mardi 8 novembre 2016

Discussion of Celtic Inis (Welsh Ynys) with Latin Insula, perhaps Greek Nesos

Original Lautstand (IF Really a Branching Out from a Proto-Language) - Alternative Hypothesis, Mainly a Monologue · Kephalé / Galva ? · Discussion of Celtic Inis (Welsh Ynys) with Latin Insula, perhaps Greek Nesos

Guto Rhys
YNYS - island

Late Corn -enys

OBret - inis

MidIr - inis

?cf. Lat īnsula

Any suggestions?

Other discussion
is here left out, though alluded to in the following.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Celtic : Inis / (lost vowel)nees(-os) / Latin form from in(i)s+ula, the latter being a diminutive ending.

To me, no, it is not Celtic which derives from Latin, but other way round.

This would however still limit the etymology to three contiguous branches : Celtic, Italic and Greek.

Btw, long first i in INSULA is automatic, always before N+S or M+F. (A Roman would pronounce Humphrey like a Frenchman, with a very long UM).

Alan G James
Celtic and Latin derive this word and a great deal else from a common ancestor.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Now THAT is a somewhat risky statement. In order for that to stand, how about showing a non-Celtic and non-Italic word related to these?

German "Insel" doesn't count, since a Latin word. A loan. The real German word for it is "Au" though that refers to land islands inland - like hills between valleys or perhaps rather pastures between forests.

Guto Rhys
How are these not ad hoc rules invented to support an assumption?

Where are the analogies?

+Hans-Georg Lundahl

How are these contiguous? When?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Italic and Celtic are supposed to have been contiguous about 1000BC, around Alps.

Some dialects of Greek had been there too (i e Doric).

Worst problem : loss of vowel at start of neesos - since Greek is not famous for loosing vowels (orego, erythros ....).

Apart from that, no real problems even on standard theories.

The long e in nesos becomes i in Celtic.

* inisos.

Loss of ending in Celtic reflexes thereof. Originally long i shortened.

Latin inisula > insula = perfectly regular, and the addition of a diminutive ending (ul) and chenge of ending in an anyway feminine (he nesos) noun, after diminutive, really pose no problems.

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl

Supposed by who?

What is the evidence for this assertion? Given that Lepontic is only attested some 400 years later than your date how can this be argued?

What is the evidence that Doric was spoken in the Alpine region c.1000 BCE?

Where are the references for members to investigate themselves?

You seem to imply that the Celtic word was adopted from Greek. How so?

Remember that PrClt /i:/ gives Brittonic /i:/ hence the Welsh word would be **ynis not the attested 'ynys'.

How is this shortening not an ad hoc rule?

+Hans-Georg Lundahl

Remember also that /-s-/ would not be preserved in Brittonic meaning that the protoform must be /-ss-/ or /-st-/.

+Hans-Georg Lundahl

I'm no specialist in Italic historical phonology but can you clarify why a long, stressed vowel would, in Latin, be syncopated:

*inīsula > insula

+Hans-Georg Lundahl

eDIL notes the protoform as (primarily) an ī-stem feminine.

This conflicts with your reconstructed 'inisos'.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
+Guto Rhys "Remember that PrClt /i:/ gives Brittonic /i:/ hence the Welsh word would be **ynis not the attested 'ynys'."

That is a point, supposing uniform soundlaws.

+Guto Rhys I am not supposing *inīsula > insula but *inisula > insula, second i already short.

Perhaps leaving Greek neesos out might be an idea?

"the protoform as (primarily) an ī-stem feminine. This conflicts with your reconstructed 'inisos'."

The -os is anyway only there because of the Greek hee neesos. Without Greek, *inisiis works just fine.

Here, however, one might argue either, only thing impossible is **inisaa, since that would have heightened the vowels.

[I meant lowered. Sorry.]

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl
If one is not following attested sound-changes then one is simply inventing ad hoc rules to suit one's hypotheses.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
The sound changes per se are not attested, unless the proto-language is, as for Latin. Sound correspondences are, and they are not totally reducible to the rules for sound changes.

