A Droplet That Connects the Sky to the Earth


Aborna is a tributary of river Nadiža, Slovenia. Some scholars believe that Aborna is of Pre-Slavic (Illyrian) origin, from *Abarna (Abarnos) or *Aborna, Alburna, Albruna, cf. ancient Albarna > Aubarne (France).. By explaining the history of the name of the river Aborna, Sorin Paliga (University of Bucharest – Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures) started from an assumption that the root *ab- (according to so-called Thracian apa1 “water”) was the ultimate source of the words for water in a supposed Daco/Thracian milieu. Obviously, he was unable to understand that such a root never existed, because the IE words never started with a vowel as an initial sound (it seems that the Sussaure’s Laryngeal Theory could be practically applied here), but with a kind of velar or glottal, which has been lost in subsequent times. It means that the alleged Thracian word apa (water, river; a spring) originally sounded as hap‘, or more precisely as habla  (Russian капелька droplet, Serbian kaplja droplet, Czech kapalina liquid; Greek καπνς2 smoke, steam; cf. Serbian kuljati gush; from the Gon-Bel Ur-basis, in accordance with  my Xur-Bel-Gon Theory).

The  Slovenian river Aborna was probably first named H/Abla-rina similar to the name of the Kablar Gorge in Serbia, where the river Zapadna Morava is running through (also Havela, a river name and the former Slavic tribe Havolians; cf. Serbian family name Kuvelja, Czech Havel).  Nevertheless, the source of origin of the river-name Aborna is more probably the Serbo-Slavic word oboriti (topple, subvert, knock down (from the Gon-Bel-Hor-Gon Ur-basis), where the other Serbian words, as oborina3 (precipitation; an assimilation from h/o(b/l)-h/rina) originally stemmed from.  Hence comes the name of the river Ibar in Serbia (from H/i(b)lar; cf. Serbian syntagm “kiša je kapala” /it drizzled/ and “kiša je sipila*” /again: ‘it drizzled/;) and bura (storm; burno stormy).

Now, if we have compared the name of the Serbian river Ibar with the name of the ancient river Hebros (today’s Maritza river in Bulgaria), Tibar in Italy (Latin Tibris), we would have seen that it was all indirectly connected to the English words brook, burst and Serbian prskati (splash, explode; Latin respergo -spergere -spersi = Serbian ra-sprsnuti; cf. Serbian prah powder, para steam, bara, barica puddle, pool). One of the most interesting toponyms, with an association to the Abarna, is the river Cabul (Afghanistan), also known as Kaboura. In this case Kabura might not be a rhotacized Kabul but it could be an assimilation of a former agglutinated form (Gon-Bel-Hor-Gon; i.e. Kab(l)h-re-gna), which is similar to the modern Serbian words žuborenje (murmur of the river) and govorenje (speaking).

Maybe we would be able to grasp the philosophy on which the human speech were developing through millenniums if we compared Serbian words reč (word) and reka (river), priča (story) and porečje (effluent; cf. Eng. brook), burljati (to stir the water), brbljati (to babble) and above-mentioned žubor (a water murmuring) and govor (human speech). Here it may also be interesting to add the English word talk and Russian толковать/tolkovatь (interpret; Serbian tumačiti; from tum/bl/ačiti; tum/b- nasalisation and assimilation) wherefrom we can get a clear picture how the human speech have been compared to the running of water (Serbian tok/tečenje stream, process, tide, flow).  

On the other side, Ivan Duridanov explains that the Thracian PN Alaaibria is a compound word, constituted of a supposed alaja (river) and the suffix -bria (town). Of course, there is no way that we could know for sure that this word means exactly what Duridanov is claiming, but it looks more logical to compare Alaaibria with the Illyrian Aborna (Alborna) or the agglutinated form kab(l)h-re-gna) wherefrom the both words came into existence. Initially, kab(l)h-re-gna meant in Serbian “oblo kretanje” (going in circles; oblo-kret => obrt/okret turn; Lat. orbis, orbita, verto turn, Serb. obrtati => vrteti turn, Greek πλεννεραί mucus; πλένω wash + ροή flow; Serbian oblinuti splash + reka river; roniti dive, pour down). Of course, if the water is poured over a certain object it would run down ROUND that object; hence we can see that Serbian verb oblinuti (effuse, suffuse) has been derived from the adjectiv oblo (round). 

The old Macedonian town of Bairos/Vairos, which Duridanov tried to explain with the help of Lithuanian vairas (wheel; vairuoti drive/r; related to the Serbian vrteti rotate) and Swed. vīrr (spiral; virr-varr mess, virar wind) is clearly related to the Serbian word vir (whirl). In this case we have again to deal with the agglutinated form kab(l)h-re-gna; i.e. with the Serbian word obrtati (turn, rotate) or the verb vrteti, which meaning is the same as the meaning of the verb obrtati (rotate). Ancient Vairos could be related to the Serbian word varoš (a small town) and varda (a forttress; from Serb. ut/vrda, t/vrđava fortress).  

There is a Bulgarian town (province) on the Black Sea called Burgas, which name could be compared with the name of the ancient Macedonian town Bairos and with the Greek word for “tower” (πύργος) and fάργον (work; OE wyrcan, Aves. var@za; Serb. vršiti work; also Gr. έργον).  

Let us go back to the “Thraco-Illyrian” words Aborna (Alborna) and Alaaibria to see if these two rivers could be related to the name of the “famous” Liburnian tribe and a modern Italian province Calabria. In our attempt to solve this problem, we could have left the southern part of Italy for a while and go to the Check Republic, to visit the Czech region of Liberec (Liberecký Kraj). Beside the town Libarec, Libarecky Region comprises the city of Jablonec on the river Nisa. Libarec was named like that according to the lime tree (Czech lipa; Serb. lipa   

1The Serbian words kapati and sipiti, both with the meaning “drizzle”, are an example of a “micro” Satem-Centum division inside the same language (this time Serbian), because of the Sur-Hor sun gods’ rivalry.

3Greek καπνός (steam, smoke) is related to the Serbian verbs is-kapati (dribble out, to lose the water drop by drop; Serbian kap/kaplja droplet) and is-kopneti (desiccate, dry out by loosing water in drops; kapati, kapnuti drop, distil; hence Serb. naval term kopno land, dry land). 

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Explore posts in the same categories: comparative linguistics, etymology, The Origin of Human Speech

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