czechs!

                    Naaah. There's this litle river called the Elbe that leads straight down to
                    the sea, navigable since the late 18th century IIRC (and certainly since the
                    19th).

                    > I wonder do they make good sailors?
                    Apparently so, strangely enough. The nationalised maritime fleet was quite
                    successful until Viktor 'the Pirate of Prague' Kozeny bought it after the
                    Velvet Revolution and sold it off in bits to make a profit.

                    > Manc'estersky dialekt Vseslavjanskistic'eskogo yazyka, sorry!

                    Bah. Pan-slavism. Grmbl.

                    > What's the Jewish source if you please? I hadn't
                    > heard of this before.

                    Well for a start we have Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub at-Turtushi, who in the mid-10th
                    century
                    travelled down from Pomerania to Magdeburg and thence to Prague, before
                    going home to Spain via Fulda and the Rhineland.

                    > But it can't have been that far from the Russkiy.

                    Why this fixation with Russian? There is a nasty habit among pan-Slavists in
                    particular of ascribing some sort of "elder brother"-like seniority or
                    superiority to the Russians... need I point out that the first Slavic
                    proto-state was actually in Moravia, however?

                    > But he does care what the Wends themselves
                    > called them. Such knowledge would be vital
                    > for the interpretation of Intelligence by
                    > the Margraves in the face of possible
                    > uprisings, or in dealings with the Slavonic elites.

                    Ummmm... actually, his assorted retainers might be interested, but he
                    himself probably wouldn't be. Which is why the few written records we have
                    tend to refer to Wends en bloc. (I could also suggest that your
                    interpretation of "intelligence" is far too modern...)

                    > Alright, but I'm just chatting, I have no real axe to grind
                    > for the sake of these dead foreigners. >;o)

                    No comment.

                    > Marvellous! Any details on that and any others?

                    I think there are books available on this. There is certainly one in Czech,
                    by Jir'i Svoboda, on Celtic place-names in Bohemia - I know because I
                    translated the English summary for it. I'll dig it out at some point (I'm in
                    the process of relocating my workplace, so a lot of things are in boxes at
                    the moment).

                    > > "Nuda" in Czech means "boredom"! :-(
                    > Nice. Is it some kind of slang?

                    Nope.

                    > Conscientious chap though, heart in the right place,
                    > with an Empire's resources at his academic disposal
                    > [enviable position!]

                    Well yes, IF he had time to use them rather than just delegating a slave to
                    do the research for him. Isn't this how many modern university academics
                    work, too??? Oh wait, those half-starved creatures are post-grad.
                    students...

                    > and probably sensitive to criticism from those in the know

                    ... who will have their own agendas and who will filter the information
                    reaching his ears/eyes accordingly.

                    > and wishing to prove himself a capable man of affairs.

                    ... while those around him want to see him fall on his face, metaphorically
                    speaking.

                    > Be thankful he wrote anything at all!


                    Oh I am, I just think we need to take it in context and keep our minds open,
                    rather than accepting everything as being the literal truth simply because
                    it's written down...

                    > Schuster-S'ewc H. 1985 Zur Geschichte und Etymologie des
                    > ethnischen Namens Sorb / Serb / Sarb / Srb. Zeitschrift Slawistik
                    > Bd.30, H6 S. 851-856.

                    See? I *knew* that if I kept on at you you'd start sourcing your comments!

                    > This is what I'm after. If only you had access to
                    > some older Polab stuff to compare.

                    Well there ARE whole Polabian websites out there, ya know. Google for them!
                    (For some reason some of them keep e-mailing me newsflashes about their
                    struggle for self-identity/determination...)

                    > and YET, Russians themselves will obstinately
                    > insist they are not understanding any of it!

                    Oh I think I have to let Alex answer that one... you still out there
                    somewhere Alex???? *grin*

                    > I interpret this as merely a means for readers to
                    > gain a mental purchase on the peoples... [snip]
                    > I don't think he's implying any
                    > fundamental ethnic or linguistic division.

                    My point PRECISELY - it's a convenient geographic label, nothing more.

                    > Any idea why Veleti is spelt so strangely here?

                    Nope.

                    > Does Czech have the word too?

                    Nope.

                    > HEY! I'm just transliterating as best I can from Cyrillic!

