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OldBoring wrote:Could it also be formed as analogy with resto?
Parpola convincingly argues that the word for world pillar is an Indo-Iranian borrowing and the Finnic sampo myth also reflects early Indo-Iranian influence, which fits well into the context of other mythological loanwords borrowed into the Western Uralic languages from Indo-Iranian.
Parpola also refers to earlier research by Haavio and Setälä, who connected the word sammakko ‘frog’ to the world pillar: in Indian mythology, the pillar of the universe is carried by a tortoise, and the FinnoSaamic ‘frog’ might reflect influence from the Indo-Aryan ‘tortoise’.
If the two concepts were to stem from the same word, as Sammallahti seems to believe, the only way to explain the semantics (Finnic ‘pillar’ versus Saami and Finnic ‘frog’) would be to assume that the semantic change from the mythological sammas ‘world pillar’ to ‘frog’ would already have happened in a common proto-language of Finnic and Saami.
Ante Aikio (personal communication) regards the words for ‘pillar’ and ‘frog’ as etymologically distinct. This is probably the case: all explanations that try to connect these two words fail to assure the reader of the need to postulate a common proto-form for them. Folk etymology may naturally have played a role here, as Setälä suspected, and this could easily explain the role played by the frog in some versions of the sampo myth. It would be possible to argue that if both ‘frog’ and ‘pillar’ are central elements of cosmology, they could have a common origin, but the linguistic arguments simply do not support that assumption.
Koivulehto (1999b: 321 footnote 7) mentions as a side note an interesting fact that might shed more light on the completed etymology of the sammakko word group. There is a Finnish word sammas meaning ‘Mundschwamm’ (cf. also Estonian sammaspool ‘skin rash, pityriasis versicolor’, SSA s.v. sammas2); in Koivulehto’s view, the word sammakko ‘frog’ and its Saami cognate are probably connected to this, and he finds parallels for this kind of semantic development (‘frog’ > ‘Mundschwamm’) in other languages, such as English, French and Russian (cf. SKES: 961, s.v. sammakko and SSA s.v. sammakko). If this is correct, it is unlikely that the word sammas ‘pillar’ and the homonymic ‘Mundschwamm’ derive from the same source. The word for ‘frog’ thus probably has no connection to sammas and sampo.
linguoboy wrote: tuliainen
I was very charmed to discover that Finnish has an equivalent of German Mitbringsel and it made me wonder why English lacks one. Wiktionary glosses it as "homecoming gift", but I've never heard that term before. Instead, you'd just say "I brought you something back from my trip" or "I brought you a little something". For a gift given out of obligation to someone who's having you over, I'd say "hostess gift", but I don't think that would be universally understood among English-speakers.
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