Re: "As"

From: george knysh
Message: 50379
Date: 2007-10-20

--- Francesco Brighenti <frabrig@...> wrote:

> --- In, george knysh
> <gknysh@...> wrote:

> > Ushah ['Dawn'] was the Avestan Goddess of the
> Morning. I was
> > wondering if this "Osh" in the Sogdian name could
> be related to the
> > Alan ethnonym, which would then mean something
> like "(those) of
> > the east"...
> I wouldn't think so. The Alans' self-given ethnonym
> (one of two
> known ones) was A:s (with long /a/). I don't readily
> see how Sogdian
> <'ws^-> (Romanicized as "Osh") 'dawn' could have
> turned its /'w/
> phonemic segment into /a:/ in another Iranian
> language.

****GK: I wasn't actually thinking of Sogdian "w"
turning into "a:", but of the dialectal coexistence of
"As" and "Os" in different idioms (with identical
semantics). The Harmatta analyses you reference BTW
seem very skeptical as to the existence of uniform
"proto" languages, and quite partial towards multiple
dialecticisms in ancient times. Also: what is your
take that long "a" can transform itself into long "o"
in attested situations? Cf. the table at ****

You may have
> been led astray here by the existence of an ethnonym
> Os for the
> Ossetes of the Caucasus, which is, however, peculiar
> to Georgian
> only (where it alternates with the form Ovs). That's
> not the
> original tribal self-designation of the Alans.

****GK: Not in the mainstream literature at any rate.
But there are a few classical "Os-" mentions of
presumably Alanic tribes (in Pliny and Ptolemy).
Besides the Georgian deflection you cite (obviously
the ultimate source of our "Ossetes") I noticed that
the hydronimic nomenclature of East Ukraine has many
river names where "o" substitutes for the putative
Iranic "a", incl. the river Oskol in Poltava region.
I'm starting to develop doubts about the obligatory
"a" in the light of Harmatta's reflections. I'll
continue to be guided by scholarly consensus of

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