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Russian e and jat'

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpjonsson@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 14:34
Philip Newton skrev:
 > On 10/25/06, Benct Philip Jonsson
 > <bpjonsson@...> wrote:

 >> It is a bit like French having both _raison_ as inherited
 >> from Proto-Romance and _ration_ as a loan from Latin
 >> (both of course in turn borrowed into English, with
 >> _raison_ getting the Anglicized spelling _reason_).
 > Such pairs are interesting. I've seen examples for Spanish
 > (IIRC hongo/fungo, for example) and Greek, and it always
 > seems nifty to me.

You mean modern Greek has pairs of words that have undergone
whatever changes there had been since ancient Greek side by
side with their borrowed ancient forms? I was under the
impression that there were not many changes that would be so
reflected, considering that ancient orthographic forms would
just be pronounced à la modern. The only frequent change
I've spotted that may be visually reflected is loss or
addition of some initial vowels, but then I don't really
know modern Greek.

 > I wonder whether there are such pairs for German or other
 > Germanic languages.

There are pairs of inherited English vs. Old Scandinavian
loan like _shirt_ vs. _skirt_, but these are seldom
stylistically marked except that there are more of the
Scandinavian loans in Northern dialects that didn't
contribute as much to Standard English. (BTW _loan_ is
itself such a loan; the Old English word would have become
homophonous with _lean_.) There are also loans out of Low
German into Scandinavian and even High German, but I don't
know offhand of any minimal pairs.

For Romance both Italian and Spanish have loans out of
Old French, but again I'm not offhand aware of any
minimal pairs.

In Hindi and New IndoAryan there is tons of this, with
Sanskrit as the prestige donor. The only one I know offhand
is _thaan_ 'prison' vs. _sthaan_ 'place', but it'd probably
be easy to find lots of them armed with a thesaurus and an
English-Hindi dictionary. This is an ancient phenomenon in
India, with Prakrit vocabulary being classified as
  * _tatsama_ = the same as 'that' (i.e. as Sanskrit)
  * _tadbhava_ = derived from 'that' (1)
  * _de;sii_ = 'rustic' (2)
but this classification wasn't historic or genetic in the
modern sense, i.e. words that weren't loans from Sanskrit,
but merely unaffected by sound changes, or Prakrit or non-
IndoAryan words that had happened to be borrowed into
Sanskrit itself, were classified as _tatsama_, and
conversely words inherited from PIE, but which happened not
to be codified in Sanskrit were classified as _de;sii_.
Sanskrit of course co-existed with Prakrit the same way as
Latin did with Romance, and picked up vernacular words that
lacked a Sanskrit equivalent, or where the cognate wasn't
obvious. Also eastern dialects of IndoAryan were far less
conservative and started to change earlier and more
radically than western and especially north- western
dialects, probably because contact with non-Aryans was least
intense in the NW. There are also cases were modern
comparatists can show that writers were enough aware of the
phonological correlations between Sanskrit and Prakrit to
retrofit Prakrit words into Sanskrit, but doing it wrongly
-- or totally bogously because the word wasn't IE to begin
with (i.e. actually _de;sii_ rather than _tadbhava_.

(1) The root _bhuu-, bhav-_ 'become, come into being' is of
     course cognate with Russian _byt'_!

(2) _;s_ is ASCII for s- acute, i.e. /s\/, _ii_ is i-macron
     /i:/. I just put on my todo list to set up a comparison
     chart for different ASCIIfications of Sanskrit.

/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se

    a shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot

                                 (Max Weinreich)


/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se

    a shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot

                                 (Max Weinreich)


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>