Re: [tied] kuningas <-> knyaz
From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Germanic *kuning-az was borrowed into
Proto-Slavic as *kUnIng-U (and into East Baltic as *kunig-as, with the second
nasal lost through dissimilation) at some point after Grimm's Law but before the
Slavic progressive palatalisation. After the progressive
palatalisation the word became *kUne~dzI (e~ = nasal [e]) 'duke, prince',
hence Russian kn'az', Czech kne^z, OCSl kUne~dzI, etc.
Polish shows some curious semantic
developments. The Modern Polish reflex of *kUne~dzI is <ksia,dz> 'priest,
especially a Roman Catholic one' (pronounced [ks'ondz], where s' = voiceless
alveopalatal fricative, a 13th-century dissimilatory substitute for an older
palatal nasal [n']). The word meant "prince" (in opposition to <król>
'king') in very early Polish, but by the 14th century it was used primarily
as a polite term of address applied to priests. The Proto-Slavic meaning
was "inherited" by the Polish derivative <ksia,z.e,> (pl.
<ksia,z.e,ta>, originally a neuter diminutive in *-nt-).
The family of Polish words based on
*kuning- includes also <ksie,z.yc>, now the standard word for "moon"
(replacing inherited <miesia,c>, which now means only "month", except in
archaic or lofty styles). This word derives from *kUnIng- plus
patronymic *-itj-, meaning "son of a prince", an epithet revealing (rather
vaguely) something about the role of the lunar deity in Slavic
mythology. Perhaps the young moon was regarded as the child of the previous
month's full moon.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2001 1:53 PM
Subject: [tied] kuningas <-> knyaz
Is there any connection between Germanic *kuningas
"king" (as borrowed into Finnish) and Russian (and Slavic) knyaz "prince" (where
ya < a nasal vowel). This would presuppose some Pre-Gmc. *kuníngas, I