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Thread: Pre-Proto-Germanic loanwords from Akkadian

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    Pre-Proto-Germanic loanwords from Akkadian



    For example look at the names of some animals:

    Proto-Germanic *sparwo "sparrow" from pre-Proto-Germanic sbaru from Akkadian ṣibāru "sparrow" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...72&language=id)

    Proto-Germanic *kida "kid, young goat" & *gaito "goat" from pre-Proto-Germanic gʰaido/gaidʰo from Akkadian gadû "young goat, goat's kid" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...34&language=id)

    Proto-Germanic *hwelpaz "whelp, young dog" from pre-Proto-Germanic *kʷelbos from Akkadian kʷalbo/kalbo "dog, young dog" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...35&language=id)

    Proto-Germanic *bulo "bull" from pre-Proto-Germanic bulo from Akkadian būlu "cattle" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...17&language=id)

    Or body parts:

    Proto-Germanic *butag "body" from pre-Proto-Germanic *budag from Akkadian būdu "body, shoulder (Arabic badan)" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...67&language=id)

    Proto-Germanic *kulla "head, skull" from pre-Proto-Germanic *gulla from Akkadian gullu/gulgullu "skull, head (Arabic qulla)" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...45&language=id)

    Proto-Germanic *augo "eye" from pre-Proto-Germanic *augʰo from Akkadian igû "eye" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...94&language=id)

    Proto-Germanic *auzon "ear" from pre-Proto-Germanic *auzon from Akkadian uznu "ear (Arabic uzon)" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...91&language=id)

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    Why Akkadian specifically? These seem generally Semitic.

    Eye and ear are Indo-European, so you'd need to go back a lot further for those (Nostratic or something). Bomhard reconstructs a Nostratic word based on whelp and k-l-b, which is far-fetched. There is a definite resemblance, but where did the labial come from? Kid/goat words are often suggested to be from some Neolithic substrate which could share terms with Semitic in one way or another.

    What are today's Germanic words that come from *kulla?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalophias
    Why Akkadian specifically? These seem generally Semitic.
    By Akkadian I actually mean an old Semitic language, of course I believe there were contacts between Germanic and east-Semitic people.

    Eye and ear are Indo-European, so you'd need to go back a lot further for those (Nostratic or something).
    Indo-European words for eye and ear seem to be similar to Germanic words but they don't follow Germanic sound shifts laws, for example proto-IE okʷ- "eye" should be changed to *ohʷ, not augo in proto-Germanic. I think it is better to say that the proto-Germanic words for eye and ear were under influence of Akkadian.

    Bomhard reconstructs a Nostratic word based on whelp and k-l-b, which is far-fetched. There is a definite resemblance, but where did the labial come from?
    Akkadian kalbu is from proto-Semitic kʷahil "dog" + with proto-Semitic -b suffix of young animals, compare to Aramaic taʿlā "fox" and ṯaʿlab "young fox".

    Kid/goat words are often suggested to be from some Neolithic substrate which could share terms with Semitic in one way or another.
    how?!

    What are today's Germanic words that come from *kulla?
    Old Norse koll-r "skull, head' (without hair)", Middle Low German koll, Old English coll, Middle Dutch colle, ..., the word skull with proto-Germanic s-mobile is also from the same origin, I believe Persian kalla "head, skull" is a loanword from proto-Germanic.

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    What are the regular sound correspondences you found there? PGM *kida and *gaito can hardly come from the very same Akkadian root, unless a very specific sound rule from pre-PGM to PGM explains it. Other issues are: why after all Akkadian /g/ becomes /g/ in some and aspirated /gh/ in other PGM roots you claim are Semitic borrowings; how /aw/ in auzon derived from /u/ in Akkadian uznu; the appearance of /w/ in*sparwo, since all the other supposed Akkadian cognates ending in /u/ are regularly corresponding to a PGM /o/ or even /az/, with no extra and apparently unexplainable /w/.

    Are all these phonetic changes from Akkadian to PGM also attested for other words, or are they just explained away ad hoc based on sheer sound similarity (which you can always find in abundance between two unrelated languages, especially if their phonotactics are not so different after all)?

    Also, where did you find the reconstruction *kwalbo- for Akkadian? The source you linked has just *kalbu, which would not originate a /hw/ in PGM.

