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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. AHD4 lists: _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 that the Wall had no other side. --Arthur C. Clarke, "The Wall of Darkness"


Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>