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Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

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Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:14 am

Is the digamma in δαήρ (PIE dayh₂wḗr, Lat. lēvir) a part of the root of the word or is it a morphological affix added to the stem before the ending, in the same way that the "w" element is added to πατήρ (PIE *ph₂tḗr) to form πάτρως?
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby Timothée » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:56 pm

It’s difficult to say for certain, as there is little to go with, but if it is a suffix, it’s an Indo-European one. Note that Indo-Europeanists often tend to like monosyllabic stems, so many would be prone just for that reason to divide *dāiwēr (Pok.179) as *dāi-wēr (by account of the syllabic structure). And it obviously does (partly) compare with kinship words πατήρ, μάτηρ, φράτηρ, θυγάτηρ, which is possibly where this question came into your mind (or wholly?, as *dāiw-ēr, just because of these other words).

The verse Ω 769 is, by the bye, metrically interesting
δαέρων ἢ γαλόων ἢ εἰνατέρων εὐπέπλων

I wonder how West solves it? Beekes reconstructs *δαιϜρῶν.
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby Timothée » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:01 pm

Pondering this a little more *dāiw- seems to me an awkward Indo-European stem. Phonotactically it doesn’t quite lend itself in my view. Better to a) keep it as a whole *dāiwēr; b) divide it into *dāi-wēr; or c) consider -w- secondary (though already completely established in Proto-Indo-European) *dāi-ēr > *dāi-w-ēr.

The element in those famous (and some less famous) kinship words is *-ter-, not dissimilar to nomina agentis (and these groups decline quite closely in Sanskrit), but the (possible) connexion isn’t clear.
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:37 am

Timothée wrote:The verse Ω 769 is, by the bye, metrically interesting
δαέρων ἢ γαλόων ἢ εἰνατέρων εὐπέπλων

I wonder how West solves it? Beekes reconstructs *δαιϜρῶν.

Brandreth (1841) who aims to add the digamma has
δαρων, η γαλόων, η εινατερων εϋπεπλων,


That is explained in a footnote on the following page about line 762,
762. δαρων leviorum: ut θυγατρων pro θυγατερων et ανδρων pro ανερων: vulgo δαερων sed δαηρ primam syllabam in locis quinque producit. Ita. Ω769
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:23 am

Timothée wrote:, which is possibly where this question came into your mind

Multiple ways of knowing is a good thing. Reducing something to a single way of knowing is anti-intellectual. Pondering is more interesting than simply arriving at a translation.

Timothée wrote: less famous) kinship words ... , but the (possible) connexion isn’t clear.

Decontextually quoting you here, another of these less famous kinship words with unclear connections (that I don't yet have a question about) is ἔορ / ἔορες. It is remarkable close to the PIE swésōr - both in form and in the generality of the meaning (as preserved by Hesychius) - even being applicable (again based on the gender if Hesychius' glosses) to males in the clan.

Where, however, are the expected rough breathing (as is preserved in the gen. dat. acc. ἕο, οἷ, ἑ) and sigma for the blood? Because the new word for blood is αἷμα, one presumes that without a cognate word like δελφύς to remind them of the (matrilineal) biological connection, the meaning of consanguity in ἔορ (or I conjecture ἕσωρ) could not have been etymologically recognisible.
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby Timothée » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:19 am

ἑκηβόλος wrote:Where, however, are the expected rough breathing (as is preserved in the gen. dat. acc. ἕο, οἷ, ἑ) and sigma for the blood? Because the new word for blood is αἷμα, one presumes that without a cognate word like δελφύς to remind them of the (matrilineal) biological connection, the meaning of consanguity in ἔορ (or I conjecture ἕσωρ) could not have been etymologically recognisible.

This part particularly is really messy to me, and I don’t understand much about what you’re saying. Surrealistic brainstorming?

But (we must assume that) Hesychius’s ἔορ represents a psilotic dialect. Moreover, as I think you may very vaguely be suggesting, it looks very much like a vocative. Maybe this old Indo-European word survived in Greek longest in some kind of addressing? Beside that comes then the use as a clan-term. Noteworthy is of course that its male counterpart φράτηρ was also preserved (and more widely than ἔορες) as a clan-term.

Ἔαρ (which you don’t mention) is indeed yet another old word, and it was surely enough replaced by αἷμα (the same situation in Latin and Sanskrit with this word, btw). Where that came to your mind I don’t quite know, if not just because it’s somewhat similar in form to ἔορ.
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:04 am

Timothée wrote:Surrealistic brainstorming?

Meandering thoughts. The πολιοὶ often ramble.

I think you may very vaguely be suggesting, it looks very much like a vocative. Maybe this old Indo-European word survived in Greek longest in some kind of addressing?

I put it in what I thought the nominative should be, but hadn't given thought as to why it was the form it was.

Beside that comes then the use as a clan-term. Noteworthy is of course that its male counterpart φράτηρ was also preserved (and more widely than ἔορες) as a clan-term.

If I remember correctly, φράτηρ traces back to the meaning of "the one born (squeezed out)", which I assume is a matrilineal term, birth being a mother's business.

Ἔαρ (which you don’t mention) is indeed yet another old word, and it was indeed replaced by αἷμα (the same situation in Latin and Sanskrit, btw). Where that came to your mind I don’t quite know, if not just because it’s somewhat similar in form to ἔορ.

Couldn't find that daughter word from the "flowing blood" actually. (I only found κρούω from the "bled blood"). The intervocalic sigma has been lost in ἔαρ.... Wait!!!

Aside: Okay, to address my own wondering about that second sigma in what might have been ἕσωρ . It's intervocalic too. No surprise it drops out. Thanks for the psilosis help.