    As for ear, it can be regularly, without any unusual change at all, derived from PIE *h2óws-, which would give *auz- and therefore *auzon easily in PGM. I see no reason to look for much less probable sources for this word specifically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs
    What are the regular sound correspondences you found there? PGM *kida and *gaito can hardly come from the very same Akkadian root, unless a very specific sound rule from pre-PGM to PGM explains it. Other issues are: why after all Akkadian /g/ becomes /g/ in some and aspirated /gh/ in other PGM roots you claim are Semitic borrowings; how /aw/ in auzon derived from /u/ in Akkadian uznu; the appearance of /w/ in*sparwo, since all the other supposed Akkadian cognates ending in /u/ are regularly corresponding to a PGM /o/ or even /az/, with no extra and apparently unexplainable /w/.

    Are all these phonetic changes from Akkadian to PGM also attested for other words, or are they just explained away ad hoc based on sheer sound similarity (which you can always find in abundance between two unrelated languages, especially if their phonotactics are not so different after all)?

    Also, where did you find the reconstruction *kwalbo- for Akkadian? The source you linked has just *kalbu, which would not originate a /hw/ in PGM.

    As for ear, it can be regularly, without any unusual change at all, derived from PIE *h2óws-, which would give *auz- and therefore *auzon easily in PGM. I see no reason to look for much less probable sources for this word specifically.
    What I posted are just a few examples from some thousands words which have been mentioned by linguists like German linguist Theo Vennemann, the fact is that both proto-Germanic and pre-Proto-Germanic words have been reconstructed and we don't know what the original ones were, the process of internal sound changes (sound laws) in an indo-European language certainly differs from sound changes in loanwords from other languages, there are some major phonological differences between Indo-European and Semitic languages and it is not clear how these phonemes were changed in loanwords.

    Old Akakdian didn't have voiced stops (b,d,g) but over time it had developed aspirated stops (bʰ,dʰ,gʰ) and then gradually voiced stops appeared, in early loanwords from Sumerian we see that voiced stops were changed to voiceless stops (p,t,k), for example Akkadian tuppu "(clay) tablet, document" is from Sumerian dub. (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%F0%92%81%BE), we see these changes in Germanic, Armenian, Hittite and Tocharian languages too, it can be said that these languages were also in the region of "devocing" in the west Asia, Akkadian, like Germanic and Iranian, was in the region of "Spirantization" too, look at this map that I created:


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    Hardly anyone buys into Vennemann's Atlantic substrate theory, though, so it seems like those thousands of words don't count for much.

    Germanic in Iraq is certainly novel.

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    Vennemann's Atlantic theory is widely discredited by mainstream historical linguistics, but in any case didn't it refer mainly to Celtic languages, and not to Germanic ones?

    I get the general phonetic trend you're alluding to, but according to you, if I understand your point well, it affected even Akkadian if you look at some of its Sumerian borrowings. However, what I'm talking is about things like irregular sound correspondences between Akkadian and PGM, like the very same /g/ of a root yielding both /gh/ and /k/ without any apparent explanation, *hwelpaz necessitating a *kwalbu root that doesn't in fact seem to have existed (as the Akkadian form is *kalbu and all other Semitic cognates also have just /k/, not labialized /kw/), or the very same final /u/ yielding totally different endings in PGM (/o/, /wo/, /az/, /on/), which in my opinion create a sort of lack of strict correspondence that weakens those parallels and make them look more like interesting but random similarities than actual cognates.

    Apart from the very regular and easily explainable PIE etymology of ear from *h2óws-, sparrow is also reconstructed as *sparwaz aside from *sparwó and it can be easily linked to the very similar names of birds in other PIE languages (even if ultimately from a non-IE source, but the fact is that the word has been in the IE language family possibly even since LPIE), with a reconstructed root *spéér-. IE words like Latin parra, Lithuanian spurglis, Tocharian spár, Celtic frao can be regularly derived from that root just like PGM *sparwaz/sparwó.

    It's possible that PGM simply did what is a very common phenomenon in the semantic evolution of languages, which is specifying a former generic meaning of a term (or then generalizing it). That's particularly frequent in the names of plants and animals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalophias View Post
    Hardly anyone buys into Vennemann's Atlantic substrate theory, though, so it seems like those thousands of words don't count for much.

    Germanic in Iraq is certainly novel.
    I also don't believe in Vennemann's theory but his linguistic works don't relate to his strange theory.
    Germanic is just an Indo-European language with some sound changes, all of these sound changes can be seen in Anatolian and Iranian languages, logically there should be a relation between them whether in Iraq or anywhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Vennemann's Atlantic theory is widely discredited by mainstream historical linguistics, but in any case didn't it refer mainly to Celtic languages, and not to Germanic ones?

