Greek loanwords in Arabic

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Edguoglitigin, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    Ankara
    Turkish
    Could you share what you know about this? I know one loanword that it has become a root for new word: sophia > S-W-F > tasawwoof

    Actually I'm studying on Mameluk-Kipchak texts and these turkic texts have somewhat Greek loanwords and what I wonder is whether those come from Arabic or Anatolian Greek (within the range of 13th century to 15th century)??

    The words that I have come across are mantar "mushroom", marul "lettuce", kirevet "bench, armchair", somun "a kind of bread".
     
  2. DenisBiH

    DenisBiH Senior Member

    Interesting, I didn't know somun was a Greek loanword. This dictionary seems to suggest it entered Turkish directly from Greek (psōmón). The same dictionary suggests the same for kerevet < krábbatos.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  3. artion Senior Member

    Athens
    Greek
    Here are some more Gr. to Turkish loans.
    http://spacezilotes.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/hellenic-words-in-turkish-language-ελληνικεσ-λεξεισ-στην-τουρκικη/

    and more: http://users.otenet.gr/~aker/LekseisA-D.htm

    But they include much academic terminology that has been borrowed from Gr. by almost every language in the world.

    There is a Greek book with 4.600 words common between Greek and Turkish:
    Title: Κατάλογος κοινών ελληνικών και τουρκικών λέξεων, εκφράσεων και παροιμιών
    Author:
    Κωδικός προϊόντος
    Place and date of publication: Athens 2008
    ISBN:
    978-960-02-2168-8


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2011
  4. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Actually taSSawwof is more likely from Arabic Suuf (wool), I've heard two opinions, the less likely one is from Arabic Safaa (purity). Sophia does not really seem very likely; in all cases, this is not a good example because it's not agreed upon.

    Actually I'm studying on Mameluk-Kipchak texts and these turkic texts have somewhat Greek loanwords and what I wonder is whether those come from Arabic or Anatolian Greek (within the range of 13th century to 15th century)??

    I didn't recognize the first two, but I always thought the second two are Turkish too. I didn't even know that they were used in Egypt - the Egyptians I know don't use them or even knew what they mean before.
     
  5. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    Ankara
    Turkish

    Artion, I actually wonder the Greek loanwords in Arabic. Cause there are some claims that some Oghuz Turks who had used to live in Anatolia emigrated to Mameluk-Kipchak region (Egypt-Syria) about 14th-15th century and this made Kipchak Turkic evolve into Oghuz Turkic. Therefore some Greek loanwords (maybe we should call them Rumian) can give an idea about this situation.
     
  6. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    Ankara
    Turkish
    I think the safaa word can not be the root of tasawwoof because according to word pattern tafa'ul its last sound must be a vowel. In addition to this fact, suuf "wool" sounds semantically irrelevant to me.
     
  7. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Safaa is a suggestion, as I said, not very likely. The more likely is Suuf, but it is not irrelevant. Actually it even seems more relevant to me. When they first showed up their major characteristic was wearing wool only - rough, non-refined wool - as a way to denounce worldly pleasures; hence, they were mutaSauufeen, i.e., wearing wool.
     
  8. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    Marul probably derives from the Byzantine «(ἀ)μαρούλιον» (ama'rulion, and ma'rulion, when the initial alpha is omitted, neuter noun ) which ultimately derives from the Latin, amarulla lactuca (bitter lettuce); adj. amarus-->bitter (cf. Italian amaretto). Modern Greek, «μαρούλι» (ma'ruli, neuter noun)-->lettuce.
     
  9. olric New Member

    Dersaadet
    Turkish
    As far as I know, nâmus is a loanword from Greek nomos.
     
  10. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    Melbourne
    English - Australian
    Note also Turk. kanun - instrument, and Kanunname - laws > Gr. Κανόνας - scale , rule, precept and so on.
     
  11. artion Senior Member

    Athens
    Greek
    Some words are loaned back and forth between Greek - Turkish - Arabic, like this:

    Ar. and Pers. defter (book, note-book, registry), turkish tefter. From the ancient Gr. diphthera (a thin leather membrane for writting on both sides< di+phtheiro (double use) ). The original word became obsolete in medieval and modern Gr. but was reloaned from turkish to modern Gr. as tefteri (note-book). The original is used in the medical term diphtheritis.
     
  12. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    English port, Greek Limani turned into the Arabic Minah (like with Alexander-Iskander, the Arabs interpreted the beginning L as "The"). This Greek word also entered Hebrew as Nemal.
     
