LINGUIST List 6.1359

Thu Oct 5 1995

Sum: Multiple Etymological Sources

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  1. George Huttar 709 2400, Summary: multiple etymological sources

Message 1: Summary: multiple etymological sources

Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 22:01:00 Summary: multiple etymological sources
From: George Huttar 709 2400 <george.huttarSIL.ORG>
Subject: Summary: multiple etymological sources

On 31 July I posted the following request:

> I'm looking for examples of languages in which, within one lexica l
> domain, some lexemes come from one language source and some from >
another. For example, in English kin terms, almost all the lexem es
are > from a Germanic source --e.g., mother, father, sister, brother;
b ut the > grand in grandmother and grandfather is from Romance.
Another ex ample > would be English's Germanic lexemes for domestic
animals "on the hoof", > but French-derived ones for their meat (pork,
veal, beef).

First of all, my thanks to the following respondents:

 Richard Cameron Japanese, Spanish
 Tucker Childs Mande/Atlantic
 Margaret Daly Penoles Mixtec
 Ron Dennis Tol
 Bob Dooley Guarani
 Henryk Duda Polish
 Steve Echerd Colombian languages
 Paul Frank Ika
 Mark Hansell Japanese
 Tom Headland Agta
 Robert Hoberman Yiddish
 Shin Ja Hwang Korean
 James Kirchner Czech
 Torsten Lantz English
 Eugene Loos Peruvian Spanish
 Ron Olson Chipaya
 Dave Oltrogge Tol
 Nicholas Ostler English
 Steve Parker Chamicuro, Huariapano
 Deborah Ruuskanen Finnish
 Achim Stenzel English
 Larry Trask Basque
 Paul Woods Chinese

A. KINSHIP: 1. Ruuskanen reports that "the kinship words in Finland a
re all Finnish, but the affectionate diminutives are Swedish-derived";
exx.: mommy, daddy, granny, brother (dim.)

2. Trask reports for Basque that "Most kinship terms are native, but
there are four exceptions. The words for `(first) cousin' are
<lehengusu> (male) and <lehengusina> (female), in which <lehen> is
Basque for `first' and the remainders are Romance loans cognate with
English `cousin'. For `uncle' and `aunt', Spanish Basques borrow
Spanish <ti'o> and <ti'a> and use them side by side with native
<osaba> `uncle' and <izeba> ~ <izeko> `aunt' ."

3. Hoberman reports for Yiddish that "foter, muter, bruder, shvester,
kind, zun, tokhter are Germanic, but mekhutn 'son/daughter-in-law's
father' and makhateneste 'son/daughter-in-law's mother' are from
Hebrew, while zeyde 'grandfather' and bobe 'grandmother' are Slavic."

4. Olson reports for Chipaya that "in kinship terms, I think hila
(brother/older brother) may be related to an Aymara term, but lahk
[younger brother] is strictly Chipaya."

5. Hwang reports that "in Korean we have a lot of vocabulary items
from Chinese (Sino-Korean words). Some are used alternatively with the
vernacular, and there are others that probably exist only in
Sino-Korean words.... father apeci [Korean word] pu (S-K word, but
only used in compou nds as in copu 'grandfather', swukpu 'father's
brother', and puchin 'father- kin'; the last of these is used for
reference, never as a term of address, while the first two, though
rare, can probably be used as terms of address if followed by
honorific -nim).

"Often two alternate forms (K vs S-K) used as terms of address/reference
carry different connotations of social distance.

"For some kin terms at least, I can only think of Korean words at the
moment, e.g. nwuna 'older sister (from male ego)', oppa 'older brother
(from female ego)'. On the other hand, I can only think of S-K words
for some other kin terms, e.g., tongsayng 'younger sibling', but
notice nwui-tongsayng 'younger sister (of male ego)' vs ye-tongsayng
'younger sister (of ego of either sex)', where nwui is K and ye is

6. Dooley reports for Guarani that terms of both Guarani (-xy
'mother', ha'i 'my mother') and Portuguese (mamECe 'mother', xemamECe
'my mother') origin occur; "the Portuguese borrowing is commonly used,
although G speakers recognize the existence of the other terms in
their language."

