Author Topic: Spreg Spreag  (Read 4113 times)

Offline dublin

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Spreg Spreag
« on: August 10, 2014, 12:23:56 PM »
In Irish there is a word spreag meaning to "arouse, inspire; prompt, encourage" but also to to "rebuke, reprove".

This very strange word which can have two completely opposite meanings actually has a full etymology in Serbian, and in a particular south Serbian dialect from the Serbian Bulgarian border, the area where people still use standing "Celtic" crosses as village crosses.

I also believe that the word is very old, probably dating to the time when the first yokes, carts and ploughs were constructed, which would make this word another linguistic fossil. How and when did this word arrive in Ireland? With the first Fomorian farmers who also brought Crom Dubh? With the first wheeled vehicles and first toghers, tochers? Or much later?

http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.ie/2014/07/spreg.html
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Offline MalFet

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Re: Spreg Spreag
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 07:20:17 PM »
I'm finding the connections here a bit hard to follow, though that may be the consequence of my own limitations. Do you have justification that these are cognates beyond what you've described here? It's certainly possible, of course, but phonetic similarities and rough semantic overlap aren't sufficient justification for obvious reasons.

More to the point, why is this a better etymology for the Irish word than the far simpler Germanic loan?

Offline freknu

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Re: Spreg Spreag
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 01:46:48 AM »
I don't see any comparative linguistics or etymological trees. Why should anyone take this seriously?

Offline dublin

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Re: Spreg Spreag
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2014, 10:19:13 AM »
Hi MalFet

The official etymology is based on Germanic sprechen, meaning to speak. A lot of the meanings for spreg words from Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh (probably borrowing from Irish) are related to physical actions of supporting and restricting. This can not be derived from word meaning speaking, but it can from the etymology i propose. Also it is important to remember that the word in both Irish and Serbian can have two completely opposite directional meanings. This can not be derived from the word meaning speaking, but it can from the etymology i propose....
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Offline MalFet

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Re: Spreg Spreag
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2014, 05:53:38 PM »
Do use the word "derived" in the technical morphological sense, or the casual sense used by the general public meaning "came from"? If it's the former, then I'm not really following you. If it's the latter, then of course it can. Etymological shifts routinely lead in all sorts of unexpected directions. That's why historical linguists depend on corpus-wide shifts as a methodological first principle. There's no other way to differentiate the signal from the noise.

Offline freknu

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Re: Spreg Spreag
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2014, 01:31:34 AM »
Code: [Select]
PIE. *(s)per- (e-grade) **(s)per-eH-? (e-grade + e-grade laryngeal)
    PIE. *(s)pr̥- (Ø-grade)
        PG. *spurą sb. "trail, track"
        PG. *spurjaną vb. "to pursue, track"
    PIE. *(s)pr-e-g- (Ø-grade, g-extension)
        PG. *sprekaną vb. "to speak"
            sprak vb. "to speak, talk"
        PG. **sprakōną vb. "to emit a noise"
            sprak vb. "to emit sparks; to crackle, rustle"
        PG. *sprekalą sb. "freckle"
            sprekl sb. "fleck, spot"
        PG. *frekalą sb. "freckle"
        PG. **frekan- sb. "freckle"
            frekno sb. "freckle"
            frekno ad. "freckly, freckled"
        PG. *frekaz ad. "greedy; vigorous, capable"
        PG. *sprēkō? sb. "language"
            sprák sb. "language"
        PG. *frōknaz? ad. "strong, bold"
    PIE. *(s)pr-e-n-g- (Ø-grade, n-infix, g-extension)
        PG. *frankaz ad. "courageous; free"
    PIE. *(s)pr-e-n-ǵʰ- (Ø-grade, n-infix, ǵʰ-extension)
        PG. *springaną (*spreng-) vb. "to run, leap"
        PG. *sprangijaną vb. "to make run, leap"
            spreng vb. "to explode, burst"
    PIE. *(s)pr-e-n-d- (Ø-grade, n-infix, d-extension)
        PG. *sprintaną (*sprent-) vb. "to jump"
            spritt vb. "to burst, blossom; to rush, leap"
            spritt ad. "pure, genuine; utterly, fully"
        PG. *sprantijaną vb. "to make jump"
            sprett vb. "to make jump; to flick open"
    PIE. *(s)pr-e-w- (Ø-grade, w-extension)
        PG. *spreutaną vb. "to spurt, gush"
        PG. *sprutą sb. "sprout, offshoot"

Code: [Select]
PIE. *(s)per-
    PIE. *(s)per-?
        AGk. sphaira? sb. "ball, sphere"
        AGk. speirein vb. "to scatter; to strew"
        AGk. aspairein vb. "to quiver, fidget"
    PIE. *(s)per-k-?
        AGk. sperxein vb. "to urge; to pursue"
        AGk. sperxnos ad. "quick, swift"
    PIE. *(s)per-g-?
        AGk. spargan vb. "to teem, be bursting with"
        Lat. aspergō v. "to sprinkle, splatter"
        Lat. dispergō v. "to scatter"
        Lat. spargō v. "to strew, sprinkle; to scatter"
    PIE. *(s)per-m-?
        AGk. sperma sb. "seed"

I really don't see a problem.

All ultimately derived from PIE. root *(s)per- (Pok. 992) with various extensions and different grades, although some of the recent reconstructions are new to me (Köbler might also be a little less conservative with his reconstructions). Still, the basic semantic field seems to be of something forcefully moved or the result thereof, which not surprisingly seems to fit most reflexes fairly well.

All the while avoiding any unnecessary new speculations.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 10:40:40 AM by freknu »