Re: Germanic 'bear'

From: Tavi
Message: 68752
Date: 2012-03-04

--- In, "Brian M. Scott" <bm.brian@...> wrote:
> >> 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'.
> > 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).
> Not if it were a taboo replacement, 'the brown one'. Mind
> you, I prefer the derivation that makes it cognate with Gk.
> θήρ (the:r) and Lat. ferus, but that doesn't change the fact
> that such a replacement is possible.
The relative chronology of roots is extremely important, and I'm afraid most IE-ists have overlook this.

IMHO it's possible P-Germanic *b- could represent the older reflex of IE *gWh-/*g´hw- while *w- is found in more recent roots.