01. The semantic field 1
02. Spaciousness of a semantic field 2
03. Semantic fields mixing up 2
04. Let’s define the Sardinian vocabulary 3
05. Turris Libysonis, Sassari and its latinization 4
06. The Balares 5
07. Ancientness of Sassari’s dialect 6
08. Demonstrations of Semitic language in Sardinia 18
09. The genitive chain, striking Semitic inheritance 19
10. The correct way to study an etymology 21
11. Ligurians, Pisans and the Sassarian Revolution 25
12. Antonio Sanna and “Il dialetto di Sassari” 25
– Italianity and sardity 26
– The “lisca toscana” 27
– Wagner’s dictatorship 27
– The Pre-Tuscan range 29
– The prejudice of “different age” of Sardinian dialects 30
– The prejudice of “complete Romanization” 30
– The “Latin prejudice” and the ancient vulgar charts 31
13. The pernicious method of “Phonetic similarity between words” 32
14. Width of Mediterranean language – The cacuminals or retroflexes 33
15. Development of Sardinian grammar 36
16. Amanuenses and the arbitrary Latinisms 37
17. Unity between Sardinian dialects and Sassarian one 39
18. Strong relationship between Logudorian and Campidanian language 41
19. Integration among Sardinian dialects; Relationship between Sardinia and Italy 41
20. Genoa’s influence 43
21. Gallura’s influence 47
22. Medieval Sassari’s speech alike to current one 57
01. THE SEMANTIC FIELD
The words of each language are devitalized and passive, even if we – living and active people – believe to animate them when we use them instrumentally in communication. We do not realize that they are used trivially as any object of which we have insufficient information. I remember a friend who, fresh from her driver’s license and unaware of everything, bought a vehicle and at the first use bounced off three cars. Unfortunately, her knowledge of the driving technique was few and only mnemonic, empty archive of experience, unable to animate the vis operandi. Changing perspective, what do we know about a coffee grinder? Of course, we use it for a purpose; but we know little or nothing of the materials of which it is made, of its chemical-physical composition, of the engineering design, of the overall project that allows to trace the finished instrument, of how the electric wire and its sheath was obtained; we know nothing of the electric fields that move this tool, of the scientific discoveries that made it possible to put those electric fields at the service of humanity. Etc. Considering this, behind a coffee grinder there is a large portion of knowledge from which our knowledge draws little or nothing, just by repeating, in using it, the sequence of inserting the plug into the socket and pressing the ignition. Our effort to survive in society can be analyzed in a few uncritical and repetitive gestures that transcend the object used.
For us today the words are the same. To make a word alive and use it consciously we should know its history and etymology, but this is very rare. We are more familiar with evoking it mnemonically as a phonic composition (e.g. b-r-e-a-d, b-oo-k), to which we associate a concept (an idea) of a semantic field. E.g. to the sh-o-e sound a baby can associate the concept of the slipper, an athlete the concept of the sneakers, a woman the concept of the light high-heeled shoe, the shepherd the concept of the enveloping and robust shoe, the mountaineer the concept of a boot warm and anti-slip; all these shoes belong to a single semantic field. When the concept is abstract, it is not uncommon to associate several ideas to the single phonic composition; e.g. the l-o-v-e composition can be associated with the concept of physical attraction, a gastronomic appeal, the accumulation of goods, artistic appeal, literary passion, sports improvement, religious meditation, humanitarian mission.
It is understood that the semantic field is a drawer that holds similar concepts, a mini-archive, one of the many “bunches” of sounds-ideas stored in memory, each of which is part of the immense crowd of “files” (thousands of semantic fields, in fact, or “clusters” of sounds-ideas, or “drawers”) that make up the vocabulary shared by the people in which we recognize ourselves.
Only by managing the semantic fields well will we be able to manage the single words well; and viceversa. This seems easy but in reality it’s an uncertain process, sometimes fallacious. Often communication is not … communicative, it creates misunderstandings, despite the goodwill in the dialogue. It has happened to anyone, more often than imagined, to stumble in mutual incomprehension, since everyone has interpreted the word in his own way. Enmity often arise from poor communication.
