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lykanthropos (was: Weekly Vocab #1.1.1 (repost #1))

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Saturday, September 16, 2006, 15:21
Henrik Theiling wrote:
> Hi! > > Philip Newton writes:
>> >>"Lycanthrope" is a counter-example :) (lykos, wolf; anthropos, human) > > > Funny -- I even (though I) had considered this when I stated the > above. Confusion.
Certainly it is a counter example to 'man+wolf' *order*; but Henrik has since explained: "By writing 'man-wolf', I meant 'man' modifying 'wolf' in whatever order the particular language implements this." I am not sure that in this respect Greek _lykanthropos_ is a counter example. It is one of the less common (for ancient Greek) type of compound where both parts are nouns. There are a few others. for example: _iatromantis_ <-- iatros "physician, doctor" + mantis "prophet, seer'. The noun is used as a name for both Apollo and Asklepios (Aesculapius). As a name for Asklepios, it might be argued that "physician' is the head noun, but for Apollo surely "seer" is more likely. In fact that compound is surely a dvandva (or copulative) compound in which both elements have equal claim to be the head, i.e. "physician and seer". _ksiphomakhaira_ "sabre" <-- ksiphos "sword" + makhaira "dagger; sabre (curved sword)". This is a different sort of compounding wherein each elements acts as attribute to the other (there must be a name for this, but I don not recall what it is). _ksiphos_ is a sword (which may be straight or curved) and _makhaira_ has two meanings: "a short dagger", "a sabre". Prefixing _ksipho-_ makes it clear which meaning of _makhaira_ is intended; likewise, suffixing _-makhaira_ makes it clear what shape sword we are talking about. _theotauros_ <-- theos "god" + tauros "bull". A name given to Zeus. Is this "god and bull"? As Zeus is always a god and only occasionally assumes bull shape does it mean "bull-god" (i.e. "bull" is attribute of "god")? It could be argued that _lykanthropos_ is of the same type as _theotauros_, i.e. _lykanthropos_ means a wolf who may assume human form. Or it could be a dvandva compound like _iatromantis_, i.e. "wolf and human". But, of course, we also find compounds like _andropais_ "boy with the mind of a man" <-- andr- (oblique stem of _ane:r_ 'man, adult male) + _pais_ "child" (male or female). Here _pais_ is certainly the head, and andro- the attribute, defining both the sex of the child and that the child thinks like an adult. So _lykanthropos_ could be a human with wolf-like tendencies. Thus _lykanthropos_ could be 'wolf-man' (as Henrick finds werewolf is in other languages), or 'man-wolf', or 'wolf and man' - darned Greeks ;-) -- Ray ================================== ================================== Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu. There's none too old to learn. [WELSH PROVERB}


Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>