                    Yes but why not use acceptable English words where they exist? Words like
                    "Czech" aren't THAT hard to spell, ya know...

                    > > - the third are "the people of De'ka".
                    > Being a personal name?

                    Apparently. Don't forget the hook over the "e", so it's pronounced Dyeka.

                    > Accepted, but as a digression how much do we
                    > really know of clan instituions in old Boii-home?

                    Absolutely nothing. That doesn't mean we shouldn't recognise them as having
                    existed, though.

                    Part of the problem for non- or limited-Czech speakers is undoubtedly the
                    Czech word "kmen", which can mean tribe OR race OR people OR group... the
                    situation is so bad that contemporary Czech historians now use the Latin
                    'gens' for 'tribe', to prevent confusion.

                    > Lovely Laibach. I'm just using the reconstructed
                    > word that the first Slavs used themselves.

                    Errrrrrrrrrrr... surely they would have used Slovan or something similar,
                    rather than Slovene?

                    > Don't the Slovenes call themselves Slovenci any way?

                    Slovaci, as far as I know... which is also what Slovaks call themselves. Oh
                    yes, and both refer to their country as "Slovensko" I believe...

                    > I dislike the word Slav myself, not enough syllables and annoying
                    connotations.

                    Nah. Perfectly good word, and doesn't waste ink. And it's got ONE vowel,
                    which is more than a lot of Czech words do... As long as you remember that
                    in linguistics the adjective is Slavonic, and everywhere else it's Slavic,
                    you're okay.

                    > Slovene as a title was also preserved by the
                    > Eastern Slavs around Lake Il'men, and Lord
                    > Novgorod the Great.

                    See above. Slovene is not a Slavonic word.

                    > Oh excuse me, I didn't know that all 200,000,000+
                    > Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians had been
                    > disqualified from being counted under the term 'everyone'.

                    As noted above, if a perfectly good/acceptable English word exists, why not
                    use it, since we're writing in English?

                    > How do you account for it otherwise?

                    I don't, I'm trying (successfully) to get you to explain your ideas more
                    fully, so that everyone can follow them.

                    > I invoke in support of this perceived ancientness of name
                    > Ivanov, V.V. & Toporov, V.N. 1980 O Drevnikh
                    > Slavyanskikh Etnonimakh. Kiev. and Kovalev, G.F.
                    > 1991 Etnonimiya Slavyanskikh Yazykov. Voronezh.

                    See? more sources, it works!

                    > Bozhe! THere's no evidence for ANYTHING
                    > AT ALL pre-immigration.

                    Archaeology. It's a thing of the past, but still... you could dig it if you
                    tried.

                    > Where did they come from then?

                    Dontcha love a mystery?

                    > > The Sudetenland (if you wish to offend people)
                    > It wouldn't offend my FinnoGerman mate's Grandmother

                    Using the German name among Czechs, however, will almost certainly offend.

                    > Chekhiya is how the Russkies say Czechia.

                    Again, why make up a word when an English one already exists?

                    > Do you mean Chechnya in your last sentence?

                    Dat's da bunny!

                    > For sure, but you do know some pretty obscure facts.

                    Not really. Some of them can be quite hard to get to for non-Czech speakers,
                    admittedly.

                    > French aristos! Maybe the Arabic alphabet's lack
                    > of vowels is the problem here.

                    The a has a hat on it, for what it's worth.

                    > THat's not so much a weakness if we suppose an
                    > Eastern Germanic source, as in the Gothic Daud-laiba.

                    I feel no need to make that assumption without further evidence. Besides,
                    the Goths only started moving in what, the 200's AD? A mere 250 years or so
                    before the Slavs started appearing, not much time to set a standard, I feel.

                    > There were plenty of Celts around in the area,
                    > and who knows into what divergent forms their
                    > language developed

                    P-Celtic and Q-Celtic, as I recall.

                    > once they slipped from the notice of Classical
                    > chroniclers into the mists of the endless
                    > wanderings of folks.

                    That closet romaticism of yours is showing again.

                    > Jonny Foreigner should consider adopting a purely
                    > phonetic and simplified orthography, just like in
                    > English. ;o))

                    But Czech DOES have a purely phonetic, regular system of
                    spelling/pronunciation already.

