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INDO-EUROPEAN ozdos, GREEK öços, GERMANIC asts, etc.



The Vedic hapax legomenon nişatsnú 'sitting in' does not, as is usually said, owe its rare suffix snu to a combination of the final s of sadas 'seat' with a suffix nu, but is an imitative congener of the pair sthāsnu (sthāṣṇu, sthāņu) 'standing' and carişnú 'walking', see AJ Ph 16.417. If we had in addition to these three a fourth congener *çayişņu 'lying', the lazychain would be complete: 'Don't walk, if you can stand; stand, if you can sit; sit, if you can lie!' To make up for the failure to complete this group, the RV has patayisnú 'flying' which reflects patáyantam in the stanza below. To match carişṇú TB has gamişņu 'going'. The preposition ni in nişatsnú adds, however, to the word the particular idea of 'nesting', 'nestling', German 'nisten'. It occurs in a charm for the safe delivery of a woman, RV 10.162.3 (MG 2.18.2), where the various postures and movements of the embryo in the womb are compared with the actions of a bird in the nest:

yás te hánti patáyantaṁ nişatsnúṁ yáḥ sarīsṛpám,
jātáṁ yás te jíghāñsati tám itó nāçayāmasi.

'(The demon) who seeks to slay thy flying, nesting, or hopping (foetus), or (the child) when born, that (demon) do we drive out from here.' The words sarīsṛpám and patáyati occur also in connection at AV 19.48.3; the natural contrast between the two implies the rendering 'hopping' rather than 'creeping' for the intensive sarīsṛpá. In any case nişatsnú, as well as other combinations of ni+sad (yónış ţa indra nişáde akāri, RV 1.104.1), reflects nīḍá 'nest', IE ni-zd-o- 'place to sit in'.

With IE ni-zd-o-s 'nest' rimes IE o-zd-o-s 'ast'. The fonetics of the latter are perfectly well understood, the meaning not at all. For *ozdos does not mean 'appendage', 'ansatz' but 'place to sit on', 'perch', just as *nizdos means 'place to sit in'. RV 10.43.4, váyo ná vṛks̟ám a'sadan, analyzes the idea formally and functionally. Both *nizdo

and *ozdo- owe their being to sympathetic observation of bird life, almost idyllic in mood.

Stokes, in Fick's Vergleichendes Woerterbuch 2.50, posits a word *odbos (Erse odb) for *odgos or *ozgos, which Bartholomae, ZDMG 46.305; IF 5.355, identifies with Vedic ádgas, as well as Gr. ojos, Goth. asts.1 For all of these he posits a start-form *ozgos. He does not explicitly discard IE ozdos but he leaves the reader puzzled as to why Gr. ōtos, (Lesbic todos), Goth. asts, Arm. ost should not represent IE ozdos rather than IE ozgos.

Vedic ádga (Middle Persian azg according to Bartholomae) does not rest upon a very firm foundation. It occurs in obscure connection AV 1.27.3, where the comm. reads udga which he glosses by çākhā 'branch'. Neither ádga nor udga is quotable from the literature a second time. If, however, the Vedic and Celtic forms should justify IE ozgos 'branch', that word seems most likely to be derivable from the IE root seg 'hang' in Skt. saj 'cling', Lith. segu 'bind' (see Fick' 1.137). The meaning of *ozgos would then be 'place to cling to'. In Sanskrit the combination asaj is very frequent; see, e.g., the expression Kauç. 75.19 çākhāyām āsajati (to be sure, not in connection with birds).

Brugmann, IF, 19.379n., suggests that Gr. ooxos, oσxŋ 'branch' is derived from the root of exw with the preposition o (ō). If so, the meaning would be 'place to hold to'. In case the formation be prehistoric it would reflect a third parallel *o-zĝh-o-, matching both structurally and semantically *o-zg-o- and *o-zd-o-.

1 He does not include Armenian ost in his statement.




The verbs of the Hittite hi-conjugation fall into three classes according to the final sound of the stem. In spite of more or less irregularity in each class, the following paradigms will represent the usual types of conjugation.

