Հրաչ Մարտիրոսյան 2012
European and Mediterranean substrate words in Armenian
University of Leiden
1. In recent years, the methodology of dealing with substrate words has been developed and applied by several scholars.2 It has been pointed out that an etymon is likely to be a loanword if it is characterized by some of the following features: (1) limited geographical distribution; (2) unusual phonology and word formation; (3) specific semantics.3
The Armenian words that are frequently considered to be of Mediterranean origin are: gini ‘wine’, ewɫ/iwɫ ‘oil’, t‘uz ‘fig’, spung ‘sponge’, sring ‘pipe, fife’, sunk/g(n) ‘mushroom’.4 The actual number is much higher. In ...view middle of the document...
Whether the Mediterranean-Pontic and European substrata are identical or related is difficult to say with any confidence.
2. There are words belonging to the same semantic categories (plant names, animal names, cultural words) that may be treated as innovations shared by Armenian and Greek etc. For instance, the morphological agreement between Arm. kaɫin, o-stem ‘acorn’ and Gr. βάλανος f. ‘acorn’ (vs. Lat. , glandis f. ‘acorn, beech-nut’, Russ. žë ud’, SCr. žȅ ūd ‘acorn’, Lith. ì ė, dial. ė ‘acorn’, Latv. zĩ e ‘acorn’, etc.; note also Syrian Arm. gy ɫɛ(ɔ)nd and gy ɫɛ(ɔ)nd, if from *gwlh
nd-) may reflect a common innovation undergone jointly by Greek and Armenian (Clackson 1994: 135-136, 200/237
). Such words do not belong with the substrate since they are of Indo-European origin and do not reflect any phonological or morphological deviation. Nevertheless, these innovations are relevant to our topic in that they may be ascribed to the same Mediterranean-Pontic area and period. In other words, after the Indo-European dispersal, Proto-Armenian, Proto-Greek and some contiguous language-branches (e.g. Phrygian and Thracian5) may have remained in contact somewhere in the Mediterranean (Balkan) and/or Pontic areas prob. in the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and have shared both IE innovations and substrate words.
3. The consonantal correspondences between substrate words in Armenian and other languages are of two kinds:
1) archaic, matching the correspondences of the native Indo-European heritage: *- - > Arm. - ǰ- and *g/gw > Arm. k: anu ǰ ‘prophetic dream, vision’ vs. Gr. ὄναρ n. ‘dream’, ὄνειρος m. ‘god of dreams, dream’, Aeol. ὄνοιρος m., Cret. ἄναιρον· ὄνειρον; Alb. âdërrë (Geg.), ëndërrë (Tosc.) from *andërrë < *h
1 I am indebted to Richard Hitchman for some technical corrections. 2 Kuiper 1995; Beekes 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003; Schrijver 1997; Lubotsky 2001. 3 See Schrijver 1997: 293-297; Beekes 2000: 22-23; Lubotsky 2001: 301-302. 4 In fact, gini ‘wine’ and spung ‘sponge’ should be excluded from the list since the Indo-European origin of the former is more probable, and the latter is likely to be a Greek loan.
5 Cf. Kortlandt 2003: VIII, 83-87.
Հրաչ Մարտիրոսյան 2012
kamu ǰ, a-stem ‘bridge’ vs. Gr. γέφῡρα f. (Boeot. βέφυρα, Cret. δέφυρα, Lac. /Hesychius/ δίφουρα) ‘bridge’.
*k > Arm. s: ors, o-stem ‘hunt, game’ if from * -o-, cf. Gr. δορκάς, -άδος f. (Herodotus 7.69), ζορκάς (Herodotus 4.192), δόρξ, δόρκος, ζόρξ, ἴορκος, etc. ‘a kind of deer, roe, antelope, gazelle’; Corn. yorch ‘roe’, MWelsh iwrch ‘roe-deer (caprea mas)’;
salamb, a-stem (Łazar P‘arpec‘i, 5th cent.), *salamn (nom.pl. salamun- ‘ in Philo), MidArm. salam, u-stem ‘a game bird, a kind of partridge’, probably ‘francolin’, if from h-(e)h
> PArm. *salámba-, cf. Lat. columba f. ‘dove, pigeon’;
siseṙn ‘chick-pea’ vs. Lat. cicer n. ‘chick-pea’, OPr. keckers ‘chick-pea’, Alb. thjer(r), thíerr ‘lentil’; siwn ‘column, pillar’ vs. Gr. κ ων.
*ĝ > Arm. c: erbuc ‘breast...