Re: [tied] Fjall, pilis, polis...

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7534
Date: 2001-06-10

Thank you, Tomas. What troubled me was the lengthened grade in <pylimas> -- a strictly Lithuanian innovation; now I understand, more or less, where it comes from. All right, it makes sense to match *pelh1- in the (sub)sense "pile up, fill with (earth, etc.)" with *polh1(-i)-, assuming an original meaning like "rampart, earthwork". Gk. ptolis remains puzzling, to be sure, but this may be an inner Greek problem (influence of <ptolemos>?).
I still maintain that *pelh2- (including Slavic *polje) is a different root, though if *polh1- _had_ survived in Slavic, a partial semantic overlap of homonymous roots would not be surprising. I wonder if Polish opole < *o(b)-pol-ije (an old administrative unit, grouping several villages) might not derive from hypothetical **pol(i)- 'town, fort' rather than *polje 'field. Semantically, it would fit very nicely, as *ob- means "around". The chief difficulty is that Slavic **pol(i)- is conjectural: it does not seem to be attested in placenames (other than Opole [= German Oppeln]) and the pan-Slavic term for "town" is *gordU. If we discover some support for **pol(i)-, we may yet come up with a brand-new etymology of Poland :)
----- Original Message -----
From: Tomas Baranauskas
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2001 8:08 AM
Subject: Re: [tied] Fjall, pilis, polis...

>>I don't know the etymology of <pylimas>, but it doesn't look as if it could be derived from *plh1- in any regular fashion.

The etymology is quite clear. Pylimas (rampart) is derived from the word pilti ("to pour, to strew") (pila - "he pours", pyle. - "he poured"; pylimas - pouring (process; the only difference between pylimas "rampart" and pylimas "pouring" is accent, which is on "y" (i:) in the first case, and on "i" in the second case). Thus it is derived from *plh1-, ad very likely <pilis> is too.