Re: [tied] The Vidivarii

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 14571
Date: 2002-08-26

If my interpretation of <Vidivarii> is correct, the name is territorial, approximately = 'wood-dwellers'. By the way, <Vidigoia> makes sense as *widu-gauja < *widu-gaujo:n- 'woodlander' (I'm positive about '-lander', at any rate, even if the first element should turn out be something else). The ethnonym <Terwingi> is based on Germanic *terwa- < *derwo-, meaning 'tar, pitch' in the historical languages, but its etymology (ultimately from the PIE 'wood/tree' root) suggests an earlier meaning like 'pinewood (and its products)', cf. Lith. derva`, which nicely combines both meanings.
Given the semantics of the suffix <-ing-> (usually 'descendants of ..'), <Tervingi> looks like a totemic name -- 'the Pinewood Tribe'. Slavic *-(j)an- forms territorial names ('inhabitants of ..'), so *derv-jan-e is possibly based on the collective *dervIje 'grove, wooded place' rather than *dervo 'tree' itself (they didn't live in trees like squirrels, did they?). I suppose the collective suffix could be ignored in such derivatives, though I can't think of a clear example.
To sum up, from the typological point of view *dervjane would be close to *widu-warija-, though etymologically *terw- and *derw- are reflexes of the same root.
----- Original Message -----
From: "george knysh" <gknysh@...>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2002 10:26 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] The Vidivarii

Thanks for the analysis Piotr. Would you say that, as to meaning, "Vidivarii", "Tervingi", "Pomezani" and "Drevlani" represent much the same thing, or are there subtle distinctions involved (linguistically, of course, since historically the differences are clear enough)?