Re: [tied] Let dogs have their day too

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 15968
Date: 2002-10-06

I'd exclude any close relatives of Ossetic, not only because in that part of Iranian there is a different word for 'dog' (*kuti- > Yaghnobi kut, Sogdian 'kwt, Ossetic kwydz; cf. also Hungarian kutya, which I suppose is a borrowing from northeastern Iranian), but also because of the special development of *sp in Ossetic (> *sf > fs) and *-aka- > -æg (the *k became voiced already in Middle Iranian times). If, on the other hand, the historically underlying form *spaka- had been borrowed directly into (Proto-)Slavic prior to those changes, the modern reflex would be *spok rather than <sobaka>.
The only solution that saves the Iranian etymology is, it seems, the assumption of a loan from Median or from an early Persian dialect (Herodotus reports Median spaka 'dog'), filtered through a language that did not permit initial /sp-/ and broke the cluster up with an epenthetic vowel (*s&baka). It would have reached East Slavic (but not the rest of Slavic) in the Middle Ages. I don't know what concrete intermediary could be proposed, but I wonder if Turkish köpek and related Turkic words (such as <köbäk>, cited by Sergei after Trubachev) didn't somehow branch off the same borrowing route (the inherited Turkic word for 'dog' is <it ~ yt>); unfortunately, I'm out of my depth in the field of Turkic etymology.
----- Original Message -----
From: george knysh
Sent: Sunday, October 06, 2002 12:25 AM
Subject: Re: [tied] Let dogs have their day too

> <piotr.gasiorowski@......>
> wrote:
> >>Russ. sobaka [also Ukr. sobaka and Bel. sabaka --
> S.T.](not a pan-
> Slavic word) is generally assumed to be a loan from
> Iranian, but it
> appears to be relatively modern (_not_ from Scythian
> or Sarmatian)
> and perhaps not _directly_ from Iranian.

******GK: How modern? Would you include the Alans
among the Sarmatians? If so "post-Sarmatian" might
mean "after ca. 1250" (when Alans were pushed out of
the steppes and foothills into the Caucasian interior
and became Ossetian)? If not directly from Iranian, I
wonder what might have been the intermediary? Some
Turkic dialect?******