[Sus] Hebrew "horse" and Arabic "chick"?

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  • origumi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    I don't think that there's any relation. The Arabic word, transliterated to Hebrew, would be צוץ rather than סוס. That is: tzutz rather than sus.

    Hebrew sus - shared by other Semitic languages: Akkadian sisu / sissu, Ugaritic ssw, Aramaic suseya / susiya, and the presumed Proto-Semitic *sVwsVw. No relation to chick.
    Arabic sus - I guess that the Hebrew cognate is צוץ or ציץ = twitter, chirp.

    http://www.premiumwanadoo.com/cuneiform.languages/dictionary/dosearch.php?searchkey=1702&language=id
     
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    Abu Rashid

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Hebrew sus - shared by other Semitic languages: Akkadian sisu / sissu, Ugaritic ssw, Aramaic suseya / susiya, and the presumed Proto-Semitic *sVwsVw. No relation to chick.
    It seems the word for horse is split along north/south divide in the Semitic languages. All the languages you mentioned, whilst not necessarily falling into a northern sub-group of the Semitic languages, are distinct from the southern Semitic languages in not just this word but in many similarities not shared by the southern languages.

    I wonder if s-w-s-w resembles any word in Sumerian?

    The southern languages all seem to use the stem f-r-s1 for horse. Arabic, Ge'ez (and modern Ethiopic languages), Sabaic (and MSA languages). Hebrew & Aramaic also use this word, but only to refer to the horse rider I think. Arabic also has حصان
     

    origumi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    The southern languages all seem to use the stem f-r-s1 for horse. Arabic, Ge'ez (and modern Ethiopic languages), Sabaic (and MSA languages). Hebrew & Aramaic also use this word, but only to refer to the horse rider I think. Arabic also has حصان
    Arabic: sīsiyy- 'Pony' [Wehr 408]. Marked as an Egyptian dialectism, not found in the available dictionaries of Classical Arabic. Cf. also sws 'gouverner un peuple' [BK 1 1164], [LA VI 108] (with a meaning shift from 'to drive horses'?).
    http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/re...y=&method_any=substring&sort=number&ic_any=on
     

    Abu Rashid

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Arabic: sīsiyy- 'Pony' [Wehr 408]
    You're right it is in Hans Wehr (although page 448 in my copy), apparently with the meaning of pony or young rat.

    سيسي (sisi) pl. سيسيات (sisiyat).

    The more common word for pony though I think is فرس قزم (fars qazm) which literally means midget horse.
     

    tFighterPilot

    Senior Member
    Israel - Hebrew
    It seems the word for horse is split along north/south divide in the Semitic languages. All the languages you mentioned, whilst not necessarily falling into a northern sub-group of the Semitic languages, are distinct from the southern Semitic languages in not just this word but in many similarities not shared by the southern languages.

    I wonder if s-w-s-w resembles any word in Sumerian?

    The southern languages all seem to use the stem f-r-s1 for horse. Arabic, Ge'ez (and modern Ethiopic languages), Sabaic (and MSA languages). Hebrew & Aramaic also use this word, but only to refer to the horse rider I think. Arabic also has حصان
    Since when is Arabic a Southern Semitic language?
     

    Yaella

    Member
    Français - Belgique
    I don't think that there's any relation. The Arabic word, transliterated to Hebrew, would be צוץ rather than סוס. That is: tzutz rather than sus.
    May I safely assume that [ص] and [ض] always are transliterated to hebrew as [צ]?
    and while I am at it, [ح] and [خ] as [ח]?
     

