[tied] Re: Baltic *gud3-

From: Sergejus Tarasovas
Message: 8073
Date: 2001-07-23

--- In cybalist@..., "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:

> The idea that gudas = *Gudas borrowed before Grimm's Law is ingenious. My only formal objection is that the Germanic ethnonym is attested as a nasal stem (which would have been pre-Gmc. *Gud-o:n- rather than *Gud-a-; the corresponding adjective is *Gud-isk-a-). If the one or the other were reflected in Baltic, your case would be stronger.

The most funny thing about the probable pre-Germanic forms is that their suffixes -o:n- and (especially) -isk- could well be percepted by the Proto-Balts as equivalents of the Baltic *-o:n- (variuios meanings) and *-iSk- (where /S/ probably [s'] < *k^) 'of some class; typically class = an ethnonym or a social class'. The last is extremely productive. Lith. gu`dis^kas means guess what? 'Belarusian (adj.)' and can both be evaluated as the Germanic reflex you asked for and as a result of the proper Baltic developement. The most likely scenario, IMO, is that *Gud-isk-a- was assimilated as *Gudis^kas, then re-analyzed as *Gud-is^k-as; a back-formation gave *Gudas.

Why Belarusians, you may ask? As Jordanes has it (De origine actibusque Getarum, 27),
'ubi uero magna populi numerositate crescente et iam pene quinto rege regnante post Berig Filimer, filiio Gadarigis, consilio sedit, ut exinde cum familiis Gothorum promoueret exercitus. qui aptissimas sedes locaquae dum quereret congrua, peruenit ad Scythiae terras, quae lingua corum Oium uocabantur: ubi delectatus magna ubertate regionum et excertitus mediaetate transposita pons dicitur, undeamnem traiecerat, inreparabiliter corruisse, nec ulterius iam cuidam licuit ire aut redire, nam is locus, ut fertur, tremulis paludibus uoragine circumiecta concluditur, quem utraque confusione natura reddidit inperuium. uerumtamen hodieque illic et uoces armentorum audiri et indicia hominum depraehendi commeantium attestationem,quamuis a longe audientium, credere licet.'

My (speculative, to some extent) scenario is like that:
from the territory of today's Poland the Goths hit the road towards the Black Sea. A part of them by some reason (I can't just buy Jordanes' broken bridge) didn't cross Pripyat' ('undeamnem... locus...tremulis paludibus voragine circumiecta concluditur'), overrided local Balts, but were assimilated by them later. This new subethnos was named *Gudai 'Goths' by their northern Baltic neighbors. When it was some centuries later absorbed by the Slavs, this subethnos retained it's 'Gothic' ethnonym, which then simply began to mean 'our southern neighbors'.
I must admit that I'm partly *Gudas myself, so there's a bit of tendency in that scenario ;)