Re: fungus = mushroom

From: Tavi
Message: 69043
Date: 2012-03-20

--- In, Octavià Alexandre <oalexandre@...> wrote:
> > Not really, because this isn't IE at all, although it could be
> > remotedly linked to an IE root. For example, in Greek itself we've got
> > mýke:s `mushroom', possibly linked to Latin mu:cor `mould' (but
> > possibly not mu:c(c)us), as well as Germanic *mu:gV, *mugg-o:n,
> > *mug-l-io:n `mould' and Baltic *muk-l- `wet, soak', the latter with a
> > semantic shift.
> This root could be reconstructed as *meuk- ~ *mu:k- `mould'. Notice that IE
> etymological dictionaries give different Greek cognates: mykté:r `nostrils,
> nose', mýssomai `to blow one's nose', which IMHO don't belong here but to a
> different root (see below). Definitively, mushrooms aren't exactly the kind
> of things one would expect to find in noses.
Neither in Swadesh lists, I'm afraid. There're several 'mushroom' words in IE languages, and most of them appear to be Wanderwörter. That is, the more fixed is semantics, the more likely we're dealing with a Wanderwort.

Apart from the fore mentioned, the only genuine IE word for 'mushroom' is *g´ombh-o- 'swelling', which has this meaning in Slavic, but 'swelling' in Baltic and 'buttocks' in Germanic.  External cognates can be found in:

Altaic *kHómp[e] 'fungus'
Uralic *kómpV 'mushroom'
Afrasian *k/ganpVr- 'lip, muzzle'
NEC *tK'a:npV 'lip'

That is, the original meaning must have been 'soft excrescence', hence 'lip' and 'mushroom'. Interestingly, the Vasco-Caucasian root was borrowed into Semitic *Ka(n)p-(at-) 'lip', one of whose reflexes (e.g. Aramaic *septa:) gave Spanish seta 'mushroom' and jeta (old xeta) 'muzzle'.

> This way, NEC *sX\w@...'k'V (~ -?\-) `mushroom, tinder' would be a fossilized
> compound whose second member is *mVk'k'V, which I relate to the fore
> mentioned IE *meuk- ~ *mu:k-. And with a bit of speculation, I'd link the
> first member to these roots:
I guess initial *s- could have arisen from satemization of the initial consonant in the previous root, with *X\w perhaps reflecting the labial stop. However, this is only a speculation based on the available data.

We've got then 3 word groups:

NEC *sX\w@...'k'V (~ -?\-) 'mushroom, tinder'
Kartvelian *sok'o- 'mushroom'
Greek sphóngos 'sponge'
Armenian sunk(n), sung(n) 'tree-fungus'
Latin fungus 'fungus, mushroom'

Sanskrit páñka- `mud, mire, dirt'
Gothic *fanga- 'mud'
Germanic *funx-t(i)a 'wet, moist'
Uralic *paNka- 'mushroom; sponge; mildew'
Altaic *pHoNe ( ~ -i) 'mildew, slime'

Dravidian *baNk- 'gum, resin'
Burushaski *baN 'gum, resin'
NEC *bX\ink'k'wV 'pine tree'
IE *pik- 'pitch'
Basque (Baztanese) muki 'gum, resin (of trees)'

Group (2) could be linked to (1) if we consider the initial labial to be a reflex of the cluster *sX\w. Group (3) is phonetically similar to (2) but it would involve a semantic shift.