Origins of the Hungarian "nap"

robbie_SWE

Senior Member
Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
Hi everybody!

While translating the word "sun" in as many languages as possible, I discovered that the Hungarian word for sun which is nap, clearly stands out from the rest. The closest I've come to the Hungarian word is the Mongolian word which is нар (nar).

Does anyone know where the Hungarian word comes from and if it is related to the Mongolian nar?

:) robbie
 
  • Hi!

    On this website (http://www.sgr.fi/fuf/fuf59.html) there are some abstracts of Finno-Ugric studies. It's proposed there that nap is a inherited word from the Finno-Ugric *nuppз, but as it is stated there, the etymology is not convincing. The abstract's also quite short and it doesn't give any more elaborate information, so the puzzle still remains.
     

    Hulalessar

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I notice that the object of one of the papers referred to on the site is "to reconsider ergativity in Proto-Uralic". Is it possible to have more fun? :)
     

    Asgaard

    Member
    usa, english
    Hi all,

    Hi everybody! While translating the word "sun" in as many languages as possible, I discovered that the Hungarian word for sun which is nap, clearly stands out from the rest. The closest I've come to the Hungarian word is the Mongolian word which is нар (nar). Does anyone know where the Hungarian word comes from and if it is related to the Mongolian nar?

    :) robbie



    Very interesting word ... . Isn't it?
    Here's what I found:

    Babylonian: Nabu - name of a god of wisdom, possibly meaning Brilliant, Shining.

    Eskimo-Aleut: Napa - to rise, to fly

    Nap - the Sun - could be synonym to Fire, Burning, Middle, Eye, Yellow, Gold, Navel(of the sky?), Steamer, (Nab, Neptun), Flame, Hawk, Wheel, Stag (Hungarian myth of the White Stag or Golden Stag- strong Scythian symbol ), Sun Flower, (flowers with golden petals), Apollo, Light, Lamp of the World,


    Persian: نپتیز nap-tez, = نبتیز q.v. above. (more info needed here)
    آبز abazh = Sparks of fire
    ناف nāf (S. nābhi) = The navel, nave, middle of
    anything; a
    round cushion
    nāf zadan = Midday

    Proto-IE:
    *(o)nAbh-Navel
    MCymr : enep = `Gesicht, Antlitz', MBret : enep
    Proto Telugu: Nipp(u) -
    Fire, Burning(Live) Coal - ( burning red ), fire embers
    Kota: Nep (fire)
    Toda: Nep (fire)
    Kolami: Nipka (small piece of fire )

    Also there is a strong connection between the Sun and the Stag which is worth investigating.

    Regards,
    Asgaard

     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi
    Very interesting word ... . Isn't it?
    Here's what I found:
    The issue is not what one can find in a variety of dictionaries. The point is what you do with it.
    So far, you listed a series of similar sounding words with a kind of formal similarity from a handful of (random) languages and then you suggest a kind of connection by association rather than by anything else.
    The connection I fail to see is the one with decent historical/comparative linguistic methodology.

    But I might be wrong. What's your theory behind all this? Do you find regular patterns between any of those languages? Any signs of possible loans?

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    Asgaard

    Member
    usa, english
    Dear Frank06,

    Hi everybody!
    Does anyone know where the Hungarian word comes from and if it is related to the Mongolian nar?
    :) robbie
    I was only trying to help Robbie with his search.
    As you can see from his post his question was " Does anyone know where the Hungarian word comes from ... ?"
    Of course I have no idea where it did "come from" nor can I pinpoint it's origin. Could anyone?
    All I can say is that Nap-Nep-Naf-Nef-Nab-Neb- as a " central" heat source - appears in many languages across the globe. So it is possible that Nap could be one of the Long Range Etymology words .
    ... It is only an observation backed up by Starostin's data base.

    I also found the NAP root for a lot of Russian words.

    Nap|ast - calamity ( produced by fire - wild fire?)
    Nap|ech - to bake
    Napor - pressure (cooker?)

    To answer all your questions, I would go off topic.
    But I will try to answer it in a private message.

    Regards,
    Asgaard
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    Here's another :
    Nippon - Sun-Origin
    And what is the relation between Japanese 'Nippon, 日本' and Chinese '日本, rì běn'?
    By the way, how old is 'Nippon'? When was it first attested? How many other similar words are you going to present us without any kind of explanation that makes sense. Did you ever read this?

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    Asgaard

    Member
    usa, english
    Dear Frank06,
    The link (see above---zompist(dot)com) you had posted brought me to an article written by Mark Rosenfelder(??).
    Mark Rosenfelder is "an American amateur linguist, creator of a fictional world called "Almea". Also he is a conlanger.
    While criticizing a comparative word list between Quechua and Semitic, he adds :

    ..."We don't double-check our results against reality. Few who make these calculations have looked for random matches in languages they're sure are unrelated. In other words, they have no control case to check their results against. It's no wonder they never notice how common random matches really are. (I have looked for random matches, and found plenty of them"... see my list of Chinese - Quechua)..."

