Re: Beer, here!!!

From: x99lynx@...
Message: 15194
Date: 2002-09-06

>Also, how extensive is the "brew" word in IE languages? It appears that the
>word is also taken as being direct from *PIE to Germanic. In Greek, I see
><brusis>, bubbling up; <brutos, bruton>, "fermented beverage made from
>barley, beer"; cf., <brutea or brutia> "refuse of olives or grapes after
>pressing,... poma." But what is the Latin cognate and how is this
>development in Greek and Germanic explained?

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal replied:
<<Germanic b- cannot correspond with Greek b-. A Greek cognate is phrear
(Arm. aLbewr, aLbiwr) < *bhre(:)wr. A Latin cognate is ferveo "I boil" <

Let me try to explain the problems here.
Without questioning the efficacy of the comparative method, it simply doesn't
elucidate very much historically here.
-----Let's assume that there was once a group of speakers who used the
something like the thoroughly unpronounceable *bhrh1-un- to refer to
everything from wells, seas, burning and boiling vegetable matter to make
-----There is some archaeological evidence that "brewing" may even predate
the making of bread (I'll find the cites if anyone wants them.)
-----Did *PIE speakers have a specific word for that specific process - for
making gruel or malt out of vegetable matter? I would seem to have had some
daily importance to those folk.
-----How is it that word was lost, tranferred or confused to the point where
some IE languages use it for things that can only be connected by remote
analogy (sea, wells) and not specifically to what we understand as the unique
practice called brewing? Or was *PIE such an ambiguous and imprecise
language that one word could mean such divergent things? But still be quite
specific about such things as a horse?
-----Can IE studies (or historical linguistics for that matter) be satisfied
with by-passing such a glaring similarity as Greek <brusis>, <brutos> and OHG
<bru:wan> without comment? Is all there is to say here that they are not
related? Despite unrelatedness, the words appear to refer to the very same
specific process and not to wells or troubled seas -- a distinct advantage
with regard to something that must have had significant cultural and personal
importance to many, many generations of common speakers.
-----Isn't there some small need in this line of inquiry to cope with such
"exceptions" as much as to dismiss them?

Steve Long