    I get the general phonetic trend you're alluding to, but according to you, if I understand your point well, it affected even Akkadian if you look at some of its Sumerian borrowings. However, what I'm talking is about things like irregular sound correspondences between Akkadian and PGM, like the very same /g/ of a root yielding both /gh/ and /k/ without any apparent explanation, *hwelpaz necessitating a *kwalbu root that doesn't in fact seem to have existed (as the Akkadian form is *kalbu and all other Semitic cognates also have just /k/, not labialized /kw/), or the very same final /u/ yielding totally different endings in PGM (/o/, /wo/, /az/, /on/), which in my opinion create a sort of lack of strict correspondence that weakens those parallels and make them look more like interesting but random similarities than actual cognates.

    Apart from the very regular and easily explainable PIE etymology of ear from *h2óws-, sparrow is also reconstructed as *sparwaz aside from *sparwó and it can be easily linked to the very similar names of birds in other PIE languages (even if ultimately from a non-IE source, but the fact is that the word has been in the IE language family possibly even since LPIE), with a reconstructed root *spéér-. IE words like Latin parra, Lithuanian spurglis, Tocharian spár, Celtic frao can be regularly derived from that root just like PGM *sparwaz/sparwó.

    It's possible that PGM simply did what is a very common phenomenon in the semantic evolution of languages, which is specifying a former generic meaning of a term (or then generalizing it). That's particularly frequent in the names of plants and animals.
    As I said I don't believe in Vennemann's theories too, of course he himself rejected his Atlantic theory and replaced it with Carthaginian theory, anyway he believes they were a Semitic people who migrated to the Germanic lands and for this reason we see a large number of Semitic loanwords in Germanic.
    Anyway the important point is this large number of loanwords, if there were just a few words then it could be said that they are similar coincidentally but when we talk about thousands words it can't be coincidence.
    It should be also considered that some of these words could be actually loanwords from proto-Germanic into Akkadian, for example I believe Akkadian hablu "cable, rope" is from proto-Germanic *hablo (*hab- "to lift, heave" + la/lo instrumental suffix), compare to proto-Germanic skuflo "shovel".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    Proto-Germanic *kida "kid, young goat" & *gaito "goat" from pre-Proto-Germanic gʰaido/gaidʰo from Akkadian gadû "young goat, goat's kid" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...34&language=id)

    Proto-Germanic *hwelpaz "whelp, young dog" from pre-Proto-Germanic *kʷelbos from Akkadian kʷalbo/kalbo "dog, young dog" (http://www.assyrianlanguages.org/akk...35&language=id)
    Compare Persian Kodak=Kid, Kuchak=Tiny, younger.
    Proto-germanic *hwelpaz = Wolf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nornosh View Post
    Compare Persian Kodak=Kid, Kuchak=Tiny, younger.
    Proto-germanic *hwelpaz = Wolf.
    Persian kudak and kuchak relate kuta "short", it probably relates to proto-Germanic kutta "cut" and Semitic *kud "cut": http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/res...41&root=config (compare arabic qatt "to cut")

    English wolf relates to Persian worpa (gorba) which means "cat", the word cat is probably the source of Semitic qat "cat".

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    Persian kudak and kuchak relate kuta "short", it probably relates to proto-Germanic kutta "cut" and Semitic *kud "cut": http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/res...41&root=config (compare arabic qatt "to cut")
    The proto-Germanic word *kutjaną (or *kuttaną) meaning "to cut" is of an uncertain origin IIRC, and is probably related to proto-Germanic *kwetwą, meaning "meat" or "flesh". The Old Norse descendant of this word is *kytja or *kutta.

    English wolf relates to Persian worpa (gorba) which means "cat", the word cat is probably the source of Semitic qat "cat".
    Umm... no.

    English "wolf" descends from proto-Germanic *wulfaz, which in turn comes from PIE *wĺ̥kʷos. Cognates in other languages include: Lithuanian vilkas, Persian gorg, Russian volk, Albanian ujk, Tocharian B walkwe, Latin lupus, etc.

    English "cat" comes from proto-Germanic *kattuz. This word was originally thought to be a borrowed word from Latin (cattus) from Afroasiatic languages. There are suggestions by certain scholars that the word may be a native word to Germanic and was imported to Latin, Greek, Syriac and Arabic. Some suggest that the word may be a borrowed word from Uralic languages tracing back to the Proto-Uralic word *käďwä, however this isn't definitive and overall cognates of cat that appear to share the same root word are found far and wide and the word is a classic wanderwort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    The proto-Germanic word *kutjaną (or *kuttaną) meaning "to cut" is of an uncertain origin IIRC, and is probably related to proto-Germanic *kwetwą, meaning "meat" or "flesh". The Old Norse descendant of this word is *kytja or *kutta.
    Usually Germanic words which relate to Semitic words are said to be of uncertain origins.


