Re: [tied] Re: IRMIN

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 13652
Date: 2002-05-07

It's a bit presumptuous to dismiss first-hand evidence and claim that the OE speakers who translated a word from their own native language into Latin did so incorrectly -- not because you have overwhelming evidence to support such a claim, but just because in order to stick to your pet fantasy you'd prefer a different meaning. <geond/ofer yrmenne grund> means 'across/over the wide world' (OE <grund> meant 'earth, world' in addition to 'ground'). The meaning of <eormen/yrmen/iurmen> is just that -- 'wide, vast', hence 'great, enormous, worldwide'. It may in fact be a derivative of the root *er-, as in the Germanic 'earth' word (*er-þo:, *er-þo:n-, also OHG ero without the *-þ-), though it's hard to prove anything about such a short root. As the Latin glosses and collocations show, <eormen> referred primarily to size (also in terms of numbers) or extent rather than strength or power. 'The great Dur tribe' surely does make some sense, doesn't it? As does "Herminones", meaning the same as e.g. Slavic "Veleti". I daresay it makes more sense than the Iranian connection.
I know quite a few compounds with <eormen> or other reflexes of *ermVna- in several Germanic languages where the second element begins with a fricative: OS irminsu:l, OHG irmansuint, OE eormenþe:od = OS irminthiod = OHD irmandiot (here <d> is from the HG shift, not Vernerian), names like Hermenfred (Ermenfrith), who, incidentally, was a king of the Thuringians. There isn't a single instance of Vernerian voicing, nor should one expect such a thing in a compound, since Verner's Law never affects the first consonant of a root. Finally, for your derivation to make any sense at all, this *erman-i tu:r thing (BTW, *erman-i with its vowels and izafet construction looks distinctly Middle Persian rather than steppe Iranian) would have had to be borrowed into pre-Proto-Germanic. How's that possible if, according to your own timeline, the folk in question said goodbye to the Sea of Azov ca. 100 BC and reached Thuringia ca. 60 BC?
----- Original Message -----
From: tgpedersen
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 12:53 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: IRMIN

> >Torsten:
> > > 60BCE They set up camp in Thuringia as *erman-e-tu:r >
> > (in my best Tauric, assuming this was an Iranic language) "Tu:r
> followers", which name, translated into Germanic, becomes <Tu:r-ing-
> --- In cybalist@......, "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@......> wrote:
> > And this *-tu:r- part appears as <-duri> (short <u>), <-doroi> in
> ancient sources. Some kind of folk etymology, I presume.
> >
> > Piotr
> You got me intrigued there. Folk etymology from what to what?
> Torsten

--- In cybalist@..., "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> Now let's be serious. Spellings like <hermunduri>, <hermondoroi>
point to Germanic *ermVn(a)-duro:z, the latter element, *dura-,
certainly with <d> and a short vowel, whatever it means.
> BTW, *ermVn- is not just a vague compound element whose meaning is
deduced from the context. It occurs in Old English as an unbound,
independently inflected adjective, in phrases like <ofer/geond
yrmenne grund> (<yrmen> is a spelling variant of <eormen> and -ne is
the ending), and <eormen-> is on several occasions glossed in
Latin, always as "immensus" or "permagnus".
> Piotr

What is a spelling variant? Is it a kind of folk etymology? ;-)

Yes, let's.

Iranic <érman-?-tú:r> ->
Pre-Proto-Germanic <érmVn-tú:r> ->
stop shift <érmVn-Tú:r> ->
stress shift <érmVn-Tu:r> ->
shortening of unstressed vowel <érmVn-Tur> ->
Verner <érmunDur>
written (H)ermundur-

cf. the participle ending PIE -nt- > Germanic -nd-.

<eormen-> etc cannot be directly applied here. "The mighty Durs"
makes no sense. Nor, for that matter, Hermino(n)es "the Mighties". I
suspect those who glossed it in Latin have themselves deduced its
meaning from context, a meaning which had shifted since its first
occurrence in Germanic. Does your quote mean "over mighty ground"?