BCS: šargarepa/mrkva

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by sesperxes, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)
    Sziasztok! Zdravo!

    May be this is a question for people from Vojvodina.

    In Hungarian the carrott is called "sárgarépa", that is "yellow turnip": "sárga" is a Hungarian word and "répa" is a slav loan.

    When we croos the border, Croats call it "mrkva" and Serbs, from Subotica to the Albanian border, passing though all Bosnia,, call it "Šargarepa" (same pronounciation), where "Šarga" has no meaning in Serbian and "repa" is already a Serbian word. In some places I'm told they call it "žutarepa", where "žuta" is the feminine of yellow.

    With the huge Slav substrate and the Turkish domination for centuries, could anyone tell me how this foreign word reaches all the corners of Serbia? There were no carrots in the south of the country and this vegetable was coming from Hungary or something like this?

    Nadam da vi svi znate engleski, zato Što ni moj srbski ni moj mađarski nisu vrlo dobri.
    Remélem, hogy tudjátok angolul mért se magyárom se szerbom nem nagyon jók.

    Hvala puno. Kössz.

  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    I don't know the answer, but I'll try with a counter-question (I hope mods will be a bit lenient):

    How come that Spanish has borrowed from Basque the word izquierdo, denoting such a basic concept as left? :)

    Sometimes words have strange ways...
  3. francisgranada Senior Member

    I agree with Duya. A possible explanation could be that the Hungarian carrot was a bit different (let's say more yellowish) and became diffused in some regions together with it's name "šargarepa". "Žutarepa" could then be a calque (translation). The etymology is not important in this case, people when borrowing words spontaneousely, seldom do analyze the linguistical origin of the loanwords ...
  4. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Sounds plausible. According to the Wikipedia article, Carrot is an ancient old world crop, but along the line it had its modifications. They mention (Middle-) "Eastern" and "Western" carrot cultivars, the latter (if I interpret it correctly) being orange/yellow in color, and the former, I guess, violet. (See the whole spectrum here) It is possible that the yellow variant spread over Serbia from the north, along with its Hungarian name.
  5. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)
    Hello Duya, if I catch the theory, there were no carrots in Serbia before Hungarians exported them (otherwise ther would be a name for the violet one, and a another for the yellow one, as it happens in Spanish: we have "col" (=cabbage) and another strange variety called "col de Bruselas" (from Bruxelles), that came later. Anyway, it's funny how words travel.
    I just asked it because, besides of all "folklorical" words (primaš, čardaš, paprika, gulaš, paprikaš, salaš and few others), this was the only Hungarian word understood not only in Vojvodina!!

    Let's talk about Basque loans!
    You mentioned "izquierda" (from ezker=left). It seems that Basque-speaking population (and I avoid saying "Basques" because scholars have too many theories about it) were living in all our Penisula from before Greeks and Romans came in the II century b.C. Therefore, we find "Aranjuez" (a village near Madrid) or "Aran" (a valley in the Catalan Pyrenées), from the Basque word "aran"=valley, and a lot of toponyms with the words ur=water, basa=wood/šuma, aitz=wood/drvo, haitz=goat, arga=hill, gain=summit in all the Peninsula (Arganda and Arganzuela, near Madrid; Urtx, Ordal, Ordino, Surri, Creixenturri, in Catalonia and Andorra; Basurto, Besarta, Basana, in the Aragonese Pyrenees and so on). Even in Andalusia there are Basque toponyms (and I'm talking of about 2000 km from Bilbao or Donosti/San Sebastián!).

    In two of the actual three Basque provinces (and in the mountains of Navarra -both the French and the Spanish side), the official languages (Latin, Spanish and French) didn't enter till the XV century (along with Christianity, kings, armies, books, Inquisition and a lot of potatoes and tomatoes): from then on, Spanish/French words have entered to Basque country, rendering it sometimes "easier" (in Basque the numerical system goes to 20 and then, 21, 22...twenty-ten, twenty-eleven,... two-twenties...----> it's easier counting in Spanish while you speak in Basque!) or destoying a substrate worth of a film titled" Basque Country: the Jurassic Park of languages" (is the oldest living European language!).
    When I say "official languages" I mean that only in villages Basque was spoken, at school was forbidden (even in the land of liberty, equality and fraternity, France, authorities used to write in the schools that "soyez propres, parlez français!=be clean, speak French! And even now, Basque schools in the French Republic are private, because government does not gives a cent!): from then on, Basque was not so widely spread and many, many words were lost or replaced for their equivalents in Spanish or French. With the industrial revolution, immigration helped destroying the language (even in the Autonomic TV there must be a channel in Spanish because most of Basques do not understand the historical language of ther land...).

    So, when you read a Basque word somewhere in Spain or the South of France, you must think that centuries ago, someone used this old language even there.
  6. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    I'm really not sure if there were carrots in Serbia before that. I suppose yes, but maybe another variety. Macedonian and Bulgarian word for it is pan-Slavic Морков, which points to its presence in the urheimat. Maybe it was the purple variety; I didn't know that it exists until yesterday.

    Thanks for the Basque explanation; I didn't know the substratum was so widespread.
  7. Anicetus Senior Member

    I don't know much about the history of carrot growing in Serbia, but -- to echo Duya -- I think that newer words sometimes supplant their older synonyms without a clear reason. For example, the Common Slavic word for milk was borrowed from Germanic. Does that mean Slavs had no milk prior to meeting Germans?
  8. iobyo Senior Member

    Bitola, Macedonia
    Well... морков is probably from Russian because one would expect *мрква in Macedonian and *мърква/*мръква(?) in Bulgarian.

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