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Subject: Re: This was very helpful. Thanks!
Author: Cass   (Authenticated as Cass)
Date: August 11, 2006 at 12:34:18 PM
Reply to: Re: This was very helpful. Thanks! by Andy ;—)
You have a good point with the usage (and far be it from me to dispute the kleine Pauly!), but common plants will have names whether they're extant in medicine and mythology or not. The Romans borrowed ion (no digamma) at a later date to talk about dark-blue stones, incidentally. This is found in Pliny the Elder.

You'd definitely have to cross-check with Sanskrit (which I don't know!), perhaps some early Celtic or Germanic languages (which I also don't know) to be sure about the derivation. I had a look at the big etymological dictionaries for Latin and Greek, and both agreed that the words viola and (w)ion probably derive from the same source. Citations:
Chantraine, P. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque: histoire des mots, volume 1. Paris: Éditions Klincksieck, 1983, p. 466 AND
Ernout, A., and A. Meillet. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine: histoire des mots. Fourth edition. Paris: Éditions Klincksieck, 1979, p. 738.

Re Latin > Greek being "overdone," it certainly isn't in linguistics or classics, but it pops up a lot in more popular media, including this site! I haven't got any good online sources for Indo-European linguistic development, but here are a couple seriously useful and current books:

Fortson, B. Indo-European Language and Culture: an introduction. Blackwell Publishing, 2004

Sihler, A. A New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Watkins, C., ed. The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 2nd edition. Houghton Mifflin, 2000. (Cheap in paperback! Includes lots and lots of names!)


This message was edited by the author on August 11, 2006 at 12:36:37 PM

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