ThomasGR wrote:Paul's post made me think. We have also the archaic form δη (dh) for earth, like in goddess Demetra, and amybe it was also used as a suffix -δη to denote some one coming from a specific land, like in English -lander (Finlander). I wonder if -δης can have something to do with δη (earth).
I was thinking along the same lines. My thoughts about this etymology are split between [face=SPIonic]-da-
[/face] and [face=SPIonic]-id-
[/face] (as discussed above).
As you rightly say, [face=SPIonic]-da-
[/face] contributes to Demeter (Da-Mater). It is also a suffix in Poseidon (Posei-Das, 'master of the earth').
But if we assert this [face=SPIonic]-da-
[/face] as the element that participates in patronymic suffixes, then we must argue against considerable scholarship on the role of the suffix [face=SPIonic]-id-
[/face]. A possible starting point for such an argument would be the significance of [face=SPIonic]da-
[/face] in [face=SPIonic]da=moj
[/face], i.e., that it means not just land but the clan or people of a land. We would, I suppose, have to account for a complex like [face=SPIonic]-i-daj
As for the suffix [face=SPIonic]-id-
[/face], although the works I've consulted make no mention of its relationship to [face=SPIonic]i)/dioj
[/face], I find it hard to believe that they are not related. The latter commonly means 'private, personal'. A more radical statement of its meaning is 'the peculiar quality or character that makes something different or unique'. These meanings seem to me to comport nicely with the sense of [face=SPIonic]-id-
[/face] as denoting a clan or family.
Finally, I cannot resist again introducing [face=SPIonic]ei)=doj
[/face] into the etymological murk. In his discussion of this word Chantraine points out a derivative [face=SPIonic]ei)diko/j
[/face] which means 'special, specific' as opposed to 'general'. He relates this to [face=SPIonic]i)diko/j
[/face] a derivative of [face=SPIonic]i)/dioj
[/face] means 'specific character, particularity, individuality'. So....the argument goes like this:
a. the derivatives [face=SPIonic]i)diko/j
[/face] and [face=SPIonic]ei)diko/j
[/face] have nearly identical meanings
b. the parent word of one of these derivatives, [face=SPIonic]i)/dioj
[/face], may be related to the same [face=SPIonic]-id-
[/face] that means 'clan, family' and contributes to the patronymic suffix
c. therefore the other parent word, [face=SPIonic]ei)=doj
[/face] might also be so related.
To answer Will's question, current thinking on the role of the [face=SPIonic]-id-
[/face] suffix goes back to a 1975 work by a German named Meier. The latest work is that of Keurentjes writing in Mnemosyne, 1997.