Bai > baina

ortzadar
Posts: 13
Joined: 2008-03-05, 22:25
Real Name: ortzadar
Gender: female
Location: none

Bai > baina

Postby ortzadar » 2008-03-25, 2:24

One of the things I find really interesting about Basque is the formation of words, for example (two which I really like):

bihotz (heart) = bi (two) + hots (beat)

hilargi (moon) = hil (death)+ argi (light)

But not just with noun compounds, with other types of words too when suffixes, etc, are used.

I know it's not always possible to explain these kind of things logically, but could anyone explain to me how "baina" ("bai" + "-na", I guess) comes to mean "but"? Just something I was curious about...

Eskerrik asko.

arabarra
Posts: 504
Joined: 2007-06-08, 14:16
Gender: male
Location: Basel
Country: CH Switzerland (Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera / Svizra)

Postby arabarra » 2008-03-25, 11:47

eeeih, I like this game! I mean, do not take too seriously what I say about possible ethimologies of basque words, I have no idea, but I think it's a lot of fun to speculate about possible origins... always knowing that reality can be very different, and perhaps much less exciting than our inventions

Ok, let's play!


"baina" expresses a contraposition between two ideas A and B: "A" but "B".
Both A and B are true, and you could state it as ("A" is true, "B" is true) or (bai "A" eta bai "B") but -because of the very fact that they're in contraposition-, it should sound strange that we have "B" assuming that we have "A". For this reason, you want to stress that "B" is really true, even given "A" (or viceversa).

So, you say ("A" is true, and "B" is equally true), what in Basque could give ("A" bai eta "B" bai haina -> "A", "B" baina). Actually, there is a tendency to place "baina" at the end of the sentence: "goiz altxatu naiz, gogo handirik ez neukan baina."

Or we could go further in the game and think that -na is the same -na as in the numerals:

Peruk eta Mikelek pelota bana daukate. (Bana is Bat + Na)
Peru and mikel have a ball (each one).

"A" "B" baina ( "A" and "B" have each a "bai").

Well, that is probably NOT the origin, but... sounds beautifil, doesn't it?


P.D. That with "bihotza" is new to me, had never heard of before. I do not know if it is true (the transformation ts->tz sounds a little bit strange), but it's definitely beautiful...

ortzadar
Posts: 13
Joined: 2008-03-05, 22:25
Real Name: ortzadar
Gender: female
Location: none

Postby ortzadar » 2008-03-26, 3:53

Arabarra, that's exactly that the kind of explanation I was looking for, thanks! It seems very logical and plausible to me, and as you say, even if it's not the real origin it's beautiful anyway. :)

About the "bihotza" one, I read that on some web page (can't remember where exactly) so I don't know if it's true either, but I hope so because it's a really nice one.

Well, although I don't know much about the technicalities of grammar, I was reading the Wikipedia article about Basque verbs and I found it really interesting that when they were examining and stripping down words, the actual root was just one letter, which made me that think that every consonant and vowel sound in isolation must have its own meaning... Anyway, I stumbled across another web page yesterday, "EUSKARAREN JATORRIAREN" and it seems that it's true! (Okay, this might not be such an amazing thing for people who know about linguistics and stuff, but at least for me it is :P). Here's what it says about the consonants B, D and G (including my bad English translation for those who don't speak Spanish):

1) B.- Significa la parte baja de los lugares y objetos. Su contenido depende de la vocal que le acompaña (Ba-tu, Be-tu, Bi-tu, Bo-ro, Bu-ru). (Means the lower part of places and objects, its content depends on the vowel that accompanies it.)

2) D.- Significa pendiente de arriba abajo (Da-za, Deza, Di-ma, I-Do-eta, a-Da-rra, u-Da, u-Da-la). Su contenido depende de la vocal que le acompaña. (Means hanging downwards [I think], its content depends on the vowel that accompanies it.)

3) G.- Significa la parte de arriba de lugares y objetos. El contenido depende de la vocal (Go-i, Go-ra, Ga-i-na) (Means the upper part of places and objects, its content depends on the vowel that accompanies it.)

...it's a really interesting page.

arabarra
Posts: 504
Joined: 2007-06-08, 14:16
Gender: male
Location: Basel
Country: CH Switzerland (Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera / Svizra)

Postby arabarra » 2008-03-28, 15:18

well, ortzadar... I have the feeling that I'm about to be the bad, bitter, old guy that reveals to young people that Santa Claus doesn't exist... Yes, this theory is appealing and fits very well into the romantic image that we love to have about a mysterious, prehistorical language. And still, well, what the author makes is much more a game than a seriously funded theory.

It's interesting to play with these ideas, but allways keeping in mind what it's fact, what speculation, and what's a nice, invented mythos. I mean, the most examples offered by the author are very weak, and many of them are definitely wrong, (specially the "p" in aizpuru as "cara visible de las cosas", for crying out loud... this "p" is just the "b" in "buru" transformed by the "-tz" in (h)aitz)... Let alone the contradictions and the easiness with which one could find counterexamples...


In other words... enjoy these fanzy interpretations, but do not take them too seriously. In the worst case, they can be very misleading.


I mean, I also think a reasonable assumption that at some early step of the evolution of language -possibly of every language-, isolated sounds could correspond to basic ideas. But it doesn't imply that the whole language is constructed that way...

laister arte!

ortzadar
Posts: 13
Joined: 2008-03-05, 22:25
Real Name: ortzadar
Gender: female
Location: none

Postby ortzadar » 2008-03-29, 1:50

Kaixo arabarra,

Your bad-bitter-old-guy-Santa-Claus-myth-exploding analogy made me laugh :P, but don't worry, nothing of the sort has happened in this case. Thanks for exposing the truth about the shoddy/fanciful content of that page. As you can see, I haven't got the foggiest idea about linguistics-type stuff, just a general curiosity about anything semi-interesting related to the Basque language. I guess it does seem a pretty fantastical idea that an entire language could be constructed that way...
Anyway, seeing as my real interest is in learning to read/write/understand/speak Basque, I think I'll give those dodgy "Euskera-is-related-to-Martian"-type pages a miss from now on and stick to insanely complex verb tables instead...

By the way, regarding one of the previously mentioned compound words, I read this on the "Buber" website (written by "a world expert on Basque linguistics" professor, so I guess a more trustworthy source):

hilargi `Moon'. The ancient Basque word for `moon' was *iLe or *iLa (where L represents a long, "fortis" lateral), but this ancient word survives today only as the first element of hilargi, originally `moonlight' (argi `light') and hilabete `month', originally `full moon' (bete `full'). Some anthropologists suspect that the moon may have been important in the old Basque pagan religion, but there is little in the way of evidence, and in particular there is seemingly no trace of any personification of the moon. The once-popular idea that the first element of hilargi was hil `dead' is now known to be wrong.

...a shame, I quite liked that idea.

arabarra
Posts: 504
Joined: 2007-06-08, 14:16
Gender: male
Location: Basel
Country: CH Switzerland (Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera / Svizra)

Postby arabarra » 2008-03-30, 15:12

yes, me too! Actually, I was convinced, the "hil" in "hilargi" was "the dead"... its kind of sad :( . Anyway, I am not a filologist (I'm not even sure that is the right spelling of the word :? ...), and I always wonder to which extent it is possible to be certain about the origin of words, specially for a language without relatives and with such a reduced written legacy... I sure hope that no long-haired scholar ever arises and proposes a dissapointing explanation for some of my favorite words-with-apparently-mithic-origin: aiztoa, aizkora, harrikoa egin, horma...


Return to “Basque (Euskara)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest