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Thread: The Proto-Germanic Language

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    He'll struggle with the grammar. No one has a clue on that and I don't see how they will reconstruct it. Still, good luck to them.
    A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors
    will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendents.

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    The Proto-Germanic Language

    Proto-Germanic
    Proto-Germanic, the proto-language believed by scholars to be the common ancestor of the Germanic languages, includes among its descendants Dutch, German, English, Afrikaans, Frisian, Norwegian, Old Norse, Swedish, Icelandic and Danish.

    There are no extant documents in Proto-Germanic, which was unwritten, and virtually all our knowledge of this extinct language has been obtained by application of the comparative method. There are a few surviving inscriptions in a runic script from Scandinavia dated to c. 200 which many feel represent a stage of Proto-Norse immediately after the "Proto-Germanic" stage, if not exactly identical. As well, some loanwords exist in neighbouring non-Germanic languages which are believed to have been borrowed from Germanic during the Proto-Germanic phase; an example is Finnish kuningas "king", which closely resembles the reconstructed Proto-Germanic *kuningaz.

    Proto-Germanic is itself descended from Proto-Indo-European, which is also the distant ancestor of a great many other languages in Europe and Asia. For the changes undergone by Proto-Germanic during its descent from Proto-Indo-European.

    Timeline for the evolution of Proto-Germanic

    Map of the Pre-Roman Iron Age culture(s) associated with Proto-Germanic, ca 500 BC-50 BC. The area south of Scandinavia is the Jastorf culture


    Map of the Nordic Bronze Age culture, ca 1200 BC

    Proto-Indo-European speakers are thought by some scholars to have arrived at the plains of southern Sweden and Denmark, regarded to be the original dwelling-place of the Germanic peoples, during the early Bronze Age (about four thousand years ago). This is the only area where no pre-Germanic place names have been found. The Battle-axe people are the best candidate for this immigration.

    Colin Renfrew has proposed that the I-E languages were spread much earlier, with agriculture. However, the present view among Swedish archaeologists is that the local population learned agricultural skills without the infusion of immigrants.

    Hybridization as conjectured cause
    Some also suggest that Proto-Germanic may have arisen somewhat as a Creole language due to cultural diffusion among geographically static indigenous population groups. However, considering the inflected character and the homogeneous forms of the Germanic languages, the creation of such a creole would have been a resounding and unique feat indeed.

    It has been suggested that proto-Germanic arose as a hybrid of two Indo-European dialects, one each of Centum and Satem types though they would have been mutually intelligible at the time of hybridization. This hypothesis may help to explain the difficulty of finding the right place for Germanic within the Indo-European family.

    Non-Indo-European elements
    The reconstructed Proto-Germanic vocabulary includes a number of fundamental words (referring to, among other things, parts of the body, animals and nature) which are clearly non-Indo-European in origin, suggesting a vocabulary influence from the earlier inhabitants of northern Europe. The mechanism of this influence is unknown; it may have been simple borrowing, or perhaps retention of old words by people who adopted Proto-Germanic as their new language. For examples, see Germanic substrate hypothesis.(see seperate post)

    Page devoted to Proto-Germanic
    http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Salon...euthiskon.html

    source

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    Post Proto-Germanic Studies in Etymology & Culture: An Occasional Thread

    I'd like to use this thread to discuss various issues related to Proto-Germanic etymology and especially how etymological/semantic developments may shed light on culture and society in the formative period of the Germanic speakers.

    Much of the information will come from research by various experts in the field such as Voyles, Kbler and Orel; especially the last in his recently published _A Handbook of Germanic Etymology_ by Brill (2003).

    The Western (centum) branch of Indo-European splits off about 500 BC and begins to develop into daughter branches, including proto-Germanic. Voyles has the early Germanic linguistic period ranging from 400 BC - 50 AD. Later common Germanic begins to show tendencies to differ according to Northwest Germanic (NWGerm.) and East Germanic (EGerm.), eventually becoming fully distinct by 200 AD.

    In his absolute chronology Voyles gives the first sound shift around 400 BC, the long a became long o around 50 BC, the first umlaut around 50 AD, monophthongization of unstressed ai/au by 200 AD, and somewhat after 200 AD the NWGerm. change of stressed long to long a.

    The first sound shift is dated according to the early borrowing of the word hemp PG *hanapaz, a borrowing from a non-IE source which "must have been something like *kanab." The characteristic consonantal shift that separates Germanic from the rest of the IE languages (perhaps relating it somewhat with the mobile aspiration, or lenition, of Celtic) happened to this word apparently after it was borrowed. Greek borrowed this same word in the form of kannabis "during the 400s BC".

    The lateness of the long a - long o change is dated by Caesar's recording of the place name silva Ba'cenis "Beech Wood". The second word would be from early Germ. ba'k, later Germanic bo'k.

    The first umlaut of e > i is shown around 50 AD or later by example of the tribal name Ingvaeones instead of Engvaeones in Tacitus (ca. 55-120 AD). "In the same source Fenni 'Finns' occurs instead of **Finni, the former showing no 1st umlaut; however the same name occurs as Phinnoi in the Greek historian Ptolomy from about 100 AD."

