(BEING CONTINUED FROM 12/08/2016)
THE GREEK ELEMENT IN THE FIRST ETIMOLOGIC DICTIONARY OF ALBANIAN LANGUAGE
The Albanian language and its history have always attracted the attention of the scholars during the last two centuries. The Etymologic Dictionary of Albanian language by Gustav Meyer is one of works that has set the foundations of Albanian studies in the history of Albanian language. It is an obligation to honour all those scholars that kindly dedicated their lives to language, history and culture.We have inherited a valuable scientific research in the field of albanologiocal science, so that a selected fund of important works in Albanian language can be created. The aim of this paper is to introduce and point out the linguistic values of the Greek borrowings (elements) in the Etymologic Dictionary of Albanian language by Gustav Meyer (Strasburg 1891). Furthermore, through the comparative method we are going to compare them with the Greek borrowings found even nowadays in the “Dictionary of Albanian Language” (Tirana 2006). This paper aims not only at promoting the values of his work, but also at pointing out some limitations and shortages that time has proved.
1. The history of the Albanian language
Albanian language and its history has attracted more and more the attention of researchers over the last two centuries. The efforts of several generations of scholars, native and foreign, have made it possible to examine the increasingly well known system of this language and its history. Works and studies which have been devoted to this language and its history are numerous and full of values.
“Etymological dictionary of Albanian” of Gustav Meyer is considered as one of the foundational works in the history of the Albanian language and studies.
Initiatives undertaken recently in Tirana and Prishtina for the translation and publication of the outstanding works Albanologists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as the works of Hahn, Pedersen, Cimochowsky, Ippen, etc, and recently the work of G. Meyerit, are commendable and to be supported in order to continue further with the translation and publication of other works, because not only they settle an obligation to honor all those who kindly devoted all their lives, to our language, history and our culture and left a very valuable scientific heritage in the fields of albanological sciences, but also because in this way is created a chosen fund of the basic works in Albanian that will help today’s and future researchers to better recognize the inherited values and to undertake new studies in these areas.
The purpose of our paper is the recognition of linguistic values and to highlight the greak loanwords in the “Etymological dictionary of Albanian” of Gustav Meyer (Strasburg 1891). But we shouldn’t stop here and through the comparative method we will confront them with the Greek loanwords preserved until today in the “Dictionary of Albanian languag”, publication of the Albanian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Linguistics and Literature, Tirana 2006. Emphasizing the values and importance that carries this work is a noble duty of every scholar of linguistics who deals with the treatment of this work.
Along this way, we will be accompanied from many linguists and researchers, who with their studies and analysis about this work will lead us to reflect in a more thorough way the historical and linguistic values that this research involves being as one of the oldest etymological research in the field of Albanian language, as for example the one of Gustav Meyer with the “Etymological dictionary of Albanian Language”.
Once we bring to the light all Greek loanwords listed in the etymological dictionary of Meyer then we will put them in a comparative plan with the Greek loanwords of today’s Dictionary, making a detailed approach to all the Greek loanwords up to today in Albanian. But at the same time we will carefully analyze all the changes they have undergone, either phonetically or semantically.
Each paper has etymological connection with the state of lexical studies of its time. One should always have in mind when assessing the work of Gustav Meyer or when it is compared with today’s works, especially from the course of the current state of knowledge of the Albanian vocabulary. Enrichment of this vocabulary in this one century and onwards was conducted in a broader measure and with a faster pace than in earlier times. Works on which we will rely on the design of this study will be numerous, but those that will occupy a prime location will be the works of Çabej, which comprise the most consolidated studies about the history of the Albanian language. Through its analysis Çabej will orient us toward a more precise definition of the Greek loanwords status, reflected in the Meyer’s etymological dictionary.
Despite the extraordinary merits and values of his vocabulary, the Meyer’s Dictionary is a work of his time as to the criteria used and applied in the etymological study in Albanian, also to the case of the Albanian language that is involved in it. This study aims to promote the values of this work, but also to recognize some limitations and shortcomings that time has proven.
2. Greek borrowings in Albanian
The Albanian language is one of the oldest languages of the Balkans, which has no kinship with any of the other Balkan languages, as well as abroad. The geographical position where this language was spoken has been very favorable for the mutual influences between different tribes and peoples in various areas of social, political and cultural life. Because of these relationships languages of the neighboring peoples have left many traces in the lexical field of the Albanian language of its mother tongue, Illyrian.
