THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN LANGUAGE OR GENERAL ETYMOLOGY
Something in the way of introduction
Human language! How marvellous you are, how mysterious, how beautiful! You give voice to all the majesty of the human mind, all the depth of reason, and all the astuteness of intelligence! Ever since I committed myself to studying your secrets, I have lost interest in all else. You reveal true philosophy to me, expose all the secrets of nature as perceived by the human spirit and expressed by words. You reflect all creation, elucidate all nature as you incomprehensibly name all things, animals, plants, ores; you lend proper names to mountains, rivers, seas, bodies of water, lands, peoples, and nations; I research them and perceive what your names are expressing. You string sounds into marvelously compounded words forming the means for the exchange of people’s ideas. You change a single sound in a word and instantly change its meaning, case, or person. With no more than 20 to 30 sounds at your disposal you form hundreds of thousands of words in various languages of the world. What a marvellous work of art you are!
And now, as we enter your temple, we ask, how this can be, that you can compound a few letters, sounds and express a single exact thing, and compound others to express another? How are you constructed? What is the relation between sounds and things? What do you want to say, when you name one thing this and another that? What do all these countless names mean – proper, animal, mineral names? What is the source of the endings of cases and conjugations? Where do numerous prepositions and adverbs come from? How did it come about that we have different expressions for one concept: run, rush, quick, fast, pace, swiftly? Whence do sounds assembled in »words« derive the power to truly hold mental senses? And, on the other hand, how do the same words often get to denote different objects: pick, peek, peak, pique? Or Latin: liber, liberi, libra; or note (observe), note (written), note (musical)? With all this, it is peculiar that though the human mind loves clarity and transparency in thinking, its most noble product, speech, is something unspeakably complex and convoluted, so that we remain to date unsure, whether we want answers to all the above questions. Thick darkness envelops the kingdom of language. And when we consult dictionaries, about the meaning of this name or another, proper, personal name etc., we get but few answers and even those insufficient. And when we are given a few roots, such as muchiti – pascho: qwntskho; or elaphros (quick): elngwhros, we ineffectually wonder, what the source of these strange sounding monstrosities is, and why they mean what they do.
We are therefore still at the onset of this issue. Yet we want to grasp the entire structure of language. Perhaps some internal association binds all those words expressing a single concept; perhaps it could yet be possible to find rules governing the changing of roots.
Furthermore, why do so many words, which appear classical, Latin, or Greek, express something entirely different from what their natural meaning would have us assume, i.e.: general, corporal (military), aesthetics, economy, clerical, sarcophagus, supine, chancellor?
Furthermore, is there not some inner family relationship between all of mankind's languages? Many words found among all of them are the same in one language or another. Yet we cannot claim languages borrowed from one another since the same words pop up with distant nations. There must exist some inner kinship of all the languages of the world. And we want to find, determine, and examine this system, which links all languages forming some internal structure; we want to build a bridge to link all the world’s languages, in spite of the linguistic confusion, which is understandable also in view of geographic circumstances. We want to find Ariadna's thread to show us safe passage through this labyrinth.
How did it occur that the following Slovenian and English words are the same? Keha cage, klobec clew, dvor dwell, punca wench, breja breed, luchati launch, juha juice, sestra sister, bat beat, dno den and down, boh beacon, skobec hobby, drozhe dregs, dim steam. And yet the English are so far from us. We can compare any two languages in this way and find several words the same. Of course, they do not sound exactly the same. But, we will show that sounds and roots change according to strict rules and identify the kinship of all languages based on these.
We dare put forth an experiment, which will answer all questions above. It is a fruit of several years of study comparing over 14 languages seeking connections between them. It is truly possible to trace a system, which explains the composition, kinship, structure of all languages and all the complex rules governing their relations and development as well as every word according to its meaning and all its sounds to the last vowel.
