Re: [tied] Milk and a Gaulish Love Poem

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 14437
Date: 2002-08-21

<milk> (PGmc. *melk- ~ *meluk-) goes back to the root *h2melg^- 'to milk', with a reflex of the *h2 visible only in Greek (<amelgo:>); the full grade *(h2)melg^- is also found in Slavic *melz-ti 'to milk' and Lith. mélz^-ti, with the *g^ properly satemised, whereas Slavic *melko 'milk (n.)' is clearly a loan from Germanic, though why the Proto-Slavs should have borrowed it is a complete mystery to me. Lat. mulgeo contains the zero grade *(h2)mlg^-, which also underlies the Celtic mlig-/blig- words (Welsh blicht < *mlg^-tu-).
<llefrith> and OIr. lemnact 'sweet milk' share what seems to be the root *lem-; I have no idea what non-Celtic words might be cognate.
Lat. lact- and Gk. galakt-, both root nouns, resemble each other, and since both are mysterious, maybe it's one and the same mystery (*glakt-?). There's plenty of room for speculation here. There are some other 'milk' words but not what you might call a really common IE term for 'milk', which is a bit surprising. We can suspect an accidental attestation gap rather than hypothesise that the IEs kept cows but didn't milk them.
----- Original Message -----
From: guto rhys
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2002 2:14 PM
Subject: [tied] Milk and a Gaulish Love Poem

Could someone explain the 'milk', 'lact-' and 'llefrith/blith' (Welsh) root and its reflexes in other languages?