Re: [tied] kuningas <-> knyaz

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8168
Date: 2001-07-30

There are additional problems. Just how native is Baltic -ing-? Isn't it (or at least aren't some instances of it) of (Proto-)Germanic origin? What about ethnonyms like <jótvingai> 'Jatvingians' < *ja:t(u)v-ing-, so strikingly similar to Germanic ones? We are dealing here with an old convergence area where linguistic traits have diffused for millennia (note the *-isk-/*-Isk-/*-is^k- isogloss). Proto-Germanic *-ing- and *-ung- seem to me to derive from pre-Germanic *-en-kó-/*-n-kó- (original nasal stems with a *-k- extension, cf. Latin iuven-i-s, iuven-c-a : Germanic *j(uw)ungaz), affected by both Grimm's and Verner's Laws. Once *-ing-(/*-ung-) became fully productive, it was added to lexical bases in structure-preserving mood (i.e., without distorting the form of the base), which is why the operation of Verner's Law is visible only within the suffix.
It seems impossible to tell accurately when *kuning- was borrowed into Slavic; any date between the earliest Germanic migrations and ca. AD 700 would perhaps be defensible. Germanic almost certainly had developed initial primary stress by the time the borrowing took place, but the Slavs did not imitate it except in the oldest layer of loanwords with heavy root syllables. Words like *kuningaz, with a light root syllable, were borrowed as mobile or oxytone stems even at an early date.
----- Original Message -----
From: Sergejus Tarasovas
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 9:54 AM
Subject: Re: [tied] kuningas <-> knyaz

--- 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 König < 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.