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl
But that has not been proposed, for this reason.

[Unclear what he meant with "that".]

+Hans-Georg Lundahl


Established sound-changes.

[Established as opposed to directly attested, thank you!]

Hans-Georg Lundahl
With some probability established ones, yes.

[As opposed to with absolute certainty established ones.]

So, even though including neesos, as I suppose earlier (pre-Junggrammarian, or even pre-Grimmian) philologists did, would imply irregularity of sound change, which is possible one can be content with this:

  • inisiis > Inis, Ynys
  • inisiis + ula > insula.

That said, I'll not say excluding neesos is necessary.

As for questions about when Italic and Celtic were contiguous in Alps, see fact archaeologists and IE-anists consider Italics invaded Italy ... checking wiki:

"The first Italic tribes, the Latino-Falisci (or "Latino-Veneti", if the membership of the ancient Veneti is also accepted), entered Italy across the eastern Alpine passes into the plain of the Po River about 1200 BC. Later, they crossed the Apennine Mountains and eventually occupied the region of Latium, which included the area of Rome. Before 1000 BC, the Osco-Umbrians followed, which later divided into various groups and gradually moved to central and southern Italy."

As for fact of Dorics Greeks coming later than Mycenean ones ....

"Greek legend asserts that the Dorians took possession of the Peloponnesus in an event called the Return of the Heracleidae (Ancient Greek: Ἐπιστροφὴ τῶν Ἡρακλειδῶν). Classical scholars saw in the legend a possibly real event they termed the Dorian invasion. The meaning of the concept has changed several times, as historians, philologists and archaeologists used it in attempts to explain the cultural discontinuities expressed in the data of their fields. The pattern of arrival of Dorian culture on certain islands in the Mediterranean, such as Crete, is also not well understood. The Dorians colonised a number of sites on Crete such as Lato. Despite nearly 200 years of investigation, the historicity of a mass migration of Dorians into Greece has never been established, and the origin of the Dorians remains unknown. Some have linked them or their victims with the emergence of the equally mysterious Sea Peoples. The meaning of the phrase "Dorian invasion" as an explanation for the cultural break after the Mycenaean period has become to some degree amorphous. Investigations into it have served mainly to rule out various speculations, though the possibility of a real Dorian invasion remains open."

Thought that origin in Alps was more commonly held than it was then ...

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl
A good part of the sound changes discussed are attested - in the continuum between Lepontic (etc) to the well-attested Early Medieval languages.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
In this case you are using Lepontic as standin for pre- and proto-British?

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl
How do you account for the long initial vowel in Latin 'īnsula'?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
automatic before ns

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl
No. "etc" was noted so as not to have to note later-attested Celtic languages, the classification of which remains debated.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I meant "Lepontic etc" as standin for contemporary but to us inaccessible language state in Britain.

[I obviously meant what could be expressed by adding "or whereever ancestors of the Brits were living", which is why my first formulation was not "in Britain", but "in pre- or proto-British"]

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl
So what you are proposing is

*inis- > *inisula (suffixation)

In Classical Latin the stress would be on the antepenult:


Would such a syncope be regular?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I consider the syncopisation to have taken place before the antepenult rule and while the rule was (as in Czech and Scots Gaelic) initial accent.

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl We cannot prove that Celtic was spoken in Britain in 600 BCE. [See above.] But the issue of where it was spoken is not particularly relevant to this discussion. [Indeed.]

The issue is simply that Lepontic is the earliest attested Celtic language (Tartessian is debated) and that there is a continuum in attestation of Celtic (albeit patchy) until today.

+Hans-Georg Lundahl

When did the antepenultimate rule become operational in Latin and can you provide some scholarly resources for the members to investigate this further?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
+Guto Rhys that continuum is however jumping from branch to branch of Celtic.

As far as I know, no one proposes that Lepontic speakers later came to Wales bringing exactly Lepontic with them - unlike the situation in Romance linguistics.