    The monophthongization of unstressed ai/au is dated about 200 AD by several Proto-Norse inscriptions, such as the Nvling inscription.

    The NWGerm. stressed long e > long a about 200 AD, as shown by the name 'Bellomarius' (ca. 170 AD), composed of an element -merijaz "famous".

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    Post Re: Proto-Germanic Studies in Etymology & Culture: An Occasional Thread

    *hsan 'house'

    This word is the common general designation for residence or dwelling in most Germanic languages: German Haus, Scandinavian Hus, Dutch Huis, etc. Other words existed for different kinds of living quarters, and the distinction seems to have been lost which earlier existed.

    Vladimir Orel points to the borrowing of this word from a "phonetically advanced" East Iranian *huz-, *hud-, from Iranian *kata-, cf. Avestan kata-, 'room, cellar' (also borrowed to East Slavic *hata 'house', probably via Old Hungarian). He notes a similarity of the word to Yns *khus "tent of skin and bark", and explains this by the latter's Iranian origin. Iranian *kata- may also have some "obscure relation" with the Germanic word *hjn (> Gothic hejo 'chamber').

    In past explanations, Grimm gives the origin as from *kdh-s-o, cf. Greek keuos 'hiding-place'); Bezzenberger gives Lithuanian ktis 'stable' (an ignoble origin for a person's residence!). Holthausen gives Sansktri kosa 'cupboard' as a possibility. Feist has Hittite kuttas 'wall'.

    If we take the Iranian explanation, we see that the early sense might have been assumed with the word on the eastern front, possibly through interactions with Scythians or steppe-nomads who used skin-and-bark tents as smallish, mobile shelters. This could not be identified with the longhouse-style building which is found all over temperate Europe in Iron-age cultures.

    *hall 'hall'

    The longhouse might have been described by the word *hall, especially a larger longhouse or building in a farm or hamlet. The word seems to be a derivative of the verb *helanan 'to conceal, hide', showing that the original connotation emphasized the structure's quality of privacy and especially shelter from the elements. It probably came to be synonymous with saliz below.

    *saliz, *salaz 'hall'

    A hall would be *saliz, cf. ON salr 'hall', OE sele 'hall, house, dwelling, sl 'hall', NFris seal id., OS seli id., OHG sal 'house, hall'. It is related to Lith. sal 'island' (< salti 'to flow'), Slavic *selo 'field'. The semantic development here would seem to be from the general sense of "a wet or well-watered land" to "a socially recognized personal territory" to, in Germanic speaking areas, the building constructed on this "cut-off space". Or was it the place where wealth and/or people flowed in and out? However Kbler, in his Gothic dictionary, gives the Indo-European root as sel- (1) glossing a probable original sense of 'dwelling, hall, house'. The gothic verb *saljan seems to be derivate of the noun *sals (< Germ. saliz) "main hall, main room". In a large complex dwelling this might refer to the great center aisle, or the entire building itself.

    *raznan

    This word is a generic term and could be found in Gothic razn 'house, Old Norse rann id., OE rn 'place, habitation, house', Old Frisian fa-ern 'cattle-shed' (< Germ. *fehu-raznan). This is from IE *rodh-sno-, related to Slavic *rodu 'kin', Latvian rads 'kin'. The semantic development here shows that this originally emphasized the house as a place for one's own family and the kinship structure within. This can be compared with *raznon, found in Gothic ga-razna 'neighbor' (lit. with-dweller), ON g-ranni id. This term doesn't offer much specificity about the size or nature of the dwelling, though apparently it could be quite small or pejorative, as seen in the Old Frisian sense 'shed'. Perhaps then this was quite an old term, when family residences were smaller and everyone lived in the same room?

    *gardan

    This word is found in Gothic gards 'house, family, court', Old Norse gar∂r 'yard', OE geard 'enclosure, yard, dwelling, land', Old Saxon gard 'land, field, pl. yard', Old High German boumgart 'garden, orchard. It is related to Tocharian-B kercc 'palace', Sanskrit grh- 'house', Avestan g0r0∂a- 'dev's cave', Albanian gardh 'fence', Lithuanian gardas 'pen, hurdle', Slavic *gordu 'fence, town'. The original sense is then a home field enclosed by a fence, i.e. the depiction of the normal residence of a higher-ranking Germanic freeborn men through the medieval time. The wide appearance of this word through Indo-European with similar meaning points to a common cultural heritage of the IE people, the demarcation of land and permanent settlement for cultivation and agriculture. The fenced field is originally also a utilitarian method for keeping herds as well as marking territory. Unlike the *tunan "hedged plot, enclosure" (which is borrowed into Germanic from Celtic word for castle or fort, dunum) this word seems to view the fence and field as a unified whole in the psychic understanding of an owned residence or territory.

    *bwwanan

    This verb, signifying originally 'dwell, inhabit, live' and its derivative *bwwjanan 'settle, inhabit, stay', gave rise to several words describing different kinds of shelters and residences.

