Fwd: Re: Pre-Basque Phonology

Vartan and Nairy Matiossian varny at cvtci.com.ar
Sat Dec 18 14:49:32 UTC 1999

Patrick C. Ryan wrote:

>  ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Vartan and Nairy Matiossian" <varny at cvtci.com.ar>
> Sent: Sunday, October 31, 1999 1:48 AM

> <snip>

>> I would like to make a correction. Armenian <ort'> (not <ort>) doesn't
>> mean 'wine', but 'grapevine, grape'. There are two plausible hypotheses
>> regarding its IE origins, by Pedersen and Ajarian. The latter adds that
>> Albanian <ard, ardhi> is unrelated to the Arm. term. Incidentally,
>> "wine" is "gini" in Armenian, both English and Armenian terms coming
>> from a common PIE source, seemingly borrowed from Proto-Semitic
>> (according to V. Illyich-Svidich).

> I have heard this claim often but frankly have never run into anyone who is
> willing to defend the proposition.

> Are you game? Or is VIS the last word on it?

Dear Pat,
I'm not aware of any counterclaim to Illyich-Svidich. It doesn't mean
there isn't any, just I'm too far from University-Libraries to be aware
of daily developments. (For instance, I know personally Vahan Sargisian,
I have been contributing to his Armeno-Basque studies journal, "Araxes",
in Yerevan, I have several of his other articles, but I was pleasingly
surprised to hear about his latest article in Fontes Linguae Vasconum,
thanks to Ed Selleslagh). In connection to the Arm. etymology of "gini"
(wine), Guevork Djahukian --besides noting VIS-- has advanced the view
that it could be stemmed from IE *uin ("to twist, to twirl"), bearing in
mind the regularity of the Arm. root.


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