Re: [tied] Latin -ô / -ônis endings

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7286
Date: 2001-05-09

It's PIE *-o:n/*-(o)n- with the long vowel of the generalised analogically in the other cases. The generalisation of strong vocalism in Latin has ample precedent, e.g. nepo:s, nepo:tis (for *nepó:ts, nept-ós) or cruor, cruo:ris (for *kruh2o:s, *kruh2s-ós). Of course the sequence *-o:n may be of various origin (e.g. there are deverbal nouns in *-on-, *-won-, *-mon-). My personal view about the name-forming suffix *-o:n (also found in Greek, and extremely common in Germanic names, especially hipocoristically mutilated ones, like Otto, Rollo, Old English Horsa, Offa, etc.) is that it reflects PIE "singulative" *-h1on-, compounded with various elements denoting prominent features. To put it crudely, *X-h1o:n means 'an X-y one', e.g. *h2ju-h1o:n, *h2ju-h1n-ós (Skt. yuva:, yu:naH 'young man'; this example also shows why *-h1- is needed). Thus, the cognomen Nero: derives from *h2ner-h1o:n 'a manly one', Na:so: means 'big-nosed', Capito: 'having a large head', etc.
BTW, formations in *-h1on- could form further derivatives, in particular, they could be thematised e.g. in order to form adjectives in *-h1n-o-. This could explain some vexing problems, e.g. the vocalism and accent of the reflexes of the numeral "one" in Baltic and Slavic (Lithuanian víen-a-s, OCS [ed-]in-U), which suggest *oi-h1n-o- rather than *oi-no- (the presence of a laryngeal would make no difference in most other branches). I would speculate that the root *oi- 'single, alone' (cf. Iranian *ai-va- and Indic *ai-ka-) formed the compound *oi-h1on- 'a single one', and hence again *oi-h1n-o- 'one, single'. *-h1on- may be identical with the deictic element visible in Baltic/Slavic *an-a- 'that, yonder' < *h1on-o-, Sanskrit an-ya- 'other' < *h1on-jo-, and Germanic *anþara- < *h1on-tor-o- '(the) other'.
----- Original Message -----
From: Christopher Gwinn
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2001 8:11 PM
Subject: [tied] Latin -ô / -ônis endings

Does anyone know offhand the PIE etymology of the Latin -ô / -ônis (gen.) endings?

I am specifically interested in this because some Celtic names are Latinized with this ending and I am trying to figure out what the original Celtic form was and whether or not there was a close Celtic parallel to Latin -ô / -ônis.

- Chris Gwinn