Odious and Peculiar
Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.
O&P's Current Pick:
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Here's more on the revisionist-history Lord of the Rings (which Smartdogs mentioned in the comments a few posts back). Sundry observations:
Needless to say, I'm in no rush to read the whole thing.
*Also Finnish, maybe? I have the sense, almost totally derived from folk music, that there are certain vocabulary and idioms, mostly Ingrian- and Karelian-oriented, that hint at a more tribal, barbaric, pagan past. What other languages have such a tension? Maybe the Turkic tongues, when they prefer old steppe vocabulary over other terms. The Turks seem to do this when they use ak and kara in lieu of beyaz and siyah (white and black). The latter are the dictionary words, but the former show up in the family names, toponyms, songs, strong idioms and such, from Turkey to Mongolia. (Digression: karakurbağası="dark frog" i.e. "toad.") I suppose their equivalents of Latin and French are Arabic and Persian; no doubt the tension was much stronger before Atatürk's linguistic reforms (makes you wonder what we'd be speaking had Tolkien been to England as Mustafa Kemal was to Turkey). But nothing's even in the same league as English for this stuff. Hooray for us!
I am hardly the linguist you are but "Ak" an "Kara" are everywhere in Turkic Central Asia as human, dog, hawk names, in natural history...
A friend's wife "Akhmaral" in Kazakhstan (white deer). Jingiz's old capital-- Karakorum. Both prefixes on pigeon breeds-- colors at least. Karabash and Akhbash flock protection dogs...
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Most of the time when people talk about the "slavic soul" they're just making a glamorous excuse for drunken fighting/kissing/group-sobbing.