are constantly on my mind:
守護 shouhu 'defend' is a synonym compound:
守 shou 'defend'
護 hu 'defend'
者 -zhe '-er; one who ...'
They are also known as
Who are they? What will I see tomorrow? (I don't want to click on the second link. I want to be surprised.)
Vogterne in Danish (Vogte may be cognate to part of the English name for them)
Őrzők in Hungarian
Strażnicy in Polish
Vartijat in Finnish
(3.15.1:18: Is vartija 'guard' borrowed from Germanic? Cf. ward.)
and - no surprise -
Custodes in Latin
09.3.12.23:59: ARE UVULAR STOPS MORE PRONE TO VOICING?
For many years, I've been puzzled by the voiced pronunciation of ق q in Persian: e.g.,
Arabic qurʔaan > borrowed into Persian > now Persian ɢorʔaan
Earlier Persian q has become [ɣ] in noninitial position: e.g.,
Arabic tˁaariq > borrowed into Persian > now Persian tareɣ
However, nonuvular voiceless stops (e.g., k and t) in Arabic borrowings have not become g and d in modern Persian.
Last night, I noticed a somewhat similar phenomenon for the first time in another language. The Zbu cognate of gDong-brgyad rGyalrong ta-qaβ 'needle' (last seen here) is tɐ-ʁâv with voiced ʁ. Since I cannot find any Zbu words with initial ʁ- corresponding to gDong-brgyad q-, Zbu -ʁ- must be the product of intervocalic voicing (unlike the unconditioned voicing of q in Persian and even in some Arabic dialects*: e.g., Libyan Arabic). One might expect other stops and even affricates to be subject to intervocalic voicing, but -q- can also be found in Zbu: e.g.,
kɐ-qɐ̂χ (also qɐ̂χ, qə́χ) 'remove skin'; cf. gDong-brgyad kɤ-qaʁ
(3.13.0:39: Could -q- have been restored by analogy with the prefixless Zbu forms?)
*-p- is the only other stop that sometimes lenites in Zbu: e.g.,
və-viê 'low'; cf. gDong-brgyad ɯ-pa
(3:13.0:56: Could Tangut bi 'low' be from *Ni-pa?)
kə-ɣvə̂x 'inflate oneself'; cf. gDong-brgyad kɯ-pɯɣ
A *-p- word without lenition is
kə-pɐʔ 'Chinese' (which doesn't sound like any Chinese word for 'Chinese' - what's its etymology?); cf. gDong-brgyad ku-pa
(3.13.0:45: Guillaume Jacques [2004: 273] does not list any Zbu word pɐʔ 'Chinese' that could motivate the analogical restoration of -p- in kə-pɐʔ.)
What does p have in common with q (besides being a voiceless nonacute stop)?
*3.13.0:55: I think the shift of q to g in Arabic dialects could be part of a chain shift absent in standard Arabic:
Standard Arabic has no g.
q > g > j [dʒ]
No such chain shift existed in Persian, so I can't propose a parallel explanation for the voicing of Persian q.
Nonstandard Arabic g can correspond to standard j: e.g., in Egyptian Arabic. I've long assumed that Egyptian g is conservative, since I have never heard of a language that hardened dʒ to g, and I would rather not posit a 'round trip' change:
What is the evidence for regarding Egyptian g as an innovation?
*g > *dʒ > g
09.3.11.1:33: FILLING THE ΓAP WITH FINE IRON
Recent posts may have given the mistaken impression that Tangut -a rhymes derive from *-aq. But I've only been looking at one part of a bigger picture. I don't have time to examine all other sources of Tangut -a, so I'll just fill a single gap with a word I've brought up before as a third example of lenition:
TT2597 ɣa < *Cʌ-ka R17 1.17 'needle' =
'metal' < top of TT2599 ʃɨõ R58 1.56 'iron' +
all of TT5522 tshiẽ R43 1.42 'fine'
Other non-Chinese Sino-Tibetan words for 'needle' imply pre-Tangut *Cʌ-qap:
gDong-brgyad rGyalrong ta qaβ < *qap
Written Tibetan khab < *kap(But Zhongu Tibetan has khi, not qhi. Did *q- front to kh- before *i? Can qh- precede i? Sun  lists no instances of qhi in Zhongu.)Written Burmese ʔap (is WB ʔ- partly from *q-?; cf. similar proposals for Old Chinese)
It is tempting to regard Old Chinese 針 *kim as cognate, but there is no OC-internal evidence for a uvular initial or a nonhigh vowel. The *-m is unusual since the phonetic 十 *gip ends in *-p like the non-Chinese forms. I have wondered if OC oral/nasal coda alternations reflect lost suffixes: e.g., *-m < *-p-N(V).Like Tangut, Qiang languages (Taoping and Mawo χe, Ronghong χa) have lost the original coda.
09.3.10.2:10: SPEAKING OF THREAD PEOPLE
Mahaadatṛ asked me for a Tangut cognate of Written Tibetan thag 'weave' and I found
TT4659 la R17 1.17 'weave'
cf. Japhug rGyalrong kɤ-taʁ < *taq and Old Chinese 織 *tək 'id.' as well as WT thag < *tak
Although la seems to have nothing in common with thag except for its vowel, I think its lateral initial is a lenited dental:
*Cʌ-taq > *Cʌ-d- > *Cʌ-l- > la
cf. Proto-Korean *VtV > Middle Korean VrV
Proto-Lolo-Burmese *rak 'weave' could similarly be from an earlier *CV-tak that had lost its presyllable.
