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Is it true that, as claimed on w:Flip book, a flip book is also sometimes called flick book? I just randomly wondered if, since a flip book is a primitive kind of film, the expression flick for a film might be derived from this. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:43, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Possibly, but I think it's more likely that it comes from flicker, which old movies are wont to do. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:07, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I guess the question is was "flick book" in common use in the time and place of the first attestation of "flick"? --WikiTiki89 21:59, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Effectively yes, I just wanted to throw the thought that crossed my mind out into the public here. But Angr's explanation makes sense too and is simpler. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:09, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

*anьjelь or *andjelь

Possible Proto-Slavic word *anьjelь or *andjelь ('angel') from Latin angelus, from Ancient Greek ἄγγελος (ángelos, messenger). This is possible to Proto-Slavic, as likely as Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic *angiluz.

I doubt it. SC đ/ђ is a regular palatalization of Greek /g/ before front vowels, so the only evidence for *andjelь is the Czech anděl, which could have simply been borrowed from SC instead. I find Polish anioł and Slovak anjel harder to explain, but I doubt they go back to PS (Belarusian анёл (anjól) was probably borrowed directly from Polish). --WikiTiki89 15:21, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
In any case, Proto-Slavic did not allow closed syllables, so a cluster *-ndj- was not possible and must be of post-Slavic date. —CodeCat 15:45, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Not quite, SC does not have regular palatalization of Greek /g/ before front vowels, only standard Serbian does (and this too isn't consistent), but this is, either French or Italian influence. In Croatian anđeo from older anđel and anjel (Čak.), Slovenian anjel and angel. In OCS we have ⰰⱀⰼⰵⰾⱏ (anđelŭ) (anďelъ) and ⰰⰳⰼⰵⰾⱏ (agđelŭ) (agďelъ) alongside with ⰰⱀⱏⰳⰵⰾⱏ (anŭgelŭ).
I am proposing reconstruction *anъdjelъ. Une nymphe (talk) 18:38, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Why would a non-Christian people have a need to borrow terms for Christian concepts? —CodeCat 18:52, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
See w:Proto-Slavic#Introduction. Proto-Slavic by definition is the period just before the Christianization of the Slavs. It is of course possible that this word was borrowed into Late Common Slavic, but we do not refer that as Proto-Slavic as far as I know. --WikiTiki89 20:01, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Same frain is why did Proto-Germanic borrowed Proto-Germanic *angiluz, they were also pagans. Une nymphe (talk) 21:14, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Why is this a problem? I don't believe in UFOs, but I still have a word for them. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:02, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Cultures were far less homogenous than they are now. People generally didn't have much knowledge of cultures outside their own, and they probably didn't have a pressing need to talk about foreign religious concepts either. In fact, I would say that Proto-Slavic speakers had probably never even heard of Christianity except for a few maybe. In any case, Proto-Germanic had no word *angiluz, it's a later borrowing. It must be, because Proto-Germanic was spoken in Old Latin times, before the Roman Empire and hence Christianity even existed. This is also shown by the fact that Gothic has two forms attested: aggilus and aggēlus. —CodeCat 22:39, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
You might want to look at the etymology for angel. It looks like Leasnam's "early Germanic" got switched to "early Proto-Germanic" as templates were replaced with other templates, though it wasn't the best wording in the first place. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:43, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
UFO has two different meanings. UFOs in sense 1 clearly exist, sense 2 is what Angr seems to mean ... :-)
BTW, I've witnessed UFOs myself, although they looked too small to host aliens unless the aliens were really tiny. I've only learned of sky lanterns right now, that must be what they were. Although they were already prohibited back then in this part of Germany, I think. Hmm. But they sure looked like balloons with candles in them. I must add that it was already quite dark, that's why I was puzzled even though I never seriously contemplated the thought that they were alien spacecraft. :-) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:46, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I meant "alien spacecraft", not "anything flying that you don't know what it is". I've seen sky lanterns here in Berlin too, even though they're almost certainly illegal. The first time I saw one it kind of freaked me out because I had never seen one before, so I didn't know what it was, and it was really dark so I couldn't see anything of it except this light floating slowly and mysteriously through the air. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:56, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
It was a whole swarm in my case, and its movement was completely consistent with miniature hot-air balloons, so considering your experience I'm virtually certain now that they were sky lanterns. Neat. I was only weirded out a little bit – the objects piqued my curiosity more than anything – because I soon figured out roughly what they were. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:20, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Apparently it was two years ago – my mother was with me and sighted the UFOs too. Sky lanterns were already explicitly forbidden at the time here. Still, I don't think gnomes from outer space are a better explanation. :-Þ Thanks for sharing your experience, Angr. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:59, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Origin of the instrument name "Jew's harp" in English and other languages

