Re: [tied] Re: OE *picga

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 16563
Date: 2002-10-30

----- Original Message -----
From: tgpedersen
Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 8:18 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: OE *picga

> And then there's Latin verres "boar". Three internally unrelatable IE words of the type b/p/v-r-(g-) meaning something with "pig" (and four with that one). In other cases that type of situation automatically leads to the assumption "loan word". Not here; although there are genetic links, there has been no contact, although it would hardly be urprising if there were, also bearing in mind that the connection between word and designated object is a very fickle one (a basic tenet of linguistics), at least in this case. Special pleading, anyone?
To begin with, they don't all mean the same: *pork^os means 'piglet' (and has a plausible derivation within IE, discussed a moment ago), whereas *h1epros means 'adult uncastrated male pig'. There is no typological reason why such terms should have been derived formally from a common base: they are semantically as different as 'bull' and 'calf' or 'stag' and 'fawn'. Balto-Slavic has a variant of *h1epros with *w- for *h1- (*vepr-); otherwise there is nothing irregular about these words and no special explanations are required for them. Lat. verre:s is a different thing altogether: it reflects older *wers- and has unpiggish IE cognates meaning 'male, stud' etc. *baira- is not reconstructible beyond West Germanic, and is extremely unlikely to have anything to do with any of the above, especially as it coexists with a normal reflex of *h1epros (e.g. OE ba:r and eofor).