The word that inspired my secondary lateral hypothesis was
TT1075 lew R44 1.43 'one'
which could be from *Cʌ-tek or *Cʌ-tik. I compared it to Written Tibetan gcig < *k-tik 'one' and Old Chinese 隻 *tek 'single'.
The graph for la 'weave' makes little sense:
TT4659 la R17 1.17 'weave' =
'speech' < left of TT4639 kiạ R67 1.64 'extol' +
'thread' and 'person' < center and right of TT2374 pəụ R61 2.51 'weft'
The presence of 'thread' (cf. Chn 糸 'id.') is expected, but why does weave include 'person' (because only people can weave?) and, of all things, 'speech' (cf. Chn 讠, cursive of 言 'id.')? Why would 'extol weft' (which is not in Tangut object-verb order) make one think of 'weave'? kiạ 'extol' sounds nothing like la 'weave' and cannot be phonetic (a shared a is insufficient).
'Extol' looks like 'speech' + 'person' + (common mystery right-hand element). Its analysis is
TT4639 kiạ R67 1.64 'extol' =
'speech' < right of TT1252 dziụ R62 1.59 'witticism' +
'person' + ? < right of TT3484 dziw R46 1.45 'combine'
The analysis of
TT2374 pəụ R61 2.51 'weft'
is unknown. It looks like 'not' + 'thread' + 'person'. What does 'not a thread person'.have to do with weft?
What does the Tangut character
which looks like 'dog' + 'hand' + (unknown common right-hand element) represent? Answer here.
Its Tangraphic Sea analysis is
va = giu 'pig' (in the twelve-animal cycle) + va (phonetic)
The use of the 'dog' element is reminiscent of Chinese 犭 'dog' which appears on the left side of 猪 'pig' (whose right side is phonetic, just like its Tangut counterpart).
The analysis of giu 'pig' is somewhat circular:
giu 'pig' = va + giu 'three' (phonetic)
Oddly, the phonetic symbol va is not the phonetic sum of its parts:
One might think 'hand' on the left of va and riụ is a phonetic element, but lạ 'hand' sounds like neither syllable.
va (phonetic symbol) = riụ (a surname) + bɨu (another surname)
Both short and long Tangut -a correspond to gDong-brgyad rGyalrong -aʁ < *-aq. An example of a short -a correspondence is 'pig':
Tangut va R17 1.17 : gDong-brgyad rGyalrong paʁ < *paq
(Cf. the vocalism of the Qiang words for 'thick': Mawo has the 'brightest' vowel while Taoping retains the original *a. Brightening is completely absent from the Tangut and gDong-brgyad rGyalrong forms. What are other rGyalrongic forms for 'pig?)
Written Tibetan phag < *pak
Written Burmese wak
Tangut v- and WB w- may not have a common origin. I suspect that some Tangut v- arose from intervocalically lenited *-p-:
*Cʌ-p- > *Cʌ-b- > *Cʌ-β- > *β- > v-
Some Vietnamese v- also originated from a similar sequence of changes: e.g.,
'mend': vá < *Cə-paʔ (borrowed from Chinese 補; the presyllable could be a Vietnamese native prefix or borrowed from Chinese)
Matisoff (2003: 662) reconstructed Proto-Tibeto-Burman *pʷak ~ *wak 'pig'. Perhaps *pʷ- simplified to *p- in Proto-Qiangic and pre-Tibetan. The Qiangic language Tangut independently recreated a *w-like initial v- (see above) whereas Burmese inherited an old *w-. But I've wondered if the earliest root initial was simply *p- which (irregularly?) lenited to *-w- in medial position.
09.3.8.23:21: LAA LẠ LẠ: THICK, THICK HANDS
In Friday's post, I originally misglossed Arakawa la:' R22 1.22 as 'hand' instead of 'thick'. I confused it with Arakawa laq R66 1.63 'hand'. The words for 'thick' and 'hand' are nearly homophonous in both Tangut (regardless of reconstruction) and gDong-brgyad rGyalrong:
|Gloss||Tangraph||Arakawa 1999||Gong 1997 and this site||gDong-brgyad rGyalrong|
|thick||la:'||laa||kɯ jaʁ < *ljaq|
|hand||tɯ jaʁ < *ljaq|
-q in Arakawa's reconstruction indicates tenseness of a preceding vowel and is not a uvular coda.
lạ 'thick' may be from *llaaq with a tense onset from an earlier prefix-root initial sequence *C-l-. I reconstruct an long vowel root *laaq on the basis of the long vowel of lax-vowelled laa 'thick'.
lạ 'hand' could be from *llaq or *llaaq.There is no Tangut-internal evidence for a *-j- in 'thick' or 'hand'. Did pre-Tangut *lj- or *ʎ- merge with *l-?
I wonder if Qiang words for 'hand' once had *lj-:
(Mawo has dʒəpɑ 'hand', but I wonder if lɑ- in lɑxɑpi 'shoulder' was once 'arm'; cf. Ronghong jipi 'shoulder'. The i of Taoping and Ronghong could be from *-a < ?*-aq.)
Qiang words for 'thick' have l-:
Matisoff (2003) does not reconstruct an *l-word for 'thick' in Proto-Tibeto-Burman. Starostin's online Proto-Sino-Tibetan database also lacks an *l-word for 'thick'. Could ?*laq 'thick' be a Qiangic innovation unlike its near-homophone ?*ljaq 'hand' which was inherited from Proto-Sino-Tibetan?