Re: [tied] kuningas <-> knyaz

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8177
Date: 2001-07-30

Ad [1]. I'd say that *-isk- is not so much a loan as an areal trait (though borrowed suffixes may also be nativised so thoroughly that it's hard to believe they are loans, cf. the English agent suffix -er and its Germanic cognates). Centuries and millennia of contact made Germanic and Slavic (and Baltic, by and large) converge in this respect, i.e. in making the same suffix (possibly inherited from PIE but originally of limited occurrence) extremely productive. Note its many characteristic parallel applications -- e.g. *X-isk- (X-ish, X-ski) = belonging to X (where X is an ethnic group). But that's a separate question. You have almost convinced me that -i`ng- looks native. The original acute accent might be due to Winter's Law (as if from pre-Baltic IE *-n-g-). But it doesn't seem to have any Slavic cognates, which wakes up the sceptic in me. Has anyone investigated its origin on a comparative basis?
Ad [2]. Absolutely fascinating. I wasn't aware of that story. Many thanks for the detailed reply.
----- Original Message -----
From: Sergejus Tarasovas
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 2:34 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] kuningas <-> knyaz

[1] As a Slav to a Slav am giving you a parallel: what would you answer to a question 'how native is Slavic *-Isk-?'. You'd probably answer that the formant is extremely productive in nearly all Slavic languages and doesn't show any specialization expectable for the loan. The same argument works for the Baltic -ing- as well. The formant is *extremely* productive both in Modern and Old Lithuanian, as well as in toponymy. *No* specialization is registered - it's used to form adj. from subst., the meaning is as general as 'having the quality of'. I don't give any examples - it would be of no relevance and would actually end up in copying here many thousands of words.

[2] There are *no* Baltic ethnonyms formed with the -ing- suffix. The example you gave is a classical chimera. Let me tell the story. In the beginning 20th c. Kazimieras Bu_ga analyzing *Russian* chronicles came across the ethnonym Jatv'agy (Acc. pl.) and supposed it reflexes unknown Baltic *ja:tvingas, coined a Lithuanian word <jo'tvingas> (nobody knows why not, for instance, <jotvi`ngas>), which was not accepted and changed to <jo'tvingis> (God only knows why) by Lithuanian-speaking community. The eminent linguist was wrong. All the registered Baltic languages don't know ethnonymic usage of the suffix -ing-. *Ja:tva: (or, after merely phonetic developement *-tvV- > *-tuvV- in some Baltic
dialects, *Ja:tuva:) looks like a normal hydronym (> toponym), a deadjective from *ja:tva: (f.) 'having the quality of running (forward)', eventually from PIE *ya:-t-u (gen. pass.) 'the same' < *ya:- 'go'. Normal (I am not aware of any exceptions for that model) ethnonym from *Ja:t(u)va: would be *ja:t(u)vi:s (cf., eg., *Le:it(u)va: > *le:it(u)vi:s > Old Lith. lietuvy~s > Lith. lietu`vis), which sould be rendered as *jat(U)vI in Old Russian. The most plausible explanation of the Old Russian -'ag- is that this formant (indeed of Germanic origin and only ethnonymic by its function in *Old Russian*) was added to give pejorative meaning (cf. Old Russian kUlb'agU, bur'agU, modelled after var'agU) - Jatvingians often (and successfully) made war against their neighbours East Slavs.