Re: Odp: [cybalist] Ein' feste Burg

From: Tommy Tyrberg
Message: 2040
Date: 2000-04-04

At 16:10 2000-04-04 +0200, you wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- From: Mark Odegard To:
> Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2000 3:30 AM Subject:
>[cybalist] Ein' feste Burg

I remember seeing a suggestion that Pyrgos (from IE *bhrgh-, germanic
berg/burg) is a loan from some non-greek Balkan IE language (thracian?)
together with the river-name Strymon, supposedle derived from IE *sreu-
(greek rheo- , germanic straum).

> Mark, You're right. It would be perverse to insist that the two
>words represent different roots. The common range of meaning has been
>reconstructed as 'hill, height, hill-fort' -- so often quoted in the
>literature that it's become one of those things 'all the world knows'. I
>think it's the authors of the entries who are missing something. There
>are, for example, forms like Armenian barjr 'high' (with impeccable
>vocalism), and nice Hittite reflexes: parku-< *bH@...) plus the nouns
>pargatar, parkuwatar, parkessar 'height'. Why neither of the authors
>mentions them is a mystery to me. There are also interesting occurrences
>of centum berg- and satem birz- in the ancient toponymy of the Balkan
>region. Slavic *bergU is certainly a member of this word family, but
>looks loanwordish (Germanic?) with its non-satemised g. Della Volpe's
>Homeric example is hopeless -- **parkHos differs from purgos on two very
> problematic counts, and what's worse, if the second stop is not
>aspirated, why did the first undergo Grassmann's Law? (So it's really
>three counts.) The connection with Latin fortus the Latin and Greek
>"cognates" should be disqualified and the Slavic one parenthesised as a
>possible loanword. What remains is strong enough, like a hill-fort.
> Mark writes: 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-
>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?