    tFighterPilot

    Senior Member
    Israel - Hebrew
    May I safely assume that [ص] and [ض] always are transliterated to hebrew as [צ]?
    and while I am at it, [ح] and [خ] as [ח]?
    [ص] is sometimes transliterated to [צ] and sometimes to [ס] (for example, Saddam Hussein's first name was usually written סדאם, mostly due to English influence). The letter [ض] is transliterated either to [ד] or to ['ד] (which is also how [ذ] is transliterated). [ح] is always transliterated as [ח], but [خ] is sometimes transliterated as ['ח]
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    May I safely assume that [ص] and [ض] always are transliterated to hebrew as [צ]?
    and while I am at it, [ح] and [خ] as [ח]?
    In #2, Origumi did not speak of a transliteration but of etymological correspondence, i.e. צ developed out of sounds of the common ancestor language which gave rise to ص and ض. That is completely different than transliteration. E.g. French "c" etymological corresponds to English "h", English "have" is relate to French "capture" yet when the French word was imported into English it was of course imported as "capture" and not as *"hapture".

    Similarly, ح and خ etymologically correspond to ח; the sounds merged in ancient Hebrew.
     

    rayloom

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    The book "Theological dictionary of the Old Testament" (volume 10) has a nice entry on the etymology of the word in the Semitic languages, this is the link, page 179.
    Interestingly, it does suggest a non-Semitic origin of the word, even though the author(s) lists the cognates in different Semitic languages, including South Arabian.
    The etymology seems linked with the appearance and spread of the horse in the region.

    Arabic: sīsiyy- 'Pony' [Wehr 408]. Marked as an Egyptian dialectism, not found in the available dictionaries of Classical Arabic. Cf. also sws 'gouverner un peuple' [BK 1 1164], [LA VI 108] (with a meaning shift from 'to drive horses'?).
    Regarding "(with a meaning shift from 'to drive horses'?)", indeed a groom is called a سايس saayis (also سائس saa2is) in Arabic, from the root sws (the same root for سياسة siyaasa "politics").

    The more common word for pony though I think is فرس قزم (fars qazm) which literally means midget horse.
    Not common really. Actually never heard of faras qazam before. سيسي siisii is much more common, not just in Egypt.
     
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    Abu Rashid

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Since when is Arabic a Southern Semitic language?
    Not sure if I made it clear enough, but I did mention: "whilst not necessarily falling into a northern sub-group of the Semitic languages".

    There's no doubting the Semitic languages of the north share a lot of common vocabulary not present in the other languages, which is probably the result of borrowing, rather than being actual cognates. Same is true for the Semitic languages of the south. I was not talking about the generally accepted genetic groupings of Semitic languages.

    But for the record, Arabic has been classified as both central Semitic and south Semitic.

    "In particular, several Semiticists still argue for the traditional (partially nonlinguistic) view of Arabic as part of South Semitic" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_languages#Classification
    Also The handbook of linguistics touches on this topic.

    I however was not arguing for that, merely pointing out that the most common words for horse seem to be divided along north south divisions (again, nothing to do with the common accepted genetic groupings).
     

    Abu Rashid

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    May I safely assume that [ص] and [ض] always are transliterated to hebrew as [צ]?
    and while I am at it, [ح] and [خ] as [ח]?
    You can safely assume that if a word of common Semitic origin exists in both Hebrew & Arabic, then both ص & ض and also ظ will map over to צ in Hebrew. Because in Hebrew these 3 phonemes have merged together to become צ. Hebrew long ago lost the distinction between these sounds and collapsed them into a single simplified sound, which ended up as tzade.

    Likewise for ح + خ = ח

    There's quite a few others as well.

    To see a chart of all these mergers, between various Semitic languages, see this page.
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    May I enter in the discussion the Homeric συς or ύς (with aspiration) and the Latin sus (pork).
    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Du(%3Ds1

    Of course this is another animal, but the original meaning could be something like "domestic animal". Even today in Greece (and elsewhere I suppose) there are words meaning domestic animals in general, like the Gr. "ζώο" or "ζωντανό" (lit. "alive"). Also, notice that the Gr. sus means hyena, which is the female for ύς and that sus is related to "mother". Compare with the use of the Eng. word "bull" for various male animals.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    May I enter in the discussion the Homeric συς or ύς (with aspiration) and the Latin sus (pork).
    But why would you? I don't quite understand. The etymological traces within the Semitic family go much too far back to make Greek influence of any kind plausible.
     