Thanks for that help. ἔορ as "self-blood-person" may have had recognisable patrilinial significant while ἔαρ was in the lexicon too. It is nice to find the original very broad meanings in Greek, rather than the surprisingly narrow meaning that "sister" and the other daughter words have.
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby Timothée » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:06 am

Indo-European *swesōr does look like a compound word of some kind. It is difficult, however, to analyse it with much certainty. It may have that old “blood” word in it, or maybe it doesn’t.

Another theory, more feasible I think, is that there was an Indo-European word *sor(o)- ‘woman’. This is found nowhere, but it came to be used as a suffix, which we see here and there, and quite possibly then here. It is noteworthy here again how little Indo-European studies sometimes (have to) work with!
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:02 pm

If it was, and it probably was, specifically for females, the apparent extension to males that Hesychius' glosses suggest might be because the -ωρ stem in Greek is not gender specific.
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:35 pm

Timothée wrote:Indo-European *swesōr does look like a compound word of some kind. It is difficult, however, to analyse it with much certainty. It may have that old “blood” word in it, or maybe it doesn’t.

Another theory, more feasible I think, is that there was an Indo-European word *sor(o)- ‘woman’. This is found nowhere, but it came to be used as a suffix, which we see here and there, and quite possibly then here. It is noteworthy here again how little Indo-European studies sometimes (have to) work with!

With that *sor(o) etymology, are you still using swe- as "one's own"?
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby Timothée » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:24 pm

We can of course only work with what we have. Had we more, many analyses would no doubt be different from what they are now. (This is particularly problematic when some languages which have given loan-words have disappeared without a trace. Words in a [well-]known language X that have been borrowed from an unknown language Y are then explained as borrowings from a known languageZ [or forcing the derivation from X’s parent language].)

By this token, the first syllable of the word *swesōr does look the same as the Indo-European word *swe- ‘(one)self’. It’s not quite the same as *swo- ‘(one’s) own’ (though belonging to the same stem), if we are strict, but that can of course easily be explained as an Ablaut, which Indo-European abounds. Fortson interprets this meaning etymologically ‘woman of one’s own (kinship group)’.

Is this so or somehow else? It’s a fair derivation, no doubt, though wouldn’t that logically cover also other female relatives than just sisters? Or could it instead be something completely different, which we have no way of knowing more closely?

Explaining *patēr etymologically as ‘protector’ is maybe sounder, as that corresponds logically to father being the head of the family. But the Hittite pahs- is the only cognate word which has the meaning ‘to protect’ for this Indo-European root *-. All the other cognates in other languages (including English food) have always the meaning ‘to nurture’ lying behind. Would Hittite have preserved the original meaning? Or is the denotation instead an innovation in Hittite? — In the latter case we’d have to think of *patēr ‘feeder of his family’, if we want to keep the etymology. It’s not impossible, but not as enticing as ‘protector’, which itself is far from certain.

I have given few answers and probably merely raised more questions...
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:54 pm

Timothée wrote:Is this so or somehow else? It’s a fair derivation, no doubt, though wouldn’t that logically cover also other female relatives than just sisters? Or could it instead be something completely different, which we have no way of knowing more closely?

  • ἀδελφός is not one of Hesychius' glosses in either the singular or plural entry.
  • θυγάτηρ is unabiguous.
  • ἀνεψιός, however, raises the question of authority structures. With the prefixed ἄλφα- meaning "having the same", and -νεψιός refer an authority figure related to you through a parent - originally (or ordinarily) one's grandparent, in Latin an uncle.
  • προσήκοντες leaves one wondering whether by using ἄλλοι in his Apology (33d), where he mentions πατέρας καὶ ἀδελφοὺς καὶ ἄλλους τοὺς προσήκοντας, Plato is saying that προσήκοντες included the πατέρες and ἀδελφοί, OR that ἄλλους is juxtaposed with τοὺς προσήκοντας, meaning he does not count them aa part of that group.
  • συγγενεῖς is obviously a wider term than one's immediate family.

Timothée wrote:I have given few answers and probably merely raised more questions...

Great. Poking at minnows in the shallows with a stick might have let us forget the enormity of the seas, but not for long.

Edit: 33d added to the reference.
Last edited by ἑκηβόλος on Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby Timothée » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:29 pm

Note that I was talking on the Indo-European level in my last post, as we must if we try to analyse *swesōr etymologically. In this particular case, it seems to me, Greek is Indo-Europeanistically of little help. Of course it’s an interesting small additional detail, no doubt.
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:21 pm

Timothée wrote:Note that I was talking on the Indo-European level in my last post, as we must if we try to analyse *swesōr etymologically. In this particular case, it seems to me, Greek is Indo-Europeanistically of little help. Of course it’s an interesting small additional detail, no doubt.

Etymology is one interesting part to the word, and lexical semantics is another.

I had thought of the idea of questioning the inclusion of h₁ésh₂r̥ "flowing blood" in ἔορ, but an "of onesef woman" sounded more like a wife (to my 21st century thinking). Adding an understood, but unwritten idea of clan makes sense, and so does adding an etymological unit.

Indo-Europeanistically of little help

Not helped much by or not much help to.

Sorry, I'm used to the rich use of adverbial prepostional phrases in Greek, rather than the much more ubiquitous use of -ly in English.
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Re: Is the digamma in δαήρ a stem or morphological element?

Postby Timothée » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:37 pm

When we are deliberating upon the etymology of that word, we are on so deep a level that I think Greek won’t, in this particular case, illuminate the question. The deep level that I’m talking about here is when we ponder what words might originally constitute the word *swesōr. You made competent analysis on the meaning of the Hesychius glosses on ἔορ and ἔορες, but that won’t help us in the question whether the word originally meant ‘woman of one’s own (kinship group)’.
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