As to the source of foreign words, which are documented in Albanian, these should be divided into two major groups:1) Words from foreign sources that Albanian inherited from its ‘mother’ language. 2) words which come from foreign sources that Albanian has borrowed directly from other languages which had historical relations. So Albanian borrowings themselves are only words from foreign source in the second group, while those of the first group are borrowings of the ‘mother’ tongue of the Albanian language and as such should be considered as inherited words, but from the foreign source.
Words from foreign sources are subject to phonetic and grammatical rules of the receiving language and they have followed the same evolutionary path as those of the inherited fund of the Albanian language. Obviously more changes have underwent foreign words of the first group, which in many cases only through etymological studies can be separated from the fund of the inherited words.
In the first group of words from foreign sources should be included in the first place those which have penetrated from the pre-Illyrian substrate to the Illyrian. But separating these words nowadays presents insurmountable difficulties.
A considerable place in the Albanian language lexicon take the Greek borrowings. Greek, being documented in writing from the fourteenth century B.C., is divided into three periods: the ancient Greek, middle Greek and in the modern Greek. Ancient Greek lasted roughly until the VI century AD, when the middle Greek begins, which continues until approximately XII century. Whereas the modern Greek includes the period after the XII century and until today.
Borrowings from Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek has been divided into five main dialects:
-Mycenaean dialect of Linear B tablets
The ancient Greeks, as well as Phoenicians before them, established settlements outside the territories of Greece, e.g., in southern Italy, on the shores of Anatolia, on the shores of the Adriatic and the Black Sea etc. These settlements are not set in a desolate land. Through these settlements they came into contact with indigenous people around. Relations with non-Greek peoples of the Balkans, the ancient Greeks held not only through their settlements on the eastern shores of the Adriatic and the western shores of the Black Sea, but also through the border areas within the Balkan Peninsula.
Century relations between the Greeks and the neighboring Balkan nations will definitely leave marks on their tongues. Here it is the word, primarily, for the traces of the Greek language spoken in the western, central and eastern Balkans, i.e., in Illyrian, Dacian, Thracian and Macedonian, respectively. Also, there wasn’t missing the interest of representing the tracks that the neighboring languages have left in Greek.
Many centuries’ relations between Greek and Albanian ancestors have left their mark in Albanian. We are talking about elements from the old Greek that Albanian has inherited from the ‘mother’ language of its own. The presence of a considerable number of the old Greek words in the Albanian language is already convincingly argued. But, on the other hand, it is also proved that some old Greek words entered in the ‘mother’ language of Albanian through Latin.
Among the elements of the old Greek in Albanian it is accepted also the noun mokën / mokër. This word, which has its origins in Doric dialect, came into the Latin language several centuries ago BC in its form machina. From the Latin langauge this word is inherited in Romance languages, such as: Italian macchina, French machine, Romanian macina. But the word mokën / mokër of the Albanian could have penetrated through the Latin, because one Latin long -a- gave only -a- in the Latin element of this language It is therefore rightly recognized that evolution – a – > – o -, that is regularly certified in the element i.e Albanian has involved also the oldest layer of Greek borrowings from the ‘mother’ language of Albanian. This layer should be several centuries earlier than the oldest layers of Latin borrowings from the ‘mother’ langauge of Albanian.
At best of the great age of the word borrowing mokën / mokër shows also the reflection of the Greek sound – kh – with – k -, which shows that the loan is made at a time when the Greek sound kh was pronounced still as an aspirated closed consonant k. Even the strong R – n- > – r – in the southern dialects is another proof for the age of this loan.
Between the Greek preLatin element of Albanian A.Thumb marks the word bretëk ( bretkosë), that seems to come from Greek Hellenistic period Brothakos. If Greek source is correct, then it must be admitted that this word has entered the ‘mother’ language of Albanian at a time when in Greek the consonant b was not yet transformed into v. This transformation is quite recent, but not later than the 1rst century of the new era. But according to Thumb in Albanian there are 21 words from Ancient Greek. Among these words can be also mentioned: drapën / draper, laken / lakër, pjepën / pjepër, presh, qershi, shpell, etc. Even in Çabej’s works it is given special attention to the Albanian elements from the Ancient Greek.
