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Hospitable/hostile (Was: Dipping my toe in the water)

From:Stephen Mulraney <ataltanie@...>
Date:Sunday, January 27, 2002, 22:46
On Sun, 27 Jan 2002 13:17:35 -0000
Jonathan Knibb <jonathan_knibb@...> wrote:

> Christophe Grandsire a ecrit: > > French has another funny word: "ho^te", which means both "host" and > "guest". > > IIRC, Czech 'host' means 'guest'. I know that initial h in Cz. often > corresponds to initial g in Russian, so are these two words perhaps > ultimately cognate anyway? > > Oh, hang on. The Shorter Oxford says that Eng. 'host' < Lat. 'hospis, > hospit-' (meaning 'host'), but Eng, 'guest' < (Germanic) < Lat. 'hostis' > (enemy, stranger). Does that mean that the French 'ho^te' is a pair of > homonyms, one from each of these roots?
Well, Latin not only has "hospis" for 'host', but also "hostis" for 'enemy' ;) cf. 'hostile'. Oh wait, you just said that... well I'll leave it in since I went and looked it up, and now I can't remember what I *thought* you said ;) But I think that the Czech word is cognate to the Russian, and in fact that the Slavic one is cognate to the Latin one. It seems that the Indoeuropean word might have benn something like *ghostis. The key to the apparantly conflicting meanings, it that this word would have meant 'stranger'. In "Historical Linguistics" by Theodora Bynon (quite a good book, BTW) there's a passage about these cognates (pp.194/5) where she points out that these words are found in the Slavic, Germanic and Latin descendants of IE - but apparantly not anywhere else. It seems like either Germanic or Latin, but probably Germanic, developed the word, and the other two borrowed it... Oh, and welcome to the list ;) Stephen
> Promising to get some AFMC info up ASAP, > Jonathan. >