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Please, do not remove the etymology, as both claims may cohabitate tranquilly. The Doric one is at least straightforward and mainstream, but for the second any source would not prove to be superfluous. Bogorm 12:49, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

That Doric "etymology" is obsolete folk-etymologised rubbish which has no place on Wiktionary. Robert Beekes is by far the most renowned expert for Pre-Greek substratum words and we cannot compare him with some far-fetched Greek nationalist ideologically-motivated explanations in which the -dnos suffix (non-IE, non-Greek) is left as an unsolved mystery. --Ivan Štambuk 12:55, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure about this innovative person you quoted who is supportive of the non-Greek origin, but the next defamation of the explication of a Swedish professor in linguistics as folk etymology can be perceived as libelling. Bogorm 13:20, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you haven't noticed, but Beekes actually discusses Frisk's analysis (and dismisses is). Frisk's dictionary is more than half a century old and completely obsolete. Here are the relevant quotes in case you missed them: An analysis μακε-δνος is impossible in an IE word and Not cognate with μακ-ρός, μῆκ-ος. Once again: Frisk's analysis is not some "traditional" and "classical" one, but obsolete one. --Ivan Štambuk 13:30, 18 February 2009 (UTC).

Ivan Stambuk You say makednos is not congate with mhkos. Why in my Cretan dialect that is also a Doric dialect we say a makrus antras instead of pshlos antras? The makrus is used to express the height of a man in my dialect which is Cretan and is derived from Doric.

OK, would you agree to use the formulation chosen by our standard Ancient Greek wizard? If he feels that the relationship with μῆκος or μακρός needs to be mentioned, I'll agree too (not that I have any problem with mentioning of the alternative theories, it's just that giving possible undue prominence to obsolete theories is what bothers me). --Ivan Štambuk 13:34, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
This is your interpretation. Please, do not belittle Frisk's profound and convincing research. The dictionary was issued in 1960, 2009-1960=49<50. The question is whether Professor Frisk feels that it must be mentioned and he did. Please, respect that. I would agree to switch the first and second place in either-or, but not to obliterate any of them. Bogorm 13:36, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Why this hostility towards Greece, has it inflicted something baleful on Croats? Why this zest to confute the Greek origin of the geographical region? It is true that Byzantium did not like those Slavs in its territory who refused to speak Greek and to permeate the rich Greek culture, but Byzantium was an empire and as such it cannot be associated with Greece, there were many other peoples - Armenians, Egyptians before the Arab conquest, Assyrians and many more. Bogorm 13:41, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

OK, I left Jesse a note. He seems to be very buy in the last few weeks, so it might take some time before we receive an answer. I assure you that my involvement with the etymology of this particular word has nothing to do with "hostility towards Greeks" or Greek culture, whom I deeply respect. OK, I probably am a bit biased against the ideologically-motivated etymologies, or those that fuel some myths (plenty of those at the Balkans..), but in this particular case the traditional explanation is just silly. Indo-European historical linguistics has made some giant steps since the 1950s, especially with regard to what's today commonly dubbed as laryngeal theory (it has nothing to do with real laryngeals). Moreover, Robert Beekes is an expert on Pre-Greek substratum, and can spot such "anomalous" words (that cannot be derived from PIE, or formed with the usual Ancient Greek derivational morphology) on sight. Here you can find a paper of him on phonology and word structure of this Pre-Greek. I'll just quote two paragraphs from that PDF, that illustrate 2 important points IMHO (the bias against pre-Greek explanations in previous etymological dictionaries of Ancient Greek, and the obsoletness of pre-laryngeal-theory explanations).


But if we know which variations frequently occur, we are warned to consider Pre-Greek origin if we find them. The existing etymological dictionaries often seem to "avoid" the conclusion that a word is a substratum element. It is remarkable that Chantraine was quite aware of he question in his Formation, but has very often withdrawn his - in my view correct - evaluation in his dictionary. It seems as if substratum elements were not welcome.


