Tuesday, 23 February 2010

enthusiasm and fanatic

Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁s- was used in words for religious concepts, and was possibly an extension of *dʰeh₁- "to set, put". In Greek it became θεός theos (from earlier *thes-os) as in theology. ἔνθεος or ἔνθους was "inspired by god", and ἐνθουσιασμός was "inspiration, frenzy", whence enthusiasm.

The suffixed zero-grade form *dʰh₁s-no- became Latin fānum "temple" and fānāticus "belonging to a temple, inspired by a divinity" (Skeat).

The suffixed form *dʰeh₁s-to- became Latin fēstus "festive" and festa "festal ceremonies", and Italian festone, borrowed into English as festoon, as in "decoration for a feast".

6 comments :

Glen Gordon said...

There's also Latin fānāre 'to consecrate, dedicate', borrowed into Etruscan as *fan (ie. faniri & fanu).

CIngram said...

The suffixed zero-grade form *dʰh₁s-no- became Latin fānum "temple" and fānāticus "belonging to a temple, inspired by a divinity" (Skeat).

Is that certain? I can't make it work. Is there a step I've missed? Not that I'm any sort of expert in the first place, but it looks a bit odd.

goofy said...

CIngram
It seems pretty certain. Do you mean how did it work phonologically? *dʰ became f, the syllabic laryngeal became a, and *s was lost with compensatory lengthening of the vowel.

CIngram said...

Thanks. It was the *dʰ => f that I wondered about. I couldn't think of any parallels of that progression. Does it go aspirated stop > unaspirated stop > dental fricative > labiodental fricative?

If I'm just being thick feel free to ignore me.

CIngram said...

OK, having done the reasearch I should have done before I see this isn't especially controversial. Sorry to waste your time.

goofy said...

You're not wasting my time. :) Going from a dental to a labial-dental isn't so weird - eg Cockney English nuffink, bovvered.