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Re: Spinning and purring

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 11:10
>If memory serves (it still does sometimes!), "spinnen" also means "to >purr," unless contemporary German uses another word. My German is dated to >the mid-60s when I lived there, courtesy of the U.S. Army. What might be >the connection between "to spin" and "to purr." Perhaps the sound of a >spinning wheel? Do any other natlangs use "to spin" for "to purr" as well? > I know that Spanish has the verb "ronronear." How have you expressed "to >purr" in your conlangs? > >Charlie
The Finnish verb stem <kehrä-> means both "to spin (with a spinning-wheel)" and "to purr". Probably a word of onomatopoetic origin (and I guess "to purr" and "ronronear" are too), but I'd still be surprized if the polysemy is an independant innovation here, and not a borrowed one. The two sounds aren't *that* much similar... John Vertical