On Sun, 24 Feb 2008 15:44:08 +0100, "fournet.arnaud"
>>isard = mountain goat, chamois
>This is a Pyrenean word (Cat. isard, Gasc. izar(t), Arag.
Also Béarn. sàrri. Other variants are Cat. ixarso (Benasc),
Arag. sisar, txizardo, xixardo, ixarzo.
>most likely connected with Basque izarr "star"
>(also "white spot on the forehead", "centro por donde parte
>I cannot see the point of a word meaning "star"
>when we have words that mean "goat".
>Un détour inutile.
And of course a word used only in languages around the
Pyrenees (Catalan, Gascon, Aragonese, Languédocien) and
meaning "mountain goat", is extremely likely to be connected
to a Middle Eastern word with with it shares almost nothing
phonetically (the Proto-Semitic is *¿in3-), rather than with
a Pyrinean word which is an exact phonological match.
What is clear is that isard comes from a Pyrinean substrate
word *izarr or perhaps *itzarr. The phonology is impeccable:
it is precisely in words of this origin that we find both
"i-mobile" (cf. isard ~ sàrri with (Lat) ibex ~ (Cast)
becerro "ibex/calf", (Lat) Ilerda ~ (Cat) Lleida "Lérida",
(Bsq/Iber) ibaika ~ (Cast) vega "valley") and the
alternation /rr/ ~ /rd/ (cf. isard ~ sàrri with (Cast)
izquierda ~ (Cat) esquerra, (Bsq) ezkerr "left", (Cast)
becerro ~ (Arag) bucardo "calf/ibex", (Cast) cerdo ~ (Bsq)
zerri "pig". What we don't have is a Basque word *izarr or
*itzarr meaning "chamois". This, as Coromines says, is
because Basque is today spoken in areas where there are
unlikely to be chamois present (the mountains are too low).
The usual Basque word for "chamois" is <sarrio>, a borrowing
Miguel Carrasquer Vidal