Beautiful Loveliness

I'm skeptical about portmanteau roots, and I'd expect diphthongization to *poi- in zero-grade. This verb 'drink' was apparently irregular in PIE, and the two roots *peH3-, *pi(H)- were either connected through some mechanism no longer productive, or they were suppletive roots.

Douglas G. Kildey

I would say that Laryngeal Theory have brought more evil than good into the general understanding of lunguage development. Let us take a simple example, which has often been used as a "key model" of the "laryngealism" – the Hittite word ḫants (front; ḫantezzi first).

It seems that the modern linguistic science have not yet realized that none of the Indo-Europen words has ever started with a vowel as an initial sound of the word. It means, not only that the Greek word αντί (Lat. ante; Skt. anti) was "de-laryngealised" but all the other vowel- beginning IE words had also lost its initial "laryngeal" (pharyngeal, glottal or velar). I do not remember that I ever found a comparison between the Czech verb honit (chase, drive, hunt; Serb. goniti, Russ. gnatьsя) and English hunt (OE huntian, If the "Laryngel Theory" were so applicable in the reconstruction of PIE, why nobody would be "enlightened" to explain different forms of the word *hant- in Germanic languages as hunþs, hentan, hantian…?

For instance, why there are more variants of the word lepo (beautiful) in Serbo-Slavic: lepo, lipo and lijepo? What is it that the last mentioned form (lijepo) is suggesting? A kind of "laryngeal"? Of course, probably it was a glottal-fricative h (*lih2epo-). And what happened here? The supposed h2 turned to be the consonant "j"! Yes, we could say that h2 "colored" the following vowel "e" in this case, but what happened to the other variants of Serbian "beautiful" (lepo lipo)? The word "lepo" (as well as "lipo") looks as it were composed without its "laryngeal". Why in this case the same "laryngeal" was so uneffective?

No, the problem is much more simple than we are ready to accept. In Serbo-Slavic languages beauty was understood as "oblina" (roundness) and that oblina is derived from the ancient basis Bel-Gon. It means that "oblina" first sounded as HobliHna. In fact, in this case we have to start from the agglutinated form Ho-Bli-Hno-Bla-Hno (Serb. oblikovano formatted, figured; oblikovanje design) where from the Serbian words obljubljeno => voljeno (loved). We can here also see that the English word beautiful followed the same pattern as Serbian "lijepo"; from H-oblHu-blHe-Hno; cf. Serb. lepotan (nice guy, beautiful); also Serbian "ljubiti" (kiss) comes from the same basis as lepota/ljepota (beauty); Serb. ljubljen (loved) (from H-oblHu-blHe-Hno => h/ob-ljubi-ti => bljubiti => ljubiti (love, kiss); either blju-p-ti => Eng. beauty; Serbian ljupko nice, charming).

I hope that not only Franz and Douglas will understand that the solution for the problem of the genesis and relatedness of languages lies much more in their semantic values than in the "regular" (or irregular) phonetic changes, which are, by the way, very often the biggest hindrance on our way to a full comprehension of the language emergence and its development trough the history).

The "laryngeal" h2
inside the word "lijepo" could also be h1 (glottal stop), h3
or some hypothetical h4
or hx (velar,
glottal, pharyngeal or some of their combinations) but it would not change a bit
of the semantics of that word.

Let us take still another example – English word wind (from the supposed
Pokorny's root
) and its possible relation to the Serbian words
(roar, hoot, blowing of the wind), huknuti/hukati
(hoot, blowing) and dah (breath), dahnuti/disati
(breathe), duhati/duvati (blow). Does it not seem more plausible
that English wind is related to the other English "airborne" words like wing or
flying? In fact, now it became clear that the root uendh-1 could not be
the source of the word wind, because the English words wind and wing appeared
through the aphaeresis of the word blowing. The similar process could be
followed in Serbian when we start with the word puvanje/puvati (to
wind, blow), which has been derived from the Bel-Bel-Gon basis
(from oblivanje/polivanje suffusing, bljuvanje
disgorge, gush) and the verb vinuti se (soar, fly high in the

Some of the piercing minds on sci.lang of the Brainy type could say that there
is another Serbian word – puhati/puhanje with the same meaning as
puvati/puvanje. It is the truth as well as it is the truth that the Serbian
words, duvanje/duvati (blow, blowing) and duhanje/duhati
(blow, wind), corresponds clearly with puvanje/puvati (blow, wind)
and puhanje/puhati (blow, wind). Even the Chinese word tái
(typhoon; cf. Greek Τυφάων a mythological monster
with a hundred heads who breathed out flames) looks as a cognate of Serbian
(blowing) as well as the English word wind sounds phonetically
close to Chinese fēng (wind). Although the Serbian words
and puhanje have the same meaning they have not
come from the same basis. Namely, as we told earlier, puvanje is a
"descendant" of the Bel-Bel-Gon basis (bluvati => puvati;
cf. Eng. bubble) while the other word, Serbian puhati, has been
derived from the Bel-Gon basis (Serb. bljunuti/ from
bljuhnuti disgorge, puhnuti blow, wind;
cf. Eng. wind). Now it bacame clear that English wind is related to the Serbian
words puhnuti/puhati or vijanje/vejanje/uvijanje
(wind/winding/snowing; also Serb. vinuti se "soar", vintati
"to twist", mantati "feel the dizziness"). Serbian uvinuti
is the same word as English wind (twine).

Serbian lep (beautiful; from ljubiti kiss, love)
and English beautiful (pretty), as we have already shown, are the
descendent of the same ancestor. The similar is with the Latin word
(pretty), which is related to the OFr. bealte
(being handsome).  The Serbian verb voleti (love) clearly
correspond with the English beauty and OFr. bealte,
although these words have no identical meaning (love vs. beuty). Such a
discrepancy in the meanings of above-mentioned Serbian and English words
indicates that Slavic and Germanic languages had a different path of their own
evolution and that these two tongues were separated physically in the past for a
long period of time (probably more than a few millenniums). On the other side,
the meaning of the words that were derived from the Gon-Bel-Bel-Gon
“agglutinated” basis did not deviate much from the primary idea of a “kinship”
showed by the sun and a cloud (Serb. obljubiti to adhere, cling,
stick or hold together and resist separation).

In reality, Serbian obljubiti is born from a transient
(temporary) hn/o-bl-ub(l)-hne basis, which was the platform from which the
Serbian words oblak (cloud), kobeljanje (rolling
about; kobeljanje oblaka “the rolling of the clouds”) and
(gathering) were launched into the world of speech.
Symbolically, the “closeness” among the sun and clouds has been “implemented”
into the area of everyday human life.

Explore posts in the same categories: Comparative Linguistics

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