Origin of the instrument name "Jew's harp" in English and other languages

[ etymology, English Jew's harp ]

( A "Jew's harp" is a small musical instrument of great antiquity which is like a kazoo. )

Here's some ideas by me. I got a BA in Linguistics and work a lot with foreign languages and etymologies. I wrote this up, wanted to put it online, but couldn't find a good place where it would accessible. I'm going to try the Talk page for "Jew's harp", too, because it's empty and I might be the only person who cares and is qualified to have a say. Why "Jew's harp" ? It's just been on my mind and is interesting etymologically.

I think the answer might lie in foreign languages' terms for Jew's harp.

I think the phenomenon is limited only to English and Dutch, that it's phonetically (sound-wise) related to the French guimbarde *gwimbaarda and other Eurasian words for Jew's harp. I speculate that it went from something like

[ (Continental original, something like **gwimbaarda > (calque and or phonetic borrowing) *jaw-harp > *jaw-harp > *Jew-harp > Jew's harp

I think that this was adopted as a variant because the instrument is small, whereas a harp is much bigger, Jews being commonly regarded as stingy in Europe. Likewise, other English variant forms are "juice harp" and "jaw harp". Phonetic borrowings don't even have to make sense, look at eggplant (from Persian).

Wiktionary lists many of them. ( Wiktionary, "Jew's harp". > translation)

Most call it a "mouth drum". Only in Dutch do we get Jew's harp. In Germanic languages we see Danish: jødeharpe c : Jew-harp Dutch: mondharp f : mouth-harp German: Maultrommel (de) f : mouth-drum Icelandic: gyðingaharpa f, kjálkaharpa f, munntromma f x-harp, x-harp, mouth-drum Netherlands: mondharp m mouth-harp Norwegian: munnharpe mouth-harp Swedish: mungiga (sv) c mouth-x

When we look up "jaw" in Wiktionary, we find : Middle English jawe *dZaawa, jowe *dZowa , geowe *dZowa (my reconstructions) Middle Dutch kauwe : fish jaw Middle Dutch kouwe : mouth cavity dialectal German Ka:u , Keu : jaw, donkey jowl Irish gob : mouth

What was "Jew" in Middle English ? Wiktionary says Giw *Juu and Ju *Juu, which, not surprisingly, is the same as today's.

So then the variant form [ West-Germanic *Jew's-harp ] must have arise and given rise to modern English Jew's harp and Modern Dutch jødeharpe sometime between Proto-Germanic and today. If you go back far enough in time, the West Germanic peoples probably did not know that Jews existed, so maybe it's a Roman Empire onward thing.

This is just from the data given in Wiktionary.

Dwarfkingdom (talk) 01:51, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't quite understand your comparison with eggplant. Could you please elaborate? Leasnam (talk) 12:14, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps he/she means aubergine (= eggplant)? That has a mention of a Persian in the etymology. Equinox 13:16, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
The term "eggplant", itself isn't a phonetic borrowing- some varieties are white and actually look sort of like eggs. They're probably referring to aubergine, which is in the same stratum of borrowings from Arabic as orange and apricot. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:47, 4 July 2014 (UTC)


I don't speak any of the daughter languages, but there's quite a bit of this new entry that looks questionable. The main issue is highlighted by the fact that the descendants section is made up of nothing but redlinks- which doesn't seem to be a coincidence. If you look at the translation table for apple, the Slavic languages all seem to have reflexes of the derived form *ablъko, not this term. One can deduce that it existed from the derived forms and their descendents- but are there any actual descendants of the un-suffixed form? Chuck Entz (talk) 04:13, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