    I can say this without any fear of being ridiculed: He is dead wrong!!!

    Rosenfelder does not make any reference to the DNA similarities between South American Natives and Asian.
    Gabriel Novick & Colleagues “Close similarity between the Chinese and native Americans suggests recent gene flow from Asia.” ‘Polymorphic Alu Insertions and the Asian Origin of Native American Populations’ in Human Biology, Vol 70 No. 1, p. 23. 1988 Maximum-likelihood tree shows Maya and Greenland and Alaska natives are the closest to Chinese. 691 individuals belonging to 24 native American populations were surveyed.
    My question is this: - Are the matches between Quechua and Chinese random?
    Is there any randomness in languages? I do not believe so. One time or another there has been a " Contact ". The world is not as big as one might think.

    Regards,
    Asgaard
     

    Blacklack

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I also found the NAP root for a lot of Russian words.

    Nap|ast - calamity ( produced by fire - wild fire?)
    Nap|ech - to bake
    Napor - pressure (cooker?)
    Asgaard, before giving these examples you should have learnt some basic things about Russian language. Na- here is a widely used prefix and -p- in all the words that you refer to is the initial sound of their roots: pad- (past' "to fall", padet "he'll fall") having no relation to fire, pek- (pech "to bake", peku "I bake") and per-/por- (peret' "push forward).
     

    OldAvatar

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Asgaard, before giving these examples you should have learnt some basic things about Russian language. Na- here is a widely used prefix and -p- in all the words that you refer to is the initial sound of their roots: pad- (past' "to fall", padet "he'll fall") having no relation to fire, pek- (pech "to bake", peku "I bake") and per-/por- (peret' "push forward).
    Năpastă does exist in Romanian too and it is considered to be of Slavic origin. It's got several meanings and one of them is natural disaster, even fire or extreme rainlessness...
     

    Blacklack

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Năpastă does exist in Romanian too and it is considered to be of Slavic origin. It's got several meanings and one of them is natural disaster, even fire or extreme rainlessness...
    Well, you can apply this word to any disaster but its semantics seem to be closely connected with Russian verb napadat' "to attack, to assault, to strike".
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    By the way, not to be totally off topic but the word nap exists in Romanian too in its original form.

    It's from the Latin napus and is a plant (and edible root).

    Hope this doesn't confuse!

    Best regards,

    :) robbie
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    Dear Frank06,
    The link (see above---zompist(dot)com) you had posted brought me to an article written by Mark Rosenfelder(??).
    Mark Rosenfelder is "an American amateur linguist,
    :).
    ..."We don't double-check our results against reality. Few who make these calculations have looked for random matches in languages they're sure are unrelated. In other words, they have no control case to check their results against. It's no wonder they never notice how common random matches really are. (I have looked for random matches, and found plenty of them"... see my list of Chinese - Quechua)..."
    I can say this without any fear of being ridiculed: He is dead wrong!!!
    Try Donald Ringe (pdf file).

    Rosenfelder does not make any reference to the DNA similarities between South American Natives and Asian.
    Why should he? DNA doesn't talk, does it?

    My question is this: - Are the matches between Quechua and Chinese random? Is there any randomness in languages? I do not believe so. One time or another there has been a " Contact ". The world is not as big as one might think.
    Well, the kind of similarities mentioned in the article can be found between any two languages given languages. Linguistics 101.

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    Asgaard

    Member
    usa, english
    Hi ,
    On Google Books I have found a book, "Etruscan Researches" by Isaac Taylor.(1874?)

    Here's what Isaac Taylor says:
    pages 138-139

    "...A deity called Nethuns, who appears on an Etruscan mirror, is probably the same as NEPTUNUS...
    I believe that Neptune, like Poseidon, will prove to be ultimately a solar, and not a marine deity. One indication is afforded by a mirror found at Vulci, on which are depicted together THESAN, USIL, and NETHUNS, who apparently represent the ' dawn,' the ' rising sun,' and the ' risen sun.' The etymology of the word points to the same conclusion. The suffix, which appears several times in the names of Etruscan deities, means ' God.'1 The first syllable is explained by the Hungarian word nap, which means the ' sun,' and also the ' heaven.'
    The Samojedic words nup, nub, nop, and num, which mean ' heaven,' ' sun,' ' god,' 2 and the Ostiak nai, the 'sun,' are evidently related forms.
    The name of JAPAN is only a European corruption of NIPON, which means ' sun-source' or the 'east.' The connection between the Finnic and Egyptian mythologies has already been remarked.
    It is not impossible that the Samojedic nub may explain the name not only of the Etruscan Neptune, but of the Egyptian NOUB, NUF, or ANUBIS, who is distinctly a solar deity.