In these works it is held a critical stance towards some previous statements and are noted in other words the Albanian, which have origins in Ancient Greek. Thus, it is questioned or challenged the Greek source of source words, like: qull, shtamë, etj. In addition, it must be recognized that some words of this resource will have gone out from their use in the stream of centuries. However, the source words from Ancient Greek are fewer in number than those that have penetrated from the middle and new Greek. The former have undergone a significant change compared with the latter, especially those of the phonetic character and they are all Albanian. While the second, in most cases, are more prevalent and strong in southern dialects and have undergone little changes.
The presence of a small number of words with a source from the Ancient Greek into the documented Albanian gives clearly an evidence for the early contacts between the Greeks and the Albanian ancestors. These words have penetrated in “mother tongue” of Albanian through people who lived in the Greek settlements on the Adriatic Coast, as well as in the northwestern part of Ancient Greece. On the other hand, the relatively small number of these words proves that old Greek influence on the ‘mother tongue’ of the Albanians has been limited. Greek small settlements of the Adriatic couldn’t practice a major impact on the local population which was greater in number. Such influence couldn’t be exercised either through border areas that in ancient times lied even further south.
Borrowings from middle and new Greek
Apart from the Ancient Greek elements inherited from her “mother”, Illyrian, Albanian language has borrowed a considerable number of words from the middle and new Greek. The latter are uncomparably numerous with the elements of Ancient Greek. And this is explainable, if one bears in mind that the Greek influence over Albanian has been added after the Greek became the official language of the Byzantine Empire there from c. VII AD. This effect has also enabled further the fact that a large portion of the Christian population of Albanian lands were Orthodox and Orthodox churches as liturgical languages used the Greek. Also, the relationships between Greeks and Albanians, especially in border areas, have been increased.
Borrowings from the middle and the new Greek haved undergone less changes from the Ancient Greek elements. But, certainly borrowings from the middle Greek and new Greek, especially the former, yet have not remained unadapted to the phonetic system irregularities and grammatical structure of the Albanian language. P.sh. te krahasohen huazime të tilla si kllogjer dhe trëndafil me trajtat e vetë greqishtes kallajeros dhe triandafyllo. Eg., to compare loans such as kllogjer and trëndafil to the Greek forms kallajeros and triandafyllo.
High borrowings from the middle and new Greek have penetrated stronger in the southern dialect of Albanian. But borrowings from the middle Greek have penetrated in the northern dialect. Such are the words of the religious sphere kllogjen, monastery, as well as other spheres such as: benevreke, dafne, farmëk, hir, kallem, keq, qefali, skile, trëndafil etj.
Greek borrowings mostly have penetrated in Albanian through the spoken language. But earlier times have entered in Albanian words from Greek sources through written language, here is the word primarily for the concepts, which are built by the Greek root and that in Albanian have entered in Albanian greatly through the Roman language.
It comes to terms such as: aristocracy, democracy, dialogue, diameter, phonetic, geography, geology, geometry, hypertony, hypotony, monologue, morphology, perimeter, polygon, syntax, etc.
Together with borrowed words have entered in Albanian some suffixes from the Greek source, to which were added to the roots of non-Greek source. Such are mainly suffixes;
-it: gjirokast-rit, labov-it, libohov-it, etc.
-jot: gramsh-jot, himar-jot, mallakastri-jot, delvi-njot, etc.
-om: balt-omë, bur-omë, kredh-omë, zez-omë, etc.
-is: kallaj-is, paj-is, përrall-is, rast-is, tigan-is, vaj-is, etc.
-os: ajr-os, barr-os, bring-os, brum-os, celnik-os, balk-os, fund-os, gjak-os, hekur-os, plag-os, tym-os, vend-os, vul-os, etc.
In addition to these borrowings, which have entered into various time periods in the history of the Albanian language development, a number of Greek loanwords in Albanian penetrated after 1990. This period coincides with the collapse of communist rule in Albania and the Albanians flow to various European countries, especially neighboring Greek and Italian. This socio-political change was accompanied by a change in the Albanian language lexical terms. Greek borrowings of this period have penetrated throughout Albanian, but a vast place they occupy in the southern Albanian dialects, which are close to Greek influence. New Greek borrowings were from various fields, but most of them make up their daily communication as suflaqe, kartopecetë, etc.