I have rfd'ed it. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:17, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
And now un-rdf'ed it again. So it is legit. Cool, wasn't aware of this etymon. What's interesting is that Balto-Slavic as a whole exhibits a lengthened vowel, unlike the other cognates: *ābōl- ~ **ābl- (else Lithuanian and Old Prussian would have †ab° and Slavic †obl°). The reconstruction given at *ablъko does not reflect this fact. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:13, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
That's Winter's law at work. —CodeCat 13:15, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, d'oh, of course. So it was probably PBSl. *abōl- ~ *ābl- originally, but the short-vowel variant was not continued in Balto-Slavic. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:18, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Not everyone agrees that Winter's law only applied in closed syllables though. —CodeCat 13:30, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
True, but not everyone agrees that it even existed in the first place. I believe the closed-syllable interpretation is fairly widespread. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:02, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe, but postulating a short-vowel version like you did in the etymology probably doesn't add anything, as it's not attested in Balto-Slavic and there is no linguistic consensus for the sound law that reconstructs it anyway. —CodeCat 14:07, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah, but the short-vowel version was there before I edited the page. I first added a macron and then undid this, adding the long-vowel variant stem as a parenthetical instead. Feel free to implement a different solution. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:24, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Old Croatian

I was wondering if we could put Old Croatian (11th-15th century) in, for i see we have Old Polish? If so, we would need to use new script; so called angular glagolitic script. I would very much like to contribute on that, for Old Croatian is very rich and diverse language, linguistically very similar to OCS. Une nymphe (talk) 02:11, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

I thought that Old Croatian is OCS (or a dialect at least). --WikiTiki89 03:18, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
No, Old Croatian started as some kind form or variation of OCS, but early separated from OCS, here is exemple of Vinodolski zakon ('Vinodol law') from 1288. Une nymphe (talk) 09:34, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
w:Old Church Slavonic refers to it as the Croatian recension of OCS, and therefore not clearly distinct from OCS as a whole. —CodeCat 12:44, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Old Church Slavonic is essentially yet another polycentric language. For example, most "Old East Slavic" texts are really South Slavic with East Slavic influences. There are few materials in the vernacular. The situation is roughly analogous to Swiss Standard German vs. Swiss German, or Austrian German vs. the local Bavarian dialects. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:51, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Not true; Baška tablet, Povaljska listina... these are written in Croatian recension of OCS. Vinodolski zakon is written in seperate Croatian language, in it we have phonetic shifts unique to Croatian, grammar as well: ě - started to change into i and e, žd - is always j, št - is šć, verb dual is lost, syntax is different. Orthography is completely different. There is clearly separate (but similar, even so mutually comprehensible) South Slavic language. And, on my opinion, it deserves it's place in Wiktionary. Une nymphe (talk) 11:16, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
But it would have to be treated as a form of Old Serbo-Croatian, since the "Croatian" language didn't exist before it was invented in the 1990s. There is nothing "Croatian" about the language of Vinodol codex and Baška tablet. It is not ancestral to modern Croatian, and it is certainly not Croatian recension of OCS (apart from few Church Slavonicism in Baška tablet, which is a short monument anyway). --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 11:24, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Is this for real? I am seriously wondering if administrators here on Wiktionary are demonstrating such ignorance, not to mention some pathological fanaticism, how much of anything here on Wiktionary is trustworthy. Everyone on this planet knows that Croatian and Serbian merged from completely separate backgrounds; Serbs until 19th century didn't even write on Serbian. Croats have ten centuries of extraordinary rich literature on four different scripts and always called their language harvatski, hervatski, horvatski, hrvatski, illyrski, slovenski, slovinski. Entire notion of some union between Croatian and Serbian was an invention of 19th centuary. This term "Serbo-Croatian" was coined by Jacob Grimm, who was a very good friend of Vuk Karadžić who was famous for his notion Serbs All, and Everywhere!. What is this? How can anyone stand this? OK, if someone is for "Serbo-Croatian" (for his practical/ideological reasons), but all of this is pure nonsense, this is almost unseen linguo-historical revisionism par excellence. How can even be "Serbo-Croatian language" when there is not one historical document written on it. If this doesn't change in near future, I am very concern about trustworthiness of this entire project. Unbelievable. Une nymphe (talk) 11:51, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
