Is Persian mâhiĉé “muscle” a Latin calk

PersoLatin

Senior Member
UK
Persian - Iran
I can not find much about the history of ماهی-چه/mâhi-ĉé “muscle”, literally “little fish”, almost identical to muscle “little mouse”, if it is a calk (via French/English) then why not select the more accurate موش-چه/muš-ĉé “little mouse”, is there any information on this please?

I have seen Wiktionary’s entry.
 
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  • Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Wiktionary doesn't say it's a calque, it merely points out the typological similarity (because the relationship between small animals and muscles is far from obvious). Cf. also Rus. мышца (mýshtsa "muscle", from Church Slavonic).
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Wiktionary doesn't say it's a calque
    That's correct it doesn't, it was my own suggestion.

    I suppose I don't understand what a typological similarity is when it come to language development, so do typologically similar words develop independently in languages? If you can, please provide other examples.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I suppose I don't understand what a typological similarity is when it come to language development
    Analogies and semantic shifts in human languages are far from arbitrary, so typology is of great help in proving some developments which weren't directly attested.
    If you can, please provide other examples.
    Technically I've already provided one. :) While мышца is a loan from Church Slavonic, a similar meaning must have already existed in Proto-Slavic, which makes a calque from Latin pretty unlikely. Cf. inherited Russian подмышка (podmýshka "armpit", lit. "(what is) under the little mouse", with -k- analogically restored in Early Old Russian).
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    I think in the Persian case the movement of the muscle under the skin is compared with a fish flapping about in the net; in Slavic and Latin it's a mouse that's trying to find an escape underneath :)
     
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