Re: Rom. TâTã (breast) (was: alb. gji (breast) - maybe PIE *sei-

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 25275
Date: 2003-08-24

--- In, "m_iacomi" <m_iacomi@...> wrote:
> --- In, "Richard Wordingham" wrote:
> > "TâTã" is mildly curious. It appears to be a loan from German
> > _Zitze_ 'udder', as does Italian _zizza_ (not in my dictionary).
> Italian "zizza" is supposed to be from a Longobard "*zizza".

OK, loans from Germanic then, including the unaffricated Romance

> > The German word is cognate with English (and Dutch)
_tit_ 'teat',
> > and Spanish, Provençal _teta_ and French _tette_. I can't
> > for the "â" of "TâTã".
> DEX and most authors relate it to a Latin "*tit[t]ia". Also to be
> noted Basque "titia", Estonian "tis", meaning 'female breast'.
> probably, the word was originally onomatopoeic [children language].

What does Latin *_tit(t)ia_ explain? If the "i" is short, that
would give Italian *_teza_ (whereas the standard language has
colloquial _tetta_, consistent with Latin *_tit(t)a_) and Romanian
*_teazã_, while long "i" would yield Italian *_tizza_ and Romanian
*_tzitã_. Still no "â"!

Basque "titia" does not appear to be a loan from Latin "*tit[t]ia"
either - see, for example, Miguel's account at

Can we rule out a German origin for Estonian "tis"? The vowel seems
a bit high for a lallwort, though there is Hebrew _?imm-_ 'mother'
(singular _?e:m_, plural _immo:t_, not showing predictable