Re: Greek double-sigma / double-tau

From: Amedeo Amendola
Message: 16415
Date: 2002-10-18

you say you found out something already; perhaps the following
information is superfluous:
Thalatta (Attic) = Thalassa (Ionian) = sea; sea water
Some authors used The Inner {sea}= the Mediterranean sea
The Outer (sea) = the Ocean
Homer used Okeanos for the world encircling Ocean, and Thalassa for
the Mediterranean Sea.
Those were denotations: "sea" is the generic meaning, namely a type
of water (or water in a certain condition).
Thalassw (the verb) = to inundate; to flood.
The word elements are THA + LASS/LATT.
The meaning of THA is unclear to me.
LATT- is related to LATAX. This was the name of a drop of wine left
at the bottom of a cup used in playing the game of Kattabos. (The
players were to fling these drops unto vessels floating in a basin.)
More generally, LATAK- is a milky liquid, such as the one that comes
out by breaking off a fig leaf or branch.
It seems to me that LATT [Latin LACT-is, milk]and LATAK- are
variations of the same element.
The THA- is equivalent to the Doric THE- [eta], whence THELE =
breast; tit. THELU = feminine, womanly. THELAZW (the verb) = I suckle.
[Italian: ALLATTO (obviously derived from colloquial Latin: ad+lact-].
Greek for milk = Gala (galaktos : ga+lakt-)
Galaktikos - milk-white.
Obviously THALATTA is a later word, since it shoew the slur of KT to
TT. (The same thing happened from the change of Latin into Italian
(fructus --> frutto). And obviously the THA of Thalatta precluded the
interpretation of "something milky" or somehow points to the to the

As to further origins, first of all consider this fact:
meaningwise: sea = galatta/galassa = mare , etc.
These words are NOT cognates; therefore, they do not originate from a
single language (whether you call it Indo-Europeans or anything
else). Possibly, one of them may be a variation of an older word.
Again: milk = gala (galaktos) = lactis, etc.
In this case, there is a Greek-Latin kinship, but it is impossible
for all of these words to be derived from a single earlier word. (It
is not the case that all of them can be "Indo-European.")
In an etymology listing, I find:
Milk < Old English Meolc; Milc. The Old High German MILUH is proposed
as a kin word, and then the Germanic *MELKAN is fabricated. If all
this is correct, then we have words of a Germanic family. There is no
clue as to whether Milk is of Indo-European origin, since we have NO
words of some language which is then called Aryan or proto-Indo-
European or Indo-German or anything else. (There is no evidence for
this hypothetical primordial language.)So, when you ask for the IE
original word, beware! There are only fabricated IE words.
--- In cybalist@..., "Lisa" <eris@...> wrote:
> Hey again. I managed to find some info in a volume of Karl
> Brugmann's comparative IE work.
> I still have the question about the origin of the Greek word for
> though: was thalassa/thalatta a native Greek word - decended from
> IE? If not, where was it picked up from? And either way, what was
> the "original" meaning?
> Thx! =)
> --- In cybalist@..., Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...>
> wrote:
> > I answered a similar question at length some time ago. I'll try
> find the relevant posting(s) in our vast archives. Briefly: -tt-/-
> reflect as old affricate (not unlike "ch" in English) from still
> older *-tj- or *-kj-. (Cf. gotcha < got ya).
> >
> > Piotr
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Eris
> > To: cybalist@...
> > Sent: Monday, September 09, 2002 12:07 AM
> > Subject: [tied] Greek double-sigma / double-tau
> >
> > Hello all,
> >
> > Concerning the double-sigma/double-tau in Old Greek (for example,
> thalassa
> > versus thalatta):
> >
> > Which was the original form, ss or tt?
> >
> > What was the IE "root sound"?
> >
> > In which dialects, exactly, and at what time(s) during the course
> of "old
> > Greek" did it change from one to the other?
> >
> > Is there any particular reason for the change(s), or was it just
> > run-of-the-mill sound shift?
> >
> > Is there any easy way for someone actively studying old Greek
> morphology
> > and syntax (me :) to tell when the change has occurred in a word,
> just by
> > looking at a word and not knowing anything about the word?
> >
> > Were the phonemes of the double-sigma and double-tau
> (e.g.,
> > "two unvoiced dental stops 'right in a row'"), or was the first
> phoneme in
> > each said and then "held on to". (I don't know the term for
> > obviously, I'm sure you can figure out what I mean.)
> >
> > Concerning specifically the word thalassa/thalatta, was that a
> native word
> > before the Greeks moved in? (If so, did it mean "sea" previously
> as
> > well? And what is the oldest known form of it written?) I
> been
> > able to find a cognate in other languages is why I ask.
> >
> > TiA,
> > Lisa