Valdemar and Vladimir

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Ben Jamin, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    The two names: Valdemar (Germanic) and Vladimir (Slavic) have almost the same meaning and are built of parts that are cognates. Theoreticaly they both could have been created independently from each other, but most probably one is a calque of the other. Which one?
     
  2. rbrunner Junior Member

    Switzerland
    German - Switzerland
    I wonder where you take the most probably part of your question from. Both parts of the names in both language families, Germanic and Slavic, were popular name parts, and something along the line of famous ruler seems so obvious to me that independent re-creation looks quite ok.

    But I am really curious whether somebody here will come up with "hard" information instead of only opinions leaning this or that way. I noticed these two names as well when I built my given name database but was not able then to find out how exactly the two names relate to each other.

    One can probably rule out the possibility that the name is so old that it predates the split between Germanic and Slavic, a true PIE given name so to say. Would be fascinating, however!
     
  3. palomnik Senior Member

    Vietnam
    English
    I'm not sure about how extensive Vladimir is throughout the Slavic world, but several personal names from Russia are actually derived from Germanic names, through the Viking connection.

    The only one that springs to mind is Olga, which comes from Helga, but I'm pretty certain that there are others.
     
  4. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Well, "most probably" is my guessing, as Slavic calques of Germanic words are frequent. I actually do not know any calque of a name from Germanic to Slavic, but there exist numerous calques from Latin and Greek to Polish and Ukrainian ( Bohdan/Bogdan, Bogumil, Wawrzyniec, Szczesny).
    But Valdemar/Vladimir is an exception, as here the copying could have gone both ways.

    By the way, Olga is a Slavic name derived from Germanic (Scandinavian) Helga, as Oleg is from Helge, and Igor from Ingvar, but they are not calques, as they mean nothing in Slavic.
     
  5. Hulalessar Senior Member

    Andalucía
    English - England
    "Vladimir" is surely Slavic meaning "world/kingdom ruler".
     
  6. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    That' what I wrote in my thread opening. There has never been a question of meaning either, only a question: were these two names created independent from each other, or is one a copy translation of the other, and if so which one was first.
     
  7. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    That seems to be folk etymology caused by phonetic mergers. The OCS version of the name was Владимѣръ and not *Владимиръ or *Владимiръ. (Source)
     
  8. rbrunner Junior Member

    Switzerland
    German - Switzerland
    Yes, I also found Igor as a second example here beside Helga, but curiously enough no further examples. My database is not extensive when it comes to Slavic names, but still, a multitude of Nordic and thus Germanic names that found their way into Slavic languages is not in sight, if you ask me. 20 or even 10 names that went that way would be an argument for Waldemar having gone the same route, but just 2 is not convincing, not yet anyway.

    Right. And only with this correct etymology the statement in the opening post becomes true: That both parts of the names are cognates of each other.
     
  9. Perseas Senior Member

    Athens - GR
    Greek
    In this site it says:
    Valdemar: Scandinavian form of WALDEMAR. This was the name of four kings of Denmark.
    Waldemar: Germanic derivative of the Slavic name VLADIMIR (or perhaps a cognate composed of the Germanic elements wald "rule" and meri "famous"). It was introduced into Scandinavia by the 12th-century Danish king Waldemar (or Valdemar) who was named after a royal ancestor of his Ukrainian mother.
    Vladimir:
    Means "to rule with greatness", derived from the Slavic element volod "rule" combined with mer "great, famous". The second element has also been associated with mir meaning "peace" or "world". This was the name of an 11th-century Grand Prince of Kiev who is venerated as a saint because of his efforts to Christianize Russia. It was also borne by the founder of the former Soviet state, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924).
     
  10. rbrunner Junior Member

    Switzerland
    German - Switzerland
    I just found this article:
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Vladimir:+what's+in+a+name?-a086388220

    I did not yet read the whole thing - it is quite long and full of interesting details - but I got the impression that the matter who borrowed from whom is essentially not settled, and maybe never will be, given how far back the history of both names reach.
     
  11. Hulalessar Senior Member

    Andalucía
    English - England
    Hm. Seems I was misinformed some 40 years ago. Next you'll be telling me that поднос does not come from the fact a tray is held under your nose.
     