I realize that I am suggesting too much self-control and a lot of linguistic expertise to the speaker. Success does not depend only on him, communication being an urgent process, an enemy of delay, and anyone can fall into communication errors. Nobody is exempt from it, including a professor sitting in the chair, including me who am now communicating with readers.
In any case, returning to the knowledge of communication processes, each of us would like to know the life spent by the word we emit phonically or by the word we listen to. Let’s try to “enter the mechanism” and analyze one word, to understand only some aspects.
AGGIUGNI’. In Sassari this verb means ‘to add’. This word has been corrupted locally in a slow process of centuries, after having been borrowed by the Italian aggiungere, which in turn comes from Lat. ad-iungo ‘unite with’. In more convincing Sassarian we have, from the same semantic field, auni’ ‘unite, put together’. By expanding the territorial platform of investigation, we receive from the neighboring Logudorian an authentically Sardinian equivalent: annánghere Centr. and Log. ‘add, connect, join’; also called annághere.
Annághere, between the two, is a prototype, which fortunately had a long life spanning many millennia, and has arrived at us unscathed, almost intact in form and meaning. But to understand its basis, that is the first origin, we have to get out of the asphyxiated flowerbed of Sassari and Logudoro and expand the field of investigation by drawing on the Mother-Language (the Mediterranean Ursprache). The oldest dictionary, the one that preserves the Mediterranean Ursprache and that preserves a phono-semantic correspondent of the Logudorian word, is the Sumerian one. But since in that language the lexicon was often expressed in monosyllables, it is up to us to trace one or more Sumerian words whose juxtaposition can return a meaning from which we can extrapolate, if possible, the true etymological basis, from which to start to reach conceptual union with our semantic field. To this end we find the Sum. anna ‘metal’ + ak ‘to do, make’. Originally it meant ‘metallurgy’ (literally ‘making metals’), and soon indicated the actual metal casting process. Needless to say, the lexical union ann-ak takes us back to the pre-Christian millennia in which the first metallurgists experimented with the melting of various metals in order to discover technological innovations useful to society.
In order not to bore and weigh down the discussion with the intrusion of my scientific refutations regarding annághere, I send again to the Sardinian Etymological Dictionary (DES, p. 91) so that the reader who wants to make the comparison between the present etymology and that proposed by Wagner, read the complicated and misleading Wagner’s tightrope walking in trying to indicate a Latin-based etymology. He did not succeed, as usual. Putting aside the disastrous attempts of Wagner, who loved modern languages but used them exclusively to administer uncritically kaleidoscopic combinations, we today, with my etymology, can observe the world of origins, we can have a cross-section of Sardinian civilization through a word that comes from mining and metallurgy, an activity that made the Sardinians respected in the Mediterranean.
02. SPACIOUSNESS OF A SEMANTIC FIELD
Since the “semantic field” is a drawer that holds ideas which are mutually similar, we can change its image and propose it as a bunch of grapes. Amongst them, the bunches are not the same. Some contain very few beans, others are imposing and grandiose.
The semantic cluster can be minutely analyzed starting indifferently from each of the grains that compose it. In giving the reader an example, I analyze the Sassarian word cracca.
CRACCA Sass. ‘shoe’, also ‘boot’, ‘gaiter’; plural crakki; metathesis carca. Is part of this semantic cluster Campidanian craccái ‘trample, press, flatten’. It has an equivalent in Lat. calx, calcis ‘heel’.
Giovanni Semerano (OCE II 359) proposes the origin of these words from Akk. kallum, kālum ‘thick integument, bark, shell, bowl’, whence the ‘hard part of the heel’ of those who are not used to footwear. Lat. calceus pointed to the ‘sole’.
We could be satisfied with these four comparisons, considering this bunch composed of a few “grains”. However, the high antiquity of the words mentioned above is also certified by further contributions of Sardinian words falling in the same semantic field, in which the reciprocal etymological bases can sometimes be optional, as we will see.
