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CONLANG  February 2006, Week 2

CONLANG February 2006, Week 2

Subject:

Re: an axe to grind

From:

R A Brown <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 12 Feb 2006 16:22:43 +0000

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Adam Walker wrote:
> --- Paul Bennett <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
>>Beekes also gives Greek pélekus,  
>>
>>Paul
>>
> 
> 
> Is that stressed on the first syllable?  

The vowel of the first syllable carried the pitch accent in ancient 
Greek. The letter between 'p' and 'l' should be an e-acute.

But it is not merely Beekes that gives it; the word is well attested in 
the ancient writers. It is a two-edged ax used for felling trees, or for 
felling one's enemies in battle.

>Was this word much-used in Byzentine times?

It's found in the writing of Stephen of Byzantion - but it seems to be 
used of the executioner's ax by that time. How common it was by that 
time, I do not know.

The word is held by some to be borrowed - cf. Babylonian: pilakku, 
Sumerian: balag. Possibly connected also are:
pelekan (gen. pelekanos) = pelican
pelekas (gen. pelekantos) = woodpecker
pelekaein [verb] = to hew/shape with an ax
pelekinos (gen. pelekinou) = pelican

-- 
Ray
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