wanax: vN-h2eg'-t- ?

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 7499
Date: 2001-06-08

Dieter states:
>I find it very credible to suggest an indoeuropean origin of the >word,
>especially because it appears to be a sacral parallel to the worldly
>lawagetas *lah2wo-h2ag'-

Yes, it does _appear_ that way, doesn't it. However, you are being
misleading because the form is *laxwo-xag^eto- to be exact. You may notice
that it ends in *-to-. However, first of all, we do not find
a parallel **wn-xag^eto- and the latter stem clearly must end in
*-k(^)t- to explain /wanax/ (that is, without any trace of a
thematic vowel as in the first example). Second of all, the
etymology as you perceive it doesn't make much sense. Do you
truely believe that *wn-xag^-t-s, if we are to ignore possible grammatical
problems here for a moment, is to literally mean
"desire leader"? And perhaps I'm ignorant here but can we validly
coax a meaning of "provide" out of *xag^-? Lastly, even if we use "provide"
as a proper translation, how does "desire provider"
make any more sense?? How do we get "goods" out of *wen-?? Etc,
etc, etc.

At least with the above *laxwo-xag^etos, the literal meaning is
clear and well matched with the actual definition of the word.
Your etymology of /wanax/ seems rather far-fetched and strongly
problematic. A wanax was not a "merchant" and it was not a
"desire leader".

>Hajnal compares vedic 'vaNij' that already in RV ordinarily means
>'merchant' ('one who makes profit') [...]

Interesting. It reminds me of another word /asrj/ meaning "blood".
It's clear however that the IE word was *esxr without termination.
The -j suffix is an idiosyncratic part of Sanskrit word formation.
I suspect that we must strip away the -j suffix here as well to
arrive at the correct IE etymology, leaving us with little more
than a verb root *wen-. I don't see how one can convincingly
justify /vani-j/ as truely cognate with /wanax/. (And you still
have the problem of semantics and the theoretical IE non-thematic
stem to worry about because afaik *-xag^-t-s would refer more to
the action rather than the agent. That would make it "leading"
and not "leader", no?)

At least, my, and Ned's by default, Proto-Hattic *wunun-kWati
(later Hattic wurun-katti) via Tyrrhenian *wenakte (also the name
of a deity of war, and then death by association > *Wenatte >
Etruscan Vanth) means exactly as one would expect for a wanax and
it helps to explain /basileus/ at the same time (EtruscoLemnian
*GWate "Lord (Sun)" > Etruscan Catha, *gWate-lewe "lord of the

- gLeN

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