Re: [tied] Greek wanax and basileus: A final solution finally? :P

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7468
Date: 2001-06-04

They (i.e., the editors of the EIEC) assume that PIE *wn- >
Toch *n- (which is hard to verify, the cluster in question
being anything but frequent) and that Greek reflects a
differently syllabified variant (*wnatk- ~ *wnnatk- like
*dje:us ~ *di(j)e:us). I absolutely agree that a word like
this is either a mangled compound or a loan, certainly not a
root noun. When we discussed it for the first time, I
mentioned Anttila's suggestion that *wanakt- < *wn-h2ag^-t-,
supposedly meaning 'folk-leader'. The problem with it is
that *wen- 'folk' (extracted from derivatives like
*wen-eto-) is otherwise unattested as a root noun; otherwise
I'd regard Anttila's attempt as promising. There are many IE
compounds involving the root *h2ag^-, and some of them have
to do with political or military leadership (e.g. the
well-know Myceanaean term <ra-wa-ke-ta>, later <la:gete:s> <
*lah2wo-h2ag^eto- 'leader of [armed] people'). But it
remains likely that *wanakt- is a loan, and a parallel
search for its foreign (probably non-IE) source is a
worthwhile occupation.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Glen Gordon" <glengordon01@...>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 7:03 PM
Subject: [tied] Greek wanax and basileus: A final solution
finally? :P

> How is *w- attested in Tocharian? I see no *w- there.
Plus, what
> is this IE **wnatk- supposed to literally mean? I think
> 99.9% probable that if such a word existed in the IE
> it could never have been a very old term because of its
> (if not convoluted) form. So either it is a recent
compound, or
> it is a foreign word. If it is truely a compound of native
> elements, what does it mean? Personally, I see no meaning
in it
> just like I see no way of segmenting *septm into native
> (but then this is an obvious Semitoid loan). And yet
again, we
> come back to the only conclusion.
> Whether /wanax/ comes from IE or not is a lesser issue and
> changes the immediate source of the Hellenic term. It does
> change the likeliest ultimate source of the word - a
> language.