The first word is cragare, accragare (Nuoro) ‘clot, curdle’; craccu, Centr. and Log. ‘rennet’. In this case the etymological base is Sum. kalag, kalga ‘to be strong’, kalaga ‘stone’ (well considered, rennet makes the milk “stone”). However, the same radical basis considered higher for cracca can also be accepted.
Another entry in the semantic cluster is crákkili, crákkiri Camp. ‘thick forest, thick bush’. The etymology is the same as for Log. carca, carcu, cascu, Camp. cracca ‘throng, crowd’; Camp. craccu ‘thick’ (e.g. hair). All these words have an etymological basis in Akk. karku ‘en mass, picked up, gathered’ (of troops etc.). But see also the etymology of cracca.
Another entry of this semantic cluster is craga, graga a Sardinian measure for the distance of the tiles, which are positioned with a mathematical rule in well aligned rows (about 41 cm). Etymological basis is Akk. karāku ‘to connect, match, twin, gather together’; karku ‘en mass, picked up, gathered’ of threads (and we are still at the idea of ”firming”).
Another entry in the semantic field is Centr. crakkéra ‘fulling mill’, whose base is the same as cracca and Camp. craccái ‘trample, press, flatten’. Crakkéra is called in Log. mostly cattighéra; but here we enter the semantic field of Log. cattigare, Sass. catzigga’ ‘trample, compress, crush with your feet’, iterative verb. Etymological basis in this case is Akk. ḥatû ‘to strike down, hit, shoot down’. From this verb derives the Log. cáttigu ‘pressure, hold’; postu si l’ada a cáttigu ‘he cornered him’.
03. SEMANTIC FIELDS MIXING UP
Paradoxically, the confusion between semantic fields is not only produced by the speaker in his instantaneous lexical choices but also by the grammarian-dictionaryist.
The grammarian’s faults are highlighted when, in organizing the spaces of his page, he brings together different meanings under a single lemma, that is, under a single word. It happens when a single lexicotype (a single word) contains distinct meanings. In each language it often happens that a single lexotype has various meanings, that is, it refers to multiple semantic fields. In this case the lexicotype is said to be the carrier of polysemy; to put it differently, with the single string of sounds (with the same word) sometimes more meanings are expressed. Italian example of two meanings in one voice: 1. foro ‘hole’; 2. foro ‘place where the jure is practiced and the causes are discussed’.
In dictionaries that are not excessively large (therefore excluding the vast GDLI), certain grammarians like to place under the same lemma (i.e. under the same voice) all the meanings evoked by the single sound string (e.g. foro), taking care to distinguish them with appropriate examples.
But if it was up to me to compose a normative dictionary, I would choose to privilege not the graphic form but the meaning, and for each meaning I would repeat, for distinctive purposes, the sound string (i.e. the lemma, the word: e.g. foro), distinguishing each other with the exponent (1, 2, 3 …). So I worked, in order to improve the exposition clarity, in this Etymological Dictionary, also considering that this method does not abuse paper space compared to other methods.
All of the above would seem a matter of goat wool, but it becomes methodologically important because it often happens that certain grammarians, in composing the “package” of each single lemma (in organizing the pertinences of each phonic string), identify that “package” as a single “semantic field”, while, by definition, a lemma is often polysemic and therefore does not fall into a single field. It is not included because it can have two or more etymologies and, until proven otherwise, it is the etymology that carves out its semantic field, unlike those who think that it is the semantic field that carves out the etymology. Woe to falling into the trap of “a phonic string = a semantic field = an etymology”! I move on to the examples:
IXANTARA’1 Sass. ‘to unhinge’ (Bazzoni). With slight semantic variant we have a different entry, Log. iscantare ‘break, break violently’: iscantare sar dentes ‘rompere i denti’. Apparently, at the origin of these phrases, starting from the Logudorian one, there was the concept of cantòne, cantoni “big cornerstone” (it is also a surname).
DELI places the etymology of It. cantone in Lat. cănthu(m), from Gr. kanthós ‘corner of the eye’, even though of Celtic derivation. DELI’s consideration starts from the fact that in Mittel-Europe this term is widely used: cantone ‘Swiss administrative unit’; cantonnière (1562) and cantonnier (1628) ‘who deals with a street corner’, probably from the Provençal. The Italian phrase prendere una cantonata ‘make a blunder’ refers to a cart that turns tight and slams the edge of a house.