                    Cheers

                    Alastair

                    -----------------------------------------------------
                    Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
                    Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
                    P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
                    Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
                  • Ben McGarr
                    Hello Alastair, I ve just got back from a fortnight on the Isle of Skye, but I still thought I d reply to a few points you made last time we spoke. ...
                    Message 9 of 17 , Aug 30, 2004
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                      Hello Alastair,
                      I've just got back from a fortnight on the Isle of Skye, but I still
                      thought I'd reply to a few points you made last time we spoke.

                      --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:

                      > Why this fixation with Russian? There is a nasty habit among pan-
                      Slavists in
                      > particular of ascribing some sort of "elder brother"-like seniority
                      or
                      > superiority to the Russians... need I point out that the first
                      Slavic
                      > proto-state was actually in Moravia, however?

                      My fixation with Russian comes merely from the fact that I have lived
                      ate, worked and slept with them for several years. I don't see them
                      as any sort of 'elder brother' or anything, it's just that through
                      this 'brother' I met the rest of the 'family'. Lots of my Russkiy
                      friends like to use this 'State-builder' kind of terminology, but I
                      don't, having a different view of what makes a people great,
                      something bundled up in their ability to preserve a sense of
                      themselves over vast spans of time and other cultural factors.


                      > > Lovely Laibach. I'm just using the reconstructed
                      > > word that the first Slavs used themselves.
                      >
                      > Errrrrrrrrrrr... surely they would have used Slovan or something
                      similar,
                      > rather than Slovene?

                      That's how I've seen it in etymological dictionaries. There isn't
                      any online dictionaries you can point me to in which this is refuted,
                      is there?

                      > > Don't the Slovenes call themselves Slovenci any way?
                      >
                      > Slovaci, as far as I know... which is also what Slovaks call
                      themselves.

                      I read that only the Slovaks use that term.

                      > > Slovene as a title was also preserved by the
                      > > Eastern Slavs around Lake Il'men, and Lord
                      > > Novgorod the Great.
                      >
                      > See above. Slovene is not a Slavonic word.

                      I don't follow you here. What is the word if it's not Slavonic?


                      > > Oh excuse me, I didn't know that all 200,000,000+
                      > > Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians had been
                      > > disqualified from being counted under the term 'everyone'.
                      >
                      > As noted above, if a perfectly good/acceptable English word exists,
                      why not
                      > use it, since we're writing in English?

                      We are talking about ethnic realities a millenium in the past, when
                      these 'Croats' were called Khorvaty in the Russian chronicles. The
                      English term Croat is used now to name people who live between Bosnia
                      and Slovenia [despite their own ideas on what they are called] so I
                      don't see how it's a better term than Khorvat to describe people on
                      the Dnestr in the 1000s. Your Charvat or whatever is hardly a good
                      term to use for people who lived in the modern Ukraine, being a Czech
                      form of the original.

                      > > Bozhe! THere's no evidence for ANYTHING
                      > > AT ALL pre-immigration.
                      >
                      > Archaeology. It's a thing of the past, but still... you could dig
                      it if you
                      > tried.

                      I've got a degree in it, but I look to Philology as much these days.

                      > > THat's not so much a weakness if we suppose an
                      > > Eastern Germanic source, as in the Gothic Daud-laiba.
                      >
                      > I feel no need to make that assumption without further evidence.
                      Besides,
                      > the Goths only started moving in what, the 200's AD? A mere 250
                      years or so
                      > before the Slavs started appearing, not much time to set a
                      standard, I feel.

                      The movement of which you speak was from the Pontic area to the Roman
                      limes. They [or a core of their predecessors or whatnot] had a
                      previous homeland nearer the Baltic. I said Eastern Germanic anyway
                      which includes all those Burgundians and Vandals and Gepids too, and
                      some of these fellows were around before the Roman Empire, more than
                      enough time to make an impression on any Proto Slavs that may have
                      fallen into their orbit.

                      > > There were plenty of Celts around in the area,
                      > > and who knows into what divergent forms their
                      > > language developed
                      >
                      > P-Celtic and Q-Celtic, as I recall.

                      We are only dealing with P Celts at this time in this part of the
                      Continent. The Q lot are only known from Ireland and perhaps
                      northern Iberia. I was talking about the possibility of a unique
                      development of Celtic speech in the centre of Europe where it may
                      have lingered on after its period of political dominance there. I
                      wonder does the bok for which you translated the prefix dare to make
                      any suppositions on the presence of any peculiar developments in
                      phonology in your region?