We only follow modern linguistic consensus, which is that Serbo-Croatian is a single language. —CodeCat 12:05, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
@Une nymphe Everyone on this planet, really? Treating Serbo-Croatian language as one language is an explicit Wiktionary policy, supported by the majority of editors, it's based on various facts, such as shared 9*% of vocabulary. It's a fact. Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Montenegrins all speak this "invented" language "naš jezik". I will omit this discussion about the origins of the language name. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 12:08, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
@Une nymphe: Croats can call "their" language whatever they like, it's still the same language used by Serbs. Nations were invented in the 19th century as well, so there was no such thing as Croats at the time that the monuments that you mention were written; Slavic was by far the most common autonym used. It is debatable to what extant regional literatures of the SC speech area written in various dialects and scripts before the 19th century can be treated as separate languages, though I'd prefer that it all be dumped under the Old Serbo-Croatian label, apart from Church Slavonic recensions which have their own distinct literatures, tradition, grammar, dictionaries and so on. I've added several SC words from Glagolitic attestations but in Latin script (from sources such as s:hr:Muka svete Margarite and s:hr:Svit se konča) which should probably be recategorized as "Old Serbo-Croatian" and transcribed back to Glagolitic, though that could be problematic due to lack of cursive Glagolitic fonts and the lack of support in Unicode for hundreds of Glagolitic ligatures which were commonly used.. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 12:19, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that current standard Croatian isn't a continuation of most of pre-19th-century Croatian, nor is current standard Serbian a continuation of pre-19th-century Serbian, etc,:all of the modern standard languages are derived from one tiny sliver of the pre-19th-century diversity. Although what you call Old Croatian may have been spoken only by Croats and not by Serbs, it bears exactly the same relationship to current standard Serbian and current standard Bosnian as it does to current standard Croatian- so from the viewpoint of continuity, it could just as easily be called Old Serbian or Old Bosnian. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:36, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
FYI, this discussion has been copied and is being discussed in the Croatian Wikipedia: Hrvatski jezik na engleskoj Wikipediji i Wiktionaryju. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:26, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
From what I've read, the Croatian Wikipedia is very badly managed and has a high number of nationalist-leaning editors and sysops alike. There are plenty of stories on Wikipedia (I don't remember where) about people being blocked for not adhering to the "Croatian" POV. So if Une Nymphe is a regular there, that is reason for caution alone. —CodeCat 00:14, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
She is not a regular there, they are inviting her to join. She has taken it very personally, saying words like "this disgrace" (about our responses), "so ridiculous", "shameful", "we all speak, write and breathe a language that has no past, present and future (i.e. Croatian)"... --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:27, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Woah, we're getting dissed by the Croatian Wikipedia? The site that one historian described as "only a tool used by its administrators to promote their own political agendas, giving false and distorted facts"? The site that's so biassed (nationalist and homophobic) that even the Croatian Minister of Education issued a statement advising pupils to use Wikipedia in English, not in Croatian, because "a large part of the content of the Croatian version of Wikipedia is not only dubious but also [contains] obvious forgeries"? (See Meta and en.WP's summaries.) Hahaha! Pardon me if I don't shed any tears. - -sche (discuss) 00:43, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Vocative of *domъ