Our knowledge of Indo-European has grown so much, especially in the last thirty years with notably the growth of the laryngeal theory, that we can in some cases say that an Indo-European reconstruction is impossible. A good example is the word γνάθος To explain the -a- of this word we need to introduce a "second laryngeal" (h₂). However, a preform *gnh₂dʰ- would have given Gr. *γνᾱθ- with a long a. One might think that assuming *h₂e would remedy the problem, but *gnh₂edʰ- would give *γαναθ-, so we would have again a problem. The conclusion is that no Indo-European proto-form can be reconstructed, and that the word cannot be Indo-European. There is no problem in assuming a Pre-Greek word (though the word has no typical characteristics of Pre-Greek). - Another example is the word κρημνός "overhanging bank", for which a connection with κρέμαμαι "hang (up)" seemed evident. However, we now know that long vowels cannot be postulated at random, and here it is simply impossible: there is no formation type that would allow a long vowel. The objection is confirmed by the fact that there is no trace of the expected α < *h₂ (as in κρέμαμαι < *kremh₂-). Positively one can say that features of the landscape are often loanwords from a substratum. The inevitable conclusion is that the word is Pre-Greek.

The more we know about Indo-European, the less is possible. As our reconstructions become more and more precise, they have to conform to all the rules we have established by now. This holds for all etymological work: in a way, then, it becomes more difficult. This also regards Pre-Greek, as indicated: for some forms an Indo-European origin is no longer possible.


So, essentially, this has everything to do with the advancement of linguistic science, and the scholarly freedom from the confines of "politically incorrect" etymological explanations (Pelasgian vulgarisms in noble Greek), as often the case was with Pre-Greek words. --Ivan Štambuk 14:18, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I cannot figure out how two independent professors, one French and one Swedish can be influenced by the ideologically-motivated etymologies, or those that fuel some myths (plenty of those at the Balkans. If you seek political motivation at any cost, rememebr that the Republic of Skopie was not recognised by France (but the Dictionnaire Étymologique... was issued 23 years before the breakup of Yugoslavia), but was recognised by the USA, just to mention. Howbeit, I shall make myself familiar with this new US non-IE theory. I advocate the representation of both theories in the section and am against the removal of any of them - I did not dare to erase the non-IE claim, but only tagged it as unsourced, as I did to the established, mainstream, cogent one, until I find more sources. Let the reader make oneself familiar with both possibilities and decide on one's own which to embrace, please be tolerant to them, especially when the first originates from two independent sources. Bogorm 14:32, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
They were influenced in a sense that they ignored "abject" and "ignoble" alternative explanations, even though these were very much known to them (well, not really to Frisk, at his time the Pre-Greek research was in its infancy). With the advancement of modern IE scholarship, obsolete theories must be discarded and replaced with new ones, much more likely. And please, this is not some "US theory" - FYI Beekes works at the University of Leiden (the last stronghold of the glottalic theory of PIE, but fortunately for us, unlike some of the other proponents of that school, Beekes completely ignores the glottalic framework for the etymological dictionary he is currently writing). It is up to us (in this case, Atelaes :) to decide which one of those theories is corroborated by the most substantiated evidence, and which one should be and how presented to the reader. 99.9% of Wiktionary users have no knowledge of pre-Gree or PIE, and wouldn't care less if we gave them the explanation of makednos being brought to Greeks by Martians. --Ivan Štambuk 14:46, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
must be discarded and replaced ... Beekes completely ignores the glottalic framework - the worse for this person. Please stop promoting some innovative new age theories which emerged after the inflammation of the Macedonia naming dispute. It is not very difficult to fathom that the impact of the recent political altercations around the Republic of Skopje can't have spared the theories or at least their authors can't have remained callous to that. Therefore do not disparage further Chantraine's and Frisk's explications who enlighten us about the ineptitude of some Macedonist far-fetched fabrications of any connection whatsoever between Vardar Bulgarians and Ancient Macedonians. I will tell you an analogous advancement of linguistic science - after Nikolaj Derzhavin, a leading Russian historian, exposed the Iranian origin of the Proto-Bulgarians in the 20es and 30es, a myriad of Stalinist aparatchiks began after his death to promote the tosh about their Turkic origin and even oppressed the linguist Georgy Turchaninov in his