The Greek adjective τραυλός, ‘lisping, stammering’ has no widely accepted etymology. In this paper, I review the three competing solutions: connection with τραῦμα ‘wound’, either from an IE or a Pre-Greek root (as suggested by Frisk and Beekes respectively); phonosymbolic imitation of the speech defect itself (as suggested by Chantraine); derivation from PIE *ters- ‘dry’ (as suggested by Wackernagel and De Lamberterie). I then suggest a new proposal, accepting Wackernagel’s formal reconstruction *tr̥s-u-lo- but deriving it from PIE *tres- ‘to tremble’, arguing that it is semantically preferable, and can be supported by comparative evidence. On the other hand, I try to show that while Chantraine’s explanation cannot be decisively ruled out, it is made less compelling by the fact that τραυλός and its derivatives probably did not originally refer to the confusion of [r] and [l], but acquired this meaning only at a later time and only in medical writers.

Attorno all’etimologia di τραυλός ‘bleso’, ‘balbuziente’ e al lessico dei difetti di pronuncia in greco antico

Batisti, Roberto
2020

Abstract

The Greek adjective τραυλός, ‘lisping, stammering’ has no widely accepted etymology. In this paper, I review the three competing solutions: connection with τραῦμα ‘wound’, either from an IE or a Pre-Greek root (as suggested by Frisk and Beekes respectively); phonosymbolic imitation of the speech defect itself (as suggested by Chantraine); derivation from PIE *ters- ‘dry’ (as suggested by Wackernagel and De Lamberterie). I then suggest a new proposal, accepting Wackernagel’s formal reconstruction *tr̥s-u-lo- but deriving it from PIE *tres- ‘to tremble’, arguing that it is semantically preferable, and can be supported by comparative evidence. On the other hand, I try to show that while Chantraine’s explanation cannot be decisively ruled out, it is made less compelling by the fact that τραυλός and its derivatives probably did not originally refer to the confusion of [r] and [l], but acquired this meaning only at a later time and only in medical writers.
Batisti, Roberto
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/755955
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