question about Proto/Para-Munda affix -usha

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Tue Feb 23 13:29:13 UTC 2010


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On Feb 22, 2010, at 11:11 AM, Richa Pauranik Clements wrote:

> VYAKARAN: South Asian Languages and Linguistics Net
> Editors:  Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse University, New York
>          John Peterson, University of Osnabrueck, Germany
> Details:  Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu and say: INFO  
> VYAKARAN
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>

See Mayrhofer's Etym. Dictonary (EWAia) II 149 sq.:
"not explained convincingly"

He speculates on the final sounds having been influenced by manuSa-,
and that the RV form pUruSa- may indicate an opriginal *pUrSa- < *pRso-
(Connected, controversially, by Wackernagel with Latin parricida/ 
paricida)
etc. etc.
Cf. also Kuiper, FS Kirfel 1955: 146; KEWA II 313 with details.


Monier Williams' etymologies mostly are seriously out of date and  
were so already when he published the dictionary (based on the  
Petersburg one of 1850-75!) about a hundred years ago. Not to be used.

As for nArAyaNa- etc. see the "etymology" in the initial section of  
Manu which clearly links the name with nara- 'water' which is of  
course an adaptation of Drav. nIr 'water'. This appears first in  
SatapataBr. in the river name sadAnIrA = Gandaki "always having  
water', as it is a glacier-fed stream "that makes on shiver even in  
the hot season"....(if not from nIla- 'blue' as some suppose).

Then, there are some strange names in Atharvaveda Paipp. (takman  
hymn, PS 12.1 = PS Kashmir 12.1)... Have never published my paper on  
that point, yet.

Cheers,
M.


> Dr. Witzel,
>
> As a follow up question, may I ask whether the Skt. word 'purusha' (as
> in RV 10.90) is well-understood to have IE/IIr/IA elements?  Or, are
> there any questions along the lines of 'Emusha', that is, may  
> 'Purusha'
> myth also have some Para-Munda or Proto-Dravidian elements?
> Monier-Williams in his SED says, teh word 'purusha' is "probably from
> the root 'prI'," so are the origins of this word 'purusha' clear yet?
>
> My questions have to do with the Narayana myth and its relation to
> Purusha in the Vedic texts.  In one of your articles (Aryan and
> non-Aryan Names: Data for the linguistc situation, c. 1900-500 BC),  
> you
> also mention that words beginning with 'nAr-' may have unclear IA
> etymology.  Would that be applicable to 'nArAyana' as well?
>
> I woudl greatly appreciate your advice on this matter.  Thanks.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Richa Clements
>
>
>
> Quoting Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU>:
>>
>> Well, Kuiper (sic) has again listed a number of this and related
>> suffixes in his 1991 book:
>>
>> Aryans in the Rigveda, Amsterdam: Rodopi 1991
>>
>> See pages 45-47:  -ASa, -ISa, -USa (UNICODE: -??a, ??a-,  ??a-) ;
>> also: ?la, a?a, ?a, nas, ya, ra, ?a, ha.
>>
>> Emu?a is a bit more complex, also in view of Kupier's (partial)
>> retraction 1991: 18; 2.
>>
>> Cheers, M. WItzel
>>
>>
>> On Feb 22, 2010, at 5:18 AM, John Peterson wrote:
>>
>>> VYAKARAN: South Asian Languages and Linguistics Net
>>> Editors:  Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse University, New York
>>>          John Peterson, University of Osnabrueck, Germany
>>> Details:  Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu and say: INFO   
>>> VYAKARAN
>>> Subscribe:Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu and say:
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>>> Clancy,
>>>
>>> The only person I know who might have an answer to this question is
>>> David Stampe in Hawaii, who not only knows his way around Proto-
>>> Munda but also Proto-Mon-Khmer: stampe at hawaii.edu
>>>
>>> Otherwise: Are you sure it really is Munda? I have seen references
>>> on /u?a/ being Proto- (or Para-?) Munda (I believe it was /Emu?a/
>>> in a work by Kuijper) but I don't recall if there was any
>>> justification (linguistic or otherwise) for that assumption. I'm
>>> just curious, as I don't know of anything even remotely similar to
>>> it in the modern languages.
>>>
>>> Best,
>>> John
>>>
>>> Zitat von "Clements, Joseph Clancy" <clements at INDIANA.EDU>:
>>>
>>>> VYAKARAN: South Asian Languages and Linguistics Net
>>>> Editors:  Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse University, New York
>>>>           John Peterson, University of Osnabrueck, Germany
>>>> Details:  Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu and say: INFO   
>>>> VYAKARAN
>>>> Subscribe:Send email to listserv at listserv.syr.edu and say:
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>>>>
>>>> I'm looking for any information regarding the meaning and history
>>>> of the Proto/Para-Munda affix -usha ('u' here is short; 'sh' is a
>>>> retroflex sibilant). Any information or leads would be greatly
>>>> appreciated.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>>
>>>> Clancy
>>>>
>>>> J. Clancy Clements, Professor
>>>> Director of Undergraduate Studies
>>>> Depts. of Linguistics & Spanish and Portuguese
>>>> Ling: MM322, IUB, 1021 E. Third St.
>>>> S&P: BH844, IUB, 1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
>>>> Bloomington, IN  47405
>>>> Tel: (812)855-6456 (Ling); (812)855-8612 (S&P)
>>>> Fax:(812)855-5363 (Ling); (812)855-4526 (S&P)
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> "Stability in language is synonymous with rigor mortis." - Ernest
>>> Weekley (1865-1954)
>>>
>>> John Peterson
>>> Institut für Linguistik
>>> Universität Leipzig
>>> Beethovenstraße 15
>>> D-04107 Leipzig
>>> Germany
>>>
>>> Phone: (+49) (0)341 97-37643
>>> Fax:   (+49) (0)341 97-37609
>>>
>>> http://www.SouthAsiaBibliography.de/
>>
>> ============
>> Michael Witzel
>> witzel at fas.harvard.edu
>> <www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm>
>>
>> Dept. of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
>> 1 Bow Street,
>> Cambridge MA 02138, USA
>>
>> phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295, 496 8570, fax 617 - 496 8571;
>> my direct line:  617- 496 2990
>>
>>
>>
>>

============
Michael Witzel
witzel at fas.harvard.edu
<www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm>

Dept. of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
1 Bow Street,
Cambridge MA 02138, USA

phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295, 496 8570, fax 617 - 496 8571;
my direct line:  617- 496 2990



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