Re: Meaning of Aryan: "mountain people"?!

From: Patrick Ryan
Message: 52927
Date: 2008-02-13

----- Original Message -----
From: "Francesco Brighenti" <frabrig@...>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 7:21 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Meaning of Aryan: "mountain people"?!

--- In, "fournet.arnaud"
<fournet.arnaud@...> wrote:

> H2_r mountain
> hence mountain people : ar-yo-

What most "strikes me in the heart" is that such an etymology for
the term Arya has never been proposed by *any* scholar of the past.
So let me assess it more closely.

Gk. oros- 'mountain, height' < PIE *h3er-os, from the root *h3er-
'rise'. A further derivative of this PIE s-stem may be found in
Ved. r.s.-va 'elevated, high' < PIIr. *Hrs^ua-, probably from PIE
*h3rs-uo-. Compare Ved. ar- 'to put in motion, send, move (+acc.)
[act.]; to move, rise [med.]' < PIIr. *Har-, again from PIE *h3er-

Hitt. Verb ar-/er- `come (to), arrive (at)' belongs to the
morphologically parallel PIE root *h1er- `move, go'. From the same
root are derived Hitt. arai- ~ ariya- `rise, raise' and C.Luw. ari
(ya)- `raise' (or, rather, `arrive'?); the C.Luw. verbal noun ariyatt
(i) `elevation, mountain' is possibly a derivative of this verbal

If all this is correct, there is no PIE root "H2_r"
meaning `mountain' -- the laryngeal *h2 is excluded from all the
above reconstructions, as I have checked today (on etymological
dictionaries, books, databases and articles by Polomé & Winter,
Puhvel, Hart, Lubotsky etc.). There are, in case, either a root
*h3er- which ultimately produces Greek oros `mountain', and a
morphologically parallel root *h1er- which ultimately produces
Luwian ariyatt(i) `mountain'. These two words aren't actually
cognates. More importantly, there is no Anatolian word "ar" (vel
sim.) for mountain; therefore, no "ar-yo" with the meaning `mountain
people' (of the Taurus Mountains?!). And finally, which is even more
important as far as I am concerned, there is no Proto-Indo-Iranian
word *ar- (vel sim.) for `mountain', so that *arya -- the common
self-designation of both the Vedic Indians and the Iranians -- did
not mean `highlanders' (nor, let me mention it by passing, did it
mean `high people': cf. Ved. `elevated, high', having an s-
stem which is absent in PIIr. *arya).

I think it would be better to start again from Paul Thieme & Emile
Benveniste's ari `stranger', which was recognized long ago by
general consensus as the base of the Vedic term arya.

> I also consider that Hurrian people :
> whose cuneiform name can be read
> either *hur or *har are also from this root.

Since the meaning of the root hurr- (on which the Hurrians' auto-
ethnonym Hurri was based) seems to be unknown, and you want to turn
them too into "Aryans = Highlanders", you may be interested in
reading the following:
"I told you about 'Hurrian' = Aryan and the word Hur which means
Fire or Sun to this day is the same Hur or Hurri we also say from
Hurri-Mitanni's time... Hurrian is another way to say AR-MENIAN or
AR-YAN sons of AR (ARARICH -- CREATOR) the Sun God. Everyone in
Armenia knows this... And later they build the stronghold of Urartu
kingdom the same Hurrian-Aryan Armenians..."




Francesco, I have a little different idea here.

I do not think *a(:)r-ya- has anything to do with PIE *er- but rather is a
color adjectives meaning 'white', or probably better 'pale'. In some
neighborhoods, whites would been welcomed; in others, their whiteness would
have provoked a strong negative reaction.

The ethnonym Hurrian is, I think, related to PIE *o(:)ri-, 'sunrise, east,
golden'; and probably designates them as a Uralic/Nordic outlier.