    *bulan: ON bl 'farm, abode', OE bold 'building, dwelling, house,' OFris bodel 'movable property', OS bodal 'land property'. Structurally similar to LIthuanian bkl 'residence, camp' < IE *bh-tlo-.
    *bran: ON br 'chamber, pantry', OE br 'cottage, dwelling, room', OS br 'dwelling, room', OHG br 'house'.
    *b, bn: ON b∂ 'abode, booth', MLG bde 'hut', MHG buode id. Structurally close to Old Irish both 'hut' < IE *bhut, Lithuanian btas 'house', Old Prussian buttan id., Slavic *byto 'stay, possessions'.
    *bwan: ON b 'house, estate', OE b 'dwelling', OS b id.
    *bwiz: ON byr 'town, village, farm'. Identical with Lithuanian bvis 'residence'.
    *b: Old Swedish b 'hut', MLG bde id., MHG buode id.
    *bwwiz: ON br 'town, village, farm', OFris half be 'half of the house'.

    Probably one of these last words would have been used by the early germanic speaking people to refer generally to their house. The connections with celtic and baltic terms seem to support this idea strongly. The emphasis in these terms is of course on the physical structurality as well as the idea of settling and living. Settling was a sort of "building". An area of building and settling activity is a farm or village (by), which we see all over europe.

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    Post Re: Proto-Germanic Studies in Etymology & Culture: An Occasional Thread

    *hlaibaz "loaf, bread"

    The old word for bread in Germanic languages, cf. Gothic hlaifs 'bread', ON hleifr 'loaf', OE hlf, OFris hlf, OHG leib, hleib. This is according to Vladimir Orel derived from the verb *hlbjanan 'shield, cover, protect, conceal'. The semantic development one supposes would have been either that the bread was a form of protection harvested grain, or was concealed or covered when raising the dought or in the oven when it was baked. Earlier attempts derived this word roots related to Old Irish cliab 'basket', Greek klibanos 'covered earthen vessel', Latin libo "take out as a sample, take a little of', Greek loib 'pouring, drink-offering', Latin libum 'flan, cake.' Kluyver believed the source was yet unknown. Trier traced it to IE *klei- 'lean, bend'. Bread would have been baked (*bakanan) in an oven (*uhwnaz). It would have been made out of *kurnan grain, which was ground into *melwan meal, mixed with *watar water, *jestuz yeast, and *saltan salt, whereupon, by kneading (*dganan), it became *daigaz dough.


    *braudan
    "bread"

    The common word now for designating the baked flour product, a staple of the German diet, is a derivative of this word, cf. NHG Brot, D. brood, Dan. brd. Bread seems to have overtaken "loaf" in the last two centuries. Perhaps this conquest was assisted by a new concept of the bread as a collective material-for-use rather than a disposable product. In any event this word had some other meanings originally: in Old English bread "bit, morsel", but Old Frisian brd "bread", Old Saxon brd "bread", Old High German brt "bread".

    This is a product of the IE root *bhrou-t-, and related to *brewwanan, 'to brew beer', itself related to Lithuanian briuti "to push", Slavic *brujati "to buzz, to flow". The idea seems to have been built around the action of cooking, boiling with grain and yeast, and shows an ancient partnership of bread and beer. It is interesting to note as Orel says "another accentual and apophonic type of the same derivative in *-to- is represented by *bruan", that is our modern English word 'broth,' ON bro∂, OE bro∂, OHG brod -- the relation here being quite visible despite the lack of yeast involved in the product, which may have been more like porridge orignally--in turn this form is identical in derivation with Old Irish bruth 'heat', Thracian brtos 'barley beer.'


    *beuran "beer"

    Beloved drink of the Germanic people, this particular word seems to have been borrowed from Romance at an early stage: *biwer, *biwr < *biber 'wine, drink' - Late Latin biber id. Eventually it came to all but replace the previously used Germanic word. Still, I have always secretly wondered whether this word could not have come been *bew(w)-r-an < *bewwu 'barley, seed'.


    *alu "ale"

    This old word was "connected with or borrowed to Old Prussian alu 'mead', Lithuanian als id., Slavic *olu id., Scythian *alut- (cf. prop. Alouagos and Ossetian luton 'beer') from Gmc, indicative of the early chronology of Germanic contacts with East Iranian (from where NCauc *'VlVdwV 'beer')." The IE root here was one of magical associations, and gave rise, among other things, to the Greek word from which we get 'hallucination'. That the baltic and slavic meanings specifically refer to the honey drink mead is interesting. Whereas the Northern European neighbours knew *alu as made with honey, the Central/South European neighbours of the German tribes must have known it as a plain grain-based alcoholic drink. Perhaps the word was first generic enough to contain both meanings. Also geography and local customs would have influenced usage, depending on what was available. This also may be used to explain the mutation of the sense of biber 'wine, drink' to the more familiar beer of the German people before wine production was known or common.

    *meduz "mead, honeywine"

    Related to the Germanic word are TocharianB mit 'honey', Sanskrit mdhu- 'honey, mead', Avestan ma∂u- 'berry wine', greek mthu- 'wine', Old Irish mid 'mead', Lithuanian meds 'honey', Slavic *medu id. We see that the Indo-European word must have contained both sense of the material honey and the drink made predominantly honey (perhaps with fruit adjuncts, as melomels are also common, and may explain the Avestan sense of 'berry wine', and Greek 'wine').

    *meliskn
    was a type of strong drink made with honey or mixed with honey. This word derives from *meliskaz 'sweet, honeyed', from *meli 'honey', an ancient and widely attested IE word. Our modern word 'honey', from Gmc.

