Re: [tied] Re: a help for Piotr

From: Miguel Carrasquer
Message: 15002
Date: 2002-09-03

On Tue, 03 Sep 2002 15:31:10 +0200, George S t a n a <gs001ns@...> wrote:

>>Hitt. wappu- means "river bank" ("water" is Hitt. watar) and is not related to
>>the *h2a(:)p- root of Indo-Iranian or the *h2akW- root of Latin/Romanian.
>But, OTOH, couldn't it also be possible to explain the -p- in Romanian
>as < -p-, either assuming a "substrate" influence or even some Italic
>(dialectal) or Greek influence (e.g. (h)ippo leaps to the eye)? Let's
>also consider Romanian "patru" assumed as being a transformation
>of Lat. quattuor.; as well as "patrat/pãtrat" < quadrat--.
>If such a non-(Latium)-Latin influence is to be excluded, then on which

The criterion is what you might call Occam's razor. We don't _need_ substratal
or adstratal influence to explain Latin qu,gu > Romanain p,b. The development
is phonetically trivial, and has occurred _independently_ in P-Celtic,
Osco-Umbrian, Sardinian and (partially) Greek. Adding Romanian to that list is
not a problem at all. Since we don't know what the Daco-Thracian or Illyrian
was for "mare", "four" or "tongue/language", and we know these words were equa,
quattuor and lingua in Latin, what can possibly be gained by explaining Rom.
iapã, patru and limbã through substratal influences? That is "gnotum per
ignotium"... Greek can also be ruled out (hippe:, tessares, glo:ssa), as can
Osco-Umbrian, except for "mare" (pettiur/petora/petiro [with /e/], fangva).

As to the specific case of <patru>, I don't agree that kW- > p- is irregular in
this form, as is stated in Romanistic handbooks such as Bourciez's Éléments de
linguistique romane. The chapter on the Romanian evolution of <qu> and <gu> can
be summarized as follows:

Before <e>, the labial element was lost early on, and the resulting /k/ and /g/
palatalized (unlike what happened in Western Romance, where the labial element
was also lost, but palatalization did not occur): quaero > cer, *sanguem >
sânge. Before <a>, in _initial_ position, the labial element was also lost
(care, când, cât, ca < quale, quando, quantu, quam), also after s- (squama >
scamã). In medial position, the development is kw > p and gw > b (aqua > apã,
equa > iapã, lingua > limbã). "D'où il semble résulter que l'intiale du roum.
<patru> (quattuor) et pãresimi (quadragesima) dépend d'un fait de phonétique
syntaxique, l'évolution s'étant produite derrière d'autres mots étroitement
liés à ceux-là (cf. J. Ronjat, dans Rev. des L. Rom. LVI, p. 280)." ["From
which it seems to follow that the initial of Rom. <patru> (quattuor) and
pãresimi (quadragesima) depends on a fact of syntactic phonetics [sandhi], the
evolution having taken place after other words, closely linked to these ones"].

I don't think sandhi is an adequate explanation (there *is* a close tie between
numeral and counted word, but the counted word follows: patru cânii is the
normal order, not cânii patru). A better explanation is the following: if I
look in my Latin dictionary, I see that there are in fact only 5 clusters of
words with initial qua-: (1) the pronominal cluster (qua, qualis, quando,
quantu, quam, quasi); (2) the word Quadi [a Germanic tribe]; (3) qua:lus,
quasillus "basket"; (4) the "four" cluster (quadra(tus), quadri-, quadru-,
quart-, quattuor); (5) quasso, quatio "to shake". Presumably, in Romanian only
words of clusters (1) and (4) have survived. In this case, it makes more sense
to conclude that the normal evolution of Latin qu-/-qu- (initial *and* medial)
is /p/, and that skw- (squama) and the pronominal forms with initial qua- are
special cases (cf. the peculiar evolution of initial thorn to /D/ in English,
but only in the pronominal stems [this, that, there, etc.]).

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal