01 November 2009

The rock

Romance *rokka 'rock' (Italian rocca, French roche, Occitan ròca, Spanish roca, Portuguese rocha) is a Tyrrhenian loanword related to PNC *riqq’wA 'mountain, rock; cave'.

Basque arroka, harroka has a prothetic vowel also found in Gascon arròca1. This is so because Basque doesn't allow rhotics at word-initial.
1 The Basque word is probably a borrowing from Gascon.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Octavià. First of all, as this is my first comment, I have to say that you have a most interesting blog. I don't necessarily agree with everything you say (in most cases, admittedly, I can't produce an opinion) but it's a very interesting read in any case.

    What surprised me in this particular case is how (h)arroka resembles (h)arri, 'stone'. It may be an evolutionary coincidence and it may even be a semi-consciously made convergence of similarly meaning words of different origin. As you say well, Basque does not admit R at the beginning of words (nor in double consonants: BR, TR, DR, KR), and that explains it pretty much.

    But could not it be the other way around? Just tentatively, arroka (or a similar word) being a Vascoid/PVC augmentative of arri and then losing the initial a- in other languages, which often tend to discard vowels quite happily?

    I know by now that you defend that proto-Caucasian would be the same as proto-Vasco-Caucasian but all or nearly all of your etymologies refer to proto-Caucasian and not to Basque, which often displays a very different vocabulary.

    For example, in this case it's nearly impossible to correlate arri with PVC *riqq’wA but if the -qwa (-oka) suffix would be an augmentative or otherwise speech variant of old PVC, then arri <> *ŕi (I'm accenting the R because I understand you mean strong R as in Spanish "Roma" and not soft R as in Italian "Roma", right?)