No one has considered so far that all these terms, including the Italian and Sardinian ones, have an Akkadian basis, which was also conveyed to the Celts and by them in migrations to Europe long before the Vulgar era. See Akk. kânu(m) ‘being permanent, firm, stable; make sure’ of foundations and the like + tu’umu ‘double, twin’ (of building part). Or Akk. qannu ‘built’, ‘fring, border’, ‘horn’ + tu’û ‘twin’: qan-tu’û = ‘twinned corner’ (due to the fact that the edges of the houses under construction are mutually intertwined, which fit in both directions). In cantone there is, however, in addition, a third element, the Sum. adjective un ‘high’, so the Sd. cantòne originally indicated a ‘twinned corner (built) in elevation’, as if to say that its perfection was intended to create the supporting framework of the high stone buildings.
IXANTARA’2 Sass. ‘to become childish, die down’ (Bazzoni); with slight semantic variation we have Log. iscantarare, iscanterare ‘singing with ungrateful and out of tune voice, speak without judgment’ (Soro); ‘speak and act senseless, shout’ (Casu); iscantarùmine ‘bland, confused speech; blandness’; Log. cántara ‘singing or speaking boring, cloying’, ‘shouting, din, chirping, complaining’ (Casu). Derivatives: iscantaritzare ‘singing for a long time, cheerfully’ (Puddu). At the basis of all these voices is Sd. cantu ‘song’, etymological basis in Akk. qanû ‘cane’ + Sum. tu ‘spell’: qan-tu ‘spell produced with the cane’. But in Sumerian we find the oldest word that opens up to the singing phenomenon of su cantu, de sa cantzòni (cf. it. canzone): ka ‘mouth; speak, say’ + tum ‘to bring’. The compound ka-tum meant ‘bring news’, literally ‘bring words’. The novelties were, from the origin of man, brought by the minstrels, by the aedi, by the bards, by the rhapsodists, by the troubadours, and were sung. The Sardinian-Semitic world added a key word to this phenomenon, expressly citing the cane (qanû), from which the first wind instrument evolved, the syringe (the Pan’s syrinx), also called qanû. And the Sardinian surname Canu was born (while from the Sumerian the surname Cannas was produced < ḫa ‘vegetable’ + nab ‘musician’: in compound ḫan-nab ‘plant of musicians’). Canu and Canna(s) both constituted a highly refined feminine name, affixed to women to magnify the first musical instrument of Sardinia.
Obviously, the confusion between Akk. qanû and Sum. ka-tum produced Lat. cantus ‘song’. From archaic origins we can therefore document etymologically that the cane, the syringe, the Pan’s syrinx were the first instruments with which man accompanied his singing, also in Sardinia.
The fact that Bazzoni ignored (or was unable to do research on) the two etymologies just discussed, led him to group the two Sardinian verbs within the same lemma, causing confusion and inducing linguistic diseducation. The same happened to him for hundreds of other terms, of which I give only two examples:
IXIRRIA’1, kirria’ Sass. ‘choose’, ‘move away, separate’, ‘beat the almond trees to make the fruit fall’. See Camp. širrái ‘to cut the tops of the vines’, čirradroža (Làconi) ‘a small billhook that serves to prune the trees’. For the etymology go to Sd. kirru, kerru ‘each of the parts of a thing, of a site, of a territory; part of a whole’; it can also indicate the ‘edge of a garment’, ‘edge, side’ in general; even a ‘corner’, a ‘fence’. Etymological basis in the Ass. kirû(m) ‘garden, plantation (of fruit)’. The Sardinian term implies the fact, once important as today, that every garden or fruit plantation was and is forcibly closed (separated) by a high wall or hedge, to avoid invasion of flocks and – for fruit trees – of goats.
IXIRRIA’2 Sass. ‘slipping’. Etymological basis the Sum. kir ‘to grovel’.