                      > > once they slipped from the notice of Classical
                      > > chroniclers into the mists of the endless
                      > > wanderings of folks.
                      >
                      > That closet romaticism of yours is showing again.

                      Oh and so what? That sentence can easily be dried to its bare husk,
                      but should it really have to be? Let me play Alastair! It hardly
                      harms the bulk of what I was saying last time. And since when has my
                      Romanticism been hidden in a closet?!!

                      > > Jonny Foreigner should consider adopting a purely
                      > > phonetic and simplified orthography, just like in
                      > > English. ;o))
                      >
                      > But Czech DOES have a purely phonetic, regular system of
                      > spelling/pronunciation already.

                      I know. What I said was obviously a joke, as evinced by the tacky
                      little smiley following it, the absurd assertion that English has a
                      decent phonetic orthography, and the use of old fashioned stereotypic
                      epithets like Jonnie Foreigner.

                      T'rah for now,
                      Ben
                    • Alastair Millar
                      ... *shrug* I ve never come across it. ... Nope. ... At some point I shall ask my Slovene friends again. ... The root is Slavonic, but Slovene is not a
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 3, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        >> Errrrrrrrrrrr... surely they would have used Slovan or
                        >> something similar, rather than Slovene?
                        > That's how I've seen it in etymological dictionaries.

                        *shrug* I've never come across it.

                        > There isn't any online dictionaries you can point
                        > me to in which this is refuted, is there?

                        Nope.

                        >> Slovaci, as far as I know... which is also what
                        >> Slovaks call themselves.
                        >
                        > I read that only the Slovaks use that term.

                        At some point I shall ask my Slovene friends again.

                        >> See above. Slovene is not a Slavonic word.
                        > I don't follow you here. What is the word if it's not Slavonic?

                        The root is Slavonic, but Slovene is not a Slavonic word afaik.

                        >> As noted above, if a perfectly good/acceptable
                        >> English word exists, why not use it, since we're writing
                        >> in English?
                        >
                        > We are talking about ethnic realities a millenium in
                        > the past, when these 'Croats' were called Khorvaty
                        > in the Russian chronicles.

                        Do try not to patronise, it really doesn't help your argument.

                        > The English term Croat is used now to name people
                        > who live between Bosnia and Slovenia [snip]

                        But not to refer *exclusively* to them - it's also used for those who used
                        to live in, for example, North-East Bohemia, and indeed those on the Dnestr
                        in the 1000's - that's my point.

                        > so I don't see how it's a better term than Khorvat
                        > to describe people on the Dnestr in the 1000s.

                        It is better because it is the accepted English word for that group. If you
                        use something else, you will end up looking either (a) so pretentious that
                        your original points are lost, (b) stubborn and/or (c) uninformed.

                        > Your Charvat or whatever is hardly a good
                        > term to use for people who lived in the modern
                        > Ukraine, being a Czech form of the original.

                        I never suggested using Charvat - and indeed I would not, since we have a
                        perfectly good English word already.... see above.

                        >> Archaeology. It's a thing of the past, but still... you
                        >> could dig it if you tried.
                        >
                        > I've got a degree in it,

                        That makes at least three of us on the list, then.

                        > but I look to Philology as much these days.

                        Ah, an apostate from the True Path...

                        > The movement of which you speak was from the
                        > Pontic area to the Roman limes. They [or a core
                        > of their predecessors or whatnot] had a
                        > previous homeland nearer the Baltic.
                        [snip]
                        > I said Eastern Germanic anyway which includes
                        > all those Burgundians and Vandals and Gepids too,
                        > and some of these fellows were around before the
                        > Roman Empire, more than enough time to make
                        > an impression on any Proto Slavs that may have
                        > fallen into their orbit.

                        Well (a) I still reserve judgement until seeing more evidence, and (b) there
                        is no evidence that were any proto-Slavs around TO influence prior to the
                        5th or 6th centuries.

                        > We are only dealing with P Celts at this time
                        > in this part of the Continent. The Q lot are
                        > only known from Ireland and perhaps
                        > northern Iberia.

                        I am aware of that. The point I was trying to make is that these are the
                        ONLY major flavours of Celtic that we know - and specifically, that we do
                        not have any evidence at all for your Central European version.

