26 December 2009

More about pigs (updated)

Basque urde 'pig' is a Neolithic Wanderwort also found in NEC *wHa:rttɬ’wǝ 'boar, pig' and IE *pork´-o- 'young pig, piglet' and whose ultimate origin is Austronesian *beRek 'domesticated pig'.

On the other hand, there's the isolated Roncalese form ti, apparently similar to Albanian thi < IE *suH- 'pig'1.

Basque herauts 'male boar', herause, heusi, iñaus, iraus(i), irusi, i(h)ausi 'heat of sow' is a compound *ena-uśi whose second member is probably related to Kartvelian *eʃw- 'boar, pig' and possibly also to Berber *kus- 'pig'2, ultimately deriving from a Vasco-Caucasian root 'ungulate' (see this post).

This word has been the object of a confusion as regarding the Aquitanian theonym HERAVSCORRITSEHE. Although the German linguist Hugo Schuchardt correctly proposed its first element to be related to Basque errauts, erhauts 'cinder, dust' (a compound from erre 'burnt' and hauts 'dust'), he changed his mind afterwards and linked it to herauts, being unaware of the variants which point to a nasal in Proto-Basque.

This mistake, resulting from a poor understanding of the ortographic conventions of the Aquitanian inscriptions (in Latin), which employed -R- to represent the thrill rhotic (Basque <rr>) instead of the flap one (Basque <r>), as well as laziness for reconstructing the protoform of the Basque word, has been copied down by Vascologists to this day2.

This root is also found in Sardinian irrussu 'little boar, whose first member is related to IE *(w)eper-o- 'boar', an interesting Neolithic word linked to Arabic ʕifr-, ʕufr- 'pig, boar; piglet', ultimately deriving from an Eurasiatic root 'ungulate' also found in IE *kapr-o- 'male goat' and Arabic ɣafr-, ɣufr- 'young of deer or goat, goat kid'.
1 Which should be reconstructed as *suq- in account of Celtic *sukk-o-. 
2 This is the source of Asturian gocho, Basque (Zuberoan) kutxu, Catalan cotx, Aragonese cochín, Spanish cochino, French cochon 'pig'. 
3 Gorrochategui: Estudio sobre la onomástica indígena de Aquitania (1984), pp. 330-331. 


  1. Well, you see the Albanian word is thi.

  2. // Basque ti //

    cf. from Kartvelian languages:

    tu/თუ / pl. tul-epi/თულ-ეფი (Laz-Mingrelian)
    teli/თელი (Georgian)

  3. // Berber *kus- 'pig', borrowed into Asturian gocho, Basque (Zuberoan) kutxu, Catalan cotx, Aragonese cochín, Spanish cochino, French cochon 'pig'. //

    goč'i/გოჭი (Georgian)