Why do we reconstruct *domu as the vocative of *domъ? Of all the languages that still have vocatives (at least of those that have declension tables on Wiktionary), only Polish has the vocative domu, while the others all point to *dome. Also, the PIE vocative was *dóm, Lithuanian has nãme, and Latvian has nam. --WikiTiki89 16:48, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

This noun is a u-stem, and u-stems have mostly disappeared as a distinct inflectional class in the Slavic languages. They have largely been converted into o-stems, with only a few older endings lingering in some nouns, like plurals in -ov and genitive singular in -u instead of -a. So the evidence of the modern Slavic languages is not very reliable. In Old Church Slavonic this class was still present in its inherited form, however, and OCS has the ending -u for the vocative of u-stems. —CodeCat 17:03, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Then there must be a mistake in our declension table for домъ (domŭ). --WikiTiki89 17:09, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's more likely that this form is not attested at all in any OCS texts. After all, it's not often that someone directly addresses a house. But for another u-stem noun, both сꙑноу (synu) and сꙑнє (syne) are attested, at least according to Lunt's OCS grammar. He explicitly mentions that the former is an archaism while the latter is an innovation from the o-stems. So the process of converting u-stems to o-stems was already happening in OCS, and probably was in Proto-Slavic as well, but had not yet progressed as far. In any case, the ending -u is certainly the more original one. Its retention in Polish is certainly an archaism, judging from this bit from w:Polish morphology: "The masculines pan, syn ("son") and dom ("house") have -u in the locative singular rather than -ie, and also in the vocative (but pan has the regular panie)." —CodeCat 17:22, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
In the case of *synъ, Baltic evidence confirms the -u ending, but in the case of *domъ, it does not. Also, many Slavic languages have descendants of *synu, but not of *domu. --WikiTiki89 17:27, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Baltic has an o-stem inflection. All that means is that the noun was likely still a consonant stem at the time Slavic split off, and the two groups went in different directions. Baltic innovated an o-stem inflection, while Slavic went for u-stem inflection. So Baltic doesn't really help at all in this case. For *synъ it's different of course, as that was inherited from PIE as an u-stem and no innovation took place in either branch. —CodeCat 18:13, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
And I suppose sons are more frequently addressed in the vocative than houses are, and so synu was retained in more languages than domu. --WikiTiki89 18:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Something like that. Something similar happened to *bože (god) as well. It retained the effects of the Slavic first palatalisation in the vocative of many languages, even when this alternation was undone in all other nouns. Frequently-used forms tend to preserve irregularities the longest. —CodeCat 18:45, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
For curiosity's sake, can you give an example of a word where the consonant alternation in the vocative was undone? --WikiTiki89 18:50, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Not for the vocative specifically. But some languages have a stronger tendency towards levelling out the alternations than others. Slovene for example has no more consonant alternations in nouns and adjectives, except for a few irregular forms. It also lost the vocative though, so there are no examples there. I would imagine Bulgarian and Macedonian have a fair number of examples of this, as both retain the vocative but have radically simplified their declension system. —CodeCat 18:58, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
The reason I'm asking is because in Russian, even thought most consonant alternations in noun declensions have been dropped (such as in the prepositional case: о боге rather than *о бозе), the vocative case, when preserved, retains the consonant alternation (боже, отче, старче). --WikiTiki89 19:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)


My mother, raised in the North Carolina Mountains by her grandparents who were adults during the American Civil War used the term "shebang" usually in a negative way such as if someone was lieing they were making up the whole shebang. I don't recall her ever using it in a positive fashion

lie + -ing = lying. Anyway, it can be used either positively or negatively. Anyway, see our first definition. --WikiTiki89 15:28, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Second definition, now that I've cleaned up the etymology slightly and re-ordered the senses by date of first attestation. - -sche (discuss) 17:33, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

PIE *gʷṓws, *gʷéh₃us

Kroonen, de Vaan and Beekes all give the root for cow in Proto-Indo-European as *gʷéh₃u-, *gʷéh₃us, which Kroonen derives to the root *gʷeh₃- (to graze; keep), compare Ancient Greek βόσκω (bóskō, to feed, tend) < *gʷh₃-sk-, Lithuanian gúotas (herd) < *gʷeh₃-to-. Beekes and de Vaan state the circumflex in Greek βοῦς (boûs, cow) implies a hiatus from a lost intervocalic laryngeal. de Vaan states the inflection goes back to a proterodynamic u-stem, "as revealed by Skt. obl. gav- from *gʷh₃ew-". Beekes states that a proterodynamic inflection is expected, but doesn't explain Sanskrit gáuh or gā́m.

Kroonen states the Germanic languages point to two root variants in Proto-Germanic, an originally ablauting nom. *kōz, oblique *kū-, from nom. *gʷéh₃us, obl. *gʷh₃u-.

Could we verify whether the root in question is Proto-Indo-European *gʷeh₃u- or *gʷew-(*gʷṓws)?

Ringe 2006 gives the *gʷṓws reconstruction, and says it's an acrostatic noun. He also states that the oblique stem *gʷew- was replaced by *gʷow- in all descendants. Somehow I think that's a bit of a cop-out, because it conveniently explains away the lack of palatalisation in Indo-Iranian. An e-grade stem *gʷew- would palatalise to *jav- ~ *jo- in Sanskrit. So it's a bit like saying "We know it must have existed, because... well it just did. There's no evidence, but it did, promise!" —CodeCat 23:37, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, now that I've had a while to sit down and think it out, I'm not really sure how *gʷh₃u- would give Proto-Germanic oblique *kū-, it should give *ku-, while the instrumental is the only form that could have become *kū; unless the instrumental form was leveled throughout the oblique. Also, to have developed nominative *kōz, the accusative and vocative forms would have had to become *kǭ and *kō(u), yes? Anglom (talk) 05:35, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Proto-Slavic prepositions

