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

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 25279
Date: 2003-08-24

--- In, "alex" <alxmoeller@...> wrote:
> Richard Wordingham wrote:
> >
> > 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
> > *_teazã_, while long "i" would yield Italian *_tizza_ and
> > *_tzitã_. Still no "â"!
> It explains nothing. The word is reconstructed for explaining the
> "TâTã". Unfortunately in DEX there is no marque for shorth or
length of
> the Latin vowel, thus I canot tell you about what the people
> about as they tried to reconstruct the Latin word.( lat. > *titia)
> > Can we rule out a German origin for Estonian "tis"?

> In my Germ. Etym. Dict. the German word "Zize" is given with
> cognates:
> Armenian "tit" (Mutterbrust)

That looks too good to be true. Of course, it violates the root
constraints (you can't have two unaspirated voiced plosives in a
root), which weakens the case, and Pokorny doesn't seem to have it,
so there must be something wrong with it.

> Greek " titthe" (Brustwarze, Muterbrust)

There's a nice little family here: _títtHe:_ 'teat, nurse';
_tittHós_ 'teat', _tittHíon_ 'teat, nipple',
_tittHeía_ 'wetnursing'. -ttH- is 'affective' in Greek, so if it's
inherited it's been modified from its inherited form. Initial Greek
t- cannot be cognate with Germanic *t-. However, it would be a good
source for Proto-Romance *titta or *tittia. I don't see how we
could determine the length of the "i" in the Greek forms - neither
accentuation nor poetic meter will help.

However, perhaps we should guess that the "i" is short. The word
may well be related to Greek tithé:ne: 'nursing' (what's the XXI
century English translation?) from PIE *dHeih1 'suckle'

> It seems the Alb. and Rom. words are unknown and the Italian word
is too
> unknown. I mean, there is no reference about them; maybe they are
> considered as being loans from Germanic.

That's what my etymological dictionary (Onions) says for Italian and
Western Romance. It consistently ignores Romanian.

> In the Germanic languages the cognates are ( I guess ) well known:
> Dutch "tit", Old. Eng. "titt", Schwed. Mdl. " tiss, titt".

Middle Swedish "tiss" would explain Estonian "tis". What explains
Middle Swedish "tiss"? Onions doesn't mention Middle
Swedish "titt". Perhaps he dismissed it as a loan from Low German.

I suspect we have at least three very similar independent words
here - Armenian, Germanic and Greek, so I expect Marius will insist
that it's a lallwort. I guess I'd better not suggest Hebrew
_dad_ 'teat' as a cognate! (That does have a convincing form for a

> In Rom. Lang the word is used for everything wich presents
an "appendix"
> á la "tit of the cow". This appendix, this prolongation is
described as
> "TâTã" too. Can it be the word has something with the fact the
organ (
> by humans something later) has the prolongued form?

If you mean the application to both humans and cows, it's quite

> I don't know which is the protoslavic form for "heart" but in
Serbian I
> remember the word is "cârce" where "c"= "T"

Pokorny quotes the Serbian as _srce_. I'm not sure about the Proto-
Slavic; I'd say **sUrdIce, but would not be surprised to receive
some minor correction. There's also the simplex, *serda 'middle'.

I don't see any connection with the 'tit' words.