Friday, June 11, 2004

More on How Old are the Baltic Languages? Latvian, Latin and Italian - LexiLine Journal 282

>Dear Andis,
>You have written "since the actual root AUG had disappeared from Latin".
>Since is an adverb and in Italian is =
> - da
> - da allora in poi
> - da quando
> - dal tempo in cui
> - dal momento che.
>So I think that there is a discrepancy as it is impossible the name
>of the
>emperor AUGUSTUS may disappear.
>Cordialit
>enrico

Dear Enrico,

Of course you are right - aug has not totally disappered as such, but it is no longer the single word aug "grow" in Latin [as it is still in Latvian]. Rather, as you say it has been transformed in Latin - witness the name Augustus - of course, this is a name drawn after the harvest season,
August, the month of highest growth.

We also find aug- in the term augment or even in our modern eBay "auction", that term deriving according to my dictionary from the Latin auctio (compare Latvian aukshejuo "the highest") and
augere, but of course we see that "aug" is the root. I would even venture a guess that our word for the mighty "oak" is also from "aug" as the tallest northern tree. Here in fact, English has retained the word better than in Latvian, where the Latvian term for oak is ozols which is already a change from auglis.

It is thus surely NOT the case that Latvian or Lithuanian will always have retained the oldest form of a word. But on the whole, the vocabulary - i.e. the lexical component - is very old.

What we do see however are grievous errors in mainstream linguistics among the classical linguists.

Let us take the word accelerate which the linguists tell us derives from some alleged prefix ad- plus celer "swift". This of course is linguistic nonsense. "Accelerate" derives from "aug" (increase) plus Latin celer "swift", i.e. "to increase swiftness".

There are a host of words beginning with acc- in Latin which are strangely alleged to derive from the prefix ad- (!) plus a root, for example words like accrete, accrue, accumulate, accolade. Such terms in fact derive from the agglutination, i.e. the pasting together of the root of aug- plus another word.

The root aug- is also at the root of many terms beginning with ag - or agg- in Latin and English. Just think of AGRI-culture (aug- growth), agglomerate (mass together, increase), aggravate (make worse, increase something), aggregate, yes, even agglutination, the topic of the next posting.

All of the allegations by the Latin scholars that these terms go back to some mythical root ad- are simply wrong, it is "aug-". Latvian tells us that clearly, Latin does not. There is nothing wrong with this, Latin is simply a more modern language and has evolved more over the millennia than Latvian has. That is all.

Latin - the learned language of Italy - as a term is merely Latvian with the weak "v" lost.

How did this happen? According to legend, the Lydians (very similar name to Latvian and Latin) brought writing and the language to Etruscan Rome from Anatolia, where Luwian (Lutwian = Latvian?) presumably became Latin, which then mixed with the local dialects to give us that wonderful language we today know as Italian.

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