  13. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    OK, I just remembered a couple, Arabic funduq for hotel and fustuq for Pistachio‏ are originally Greek, or at least I think I recall reading something like that.
     
  14. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    All right, fustuq from «πιστάκη» (pi'stake, f.) the tree, and «πιστάκιον» (pi'stakion, n.) the fruit, is understandable.
    How on earth does one get funduq for the hotel (?), from the «Ποντικόν κάρυον» (Ponti'kon 'karuon, n.), the "nut of Pontus" (hazelnut), is beyond me!
    Ponti'kon>Funduq, which gave the Turkish fındık and the Modern Greek «φουντούκι» (fun'duci, n.); but fındık and φουντούκι is this:
    http://i52.tinypic.com/14e08km.jpg

    How do you arrive to hotel from hazelnut?
     
  15. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    See here: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1188778
     
  16. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Via Aramaic: limen -> limna -> nimla -> namel.
     
  17. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
  18. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    Since it's not mentioned in here yet, I thought I'd draw your attention to what is often called the 'translation movement', which was a large scale transfer of knowledge into Arabic from Greek very early on during the Islamic era. I don't know a great deal about it, but I suspect it was when the first ground rules were laid down regarding how to arabise certain greek words - often choosing emphatic constants over non-emphatic ones.

    Much technical terminology has been taken directly from greek rather than latin or european languages even recently; though they're very similar words, often the pronunciation remains - in my opinion - closer to the original than in English or French ( ديمقراطية diimuQraaTiyya ) but sometimes the pronunciation is Arabised ( فلسفة falsafa).
     
  19. er targyn Senior Member

    I've heard that Arabic has some Latin loans, for example, genius became "jinn" and, in Central Asia it means fool, idiot (< possessed by jinn).
     
  20. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    I don't think jinn has anything to do with genius, jinn were called so because they are unseen and the root j-n-n has the meaning of invisibility or hiding.
     
  21. er targyn Senior Member

    Are you 100% sure?
     
  22. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    If there is a 3-letter root, which there is, then it's definitely not a loanword.
     
  23. er targyn Senior Member

    What do you mean?
     
  24. DenisBiH

    DenisBiH Senior Member

    Does Arabic integrate some borrowings into its 3-letter root system?

    Something along these lines:

     
  25. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Arabic, Aramaic and Hebrew all have foreign words that turned into roots. The Greek word Taxis has been made into the root TKS in all three of them.
     
  26. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Or sometimes 4-letter roots. E.g. in Hebrew the word the verb to telephone is tilpen (infinitive letalpen).
     
  27. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Even more than one Hebrew root: תכסיס (trick), טקס (ceremony), לטכס עצה (to consult), each forms a different 3 letter root based on the same Greek word, and in addition the modern טקטיקה (tactics).

    Most speakers say tilfen, letalfen which follows the international (and Greek) pronounciation but not the clssic Hebrew rules, so this root is not fully absorbed into Hebrew.
     
  28. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    About jinn? Yes I am. The root also has other words that have nothing to do with "the guardian spirit" or whatever the Greeks believed in. Example: janna al-layl = means the night has hidden [everything]; janna(t) means a garden with high trees (that hide whatever is behind it) - it also means heaven as we can't see it. janiin is a fetus or embryo (hidden inside his mother). I can go on but it's a very long root and some words in it have deviated a little (such as the meanings of jinn, madness, veils, shields, graveyards ...etc.)
     
  29. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Etymolnline agrees with you. They have the following to say about genie:
    1650s, "tutelary spirit," from Fr. génie, from L. genius (see genius); used in French translation of "Arabian Nights" to render Arabic jinni, singular of jinn, which it accidentally resembled, and attested in English with this sense from 1748.
    The important word is accidentally.
     
  30. er targyn Senior Member

    What if not accidentally? Any deviation must be explained.
     
  31. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    The onus of proof rests with those who claim a connection exists. For both L. genius and A. jinn there are plausible etymologies within the respective language groups. Vague phonetic similarities between words from language groups without demonstrable genetic relationship does not in itself constitute a valid argument for a relationship, be it cognate or loan.
     
  32. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Can't it be a totally different root that happens to have the same 3 letters? In Hebrew root gnn means garden but nothing related to hidden. The same root also means protect, which sounds (in Hebrew at least) as an irrelated employment of the same 3 letters.
     