    *hunagan
    , is a taboo based innovation based on the color adjective 'yellow', cf. Sanskrit kancana- 'gold', Greek knkos 'pale yellow', Old Prussian cucan 'brown'.


    *lu, *lan "strong drink"

    The Germanic speakers also knew of a cider or strong drink, probably made with fruit. The root here is lei- 'shower, rain, pour out' with general meanings closer to the root in Lithuanian and Slavic. The semantic relationship is through the passage of the festival, where drinks are poured out, as it were, in a shower of alcohol; cf. Greek aleison (< aleitwon) 'vessel for wine, beaker'. Cider has been a common festival drink for a long time, and is particularly well known for the traditions of the Basque people. This word died off in English, but was earlier seen as l∂, Gothic leiu, ON l∂, OS lth, OFris lth, OHG ld.


    *wnan wine

    Needless to say, this word was an old borrowing from Latin (uinum) and reflects the neuter gender of the original, which itself is a borrowing from farther east.


    *sp(n) "soup"

    In MnE soup, supper, ON spa 'soup', MHG sf "drink". Related to *spanan in ON spa 'drink, sup', OE span, OFris spa, MLG spen, OHG sfan. The origin of the word according to Orel is unclear.


    *matiz "food"

    This sense is retained in most places but English 'meat': OE mete 'food', Gothic mats 'food', ON matr 'meat, food', OFris mete 'food', OS mat, meti, OHG maz; cf. Sanskrit mdati 'boil, bubble', Avestan ma∂aite 'get drunk, Greek mad 'be moist', Latin madeo 'be wet', Old Irish miadim 'break'. "Originally *matiz stood for soft food as opposed to hard food, like in the Hamito-Semitic languages." One may imagine that this food, whether grain or meat, would have been cooked, probably boiled in a large common pot.

    *melwan "meal, flour"

    While *matiz "food" became meat in English, *melwan came to take on the meaning of "meal, food" as well as "meal, grain", cf. MHG Mahlzeit "meal, i.e. arrangement or disbursement of food". The confusion must have arisen through the associations which different tribes came to have with their usual food, whether it was meat or not, and through conflation with another word *mlan 'hour, time, mealtime' which confusingly was a homonym for another word meaning cow or young cow.

    Anyway, *melwan is related to Albanian miell, Slavic *melvo "grain to be ground" and comes from IE *mel- 'to grind', from which Germanic also has a verb *malanan 'to grind'.

    From melwan (through the verb form *melwjanan 'to make meal') we find likely origin for the name of farmer-god Thorburn's famous hammer, Mjolnir ("the mealer") which aptly alludes to a bucolic original use (despite legends of dwarf-forging).

    In any event, we see clearly that *melwan was originally grain, perhaps unprepared (as in the Slavic sense) but more likely as it was known in the prepared state, that is, already ground, crushed or cracked, and so envisioned as a (potential) "meal", Mahlzeit: perhaps even cooked, as gruel, porridge, cake or similar foods. Alternatively, one may explain the semantic development from 'ground grain' to 'Mahlzeit' through means of metonymy and association.

    *maldriz
    or *maldran was flour or corn in the mill, or the milling process itself.

    *memzan "meat"

    This word has the sense of flesh or meat all the way back to the IE root *mmso-, cf. TocharianB pl. msa "meat, flesh", Sanskrit mmsm, Armenian mis, Albanian mish, Old Prussian mensa, menso, Slavic *me,so. It is found in Gothic mimz.

    The word which became common in North Germanic was *kwetwan. Falk & Torp say this comes from *kut- "the soft parts of the body, intestines. In MLG kt 'soft boneless parts of the carcass, intestines,' Dutch kuit 'the calf of the leg; roe, spawn'. Cf. Scottish kite 'belly, stomach'; Bavarian ktz 'part of the intestines. Also perhaps LG kte cunnus. Sanskrit gudea "intestine", Macedonian gda entera. The sense of this word is clearly originally the guts and innards of the animal carcass.

    In West Germanic tended to use *matiz above, or (usu. for pork) *flaiskaz ? < laiskiz, cf. Latin laridum 'fat of bacon, lard'. Meat is otherwise usually called by the name of the animal. Falk & Torp attribute 'flesh' to the extended root *flik- from *fli "split, open". *flikkja "bacon cut", flaiki "pork, flesh", flaiska- id. (< flaih-ska-). The root suggests this term was originally "cut off or split off piece flesh"

    *huldan
    is related to notions of cutting and probably first signified the fallen carcass of a game animal which was then flayed and cut for consumption. Cf. ON hold 'flesh, meat', OE hold 'carcass, body', Middle Irish colinn 'meat'.

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    Post Re: Proto-Germanic Studies in Etymology & Culture: An Occasional Thread

    Much of the early Germans' encounter with the horse must have occurred in the eastern regions of Europe, where they met with or took part in a growing culture of horse-based steppe nomadism. The horse seems to have come to West Europe through China, originally developing the new world but domesticated about 6,000 years ago in Eurasia (after serving for much longer as a food source, cf. Cro-magnon cliff-hunting). The horses died out in the Americas, only to be reintroduced in the 15th-16th century.