quest for the meaning of the acient Alanian and Proto-Bulgarian inscriptions (must be discarded! ). That overshadowed and crippled the Bulgarian historiography for 5 decades until our historians reached the same conclusion as Derzhavin and Turchaninov. So, please, show more respect to the venerable Swedish and French professors! There is a suffix donos, don, which added to the derivation of mekos, produces Macedonian, thereby corroborating the Hellenic origin of Macedon and their indissoluble connection with the Ancient Greek language and culture, all is IE and as clear-cut as possible. Bogorm 15:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Trust me, rejecting glottalic theory of PIE is Good Thing, as that theory is rubbish (it might hold for pre-PIE, definitely not for Late PIE, but pre-PIE glottalic theory is unfortunately unprovable as IE doesn't have any known genetically related families to compare to (though North-West Caucasian and Uralic are fairly good candidates)). I also assure you that laryngeal theory is not some "innovative new age theory" ;) and that mr. Beekes has absolutely zero personal or ideological take when explicating the etymology of makednos (the suffix is -dnos, not -donos). I have respect for Frisk and that French dude as much as I have for Isaac Newton and Archimedes - their theories were correct in their respective timeframes, but today need to be replaced by much more likely scenarios. --Ivan Štambuk 15:34, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Professor Pierre Chantraine! I am dumbstruck given the fact that you mentioned his name in your quotation, but you still refer to him as “French dude”... strange. Bogorm 16:00, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I didn't feel like scrolling the mouse up to copy/paste his name..with what he's done per Beekes (crime against intellectual honesty and freedom), he deserves nothing less IMHO ;) --Ivan Štambuk 16:05, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
No, it is your Mr. Beekes, who has perpetrated all those misdeeds by persevering in this diehard non-IE hocus pocus (you did not even mention what substratum that was! - Thracian (IE though!), Sea peoples..., what kind of substratum???, Sea people №2, Highlands people №1?), there is one marvellous German word, hervorzaubern, here is the best description for that. (Too bad that we do not converse in German...) Bogorm 16:21, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
My perseverance on non-IE focus is plainly due to it being by far the most probable explanation, and this word is problematic enough that it better had all the folk-etymologised and obsolete rubbish wiped away. Whether the Pre-Greek substratum is IE or not is doubtful..according too Beekes it prob. is not (-dnos suffix is non-IE). It was certainly not Thracian and has nothing to do with "Sea People (among which there were Greek tribes according to Egyptian records BTW), that's for sure. I wouldn't know that German word, maybe you should create it to illustrate its applicative convenience? --Ivan Štambuk 21:48, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
hervorzaubern = conjure up, conjure into existence. I would have added the German translation, if one of those two had been created, but as you see, the meaning is specific. Expurgating the sourced theory supported by two venerable linguists by simply pushing a brand new version is one-sided, to put it mildly. What was the reason to exhort me to shew tolerance, when you are now eager to obliterate the sourced, established theory in favour of a substratum which you do not even know of which language family is?? (In mine opinion, one-directional tolerance is worse than intolerance) Well, you claim that mentioning substrata in etymologies of IE languages was discouraged, this is simply not true! V. I. Abaev mentions in his Etymology dictionary of Ossetian Caucasian substrata on every 3rd page, even though he is Ossetian. When they are inept and far-fetched, they are inept and far-fetched, or at least fail to provide a satisfactory, cogent or even a little bit more circumstantial informatian. Abaev at least knows that his substrata are Caucasian, but this here... Bogorm 22:20, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the explication on semantics of that German tongue-twister (aren't they all). Once again I reiterate the essence of my arguments: this is not just about listing various theories: it is about questioning the relevance of the theories expounded when modern interpretative framework of comparative Indo-European linguistics, as well as that of pre-Greek substratum evidence, did not really exist, or was not deliberately taken into account by intellectually dishonest etymologists (like that French dude). We are now light years ahead. The way the etymology section currently lays out "competing" theories is not only degradeful towards the one incarnating the pinnacle of modern scholarship, propounded by Robert S. P. Beekes, but also peculiarly misleading to a reader where "fancy" explanations are listed first, with no mention of their untenability by modern scholarship, in a suggestive and apparently straightforward cogitation that μακεδνός can be scanned as μακε-δνός (non-existing derivational morpheme in either Greek or PIE), or the second part being a "zero-grade" derivative of underlying suffix -δόνos (only 1 match for the development similar to that, plus the problem that zero-grade cannot be postulated wherever one imagines it to be, only in roots where it regularly morphophonologicaly ablauts with other vowels, having etymologically-compatible matches in cognate words). Furthermore, any kind of relationship of the aforementioned with μῆκος, μακρός or μηκεδανός is strictly etymologically impossible (despite the apparent superficial semantic compatibility) and thus ad-hoc.