I have shown1 that certain verbs of the first class (šakki ‘he knows', aki 'he dies', ari 'he arrives, has arrived') correspond rather closely to IE perfects with stems ending in a consonant. Most of the other verbs of the same type are etymologically unclear, but from the Hittite point of view they are, with one exception, consonantal stems. We must, however, include in this class the irregular verb au- 'see', whose conjugation is as follows:

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Our second class may be described, from the Hittite point of view, as the a-class. If we assume that these verbs also correspond to IE perfects, we must conclude that a represents an original long vowel, at least in the forms of the singular, since the IE perfect has no stems ending in a short vowel in the first and second persons singular of the active voice. Such orthography as da-a-i 'he takes' and da-a-áš 'he took' is very frequent; but repetition of a vowel sign need not indicate a long vowel. My belief that we have to do with original long vowels in this instance is based solely upon IE grammar.

1 Language 3. 161-8 (1927).

2 This form obviously belongs to the mi-conjugation.

Hittite a as stem-final of our second class may correspond either with IE a or with IE ō. The latter is to be assumed in the case of da- 'take'. Incompatible as the meanings 'take' and 'give' seem to be, I am con

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vinced that Hittite da- is the same word as Gk. Sidwμ, Lat. dō, etc. Although Skt. dadāmi usually has the same force as the Greek and Latin cognates, it means 'take' when used with the prefix ā, and it has never been clear how that prefix could reverse the meaning of the verb. If,


however, we start with the meaning 'take', the development of the meaning 'give' is easy; 'take' becomes 'choose', and 'choose for so-and-so' is virtually 'give to so-and-so'. A slightly different development is possible from the attenuated meaning 'take (in order to perform some operation)'. The Hittite word, with prefixed šara, often has this force; e.g. Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazköi 4. 12. 1. 20-21 Götze, Hattušiliš 42: GIM-an-ma-za ŠEŠ.YA DINGIR.LIM-iš DU-at 1Ur-hi-DUup-an-ma DUMU ŠEŠ.YA šá-ra-a da-ah-hu-un na-an LUGAL-iz-naan-ni ti-it-ta-nu-nu-un, ‘When, however, my brother had become a god, then I took Urhi-Tesupas, my nephew, and established him in the kingship.' More important for our purpose is Hattusilis' inaugural address 1. 17f. (p. 8 Götze): nu-mu A.BU.YA TUR-an šá-ra-a da-a-áš nu-mu A.NA DINGIR.LIM IR-an-ni pé-eš-ta, 'And my father took me, a child, and gave me to the goddess for (her) service.' It would be easy to omit the second verb, and thereby make da- mean 'give'. In one of these two ways, I imagine, IE *dō- got its familiar meaning, while Skt. ā-dā- and Hittite da- retain the original meaning 'take'.

Very likely some of the verbs in our second class have a from original ā, but I do not feel sure of any such etymology. Possibly mema- ‘say' is to be connected with Lith. móju, móti 'beckon', OSI. na-mają, -majati 'nod to', Skt. māyā 'deception', etc., on the basis of IE *ma(i)-.3 It is at least equally possible, however, that we should think of IE *mē'measure'; note especially Skt. mātiş 'Maas, richtige Erkenntniss', and Gk. μnts 'wisdom, skill, counsel'. In the latter case Hittite mema- is a reduplicated perfect with o-grade.

In the third column of Table I we quite obviously have various stemforms, and the inconsistency is really much greater than our normalized scheme indicates. The conjugation given in Table I is the most common one-in most respects by far the most common; but all of the stem-forms are sometimes found outside the categories there assigned to them. Table II, although incomplete, will give some idea of the variety actually found.

We must certainly assume a composite origin for the third type of the hi-conjugation. A complete and final solution of the problems involved is impossible at present, but certain facts can be established with the means already at hand.

In some respects the most distinctive forms in Table II are the first

3 Cf. Walde-Pokorny, Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der Indogermanischen Sprachen 2. 219-20.

Cf. ib. 2. 237-8.

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