We emphasise at the very start that, if we wish to arrive at the desired result, we must not ascribe significance to that which differs across languages and dialects, but to that which connects, which is related, akin, uniform. The differences distinguishing words, forms, and languages, have already been explored and emphasised beyond necessity. We need a composition, which will bring nations closer and show them as a unit. Only by examining commonalities can we hope to grasp the entire vast structure of languages. Each individual language transforms and modulates roots of words entirely independently; this is the source of the variety of dialects; but it draws them – we maintain – from a common treasury and uses them in keeping with the general rules of our system or theory. We identified this system not by studying either European or Semitic languages, but both of these groups together.
We placed special emphasis on Semitic languages, Hebrew and Arabic, as their study reveals they lend our words their deepest roots and clearly demonstrate rules of sound changes. The chasm linguistics put between Indo-European and Semitic languages must be bridged. Philology simply cannot do without Semitic languages.
This proves nicely that Front Asia, from the Nile to the Tigris, is the birthplace of all nations. Going forth we will therefore always compare to Hebrew and Arabic
adding relevant Semitic words to all examples in capitals to facilitate identification.
We list a few words Slovenian has in common with Semitic languages as slight proof of how they relate to our languages.
Bajta BAJT [cottage], ugonobiti GANAB [eradicate], trkati TARAGA [knock], kositi (lunching) GHADZA, vesel BASHARA (ar) [glad], dobrava DABAR [grove], lice LECHI [cheek], javen JAFAH [public], krak KERAH [limb], sila SUR [force], nebo NABAH [sky], dojiti dadilja DAD [nurse], zhelja SHAAL [wish], goreti CHARAH [char], rosa RASAS [dew], zarja SHAHAR [dawn], noter NAQAR [inside], opasilo BASAR [blessing], noch NUCH [night], shoba SAFAH [spout], nevihta NEFESH [gale], shiba SHEBET [switch], zherjavica SARAB [ember], palica PELEK [pole], punca BINAT [girl]; mazati MASHAH [smear], smeh SAMECH [laughter], nakovanj NAHAF (beat), pihati PUCH [blow], ubogati ABAH [obey], rog ROSH [horn], dober TOB [good], glas HALAZ [voice], tri TELATA (Aramaic) [three], jak JAKAL [yak], revezh RUSH [pauper], nadarbina NADAR and NADAB [benefice], nozh NAKAH [knife], koza HEZ [goat], koprena KAFAR [veil], lev LABI [lion], pokonci KUN [upright] (stand), shleva SHALEV [coward], pa [but, and](conj.) FA (ar),VE (h), kos GASAS [slice](cut), ded GJAD (ar) [Grandpa]. Numerous other words Hebrew shares with other languages could be listed. These are just the words sharing equal specific sounds. Including sound changes, there are countless others, the same goes for all languages, as the treatise will show.
Reading on, let the reader note any arising doubts, but reserve judgement until finishing our entire theory, and only then voice them. We accept all previous exact philology’s results, but claim they fall short failing to address a thousand questions.
We enter the miraculous gigantic kingdom of languages with steady hearts; we shall see how profoundly they intertwine, impeding us from getting to the bottom of things easily, faced instead with ever-arising links. We shall see how many meanings individual words hold and how they overlap with each other.
A language cannot elucidate itself; we have dire need of other languages, which often deliver its roots and vice-versa. One language complements and clarifies the other. Only all together form an entire cohesive structure.
Therefore, we must take into account as many languages as possible; the more, the better. Of course this is limited by human capacity. We use the following languages, added abbreviations will be used throughout the book: Hebrew (h), Arabic (ar), Latin (l), Greek (g), general Slavic (s), Czech (ch), Polish (p), Slovenian (sl), Croatian (hrv), German (n), French (f), English (e), Italian (it), Turkish (t), Hungarian (m). [Abbreviations follow Slovenian, except for English.]