Besides various borrowings from Greek language, Albanian efforts to clean unnecessary foreign words that were launched since the last century have made it possible to be avoided from the Albanian also quite of replaceable Greek words.
In turn, the literary Albanian has exerted a powerful influence on the daily discourse of the population to eliminate or partially eliminate of the sufficient Greek words. It comes to such borrowings, which had had a limited regional spread or have passed on historicisms.
3. About the etymological issues of the Albanian language and the role of Gustav Meyer in the field of Albanology
With the issues of Albanian language etymology, since the time before the application of the principles of the Indo-European linguistics compared in a broader scale, were engaged various scholars, like Thunman, Malte-Brun, Pouquevill, Xylander, Hahn, and others, and between those comparisons that they made, there are some that still have a value even today. Earlier than these scholars, Leibnizit the genius had paved the criteria in judging the character of Albanian should be separated country elements from the borrowed elements, and with this he has shown the way that he automatically followed, that even today continues to pursue linguistics itself.
In this research field, a systematic work and with the principles of proper scientific methods, as for other languages but also for Albanian was launched with the establishment of the comparative Indo-European linguistics with Rasmus Rasku activity, and for Albanian with the work of Franz Bopp. This scholar in determining the character of the Albanian language, he rightly did put as a base primarily the grammatical forms, but with his work he did enable that many sources of many words should be consulted mainly by the lexis of Indo-Europian language.
The well-known Slavist F. Miklosich in his Forschungen Albanische reviewed Slavic elements, Roman language with borrowed verbs forms of the Albanian. On the other hand, in his dictionaries and in various Slavic and Romanian researches for the first time he noted the impact of an Albanian and its extent on ancient neighboring languages. Later (1884-1890) he also studied borrowings from Turkish in this language, looking at the broad picture ‘Turkish elements in the languages of Eastern and Southeastern Europe’, such work that he fullfilled it with some ‘appendixes’. The work of this scholar was proceded and clarified by the scholar H. Schuhardt especially with regard to Latin-Roman influences in Albanian, and F. v. Kraelitz-Greifenhorst in terms of Ottoman-Turkish borrowings.
The central figure of the Albanian language etymological study was however, and still remains, to a certain view, even today, Gustav Meyer, with his etymological dictionary (1891), with Albanian Studies I-IV (1883-1897), to which he added extras as regards neogreek case studies I-IV (1894-1895) and of the Turkish Studies (1893).
The Indoeuropeanist, Albanologist, and Balkanist the great Gustav Meyer was born on November 25, 1850 in Gross-Strehlitz of Silezia. Studies of classical philology, indoeuropean philology, new Greek and Sanskrit began in 1867 at the University of Breslau, where he graduated in 1871.
In the second half of the nineteenth century had begun work on drafting the comparative grammar and etymological dictionaries of various European languages. At this time also the foundations were laid for the scientific study of the Albanian language and its history.
After linguistic and historical studies undertaken by eminent scholars, as mentioned above like J.Thunmann, G.hahn, F.Bopp, F.Miklosich, who with his works threw light on many aspects of the history of Albanians, the origin and the Albanian language, its relationships with other languages, another true master of etymological studies and historical phonetics gave the Albanian language since in the last quarter of the nineteenth century an etymological dictionary, which reflected the so far achievements in the field of historical study of phonetics and the vocabulary of Albanians during the time they were recognized and studied in his time.
Meyer began to be interested in Albanian, Albanian language and its history in the early 80s of the XIX century. As the main sources for knowledge of the history of Albanians and their language served him the work of G.Hahnit “Albanian studies” (1854) finally equipped with a glossary of Albanian, the work of J.Thunmann “Research in the history of the peoples of Eastern Europe” (1774), “An outline of the comparative grammar of the Albanian language” (1886) from the Arbresh Dh.Kamarda especially “Albanian studies” I-III (1870-71) of Miklosich and his other studies for the Turkish elements in the Southeastern European languages and also the etymological dictionary of Slavic languages. Visits that he undertook towards Arbëresh settlements helped him to collect material from these linguistic dialect of Albanian detached long time ago from its trunk. Meyeri entered into correspondence with the Albanian scholars and Arbëresh in that time, with Th.Mitko, K.Kristoforidh, J.De Rada, Dh.Kamarda, etc.