The antepenultimate rule became operational so late that syncopisations and weakened vowels (quaero > inquiro!) happened before it, due to initial stress. This can be found in etymological remarks in Der kleine Stowasser, and probably in some other Latin lexica too.

Guto Rhys
So, to clarify.

*inis- > *inisula (suffixation) > *in'sula (syncope) > *i:nsula (lengthening i > i:/_ns (all positions).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Exactly so. [OK, i:nsula is attested, he should not have given it as asterisk form.] And for all vowels. We may pronounce "mensa" with a short e, but it is really with a long e, as can be seen from Spanish reflex mesa. V > V:/_ns, _nf

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl
The continuum is not relevant to this discussion.

quaero > inquiro isn't syncope. It's the raising of the vowel.

What is needed to put some meat on this argument are some good analogies and references.

'Probably some other Latin lexica' is insufficient. This group does require sources that members can verify.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I know that quaero > inquiro isn't syncope.

It is however not so much RAISING as WEAKENING of the vowel. In positions after initial vowel, short ones were syncopated, unless protected by a consonant group, long ones or such protected by consonant group were weakened.

i: for ae, oe corresponds to Welsh y for a lot of vowels = weakening.

Product of a short vowel weakened was uniformly i. Except when syncope occurred, or when weakening product was u (earlier and) before labials or e before r.

For the moment Stowasser is the lexicon that comes to mind, I cannot name the other one I had less long offhand, but can look it up to tomorrow.

Langenscheid [Der kleine Langenscheid!] I also had, but that is not the one, it doesn't give etymological info. The one I had is not on amazon, it would seem, but I'll look again.

I didn't have this one, but it would be ideal for the purpose:

Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch / Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch: Register (Indogermanische Bibliothek, 2. Reihe: Wörterbücher) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. Januar 1965
von Alois Walde (Autor), J B Hofmann (Autor), Elsbeth Berger (Redakteur)

Here is my longstanding companion:

Der Kleine Stowasser. Lateinisch-deutsches Schulwörterbuch Gebundene Ausgabe – 1971
von Josef Maria Stowasser (Autor), Michael Petschenig (Bearbeitung), Franz Skutsch (Einleitung)

The Antiquarian one I had at university is not on amazon, and I don't recall it.

If Menge-Güthling ALSO did a Latin one, that would be it, they were at least my Greek lexicon:

Menge-Güthling. Enzyklopädisches Wörterbuch der griechischen und deutschen Sprache. [Von Hermann Menge]. Teil 1: Griechisch-Deutsch unter Berücksichtigung der Etymologie von Prof. Dr. Hermann Menge. Gebundene Ausgabe – 1964

They did, but it seems Langenscheid bough them, this is not the package I had:

Langenscheidts Grosswörterbuch Lateinisch: Lateinisch-Deutsch, unter Berücksichtigung der Etymologie (Latein) Gebundene Ausgabe – 2001
von Hermann Menge (Autor), Otto Güthling (Autor)

This looks like the edition I had:

Menge-Güthling: Lateinisch-deutsches und deutsch-lateinisches Wörterbuch. [2 Bände]. Im ersten Bande mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Etymologie. Hand- und Schulausgabe. Gebundene Ausgabe – 1911
von Menge Hermann und Otto Güthling (Autor)

Oh, prime example of syncope after stressed first :

Herakles > Hercles > epenthetically > Hercules.

As Polluces from Polydeuces : y syncopated, eu weakened to u:, ld > ll.

[u: is actually reflex of all eu, ou, irrespective of weakening - it is however only in weakening feasible for au : claudo vs includo]

Both examples from p. 128 of Grammaire comparée du grec et du latin
Par O. Riemann,H. Goelzer,E. Jules

And nuper from *noviper, also given in Stowasser.

Are you satisfied syncope happened?

Guto Rhys
+Hans-Georg Lundahl

One can't use vowel raising as proxy for syncope. This misleads and confuses.

+Hans-Georg Lundahl
If you haven't read a book please don't post it.

A reference is there to help members.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
If references to syncope are there in those I have read, they are a fortiori there in the others.

