Re: (was The reason for Caesar's ...) HORSA vs. EXWA

From: Tavi
Message: 68711
Date: 2012-03-02

--- In, "Joao S. Lopes" <josimo70@...> wrote:
> *xorsa- "horse" <*kers- "to run", so CGermanic can be explained
as "the running animal", maybe applied to some kind of new horse, faster than the original Germanic horses, *exwaz
> >
I'm afraid you've made two unwarranted assumptions. The first one is that the original meaning of *kors-
> > was 'to run' and not 'horse', and
the second one is that the original Germanic word for 'horse' was *exwa-z. > > IMHO none of them is correct.
> Proto-Germanic *exwaz has many IE cognates with the same meaning, so it's plausible that PIE was *ek^wos, while *xorsa- has many cognates, but none with the exact meaning of "horse" (cf. Latin currere, Celtic *carros). The relationship to Portuguese corço "roe deer" and corça "hind" (<*curtius, *curcius) sounds likely, but its relation to *kers- is obscure. Could we assume that *xorsa- was the wild horse and *exwa- the tamed one, or the opposite?
I think late IE *h1ek´w-o- 'horse' is a Caucasian loanword reflecting the domestication of the horse in the Pontic-Caspian steppes. However, pre-Germanic had already *kurs-, which originally must have designated the wild horse, hence its Vasco-Caucasian cognates (of course, I don't think the Spanish and Portuguese 'roe deer' comes from Latin).

It's also conceivable that *kurs- was lexicalized as an IE verb 'to run', giving the false impression this was the original meaning.