18 September 2011

Latin pariēs 'wall'

Although some Indo-Europanists link it to Proto-Germanic *spar(r)e:n, *sparrio:n 'stake, beam', Latin pariēs 'wall' has no inherited PIE etymology. But IMHO it can be considered as a substrate loanword from PIE *Hwer- 'to close, to cover' (usually with various suffixes), a root from which I'd also derive Romance barra 'bar, barrier' and *berruculu- (Spanish berrojo, Gascon berrolh) 'a wooden or iron bar or bolt placed across gates on the inside'1.

This would be a PIE B root corresponding to Proto-Altaic *t`jù:ru 'to hold, to obstruct' and PIE A *twerH- 'to keep, to hold, to fence', found in Balto-Slavic and also the source of Latin obtūrō 'to block, to stop up' and Romance *at-tūrō 'to stop'. 
1 Which Coromines thinks it was an alteration (possibly by contamination with ferrum 'iron') of Latin verūculum, diminutive form of verūs 'roasting spit' < PIE *gwer(H)-u-.

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