We transcribe words from all language in Latin script, using our own letters. Some foreign sounds require special marking: the Greek spiritus asper is marked by »h«, spiritus lenis either with nothing or an apostrophe (‘); (bold) H marks the Hebrew HAIN, CH Arabic GHAIN, GJ Arabic GJIM (akin to Croatian dzh); ch for the Greek chi, CH for Hebr. CHET, S for Hebr. SAMECH, SADE and SIN alike, as the subtle differences between them are of little consequence to the reader as well as science as they stand in for each other in Hebrew and Arabic as well. Various other Arabic t- and s- sounds, which also overlap are treated similarly.
Our work is scientific, examining inner language rules and structures and arranging them systematically. But it is also streamlined, for any educated person to follow and understand; the most gratifying about philology is that we may educate anyone about the workings and meanings of their everyday language, even vernacular. It is vernacular everyday terms, which present as the best subject matter.
The work before you is not only intended for reading but also for everyone to study, as we offer short instructions throughout, and but few examples and various rules. This first book explains all the theory and includes clarifications of personal names. Should the first book be received well, the second book will include the entire etymological dictionary of Slovenian language.
Below, we will compare words as related to each other based on their sharing at least one concept; later we will show that words contain several concepts, i.e. several roots, which only lend a certain word in combination.
We are paving a new way and will discard many previously beloved interpretations of words, such as bayonet, parchment, colophony, candidate.
Science must allow free exploration; it must not become rigid like a skeleton. New chemistry discarded the old; Gallileo’s and Newton’s systems ousted Ptolemy’s. Exact results remain, but how many exact results are there? Seething with theories is the field of philosophy. Perhaps it will fall to philology to open new routes for philosophy, because the human intellect itself speaks through language. And because there are so few exact results, the field of exploration is and must be open in philology as well. Therefore, we do not fear criticism, though we know that rigid spirits will rustle. We appeal to the bright minds of the future.
Systematic tables of roots; all roots in one square
Until this point, weachieved two things in our discussion. First we tackled words according to their sound composition and found that k- voices are primary and b-r-n- voices secondary; that we must distinguish k-b-r-n roots, which contain only k- sounds (kkk) and those which also include b-r-n- sounds: dati stips, dar donum; stati staviti stalezh stan; Kette kopchati sklad cingo; v-tikati tubus dregati dens (tooth).
The main root forms are: kk kbk krk knk. All others are merely their remote combinations. But since b-r-n- sounds are liquidiae, i.e. flexible sounds, which like to insert themselves according to melodiousness and strong speech, we may also skip these secondary sounds and keep to clear k-roots in kkk form; as the reader can clearly observe in the table, k-roots are primary for all main concepts. The other assertion thus far, is that all the concepts of words can be systematised and developed to fit a few main primary concepts, and even those are merely nuances of a single original concept of »to penetrate«.
This yields two coordinates or directions: the vertical and horizontal forming the sides of the square. The vertical represents a series of algebraic root forms: kkk, kbk, kbr, kbn, bkk, bkn… The horizontal signifies main concepts: bosti (puncture) visok (tall) svetel (bright). We can draw a square using as many lines as there are main concepts. All words of all languages can be outlined along the resulting lines.
At this point, the reader is surely asking: With all this, which are the true roots of our words? Old philology identified a few primary roots. But these do not help the reader, who is faced with further gaping questions: where are these primary roots from? Whence their power to mean what they do? How do they relate to each other? Why are so many words the same, which, due to their different meanings must stem from different sources? And also such identified primary roots float asunder unrelated to themselves. The form of these old roots is so abstract, so abstruse that they relate nothing about how the human mind shaped language and how it interweaved words to express hundreds of concepts.
Due to all this, we pass on those philological roots and set up example-words as our main fundamental fixed points around which all other words revolve and from which they take their sense, their meaning. These example-words are sourced from various languages, according to practicality, because all languages are a single structure, in close kinship, and elucidate one another. Next to these example-words we give numerous other words, demonstrating their kinship to the reader. Likewise those tables show that words are constructed following finished models of root forms, e.g. forms bkr, bkn, rkb, nkb. See tables at the end of the book!
