Re: [tied] kuningas <-> knyaz

From: Sergejus Tarasovas
Message: 8165
Date: 2001-07-30

--- In cybalist@..., "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> Point taken. Still, the Old Prussian form is rather different from
the East Baltic one (and presumably represents an independent loan,
its form clearly indicating mediaeval German as the source).

Consider also Lith. dialectal (Samog.) ku`negas, which also
complicates matters.

> Since the borrowing of *kuningaz into Finnish and Proto-Slavic must
have occurred very early, an early cultural borrowing into East
Baltic is a priori likely as well and I wouldn't rule it out too
hastily. Note that the "prince" word, like other titles, is
particularly prone to phonetic simplification. In Germanic, the
suffix -ing- is also common and does not normally cause or undergo
dissimilation EXCEPT in this very word (German K├Ânig < kunig ~
chuning, English king < cyning, Norwegian konge < konungr).

Both versions has the right to exist. As a specialist, would you
comment on the accentuational characteristics of the Proto-Germanic
and mediaeval German words? Interestingly enough, the Slavic and
Baltic accents differ for that lexeme: Late Proto-Slavic *kUne,'Zi
(probably, an old accute sress on e,), but Lith. ku`nigas (an
oxytone, pl. kunigai~), Latv. ku`ngs (the Prussian form, according to
Maz^iulis, also had the first syllable stressed).
On the other hand, suffix -ing- is always stressed (historically,
acute-stressed) in Lithuanian (eg., pelni`ngas 'profitable'). I am
beginning to think that the following scenario is not impossible:
- Proto-Balts loan this word from Germanic languages (probably at the
beginning of our era) and place the stress on the as-if-native -ing-.
- Proto-Slavs obtain this word from Proto-Balts, rendering the Baltic
- after the German waves poured into Baltia in the 12th c., the word
was re-borrowed, overriding the older form.