In 1883-1897 he published six volumes of “Albanian Studies” in which he addressed multiple problems in historical phonetics and grammar of the Albanian, the etymology and vocabulary, Albanian relations with other languages. Particularly important for the historical phonetics and for the Albanian language and its etymological studies, as two areas closely related to each other, is the third volume (1892), where are presented sounds developments of the Indoeuropean language in Albanian, thus by laying the foundation of the Albanian historical phonetics for its early period.
G.Meyer in the large sharing with Indo-European languages in satema and centum, upon reflection labial consonants, he includes the Albanian language in the group of satem languages. So, when he began work on drafting etymological dictionary of Albanian, G.Meyer had studied many aspects of its historical development. Regarding the origin of the Albanians and their autochthony Meyeri believed that “Albanians live in Albania or at least a part of it since very old times, they are descendants from Illyrians …”
G.Meyer in 1888 published a “short grammar of the Albanian language”, equipped also with texts and reading parts in Tosk dialect and also with a glossary of these texts.
But the basic work of G.Meyer which are synthesized all his achievements in the field of historical study is “The etymological dictionary of Albanian language”. By being the first work of its kind for the Albanian language and by remaining the only work of its kind for nearly a century, the etymological dictionary of Meyer has played a tremendous role in Albanian historical linguistics during the twentieth century. All subsequent studies of historical phonetics and etymology of the Albanian language and its relationship with other Indo-European languages were referred to this work. Albanological works of Meyer were recognized and praised by prestigious institutions and personalities of the time. French Academy gave him the Werner price. Faik Konica in his magazine “Albania” 1897 No. 8 would write: “We will not teach our readers, mostly albanologists, who is Professor Gustav Meyer”.
Etymological dictionary of Albanian language has served and still serves as an encouragement and support for scientific research in various fields of historical study of the Albanian language and helped its history be better known in many European scientific and cultural circles of the world and in this way to spread the Albanian content which is included in the comparative grammar dictionaries of different languages.
It has served as a starting point and as the basis for subsequent studies on Albanian etymological such as “Etymological Studies in the field of Albanian” of Çabej in seven volumes, “Albanian etymology” of Bardhyl Demirak and “etymological dictionary of Albanian language” of Vladimir Orelitetj, and other studies in the field of the history of the Albanian language and Balkanology. Even today, after a century and a quarter, when etymological studies are studied much broader and with new applications and methods in accordance with the discipline of epistemology and when the knowledge and the scientific study of the Albanian language can not be compared with the time when Meyerit dictionary was published, this work has not lost not only its historical value but also scientific.
Despite the extraordinary merits and values, Meyer’s vocabulary is a work of its time, as for the criteria used in the etymological study conducted in Albanian, as for the case of the Albanians that he has included in it, for the degree of its recognition and for the conclusions that has brought about the composition of the vocabulary of this language after the etymological analysis.
After Gustav Meyer the line of Albanology development is most strongly determined with the names of Jokli and Pedersen. Pedersen was dedicated more to the Albanian grammar problems and issues related to them rather than those of its etymology; it seems that finding some historical phonetics rules which were unnoticed properly before him and clarification of some morphological structure sides of the Albanian language caused the removal of many etymological comparisons of Mayer, and also opened the way for a fairer view of the history of some words of this language.
His work in this field is more qualitative than quantitative. More complex appears for the Albanian the work and activity of Norbert Jokli, who in time came and focused mainly in this branch of study, in contrast with Boppi, who had been above all a languages comparativist, from Miklosich, who was the ballkanist and Slavist, from Gustav Meyer that except that he was studying Greek and Albanian, from Pedersen, who left earlier from the Albanian studies.
Jokli’s scientific interests, except that for the problem of Albanian etymology and his links with ancient Balkan languages, were driven more strongly by the etymology of the word history rather from the meaningful grammar. He took on a larger scale that his predecessors and contemporaries the Albanian material, the written and spoken, there not only the linguistic evidence, but also objective data of cultural material and ethnography. Etymologies of Jokli stand to explain the morphological structure of the word, in the area of disclosure of certain phonetic syllabic features of liquids and nasals.