7. Ostler has reminded me that, contrary to the impression given in my
example above, English 'aunt', 'uncle', 'cousin', 'niece' and 'nephew'
are all of Romance origin.

8. Daly reports for P. Mixtec that terms for godparents and godchild
are from Spanish [a phenomenon fairly widespread in Oto-Manguean; see
Merrifield, William R. 1981. Proto Otomanguean Kinship. Dallas:
Summer Institute of Linguistics--GLH], 'male cousin' is designated by
a Mixtec-Spanish compound, and other kin terms are Mixtec in origin.

B. COLOR: 1. Headland reports for Agta that some basic color terms are
native, "one is borrowed from Tagalog, and two (asul [blue] and berde
[green]) are borrowed from Spanish."

2. Korean: both Korean and S-K terms are used for colors, "although
S-K simple color terms are used only followed by the S-K word for
color, sayk e.g. ppalkang or ppalkang-sayk (K) vs cek-sayk (red-color)
(S-K) for red, suggesting that the high degree of homonymy of these
monosyllabic S-K words may be a factor.

3. Basque: "the following are native: <beltz> `black', <zuri>
`white,<gorri> `red', <hori> `yellow', and <urdin> `blue' (formerly
also covering `green' and `gray'). For `green' we have <berde>,
borrowed from Romance. For `gray', native <arre> and borrowed <gris>
are both in use (plus other native terms, such as <nabar> and <uher>).
For `purple', native <ubel> and borrowed <more> are both in use. For
'orange', we find the loan <laranja> and for `brown' the loans
<marroi> and <morosko>, plus the native <beltzaran>, this last limited
to labeling skin and hair, rather like English `brunette'."

4. Mixtec: 'white', 'black', 'red', 'blue/green', 'yellow', 'colorles
s' and 'faded / ash-colored' are native terms; other color terms are
from Spanish.

C. BODY PART TERMS: 1. Guarani has native -poxi'a 'upper chest' and
Portuguese-derived -pexo 'breast, chest'

2. Yiddish: "Body part terminology is mostly Germanic (kop, noz, moyl
'mouth', oyer 'ear', oyg 'eye', etc., but ponem 'face' [is] from

3. Frank reports for Ika that "ywawika 'heart', gunn-u 'hand/arm',
yu?kw-u 'leg', sakuku 'head', tu 'breast', gasiro 'intestines',
t'etik-un-un 'hipbone', biuk-un-u 'knee', siwa 'ankle', kom-u
'fingernail', kwi?se 'shoulder', dindin 'elbow'" are all native terms,
.while Spanish is the source of "kuti^za 'ribs', higru 'liver', dinion
'kidney', kweru 'skin,leather', pand'ia 'shoulder blade', pechu
'chest', puniu 'fist, knuck' wesu 'bones', boji 'lungs'."

('V3Daccented V; ^z3Dvoiced palatal fricative; ?3Dglottal stop, -u3D
high central vowel.)

4. A body part term is included in Kirchner's report that in Czech
"some words from the former aristocratic status language (German) came
to be considered the lower, more vulgar forms. This is probably the
result of the 19th century revival of the literary language, and its
deliberate purging and stigmatization of many foreignisms. Many of
the 'native' equivalents are in fact creations of this movement, and
often direct, morpheme-by-morpheme calques of the foreignisms.

