Re: [tied] People of the Rivers - Thought #3

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 5352
Date: 2001-01-07

Well, this is your private etymology, and the same objections apply here. The French examples you gave are not relevant to the matter in hand. Those with "porte-" are verb+noun compounds like English spendthrift or pickpocket (as opposed to hypothetical thrift-spender or pocket-picker). They are not endocentric -- that is, they don't meet the criterion X-Y "is-a" Y or X: a "porte-parole" is neither a "porte" nor a "parole"; nor is cheval-vapeur a horse or a cloud of steam. By contrast, river-people are people. "Le Roi-Soleil" (which you might thing of as the next counterexample) is a "dvandva" compound like Skt. pita:putrau 'father and son', where "X-Y" means BOTH an X and a Y. "Hôtel-Dieu" is not a real compound but a fossilised phrase like "the Hotel California" or "the River Thames" (in British English).
All you could argue is that your "river-people" word is also a lexicalised phrase: "people", but this is not how you originally reconstructed it. I'm sure you'll make the necessary adjustments immediately; however, this will remove only one of my objections. What about the remaining ones?
----- Original Message -----
From: Glen Gordon
Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2001 9:05 AM
Subject: [tied] People of the Rivers - Thought #3

I just realized that I have already uncovered another compound word in
IndoTyrrhenian that curiously follows the same opposite order of that in
English. For instance *k:al-axwa "female-in-law" consisting of *axwa
"brother" and *k:al-, presumably "woman". Strange, come to think of it.

Hmm... say, Piotr? What can you tell me about a language that does this sort
of compounding?