IXIRRIA’3 Sass. ‘hit with the belt’. Etymological basis the Sum. ḫirin ‘leather object’.
RISCIARA’1 Sass. ‘rinse’. Etymological basis ri- (see) + Sum. šar ‘to make splendid’.
RISCIARA’2 Sass. ‘gossip’. Etymological basis ri- (see) + Sum. šara ‘slander’.
There are also voices that change meaning when changing people. Example:
ISCÁGLIU (òmine de) Log. ‘strong, brave man’. Etymological basis the Sum. kalag ‘strong, powerful, mighty’.
IXÁGLIA Sass. ‘harlot of the lowest order’; scàia (S. Gavino). It has three possible etymological basis, form Sum. ḫal ‘to roll around’; also ḫal ‘upper thigh’; also ḫala to share’.
04. LET’S DEFINE THE SARDINIAN VOCABULARY
The vocabulary represents the thesaurum of the genius of a people, and every single item is a tessera capable, by size and color, of expressing one or many of the inexhaustible semanthems of communication. These tesseras are precious and functional since each of them composes a whole that narrates and enhances the knowledge shared by a people.
In the best cases, the vocabulary is the pulsing archive of a true language, which can be said to be such when it has a sum of functions that allow to express a universe of concepts highlighting a wide range of economic, social, technical, scientific, spiritual activities. In the culminating moments of its history, the language of an organized people also expresses forms of literature, which in turn are sources of germs vital to daily renewal of communicative urgency, becoming a powerful columnar base for the spirit of a people.
Is it possible today to frame the history of the Sardinian language within these coordinates? With great caution, I tend to yes, although these coordinates come out of the dark and begin to emerge very late (only from 1000 CE), with a delicate and incomplete structure, somewhat lacking in essential components such as technological knowledge, in large part lost.
The Sardinian technology of the next centuries reveals mostly Italian contaminations (sign of a long economic-cultural decline); but in the fishing sector a lot still transpires of the ancient knowledge, which does not reach us as a mass of inert voices but appears connected to the (albeit delicate) local economy. See the southern ittionomasty preserved by Marcialis. But this sector excels above all in the Sassari-Turritan dialect, of which Bazzoni has preserved a mass of seafaring voices that are not at all a begging from the lexicon of Terramanna (the Italian mainland) but a precious portion of indigenous lexicon (apart from the mutual admixtures).
The Bazzoni’s rich marine lexicon is exclusive to Sassarian (Dizionario Fraseologico Sassarese-Italiano), and regards every part of a boat, a ship, nautical carpentry, rigging, fishing techniques; it also concerns every fish species, as well as the gastronomy associated with it. This autochthonous marine archive for Sardinia is a powerful exception, and can be explained by paradox precisely with the Roman occupation of Turris Libysonis and with the consequent romanization of Sassari territory. As I have often written, and as I will also explain here, it is wrong to imagine that the Roman colony of Turris had involved a total ethnic substitution. Instead, it is necessary to observe the largest of the obviousness, that the Romans became masters of the lands and of the main economic ganglia, among which were included the Turris port, navigation, fishing. But that feeling of absolute mastery never pushed them to work in the first person. Slaves, semi-slaves and much more, a conspicuous workforce hired by the natives, constituted the workforce that kept all the activities that, before Turris, were managed firsthand by the Sardinians and their Sardinian masters.
Therefore it would be incorrect to argue that the Roman masters replaced Sardinians in navigation and fishing. They commanded and earned in those activities. But the workforce remained that of Sardinia. This is why the original knowledge of the entire NW horn of Sardinia has been preserved intact to this day. Eternal gratitude must be paid to Gian Paolo Bazzoni for having preserved the precious pre-Roman marine lexicon in the DFSI.
All this considered, we must take into account that the Sardinian language is rich in at least 100,000 words, and is largely capable of expressing an enormous mass of knowledge. If Sardinia were independent, its language would be perfectly capable of maintaining international relations. What weakens the Sardinian language today is not its (solid) real structure but the misleading studies that the academy (the University) has so far conducted on it.
