man- (was: logic vocabulary)
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, December 23, 2004, 14:36|
Andreas Johansson scripsit:
> Eurocentric? What European languages, beyond English, are there that derive
> "woman" from "man"?
Indeed, I think even English can be acquitted of that charge, at least
diachronically: when the compound _wi:f-man_ > _woman_ was formed, _man_
meant primarily 'person, homo, Mensch' (and only secondarily 'man, vir,
Mann'), and _wi:f_ meant 'woman'.
The root _man-_ is itself interesting: because it is Common Germanic (and
indeed IE) and has never undergone any sound-changes, only direct evidence
tells us which words containing it are native and which are borrowings.
_man_, _leman_ 'sweetheart' (archaic), _Norman_: all native
_fugleman_ 'exemplary person' < German Fluegelmann 'file leader'
_landsman_ ''one who immigrated from the same place as you' < Yiddish
(as opposed to _landsman_ 'one who is not (yet) a seaman',
which is native)
_manikin_ < Middle Dutch; _mannequin_ is the same word, but
Dutch > French > English
_yeoman_ < Old Frisian
_ombudsman_ < Modern Swedish
_Alemanni_, the tribal name < some unrecorded Gmc form
More remotely, _Manu_, the mythical Hindu lawgiver, and _muzhik_ 'Russian
peasant' also derive from reflexes of the same IE root.
But that, he realized, was a foolish John Cowan
thought; as no one knew better than he firstname.lastname@example.org
that the Wall had no other side. http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
--Arthur C. Clarke, "The Wall of Darkness"