A work of paramount importance remains also keeping of his attitude towards international scientific activity in the field of epistemology and the Albanians over the years 1916-1940, who appears in his peer-reviewed “Indogermanisches Jahrbuch” yearbook IV XXIV. The work of this scholar , with all the results indicated, remained unfinished . With his suffered death in 1942, he couldn’t finish his etymological dictionary and The Albanian Historical Grammar, which could have been the work of his life. Viewed in its entirety and in its effects on the further direction of Albanology, the way that Pedersen opened and then extended and continued Jokli after a longitudinal work, mark a turning point in the linguistic field of archeological research. Albanian was never seen again, as before, as a mixed semi-Roman language. It was already recognized as in the grammatical system but also in vocabulary, many of its inherited features, unnoticed well from before.
Along with these scholars, with the problems of epistemology at the same time are many others who dealt with the same isues, by approaching to the Albanian from their specialization standinpoint like Indo-Europian language, Hellenic, Slavic, and particularly from Romanian languages, who among them were especially Stier, Thumb, Miklosich, Schmid, Tagliavin, Mann, Restel, etc. The result of this work more than fifteen years of wor is this one, that in the comparable etymological dictionaries of the last two generations of Albanian vocabulary occupies a larger place as it has occupied earlier. Among these dictionaries, the one of Walde – Hofmann gives some of the Albanian etymology announced to the author by Jokli through letters.
Among Albanian linguists who have contributed to the history of Albanian etymology are Kamarda and La Piana from Arbëresh’s of Italy, Furiki from those of Greece, Kristoforidhi, Xhuvani and Çabej in Albania.
Among these, Kamarda is distinguished with his talent of a rare the combination, but has been damaged by the lack of scientific distinction of the local element of vocabulary by the foreign element. The work of La Piana should be complete by what is known, if we judge from this that a large part of his manuscripts remained unpublished.
From the comparisions of Kristoforidhi, those that are right or at least questionable were treated in various works. The works of Alexander Xhuvani present a more accurate orientation and a higher scale of linguistic research. The source words of Turkish-Oriental, after a preliminary work of Th.Mitko, has been tracked especially from T.Dizdari, the author of a manuscript with broad-Orientalism over the Albanian language.
In general lines, in the authoctonous etymologists the lack or the dicrease of external comparison is compensated with a full knowledge of the mother tongue. This has often enabled to more tightly with intuitive way to dictate some internal closeness which were not noticed by foreign scholars. In the field of Slavic-Albanian relations, has got merits the author called I. Ajeti. There isn’t also without interest Pjeter Mazëreku from Prizren, Archbishop of Tivar since 1632,which saw that the translation of some Albanian words with the Italian, coming thus as an ancestor of Albanian etymological studies.
From the ranks of the Arbëreshs of Italy, in manuscripts and works especially of N.Keta, A.Masci, J. V.Dorsa. De Rada, in the most unstable combinations, can be found also any fair etymological comparison. But the linguist who gave a great impetus to the etymology of the Albanian language and to the whole Albanian study, while marveling him at all angles in his works, it is definitely Eqrem Çabej. His works in the field of Albanian epistemology are numerous, but the most conspicuous of those which carry an inexhaustible potential for the Albanian language and its etymology are Language Studies I-II and Etymological Studies in the field of Albanian I-VII.
Etymological studies have a dual character, he is also very well-built as a critics. In addressing every word the author departs from a review of the work that has been done since then, by a screening of the thoughts that have emerged, aiming to achieve a certain balance of results since then. While the critical documentation, maintaining attitude, appearance of the condition of the Albanian language etymological study, the objective assessment of previous work represented one side of the paper overall character. In addition, starting from the platform of criticism, Çabej struggled in a positive way, often with new interpretations, to give a personal opinion on the history of the source of many Albanian words. This is made possible by relying often on a previously unused material, with taking into account of several new tools and research results. With these features this paper is presented with a new character, essentially different from the studies undertaken until then in this branch of Albanian studies.
Doctoral student at Centre for Albanological Studies in Tirana.
SOURCE Anglisticum Journal (IJLLIS), Volume: 2 | Issue: 4 |
(TO BE CONTINUED)