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Re: Etymology of _insula_ (was Re: Thoughts on Word building)

From:Rob Haden <magwich78@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 13, 2005, 19:13
On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 09:46:35 +0000, R A Brown <ray@...>

>>>Of course it does. Yep, a Proto-Greek *na:sos would have give /na:os/ >>>(Doric), /nE:os/ (Ionic) and /neO:s/ (Attic). >> >> Interestingly enough, that is the Greek word for 'temple'. > >It is - as shown above in all those dialects. But there's more: >Aiolian has _nauos_ and in Spartan inscriptions we have _nawos_, with >'wau' or "digamma". The disappearance of original /w/ in most Greek >dialects is well attested. We must assume, in fact, that the Spartan >forms retain the earliest pronunciation /na:wos/
The Indo-European protoform, then, was *néxwos. I wonder if there's any way to relate this word to any IE root or other etymon. [snip]
>>>However, he does connect the Celtic *srogn- with Greek _rhenkein_/ >>>_rhenkhein_ "to snore", which I suppose is possible if we have >>>metathesis of -ghn- ~ ngh- >> >> Do the Greek variants have a dialectal distribution? That is, are their >> distributions mutually exclusive? > >There doesn't seem to be clear dialect distinction. It is surely to do >with the Greek tendency to drop and aspirate if two occur in a word. One >see this nicely demonstrated in the case forms of thrikh- "hair" - > sing. plural >Nom thriks trikhes >Acc. trikha trikhas >Gen trikhos trikho:n >Dat. trikhi thriksi > >The Greek stem of 'snore' must have been rhenkh- > >As initial /r/ was always aspirated in earliest Greek, we might expect >the from renkh- to become normal. But it may be that as there was no >contrast between [r_h] and [r], the initial aspiration was not so >strongly felt or, indeed, it may be that the forms where -nkh- are shown >reflect a loss of aspiration in the initial /r/ - there would be no way >of showing this in Greek.
I wonder if the initial aspirated /r/ arose due to the fact that there were seemingly no native IE words that began with /r/. So, all instances of Greek initial /r/ come from *sr-, *wr-, and *yr- (if there are any of the last one).
>The loss of initial /h/ before vowels was already well underway in the >ancient language. It was standard in practically all Ionian dialects, >for example; so it does not seem to me unlikely that the change from >[r_h] --> [r] had already begun also in the ancient language. > >> I agree that metathesis of *-ghn- to *-ngh- is more likely than vice- >> versa. Plus IE */g_h/ becomes Celtic */g/. > >Yep. > > However, one problem is the >> Greek vocalism -- _rhenk(h)ein_ vs. _rhis_, _rhinos_. > >Absolutely - I don't think there is any connexion with rhi:n-, only that >a proto-Celtic *srogn- may be connected with rhenkh-
Well, with the example you gave above, _thriks_, one wouldn't think that there'd be a monophthong /i/ in the nominative singular of a root noun. So, it seems that, if the word is indeed native to IE, the original paradigm was e.g. nom. sg. *dhréighs, gen. sg. *dhrighós. Greek then regularized the vocalism of the word based on the oblique cases. Such a thing could also have happened with _rhi:s_.
>> Also, if the >> presumed */g_h/ was part of the root, we should see Greek _rhinks_, >> _rhinkos_ -- to my knowledge, we do not see that. > >We don't.
On the other hand, though, *-gh is a common "root extension" in IE verbal morphology.
>> We *do* see, though, a >> Greek word _rhunkhos_ (neuter s-stem), meaning 'snout' or 'muzzle'. >> Semantically, this is similar to 'nose' in the sense of "jutting/sticking >> out". Interestingly, this might be related to _rhenk(h)ein_ 'to snore' > >Yes - it certainly looks like it. Tho I am not sure how one accounts the >_u_.
I've been thinking about that as well. IIRC, Greek raised /o/ to /u/ before medial coda nasals (and, apparently, any labial nasals), so it's possible that _rhunkhos_ comes from earlier *rhonkhos. If that is indeed the case, I think that we can link it to the verb _rhenk(h)ein_ as an s- stem neuter.
>> and >> _-runkhs_ as in _pharunkhs_ 'pharynx'. What do you think? > >..and in _larunkhs_ 'larynx'? :-)
Exactly. :)
>The problem with the last two is that the words are _pharunks_ (at least >the final letter is ksi) and _larunks_ with genitives _pharungos_ and >_larungos_ - not an aspirate in sight.
Yes, you're right. Sorry for the mistake. The pair _pharunks_ and _larunks_ seem to point to an element *runks that forms compounds, but such a hypothesis cannot be strong unless there are other words containing that element. Do you know of any? - Rob