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A funny linguistic subway experience + some questions about

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, December 4, 2000, 22:05
At 9:19 pm -0600 3/12/00, Eric Christopherson wrote:
>On Mon, Nov 27, 2000 at 08:03:20PM +0000, Raymond Brown wrote: >> Welsh day-names are also derived from British Vulgar Latin, and you may be >> interested to know them (the second word is genitival in function): >> dydd Sul (sundat) >> dydd Llun >> dydd Mawrth >> dydd Mercher >> dydd Iau >> dydd Gwener >> dydd Sadwrn > >Is <dydd> a native Welsh word, or is it also from Latin?
From ancient British and, ultimately, from same PIE origin as Latin _dies_, but borrowed directly IIRC. The -dd- /D/ is derived from an earlier /jj/ --> /Z/ The Breton cognate is _deiz_ [...]
> >My hypothesis was that diumenge < *diomenga < *di(es) domenica, with the >initial d of *domenica dropping because of its intervocalic position. This >happens a lot in Spanish and French,
Yes, in French at least we had /d/ --> /D/ --> zero
>but I'm not so sure about Catalan or >Occitan.
Nor I - I'm still inclined to see 'interference' of _dies_ with the initial pretonic _do-
>> The Romans borrowed the word _sabbatum_ not directly from Hebrew but >> indirectly via Greek _sabbaton_. Now /bb/ is anomalous in Greek, and there >> was clearly a popular by form /sambaton/ which would - and did - give >> popular Latin *sambato --> *sambto --> *sambdo. > >Was beta fricative by that point in Greek? If so, that would give a good >reason to use -mp- [mb] for the sound (as discussed earlier).
No. In ancient Greek geminate voiced plosives are not found, with the exception of /dd/ in some dialects where others use zeta. But the /dd/ pronunciation was unstable and by the time of the Hellenistic Koine we can be pretty sure that /zz/ was the normal pronunciation. In early borrowing there does seem to be a tendancy to resolve doubled voiced plosives as prenasalized plosives, thus, e.g. the Minor Prophets 'Habbakuk' and 'Haggai' appear in the Septuagint as _Ambakoum_ and _Angaios_ (alpha-gamma-gamma-alpha-iota-omicron-sigma) respectively. Now it might be objected that the double gamma of the latter's name is really /gg/ and not the normal /Ng/, but the mu-beta in Ambakoum's name is clear enough. _sabbaton_ is a relatively early borrowing - early enough to get transformed to _sambaton_ in popular speech where /bb/ was not otherwise used.
>What happened >with the words borrowed from Aramaic abba (such as abbot, abbey, and abbess >in English)?
AFAIK these didn't make an appearance till the Christian period, and probably got Latinized (and Latin, like modern Italian, had no problem with geminate voiced plosives) without much interference from Greek which, in any case, was changing in the direction of modern Greek by that time. AFAIK there's no evidence of amb- in borrowings from these words. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================