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

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7836
Date: 2001-07-10

On second thoughts, Skt. ahi- is *h2ngWHi- rather than *h1eg^Hi- -- cf. Av. az^i (and the the phonetically repetitive poetic formula <ahann ahim> 'he killed the serpent', which may well go back to pre-Indic times). This reduces the evidence for *h1eg^Hi- 'viper'. The main witness is Greek, where <ekhis> may be idiosyncratic ("stinger"? -- cf. the "sea-urchin" and "hedgehog" words). I wonder if there is a real basis for reconstructing *h1eg^Hi- as a PIE "snake" word. Baltic, Slavic and Latin require only *h2(o)ngWH-i- for "snake" and its derivatives for "eel". Gk. ophis and Arm. iz^ are a little irregular but at any rate require a root in *-gWH-, not *-g^H-; <ophis> may be a compromise between the ablaut variants *aphi- and *omphi- (as you seem to suggest) or between *omphi- and ekhi-.
Sorry for these changes of opinion, but I'm just analysing the material as the discussion goes on; please treat the above as tentative thoughts to be verified later :)
----- Original Message -----
From: João S. Lopes Filho
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2001 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Re: PIE for "eel"

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- ?