Ossetian abounds with substratum words as Ossetians migrated to Caucasus in historical period (Tatar incursions it was, IIRC) and have merged with native cultures. This is particularly pertinent to Hellenic civilisation which itself rose to prominence after the two-wave invasion of Hellenic speakers obliterated native cultures, as it implies rather recent ethnocultural discontinuity, which is disturbing to Greek nationalists and indoctrinated Hellenophiles which would rather postulate Greek being spoken in Upper Paleolithic on the entire Balkans. We must not succumb to nationalist-driven mythomania and history-fabricating propaganda machinery, at least not under the silly arguments of "NPOV" and "political correctness" of presenting badly outdated linguistic research on a par with cutting-edge one. --Ivan Štambuk 23:11, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

A list of words of uncertain etymology: ἀφρός, γέφυρα, μηχανή, ῥέμβω, ἄνθρωπος, ἔλδομαι, ἄρκευθος, ἀγχίλωψ, κάμπτω, ῥάβδος, μαρμαίρω, θρῆνος, τόξον etc. So far, we have treated all these cases in the same way. Couldn't we do just the same thing here? --flyax 22:56, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

First thing's first, let's contain the controversy. If the origin is in dispute, then the dispute needs to be localized. So, I've trimmed the etymology for this entry down to the fairly straightforward bits, and will also do so for Μακεδονία (Makedonía). I suggest we move our discussion to Talk:μακεδνός, the talk page for an entry which I will shortly create. While that does little to solve the issue at hand, it does take Macedonia, and any nationalist nonsense which we don't need in our discussion out of it. Beekes does not seem to have a terribly strong case to make, and so I think it would be imprudent to simply dismiss other theories. On the other hand, Beekes' opponents don't have an incredibly strong case either, and Beekes has rather more modern research on his side. I suggest the etymology show the traditional etymology, but give it less credence. Since I will be the one writing it, that is what we'll start with. :-) -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 00:06, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I am fine with the current formulation though I still hold that way too much prominence is given to obsolete theories that we know today are 100% wrong. This amounts to mentioning flat-Earth theory on the Wikipedia article on Solar cycles just because it used to be general communis opinio of scholars for centuries before the advent of scientific methods dispelled Biblical myths. However, I cheerfully acclaim the advancement of linguistic science, looking forward to the day when mr. Beekes' research will penetrate all the standard handbooks and manuals, obsoleting the "politically correct" 20th century scholarship in the dustbin of history, thus making it inappropriate to make even mention of it existing. --Ivan Štambuk 10:03, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
The quæstion is closed, please do not incandesce it afresh. flyax and Atelaes (Beekes does not seem to have a terribly strong case to make) consider that it is worth mentioning both theories. Just because something is new, it does not mean it is a step in the right direction. By changing, science can either approach the truth or divert itself from it and in this particular case we both defend each one of these two possibilities, respectively. Lysenko's ideas were also innovative and brand-new but I hope you (and Mr. Beekes) know how all this ended. These were not scholars, they were clergymen and theologians. Which means that the mediæval opinio could not have been of scientists, before the science emerged in the 16th century. Bogorm 10:14, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
They were scientist by their contemporary criteria, using their faulty methods to deduce truth on natural phenomena. They also intentionally inhibited the advancement of modern scientific methods (based on experimental verification of hypotheses, postulated on the basis of infallible self-supportive mathematical structure), by throwing to jail anyone who disagreed on their "proofs". In both cases, of mediaeval orthodox monk-scientists and 20th century etymologists turning a blind eye on "unwelcome" theories, the net result is ultimately the same - hindering the one and only truth from the masses, ultimately leading to superstition, mythomania and general degradation of collective intellect of humanity.