I was NOT using "raising" or rather weakening as proxy for syncope, I was saying initial accent had BOTH effects. The books I gave back it up, and the fact some may not access Stowasser but another justifies linking to them too.

If you had read the comments, you would also have seen I had given more than one example of precisely SYNCOPE.

Ambiceps sounds familiar? No, it is anceps.

[Should normally have **asterisked **ambiceps, but that would have deprived him of the moment of hesitation.]

Guto Rhys
Remember that, as noted above, /-s-/ would not survive into Neo-Brittonic.

It would be necessary to postulate *iniss- or *inist-.

I only see examples of syncope being noted after being pressed.

+Hans-Georg Lundahl
I'm not sure what 'mēnsa' has to do with this.Hans-Georg Lundahl

+Hans-Georg Lundahl
The comments were read but the analogies would be better placed with the argument., as opposed to when pressed.

This helps members follow the argument.

+Hans-Georg Lundahl
Sound-laws are just that - they are uniform.

Not the same thing as sound-changes.

Exceptions cannot be ignored. They generally require the formulation of a more detailed law or recourse to other explanations such as analogy.

+Hans-Georg Lundahl
You HAVE to provide the sources for such comments.

As far as I'm aware there is still some debate regarding Venetic, but how confidently can such proposed migrations be dated to 1200 BCE?

Greek legends? They may be just that. But this still does not place Proto-Greek in the Alpine region.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"Sound-laws are just that - they are uniform."

False idea.

Syncope has been a tendency in Latin both before and after codification of Classical Latin.

per + rego > pergo, syncope rather than just weakening to **perrigo.

Nevertheless, calidus, calidum remain in Classical Latin, unsyncopated, and only syncopate to Caldo between Latin and Italian/French.

"I only see examples of syncope being noted after being pressed."

I was presuming the knowledge of Latin etymology which I am used to among latinists.

[And also, after the decades since I read it, took some time recalling the examples.]

"I'm not sure what 'mēnsa' has to do with this."

I am very sorry I did not take time to copy each of the comments I answered. The basic point is that long first i in insula is automatic due to ns, the sound law (in this case not just a tendency!) is however not restricted to i, it involves all vowels : V > V:/ _ns, _nf. And the most famous proof of this (at least I consider it the most famous) is that "mensa" gives "mesa" and not **miesa, that "mensem" gives "més" and "mois", not **miés or **mié(s).

"You HAVE to provide the sources for such comments."

When pressed - or challenged.

"As far as I'm aware there is still some debate regarding Venetic, but how confidently can such proposed migrations be dated to 1200 BCE?"

That is one point.

"Greek legends? They may be just that."

I have the utmost confidence in legends - next to Catholic Theology or The Bible. Since Invasion of Heraclids contradicts nothing in the Bible, I am very confident it happened.

"The comments were read but the analogies would be better placed with the argument., as opposed to when pressed."

True enough, it would be better.

I cannot guarantee to be always on my best, and I can guarantee NOT to be so, when - as yesterday - I am pressed to respond real time. Heckled on more than one point at once.

And since you had the wrong idea of what accent Latin started with (probably well before being written or before being more written than Law of Ten Tablets), a parallel to syncope could illustrate the accent. Caedo but inci:do. In main syllable ae never becomes i:. After the stress, always. Why then incido? Well, because the stress pattern IN-kae-doo does not leave cae- as main stressed syllable. With an original stress pattern in-KAE-doo, the syllable would have remained as cae.

Hence, one would have dealt with I-ni-su-laa (originally long a in nominative, but not in vocative), and not with i-NI-su-laa. Hence syncope is possible.

Actually, when going so far back, even more probably:

inis- +l- +aa = inisla.

I-ni-sla > IN-sla > insula. Last stage being epenthesis of -u-. Not sure exactly when ns triggered prolongation of previous vowel, but before Classic Latin, at any rate.

