Re: [tied] The "n" in ALAN

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 16809
Date: 2002-11-20

----- Original Message -----
From: tgpedersen
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2002 4:20 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] The "n" in ALAN

> I recall we had a discussion regarding that same adjectival -n- in Germanic "all" (< *al-na-) vs. the Alemanni with one /l/. I had another thought (unfortunately). Reversing your argument, without the -n- suffix, *arya- must be a noun.

Why? I said that adjectives could be derived from adjectives as well, cf. Eng. one --> only or white --> whitish. Actually, Skt. arya- (= Av. airiia-) can be a noun OR an adjective. There is no sharp division between the two categories in Indo-Iranian (or in PIE, for that matter), and you will very often find the same Sanskrit stem in both functions. Adjectives were originally declined like nouns and the only formal difference worth mentioning here is that adjectives had no fixed gender.

> And some say both Germanic *al- "all" and Latin <al-ter>, <al-ius> "other" is derived from *arya-. Now how does one reconcile that?

Ask those who say so. I have never said anything of the kind. It is imaginable (though certainly unproven) that *arya- might derive from *h2al-jo- (which also underlies <alius> and Gmc. alja- as reflected in Eng. else). *h2al-jo-, *h2al-tero- and *h2al-no- are primarily adjectives, but an adjective can easily be substantivised.

> Now I can understand that the occurrence of both <ar> "noble" and <man> "man, spirit etc" in all of IE, AfroAsiatic and Austronesian can be proved by Occam's vacuum cleaner to be a coincidence,

Yes, especially given the semantic leeway you allow yourself (e.g. you quote lots of meanings like 'mountain, breast, dwell' for your m-n "root" in Afroasiatic; one has to take a great leap of faith to connect them with 'man'). IE *ar- 'noble' is anything but well substantiated. The meaning of Gk. aristos- seems to come from 'best fitted together', and all your other putative cognates are Indo-Iranian (mostly) or Hittite, so what's "all-IE" about it? Szemerényi hypothesised that both groups borrowed a Middle Eastern Wanderwort of Semitic origin. Alternatively, they might have nothing in common with each other, and there always remains the possibility that *arya- < *h2al-jo-.

> but the occurrence of <aryaman> in Germany and the Pacific Islands is an especially amusing one. Or?

Do we really find <aryaman> either in Germany or in Oceania? No. We have Gmc. *ermVna- 'immense' and Marshallese aromman? 'well-bred person' (I can't guarantee that the cited form is correct, but let's say it is; you can always ask about it on the Austronesian list). The latter is too long to be monomorphemic and perhaps has a perfectly transparent derivation within Marshallese -- I simply don't know, but you should have checked that up before using it. I've seen far stranger coincidences, but coincidences nevertheless.