Tuesday, 15 October 2013

female and male

are not related.

Latin fēmina "woman" took on the diminutive -ella suffix, becoming fēmella. This became Anglo-Norman femell, which was borrowed into English.

The English and Anglo-Norman words were also spelled femaile, female, femaul, by association with male (from Latin masculus). female and male have rhymed sine the 14th century. So although the words have different origins, you could argue that they are related now.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Schleicher's fable part 2

The next sentence!
só gʷr̥hᵪúm u̯óǵʰom u̯eǵʰed; só méǵh₂m̥ bʰórom; só dʰǵʰémonm̥ h₂ṓḱu bʰered.

singular accusative of Fortson *gʷr̥h₂u- "heavy"
guru, gravity

thematic accusative of *u̯eǵʰ- "vehicle, drive a vehicle"
wagon, weigh, vehicle

verb form of *u̯eǵʰ- "vehicle, drive a vehicle"

athematic singular accusative of *meǵh₂- "great"
much, major

thematic neuter singular accusative? of *bʰer- "carry, something carried"
bear, infer, metaphor

accusative of *dʰǵʰem- "man"
human, chameleon

accipiter, Ocypode

form of *bʰer- "carry"

gʷr̥hᵪúm u̯óǵʰom u̯eǵʰed méǵh₂m̥ bʰórom dʰǵʰémonm̥h₂ṓḱubʰered
one heavy vehicle drove one big something-carried one manswiftlycarried
"one pulled a heavy wagon, one (carried) a big load, one carried a man swiftly."

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

h₂áu̯ei̯ h₁i̯osméi̯ h₂u̯l̥h₁náh₂ né h₁ést, só h₁éḱu̯oms derḱt

Let's look at the first sentence of Schleicher's fable:

h₂áu̯ei̯ h₁i̯osméi̯ h₂u̯l̥h₁náh₂ né h₁ést, só h₁éḱu̯oms derḱt

Here are some notes on the words, as far as I can tell. Corrections are welcome.

dative (why dative?) singular of *h₂ou̯i- "sheep"
derivatives: ovine, ewe

dative? of the relative pronoun *i̯o-

suffixed zero-grade form of *h₂u̯elh₁- "wool" (Watkins *welə-¹)
wool, lanolin

sentence negator

root aorist? of *h₁es- "to be"

demonstrative pronoun

thematic accusative plural? of *h₁eḱu̯os "horse" (Fortson *eḱu̯os)
equine, hippo

root aorist of *derḱ- "to see"

So the first sentence can be glossed like this:
h₂áu̯ei̯ h₁i̯osméi̯ h₂u̯l̥h₁náh₂ h₁ést h₁éḱu̯oms derḱt
sheep on-which wool not was it horses saw
"a sheep that had no wool saw horses"

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

wool, lanolin, flannel

The word *h₂u̯l̥h₁náh₂ from Scheicher's fable is an extended zero-grade form of *h₂u̯elh₁- "wool". This became Old English wul and English wool.

The form *h₂u̯l̥h₁náh₂ became Latin lāna "wool" from earlier *wlāna. lanolin is formed from lāna plus oleum "oil" plus the chemical suffix -in.

*h₂u̯l̥h₁náh₂ became Proto-Celtic *wlanā and Welsh gwlân "wool". Add the individualizing suffix -en to get gwlanen "flannel", ie "something made from wool". gwlanen was possibly borrowed into English as flannel.

How to pronounce /wl/? A glide followed by a consonant seems impossible to me.