Re: Not "catching the wind " , or, what ARE we discussing?

From: dgkilday57
Message: 57274
Date: 2008-04-14

--- In, Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...>
> --- dgkilday57 <dgkilday57@...> wrote:
> >
> > [...]
> >
> > The cat itself might come from Africa, but looking
> > for the word there
> > is a dead end. None of the three Coptic words for
> > 'cat', including
> > the one used in the Coptic version of the Epistle of
> > Jeremiah,
> > resembles <catta> at all. My best guess is that
> > Latin <catta> in
> > both its senses, 'certain Pannonian bird (the
> > wagtail?)'
> > and 'domestic cat', is borrowed from Messapic (or
> > related Illyro-
> > Japygian) *katta, a hypocoristic form of a compound
> > whose first
> > element *katt- is cognate with Lat. <quassus>
> > 'shaken', and whose
> > second (unidentifiable) element means 'tail' or
> > 'rear end', the
> > compound meaning 'having a shaken tail' or 'shaking
> > its tail', much
> > like Greek <ailouros> 'waving-tailed'. It is near
> > my bedtime, so
> > details of this hypothesis will follow later.
> >
> There is supposed a Nubian form qadis (vel sim) but it
> makes you wonder why no similar forms in Coptic or
> Berber
> Your explanation seems as good as any.
> Who knows, perhaps Messapia was where cats first
> arrived in Italy from Egypt

I ran across the "Nubian" word cited in an old paper, and I don't
know what I did with the reference, but it seemed to me like a mere
chance resemblance. The author didn't say whether this "Nubian" word
was dialectal Amharic, or from some non-AA language, or what. It
seems highly unlikely that Europeans would go beyond Alexandria for
cats, and highly unlikely that they would adopt a word for 'cat' from
distant Nubia, rather than whatever Alexandrians called them, if
indeed they needed to adopt a new word at all.

More by Friday, hopefully ... the detailed justification of *katta as
a Messapic or related hypocorism requires pulling together a fair
number of references, and opens at least two other cans of worms.