The Relations of kk-Roots to Each Other
Comparing solely kk root forms of individual concepts reveals different variations, permutations, combinations, metatheses, and reduplications of k-sounds, as we argued above; e.g. to rush: hiteti cito (c = h) hushcen (sch = t), kasati (k = h, s = t), tachys (mt. of to rush) = techy + huschen, tot (f) is a redupl. of techi. Or shine: sijati sidus heiter (h = s) cak-liti (hr) hejski (ch) chede-n dekle (mt.) dika jasen. Or say: sikati sagen dejati dico (s = d) zischen jek Echo aio (1) heissen citare (1) ges-lo gackern tutnja (hr) gosti. Or: v-tikati stechen stizo (g) Zacke acus (1) shchet chaite (g. las) kaktus kochljiv kot kosa zadeti Ecke ig-la dak-no (g. gristi) detel siten chekan. Or: cheta Kette et (1) = i (hr) kai (g) Gatte (husband) deo (g. tie) kit, chez (f. pri) hetairos (g. companion) zeugnymi (g).
The examples above are derived from main concepts: 9, 3, 12, 1, 27. Each main concept has a plethora of such kk-roots, all merely variations of each other.
These few examples demonstrate that concepts of one meaning are expressed by different variations of k-sounds. These colourful variations clearly demonstrate that all main meanings are related to each other and agree in one single topmost meaning: penetrate, prick, press, burrow forward, i.e. all the results and effects of this penetrating ad extremis. Take, for example, the word, in-sert!
Finally, we must ask, what ultimately defines their final meaning? The answer is that none of these words stand by themselves, they are all links in the chain of language, firmly organically tied to the entire structure of language; as such they are defined by the conventional use of speech and are only understood and given meaning as parts of the language system as a whole. But if one were to ask what the true root of the examples above was, the answer is that any random one can be chosen as the example-word, to serve as representation of a common root. (…)
Names of Nations and Lands
Names of nations correspond with names of peoples, though they also account for their geographical location. It is clearly observable, however, that nation- and land names are arranged from Front Asia hither, which is tied to humanities first homeland from which it fanned out across the globe. To give just a few examples:
Asia JASA iz hajati, ex (1) [to stem]
Europe HARAB, cover po-krivati kalypto (1) grau, because west, ex. Erebus krov erepho (g) lopa Laube [shed].
Africa apricus (l. sunny) Schwartz = zamorec æumur (hr) a+paliti, a-|-vroch cremo (l).
America ASFAL (fallen) a-|-mergo (submerge, west), a-|-mrak Dāmmerung, also: après la mer (beyond sea); Amerigo Vespucci explanation is not to be taken seriously.
Australia auster (south) BAHAR, fire, Feuer, and Wasser.
Lands per se hold concepts: expand and simultaneously fold into one, control, because they fall under a single designation and government.
Siberia Cimbri Hibernia Hebridi, hence Ap. Driti: north SE-MOL hibernus = hibernal, cold is elongated, cooperire (cover, darkness) Sarmatia north (mt) winter (-|- r), also Slav, German = Aleman hold the same meaning aside from additional others. Deutsch = Tedesco decken (cover). Nemec nubes (cloud) d- nophos (g. darkness). This expression: Nemec, whom Slavs hold as Germanic and Orientals as Austrian also means man who speaks, ex. Numa: Name, and who possesses intelligence: nomizo nous (g). Furthermore, it must be added that no one names themselves, neither individual nor nation, but is rather named by neighbours. So the Slav named Germans Nemci, because they lived to his north. And we must also admit that every nation perceives another, which speaks a different language as wrong, uncomprehended. This is why the Germans named Italians: Wlasch, i.e
falsch and verbergen (veiled), and Slavs Vlah, or Lah which is the same or its apocope, ie. to say, lie, and lateo (to cover), though Vlah also means »hot« (due south, and to declare, Wort phrase (g. go-voriti [to speak]).