    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    Umm... no.

    English "wolf" descends from proto-Germanic *wulfaz, which in turn comes from PIE *wĺ̥kʷos. Cognates in other languages include: Lithuanian vilkas, Persian gorg, Russian volk, Albanian ujk, Tocharian B walkwe, Latin lupus, etc.
    Umm.. no, Indo-European sound changes don't work in this way, linguists believe there are two different IE words:

    1. *welp "wolf, fox, wild cat" (English wolf and Persian gorba are from this root)
    2. *welk "wolf" (Persian gorg and Old Norse ülg-r are from this root)

    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    English "cat" comes from proto-Germanic *kattuz. This word was originally thought to be a borrowed word from Latin (cattus) from Afroasiatic languages. There are suggestions by certain scholars that the word may be a native word to Germanic and was imported to Latin, Greek, Syriac and Arabic. Some suggest that the word may be a borrowed word from Uralic languages tracing back to the Proto-Uralic word *käďwä, however this isn't definitive and overall cognates of cat that appear to share the same root word are found far and wide and the word is a classic wanderwort.
    And Germanic words which relate to Semitic words are also said to be wanderwort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    Usually Germanic words which relate to Semitic words are said to be of uncertain origins.
    What words relate to Semitic? No relevant scholar takes Vennemann seriously, and even if his theory was correct it would be Punic having an influence on proto-Germanic IN Northern Europe.


    Umm.. no, Indo-European sound changes don't work in this way, linguists believe there are two different IE words:

    1. *welp "wolf, fox, wild cat" (English wolf and Persian gorba are from this root)
    2. *welk "wolf" (Persian gorg and Old Norse ülg-r are from this root)
    One of these is literally for "she-wolf".

    Besides, proto-Germanic *wulgwī́, appears to be from *wl̥kʷ-íh₂, which in turn is from PIE, *wĺ̥kʷos. Related words such as proto-Germanic wulbi (descendant terms OE wylf, OHG wulpa) are ultimately derived from *wĺ̥kʷos. Anyway my point was that cat has a very separate etymology (*kattuz in PGmc) than that of wolf.

    And Germanic words which relate to Semitic words are also said to be wanderwort.
    Again, no one really backs Vennemann's theory these days and again, even if it was correct and held weight and was supported it would be Punic (Phoenician, Carthaginian) that was the influence on PGmc IN Northern Europe, this is far removed from your theory of PGmc in Iran (which again you have provided zero evidence for).

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    spruithean, I think you are the only one who doesn't see any evidence for Indo-European presence in Iran, in every thread in this forum you just want to deny it, whereas most of recent studies are talking about it.

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    Au contraire, you misunderstand me.

    You've repeatedly argued an Iranocentric view in which you've made extravagant claims with no backing evidence outside of orthographic similarities (Saxon, Saka, Germanii, Germani, etc)

    I don't deny an Indo-European presence in Iran, that is something that you are assuming I believe, I support current research and current hypotheses presented by relevant scholars, geneticists, etc. what I do not support is your quick (seemingly topical) approach to linguistics, genetics, history, archaeology, and other fields.

    Now, I'm open to discussion, and I welcome new hypotheses and theories but they need to hold up to scrutiny and they need to have actual convincing supporting evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    Au contraire, you misunderstand me.
    You've repeatedly argued an Iranocentric view in which you've made extravagant claims with no backing evidence outside of orthographic similarities (Saxon, Saka, Germanii, Germani, etc)
    I don't deny an Indo-European presence in Iran, that is something that you are assuming I believe, I support current research and current hypotheses presented by relevant scholars, geneticists, etc. what I do not support is your quick (seemingly topical) approach to linguistics, genetics, history, archaeology, and other fields.
    Now, I'm open to discussion, and I welcome new hypotheses and theories but they need to hold up to scrutiny and they need to have actual convincing supporting evidence.
    Talking about Iran as the original land of Indo-Europeans is not Iranocentric, there are some Iranian nationalists who believe that Iranian culture was the origin of all IE cultures but I never believe these things, the fact is that Iranian culture is the youngest IE culture in Iran.There is actually nothing that Iranians want to be proud of it, thousands years ago some IE people lived in this land and then migrated to other lands and one of the main reasons of their migrations was the invasions of Iranian-speaking people. Those who have preseved this ancient culture in other lands, should be proud of it.

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