OK, now that we've done with this, perhaps we can relocate our confabulations on other amusing etymons, like the etymology of Hellene - the decomposition to el- and relation to electron and Helios is most entertaining. You can prob. assume how mr. Beekes etymologises this obscure ethnicon. --Ivan Štambuk 10:35, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
No, not again. It took me one whole morning yesterday to disprove the claims of that Leiden chap by finding out Pierre Chantraine and Hjalmar Frisk, I do not want to sacrifice another one. Please, spare the etymology of Hellenic, may it stay as it is, ok? Anyway, it is in my watchlist, so that I can defend the sound theory again against the encroachments of Lysenko-like innovations, if necessary. This words dude, jail... it took me a while to understand that in standard (not slang) English their correspondence is chap, gaol... You almost infected me with the first, but I rectified myself... Bogorm 10:46, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
English language has no institutional body regulating its "properness"! (unlike most of the other languages), so there are no "standard" and "non-standard" words. There is nothing less english in d00d than in chap, if you ask me. Anyhow, I've expanded the etymology of exogenous non-Indo-European Hellenic ethnicon Ἕλλην with the research of world's foremost expert on Greek substratum, in order to provide Wiktionary readers insight into the cutting-edge of modern Indo-European studies. But I promise not to touch it (or any other (topo)nomastics lexeme) further. --Ivan Štambuk 14:11, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
By standard I meant non-slang, otherwise the vocabulary except the unrefined vocabulary. chap is at least marked as informal and although I struggle to evade informal words, this time I was provoked by your too familiar reference to Prof. Pierre Chantraine. As for Ἕλλην, I am deeply aggrieved by your edit and by the fact that both Chantraine and Frisk do not go beyond Σελλοί in their explications, i. e. in that case I cannot write a sourced and sound counterbalance to the obfuscting substratum-claim. Professor Chantraine explains notwithstanding that Commes bien des termes géographiques ces mots sont sans étymologie which you and the Leiden chap are evidently disregarding. Bogorm 16:51, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Boy, you two sure like to bicker. A couple things the you might want to keep in mind: First, Bogorm, a lot of the sources you're working with are outdated. You've been told this time and again, and yet you seem to keep forgetting or refusing to listen. Now, just because a scientist is from the past does not mean that everything they say is wrong, but it would be silly to ignore modern research and the previous claims which it has repudiated. However, historical linguistics is a bit more reliant on older work than other disciplines (a fact which Ivan would do well to remember), simply because no one cares where Ancient Greek words came from (and why should they? Such knowledge does not feed hungry people, cure diseases, or stimulate the world economy.). Thus, we have a great deal less research to draw upon than, say, physics. If someone were to cite sources as old as yours, Bogorm, within a discussion of physics or cell biology, they would be immediately dismissed and laughed off the stage, so to speak. As people working in an area with such a paucity of good research, we need to do what we can with the few modern researchers in existence, and also take older researchers a bit more seriously than we'd like, simply because we have less to go on. Finally, as a native English speaker (the only one involved in this convo, as far as I can tell), I'd like to note about dude and jail. To begin with, jail is not slang, not at all. It is simply American. American English is every bit as valid as British English. If you'd like to limit your learning of English to stodgy/archaic British English, that is certainly your right. I will admit that I tend to temper my own English with archaisms such as "whom" and "shall." The difference is that I know that such things are largely obsolete, and have the good sense not to tell other people that their language is "wrong." Any worthwhile linguist knows that the only measure of valid language is comprehension. So, as much as a sentence which uses the word "like" a dozen times in a single sentence irks me, it is completely correct English (incidentally, I helped my roommate write a paper on the many uses of the word "like" in modern English. It's, like, a totally robust word). Also, you may want to note that modern American English is the more influential of the English dialects, and such a course of education may leave you as the odd one out in the future, just so you're aware. Dude is indeed slang, but no more so than chap. Chap is older, and so perhaps carries with it a slightly greater degree of formality, but not much. Again, the difference is largely one of regions. