Re: [tied] Re: PIE for "eel"

From: João S. Lopes Filho
Message: 7835
Date: 2001-07-10

I think these two words (perhaps related in a older origin) developped into *h2ongWHi- "snake" and h1eg^Hi- "venomous snake, viper". Or perhaps *h1eg^Hi- "hedgehog" contaminated first root.
The Greek ophis is curious. We must have something like aphis, amphis or omphis <*(o)ngWHi-, beside ekhis, ekhidna "viper", ekhinos "hedgehod" < *eg^Hi- . I think the element Amphi- in some anthroponyms could have the meaning "snake" instead of "both".
And Germanic has the enigmatic egi/dehsa (OHG) "lizard". egi < eg^Hi- ?
----- Original Message -----
From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2001 9:01 AM
Subject: Re: [tied] Re: PIE for "eel"

Some of these words may be cognate after all; in particular, the "snake" and "eel" words are not quite unrelatable. Lat. anguis : anguilla, Lith. angis : ungurys and Slavic *o~z^I : *o~gorI all point to *h(V)ngHW- as underlying both words (with "eel" being derived from "snake"). The quality of the laryngeal is uncertain, but something like *h2ongWH-i-/*h2ngWH-i- would probably do (also Gk. ophis and Arm. awj belong here). On the other hand, we have Skt. ahi-, Gk. ekhis and Arm. iz^ -- clearly an independent word, reconstructable as *h1eg^H-i-, with the same base being apparent in "hedgehog" words (*h1eg^H-jo-s, *h1eg^H-i-no-s, *h1eg^H-i-lo-s), perhaps because both vipers and hedgehogs "sting" (or because hedgehogs eat snakes?). The adjective meaning "narrow (plus a variety of derived meanings)" (Skt. aMhu-, OCS o~zUkU, Arm. anjuk) is *h2ang^H-u-, possibly converging semantically with the "snake" word in some branches, the folk-etymological rationale being that some snakes are "constrictors", or that they have narrow bodies, or whatever. Once there is formal similarity, arbitrary semantic connections are easy to establish.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2001 11:36 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: PIE for "eel"

> There has probably been semantic contamination in several branches between phonetically similar words meaning "snake", "eel" and "narrow, tight; strangle; anger; fear", hence their variable form.

But why are the "phonetically similar" in the first place? BTW I found this on a the usenet

  *ngalé              "eel"                     Hokan
I hope of course it's borrowed from Spanish.

Wouldn't a lot of phonetically and semantically similar, but historically unrelatable roots point to it (them?) being borrowed from outside? If not, what is the explanation for such inconvenient clusters?