koh.d- // koh.t- ?

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by ThomasK, May 26, 2013.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Are most of the koh- words etymologically related? I wonder... I can see kohti, meaning something like 'upwards' (rising, lifting), 'towards', kohtaan, opposite or with respect to, I think (which I suppose lead to treatment, kohtelu, polite, kohtelus, etc.), even turbulence... Are they linked etymologically?

    Background: I am interested in how words (and concepts) in languages are linked, have some common origin and then 'diverge', have no real ambition to learn (to speak) the language...
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  2. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Below I've gathered some words that, based on my intuition and knowledge of word derivation, are probably related. The basic stem in each of them is kohta : kohda-, which is a word on its own too with the meaning "place, point, part".

    kohdata 'to meet, come across, encounter'
    kohtaus 'encounter, meeting; scene; seizure; incident'
    kohtuu(s) 'moderation, fairness'
    kohdella 'to treat, handle'
    kohtelias 'polite'
    kohtalo 'fate, destiny'
    kohtaan 'towards, with regard to'
    kohden 'towards; per'
    kohti 'towards; per, for'
    kohdistaa 'to direct, focus, aim, target'
    kohde 'target, destination'
    kohdentaa 'to allocate'

    In addition, there is a word kohtu 'womb', but I can't say for sure whether it is related to kohta or not.
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Great information. Is there some way to explain the transition (...) from kohdata to kohtus (I think there were some more words referring to moderation). I cannot s ee any logic right now, except for some far-fetched one...
    Isn't there also something like to turn to (to direct oneself to), and something like kohu, brouhaha or something the like ?
  4. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    I had primarily morphological reasons in mind with kohdata → kohtuu, since this type of derivation is possible (albeit improductive in modern Finnish) from the so called "contracted verbs": analogous cases are eg. hakata 'hit, cut down' → hakkuu 'cutting down (trees)' and taata 'assure, guarantee' → takuu 'warranty'.

    Now that I think about it, I reckon kohtuus could be a direct derivation of kohta, since -uus :) -uute-) is a common derivational suffix that often carries the meaning "the property of (being) X', for example julma 'cruel' → julmuus 'cruelty', orja 'slave' → orjuus 'slavery', nuori 'young' → nuoruus 'youth'. Semantically the words are indeed distant. Perhaps the logic behind it is that moderation is like the meeting of supply and demand (or expectations and reality)? I think this is more evident in the caritive derivation kohtuuton ("without kohtuu") 'unreasonable, unfair'.

    I'm not sure what verb you have in mind. Kohu 'commotion, uproar, fuss' has most likely nothing to do with this, since it comes from the verb kohista 'hum, roar; make a fuss over smth' which is probably descriptive or onomatopoeic of origin.
  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Great information, thanks. It gives me insights, and stimulates further research.

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