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Re: Translating "religion" (was: Translating "Imagine" (< Code-switching in music))

From:Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 15:06
Den 10. okt. 2007 kl. 15.44 skreiv R A Brown:

> Cicero and others derived it from _relegere_ /relegere/ (all short > vowels) "to go over again, to read through again" - that is > religion as a set of customs and observances which are carried out > at regular intervals. This was certainly very much characteristic > of the old Roman pagan religion.
I see. Never heard of that. But it does make more sense indeed.
>> with the root lig-, the syllables are actually re-lig-i-o. > > NO! That may be the _morphemic_ division, but it's not the syllabic > division,
Glad to hear that.
> Lars Finsen wrote: > [snip] > > Religion is a package word and rather a recent concept. > > I don't understand this as the word has been around for more than > 2000 years. It isn't exactly a recent borrowing in English & other > languages. It's been used in western Christendom ever since the > Roman period.
In modern English "a religion" is used mostly for an allegiance group, isn't it? You belong to this and that religion. An allegiance group requiring you to accept a (smaller or bigger) set of (more or less) philosophical ideas and codes of conduct, and oppose other, competing groups, just like any other allegiance group. I reckon this is what Lennon meant at least.
> I suppose what you possibly mean is that the meaning of "a > particular system of rites, worship & beliefs" is a rather a recent > concept. I'm not sure. According to the "Online Etymological > Dictionary" this use of the word is attested as early as the > beginning of the 14th century: > {quot}Meaning "particular system of faith" is recorded from c.1300. > {/quote}
And that's what I call 'recent'. Maybe I'm misguided. Urianian religious history is a little more complicated than in the rest of western Europe, as they had competing systems throughout the medieval age and further to the present day. Catholic and later Protestant Christendom of course were two of them, but the nobles in general managed to hold on to the traditional religion for a long time and were able to make many of their followers do the same. The real crisis for the old faith did not come until the 17th century when the lords lost their independence and had to swear to the Danish king. Still it survived and later during the nationalist struggles of the 19th century it grew again. So maybe they needed a word to denote what religion you belonged to before the 18th century as well, but I think the Latin one didn't enter the language until the enlightenment discussions of that century. I am thinking of making Urianian mutate stops before e, i and y, since this is so prevalent in western Europe. Maybe a substrate effect. In Norway, for example, the western dialects are much more affected by it than the eastern ones. What results this phenomenon would give in Urianian I'm not sure of yet. I have also found a couple of names illustrating the syllable rule I mentioned: Harazako and Arzag. Harazako is from the eastern dialect (Scollerinian) which has a more conservative approach to syllables. I believe Arzag is the western equivalent. I also believe Harazako must be from IE ĝherə- and dhe:-, with a modifying extension IE -g- or - k- and a nominative suffix that's lost in the west. The meaning may be 'small agent' or 'shining agent' possibly. There is a name Artag too, and even a place name Irtag, which I suspect are related. LEF


R A Brown <ray@...>Translating "religion"