Re: [tied] Piotr and the Dacians:-)

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 15257
Date: 2002-09-07

Dear Alvin,
Pokorny does _not_ mention the river, and rightly so. Some hydronyms are so transparent that their etymology can be regarded as self-evident; others are simply too obscure to receive a convincing etymology. The river Bunë may or may not have something to do with the root in question, but the etymology is anything but compelling. It is not clear why a river should be called "Wohnung". Rivers can rise, grow, arise, etc., but so can almost anything in this universe. Root comparisons ("X contains *bHeu- and Y _may_ contain *bHeu-, so there's surely some sort of special relationship between them") are of little use unless you are able to reconstruct the derivations of X and Y in detail and infer something interesting from them.
There is one general point I'd like you to appreciate. The fact that you find Albanian and Illyrian words in the same entry in Pokorny's dictionary doesn't mean much in itself (beyond the trivial constatation that both languages are IE). The same entry will normally contain Germanic, Latin, Greek, Indo-Iranian, Celtic and other cognates: Pokorny tried to cover as many branches as possible for each item. In order to prove that Albanian and Illyrian are closely related it is not enough to list any number of cognates. You would also have to show that those cognates display some special innovations shared by Illyrian and Albanian and setting them apart from the rest of IE, or that the cognates themselves are lexical innovations unique to Illyrian and Albanian. Albanian is characterised a large number of unique developments, but as far as I can see Illyrian (or Messapic) does not show any evidence of them.
----- Original Message -----
From: mbikqyres
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 11:07 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Piotr and the Dacians:-)

--- In cybalist@......, Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@......>

> > [Alvin] Pokorny relates Illyrian Buni to modern Albanian terms
for dwelling like bunë or even buj or banoj. The river Buna/Bunë goes
from the lake of Shkodër to Adriatic sea.
> The river name is irrelevant. What connection has it got with
dwellings? as for the rest, if Illyrian Buni is a derivative of PIE
*bHuh2-, the root occurs almost everywhere in IE. You might just as
well compare Alb. burrë 'man' with the Germanic tribal name Buri.

> Piotr

The Illyrian words that we know are mostly those of toponyms and
those personal names of distinguish people.
I assumed that Pokorny while explaining the words derivating from the
PIE root bheu- (to be; to grow) was refering to the name of the river
Bunë (as in case of TOmaroj > Tomorr), when comparing Illyrian words
Buni and Boànnoj to Albanian bunë. (Messap. bÚrion)

The following paragraph is this:  
"alb. buj, bu^j (*bunj¡) `wohne, übernachte', burr, burrë (*buro-)
`Mann, Ehemann', banë `Wohnung, Aufenthalt, halb verfallenes Haus'
(*bhou¸onƒ: ai. bhavanam), banoj `wohne'; bun(ë) `Sennhütte'
(*bhunƒ); vielleicht auch botë `Erde, Boden, Welt, Leute' (*bhu¸ƒ-tƒ
oder *bhu¸Œ-tƒ)".

As a linguist, you should know better then me how a word which once
meant "to grow" could develope into words which have to do with
building and dwelling.

I also find a logical relation to Albanian word (me) buru/buroj/buron
`derive, spring, start, proceed, stem´. It would fit very well as a
name of a river which springs from a lake.