Re: [tied] Fw: Sorok i devianosto

From: Sergejus Tarasovas
Message: 18274
Date: 2003-01-29

> *****GK: "up to this day": that is to say up to the
> 2nd half of the 19th century.


> Which is a thousand
> years after the initiation of trade relations between
> Rus' and Byzantium (the earliest treaty is of 866. It
> is not extant but we have probable segments from it
> repeated in those which are). So the first thing we
> have to deal with is the evolution of a word over that
> length of time. The reason (originally) for using the
> "40 kunitsja skins" as a unit is that this was the
> exact equivalent (both in value and in weight acc. to
> Nazarenko) of 1 Byzantine LITRA.

I've understood the reasoning already, but what's his _evidence_, BTW?
It sounds plausible that this litra-equation could make
_sorokU_/_soroc^IkU_ acquire a new specific meaning (i. e., trigger a
semantic shift 'sack; pack' --> 'a pack of 40 skins as a commodity
(later money) unit'), but it's not easy to prove the word itself was
borrowed from Greek and later contaminated with (suspiciously
homonymic!) native reflexes of *sork-.

> Was that enough to
> make a coat in the 9th c.? I'm not sure.
> But we can't
> rule out that (1) the Dahl bag was a different
> category from that of the Byzantine bound merchants;
> and (2) that the explanation also indicates a
> different trade situation. The Dahl "sorochka" sounds
> like a latter day utilization of an earlier term, i.e.
> what meant "the equivalent in marten skins (40) of one
> litra" was later applied to the bag itself for a
> different kind of transaction.******

Of course it can't be ruled out (but note _soroc^ka_ '1. shirt 2. sack,
cover' is a different word, not just a "utilization" of _sorok(U)_ '1.
40 2. pack of 40 skins'). But you asked for the examples of a reflex of
*sork- meaning 'sack', and I provided such an example scrupulously ;-).
Actually, one could reject any example on such grounds (i.e., positing
the semantic development 'money-commodity unit' -> 'sack').

> > Vasmer (being one of the most eminent specialists in
> > (East) Slavic
> > Grecisms) thinks that "...the explanation from
> > Middle Greek
> > _sarikonta_ '40' is problematic in view of early
> > (9th c.) deletion
> > of -ko- (cf. Modern Greek _sarinta_ '40')."
> *****GK: But he doesn't say impossible. Does he have
> evidence of a universal deletion of -ko- in "trade
> talk" by 866? ******

Of course Nazarenko is more competent as to those -ko-.