Like a deadly worm, the Academy for over a century made on the Sardinian language – concatenating them to each other in a closed circle – his studies that start (and stop, coming to a standstill, without ever moving) from the Sardinia’s subdivision in a system of dialects. Stopping in those shallows and wearing it out, each and every study on the Sardinian language has hitherto been characterized exclusively by the obsessive search for dialectal distinctions, by supposed divisive marks in phonetics, by the distribution of words relevant to one dialect more than to another, for the meticulous research of what is “more Sardinian” than what is “less Sardinian”, for the ideological arrogance in creating blindly the foreign sources from which to derive all the lexical and phonetic phenomena of the Sardinian language, therefore for a pernicious belief Sardinian language is nothing but an immense mass of colonial lexemes, received from Beyond-Tyrrhenus. No academic study has ever started from the assumption that Sardinian language is one and only one, from any angle we want to scrutinize it, and that it has maintained its lexical and phonetic structure unchanged for several millennia, until a few centuries ago also the grammatical structure.
I have written a lot about those misleading studies, and more I will write in these pages (I will come back in a little while). Now it is better to go back to the times of Turris Libysonis (or if we want, to the times of the capture of Tharros and Karalis), since that is the historical line drawn by linguists to decree the catastrophe of the Sardinian language, from which it would then be reborn drawing exclusively from the Latin vocabulary, then from the Pisan vocabulary, then from the Catalan one.
I explained and I will explain that there was no catastrophe. The absence of catastrophe is attributable to the determination of the Romans not to penetrate the mountains, since they considered it convenient to keep the mines, wheat, navigation, and let the Sardinians of the interior continue to live autonomously and to bring to the cities and to the ports the most marketable goods.
Needless to say, the Romans, without bleeding into endless wars for the conquest of Barbàgia, and patiently enduring a physiological repetition of centuries-old attacks by Barbagian riders, achieved the same purpose, since in one way or another the Sardinian population would have continued to produce their goods and deliver them to the commercial and distribution gangways (in the hands of the conquerors). All this, however, was enough to strongly unbalance the cohesion among Sardinians, between the free ones of the interior and the submissive ones of plains, mines, coasts. And it seems that it was the succumbing of the latter, which began 2250 years ago with the colonization of 238 BCE, to establish a historical dyscrasia such as to prevent – among the submissive Sardinians – the start of an ancient-Sardinian literature. In an island split between free mountaineers and subject people, mutually in contact and in constant confrontation for obvious commercial reasons, Sardinian history changed into non-history for a long millennium, since the Sardinian language of cities and coasts was prevented from expressing itself in writing and in speaking with the dominant apparatus. In turn, the Sardinians of the interior had no valid reason to express themselves in writing. Even their agreements – as it is known – never had paper supports since they were done, without mutual hesitation, with a simple handshake.
From that moment, on any site of the Roman Empire, the colonized peoples had only one possibility: to integrate into the new historical path and contribute to the strengthening of Latin literature. So did the Celts of Iberia and Gaul, who expressed intellectuals such as Martial, Virgil, Seneca. Elsewhere the genius of Apuleius also arose, and later St. Jerome, St. Augustine, Quintilian. But evidently in those territories there were political conditions (e.g. colonization was integral, or vice versa strongly integrating) and it was possible to operate with sufficient breath within the socio-economic tissue. Apparently, the generality of the residents perceived that the new forms of ownership and command were not so dissimilar from the old ones, therefore they were decent and bearable.
