Re: Germanic 'bear'

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 68736
Date: 2012-03-03

W dniu 2012-03-03 13:05, Tavi pisze:

> I link Germanic **bir-o:n *'bear' to Altaic **bì:re* 'female of a
> predator' (Tungusic **birin* id., Mongolian **ber-* 'young of wolf',
> Turkic **bö:rü* 'wolf') and ultimately to IE **g´hwe:r-* 'wild animal',
> with reduction of the initial labiovelar cluster.

It's *Ber-an-, actually, and it's derived from *g^Hwe(:)r- by many,
including Don Ringe (2006, _From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic_,
p. 106). He follows Seebold (1967) in claiming that word-initial *gWH
and (diphonemic) *g^Hw give Germanic *B "regularly". While the proposal
is not uncontroversial (being supported by a very small amount of data),
this etymology of Germanic 'bear' is at least more elegant than the mere
root equation between 'bear' and 'brown'.