                        > I was talking about the possibility of a unique
                        > development of Celtic speech in the centre of
                        > Europe where it may have lingered on [snip]

                        How nice. And is there any actual evidence for this? Bearing in mind the
                        generally accepted view that any lingering Celts were either wiped out or
                        well and truly assimilated after the arrival of the Slavs?

                        > wonder does the bok for which you translated
                        > the prefix dare to make any suppositions on the
                        > presence of any peculiar developments in
                        > phonology in your region?

                        It is not supposition, it is observation of Celtic elements in some place
                        names. It also does not suggest peculiar developments in local phonology,
                        and I did not say that it did so.

                        Even if it did, though, surely this is just the sort of thing you should be
                        in favour of if you want to find any evidence to back up your 'third way' of
                        Celtic linguistic development in Central Europe? Either you think there were
                        phonological developments in the region or you don't, make your mind up.

                        > Oh and so what? [snip]
                        > Let me play Alastair! [snip]
                        > And since when has my Romanticism been
                        > hidden in a closet?!!

                        Which of course is the nub of this discussion anyway, and I'm glad you've
                        finally come out and said it. You may be here just to play around and wander
                        off down some wild hypotheses that are very difficult to support, but some
                        of us prefer to share information which can actually be substantiated, and
                        which can feed into the practicalities of (historical) reconstruction....
                        which is what this list is about.

                        Given the foregoing, pressure of work and an almost total disinterest in
                        linguistics, I see no point in pursuing this thread any further

                        Alastair

                        -----------------------------------------------------
                        Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
                        Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
                        P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
                        Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
                      • Ben McGarr
                        ... Does that mean you ve never looked? If so, I don t see why you can get away with such a long Errrrrrrrrrrrr [as the actress said to the bishop]. ... Ruf
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 3, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:
                          > >> Errrrrrrrrrrr... surely they would have used Slovan or
                          > >> something similar, rather than Slovene?
                          > > That's how I've seen it in etymological dictionaries.
                          > *shrug* I've never come across it.

                          Does that mean you've never looked? If so, I don't see why you can
                          get away with such a long "Errrrrrrrrrrrr" [as the actress said to
                          the bishop].

                          > > I read that only the Slovaks use that term.
                          > At some point I shall ask my Slovene friends again.

                          Ruf Ageeva says they should be "Sloventsy" or however their peculiar
                          orthography attempts to get across something on those lines. She
                          reserves Slovaci as an autonym for the Slovaks, and Slovintsi for the
                          Kaszub/Pomeranians of NW Polska.

                          > The root is Slavonic, but Slovene is not a Slavonic word afaik.

                          When it's pronounced Slow - Veen to signify those chaps in Illyria
                          it's just an English thing, but if it's something more like slo veh
                          nye then it's Slavonic, surely?

                          This is what the Novgorod people called themselves before the
                          Scandinavian descended aristos and the Orthodox clergy got em to
                          recognise emselves as Rusichi. How can it not be Slavonic in this
                          case?

                          Incidentally, does anyone have any idea why there are two forms of
                          this word in Russkiy? Slovene and Slavyane. Is the latter
                          an 'educated' form owing its different shape to OLd Church Slavonic,
                          I wonder?

                          > > We are talking about ethnic realities a millenium in
                          > > the past, when these 'Croats' were called Khorvaty
                          > > in the Russian chronicles.
                          >
                          > Do try not to patronise, it really doesn't help your argument.

                          Where's the patronising there? I'm just trying to spell things out
                          a bit. You did accuse me a while back of being too obscure at
                          times. Christ, I can't win, can I?! All I'm saying is that I think
                          the Russian convention for naming this long dead polity is better
                          than what you say is the English. You even said I had made up my
                          word, which is rather ridiculous as it's there in the letopisy. I
                          suppose we could compromise with a more specific "White Croats".
                          Does that mean the Balkan and the Central European ones were Black
                          Croats or something? Is there any colour terminology seen for the
                          Slavs in your ppart of the world?

                          On a personal note, perhaps I am guilty of an unusual desire to use,
                          or at least promote knowledge of, the names of folks as they call [or
                          called] themselves, but I see that as something quite honourable.
                          Isn't this exactly the sort of way of speaking we should be employing
                          on this list? After all, we're not in Academia here, and should be
                          allowed the freedom to relax a bit.