    On Horse domestication:
    http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/H/HO/HORSE.htm
    http://w3.uwyo.edu/~kkoch/horse.html

    On the origins of the horse this was an interesting page:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/horse_evol.html


    Our words for horse seem to confirm the influence of this horseculture in early Aryan society of eurasia.

    *ehwaz

    The original Indo-European word, referring to most likely the earliest kind of horse known generally, a draught-animal and perhaps a food-source. Gothic has this word in the comopund aihva-tundi "thornbush" (lit. 'horse-tooth'). Old Norse jr < *eohR 'stallion', Old English eoh 'warhorse', Old Saxon ehu-skalk 'groom, ostler'. This may have been associated with an old IE root meaning to run. In earliest times the horse seems to have been viewed primarily, like a wagon or cart, as "the running thing".

    A *blankaz could describe an *ehwaz, especially a noble, pale horse (probably of grey or light color originally). A *blasaz was a blaze, or white mark on the horse's head, while *laz referred to a colored stripe running along its back.

    *hrussan

    this word, found in Norse as 'hross', Old English 'hors' (with metasthesis of the r), Old Frisian 'hors, hars', Old Saxon 'hros', Old High German 'hros, ros', was probably borrowed from East Iranian. We may compare the Ossetic word (v)urs "stallion". North Ossetia was the home of the Alan state in the 7th-9th centuries which also went with the Germanic migrations (Swebe, etc.).

    Others think this word may have come from Gmc. *hreusanan "fall, make fall" (in Lithuanian the sense is more "trample") and related word *hruzan "corpse, fallen body, fall, ruin". The semantic relationship with this root is difficult however. Another explanation connects the word with Latin currus 'car, chariot' and currere 'run'.

    *marhaz

    This word, found in Burgundian 'marh', Old Norse 'marr', Old English 'mearh', Old High German 'marah-' seems to have been a borrowing from or to Celtic, such as Gaulish 'marka-', Old Irish 'marc', Welch 'march'. Trubachev claimed both words were cognates with Sanskrit mrya- 'stallion'). Falk & Torp do not mention an outside source but compare also with the Celtic forms only. However this root has various appearances in Asian languages, notably Mongolian 'morin', and probably came from the East to the Celts via Germans.

    D.H. Green remarks "...Although cognates are unknown elsewhere in IE, the formation of the animal names with a -g suffix suggests transmission through a language which underwent the sound-shift of g to k, which again it is safter to identify as Germanic rather than a largely unknown Thracian. What lies behind the adoption of this word (and its possible association with brca [i.e. breeches, leather pants adopted for riding by Germans and Celts from eastern tribes] is the differentiation suggested between it and _equus_...as a draught animal and *markos as a speedier one for riding, better suited for combat than breeds hitherto available in northern Europe. This again suggests early contact with horse-riding peoples of the steppes, Scythians or Sarmations whose horses are described as small, but very fast and strong enough to carry the weight of an armoured rider."

    The word was also developed as a base for the female horse *marhjon by addition of the feminizing suffix. Only this meaning seems to have survived in the form of modern English 'mare', a conflation perhaps of the two formerly distinct words.

    *hangistaz, hanhistaz

    This gives the ON hestr 'stallion', OE hengest 'horse, steed', OFris hanxt, hingst, MDu henxt, OHG hengist 'gelding'. Compare Celtic *kankstik 'mare', Welsh caseg, Breton kezeg (pl.). This is supposed to be a superlative adjectival noun form of the normal adjective-noun *hanhaz 'courser' (the bird or the horse?) from an IE root with the meaning of to gush, spring, bubble forth, run, etc.

    *stdan

    This word referred to the horses viewed as a herd, probably originally kept in a pen as domesticated animals for drawing carts and serving as meat and milk sources. The etymology is traced back to IE *stdhom, derived from IE *st- 'to stand'. One way to distinguish between how different uses of words loosely meaning 'horse' occurred could be explained by compounds dating to common Germanic (at least, attested in Old Norse, Old English and Old High German): *stoda-hrussan 'stud-horse, stallion' over against *stoda-marhjn 'brood-mare'.

    *wegjan

    Another word for the stately partner-beast of the Germans, this is seen in ON vigg, OE wicg, OFris widze, OS wigg and is identical in formation with Sanskrit vahy- 'stretcher, sofa'. The Germanic word is derived from the verb *weganan 'to move, carry, bear, bring, weigh'. An interesting connection, one can see how the sanskrit idea of a litter or carried seat could be transferred to the back of this animal when it became used for riding or carrying goods, or because the Germans did not practice such customs as carrying by person as much as carrying in wagons (attached to horses or, earlier, cattle). The sense lends itself to be compared with the modern English usage of 'mount' for horse, or even 'ride' for car.


    Pferd, Paard, etc.

