Re: [tied] Accepted cognates of Arya?

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 12303
Date: 2002-02-07

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark DeFillo" <ategnatos@...>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2002 8:09 PM
Subject: [tied] Accepted cognates of Arya?

> After reading the several posts about possible and
discredited cognates of
> Indo-Iranian "Arya", several thoughts and questions come
to mind:
> 1) Is AngloSaxon "Ar" cognate to the synonymous German

It is, also to ON eir. They all come from *aiz-, the
Vernerian alternant of *ais-, as in Goth. aistan 'to
respect', cf. Lat. aestimo: (Old English a: < PGmc. ai).

> 2) Are there any good alternative theories about Old
Celtic "Arios", other
> than being cognate to "Arya", which some here have cast
doubt on?

Yes, a perfectly good alternative is *prh3jos 'fore(most) >
high in importance', which would have given Celtic *arios by
regular phonetic development.

> 3) Semantically at least, it would seem reasonable and
possibly simplest to
> derive the above, excluding the Germanic (given the
now-accepted derivation
> from a different root), words from PIE h1ar- "to fit",
since "fitting",
> "noble", "honorable", and (in Hindu jargon English)
"Aryan" are synonyms in
> current usage among people of IE cultures.

'Fitting' > 'good' is a trivial semantic figure, but "IE
cultures" is an overstatement. There is no good evidence for
IE-scale *arya-.

> 4) Is there any possibility that there is some sentiment
involved in trying
> to distance any European words from "Arya" due to the Nazi
abuse of the
> word? (Parallel to the demonization of the holy svastika
sign in the West,
> due again to Nazi abuse.)

It was the Nazis who hijacked what had once been a
legitimate scholarly idea (now disproved, but Schleicher's
linguistics was less sophisticated than ours, and his
intellectual style was Romantic). Political correctness has
nothing to do with it.

> 5) In any case, if it is assumed that these various
similar words with
> nearly-identical meanings are from different sources, it
is very interesting
> that the concept of "noble, honorable" would
coincidentally be represented
> by such similar but unrelated words. It is hardly the only
case of different
> IE languages developing similar-sounding words for the
same or similar
> concepts from entirely different roots. Has this
phenomenon been explored by
> anyone yet?

There are plenty of such phantom agreements, often quoted in
the literature as cautionary examples. E.g. Lat. deus, Gk.
theos. Languages have large vocabularies and quirks of
coincidence are more common that you might think. Talking of
chance similarities, the Greeks called one of the provinces
of the Persian empire Areia, but here for once the Aryans
are not involved. The Persian name was Haraiva (Av.
haroiiu-, modern Herat).