                          > It is better because it is the accepted English word for that
                          group. If you
                          > use something else, you will end up looking either (a) so
                          pretentious that
                          > your original points are lost, (b) stubborn and/or (c) uninformed.

                          No (d)? Mercy!

                          > I never suggested using Charvat - and indeed I would not, since we
                          have a
                          > perfectly good English word already.... see above.

                          But you did throw 'Charvat' at me as though to prove my ignorance and
                          inability to spell, despite Khorvat being the normal Russian form,
                          dating from the time it was used in the mouths of people whom it
                          referred to.

                          Indeed, I'm very happy to learn how the Czechs call their Croats, and
                          especially that the word survives as a surname, but I'd prefer it if
                          you introduced such things to me as curious additional facts rather
                          than as absolute replacements for my own supposed falsities. And you
                          must admit how clumsy the accepted English words are. No doubt
                          they'll change in years to come as fashions change, so forgive me a
                          little innovation.

                          > > but I look to Philology as much these days.
                          >
                          > Ah, an apostate from the True Path...

                          I'd love to see a true working synthesis of Archaeology with
                          Philology, Genetics, Physical and Social Anthropology, and even with
                          a more developed scientific approach to Folklore, Dance, Musicology
                          and anything else that could possibly help in untangling the great
                          story of humanity and culture. That would be a True Path! Can't see
                          it happening in our lifetimes though. I'd blame this on the present
                          state of academia in general, and especially on theory and
                          interdisciplinary jealousy. Or perhaps the present state of our
                          knowledge necessarily precludes it.

                          You just don't see the wide-ranging scholars of the past any more.
                          Where are the J.G. Frazers of today? Our education systems simply
                          cannot produce their ilk any more, to our great loss. THey were men
                          of their time naturally, and politically would hardly be very
                          fashionable now, or even acceptable, but if they or others of their
                          outlook and ambition were in possession of one half the data
                          available to us today, they'd be fifty years ahead of us in their
                          concclusions.

                          I suppose Renfrew is trying his best to go some way toward this, I
                          wonder what you think of his Indo European hypothesis? I am very
                          scathing of it myself!

                          {concerning the Dudlebi deriving their name from Gothic or somesuch}
                          > Well (a) I still reserve judgement until seeing more evidence,

                          I believe there never will be any more evidence of any relevance to
                          this question, so I reckon that we should try our damnedest to do
                          what we can with what we have, rather than throw our arms up in the
                          air in despair.

                          >and (b) there
                          > is no evidence that were any proto-Slavs around TO influence prior
                          to the
                          > 5th or 6th centuries.

                          Slavonic split from Baltic LONG before the Fifth Century AD. Sure we
                          don't know exactly where they were, but we know where they weren't
                          and are left only with those areas of the Forest/Steppe belt not
                          occupied by Balts, Finns, or Iranians, not too big an area
                          considering.

                          > I am aware of that. The point I was trying to make is that these
                          are the
                          > ONLY major flavours of Celtic that we know - and specifically, that
                          we do
                          > not have any evidence at all for your Central European version.

                          I'm not proposing an entirely new subfamily, I'm just musing over the
                          fact that there were P Celts in the area from the first few centuries
                          BC, lingering around until well into the First Millenium AD [as my
                          former lecturer Malcolm Todd says in his Early Germans, 1995], if not
                          later. The Poles around Cracow are quite enthusiastic about this
                          sort of thing lately. Anyway, we're left with almost a millennium in
                          which the form of P Celtic here must have gone its merry way so who
                          knows how this might have affected later tribal terminology. The
                          Celts here were quite a force to be reckoned with, what with their
                          control of the amber trade and all, and nothing easily disappears in
                          this world without leaving some reminder of itself. The Bavarians
                          preserve a memory of a long forgotten Celtic race in their name, so
                          why shouldn't the Doudleby have done?

                          > > wonder does the book for which you translated
                          > > the prefix dare to make any suppositions on the
                          > > presence of any peculiar developments in
                          > > phonology in your region?
                          >
                          > It is not supposition, it is observation of Celtic elements in some
                          place
                          > names. It also does not suggest peculiar developments in local
                          phonology,
                          > and I did not say that it did so.

