Re: Sobaka and Iranian

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 16045
Date: 2002-10-08

Loans change too, once they enter the vocabulary of the receptor
language. The fact that Herodotus was aware of <spaka-> does indeed
suggest that the Median word had some currency as a "trade name" in
the ancient world. The problem is that <sobaka> can't be very old in
Russian; I don't think it could have been borrowed before the eighth
century, and no known Iranian language retained anything like "spaka"
until so late. My idea is that the ancient cultural loan survived
relatively unchanged in some other linguistic reservoir in the
Caucasus area. We know that a few words of culture with distinctively
Median or Persian features (discussed on this forum in the past) can
be found in Ossetic. This proves that such words diffused across the
Caucasus (e.g. with traders or soldiers from the Persian empire).
Unfortunately, Ossetic has no reflexes of <spaka->. In Pokorny's
entry for *k^won-, in addition to inherited <sag>, Mod. Persian sabah
is mentioned (an intriguing form, which however I haven't been able
to verify). If not a figment, this might be yet another trace
attestation of "internationalised" <spaka-> --> *s&bak-.


--- In cybalist@..., x99lynx@... wrote:

> I'm curious about the need to identify an intermediary between
Iranian and
> Slavic. Herodotus writes of "Indian dogs" among Greeks, presumably
the result
> of long-distance trade in breeds of canines. The hoards of Arab
coins found
> in West Slavic settlements from as early as @800AD would suggest
> trade contact with the East over an even longer distance than
Eastern Slavic
> would present. Is there a reason we can't assume this might be a
trade name,
> introduced by Iranian-speaking traders? I'm just asking if you are
> "contact" to proximity or you have some specific reason to think
that Iranian
> speakers could not have been in contact with Eastern Slavic
speakers? (BTW,
> how would the word - as a trade name for a trade object - have
changed if it
> had come through something like Armenian?)