[Answering posthumously to discussion the point about -ss- : a) Greek also needs an original -ss- between vowels, and in neesos the following vowel of -os is attested; b) *iniss- +l- +aa gives exactly same result as *inis- +l- +aa - namely inisla. Indeed, one could argue that a simple -s- would have been -z- and have disappeared, confer "aala" (wing) from *aksla, diminutive "axilla" (armpit)]

Guto Rhys
I have messaged you privately.

Hans-Georg Lundahl

Or did you? I don't see no message?

Oh, you deleted answers too? BY me? Well, that is not the kind of group admin I like to be in the group of.

[He deleted "Noted", and "Or did you? etc" and then also the long one preceding "I have messaged you privately".]

More on nesos
This is posthumous to the actual discussion. I have now already left the group.

  • 1) νησος, like supposed necessary *iniss- really has geminated s, since Greek shares with Welsh the deletion of simple intervocalic s, unless maintained - Guto would insist "restored" - by analogy. It is really νησσος - though for the moment I lack the reference to back that up. A Classic Greek grammar including historic notes, from about anytime in 20th C and probably most of 19th C will inform of this rule, in the proper place about sound laws.

  • 2) Guto Rhys insisted that neesos, even if originally with a vowel (which is problematic, since Greek generally keeps vowels that other languages loose, I gave erythros, orego as analogies against my original point of Greek loosing a vowel), or even if further West supplemented by one - for instance from eni- - could not be etymon, since iniisos would have yielded Ynis, not Ynys, due to second i being long (we agree, I presume, that ee would have become ii in proto-Celtic or Common Celtic : Latin re:x vs Celtic ri:x).

    Here we need to ask : was there NO place among Celts where the ii could have been shortened, for instance due to initial accent? Do we know that all the way the ancestry of British branch has kept same accent system as Lepontic, so that we could guarantee neesos remaining with a long vowel and therefore giving Ynis rather than Ynys?

  • 3) Other problem with nesos, someone brought up that Doric form would have been νασος - this could however have been a backformation, if Doric had lost the word and reborrowed it from an Ionic dialect. Since the dialects already had a correspondence ματηρ / μητηρ the νησος could have been borrowed as νασος.

    Btw, my general theory of IE unity (as a Sprachbund) does not need fewer regular sound correspondences, but more of the ones we have regarded as backformations.

  • 4) A proposed solution for short second i in inis, as per necessity for a short one before Ynys. Note that this solution presupposes that original form was not with alpha, but with long e, even for Greek.

    • a) ne:ssos is felt as insufficiently precise, and for full islands one adds eni- like this : *eni-ne:ssos.
    • b) *enine:ssos regularly gives *enini:ssos and not surprisingly *inini:ssos.
    • c) from *inini:ssos you can go on to *inni:ssos by syncopation, to *ini:ssos by one haplology and to *inissos by another.
    • d) whether earlier Celtic form was *inissos or *inissi:s is immaterial to Ynys. Only **inissa: would have given **Enes instead, which we do not have.

      And *inisos or *inisi:s would have become *inijos or *iniji:s - unless the -s- were maintained by some analogy, not necessarily within language, but outside, as with Irish, where internal s is not lost. That said, the other languages too argue for a double -ss-.

Bearing on General IE Linguistics
It seems inis and insula have just perhaps nesos, certainly not Au/ö (Insel, ijssel, island are loans from Latin/French), certainly not ostrow as etyma outside Italic and Celtic. This means that we don't have a common IE one. As with PENN and CÉANN - head in Welsh and Irish - one can reconstruct proto-Celtic, but there is no common IE etymon. And quite a few more like that.

Lithuanian, Latvian sala

Polish wyspa

Russian остров, as Bulgarian, while Croatian has for Ostrvo the synonyms otoka (main word) and ada. Slovene has just otok.

Slovak has ostrov and a few more, two phrases rather than simple nouns. Czech, ostrov. Serbian острво and ада.

Armenian has կղզի, apparently pronounced kghzi

Farsi gives no pronunciation guide, apparently everyone is familiar with sound values of Arabic alphabet.

Hindi has द्वीप and shows dveep as pronunciation guide.

Finnish as saari, and it is closer to Lithuanian/Latvian sala than some IE words are.

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