On Wednesday, April 6, 2005, at 01:20 , Muke Tever wrote:

> Andreas Johansson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Quoting Ray Brown <[log in to unmask]>:
>>> No, no - these are essentially onomatopoeia. I was thinking of a
>>> sentence
>>> a slave is supposed to utter in a non-Greek language. I thought it came
>>> in
>>> the Archarnians, but I may have dis-remembered.
>> Is it known it *is* made up, rather than a fragment, more-or-less
>> distorted, of
>> some actual non-Greek language?

There have been suggestions that it is a distorted form of some natlang,
_including_ Greek. But the suggestions have attracted few supporters other
than the author of the suggestion.

> I _do_ remember this. Hmm.  Let me look it up.
> It was in Acharnians; Pseudartabas has the line:
> "Jartaman exarx 'anapissona satra." (or: exarxan apissona?)

Good - so I did remember correctly. It's been a long while since I read it.

For those who can read it, Aristophanes' Greek version has:
ιαρταμαν εξαρξαν απισσονα σατρα  (line 100)
or, it has been suggested:
ιαρταμαν εξαρξ αναπισσονα σατρα

> The English version at Perseus bears a footnote "Jargon,
> no doubt meaningless in all languages."

Yep - which answers Andreas' question.

A few lines on (104) the ambassador interprets the words as meaning: "The
great king will send you gold" (by 'tThe great king' the Greeks of the
time always meant the Persian emperor). How you parse the words is up to

Umm... Is -an the suffixed definite article, added to both noun &
adjective - iartam-an exarx-an (the great king)?

[log in to unmask]
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason."      [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]