And so Slav stems from »slovo« [letter] = sprechen, mt. of speech, perhaps also weak (i.e. passive), German from speech (mt!) = sermonis; German from nubes, te-nebrae (darkness), because to Slavs his language is hidden, unintelligible, »nem« [mute] as much as »neumljiv« [unintelligible] and therefore hidden; the French from plonger (fall, west), and declare, Wort, bronte (g), buzz; Spain Hispania (Hi = prefix) Espagne somnus = sleep west hypnos (g); Burgundy brdo, Berg [mount]; Flanders plain, flach -|-n. Belgium flach, vast; Holland down, horizontal; Russian from say and lateo (cover), ex. German: RuB (soot) and Russe (roach, i.e. black); Polish from declare, parlare; Czech sagen, guchati; Croat, speech (mt); Serb slovo [letter, word] sermo, naturally all also hold other concepts: Croat hraber [brave], Serb scharf srep [stern]. Slovene: slovo- [word] converse, Veneti = Slo-venci converse, phone, Mensch. Goths skotos (darkness, north) and »guchati« [speak], the same name appears elsewhere; Geats, Hitties, not to infer specific commonality, similarity, or identity because its general meaning is man. Celts: golchati [gurgle], glas [voice], callidus [smart]. Geographers must not deduce national identity from name similarities. Switzerland, Tirol, Kranjska, Koroshka see names above, likewise: Palestine = mountain, directly from BERIT (covenant, »brak = marriage«, called ERES HA BERIT, i.e land of the covenant (God with Israel). Lombardy RABAH (wide) Raum -|- plateau. These are merely instructions on studying names.
The decisive concepts in land names are: expansive, en-circled, i.e governed. Land = district, dis (expansive) and strictus (circular, governed), QASHAR and QATAR, so (Kotar Cr.), country and Canton. E.g. Galicia en-circled, schlieBen, like Silesia. Emilia amplus (wide), Volini plain, Brabant + provincia: pro-zhiti [to spring] and pan-do (l. wide). Land names also account for terrain: undulation, fertility. Srem germinare KEREM, Grchija [Greece] gorata [mountainous], »grchasta« [gnarly], Ausionia SHANAH scheinen Sonne (south).
Island names concepts are: high from sea round hard soil. Java javiti se [get back] JAFASH »auf« (n), Sumatra summus (high), Malta mount-in-sea balteus (belted), Kandia scando, QANA (hard). Anglija [England] = insula ana (g. raise) -|- saltare tollo (l. raise), ex. Antilles (near America). Corfu Salamis Celebes Karpathos Elba: elevare, holm, klimmen culmen (I) albus (white, birghtly glistening) and »encased« (by the sea). Sicily QASHAR (envelop) in excelsus (high). SUS (high because it rises from the sea, perhaps also: zhito [grain] saturare (because it is a granary). Belt pressen (squeezed), Sund stenos CHANAQ eng (narrow), cingo.
Excerpts from: Sestava chloveshkega jezika ali Sploshna etimologija; Boshtanj ob Savi, 1927
ENGELBERT RAKOVEC (1873, Poljchane – 1946 /?/ Boshtanj ob Savi), Jesuit, linguist. Published: Sestava chloveshkega jezika ali Sploshna etimologija (part I), Tolmach slovenskega jezika ali Slovenski etimolog (Part II), both at B. ob Savi 1927 (in German, 1928). Though academics contest its scientific value, his vast materials provoke new thought, he takes Semitic languages (Heb.) as the basis of his etymology, centred on his system of primary concepts, which are mere nuances of the concept of »to penetrate«. (His k-roots coincide with the generally accepted Indo-Eur. root g/h/or; ex. Engl. gore (Editor I. A.’ s note.)
Translated from Slovenian by Jaka Jarc