Did the Proto-Slavic prepositions *jьz and *bez really end without a ъ? How do we know this? And how do we know that *nadъ, *otъ, *perdъ, and *podъ did? In (Cyrillic) OCS, for example, отъ (otŭ) was almost always written as the single character ѿ (otŭ), which is composed of an Cyrillic omega ѡ and a т, but no ъ (ŭ). So how do we know whether it was actually supposed to have one or not? --WikiTiki89 17:24, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Slavic words could not normally end in a consonant. But in the case of prepositions, the final consonant could be retained if it could be reanalysed as part of the next word. This is what happened with prepositions ending in -z or -s, but also in a few other cases. —CodeCat 17:30, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
But in some cases, there is still a vowel there. Also, you didn't answer the other part of the question. --WikiTiki89 17:34, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that if it was *ot, then the final consonant would have disappeared in the majority of cases just like it did with *o(b). But as far as I know there is no evidence anywhere of forms which lack the final -t. —CodeCat 17:38, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
It could have been an epenthetic vowel, just like the one that was added to *jьz and *bez. --WikiTiki89 17:47, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
But those prepositions had no final vowel. They simply kept the final consonant in almost all cases because Slavic always allowed initial clusters to be extended with s- or z-. —CodeCat 17:49, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
An epenthetic final vowel was added to them at some point (before words that started with an initial consonant cluster), as attested in every modern Slavic language as far as I know. I see no reason to believe that the epenthetic vowel was not added in the same period as the one added to *otъ, and I see no reason to believe that this period was later than Proto-Slavic. --WikiTiki89 17:54, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

  • When spoken all such prepositions formed a phonological unit together with the following word, so there were never actually any closed syllables. They never existed "on their own" with final -s or -z. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 13:01, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
    But neither did the ones ending in -d(ъ) or -t(ъ). --WikiTiki89 17:48, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Proto-Semitic *kabkab-

Looking at the descendants, I'm wondering, on what basis do we reconstruct *kabkab- rather than *kawkab-? It seems that the only language supporting the former is Ugaritic. --WikiTiki89 03:25, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Probably based on the fact that [b] may lenite to [w], but normally [w] may not become [b] in that position. --Z 21:02, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
It is kbkb in Phoenician as well ([1], #3082), and the former reconstruction fits well for Akkadian kakkab-.[2] --Z 21:25, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Another equally plausible explanation is that *kabkab- was a result of leveling to the qalqal- paradigm. It seems strange to me that the /b/ would have irregularly lenited in so many languages, but not in others, for example in Hebrew, but not in Phoenician, which were very closely related languages. --WikiTiki89 13:04, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


"Transliteration of Proto-Slavic *baba (grandmother), and Yaga, a probable diminutive of Jadwiga."


"雅加 Yǎjiā (Transliteration from Slavic Yaga, a probable diminutive of Jadwiga) + 婆婆 Pópo"


"From Slavic languages via Russian Баба-Яга (Bába-Jagá)"

RFV of the etymologies, which all have their own odd ways of putting things.

This obviously can't be a transliteration into Chinese from either "Proto-Slavic" or "Slavic", and I'm not sure what's meant by "Slavic languages". It looks to me like the most reasonable guess for how it got to East Asia would be some combination of either borrowing from English, which got it from Russian, or directly from Russian.

By the way- the translation table at Baba Yaga looks fairly well-rounded, until you notice that it's mostly redlinks, with the rest mostly linking to Baba Yaga (English and Portuguese sections), Baba Jaga (Polish), and Баба-Яга (Russian). Some of the redlinks point to interesting alternative forms in West and South Slavic, which supports the assertion that this goes back to Common Slavic and weakens the assertion that Yaga comes from Jadwiga (which seems to be a Germanic borrowing). The Wikipedia article has some interesting theories as well.

