Re: [tied] Re: *sindhu-: A Proto-Indo-Aryan stem?

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8187
Date: 2001-07-31

There have been attempts to reconstruct a PIE *sindH-u-s 'river, stream', with such alleged cognates as the Celtic river-names Shin (in northern Scotland) and (improbably) Shannon, and even (also quite improbably) the name of the river San (formerly Sian) in Poland. Other proposals, more in keeping with the suggested meaning of *sindH-u- as "natural frontier, barrier", connect the root *seidH-/*sin(e)dH- with Germanic *si:d- as in Eng. side (OE si:d 'wide', si:de 'side'). Judging from Rigvedic usage, it would seem that the common noun sindhu- '(big) river' is the source of the name Sindhu- rather than the other way round, and the correspondence Indo-Aryan sindhu- : Iranian hindu- warrants the Proto-Indo-Iranian reconstruction *sindH-u-. But if the word is common Indo-Iranian, it can hardly be of substratal origin and an IE etymology becomes likely.
----- Original Message -----
From: S.Kalyanaraman
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 7:22 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: *sindhu-: A Proto-Indo-Aryan stem?

--- In cybalist@......, "S.Kalyanaraman" <kalyan97@......> wrote:
> Did there exist a proto-Aryan stem *sindhu- semant.=  an ocean
> frontier?> See URL:

Some additional thoughts.

Discussing nominal formations in -u-, Paul Thieme posits a present
stem *sinadh-/*sindh- as a starting point for sindhu-. He connects
this stem with the root sidh (usual present stem sedha-) 'to drive
off, ward off', thus arriving at a sindhu- 'he/she who wards
off,keeps away, that is, 'a natural frontier'.

This position finds a remarkable confirmation in the following
lexemes of Santali, Ho and Mund.a_ri: semant. streams: 1) ridge; 2)
ancient times: referring respectively to formation of boundaries and
to the possible memories of Munda presence in the boundary region.

sindir = n. a ridge; adj. ridgy, undulating; v. to leave a ridge
(ploughing); sindir te calakme = go along this ridge; bogeteko sindir
akata = they have left a good many ridges between the furrows
(Santali); sindri jan = the bakcbone (Mun.d.a_ri)

sida (Ho.Mun.d.a_ri); sedac (Santali) = Ancient, oldent imes; long
ago, a long time ago, formerly; Nui do sedacren hor. kanae =
this old man is a man of olden times (Santali.lex).

Is it plausible that 'sindir' was the substratum which rendered the
root sedha = keeping or driving away; and derivative, nis.edha =
prohibition (Skt.)