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@...>
> 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.
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" ]