Is خريطة a Greek word?

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by James Bates, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. James Bates Banned

    English America
    Are خريطة and the root خَرَطَ as in خرط الورق ("he rubbed off the leaves from the branches") related to the Greek word χάρτης?
  2. Mighis

    Mighis Senior Member

    No, if I search for a classical Arabic phrase using the word kharîta, I'll find a Hadith (a saying attributed to Prophet) goes as follows:
    النَّاسُ أَخْيَافٌ : أَيْ مُخْتَلِفُونَ ، وَالْخَافَةُ : خَرِيطَةٌ مِنْ أَدَمٍ يَتَقَلَّدُهَا الرَّجُلُ إِذَا صَعِدَ إِلَى الْعَسَلِ ، وَالْخَافَةُ : جُبَّةُ جُلُودٍ يَلْبَسُهَا السَّقَّاءُ ، وَالْخَافَةُ : الْغَيْبُ
    And I believe خَرِيطَةٌ مِنْ أَدَمٍ here means a piece of (the inside) leather which looks like an ancient map (like that one used in the movie of pirates of the Caribbean).
    أَدَمٍ also means earth's face, and a lot of other meanings.
  3. آمين

    آمين Senior Member


    It could be - it appears there is some similarly between the meanings - the ancient Greek word is older than Arabic. It means accroding to Wiki - To scratch, Inscribe.

    The Arabic word means to peel, strip away - especially related to trees and wood bark.
  4. Mighis

    Mighis Senior Member

    Yes, but speaking only in the context of this combinations: خرط الورق or خرط العنقود or خرط الشجر where the tr. verb gets the meaning of إنتزع (to rap).
    I don't know what the χάρτης خارتيص χαράσσω خيْراصو <- Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰer- (wiktionary) means but if to scratch is the right translation then I can compare the lexical meanings of to rap and to scratch, followed by comparing the synonyms. Nothing positive turned out looking at definitions.

    Synonyms (to rap): beat, blow, conk, crack, knock, lick, pat, strike, swat, swipe, tap, whack.
    Synonyms (to scratch): blemish, claw mark, gash, graze, hurt, laceration, score, scrape.
    Synonyms (to inscribe): book, carve, cut, engrave, engross, etch, impress, indite, list, record, register, scribe.

    And when I use the on-line Greek Word Study Tool I get nowhere to support the hypothesis. So, as you said: it could be.
  5. yields Member

    Rabat, Morocco
    Arabic - Morocco
    The arabic word which I think originates from χάρτης is Qirtas (قرطاس ), which means a piece of parchment.
  6. origumi Senior Member

    Root خرط חרט appears in the Hebrew Bible, for example Exodus 32:4, Isaiah 8:1. It means turner, engraver, etcher, stylus, pen, to smooth, to turn (on lathe), to chisel. So if we assume that this is cognate of the Arabic word, Greek origin is unlikely.
  7. آمين

    آمين Senior Member

    Actually the ancient Greek root is older and both Arabic and Hebrew share common meanings with the Greek root. However there has to be some historic link - I don't think somewhat similarity of sound and meaning is enough to say any more than a "maybe".
  8. origumi Senior Member

    What do you mean by "older"? If the root is attested in a Semitic text dated to 8-7th century BC (the prophet Isaiah), it is old enough and loaning from Greek is unlikely. What Greek texts are available of similar time? Homer and Hesiod, dated no earlier than early Bible.

    The root is not isolated in Hebrew, a clue for originality or at least age. There are two root pairs, חרט-חרץ and חרת-חרש (in Arabic letters خرط-خرص and خرت-خرس) with similar meaning. The former pair is physical - engrave, chisel, slot the latter means mainly to write, sketch, and the meanings tend to be mixed since yore (natural considering writing tools of 3000 years ago).
  9. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    The primary meaning of Greek χάρτης is “papyrus leaf, roll of papyrus”. It does not have any plausible connection in Greek or Indo-European, and all the Greek etymological dictionaries say that it is “probably” from Egyptian, “like the plant itself”, though the more cautious etymologists admit that there is no such word in Egyptian. So it is definitely a case of “etymology unknown”.

    The Greek word was borrowed into Latin as charta, whence English “chart, charter” etc., and also into Aramaic (the attested forms are Syriac qarṭīsā and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic qrsʼ), and then from Aramaic into Arabic as qirṭās or qarṭās “paper”. The normal Aramaic representation of Greek χ is actually k, but in this word k has been assimilated to the emphatic in the second syllable. This phenomenon is fairly common in Aramaic (e.g., in q-ṭ-l “to kill”, as opposed to q-t-l in other Semitic languages). The Greek origin of these word is evident from the fact that they preserve the Greek nominative case ending –ς .

    More recently, Greek χάρτης was borrowed into Arabic a second time (presumably directly from Greek) as xarīṭa, xāria “map, chart”. These obviously have as such nothing to do with the Arabic and Semitic root x-r-ṭ “to pull off, strip (leaves off a tree), tan (a hide) etc.” Whether or not ancient Semitic x-r-ṭ is a possible source for Greek χάρτης itself is a question that is perhaps worth considering.
  10. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Is there any example where PS /x/ entered Greek as <χ> in pre-Byzantine (i.e. before the spirantization of <χ> [kʰ] > [x]) time?
  11. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I don’t think there is. One would have to assume something like x-r-ṭ becoming κ-ρ-θ and then (with reversal of aspirates) χ-ρ-τ . But this is just a guess.
  12. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    Hebrew is also q-ṭ-l, but yes all other Semitic languages show q-t-l instead.
  13. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, that is true. However, it occurs only in a very small number of passages in the most recent strata of the OT and is generally accepted to be an Aramaic loan.
  14. origumi Senior Member

    קטל appears in Psalms, unclear dating. Also in old Aramaic:
  15. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Once (Ps. 139:19).
  16. origumi Senior Member

    And twice in Job. And once in Obadiah. And attested in old Aramaic. So it seems to have deep roots in Hebrew or Aramaic, dependently or independently.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  17. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Of course it is in Aramaic. That is why I mentioned it in no.9. And in one early text still as q-t-l, without the assimilation.

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