Pelasgian/was Etruscans

Rick Mc Callister rmccalli at sunmuw1.MUW.Edu
Mon Apr 30 15:39:56 UTC 2001

	I've seen somewhere (in popular etymological books) that
	cypressus and kuparissos are from Semitic
	and are cognate to English gopher (wood) --which was used for
Noah's Ark (if I remember correctly),
	and also cognate to Cyprus "(is)land of conifers"
	--and indirectly copper (metal from Cyprus).

	It does sound a bit pat and the -ssos ending looks suspiciously
pre-Greek substrate rather than Semitic but I plead ignorance

	So, are cypressus and kuparissos from Semitic?
	If gopher (wood) derived from Hebrew or just a variant form derived
from cypressus or kuparissos?
	Is there a link between Cyprus and cypress?

	Or is this all someone's wishful thinking?

>Yes. Many of these are phytonyms whose discrepancy in form precludes direct
>borrowing. Palmer cites Lat. citrus ~ Gk. kedros, li:lium ~ leirion, laurus
>~ daphne:, vacci:nium ~ huakinthos, viola ~ (w)ion, rosa ~(w)rodon, menta ~
>minthe:, and cupressus ~ kuparissos. The last two are sometimes assigned to
>Latin borrowing from Greek (without plausible explanation of [e] < [i]) but
>the Greek words are from substrate anyway..

Rick Mc Callister
Mississippi University for Women
Columbus MS 39701

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