    According to Heinrich Tischner, this word is a medieval invention based on the prefix para- + a Gallic veredus "hooved animal", and was originally used in the context of postal service.

    http://www.dike.de/pfr-tischner/22-s...tsch/pferd.htm


    Das west-germ. Wort hros hngt mit lat. currus, gall. carrus 'Wagen' zusammen und gehrt zu lat. currere 'laufen', bedeutet also 'Renner': Man sah in Ross und Wagen eine Einheit und hat beide mit dem selben Wort *kŕsos 'Renner' benannt.
    Auch im Deutschen selbst unterlag der Name des Pferdes dem Verschlei: Ross ist nur in Sddeutschland und in der gehobenen Sprache gebruchlich. In Norddeutschland dagegen sagt man Pferd. Und dieser Ausdruck gilt zugleich auch als der normale Name des Tieres.
    Das Wort Pferd kommt aus dem mittelalterlichen Postwesen: Ein para-veredus war ein Nebenpferd auf einer Postlinie. Wenn zwei Pferde eingespannt sind, ist das linke das Reitpferd, das rechte das Nebenpferd. Veredus war ein gallisches Wort fr das Huftier (ve-, vo-'unter', reda 'Wagen'. Gemeint ist wohl 'das unter dem Joch die reda zieht')
    Im Hessischen dagegen hat sich seit dem Ende des Mittelalters Gaul (mhd. gl 'mnnliches Tier; Ungetm) eingebrgert und den lteren Namen Perd verdrngt.


    Heute gehrt Ross der gehobenen Sprache an, Pferd ist das normale Wort, whrend Gaul eine abwertende Bedeutung hat. Typisch ist das Nebeneinander von Streitross, Reitpferd und Ackergaul: Die Pferde zogen zuerst den Streitwagen, dann hat man sie geritten, und schlielich lsten sie den Ochsen vom Pflug ab.
    Vielleicht hngt der aufgezeigte Verschlei an Wrtern auch mit dem Auftreten neuer Rassen zusammen: Das germanische hros war nach Caesar klein und struppig, also nach der Art der heutigen Norweger. Beim Gaul dagegen denkt man eher an das schwere Kaltblutpferd, whrend das Aufkommen des Wortes Pferd mit dem Einkreuzen sdlicher Rassen (Araber) zusammenhngen mag

    Many early words for the carriage and chariot seem to have been borrowed from Celtic or Latin sources. But one which survives strongly to this day is also most common, especially in European germanic-speaking countries:

    *wagnaz

    This is a masculine noun derived from the verb *weganan in a semantic development of "to move, lift, carry, bear", related to Sanskrit vhati 'to drive, ride', where perhaps the original sense of the Proto-Germanic is more visible, and comparable to and as transparent as our usage of 'mover' (in people-mover). It is related to Old Irish fn 'kind of vehicle'.

    From the same root *weganan 'to move, carry, shake' come *wagn (Old Norse vagga, Old Saxon waga) 'cradle', *wag(n) 'sled, bier' (OHG waga, Old Norse pl. vagar), *wegaz way, road, journey, and *wehtiz 'weight'.

    *raid

    From the verb *rdanan 'to ride' (finding many cognates in Celtic, and some Slavic languages) comes this word with abstract meanings of a riding or a ride, to the concrete meaning of the vehicle on which one rides. Cf. Gaulish rda 'wagon', Old Irish rad 'driving, riding'. Both senses were probably present in the early Germanic time.

    This is also related the word *raidaz 'ready, arranged, determined, free, straight'. The original meaning must have been something like 'ridable, fit for riding'. The semantic connection is obvious. The flat, paved road is the easiest, or readiest, to ride.

    *sadulaz

    The saddle was known in common Germanic time. It may have been derived from Gmc. *setjanan, but phonetic difficulties with this suggest an old borrowing from Slavic *sedulo 'saddle'. This word may also have been known in IE times in the form of *sodlo- < sod-tlo-. Compound of this is *sadula-bugn, the so-called 'saddle-bow', the arched front part of a saddle, which was often highly decorated: http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/a...egende/216.htm
    http://www.jomsb.org/Dirk/Seax/trefoil.gif

    *bregdilaz

    A *brigdils was known to the Goths, but may not have been familiar much earlier, as it is hardly found in all Germanic languages at the earliest time, though the use of the *sadulaz apart from it is difficult to envision. The root is *bregdanan 'to move (back and forth), shake, pull, tug', cf. Gmc. *bregdan 'change, breach, variety'.

    Probably an earlier word was *tauhmaz, cf. NHG Zaum, ON taumr, OE team. The original meaning was bridle or rein, but in some languages by obscure semantic change came to refer to offspring or descendents, the English 'team' (a possibility here might be that through metonymic association a stud's bridle came to refer to all the foals which the stud gave; alternatively it is a parallel derivative of the same verb, with a meaning of 'those drawn forth from a particular ancestor')

    The derivative verb was *teuhanan 'lead, bring, draw' and so perhaps emphasized the reins as a pulling tool before the use of the horse as a riding animal. This verb also produced *taug 'string, rop, band, tie' and *tauh 'she-fox, bitch', as well as *tauhmjanan 'to lead by the rein, to put a bridle on' and so 'to tame, domesticate'.

    It was used in conjunction with the *ga-baitjan, *ga-btan, *baitislan, *bitulaz i.e. 'bit' or 'bit and reins' as a unit. To convey the action of yoking animals, or of using the rein or bridle to stop or restrain the beast, the causative verb *baitjanan was used. *baugilaz or *bugilaz was the stirrup, literally a small 'bowed' or 'bent' thing.




