Ukrainian: підпал

jarvisa

Senior Member
England,English
In a YouTube video, they sing «Узяв підпалу».
The only meaning that I can find for «підпал» is ‘arson’. This is obviously nonsense.
From the context of the song, my best guess is ‘He took his firearm.’
 
  • Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    That seems unlikely (but, sadly, I'm no speaker of Ukrainian). Looks more like a feminine accusative singular form of "підпалий", but in the end I cannot make out the exact meaning either. Probably going to ask a couple of native speakers on our forum.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    In fact, the native speakers (5 in total) have no real idea either and were only able to make guesses.
    1. A couple of versions based on some f.acc.sg. form of an adjective/participle:
    - "the fallen one" (but why exactly "під-"?..);
    - "the light(-feathered) one" (pretty far-stretched).
    2. "The gun" was also actually mentioned, but it has many problems (most importantly, being completely unattested somehow, which is highly suspicious from the typological perspective).
    3. The version which seems most convincing to me so far is it's a dialectal form of "under (one's) arm" (= "під пахву", lit. "under the armpit"). It was, in fact, proposed by a Russian scholar, who has pointed at the existence of the West Russian dialectal word подпали "armpits"; phonetically, semantically and morphologically it's flawless, the only problem is it isn't directly attested (but "an armpit" is much, much more likely to have an unattested dialectal form than "a firearm").
     
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    jasio

    Senior Member
    3. The version which seems most convincing to me so far is it's a dialectal form of "under (one's) arm" (= "під пахву", lit. "under the armpit").
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to hear the "л" consonant, not "в" there.

    I'm not a native Ukrainian speaker either, but if you mean the "Ой, там у саду" song, what came to my mind was "під полу", ie. under the outfit tail - especially that in this musical phrase the accent falls on the final "-у" syllable. I know that In Ukrainian an unaccented "o" does not change into schwa, but if dialectal forms are considered anyway, perhaps it could be one of them, perhaps along either the Belorussian or the Russian border. Besides, it would match the action of taking something. I'm not sure how about Ukrainian, but in Polish "nosić coś pod połą płaszcza/marynarki" was in the actual use - albeit nowadays it seems to sound a bit archaic or at least rare.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to hear the "л" consonant, not "в" there.
    Naturally. Why should /в/ be there at all? Even if synonymous, "під пахву" is definitely unrelated etymologically (apart from the "під-" part).
    what came to my mind was "під полу", ie. under the outfit tail
    Yes, I know that such version also exists. But it strongly resembles a secondary re-analyzing - "під полу" hardly could have somehow produced "підпалу".
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    Naturally. Why should /в/ be there at all?
    If "під полу" was formed from a distorted "під пахву", it could have retained a bilabial consonant, couldn't it?
    Yes, I know that such version also exists. But it strongly resembles a secondary re-analyzing - "під полу" hardly could have somehow produced "підпалу".
    That's why I thought about a border dialect, if it only exists, which could feature "akanye". Polissyan (a blind guess, actually)?

    But maybe it's a dead end indeed.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If "під полу" was formed from a distorted "під пахву"
    Again, it's just a supposed dialectal analogue, etymologically unrelated.
    That's why I thought about a border dialect, if it only exists, which could feature "akanye". Polissyan (a blind guess, actually)?
    Trouble is, I don't know any dialect which would have both akanye and ikavism to begin with, and it would be very strange to expect only a single trace of that dialect in the whole song (contained to a single morpheme!).
     

    galakha

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian
    I don't know what YouTube video you are referring to, but if you google "Ой там на горі, ой там на крутій /// polyphonyproject.com" (6:30 in length), at 2:00 you can distinctly hear "узяв під полу, приніс додому" which means "He put her under the flap of his garment and took her home".
    Also, most of the search hits for "узяв під полу" are related to this same song. "Узяв підпалу" is obviously just a mistranscription.

    I'm not sure how about Ukrainian, but in Polish "nosić coś pod połą płaszcza/marynarki" was in the actual use - albeit nowadays it seems to sound a bit archaic or at least rare.
    The same is true in Ukrainian. Young people here won't have a clue what "під полою" means. I guess it is in part because people these days don't wear cloaks or greatcoats as much as they used to.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Young people here won't have a clue what "під полою" means.
    I'm sorry, what? :confused: It's absolutely transparent even in Russian.
    "Узяв підпалу" is obviously just a mistranscription.
    To me that "mistranscription" would require a much more thorough explanation than that (while the reverse correction "підпалу" > "під полу" would have obvious reasons). Because it's precisely what Nina Matvienko and the Kuban Cossack Choir are singing in "Ой там у саду під яблунькою..." and what you can see in many texts of the song.
     
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    galakha

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian
    I'm sorry, what? :confused: It's absolutely transparent even in Russian.
    Well, maybe some will know. But I doubt that Morgenshtern uses "під полою" in his "songs" :D
    Many young native speakers of Ukrainian have a pretty limited vocabulary in general.

    Because it's precisely what Nina Matvienko and the Kuban Cossack Choir are singing in "Ой там у саду під яблунькою..."
    But that exact line isn't sung by Nina Matvienko, but by Kuban Cossack Choir; and they all speak Russian in everyday life, don't they? Is this enough of an explanation?
     
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