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“Indo-Iranian *gar ‘to raise aloft’

Hintze, Almut (2005) '“Indo-Iranian *gar ‘to raise aloft’.' In: Indogermanica. Festschrift Gert Klingenschmitt. Indische, iranische und indogermani­sche Studien dem verehrten Jubilar dargebracht zu seinem fünfundsechzigsten Geburtstag. Taimering (Riekofen): Schweiger VWT, pp. 247-260. (Studien zur Iranistik und Indogermanistik vol. 3)

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Abstract

In IE the root *gwelh₁ denoted the action of raising an arm with a weapon in one’s hand in order to hit an enemy. The weapon could be used to strike the victim either while being retained in the ag­gressor’s hand or while being released and thrown through the air. The meaning of Greek βάλλω ʻto throw, hurl, hit’ results from semantic specialization in which the meaning was narrowed down to hitting an enemy with a weapon thrown at them. The existence of an Indo-Iranian seṭ-root gar ʻto raise (one’s hand or weapon preparatory to striking)ʼ, however, an etymological equivalent of Greek βάλλω, is disputed in both Avestan and Vedic Studies. This article examines the Avestan and Vedic evidence for such an IIr. verb and argues that while the alleged Avestan evidence has to be abandoned, forms of this root are attested in Vedic. The verb in its original meaning survives only in two Rigvedic attestations and later as a legal technical term denoting, like its antecedent in the Rigveda, the forceful raising of one’s arm preparatory to striking with a weapon. It is suggested that in Indo-Iranian the verb has become obsolete, presumably because of pressure from the homonymous roots gar ʻto welcome’ and gar ʻto swallow’.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
ISBN: 978393454801
Depositing User: Almut Hintze
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2009 10:53
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/7721

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