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    Post Re: Proto-Germanic Studies in Etymology & Culture: An Occasional Thread

    Earl Anderson & Germanic Color Taxonomy

    While several theories exist concerning the original Indo-European taxonomies of color, the Germanic stage seems to be a bit clearer. Some have propsed for PIE a range of few true color terms. One system suggests at the earliest level a correspondence (perhaps fanciful) between color terms and the IE cast system: albho- "white, the priestly color", rheudh- "red, the warrior color", ghel- "yellow & green, the farming color", [undetermined color meaning 'black']. Further correspondence is drawn by those who support theories that point to a dominance of chroma and intensity over hue, for instance the Indic terms arya, nobleman, associated with "light" and dasa, conquered, associated with "dark".

    Hittite had a simple taxonomy of color:
    dankwi- (dark)
    harki- (bright white)
    midi- (reddish)
    hahliawant- (greenish)
    anndra- (blue)

    The last two terms (greenish and blue) seem to have been later additions related to the introduction, respectively of farming practices and the wool trade, for which blue and later purple were important dyes.

    Buck & Wescott's systems: While naive, they are important in gathering various color terms having direct relationship with modern color taxonomy.

    IE leuk- (white) > leukos "light"
    kers- (black) > krsnos "raven"
    reudh- (red) > reudhos "red"
    ghelu- (yellow) > gheluos "yellow"
    ghre-(on-) (green) > ghron(i)os "green"
    bhle(i,w)- (blue) > bhleuos "blue"
    bhru-(n)- (brown) > bhrunos "brown"

    But these terms are misleading because, while they clarify the relationship with the etymon, they assume a modern color system in ancient times. The early color systems were perhaps not so much abstract logical sets as gradations of brightness and material source. It might be that everyone knew that the sky was sky-colored, or the grass grass-colored and that the importance in describing the object was not placed on correctly assigning to it its color as much as giving it living quality or imbuing it with poetic presence. In any event the domains each color possessed obviously ranged more widely in most cases, and shifted more easily.

    The Germanic stage shows a mixture of basic color terms (as primary color terms), color-associated descriptive terms through semantic development, and terms for horse description:

    *hweitaz
    "white", "light". Koebler's etymology:
    Etymology: idg. *kueit-, V., Adj., leuchten, hell, wei*, Pk 628; s. idg. *kuei- (3), V., Adj., leuchten, hell, wei*, Pk 628; idg. *keu- (2), V., Adj., leuchten, hell, Pk 5
    9
    *swartaz
    "black" orig. "dirty, dark". The English word 'black', originally a poetic term describing the dull black of night, is a later development, gaining predominance only during the Middle English period.
    *raudaz
    "red", orig. the artist's colors of ocher or hematite: red, yellow, brown, pink, purple. The association between this term and the color of blood did not solidify until 16th-17th centuries AD, before which blood would have been described more frequently as "dark" or *faihaz "hue-ful, colored". It is difficult to say how a speaker of proto-Germanic would have described an orange. The term in the middle ages was "citrine", which was more yellow. But it may have been *raudaz to the early Teutons.
    *grnjaz
    "green". a later invention associated with the color of growing things, from the same root *gro-j-an "to grow", *gro-n-j-az "green".
    *gelwaz
    "yellow". This was the original IE term covering a domain of green as well as yellow, and so the color originally referring to plants, whereas *raudaz described earth.
    *grgwaz
    "grey", orig. (in OE) bright in the sense of aristocratic grandeur, from the earlier sense of the color, used chiefly to describe animal hair as a horse term, also birds, weapons, metal, cliffs, stones, boundary markers (venerable rocks), etc.
    *brunaz
    "brown". This was a hyponym for *swartaz, reserved for designating "dark" animals and/or their fur, related to the words for beaver and bear, and also used as a horse term, and later also for human hair and complexion. A secondary, probably later, usage describes the look of metals, metal weapons and armor, obscurely connected with a sense of "brightness" or more credibly, with certain metallurgic processes that altered the color of metals. One wonders whether this meaning was not perhaps influenced by or even derived from an earlier pre-iron-age term, as a descriptive for bronze armor and weapons.
    *hairaz
    "hoar, grey, white, old, noble, bearded" as opposed to *gregwaz, this term referred to the color of textured grey objects, including hair, rocks (esp. lichen-covered), trees covered with moss (i.e. "bearded trees"), frost, etc.
    *falwaz
    "fallow", "bright (of a golden hue)"
    *salwaz
    "sallow"
    *blankaz
    "blank", "brilliant", orig. a horse term ?
    *blasa-
    "blaze", orig. a horse term ?
    *erpaz
    "dark, brownish, reddish"
    *blwaz
    "blue" orig. "gray, colored, livid, dark, ashen". The meaning "blue" did not solidify until much later than the Gmc. period, and only slowly. The application to eye-color is very recent. In early periods, many other features of eyes than color were common in description.

    For more information refer to Earl R. Anderson, "Folk-Taxonomies in Early English", Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Pr., 2003.

