Re: [tied] Re: OE *picga

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 16541
Date: 2002-10-28

----- Original Message -----
From: tgpedersen
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2002 1:08 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: OE *picga

> From


> "The word for "pig" in the Non-Austronesian, i.e. Papuan languages of Melanesia is typically of Austronesian origin, deriving from Proto-Austronesian *Berek "domesticated pig". Two conclusions can be made here: (1) the domesticated pig was introduced into Oceania by Austronesians, and (2) as the protoform is common to practically the whole distribution area of Austronesians, the domesticated pig must have already been known to the Austronesians before they spread out from their homeland in Taiwan (or the immediately contiguous mainland). There is one problem though. I have learned from Matthew SPriggs that the domesticated pig in Oceania is not the species which originated from Southeast China and Southeast Asia, but was originally endemic in Maluku"

> The Austronesian-out-of-Taiwan theory is causing Waruno Mahdi difficulty here. Oppenheimer's out-of-Sundaland fits better.

You forgot to add, however, that Waruno Mahdi offers a solution to this problem further in the same paragraph. Should you have problems with his explanation, you'd pull the carpet from beneath your own idea that the "pig" word travelled from the East to Europe: the domestic swine of Europe (known there since the Linear Pottery times) derive from _Sus (scrofa) scrofa_, even more remotely related to the SE Asiatic banded pigs, whose progenitors were varieties of _Sus (scrofa) cristatus/vittatus_. There were several different centres of pig domestication. Incidentally, the origin of pigs (of whatever variety) is one thing and the origin of the Austronesian languages is another, and any historical correlation between the two is loose at best, just like that between the domestic horses and the Indo-Europeans (yes, I know that the horse is fetishised by some IEists, but I'm not given to that perversion).

> Proto-Austronesian *Berek "domesticated pig" ??? Hm!

Hm? I'm not an Austronesianist, but I assume that Waruno Mahdi's transcription is the same as *beRek, which I've seen elsewhere (*R = a trilled rhotic, apical or uvular, *e = schwa). This is "suggestively" similar to PIE *pork^os 'piglet', the question is only whether such similarity means anything. My contention is that it means absolutely nothing by itself, being just as uninformative as the similarity of Mbabaram dOg to English dog. After all, *beRek is vaguely similar to <boar> (PWGmc. *bairaz) as well, and probably similar to many other piggy things in the world (if you cast your net wide enough), whereas *pork^os has a plausible IE derivation and interpretation ('a spotted critter'). Indo-Aryan lost the *pork^os word completely, though it certainly existed in Proto-Indo-Iranian, so the hypothetical trail of *beRek across S Asia remains discontinuous.