                          I was only asking. You know, in British linguistics [see Kenneth
                          Jackson's Language and History in Early Britain – my favourite!] we
                          have no records for the form of `Welsh' that was spoken in Northern
                          England and Southern Scotland before the switch to English in about
                          the Eighth Century or beyond, apart from three words found in a law
                          code of Scotland. Nevertheless, our scholars have made tentative
                          suggestions as to possible developments that would serve to
                          distinguish this `Cumbric' from Welsh, drawing on placename evidence
                          and onomastica. I'm the same could be done, or may indeed have
                          already been done, in Czechland.

                          > Even if it did, though, surely this is just the sort of thing you
                          should be
                          > in favour of if you want to find any evidence to back up
                          your 'third way' of
                          > Celtic linguistic development in Central Europe? Either you think
                          there were
                          > phonological developments in the region or you don't, make your
                          mind up.

                          I would expect there to have been something.

                          > > Oh and so what? [snip]
                          > > Let me play Alastair! [snip]
                          > > And since when has my Romanticism been
                          > > hidden in a closet?!!
                          > Which of course is the nub of this discussion anyway, and I'm glad
                          you've
                          > finally come out and said it. You may be here just to play around
                          and wander
                          > off down some wild hypotheses that are very difficult to support,
                          but some
                          > of us prefer to share information which can actually be
                          substantiated, and
                          > which can feed into the practicalities of (historical)
                          reconstruction....
                          > which is what this list is about.

                          Well, so much for trying to inject a little lightheartedness. I'm
                          not here to play around and wander, I'm here to learn and discuss and
                          provide food for thought and stop my ideas bouncing around inside my
                          head with no outlet. How is any progress to be made if ideas are not
                          freely exchanged and debated. What does Sherlock Holmes say? "First
                          eliminate the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable
                          …"

                          I'm not mad on this Celtic idea, it was just a digression, but not
                          one too absurd given the established presence of those lads in the
                          region for all that time. I would tend to favour the East Germanic
                          theory though, despite your problem with further evidence. Philology
                          is mature enough a discipline to trace a word back in time and
                          compare the result with other languages subjected to the same
                          treatment. Germano-Slavonic linguistic contacts are far more common
                          than you seem to realise at this early period, and can even be
                          decently dated when the evidence of peculiar sound shifts is seen.

                          As for the aims and boundaries of this list, on the home page it says
                          "Anything relating to pre-1650 Slavic history , or anything Slavic
                          as it pertains to the SCA is welcome here."
                          I think I am within that. I'm not one for dressing up myself, though
                          given time and opportunity I can see it might be fun, but I still
                          don't think I've wasted too much of anyone's time here [and would
                          appreciate if any onlookers who have hitherto been content to just
                          watch would support me here!], and I did help Marija with her
                          povoinik. ;o))

                          > Given the foregoing, pressure of work and an almost total
                          disinterest in
                          > linguistics, I see no point in pursuing this thread any further

                          That is a damned shame, Alastair. I hope you will reconsider, as I
                          have enjoyed talking with you here, and wish that you'd remember that
                          you started out as playing Devil's Advocate and therefore that any
                          patronising or offence from me is for Old Nick to care about, not
                          yourself. We're zemlyaki, Alastair, yedinorodtsy! And even more
                          than that, we're fellow Britons in a Sea of Slavs too! I'm sorry if
                          maybe I'm a little abrupt in my manner of speech sometimes, but Hey,
                          that's me. The Russkies don't mind. So far… Postuchi po derevu!

                          And how can a professional translator [let alone one in the
                          heritage/humanities trade] have "an almost total disinterest in>
                          linguistics" ??? Doesn't ring true!

                          Ah well, what do you want to argue about next?

                          All the bestest,
                          Ben

                          PS. It's the 4/9/04 so Happy Ìó÷åíèêè Àãàôîíèê, Çîòèê, Ôåîïðåïèé
                          (Áîãîëåï), Àêèíäèí, Ñåâåðèàí, Çèíîí è ïðî÷èå's day. [Martyrs
                          Agathonicos, Zotikos, Theoprepius, Acindinus, Severianus and Zinon,
                          of Nicomedia in Anatolia]. All tortured, forced marched to Thrakia
                          and put to death in the reign of Maximian [284 – 305 AD].
                          http://www.days.ru/Images/im1624.htm
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