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    Post AW: Proto-Germanic Studies in Etymology & Culture: An Occasional Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiudans
    I'd like to use this thread to discuss various issues related to Proto-Germanic etymology and especially how etymological/semantic developments may shed light on culture and society in the formative period of the Germanic speakers.
    Do you have any new information about the so called Germanic substrate hypothesis or related hypotheses, which attempt to proof the Non-Indo-European roots of certain Germanic lexical fields as Seafaring terms, agricultural terms, words about war and weapons,animal and fish names, and the names of communal and social institutions? I have found following sites, but maybe you are a bit better informed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Ind...anic_languages
    http://www.stefanjacob.de/Geschichte...seiten/Idg.php

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    Post Re: Proto-Germanic Studies in Etymology & Culture: An Occasional Thread

    Substrate theory is nice. Perhaps it is real, but the etymologies don't necessarily show it to a great extent. Maybe substrate theory is most effective in the grammatic "innovations". Grimm's laws may be related with Celtic's lenition phenomenon.

    I follow Koebler's suggestions for now to resolve the questioned etymologies on the wikipedia link in the previous post. The Pokorny number will refer you to cognates in other IE languages (which have necessitated postulating the given IE root. Without the attestation of these other languages, the Gmc. root would be a singularity).

    BEAR < OE beor < PGmc. *baira- < IE. *b(h)ei(a)- "beat, hit", Pok. 117. This root has derivatives in "bite", "bitter", "bill", "bone" etc.

    BONE < OE ban < PGmc. *baina- < IE. *b(h)ei(a)- "beat, hit", Pok. 117.

    BOW < OE boga < PGmc. *bugo-, bugan < IE. *b(h)eug- "bend", Pok. 152.

    CALF < PGmc. *kalba-, kalbaz < IE. *gel (-eb-) "ball, form into a ball", Pok. 357. This is a widely attested basic IE root, and the Germanic derivatives include kilth "womb", clew, clay, clover and calf. The extended root also gave Gk. delfu-, delfi- "dolphin" (lit. birthmother, fruit of the womb")

    CARP < EGmc. "karpa- (?). Since this fish is originally from Asia, it would be doubtful, but not impossible, that the word was taken from a north-european substratum vocabulary; more reasonable that it would be borrowed from a more easterly source at a time later than common Germanic, whence it traveled to both Northwest Germanic and Roman languages (LLat. carpio, Gk. kuprin-).

    DRINK < PGmc. *drenkanan < IE *d(h)reg- "pull, draw", Pok. 273. This root is attested in Indic as well as Germanic and Baltic.

    EBB < PGmc. *abja-, abj < IE *apio- "far", Pok. 53. Related to *apo- "off, away" + -io- "going" (or adj. suffix).

    EAST < PGmc. *austr- < IE *austero- "east" < *ausos- "dawn", *aues- "to shine, be golden".

    EEL < PGmc. *laz, laz. Like carp this animal name seems to be a borrowing from an external source. In IE, Lat. anguilla (? whence Basque angulas). Finnish ankeria, Est. angerias with Russian agor, i.e. IE *anghro- = *angwhos, *angwhi- "snake, worm", ultimately related with Lat. anguilla?]), *Germ. angra- all "snake, worm", Lithuanian ungurys but Latv. zutis.

    HELMET < PGmc. *helma- < IE *kel- "cover, hide", Pok. 553.

    KING < PGmc. *kuninga- < IE *gen(e)- "produce", Pok. 373.

    KNIGHT < PGmc. *knehta- < IE *gen- "know, recognize", Pok. 376.

    LAMB < PGmc. *lambaz, lambiz < IE *lonb(h)os "lamb, sheep", Pok. 304. This is an extension of Pok. 304 *lon "deer".

    LEAP < PGmc. *hlaupa- < IE *kwelp- "buckle (at the knees)", Pok. 630, a root attested in Greek and Baltic as well as Germanic.

    NORTH < PGmc. *nurra- < IE *ner- "below", Pok. 765, extended form ner-tero- "lower".

    SEA < PGmc. *saiwa-, saiw-i- < IE. * sei- "to drip, run, be moist", Pok. 889.

    SHIP < PGmc. *skipa- "ship, cut log" < IE *skei-p- < *skei- "cut, split, separate", Pok. 919.

    STORK < PGmc. *sturka- < IE *ster- "rigid, stiff", Pok. 1022, extended 0-grade form.

    STRAND < PGmc. *strando < IE *ster- "spread out", Pok. 1029. This may be from an old -nd- form, a participial.

    SOUTH < PGmc. *sunflr- < IE *swen-, *sun- "sun", Pok. 881.

    STEER < PGmc. *steurjan, *stura- < IE *ster- "solid, thick, broad", Pok. 1009.

    SAIL < PGmc. *segljanan < *IE *sek- "cut", Pok. 895.

    SHIELD < PGmc. *skeldu- < IE *skel- "cut" (extension of *sek-) Pok. 923.

    SWORD < PGmc. *swerda- < IE *swer- "cut, prick", Pok. 1050.

    THING < PGmc. *enga-, enha- "counsel, matter, affair, thing" < IE *ten(d)- "span, stretch", Pok. 1065.

    WEST < PGmc. *west-, westra- < IE *aw-, we- "down, away from", Pok. 72, extended root *wes-

    WIFE < PGmc. *weiba-, wba- "woman" < IE *weip- "turn", Pok. 1131

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