"Czech is full of Germanisms that have taken on either new, negative
meanings in addition to their old ones, or are simply considered
vulgar because they come from German. Leaving out the diacritics,
here are some examples: "'Proper' Czech: oblicej 'face' "Vulgar Czech:
ksicht 'face, grimace, ugly puss' "German: Gesicht 'face' "(note that
the French-derived 'grimasa' ('grimace') is not considered at all

[Cf. U. Weinreich, Languages in Contact, 2.42--GLH]

D. ANIMAL NAMES & related notions: 1. Besides the expected borrowings
from European languages for introduced domestic animals, in Ika "some
names of wild animals are borrowed:.. tapir (Ika: ranta, Sp. danta),
jaguar (I ka: tigri; Sp. tigre), ocelot (Ika: tigri^zu; Sp.:
tigrillo)." [Spanish loans for a number of common, salient wild
animals are found in numerous ot her languages of Colombia; see
_Vocabulario Comparativo: Palabras Selectas de Lenguas Indi'genas de
Colombia_, Randall Q. Huber and Robert B. Reed, eds., Bogota':
Asosiacio'n Instituto Lingu"i'stico de Verano, 1992--GLH]

2. Oltrogge and Dennis report that Tol has borrowed /hutsh/ (aspirated
ts) 'opossum' and t'unun 'hummingbird' from Mayan.

3. Guarani has native xo'o 'game, meat'; -ymba 'domesticated animal'
alongside Portuguese-derived -kaxa 'hunt', vixo 'wild animal'.

4. Agta has "some 20 specific words, but no generic term for hunting,
except the term borrowed from English *meghanting* or *humanting*.
Agta likewise have 13 terms for types of fishnets, but no generic term
except that nowadays many use the Tagalog term *rambat* as a generic."

5. In Korean, "most animal names are K, e.g., kay 'dog', mal 'horse',
and re (again) monosyllabic and are used only in compounds,
e.g. payk-ma 'white-horse', but not ma as horse in isolation."
Likewise, most terms for kinds of meat in Korean are of native origin;
e.g. so 'cow', koki 'meat', so-koki 'beef'. But native mul-koki
'fish', used for both fish as food and for live fish, is more commonly
understood as live fish, while sayngsen (Sino-Korean) only as food."
In addition, "some specific kinds of fish might be only in S-K form:
yeltay-e 'tropical (area)-fish'." Others are known only in a native K
form, such as mikkulaci 'mudfish.'

6. Woods reports that "Mandarin hu2die2...(butterfly...) [is a]
loan. ..from Mongolian, which ha[s] been sinicised", while other
insect names generally are native. Further, "here are some who
suggest that Chinese xiang4 (elephant) may be a loan from
proto-Tai... There are also rumours that gou3 (dog) may be a loan from

7. In Chipaya, "xwala (llama) is Chipaya, but some of the terms
designating specific kinds of llamas are Aymara."

8. In Basque, Trask reports that "the majority of names of indigenous
animals, both wild and domesticated, are native, but there are a fair
number of loans. Impressionistically, I think the names of fish and
other sea creatures are more often loan words than are names of land
creatures, but I haven't done a study."

9. Loos gives many examples of animal names in Peruvian Sp. compounded
from Sp. and Quechua morphemes, such as sacha 'jungle, false' (Qu) +
vaca 'cow'(Sp) > sachavaca 'tapir'.

10. Mixtec has Sp. loans for some introduced domestic animals, but not
for all: 'rooster', 'chicken', 'mule' and one term for 'ox' are
Mixtec, while 'male turkey' is probably of Aztec origin.

E. PLANT NAMES: 1. Guarani has both native kuri and Port.-derived
pinho for the same native pine tree; Dooley notes, "The traditional G
area is famous for this kind of tree, and the G make a number of
artifacts from it, as well as identifying its fruit as a traditional G

2. Peruvian Sp. has compounds for plant names as in D.9. above; e.g.,
remo 'paddle' (Sp) + caspi 'tree' (Qu) > remocaspi 'paddletree'.

3. Basque "tree names are mostly native, though with a couple of
glaring exceptions."

F. NUMERALS: 1. Chipaya 1-4 are native, higher numerals are apparently
from Aymara.

2. Parker reports a similar pattern for Chamicuro and Huariapno
(Peru): 1-4 are native, higher numerals are from Quechua.

