The existence of a substrate in a given linguistic environment is a complex matter. Within the scholarly research on the Ancient Greek lexicon, the definition of the linguistic properties of such a substrate is a very controversial issue, which all the etymological dictionaries need to face, each showing a different orientation. The most recent of them, Beekes 2009, starts from the theoretical assumption, based on Furnée 1972, that the proper “substrate material” is composed by “loanwords from a single non-Indo-European language” (p. viii). The hypothesis of a “Pre-Greek substrate” collects the different ways to approach the evaluation of the Greek lexicon focusing on different levels of the linguistic analysis (cf. e.g. Kretschmer 1896, Heubeck 1961, Bartoněk 1987). The present paper aims at contributing to the discussion from the particular point of view of the Anatolian area: it will look more closely at those entries that Beekes labels as ‘PG’, i.e. Pre-Greek, but might present some Anatolian elements, more or less appropriate and relevant for the explanation of the lexical entry itself. A selection of a few intriguing lemmas will be rediscussed, including: βάκκαρις, a Lydian word according to a scholion to Aeschylus; δάρπη ‘basket’, a Pre- Greek word also attested in Anatolia; θύσθλα ‘sacred implements, sacrifice’, possibly a loan, either from Anatolian or from Pre-Greek; ἴξαλος, ‘he-goat’, considered Pre-Greek on the basis of its formal variants, allegedly indicative of an Anatolian origin; and some others, selected both for methodological and content-related reasons. After discussing the literature and the examples, the metalanguage of choice will be critically assessed, in particular as regards the overlapping of geographical and genealogical criteria. Finally, the hypothesis will be sketched that a less monolithic and more stratified representation of the “pre-history” of Greek could point to a full revaluation of the interference phenomena in this area.

"Pre-Greek" between theories and linguistic data. Examples from the Anatolian area.

Stella Merlin
2020

Abstract

The existence of a substrate in a given linguistic environment is a complex matter. Within the scholarly research on the Ancient Greek lexicon, the definition of the linguistic properties of such a substrate is a very controversial issue, which all the etymological dictionaries need to face, each showing a different orientation. The most recent of them, Beekes 2009, starts from the theoretical assumption, based on Furnée 1972, that the proper “substrate material” is composed by “loanwords from a single non-Indo-European language” (p. viii). The hypothesis of a “Pre-Greek substrate” collects the different ways to approach the evaluation of the Greek lexicon focusing on different levels of the linguistic analysis (cf. e.g. Kretschmer 1896, Heubeck 1961, Bartoněk 1987). The present paper aims at contributing to the discussion from the particular point of view of the Anatolian area: it will look more closely at those entries that Beekes labels as ‘PG’, i.e. Pre-Greek, but might present some Anatolian elements, more or less appropriate and relevant for the explanation of the lexical entry itself. A selection of a few intriguing lemmas will be rediscussed, including: βάκκαρις, a Lydian word according to a scholion to Aeschylus; δάρπη ‘basket’, a Pre- Greek word also attested in Anatolia; θύσθλα ‘sacred implements, sacrifice’, possibly a loan, either from Anatolian or from Pre-Greek; ἴξαλος, ‘he-goat’, considered Pre-Greek on the basis of its formal variants, allegedly indicative of an Anatolian origin; and some others, selected both for methodological and content-related reasons. After discussing the literature and the examples, the metalanguage of choice will be critically assessed, in particular as regards the overlapping of geographical and genealogical criteria. Finally, the hypothesis will be sketched that a less monolithic and more stratified representation of the “pre-history” of Greek could point to a full revaluation of the interference phenomena in this area.
978-3-935536-26-4
Pre-Greek substrate, Greek etymology, Anatolian loanwords
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1043904
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