Etymology of Persian گوش/guš “ear”

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PersoLatin

Senior Member
UK
Persian - Iran
Is it cognate with PIE *ous-? If that is the case, how has the first letter /g/ appeared there please?
 
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  • PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    ^^ This is from OED:
    ear (n.1)
    "organ of hearing," Old English eare "ear," from Proto-Germanic *auzon (source also of Old Norse eyra, Danish øre, Old Frisian are, Old Saxon ore, Middle Dutch ore, Dutch oor, Old High German ora, German Ohr, Gothic auso), from PIE *ous- "ear" (source also of Greek aus, Latin auris, Lithuanian ausis, Old Church Slavonic ucho, Old Irish au "ear," Avestan usi "the two ears").
    Wiktionary shows /g/ in the Avestan version ("gaoša") whereas in OED /g/ is missing, which is correct please?
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    These are two unrelated words, so in Avestan and Old Persian there are both. In Old Persian gaušā means “ears” whereas ušī has come to mean “intelligence”.

    From Skjærvø PO · 2005 · “An introduction to Old Persian”: 79:

    pasāvašaiy adam utā nāham utā gaušā frājanam “then I cut off both his nose and ears” (Darius's Behistun inscription — column II, line 88 and column II, line 89)​
    tayataiy gaušāyā ϑ(ahạyātiy) avašciy āxšnudiy “listen to just that which is said into your ears” (Darius tomb, lines 53–54)​
    avākaram camaiy ušīy u(t)ā framānā “and of such sort (are) my intelligence and my thought” (Darius' tomb, lines 27–28)​
    hakaram-maiy ušīyā gā(ϑa)vā (h)i(št)ataiy yaciy va(i)nāmiy hamiçiyam yaciy naiy vaināmiy utā ušībiyā utā framānāyā “once it stands in place (= clearly) in my intelligence whatever I see (as) rebellious and whatever I do not see (as rebellious), both with my intelligence and my thought” (Darius' tomb, lines 34-37).​
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Thank you ahvalj.
    These are two unrelated words, so in Avestan and Old Persian there are both. In Old Persian gaušā means “ears” whereas ušī has come to mean “intelligence”.
    But Avestan & OP ušī "intelligence" is cognate with PIE *ous- "ear".
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    This PIE word for “ear” seems to survive in modern Persian in the form of هوش, with a secondary h and I guess with a different generalized ablaut grade.

    And by the way, etymonline's reconstruction is incorrect: one can't get for example the Latin au from the PIE *ou̯ word-initially, so the proto-form must have been more or less as indicated in Wiktionary, that is with a broad laryngeal and the usual alternation of the root vowel in the declension (as suggested here), so that *hₐeu̯- gives the Latin au-, *hₐou̯- or rather *hₐōu̯- gives the Greek ου- and ω- and *hₐu- gives the Indo-Iranic u-. The modern Persian vowel appears to come from *hₐeu̯- or *hₐou̯- (> au- in Indo-Iranic).
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Many thanks ahvalj.

    What’s intriguing is the fact Persian هوش/huš “intelligence” and گوش/guš “ear” are unrelated yet هوش/huš is related to “ear” in European languages and sounds very similar to the Persian guš, but there we are.
     
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