3. Mixtec 1-99 are native terms; 'hundred' and 'thousand' are from

4. A. M. Ramer reported in LINGUIST 6-1132, "I do not seem to have any
examples of it being borrowed.... (Note: I have lots of examples of
borrowing from 4 on and a handful involving 2 and 3....)"

G. OTHER DOMAINS: 1. Ruuskanen reports for Finnish that there are many
Swedish loans referring to sailing and sailboat parts; in the domain
of farming, Swedish loans are found in western Finland, Russian loans
in eastern Finland.

2. In the domain that includes house, Chipaya has native khuya 'house
' and phit 'roofing straw', but Sp.-derived wintana 'window' and atupi

3. "Cantonese lek1 (clever) is almost certainly a loan from the Tai
family, and coexists with chun2 (stupid), a native word. Cantonese
'this' is ni1, from Tai, while 'there' gaw2 is a tone-change from a
noun classifier."

4. The vulgar, pejorative or otherwise negative value of
German-derived forms in Czech illustrated in C. 4. above is reported
by Kirchner as quite pervasive in Czech, with some interesting social
phenomena (such as negative evaluation of some such terms by Czech
speakers who nonetheless cannot provide a "proper" Cz. term) that make
his reply worth quoting at length (including a final paragraph on
English): "'Proper' Czech: obchod 'store, commerce' Czech slang: kseft
'store, business undertaking, swindle' German: Geschaft 'store,

"'Proper' Czech: zachod, toaleta 'toilet, lavatory' Vulgar Czech:
hajzl 'toilet, shithouse' German: Hauslein (?) (I'm only guessing.
In any case, the Czechs insist this word is an old Germanism.)

"This 'hajzl' is often found in German-style compounds, which are not
completely typical in Czech. The word hajzlbaba 'female toilet
attendant' (baba 3D 'old woman, hag') is not considered vulgar by most
Czechs I know. Hajzlpapir 'toilet paper' is considered vulgar, as is
hajzlprkynko 'toilet seat' (prkynko 3D 'board' (dimin.)), but Czechs I
asked were hard put to think of a polite synonym for the latter.

"Czechs also seem to do a lot of swearing in foreign languages like
German and English (just try swearing effectively in Latinisms in
English!). The normal interjection of surprise for Czechs is
'Jezismaria!' however one can also use the Germanism 'hergot!' (< Herr
Gott!) for that or for 'proboha' (for God's sake), but it's considered
a bit impolite. The English 'fuck off' is quite popular as a
substitute for numerous equivalent native phrases, and the gesture
known in the US as 'the finger' is called a 'fakofka' by some

"Heavily prescriptivist Czechs (i.e., most Czechs) consider
replacement of the word 'porad' ('constantly, always, still') with the
Germanism 'furt' (<fort) to be a bit stigmatized in polite speech, and
there are other particle pairs of this type.

"In other domains, there are German-derived words that seem to coexist
peacefully with their Slavic equivalents, with little or no
stigmatization (at least in the spoken language), such as words for
bottle (Cz lahev,flaska (< G. Flasche)). There are also some
regionalisms that seem to be interchangeable without stigma. Where I
lived in West Bohemia, 'knobloch'(< G. Knoblauch) often replaced the
Czech word for garlic 'cesnek', and near Austria, in Moravia, I saw
the word 'erteple' (< G. Erdapfel < Fr. pomme de terre) used side by
side on menus with more 'Czech' 'brambor' for potato.

