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Greek hy & "movable-s" (was: Celtic languages?)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 6:17
On Tuesday, September 28, 2004, at 02:54 , Muke Tever wrote:

> On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 03:11:52 -0700, Elliott Lash <erelion12@...> > wrote:
> Actually Greek |hyper| isn't necessarily from *super, given that all > initial y- (save the name of the letter itself)
No - not even that. It's ancient name was [hy:] or [hu:] in the dialects that retained [h], as is clearly shown by the adjective _hyoeide:s_ (--> Eng. 'hyoid') "shaped like the letter Y". The name _y psilon_ is a later Alexandrian invention, to distinguish Y from _y diphthongos_ OI, when both |o| and |oi| were pronounced [y]. (Before some writes in that [y] is not a diphthong - I *know*. But in ancient Greek _diphthongos_ meant a digraph of two vowels, not 'diphthong' as used in modern linguistics)
> comes out to hy- in any case, whether there was an *s or not. Given that > Italic is apparently the only one with an *s there (which it also has in > |sub|, which again isn't attested in other families) the Italic s- is > probably an innovation.
A very valid point - thanks for drawing our attention to it. Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]