ĵ > "The Pagan dialects from Narew" in the light of Yatvingian onomastic remnants

"The Pagan dialects from Narew" in the light of Yatvingian onomastic remnants

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Balt? kalBos i? indoeuropeistikos perspektyvos / Baltu valodas indoeiropeistikas perspektv / Baltic from an indo-european perspective
Krzysztof tomasz WitczaK
University of ?d? krzysztof.tomasz.witczak@gmail.com
The Pagan dialects from Narew in the light of Yatvingian onomastic remnants
30 years ago Prof. Zigmas Zinkevi?ius published a manuscript entitled The Pagan Dialects from Narew (henceforth PDN) in Russian and Lithuanian (Zinkevi?ius 1984; 1985). It was a manual copy by Vyacheslav Zinov, a young man from the city of Brest in White Russia. Later the Lithuanian scholar presented an English augmented version of his paper with the same title: A Polish-Yatvingian Vocabulary? (Zinkevi?ius 1992), as he suggested that Zinovs copy may contain not only Polish words, but also their equivalents in the lost Yatvingian language. Baltists treat this discovery in different ways. Some of them accept Zinkevi?ius hypothesis, some reject the Yatvingian ori- gin of the Baltic part, others believe that the manuscript, called Zinovs dictionary after the surname of the young copist, is a modern forgery. In my presentation I would like to demonstrate that the Baltic vocabulary, attested in Zinovs dictionary, agrees very well with Yatvingian onomastic remnants. Observed differences are, in fact, doubtful or illusory. Thus the Yatvingian hypothesis, suggested by Zinkevi?ius (1984; 1985; 1992) and accepted by a number of scholars (e.g. Helimsky, Karulis, Orel, Sabaliauskas, Schmalstieg, Schmidt, Witczak and so on), seems the best possible conclusion. The author wants to demonstrate additionally that a forgery is impossible for a number of reasons. Firstly, a linguistic calque attested in the post-Yatvingian toponymical area (Windoba?a C Wiatro?u?a), confirmed by Zinovs dictionary, was unknown in the eighties of the 20th century (Witczak 2004). Secondly, some toponyms from the post-Yatvingian area cannot be correctly explained without Zinovs dictionary, e.g. the Kojle lake near Suwa?ki, originally a silent [lake], refers only to kaj?i silently [PDN 125] and not to OPrus. kails healthy, Latv. kails naked, bare, Slavic *clwhole, intact (< BSl. *kailu-). An alleged forger would have to be an excellent Balto-Slavic linguist and dialectologist, exceeding all the modern specialists of the Baltic onomastics. Thirdly, Yatvingian is the only Baltic language showing the depalatalization of palatalized syllabic resonants after Baltic *v at an early period. It is attested in three different sources: (1) Maleckis relation from 16th c. on the Sudovians (i.e. Yatvingians) in Sam- bia mentions an aged priest offering a goat called wurszajtis, cf. Lith. vir?itis village-mayor, village-chief, elder in a village, Latv. virsaitis village-mayor (Witczak 1989); (2) the Masovian river name W?gra, W?gra represents (Yatvingian) *Wungr and Baltic *Wingr f. winding, tortuous, crooked [river] (Witczak 2015); (3) the Pagan Dialects from Narew demonstrates two examples of the observed phenomenon, cf. wu?k wolf [PDN 25] < Balt. *wilkas, cf. Lithuanian vil?kas, Latvian vlks, OPrus. wilkis id.; wu?d to want [PDN 3] < Balt. *wilti, cf. Lith. vltis to hope, Latv. vilt to cheat, swindle, delude. This phonological process (i.e. Yatv. vul-, vun-,vur- < Baltic *vil-, *vin-,*vir-) was unknown and completely unrecognized before the publication of Zinkevi?ius articles (1984, 1985). Generally, it is impossible to suggest that an unknown forger had better knowledge than all the Balticists, who existed and worked in the 20th century. In other words, Zinovs dictionary entitled The Pagan Dialects from Narew should be treated as a copy of a lost authentic document. My final conclusion is that Prof. Zinkevi?ius correctly named it the Polish-Yatvingian dictionary.

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Balt? kalBos i? indoeuropeistikos perspektyvos / Baltu valodas indoeiropeistikas perspektv / Baltic from an indo-european perspective
Witczak K. T., 1989, Wurszajtis C ja?wi?ski kap?an-ofiarnik. Przy- czynek do identyfikacji Gwar pogaskich z Narewu, Acta Baltico-Slavica XX, pp. 339C342. Witczak K. T., 2004, Linguistic Calques in the Old Prussian and Yatvingian Toponymy, Baltistica XXXIX(2), pp. 309C313. Witczak K. T., 2015, W?gra C dawny hydronim ja?wi?ski [W?gra C a former Yatvingian hydronim], Onomastica LIX (in press). Zinkevi?ius Z., 1984, Polsko-jatvja?skij slovarik?, Balto-slavjan- skie issledovanija 1983, Moskva, pp. 3C29. Zinkevi?ius Z., 1985, Lenk?-Jotvingi? ?odyn?lis?, Baltistica XXI(1), 1985, pp. 61-82, oraz XXI(2), pp. 184C194. Zinkevi?ius Z., 1992, A Polish-Yatvingian Vocabulary?, Linguistic and Oriental Studies from Pozna I, pp. 99C133.

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