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:25, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I am aware that jail is not slang, just regional, I never wanted to imply that. Chap is tagged in its entry here as informal and I only used it after Ivan made use of dude, id est I did not initiate the usage. I would certainly not have shewed causticity if Ivan had called dude anyone but Pierre Chantraine, that was the main reason for me to object. I do not intend to conceal my prædilection for archaic/obsolete English words as well and did not mean any harm with referring to his source as chap, it served only as a retort. Bogorm 23:12, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I concur on the influenciality part: in Croatia (and mesuspects also in lots of European countries) schools officially (in theory) teach British English, but nevertheless I never saw the spelling gaol for jail in my lifetime before Bogorm mentioned it (in fact I had to look it up), and the last time I heard chap spoken on TV was on Monty Python shows. Bogorm's strong predilection for "proper" and "improper" English comes from his background with languages in which the properness is dictated by certain academic institution which prescribes which spellings and words are more "proper" than the others. Since such institution lacks for English, the nearest equivalent would be the most proper British English (as a place of the "origin" of the language). However, since linguistic development of modern-day English has for the last 5 centuries been taking place outside its historic "homeland", it's pointless to apply the same argument as the resulting divergent dialects are all historically equivalent with respect to the Middle English speech they originated from. IMHO, no person in the world one can tell you that your mother tongue is not "proper" enough, as opposed to some imaginary literary standard that has been bestowed prestigious by some fancy suits on the basis of some imaginary criteria (being used by some great writes, or spoken by most of the population). Same is valid for both "slang" and "archaic/obsolete" words - both categories are IMHO imaginary. I mean, words are not computer protocols that they can grow "obsolete". Literary lexis can never become obsolete, it can only just hibernate until it regains usage by people freed from the confines of "properness". Bogorm himself uses some of the "obsolete" spellings (naïve, quæstion..) not to mention the obscure words one can never encounter in spoken languages, as opposed to dude which is spoken daily prob. more times than all of those obscure words B used combined in the last 100 years. So the "properness" of words, pronunciations and meanings is just another face of modern-day intellectual hypocrisy IMHO. --Ivan Štambuk 23:12, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
naïve is not obsolete, it is not even dated, it is the standard. As is façade. Check their entries out, if you have any doubts. Bogorm 23:17, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
In this case, I have to agree with Bogorm. "naïve" is actually in use, as is "façade." They may well be two of perhaps five words in English which are commonly spelled with nonstandard characters (nonstandard for English orthography, that is). "quæstion," on the other hand, is most certainly not in use. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:24, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, it's at least 2-3 orders of magnitude less frequent than naive, which should prove the point. --Ivan Štambuk 00:13, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I've scanned through this entire discussion and I've come to one conclusion: geeks need to get out more.
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