Bue and bove in Italian

Linnets

Senior Member
From Devoto, Avviamento all'etimologia italiana (with some additions): «[...] antichissima parola indeuropea discendente da una base gʷous, attestata nelle aree celtica, germanica (tedesco Kuh e inglese cow, 'mucca'), baltica, slava, indiana, armena, greca, umbra. In latino giunta attraverso una tradizione rurale sabina, con b- iniziale al posto della regolare v-. La forma bove si oppone alla forma dittongata buòe poi bue, [...] (senza la v- intervocalica), in quanto la resistenza della v- intervocalica ha impedito qui la dittongazione».

But the hypothetical form buove is indeed attested in some ancient documents.
 
  • Starless74

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    I would also suppose: bove(m)bouebue, given the well-known ambiguity between U and V in Latin pronunciation.
    I can offer no evidence whatsoever, though. :oops:
     
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    Regarding this thread, I'd be highly interested to know how the irregular plural of bue buoi evolved in Italian. As a matter of fact, Italian also has a few similar irregular plurals such as: tuo - tuoi, suo, suoi, but unlike the latter, bue ends in -e, so its irregularity particularly stands out. I have not read anything about this subject so far, but perhaps, bue is only a later adaptation of the plural buoi (Latin boves). Surprisingly enough, Spanish has buey (bueyes) too, but the diphtonguization o - ue is pretty common in Castilian. Thank you in advance for your answers.
     
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    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    As the original post says, indeed it was buoe with simplification before non-high vowels; the result is bue, buoi like tuo, tue, tuoi.

    It occurs to me that the form bove < bōvem must be an extension of the vowel of the nominative, which was bōs. The same vowel also pops up in dative/ablative plural bōbus (alongside būbus). Other possible cases of vowel swaps from the nominative into the accusative in the 3d declension can be seen in the type mōns, pōns/montem, pontem > It. m[o]nte, p[o]nte (with closed [o]) vs Sp. monte, puente (only the latter regular).
     

    Linnets

    Senior Member
    Other possible cases of vowel swaps from the nominative into the accusative in the 3d declension can be seen in the type mōns, pōns/montem, pontem > It. m[o]nte, p[o]nte (with closed [o])
    But closed o /o/ was generalized in Old Italian (Tuscan) before /n/; compare North Italian where the same process occurred even with /ɛ/ N. I. témpo vs Tuscan (and Italian) tèmpo.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Surprisingly enough, Spanish has buey (bueyes) too, but the diphtonguization o - ue is pretty common in Castilian. Thank you in advance for your answers.
    Even more, in old Spanish it was bue or búe (according to DRAE). The stress on the vowel "u" and the coincidence with Italian bue suggests that the form bue is not the result of diphthongization, rather it seems to be a common Romance (Proto-Romance?) form, derived from a supposed Latin *buem/*boem < bovem.

    But ......

    - In this case I should probably expect also in Portughese *bue and not boi (independently on the actual pronunciation).
    - The French boeuf seems to derive directly from bovem (not *boem), as it maintains the consonant "v" (f < v at the end of a word).
    - Where from does the -y come from in case of the Spanish buey?
    - In Romanian and Catalan it is bou.

    Is it possible to reconstruct a Proto-Romance form?
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In Aragonese there are buei/güei, bue/güe and bua/gua, u's being [w]. The ones without -i are probably later reductions, just like in the pairs huei/hue (< HODIE) or nueit/nuet (< NOCTE). The ones in -ua- are genuine solutions of -O- + -A/-E, in which -ue- would be for -O- + -O.

    A logical evolution should have given *bueu, though, as in NOVEm > nueu, IOVES > chueus/chous. Because the -i in huei and nueit are due to yod.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    In Aragonese there are buei/güei, bue/güe and bua/gua, u's being [w]. The ones without -i are probably later reductions, just like in the pairs huei/hue (< HODIE) or nueit/nuet (< NOCTE). The ones in -ua- are genuine solutions of -O- + -A/-E, in which -ue- would be for -O- + -O.

    A logical evolution should have given *bueu, though, as in NOVEm > nueu, IOVES > chueus/chous. Because the -i in huei and nueit are due to yod.
    Well, the yod e.g. in the Spanish hoy is understandable, e.g. hodie > *hoye (after lenition of d) > hoy In Italian hodie > *[odže] > *ogge > oggi (maybe I am wrong ...). The huei from *hoi is also understandable.

    But where does the yod in buey, buei < bovem come from?

    If novem is the analogy of bovem, then why do we have nueve in Spanish and nove in Italian and not *nuey / *nue < the supposed *nueu ?
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    But where does the yod in buey, buei < bovem come from?

    If novem is the analogy of bovem, then why do we have nueve in Spanish and nove in Italian and not *nuey / *nue < the supposed *nueu ?
    There is no yod in buey<bovem. That's why I meant that a logical evolution in Aragonese should have given *bueu, not buei.

    Nueve in Spanish and nueu in Aragonese are logical evolutions from NOVE, just like nieve and nieu are from NEVE. Yes, a logical evolution in Spanish should have given bueve, and bueu in Aragonese. What I guess is that both Spanish and Aragonese buey/buei don't come from BOVE, but from *BOE.
     
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