Re: [tied] Re: The Birds - etymology found

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 4468
Date: 2000-10-22

Ad 1. Greek ph, th, kh were pronounced [pH, tH, kH] in Classical times, but in Byzantine and later Greek they changed into fricatives [f, T, x]. [f] and [T] appear as [f] in Greek words borrowed into Russian (and East Slavic in general) at an early date, e.g. Afiny for Athe:nai [aTini], filosof for philosophos [filosofos], etc. Other languages (following Mediaeval Latin practice) also substitute [f] for Greek "ph" but typically use [t] or [T] for "th". Even Polish differs from Russian in this respect:
Russ. Fadiej : Pol. Tadeusz < Thaddeus,
Russ. Fiodor : Polish Teodor < Theodo:ros,
Russ. Fiby : Pol. Teby < The:bai.
In more recent loans, however, Russian also replaces "th" with [t], cf. matematika, teokratia, teoria.
Ad 2. The simplest etymology one could think of is an archaic participial adjective in *-mo- > from *sU-tratiti 'lose, expend', cf. OCSl vEdimU 'known, familiar' or Russian delimyj 'divisible', vidimyj 'visible'. Stratim would then mean 'one that can be lost'. But as I said this is just the most parsimonious etymology that would perhaps have to be abandoned if I knew more about Stratim and its attestation in Old Russian myth.
Ad 3. I absolutely agree. The Skt. root "gam" < *gWem- is PIE, and underlies such different forms as English come (Gothic quiman), Lithuanian gimti 'be born' and Greek baino. Strangely enough, it doesn't seem to occur in Slavic. I suspect some late Pontic Iranian derivative of Indo-Iranian *gam- was borrowed into E Slavic as Gamaiun.
----- Original Message -----
From: m_orelskaya@...
Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2000 10:41 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: The Birds - etymology found

1. There is a tendency in some modern Indian languages to substitute
the Sanskrit 'ph' with 'f', and vice versa the Persian/Arabic
borrowings with 'f' in the same languages can be pronounced
with 'ph'. Is there something like that regarding Slavic/Proto-
Slavic/Greek connections?
2. According to the enthusiasts of Russian neo-paganism, there are
also variants Strafil, Strahvil, Estarfil for Stratim, all of which
seem to be later and corrupt versions to me.
3. The word gamayun actually appears to be perfectly Sanskrit. Was
there root 'gam', 'ga' meaning 'to move' or the like in Proto-Slavic?
                                Marina Orelskaya

--- In, "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> Some of them are no doubt Greek names of "international" currency.
It's easy to see that "finist" or "grifon", for example, can't be
Slavic (with their f's that can't be derived from anything Proto-
Slavic). Stratim, however, looks 100% Slavic to me, while mogol (and
maybe nogai) might have been inspired by Mongolic or Turkic folklore
(though this is just an impressionistic guess). Gamayun sounds quite
enigmatic; I wonder if it isn't of Indo-Iranian origin. I'll try to
help, but it will take a little research.
> As far as I know, none of these birds occurs in West Slavic
folklore (except for obvious western borrowings like "gryf" < Latin
gryphus "griffin", the heraldic beast of the dukes of West Pomerania).
> Piotr
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: m_orelskaya@...
> To:
> Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2000 7:37 AM
> Subject: [tied] Re: The Birds - etymology found
> They are not the original characters of Slavic mythology then?
> All these birds are found in the old Russian literary
> source "Golubinaya kniga" and in the Slavic myths as reconstructed
> A.Asov. I am interested in the etymology of the names themselves.
> appears to me that while some of them are possibly corrupt Greek
> words (alkonost - halcyon, finist - phoenix etc.), the others could
> be of Slavic origin (stratim (which is also called nogai/nagai),
> mogol, gamayun). What would experts in the Slav languages say?
>              Regards,
>                Marina Orelskaya
> Dr Marina Orelskaya
> c/o Department of Sanskrit
> and Prakrit Languages,
> University of Pune,
> Pune 411007
> India