Author Topic: μαρμαίρειν etymology  (Read 2407 times)

chimera

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μαρμαίρειν etymology
« on: 04 Oct, 2006, 00:00:43 »
"Marmaros" shining stone, marble, has been linked with OInd. "marici" meaning "sun rays, solar"("to die"), and perhaps with proto-IAry. "meluha" as the same. This is "mar" in "MARmairein", but what about "mair"? Is this influenced by suffix "-ein", or is it linked with Mount "Meru" as shining mountain of gold and jewels, Welsh "mered" jewel?   Egyptian "m.r" is pyramid, with white limestone facing and gold-leaf.    Brahmins of Meru were evident in Hurrian names from 1400BC and also were located in Commagene Syria.    Was Acropolis marble linked to Meru?
chimera
« Last Edit: 19 Apr, 2008, 03:19:54 by billberg23 »


billberg23

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Re: marmairein
« Reply #1 on: 04 Oct, 2006, 01:27:31 »
The consensus of dictionaries and etymologies indicates that μαρμαίρω, "sparkle,"  is a reduplicated form of a hypothetical μαίρω, meaning "flash."  The reduplication may reflect the repeated flashing which produces the sparkling.  In fact, the twinkling Dog-star Sirius was sometimes called Μαίρη (LSJ).  Then comes the well-known connection to μάρμαρος, at first any sparkling stone, and later marble.  Euphony may have required the iota to drop from the noun;  if there's a more complicated reason, I'm not familiar with it.
In any case, it sounds like you're blazing some fascinating, if highly hypothetical, trails.  I can't substantiate any of your connections;  someone wiser than I will have to tell you whether your research will ultimately bear fruit.  In the meantime, enjoy the journey!
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

Katerina Dimopoulou

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Re: marmairein
« Reply #2 on: 04 Oct, 2006, 01:33:02 »
On a more technical level, for 'marmairo' I would say

mar + (iapetic suffix) jo > *mar-mar-jo (reduplication) > mar-mair-o (epenthesis & compensatory lengthening)

For 'marmaros' we have simply the reduplication of *mar-.

No relation to Mt 'Meru'. I can't say if a common OInd root is likely.
« Last Edit: 05 Oct, 2006, 08:11:20 by Katerina Dimopoulou »


billberg23

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Re: marmairein
« Reply #3 on: 04 Oct, 2006, 06:00:54 »
Thank the gods there's a linguist on board!  Many thanks, Katerina, for identifying those changes!
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

Katerina Dimopoulou

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Re: marmairein
« Reply #4 on: 04 Oct, 2006, 09:37:46 »
No, no, no, I am not a linguist, c(/w)ould never be one - defective memory. Thank the gods for Gutenberg instead.