Re: Germanic 'bear'

From: Tavi
Message: 68741
Date: 2012-03-03

--- In, Piotr Gasiorowski <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> > 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
> p. 106). He follows Seebold (1967) in claiming that word-initial *gWH
> and (diphonemic) *g^Hw give Germanic *B "regularly". While the
> is not uncontroversial (being supported by a very small amount of
> this etymology of Germanic 'bear' is at least more elegant than the
> root equation between 'bear' and 'brown'.
IMHO this is nothing but a fairy tell (in any case, the color would be
derivated from the name of the animal and not the other way around). But
I'd like to make some remarks:

Contrarily to the traditional model, I don't think there were "voiced
aspirated" in PIE. From macro-comparative evidence, PIE series III
should be PLAIN VOICED. Similar considerations can be applied to Grimm's
Law, and so on. IMHO the stop system of Germanic actually reflects an
older stage than the one found in most IE languages, much in the line of
the glottalic theory.

Given the Altaic cognates, this root must be very ancient, as well as
the reduction of the initial labiovelar, which must predate the P-Altaic