"In slang, I sometimes heard the German 'Kinder' ('children') used in
compounds, just as in English. 'Kindervajicko' (Cz vajicko 3D 'egg'
dimin.) denoted one of those hollow, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs with
a prize inside, which I think in English are brand-named 'Kinder

"The main things I found amazing were (1) when I was instructed by
Czechs not to use some 'vulgar' foreignism (e.g., hajzlprkynko) and
when I asked what the polite Czech equivalent might be, they were
stumped, and (2) when Czechs called a word 'foreign' that displayed a
degree of phonological transformation that would in any other language
be tantamount to nativization.

"And don't forget things in English like 'meister', as in 'carmeister
' or 'congressional spendmeister', which have a very different feel
from ' master mechanic' and 'congressional master spender'."

An additional example from Czech, again from Kirchner: "When Czechs
order coffee ("kava" or "kafe") the assumption in most restaurants is
that the person wants sludgy Turkish coffee, and that's what's
brought. Before I knew the terms for the type of coffee common in the
US ("filtrkafe" or "prekapavana kava"), I had the disagreeable task of
trying to order "normal" coffee for an American colleague. When I
described what I wanted, I was frustrated by the Czech waiter's
German-sounding response: "Tasakafe," and I kept answering, yes, a cup
of coffee, but not Turkish. He'd say "tasakafe" again and the process
would start over. Later I found out that "tasakafe" was a post-1989
coinage in the resort area where I lived, because the Czech term for a
cup of coffee signaled that the waiter wanted Turkish, while a German
customer ordering "eine Tasse Kaffee" nearly always wanted filtered.
So, at least in the Marianske Lazne (Marienbad) area, "tasakafe" meant
specifically our "Mr." coffee.

5. Lantz has reminded me of the widespread coexistence of
Latinate/Germanic pairs in English, such as neighborhood/vicinity,
brotherhood/fraternity, and celestial/heavenly.

6. Cameron suggests that both Japanese and Spanish will be found to
have both native and Eng.-derived forms in the baseball domain; a
quick check with a Puerto Rican acquaintance confirms this for Puerto
Rican Spanish.

7. Hansell reports that besides a native and a Chinese-derived set of
numerals, Japanese also "has two words for cooked rice: the native
word 'gohan', meaning rice eaten the traditional way, in a bowl with
chops ticks, and 'raisu' (< English), meaning rice eaten off a plate
with a fork or spoon."

8. Frank's comments on some Ika verbs derived from Spanish are worth
quoting in full: "Another couple of unexpected borrowings are the
verbs 'to limp' and 'to run': to limp (Ika: kohu?si nik-un; Spanish:
cojo 'lame '); to run (Ika: kore nik-un; Spanish: correr). In both
these cases, the word nik-un is native Ika for 'to do'. Other borrowed
words compounded with nik-un generate verbs for 'to marry' and 'to
baptize' which are probably borrowed because the rites come from the
Catholic Church."

9. Duda reports borrowing from Dutch and from Russian in the domain
that includes tea: "HERBATA 'tea' is a loanword derived from Dutch
expression _herba thee_....There are some other Polish words derived
from HERBATA, e.g. HERBATKA 'tea-party', HERBATNIK 'biscuits'
(etymologically: cake for tea), HERBACIARNIA 'tea-room'. But CZAJNIK
[phonetically: tchaynik] 'tea-pot' is derived from the Russian noun
TCHAY 'tea'. This Russian noun comes from the Chinese _ch'a-ye_
'tea-leaves'. In the Silesian dialect (South-West part of Poland)
people use the noun TEY 'tea' instead of HERBATA and this is probably
because of the German influence."

10. Childs reports that in some Atlantic languages, borrowings from
Mande languages (both groups belonging to the Niger-Congo family) are
found in various domains, such as politics and weaponry, alongside
native terms.

11. Mixtec has both native and Spanish-derived forms in the domains of
foods, household items and housing, weights and measures, clothing,
and designations of time. In the last of these, days of the week,
months of the year, 'week', and 'date' are from Sp., while other
expressions are native M.

12. Tool names are a mixture in Basque, but (in contrast to domains
mentioned above), "with a very high proportion of loan words."

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