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Weirdly Derived Compounds

From:Markus Miekk-oja <torpet@...>
Date:Thursday, September 19, 2002, 12:43
I stumbled across this word in a finnish Bible which seemed very, very out
of place.
I wonder if anyone does have similar irregular derivations for animals in
their natlangs or conlangs?
There's a very wierd twist to this.

The explanation:
"Jalopeuras". I even checked with a few unilingual finns if they had the
slightes idea what it could be... no one got it right.
Everyone guessed something in the line of "some kind of deer". My first
guess was: "some kind of domesticated deer".

So, let's break it down:
jalo- "noble"
Can also be used with stones: "jalokivi" - gem, jewel; metals:
"jalometalli" - gold, silver, etc. Metals that don't generally rust; trees :
"jalopuu" - certain trees like oak, gases : . that aren't very common in the
northernmore parts of Finland. Swedes will realise this's the same as the
Swedish "ädel-", Germans will similarly notice "edel-". I don't think
English has anything like it.

Peuras - "wild reindeer", used in compounds for many kinds of different
deers, almost exclusevily for different kinds of deers. One exception:

Put together, this "noble wild reindeer" is a LION!

(I suspect the Sapmi are very good at breeding different animals and have
now suggested a new theory of the origin of species: the  Sapmi have by
carefully selecting different qualities among the reindeer managed to
generate them into every kind of animal on earth.)

- Markus


Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>