Eric Christopherson wrote:
> On Aug 13, 2007, at 4:57 AM, R A Brown wrote:
>> While Latin Cart- would be fair Latinization of Punic _Qart_ (city),
>> -ha:go: (genitive: -ha:ginis) is too far removed from _H.adasht_
>> (new) for the Latin to be directly derived from the Punic. The Latin
>> name looks almost as tho it is a 'portmanteau formation': a Latinized
>> blend of Doric Greek & Punic. In which case I think _Car-tha-go_ is
>> likely to have been the normal syllabification from the start.
> How is it a portmanteau, though? I don't see exactly what the
> ingredient parts would have been.
'Portmanteau' was badly chosen. I meant it was blend of Greek & Punic.
> Incidentally, a classicist I know told me a few years ago that Punic
> had a habit of abbreviating words by truncating them and adding -o,
> thus giving _Qart H.ado_ (and possibly _Hanno_?). He didn't offer an
> explanation for the /g/, though.
I didn't know that - thanks. A Punic __Qart H.ado_ would account for a
Doric Greek _Karkha:dO:n_. It would be fairly natural to Hellenize a
foreign word ending in -o thus. The Punic _H._ is rendered by _kh_ in
Greek which, I believe, is found in some other Semitic borrowings. The
_t_ between the _r_ and _kh_ is simply dropped; it would not have
conformed to Greek phonotactics and possible was not "heard" by the
Greeks who first met the Carthaginians in Sicily.
The non-Doric Greeks elsewhere would naturally render the _Karkha:do:n_
of Doric speakers as _KarkhE:dO:n_, as Doric [a:] very often, tho not
always, corresponded to [E:] elsewhere.
I've never seen an explanation given for the Latin version. But my guess
is that they adopted at first the Doric form of the Greeks of Sicily &
southern Italy, i.e. _Karkha:do:(n)_ (the Romans were likely to have
pronounced Greek omega as [o:] and dropped the final -n early on).
Then coming into direct contact with Carthaginians themselves, began
substituting _th_ instead of _kh_ in the middle of the word. Both [k_h]
and [t_h] were not normal Latin sounds and both were interpreted as
_two_ consonants by the Romans, not one as the Greeks did, hence it
seems to me very likely that [t_h] appeared to the Romans as a fair
rendering of the _tH._ in the Punic name.
I can imagine a period of hesitancy over the pronunciation during which
a sort of metathesis took place in which the velar and dental values of
the 2nd and 3rd consonants swapped, thus: /kark_ha:do:/ ~ /kart_ha:go:/
- the latter stuck.
Another possibility is that the 'metathesis' had nothing to do with the
Punic form but simply arose from a process of dissimilation, i.e. they
found k....k_h tricky!
The simple answer, of course, is that short of time travel and having
field workers record the early forms used among the Romans, we'll never
know for certain :)
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Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
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