  33. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Here I found to grow in abundance as the PS root meaning of G-N-N.
     
  34. rayloom Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    Going through the root meanings in Arabic, it certainly seems that it carries more than 1 meaning.
    Compare for example:
    junna جنة meaning: protection, armour.
    Also mijann مجنّ meaning "shield".
    Maybe one could argue that one hides, gets covered by a shield or something of the sort.

    As for the meaning related to "grow in abundance", this is an entry in Lisan Al-Arab:
    وجُنَّ النبتُ جُنوناً أَي طالَ والْتَفَّ وخرج زهره
    basically meaning that if one says "junna" (verb) referring to plants, then it means it has grown and flowered.
    But then the author of the Lisan attempts in the entry to ultimately connect these meanings to the meaning "to hide/cover", but it's a retrospective analysis, as with mijann & junnah mentioned earlier.
    The connection mentioned by the author of the Lisan does make sense to me in Arabic, but I think a more comparative approach is needed within the Semitic languages to see whether this connection holds.

    But I guess thats deserves a new thread.
     
  35. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    It ignores several meanings of the root, some of them common to several Semitic languages. Therefore seems to me questionable. Garden may be derived from this G-N-N but what about hidden? protect? mad? other meanings mentioned above? They do not seem related to grow in abundance.
     
  36. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I agree. I can see how to protect and to hide can form a single semantic unit and meanings like to flourish or garden can be derived from that. But not really the other way round.
     
  37. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    The name for the Greek currency «δραχμὴ» (drāx'mē, f.), gave dirham درهم
    Others claim that dirham derives from «δίδραχμον» ('dĭdrāxmŏn, n.)--> two-drachma (coin of 2 drachmas)
     
  38. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew

    Objection! Protect? Thats obvious! Legonen means to protect.
    Mignana is defensive actions, joining to what rayloom said.
    Mad may be close to the root H-T-M which perfectly gives variations of to hide, to make something hidden


    Plus in hebrew you can find 2,3,4,rarely 5 and 6 roots.
     
  39. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    To what precisely do you object?:confused: Origumi explicitly said that G-N-N also means to protect.
     
  40. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    To the mad word. and about protect didnt notice. Which are the other words 'mentioned before'? I cant track them...
     
  41. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Here you go:
    I still don't understand to what you object concerning G-N-N = mad.
     
  42. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    Ok, perhaps I misunderstood what origumi said.
    Ill look at it tomrrow,have a test early morning. Later
     
  43. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    The jinn were a creature of Arabian desert mythology long predating Islam. They are associated with desolate and remote parts of the desert. Experiencing the darkness of an Arabian desert wadi at night, one can easily understand how such creatures arose in the imagination of the ancient peoples here. The explanation through the root j-n-n ("to be hidden") is very plausible and makes a lot of sense. I haven't seen anything in this thread to persuade me that it came all the way from Greece, though I am of course open to any additional evidence. I would note that the fact that the root j-n-n can also have the meaning of growth (hence jannah for garden) does not necessarily detract from the Arabic etymology. It is common for a root to be used for two unrelated meanings, as a cursory look at any Arabic dictionary will give you. Even today in Saudi Arabia, one often hears a root that means one thing in the east and something completely different in the west.
     
  44. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    Supporting Wadi, semitic languages are known to have various, sometimes vast unrelated usages and meanings to the same root.
    My theory is that due to the strict grammatical structure and rules, (we have a limited number of roots) it is a key piece to have multiple useage to the same root.
    Perhaps all is needed is to have more binyanim, but thats OT for here,though interesting to hear arabic natives as arabic was spoken continuously and must have more roots than in hebrew, though they do have 10 binyanim while hebrew has 7. Did arabic add over time binyanim?
     
  45. Wadi Hanifa

    Wadi Hanifa Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    The reason a mad person is known in Arabic as majnuun is because the Arabs believed such a person to have been possessed by jinn. In the Quran, Muhammad is often accused by the pagans of Mecca of being saaHir (a sorceror), shaa'ir (a poet), kaahin (a soothsayer who speaks to the jinn) or majnuun (passive participle from j-n-n). He is also accused as bihi massun min al-jinn ("touched by a jinni"), a variation of majnuun​.
     