    Regards
    Asgaard
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Here's what Isaac Taylor says:
    pages 138-139

    "...A deity called Nethuns, who appears on an Etruscan mirror, is probably the same as NEPTUNUS...
    I believe that Neptune, like Poseidon, will prove to be ultimately a solar, and not a marine deity. One indication is afforded by a mirror found at Vulci, on which are depicted together THESAN, USIL, and NETHUNS, who apparently represent the ' dawn,' the ' rising sun,' and the ' risen sun.' The etymology of the word points to the same conclusion. The suffix, which appears several times in the names of Etruscan deities, means ' God.'1 The first syllable is explained by the Hungarian word nap, which means the ' sun,' and also the ' heaven.'
    Do other authors agree with this opinion?

    The Samojedic words nup, nub, nop, and num, which mean ' heaven,' ' sun,' ' god,' 2 and the Ostiak nai, the 'sun,' are evidently related forms.
    The name of JAPAN is only a European corruption of NIPON, which means ' sun-source' or the 'east.' The connection between the Finnic and Egyptian mythologies has already been remarked.
    It is not impossible that the Samojedic nub may explain the name not only of the Etruscan Neptune, but of the Egyptian NOUB, NUF, or ANUBIS, who is distinctly a solar deity.
    What does that have to do with Hungarian?

    Asgaard, all of us here in these forums have an interest in languages, and I like to see that you are no different. I think that Frank, who knows quite a lot about the history of languages, is understandably impatient with hypotheses that he regards as farfetched. You probably wouldn't describe your hypothesis (that the Hungarian word is related to all those you listed in your first reply to this thread) as farfetched, of course, but I think you would see that it probably is, if you did some more research about the methods and results of historical linguistics and language families. Similarities in form and meaning between words in different languages can be suggestive, but often they are no more than that. To justify that there is a true relationship, one needs to dig deeper and look at a bigger picture.
     

    Rajki

    Member
    Hungarian
    We might start with a similar construction, Hungarian nép (meaning 'folk'). This is an old compound, unconnected to 'nap' (which means sun or day). The first two letters (né) are meaning 'woman, female' (compare Hungarian nő), the third letter (-p) means 'man, male' (compare Hungarian fia 'his son', fiu 'boy', Finnish poika 'boy').

    The (unconnected) word 'nap' is of unknown origin. But again, we might assume this also being an old compound, if the first two letters (na) mean 'fire' and the third letter (-p) means 'heaven' (compare Finnish päivä 'day').

    The problem is that *na 'fire' is not an Uralic root. Even if this sounds far-fetched, Mongolian nar 'sun' could be the missing piece of the puzzle. Hence Proto-Altaic (if this exists) *na 'fire, sun' ?
     

    OBrasilo

    Senior Member
    Brazil, Brazilian Portuguese
    1. Nippon isn't even of Japanese origins, this name was taken by the Japanese from the Chinese cipang, which was the Chinese translation of the Japanese hi no moto (origin of sun). The sun here is hi, which, through an intermediary form fi, ultimately comes from pi, so nothing to do with Hungarian nap, at all (though there might be a connection between the Hungarian (woman) and Mandarin Chinese (woman), but that's another topic completely).

    2. But the nippon is still relevant. The sun here is ni, or, in Chinese, ci (today, ri), though it was read alternately as nit as well (hence the Japanese ni reading, also nichi, and Korean il or ir reading (Korean final -l or -r in a lot of cases came from ending -t or -d, such as also in mul, coming from earlier myr, ultimately from midu, see Modern Japanese mizu (through intermediary midzu)) - which means Hungarian nap would have correspondence not only in Mongolian nar, but also in Old Chinese nit. The Chinese nit, is interesting, because it means both day, and sun, exactly like the Hungarian nap.

    3. Finish päivä is also interesting because it could be connected to Japonic pi (Modern Japanaese hi), meaning day (but also sun).

    Of course, this is purely speculative, but given the fact that Uralic languages most probably ultimately come from Central Asia, which is reasonably close to China (and Mongolia, for that matter), I wouldn't exclude a possible Chinese, or Mongolian loan. And, if the Altaic relation-ship of Japanese is accepted, it would mean Japanese also originates in Central Asia, which means the p- root for day could have been borrowed into Finnish from Altaic. ;)
     

    Rajki

    Member
    Hungarian
    I also thought of Chinese 'day'. But I was compelled to discard it: it is NOT, unfortunately, the very attractive *nat, but rather *ndjit (as Mandarin ri and Sino-Japanese nichi, nitsu, jitsu suggest) or even
    *(n)djat (compare Cantonese yat).

    I am afraid that neither *ndjit nor *(n)djat can be compared to a hypothetical Proto-Altaic *na-.
     
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