Re: [tied] Danube and Dnieper in Baltic and Slavic

From: Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
Message: 11497
Date: 2001-11-26

On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 00:20:09 +0100, "Piotr Gasiorowski"
<gpiotr@...> wrote:

>The late Polish linguist Józef Reczek made the following observation (which I consider important). There are at least four Slavic words with the same kind of irregular development, and all of them have been suspected of Iranian origin: two ordinary lexemes, *sUto '100' and *xUte^ti/*xote^ti 'want', and two hydronyms, *dUne^prU 'Dnieper' and *dUne^strU 'Dniester'. The hypothetical Iranian prototypes are:
>(1) *satá
>(2) *hat-yá-ti (< *snt-je-), cf. Avestan root hant-, Slavic xo~tI 'willingness' from the corresponding Iranian noun (*hant-). This is Gol/a,b's (1977) analysis, different from earlier etymologies proposed by Meillet and Vaillant.

Aha, I had been wondering about <che,tnie>.

>(3 & 4) *da:nu- 'river; water (thus in Ossetic)' > Middle NE Iranian ("Sarmatian") *danu- (plus stress-bearing second elements, which were perhaps *is^ra- 'strong' and *afra- 'deep', respectively).
>Reczek speculates (rather plausibly, IMO) that pretonic *a in the Iranian dialect from which the Slavs borrowed these words was a reduced schwa-like vowel, and that the most natural Slavic substitute for it was *U.
>As for the Danube and *dunajI, I suppose Georgiev is basically right, though the details may require some clarification. Getic/Dacian *do:na(w)i- or the like (< *dah2-neu-jo-s) may have been adopted as *dunajI

Especially if the Getic/Dacian /o:/ was pronounced with some kind
off-glide ([o(:)u]), as /o:/ often is.

>and may have acquired a secondary common-noun meaning 'big river'. The existence of related Iranian terms already absorbed into Slavic hydronymy perhaps facilitated the process.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal