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Re: Carthage (was: C etc.)

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 14, 2007, 6:01
Eric Christopherson wrote:
> On Aug 13, 2007, at 4:57 AM, R A Brown wrote:
>> While Latin Cart- would be fair Latinization of Punic _Qart_ (city), >> -ha:go: (genitive: -ha:ginis) is too far removed from _H.adasht_ >> (new) for the Latin to be directly derived from the Punic. The Latin >> name looks almost as tho it is a 'portmanteau formation': a Latinized >> blend of Doric Greek & Punic. In which case I think _Car-tha-go_ is >> likely to have been the normal syllabification from the start. > > > How is it a portmanteau, though? I don't see exactly what the > ingredient parts would have been.
'Portmanteau' was badly chosen. I meant it was blend of Greek & Punic.
> Incidentally, a classicist I know told me a few years ago that Punic > had a habit of abbreviating words by truncating them and adding -o, > thus giving _Qart H.ado_ (and possibly _Hanno_?). He didn't offer an > explanation for the /g/, though.
I didn't know that - thanks. A Punic __Qart H.ado_ would account for a Doric Greek _Karkha:dO:n_. It would be fairly natural to Hellenize a foreign word ending in -o thus. The Punic _H._ is rendered by _kh_ in Greek which, I believe, is found in some other Semitic borrowings. The _t_ between the _r_ and _kh_ is simply dropped; it would not have conformed to Greek phonotactics and possible was not "heard" by the Greeks who first met the Carthaginians in Sicily. The non-Doric Greeks elsewhere would naturally render the _Karkha:do:n_ of Doric speakers as _KarkhE:dO:n_, as Doric [a:] very often, tho not always, corresponded to [E:] elsewhere. I've never seen an explanation given for the Latin version. But my guess is that they adopted at first the Doric form of the Greeks of Sicily & southern Italy, i.e. _Karkha:do:(n)_ (the Romans were likely to have pronounced Greek omega as [o:] and dropped the final -n early on). Then coming into direct contact with Carthaginians themselves, began substituting _th_ instead of _kh_ in the middle of the word. Both [k_h] and [t_h] were not normal Latin sounds and both were interpreted as _two_ consonants by the Romans, not one as the Greeks did, hence it seems to me very likely that [t_h] appeared to the Romans as a fair rendering of the _tH._ in the Punic name. I can imagine a period of hesitancy over the pronunciation during which a sort of metathesis took place in which the velar and dental values of the 2nd and 3rd consonants swapped, thus: /kark_ha:do:/ ~ /kart_ha:go:/ - the latter stuck. Another possibility is that the 'metathesis' had nothing to do with the Punic form but simply arose from a process of dissimilation, i.e. they found k....k_h tricky! The simple answer, of course, is that short of time travel and having field workers record the early forms used among the Romans, we'll never know for certain :) -- Ray ================================== ================================== Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu. There's none too old to learn. [WELSH PROVERB]