Re: [tied] Re: Indo-European for Indo-European

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 25504
Date: 2003-09-03

31-08-03 00:51, Juha Savolainen wrote:

> The name Finland (Swedish) /Finland, finne/ 'Finn' has never been used
> by the Finns themselves. The oldest record (Tacitus 98 A. D.: /fenni/)
> and the compound word structure of /Finland/ lead one to conclude that
> /finne/ must be considered a primary alternate for Finland. The stem
> /finne/ (< /findo/ 'Finder' < /*fenthan- ~ *fenthn-/) may originate from
> the same word as (Old High German) /fendo/, (Middle High German) /vende/
> 'pedestrian; wanderer' (/*fanthian-/), (Old High German) /fand_on/,
> (Anglo-Saxon) /fandian/ 'research; try, check', (Middle High German)
> /vanden/ 'visit', (Gothic) /finthan/, (Old High German) /finthan/ etc.,
> 'find, notice, get aware', etc. The original meaning suggested for
> /finne/ by Hultman as early as 1896 is 'wanderer', an explanation
> describing the way of life of the people (cf. (Livonian) /kalàmi'eD/
> 'Livonians; fishermen'). This meaning conforms with what Tacitus wrote
> about the /fenni/. Fishers, hunters and people with no permanent
> dwelling place may be appropriately described as 'wanderers'.

Hultman's etymology was the most popular one until recently. The most
serious problem with it is that the required intermediate form
*fenþ-n-a- (or Vernerian *fend-n-a-, both from PIE *penth2-) is proposed
entirely ad hoc. "Weak" agent nouns in *-an- are a productive Germanic
formation, so one wouldn't normally expect *fenþ-an- (or *fend-an-) to
be converted into an a-stem. In other words, Old English would have
*fi:þa (pl. *fi:þan) or *finda (pl. *findan) rather than the attested
forms, i.e. finn (pl. finnas). Martin Huld's new solution is elegant and
formally impeccable (apart from its entertaiment value); the proposed
pre-form *pes-no- 'man' is independently attested in Hittite. It also
strengthens the reconstruction *pesos 'penis' (stem *pes-es-; cf. Gk.
peos and OInd. pasas-). The word <finn> occurs as a Germanic name --
most notably that of Finn, king of the North Frisians. Some Finnish
scholars (e.g. Raimo Anttila) have accepted the new etymology
ethusiastically -- hah, who wouldn't?