Non-native linguistic detachment

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 25 03:21:31 UTC 2007

Polish "piwo" [p'ivo] - "pivo" [p'iv@] in Russian - is from the Slavic
verb-root _pi-_ "drink," related in turn to the Homeric and Classical
Greek verb root _pi-_ "drink." Cf. Homeric

Kuklops, te. _Pi-E_ [w]OInOn. "Cyclops, here. Drink [some] wine."

"Pivnica" means ""brewery" in Russian, but may mean something
different in Polish. Cf. Czech _zhivot_ "life" (vs. "death") as
opposed to Russian _zhivot_ "belly. abdomen."


On Dec 24, 2007 11:27 AM, Damien Hall <halldj at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Damien Hall <halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Non-native linguistic detachment
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> dInIs said:
> ==================
> I always remember sitting in a basement beer bar drinking beer with
> Polish friends when it struck me that one of the Polish words for
> basement (piwnica) must have been connected to beer (piwo) - beer
> storing place? It is, of course, but none of the native speakers with
> me (all linguists!) had ever noticed the connection, and the phonetic
> modification in the case was minimal.
> ==================
> Sometimes it takes a bit of detachment from a case to notice stuff like this.  I
> remember once being at a party with other linguists in Philadelphia where the
> local lager Juengling was being served.  The question came up as to where the
> name had come from;  I was surprised that anyone should even be asking the
> question, since it seemed very likely to me (especially given the partially
> German settlement history of the area) that it was simply the German word
> *J√ľngling* 'young man'.  A German friend among us didn't spot it, though;  her
> first thought was that it looked like something Chinese.
> I agree with the nomination for Quote of the Year.  And it makes me think:  how
> do we pronounce these acronyms?  Is there an accepted way?  (Never been to the
> ADS Annual Meeting.)  If Word Of The Year is /wowti:/, can Quote Of The Year be
> /kwowti:/?
> Damien Hall
> University of Pennsylvania
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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