[cybalist] Ein' feste Burg

From: Gerry Reinhart-Waller
Message: 2029
Date: 2000-04-04

Mark, From your post below I am perplexed by the relationships of the
different language groups. You mention Germanic, Homeric, Armenian and
Tocharian. Then you mention PIE, Celtic, Russian, Avestran and Ossetic.
Finally you mention Armenian (Greek, Tocharian and possibly Italic).
Please tell me what I should determine from this listing?

There is likely a messy dupe of this, with raw html. Egroups has
downgraded their software.

What shows up in German as burg is interesting. German of course also
has berg, 'mountain'. EIEC , in two separate articles, by separate
authors cover the word EIEC renders as bergh.

Under the article "Fort", p. 210, Angela Della Volpe puts the Germanic
reflex together with Homeric purgos, Armenian burgn, suggesting
relationships with Tocharian words for 'hard' 'solid', and possible
connection with Latin fortus/fortis. Old Indic brmhati, 'fortifies' is
also cited. The main sense cited is 'height', 'fort'.

Douglas Q. Adams, in the article "Hill", p. 269, using the identical
transcription, flatly says this is PIE for 'high', 'hill', 'mountain'.
He cites where it shows up in the daughters. It's mountain in Germanic,
hill in Celtic. OCS bregu and Russian bereg: 'riverbank'. Avestan and
Ossetic use it for mountain or mountinous parts too.

Della Volpe ignores the mountain meaning, though both share the
identical semantic space of 'high place', and since mountains are safer
than plains when you are being invaded, the extension to 'safe high
place' and then to 'artificial high place' and then 'fort' is obvious.

Am I missing something? I think it's the same word.

In the case of Armenian and Greek, she notes the forms are unexpected.
Greek should be **parXos (and not purgos), while she says Armenian
should be **barjn (and not burgn). Some inter-IE borrowing seems to be
at work.

Della Volpe also mentions tantalizing parallels in non-IE languages,
Syriac burga, 'tower', and Urartian burgana- 'bulwark, fortress'.
Borrowings from IE? It's easier to posit a borrowing from IE in this
case that to have to explain how it shows up everywhere from Germanic
and Celtic to Tocharian (and possibly Italic) and by probable borrowing,
to Greek and Armenian. I think she or Adams would have mentioned an
Anatolian reflex if there was one.

Again. Am I missing something?



Gerald Reinhart
Independent Scholar
(650) 321-7378