Re: [tied] Re: latin viridis (it was green albanian)

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 18169
Date: 2003-01-26

----- Original Message -----
From: "alex_lycos" <altamix@...>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2003 8:50 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Re: latin viridis (it was green albanian)

> > If you want more examples, consider virga > vargã or missa > masã.

> oh, my o my.
> *virgulla > vergea , virga > vargã mensa > masã
> viduus > vãduv, vigor > vigoare, vinco > (in)vinge. vitellus > vitsel,

> I am already dizzy with so many exceptions:-)

You haven't given any exceptions so far. It's very frustrating to explain things to somebody who doesn't read carefully. <virga> of course developed regular /a/ (> verga > veargã > vargã). In *<virgulla> the /i/ is unstressed, hence the different development; in <mensa> there is no /i/ at all (here the development was, I suppose, mensa > me:sa [cf. Appendix Probi] > mesa > measã > masã, in perfect accordance with the rules quoted by Miguel.

In the remaining words the /i/ is not followe by final /-a/, which is a necessary condition of the change /i/ > /a/. In <viduu-> it isn't penultimate, and in <vigore-> and <vitellu-> it's neither penultimate nor stressed (nor followed by /-a/). In <vinco> it's immediately followed by a nasal (plus a stop), which means special conditioning (see Miguel's rules). To sum up, apart from <virga> none of these words provides the right environment for the change of /i/ > /a/. Do you understand why, or don't you?

> Well, my dictionary says that english "pear" reflects Old Latin "peer". But let se an another source:

Good. If your dictionary really has "Old Latin peer" in it, it's a bad dictionary.

> pear - O.E. pere, peru, from V.L. *pira, fem. sing. of L. pira, pl. of
> pirum "pear."
> why here *pira with "*"?

Because it's a VLat. word that doesn't happen to enjoy direct textual attestation in the meaning 'a (single) pear'. In written (literary) Latin the ordinary word for a pear-tree was <pirus> and for its fruit, <pirum>. The plural (or shall we say collective) of the latter was <pira>, which in the popular language must have been reinterpreted as a singular (it sometimes happens to nouns that naturally occur in pairs or large numbers, cf. Eng. <bodice>, <dice>, and more recently <pence>); at any rate the Romance (and West Germanic)words for 'pear' come from *pira (f. sg.), not from Classical *pirum.