Re: [tied] Dog names

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 4738
Date: 2000-11-15

>Is there any idea about the spread of the dog breeds around the world >and
>its etymological traits? The PIE k'won- has often been atributed >to a
>Nostratic qunja or kunja (or someting like that), with many >similar words
>in Asian languages like Chinese. For AustroThai is >pointed the word
>*wakl@... Other languages have onomatopoeic names >like "bau-bau",
>"wa-wa", etc. Semitic *kalbu is sometimes linked to >Germanic *Hwelpa-. The
>spread of the names of the dog can provide a >clue to explain the
>geographical spread?

Well! I just HAVE to respond to this one! :) I thought that the Chinese
version was derived from an IE language (Tocharian or something of that
ilk). At any rate, Bomhard reconstructs Nostratic *kHuwan- (*kH = aspirate
velar) on the basis of IE, AA and Illich-Svitych's previously reconstructed
*k.u"jnA "wolf, dog". I-S also used Uralic to support his reconstruction, in
turn supported by supposed forms like Lapp /ga^id'ne/, Mordvin/Udmurt
/kyjon/, Cheremis/Komi /kejin/, all meaning "wolf"... but I don't have a
good Lapp dictionary around and Bomhard even writes in his "Indo-European
and the Nostratic Hypothesis" the following: "I have been unable to verify
the existence of these forms on the basis of the works available to me."
Word. I hear ya, bro...

As for myself, I would prefer a Nostratic reconstruction of *ka-huni for
canines. There even appears to be *ka in isolation (Sumerian /ka/ "fox").
Thus Semitic *kalbu looks to me like a derivative of *ka. The Semitic term
is certainly not derived from Germanic - I think you mean vice versa :) I
would suspect something like Semitic *kalbu < Nostratic **ka-al[m/b]u? But
then, who knows what **al[m/b]u would be, or for that matter, what **huni
is... At any rate, the original Nostratic term, if we can properly
reconstruct one, would probably not have meant a "domestic dog" but rather a
wild canine like a wolf or fox. I don't think dogs were invented in 15,000
BCE :)

As for the rest of the world terms, it is more than likely a spicy melange
of late borrowings and coincidence. Hope that assisted you in a pleasing

- gLeN

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at