Bukva; Prečka Bridge; Most Mast

Schenker wrongly claimed that the Slavic languages "lacked a native term for beech".

What arguments he could present to prove that Slavic buk/bukva is a borrowing from Germanic/Gothic bok? On the other hand, is there any proof that could corroborate that the word bok/book/beech is of an undisputed Germanic origin? What are we going to do with Latin sambucus (elder-tree), Russian bazina, Serbian žbun (bush), smokva (fig-tree).

Namely, all the Slavic words mentioned above are related to the following Slavic words: beleg (mark, landmark, nick, scotch), beležiti (note, mark, notice), pisati (write; from Bel-Gon beleg => beležiti => blisati => pisati), beležnica (notebook). If we know that beech tablets were used as writing surfaces in the ancient times we must come to a conclusion that the Slavic word buk/bukva (beech) cannot be the Germanic loanword; i.e. bukva (beech) is a clear-cut Slavic word.

For instance, Serbian pisar (scribe) is equal to English booker and it means that both words were independently developed from the same basis.

A similar relation could be found among words as English block, plunk, log and Serbian oblog (lining, sheath), oblica (wooden cylinder), panj (log), pladanj (a sheet of wood, plate, tray).

It seems that German Wald (wood, forest) is clearly related to English wood, is it not? In addition, there are the words as English wild and German Gewalt (force, violence). What is the relation between English wood and German Wut (wroth, rage, ire).


“Proto-Slavic had no maritime terminology whatsoever, be it in the domain of seafaring, sea fishing, boat building, or sea trade.”

(The Dawn of Slavic; An Introduction to Slavic Philology; Alexander M. Schenker)

This is really crazy!
Schenker also claimed, "Proto-Slavic had no maritime terminology" at all! What Schenker tried to achieve by such absurd statement? For instance, it is much more difficult to explain the history of the English word "mast" than the history of the Serbo-Slavic word most (bridge), motka (pole). In Serbian, most is related to the other Serbian/Slavic words as mesto (place; Czech misto, Russ. mesto), premestiti (transfer; Czech přemísťovat; Russ. peremestitь), prenositi (transfer; Czech přenášet, přenést; Russ. perenositь; Slovene prenesti) and premostiti (bridge over; Czech přemostit).

In Serbo-Slavic, most (bridge) was "born" from the prefixed word pre-most-iti. Pre-mostiti literally means "to bring over"; i.e. in this case "to go over to other side of river" (Serb. preko over, beyond; Russ. pere-, Czech přes; cf. Lat. perago /to pass through/). Now we can see that the ur-basis of all the above words is – Br-Gon. Of course, the first syllable Br- is a reduced (assimilated) form of Bel-Hor (bel-kret => pokret /movement/ => obrtati/vrteti => rotate).

English bridge is clearly related to the verb bring in the same way as Serbian pritka/prečka (crossbar; Czech příčka; Russ. po-perečnaя balka /crossbeam/) is related to the Serbian verbs 'prineti/preneti' (bring, bring over; Czech přinášet, přines; Russ. perenositь; Slovene prenašati) and 'preći' (cross over; Czech přejít, přejet, přejíždět). From this moment on, we can understand why the English words bridge and mast are closely related to Serbian/Slavic words prečka (crossbar) and most (bridge).

Furthermore, it becomes clear that the Slavic noun most (bridge) sprang from the above mentioned verbs prenositi (bring over, carry over, transfer) and premostiti (bridge over); pre-nositi => pre-mosit/i => most (n => m sound change). From the same Br-Gon basis is derived Serbian/Slavic prečka (crossbar); i.e. from preneti (bring over, transfer) => preći (cross over) => prečka (crossbar).
Prečka <=> Bridge; Most <=> Mast

Explore posts in the same categories: Comparative Linguistics

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