Thoughts? Chuck Entz (talk) 01:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I would say it's almost certainly a recent borrowing either from Russian or as an "international" term from an international language such as English/French/German or whatever. No other Slavic language had contact with the Far East. --WikiTiki89 13:10, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


I came across an interesting project: Etyfish. The authors are attempting to explain the etymology of fish taxa beyond merely the source of the words or morphemes, including the not-always-obvious rationale for the use of the words and morphemes, eg, affinis (used as a specific epithet) to what? I hope to be able to include these in our etymologies, with reference credit to them, of course. They don't seem to have thought that through yet. DCDuring TALK 21:33, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


Why is this not *dъlgъ? --WikiTiki89 17:47, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Well, it's дльгъ (dlĭgŭ) in OCS, forming a minimal pair with длъгъ (dlŭgŭ, debt). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
In East Slavic ьl = ъl as in TelT/TolT clusters, both yielding ol after jer vocalizations, if that's what's bothering you. See Shevelov p467. Developments of TьRT and TъRT in Lechitic are very complex and you can find them in the literature. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 19:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
That makes sense, just like *melko > moloko, but what about West Slavic and South Slavic (other than OCS)? --WikiTiki89 01:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
South Slavic merged the two yers in all environments at an early period, so they show the same reflexes in that group. I don't know about West Slavic but Ivan says the developments are complex. —CodeCat 07:28, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I thought only Serbo-Croatian did, not Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Slovene. --WikiTiki89 10:45, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Slovene certainly did. Now that I think about it, Bulgarian and Macedonian merged them only in some environments. One of those environments is next to l or r. —CodeCat 10:57, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
pes < *pьsъ, mah < *mъxъ. --WikiTiki89 11:12, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
But also dan < *dьnь. The /ə/ vs. /a/ difference is not determined by the type of yer, but on accentual differences in early Slovene, similar to the distinction between ę and ą in Polish. Usually /a/ develops when it's lengthened under stress by a variety of late Slavic accentual changes, and /ə/ develops in all other cases. In most words, a former /a/ has been levelled out in favour of /ə/ though. —CodeCat 11:19, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh ok. I guess I'm satisfied now. --WikiTiki89 11:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
While we're talking about these words, is there any particular reason Proto-Slavic *dъlgъ (debt) has to be a loanword from Germanic? Couldn't both *dъlgъ (debt) and *dulgaz come from *dʰl̥gʰ-, just as Proto-Celtic *dligo- (to owe, be entitled to) did? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:27, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable to me. --WikiTiki89 21:28, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem is accounting for the ъ. Normally -l̥- develops into -il- in Balto-Slavic, not -ul-. —CodeCat 21:34, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
From Terence R. Carlton, Introduction to the Phonological History of the Slavic Languages, (Slavica 1990) p. 95–96: "The resulting vowel [when syllabic sonorants become vowel + consonant sequences in PSl.] is always either ŭ or ĭ, but we are still unable to define the conditions under which ŭ as opposed to ĭ arose. It is simply not known why, for example, should give ŭr in some roots but ĭr in others, thus, tr̥g- > tŭrg- vs. tr̥p- > tĭrp- (torg vs. terpet’ in modern R[ussian]). Most likely, the conditioning factors were the nature (whether labial, dental, etc.) of the consonant both preceding and following the syllabic sonant." Now that was written 24 years ago; have things changed since then? Do we now know why tr̥g- > tъrg-, but that explanation doesn't apply to *dъlgъ? Or is *tъrgъ believed to be a loanword too? Otherwise, if there are several Slavic roots with ъr and ъl vocalism, I don't see any reason to assume *dъlgъ is borrowed rather than inherited. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Was *drugъ also an adjective in PS?

It seems almost all Slavic languages have an adjective descendant of this with the meaning "other" or "second". Perhaps this sense already existed in Proto-Slavic, in which case we should create it and split the descendants section accordingly. --WikiTiki89 15:13, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

It probably would have been. I wonder if the two senses could be related. —CodeCat 15:29, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
They definitely could be. I will split it out now. Do you think it had both senses "other" and "second" or just one of them? --WikiTiki89 15:31, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Probably both. I meant whether the "friend" sense is related to the "second/other" sense though. —CodeCat 15:33, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes I got that. I think they could be related (I can see a possible semantic connection), but I have no evidence as of yet. --WikiTiki89 15:40, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Proto-Slavic *mъnoju

Why is the first person singular instrumental pronoun *mъnoju, rather than *mъnojǫ? --WikiTiki89 14:40, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Probably a mistake. —CodeCat 15:12, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Excellent, fixed. --WikiTiki89 15:26, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

RFV of the etymology. Gdbf137 (talkcontribs) rewrote the character etymology in this edit. My dim recollection is that the previous etymology might be more correct, and this user's track record for correct edits isn't very good. Could someone more deeply intimate with Chinese etymologies have a look? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:00, 30 July 2014 (UTC)