Dėl indoeuropiečių „ugnies“ vardų

Vytautas Mažiulis




The Indo-Europeans used ‘fire’ in two main meanings: a) ‘hearth (→ camp) fire’ (‘I fire’) and b) ‘lightening-thunder (→ blaze) fire’ (‘II fire’). Both I.-E. fires are taboo, especially ‘II fire’; this is why it was very open to euphemism and mythologisation. It seems, that both I.-E. fire names later experienced certain contaminations in dialects, in some places reflected by ‘I fire’, and elsewhere by ‘II fire’.

The archaic Lith. ugns (= Latv. *ugnis) most likely derives from I.-E. *gni-, which gave rise to b.-sl. *ungnis, turning this into b.-sl. *ugnis (> Lith. ugns, etc.) due to the loss of the root’s nasality from alliteral dissimilation (AD). The AD rule influenced not only Baltic and Slavic words, but other Indo-European words with root alliteration.

The I.-E. *gni- (‘I fire’) is most likely linked with I.-E. *angli- ‘hearth (ember) fire’ having the apophonic root I.-E. *ang- (> Lith. angls ‘coal’, etc.). They can both presuppose the ‘I fire’ synonymous heteroclit forms g-i/n-and *ang-i/l-, which are derived from heteroclit I.-E. forms of non I.-E. verb. *g-//*ang-.

The component titi- of the Lith. (dial.) compound titi-nagas and component Tit- of Lith. hydronyms quite clearly presupposes the I.-E. ‘II fire’ heteroclit *titi-, which is a derivative of the I.-E. formant *-i/n- from non I.-E. verb. *tit-, meaning ‘to gleam (to lighten)’.

It seems that the the above-mentioned I-E. ‘II fire’ was older than I.-E. r/n- heteroclit ‘II fire’, which due to its strong taboo was euphemistically reworked from *peHur- /*peHun- to *peHnu- (metathesis) > *penu- > West Balt. *panu ‘fire’.

DOI: 10.15388/baltistica.43.3.1395

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