Re[2]: [tied] Sjælland

From: Brian M. Scott
Message: 65613
Date: 2010-01-09

At 12:22:49 PM on Saturday, January 9, 2010, Rick
McCallister wrote:

> From: Brian M. Scott <BMScott@...>

>> I recently had occasion to look into the etymology of the
>> Danish place-name in the subject line. In OWN it appears
>> in a number of forms; <Sjóland> and <Selund> seem to be
>> the most common, <Selund> apparently occurring earlier.
>> I've also run across mention of an ODan. <Siâland>.
>> Digging around on the net, I found this at
>> <http://sprogmuseet. dk/ordhistorier/ sj%C3%A6lland/>:

> The most generally accepted view of the origin of the
> name <Sjælland>, however, is that it has nothing to do
> with <sjæl> 'soul', <s(j)ø> 'sea', <land> 'land', or
> <lund> 'grove'. The ODan. form <Siâland> derives from a
> Common Gmc. form *<Selha+wundia- > that is composed of a
> word *<selha-> and a derivational ending *<wundia->
> 'that is provided with, that resembles'. The word
> *<selha-> can be either of two different words: (a) one
> that corresponds to and means the same as Danish <sæl>
> 'seal', and (b) one that means 'furrow, incision, cut,
> notch'.

>> It goes on to explain why (b) is generally preferred.

>> The idea is clear enough, but this does leave me with a
>> couple of questions about the details.

>> Secondly, *selha- 'seal' is no problem, but is there any
>> Gmc. evidence for *selha- 'furrow, cut'? OE has <sulh>
>> 'a furrow, a gully', but that appears to be zero-grade
>> (and athematic). Is this minor carelessness in a popular
>> presentation, or am I missing something?

> seal < sealh


> might fit if you accept that the name comes from "drag
> --i.e. leave a line or furrow behind"

That's why it's no problem. OE <seolh>, ON <selr>, and OHG
<selah>, all masculine a-stems, point to *selxa-
irrespective of whether it's from PIE *selk- or a borrowing
from Finnic. (Johan Schalin's (jouppe) Lexicon of Early
Indo-European Loanwords Preserved in Finnish has the
borrowing going the other way.)