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    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    But why would you? I don't quite understand. The etymological traces within the Semitic family go much too far back to make Greek influence of any kind plausible.
    But I didn't imply that any influence has to be from Greek to Semitic and not the other way around. These two languages were in touch somewhere around Cyprus and Palestine since ages.
     

    origumi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    May I enter in the discussion the Homeric συς or ύς (with aspiration) and the Latin sus (pork).
    But the final "s" is not part of the stem in either Latin or Greek, right? So the similarity to Hebrew "sus" is not obvious.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    A possible common ancestor meaning "domesticated animal".
    So you are saying these are inherited words from from a hypothetical common pre-cursor of PIE and PS? let's see here this you take us:
    A. We have Greek sys>hys, Latin sus, English sow, German Sau, OCS svinija which suggest a PIE root *su- = swine/boar (see here).
    B. Hebrew sus (spelled with Samech, not Sin): The Akkadian dictionary Origumi quoted shows sisu as the Akkadian cognate and also SSW as the Ugaritc cognate. Akkadian & Urgaric /s/ and the Hebrew /s/ if spelled Samech originate from Proto-Semitic "s3" which most scholars believe to have been /ts/. So, for the sake of the argument ignoring the possibility that it might be a Sumerian loan in Akkadian, we would reconstruct a PS root which must have contained two /ts/-es and one ore two /w/-s with unknown vowels, The Akkadian dictionary gives *sVwsVw, "V" stands for the unknown vowels and "s" stands for s3 (s1=š, s2=ś and s3=s is an older notation of PS s-sounds).
    C. Arabic ṣuṣ: Both s-sounds are emphatic (). The PS is assumed to have been a affricate too, i.e. [tsˤ]. In Semitic emphatic and non-emphatic are not "similar", i.e. words like sus and ṣuṣ should not be considered related.

    Conclusion: Like Origumi, I see very little similarity which could justify such a statement. Comparing the PS and PIE roots, The only remaining similarity is that they all start with a sibilant, though not with the same.
     

    Abu Rashid

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    C. Arabic ṣuṣ: Both s-sounds are emphatic (). The PS is assumed to have been a affricate too, i.e. [tsˤ]. In Semitic emphatic and non-emphatic are not "similar", i.e. words like sus and ṣuṣ should not be considered related.
    The s3-s3-w = horse/pony words also exist in Arabic, as well as ṣuṣ = chick.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    The s3-s3-w = horse/pony words also exist in Arabic, as well as ṣuṣ = chick.
    Arabic S-S-W=pony then belongs under by B. I am sure there are many more cognates than just the ones I gave.:) Hebrew, Akkadian and Ugaritic are convenient, because etymological s3 can be identified. In Arabic, Sin could also be an etymological s1.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    If the root exists in all those languages, and it exists in Arabic with sin, then we can trust it's the s3 component that's appearing in Arabic :)
    Of course, I just wanted to explain why I didn't mention Arabic: because the mentioning the Arabic doesn't contribute to the information that is was historically s3.
     

    rajulbat

    Senior Member
    English - United States (Houston)
    Regarding HORSES,
    I figured I would drop this quote, which I found in this book - The Semitic Languages: An International Handbook (Stefan Weninger, ed.) (2011)
    -, here, for future reference:
    There is no deeply rooted common term for 'horse.' Akk. sisu, Ugr. ssw, ssw, Hbr. sus and Syr. susya are related to each other, but the common source is usually thought to be foreign rather than Semitic (SED II No. 199). PWS *paras-, represented by Hbr. paras, Syr. parrasa, Arb. faras-, Sab. frs, Gez. faras, Mhr. ferhayn, looks more genuine (SED II No. 182). PS *muhr- for a 'foal' is preserved in Akk. muru, Syr. muhra, Arb. muhr-, Sab. mhrt, Tna. mehir (SED II No. 149).
    (Some of the non-ASCII characters I did not take the time to faithfully transcribe.) [cross-posted]
     
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