  46. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    +1
    Haven't encountered any Homeric/Classical/Koine/Byzantine Greek word so far, which suggests that jinn is a Greek loanword in Arabic language; on the contrary, Modern Greek has the neuter noun «τζίνι» /'dzini/ which according to prof. Babiniotis is an Arabic loanword via Ottoman Turkish. It's a colloquialism for the very bright person (probably after Latin influence and folk etymology). The equivalent Greek word is the neuter noun «δαιμόνιον» (Classical Greek, dæ'mŏnīŏn, Modern Greek /ðe'monio/) which described an inferior devine being in ancient Greek mythology, often a naughty teaser. In Modern Greek, the very capable, intentive (and shrewd) person is described by the adj. «δαιμόνιος» /ðe'monios/
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  47. rayloom Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    This probably deserves its own thread.

    Concerning triliteral root verbs, you have the common Semitic stems being (most likely descended from Proto-Semitic):
    1- G-stem
    2- D-stem
    3- Š-stem
    4- Gt-stem (or tG-stem, a variation occuring in colloquial Arabic and Aramaic)
    5- tD-stem (or Dt-stem, a variation occuring in Akkadian and Aramaic)
    6- N-stem
    7- Št-stem
    (the L-stem and tL-stem are debatable apparently, however, they do occur in Arabic, Biblical Hebrew (p. 108), Ethiosemitic and Ugaritic, Ugaritic apparently having only the L-stem).

    Hebrew has 7 binyanim, from 5 stems:
    1- paʕal, which meets Arabic form I faʕala: G-stem
    2- piʕel, which meets Arabic form II faʕʕala: D-stem
    3- hifʕil, which meets Arabic form IV ʔafʕala: Š-stem (or C-stem)
    4- hitpaʕel, which meets Arabic form V tafaʕʕala (Colloquial Arabic 'itfaʕʕal): tD-stem (which apparently merged with the Gt-stem in Hebrew)
    5- nifʕal, which meets Arabic form VII infaʕala: N-stem
    6- puʕal, which meets the passive voice of Arabic form II fuʕʕila: passive of D-stem
    7- hufʕal, which meets the passive voice of Arabic form IV ʔufʕila: passive of Š-stem (or C-stem)

    (And if we include Biblical Hebrew):
    - hištafʕal (attested in Hebrew hištaḥwā), which meets Arabic form X 'istafʕala: Št-stem
    - L-stem and its passive. And its reflexive tL-stem. (see p. 108 of "Handbook of Biblical Hebrew").

    So, the 5 stems in Hebrew being: G-stem, D-stem, Š-stem, tD-stem (or Gt-stem), N-stem. Biblical Hebrew having 3 extra stems: Št-stem, L-stem, tL-stem.

    Akkadian has all the aforementioned 7 stems, and in addition to that 5 extra stems (total 12).
    Arabic has all those 7 stems, and in addition to that the L-stem & tL-stem, and 6 extra stems (total 15)
    Aramaic has 6 stems, (lost the N-stem)
    Ugaritic has all those 7 stems + L-stem. (total 8).

    Regarding those extra stems in Akkadian and Arabic, they might be innovative in the end, they do exhibit however a feature which suggests derivations from other stems. Which in Akkadian, it's the -tan- infix into different stems. And in Arabic, it can be variations of the D-stem, sometimes with elongation of the vowel before, or an infixation of -n- or -w-, which also has gives a reflexive/mediopassive meaning, usually used to form stative verbs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  48. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    Ankara
    Turkish
    I feel I interrupt the nice discussion about genius ~ jinn but I want to share a loanword I have recently discovered it:

    Arabic ﻣﺼﻄﻜﻰ 'resin of mastic tree' < Old Greek μαστιχη 'mastic, mastiche'.
     
  49. djara

    djara Senior Member

    Sousse, Tunisia
    Tunisia Arabic
    barqouq برقوق = "prune" or, in certain areas "apricot". The Arabic word was most probably borrowed from Greek praikokion itself borrowed from Latin praecoquum which means precocious/early. The Arabic word was then borrowed by most European languages; Eng. Apricot, Fr. Abricot, etc. See Amine Maalouf's excellent "My Web Words".
     
  50. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    The Byzantine Greek word is «βερύκοκον/βερίκοκκον» (ve'rykokon or ve'rikokkon, both spellings are common) which is a Latin loanword--> praecox (alt. praecoquum) persicum. lit. premature peach.
    «Πραικόκιον» (prae'kokion) is definitely not a Greek word (in fact I've never heard it).
    praecox (praecoquum) > «βερύκοκον/βερίκοκκον» > barqouq برقوق
     

Share This Page