A Dooming Dumanje

Vasmer (Vasmer) says that Russian dumatь is a loan word from Gothic dōmjan (to judge; "zaimstvovanie iz got. dōmjan "suditь" ili proizvodnoe ot duma…"; Serb. dumati 'to think'). It seems that Vasmer did not scrutinize this word as far as to understand its real origin in Slavic. On the other side, I do not know if any serious etymology has compared Germanic *domaz and Latin dubito (doubt; cf. Gr. θέμις law, judgement; Latv. domāt 'to think'). Namely, in order to realize what has happened and how these words evolved in different IE languages, I would say, we should begin with the word "deepness" (from the PIE root *deubh-; Ger. Tief, Gr. τηλεβᾰθής very deep; Serb. dubina /from dubljina 'deepness'; udubljenje 'hollow', udaljavanje 'alieniation', 'removing', 'departure'; see my earlier post).

In Russian the word for 'deepness' is glubina (glubina; Cz. hlubina), while in Serbian it appears as 'dubina' (similar to English deepness). Unfortunately, Vasmer seems to be unable to connect these two words; i.e. he did not understand that Russian 'glubina' is derived from the same ur-basis as Serbian 'dubina' or English 'deep'. If he had been more introspective he would probably have seen the kinship between the Russians words vыdalblivatь (vidalblivatь 'indent', 'dig out', 'deepen') and uglublяtь (uglubljatь 'deepen').

Vasmer is right about Greek γλύφω (carve; γλύφᾰνος tool for carving, knife, chisel)- that word is akin to Russian glubina, Serbian dubina, English deep, but he is not right about the Latin word glubo (peel, strip the bark from, rob). Latin glubo, -ere is related to the Serbian verb guliti (peel, flay, strip)and globiti (rob). In fact, Latin glubo comes from the sam Gon-Bel source, but with different connotations and different semantic determinants. Often we can see that the antonyms are made of the words that opposed them. For instance, above-mentioned Latin glubo and Serbian golo (naked) is related to English cloth (cloak, coat) or Serbian kaput (from klaput; Serb. oklapati 'to cover', oklop 'armour', shield, mail, shell).

As we can see, the semantic shifts that can be observed in these cases are very big and, especially at first sight, somewhat unexpected. Who would ever have supposed that English dell (Serb. dolja, dolina) is related to heap (Serb. hum, gomila)? Furthermore, if we follow (backward in time) the semantic values of dell (Serb. dolja)we would be able to grasp that dell is a small hollow or a deepened (depressed, indented, excavated) ground or, in Serbian, it is "udubljena površina" (deepened, concave area). It means that Serbian "dolja" (dell) is nothing else but "udubljenje" (hollow).

Nevertheless, let us live our heap-dell contemplation and let us go back to the words "doom" and "dumanje", with which we have begun this discussion . It is interesting to mention that Latin habeo has the meaning 'think' or 'consider' (beside 'have' and 'keep'), because Serbo-Slavic 'dumanje' also seems to be related to the other Serbo-Slavic verbs as 'imati' (have, posses) and 'umeti' (know-how). The Serbian syntagm "umeti imati imanje" could be literally translated as "to know-how how to have a possession/estate/having/domain/". It becomes obvious that the Serbian verb 'imati' is logically connected to the verb 'umeti' (to know how), beause you cannot achieve anything substantial unless you know how to do it.

In my earlier posts I was talking about the kinship of words like domain, imanje (estate), domaćinstvo/dom (household/home), hamlet, selo (village) etc. Also, the possible reader who have carefully followed what I have written on this forum must remember that I was mentioning an unusual relation between the Serbo-Slavic čovek/človek (hu-man). There are additional Serbian words that entirely correspond to the English noun 'human' (Lat. homo): one is 'kum' (god-father; also known in Serbian as 'kumašin', 'kuman') and the other is 'komšija' (neighbour).

In reality, no one can understand the history of these words if he doesn't start from the Gon-Bel ur-basis, which represents a "rounded heap" or any "global" form, beginning from the globe (globus, Serb. lopta /ball/, Serb. zemlja /earth/, gemela, zemela, humus, Serb. gomila /heap/, tellus, Serb. tlo /ground/)and ending with words for the human/head (Serb. glava /head/, heafod, caput, Kopf, Serb. glavonja /an important person/, Serb. čovek /from glovek, galavak, glavonja; i.e. glovek => človek).

It means that the development of languages and evolvment of certain single words in different IE tongues had been much simpler than any modern linguistic scientist could have ever hoped for.

We are going to see that the Irish vocabulary possesses the word domhain (from Celtic *dubno- deepness, Serb. dubina). It clearly shows the b to m sound change, and the same happened to Serbo-Slavic 'dubina' (deepness) in comparison to 'dumanje' (thinking). It's not accidentally that the Serbian adjective 'udubljen' has the meaning "thoughtful"; i.e. 'sunken into the deepness of thoughts' (in-depth thinking). If we add to these words the Serbian noun 'dojam' (impression, feeling, sensation, sense) and the adjektiv 'dojmljeno' (grasped, sensed) it seems that things are getting more and more clear. The seemingly "far-fetching" correspondance between the words glava (head) and dumanje (thinking), I hope, is now much more understandable.

Please, do not be shy; be free to ask whatever you may find "undecipherable".

Explore posts in the same categories: Comparative Linguistics

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