  12. virrkoe New Member

    Coimbatore- Thamizhnaadu - India
    Thamizh - Thamizhnaadu
    The portion "wald" to mean "rule" is indicative of a Dravidian root. In Thamizh, a classical language in its own right, "vaazthal" means not only just living, but "living with fame/power/pride and with lot of people to work for him. So the name "WALDEMAR" also carries an element of Dravidian root. I always felt that very many names in Europe carry the Thamizh grammar pertaining to name-terminations. In a similar manner the Spanish name "Nadal" in Thamizh means "To rule a country"; that is here, this word as a surname, can mean "Ruler of a country" i.e. "king" or "emperor".
     
  13. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Why would that be so?
     
  14. aruniyan Senior Member

    Tamil
    You have a good point,
    Val in Tamil equals growth/strength/visibility in a place.. it looks the same even for Indo European.
    value, wealth, well, valant and a lot more...
    valathaan, valuthi, valluvan are ancient names in Tamil.
     
  15. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    The Tamil word is likely a borrowing from the Sanskrit bala, which may be a cognate of the Slavic vlad-. In any case, the idea of Vladimir being rooted in Dravidian doesn't seem plausible.
     
  16. aruniyan Senior Member

    Tamil
    I don't think you are correct. it should be the other way.

    Yes, there cannot be a direct relation, but my point is the real meaning of the proto sound "val" is strong/growth, which is common for IndoEuropean and Dravidian languages.
     
  17. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    What is your evidence for this?

    EDIT: There seems to be a division among scholars about the direction of the loan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  18. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Value and valant are derived from PIE *wal- = to be strong. Well and Wealth belong to a different group and are related to will. The similarity of the semantic groups val- (Dravidian) and wal- (IE) is interesting but most linguists would argue that we know too little about the possible kinship of IE and Dravidian languages to decide whether this is coincidence or a genuine etymological relation. The minority of linguists who accept the Nostratic theory think differently.
     
  19. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I assume that our Tamil friends are thinking either of vaḷ (with retroflex ḷ), “fertility, abundance, greatness, strength” (Burrow/Emeneau no. 5304), or of vāḻ “to exist, live, flourish” (ibid. no. 5372). Both have cognates across Dravidian. From a purely phonetic point of view neither one can be a borrowing from Skt. bala- “strength”, which in turn cannot be cognate with IE. *wal-. These are all separate from one another.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  20. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    ^ There's also val “strong, hard, forceful, skilful” (Burrow/Emeneau no. 5276).

    Could there also be an IE *bel- “strength, power” that would explain Skt. bala and Latin de-bilis?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  21. aruniyan Senior Member

    Tamil
    I am sorry to drag the thread away,
    there are three l's in Tamil,
    ல(dark L)
    ள(light l)
    ழ(retroflex zh)
    vaL(good, strong, known,visibile etc...) - vaaL(tail)
    valam,valar(growth, well being, wealth) - vaal(blade, falx)
    vazhangu(present itself) - vaazh(life)
     
  22. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    What does it contribute to the thread? Off topic, if you ask me.
     
  23. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    It is, I think, legitimate to discuss possible Dravidian correspondences with IA and IE words, but only if the Dravidian words are correctly transliterated, so that we know which words we are actually discussing. Arunian’s last contribution has at least clarified this.
     
  24. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    I think that discussing the inluence of Dravidian on IE languges so far west as Slavic and Germanic can only be highly speculative. If we are to dicuss interrelations between Sanskrit and Dravidian then we should start a separate thread.
     
  25. aruniyan Senior Member

    Tamil
    Sorry, my post is not related to the topic, but i replied to someone's claim that "val" Tamil comes from "bal" Sanskrit. Can someone here give the cognate to Sanskrit "bal" in IE?
     
  26. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    I don't know how plausible it is, but this is what etymonline says.
     
  27. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    It has been sugegsted in this thread that Sanskrit words with VAL- root originate from a Dravidian root. It has also been suggested that those words might have been spread to Slavic and Germanic languages. Well, Dravidian influence on Sanskrit is quite plausible, as those languages have been in contact in a long time, but Sanskrit is not PIE, and Sanskrit speakers didn't migrate westwards. The only common origin one could imagine must have been the Nostratic language, which is, and most probably will remain an unproven hypothesis, unless new, and until now unimagined, tools of linguistic research are invented.
     
  28. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Moderator note: We should leave it at that. We have accepted a bit of deviation from the topic to address the claim of a possible Indo-European/Dravidian connection. But now please return to the topic.
     

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