In Sardinia, on the other hand, the Romans’ appropriating and controlling system was absolute and rigid from the first moment (on the one hand the Roman settlements, on the other the subjects: a profound socio-economic hiatus); in any case the control was predatory and oppressive (see the example of Scaurus), and the construction of Turris Libysonis at the time of Julius Caesar reinvented the Sardinian warehouse at the mouth of Mannu-river exclusively as the nucleus of a city populated in purity by settlers Latins opposed to the natives. It was a deadly moment that gripped this island between two fires, the southern part of which had already been subjected for some time with the occupation of Karallu (renamed Karalis) and with the rapid transfer of the mines, salt marshes and cereal plains. The entire Sardinian navy was annihilated and the fleet confiscated. The name of the wealthy Cleon is anchored to the confiscation and arrivals of trustees in the salt pans, while for the highly coveted trade of cereals in the south we must assume the birth of the large estates whose property passed – without compensation – to wealthy Romans. In nuce, here is the first germ of Sardinian feudalism and the birth of the numerous pagi of “serfs” in Marmilla and Trexenta. Even more cynical was the removal of the Galilla’s tribe from the vast territories of the southeast horn to the advantage of immigrants from Campania (the Patulcenses). And for further surveillance of the vast mountainous district from Karalis to Flumendosa, Tiberius implanted 4,000 Jews who proceeded with the foundation of Sìnnai (which they named Sìnnia).
In Sardinia, despite the (proportioned) Barbaricini’s freedom, a colonial system of control and robbery had been established, and every lever of power, every large and medium property capable of increasing wealth, every lucrative commercial mediation was stolen from the Sardinians, depriving them of any autonomy in the management of the wealth generated; so that the fine craftsmanship was extinguished, the masters of technology were extinguished, fishing and navigation were extinguished, the possibilities of autogenous accumulation were extinguished. Even the production of the bricks was transferred to Roma’s embedded people, such as Acte. The subsistence craftsmanship of the internal areas remained active, as well as all the products that can be intercepted by the network of Roman intermediaries.
No wonder that Sardinia, become a land of unequals, fractured by profound diaclases between Romans and natives, torn by separation between free indigenous and indigenous subjects, did not even produce an intellectual. The situation at that time could be compared to today’s extremely crowded Zaire, where intellectuals are lacking, and highly pernicious diseases rave and are rampant, as effect of Belgian domination and the strangulation of current supranational capitalism, which likes to put indigenous groups against each other, generating endemic guerrillas.
05. TURRIS LIBYSONIS, SASSARI AND HIS LATINIZATION
The recent history of Sassari’s speech begins precisely from Turris Libysonis. The Latin colonists sent by Julius Caesar in the middle of the first century BCE, not only did they take possession of the warehouse at the estuary of Riu Mannu (Libysunu), but they expanded across the immense plain that ranges from the river mouth to Sorso, up to the current cemetery of Sàssari. Consequently the Sardinians stationing on the floor were rejected towards Serra Secca-Ósilo, towards Sénnari-Nulvi, on the hills beyond the Riu Màscari, on the limestone plateau of Tissi-Ùsini, beyond Olmedo, beyond Nurae (Alghero), on the heights of Villanova Monteleone. In this way, the Cesarians carved out d’emblée, to their advantage, the Romània (Romàngia).
It’s easy to imagine that operation as a depopulātio, at least in the initial phase of the imperial seizing. Looting and devastation were customary, and a fire plan against indigenous barracks is imaginable, so that the colonial intentions were clear. The Romans were interested in taking possession of the port, of the land, of livestock, of productive tools, of structures and infrastructures quickly, but I suppose without programs of total annihilation, just by pushing with weapons the mass of defenseless fugitives. Who undoubtedly were welcomed fraternally in the pastoral villages of the hills that are the cloisters of Romània.
The catastrophe of the Sardinian language in the north-west was generated 2030 years ago due to the sudden and massive change of population. It is to be imagined that in a few months the Sardinian language disappeared in the Turritan plain and only Latin was spoken.
That event produced effects that still last today. We can speak of Vichian ebbs and flows, within which, however, two constants operated perpetually. 1. The Turrenses had a strong awareness of the privilege of being custodians of the colonial and imperial heritage, which remained anachronistically alive in their behavior even after the dissolution of Rome, when the trading and even the ius solī became insecure by the Arab thalassocracy. Neatly and programmatically, the Turrenses then retreated to the low slopes of Serra Secca to found Sàssari, and throughout Romània they continued to speak Latin, recognizing themselves as an occupation community also by virtue of the colonial legislation that had directed their behavior.
2. We cannot underestimate that the Turritan colony was such as it had the burden of controlling half of the island up to the mouths of Tirso and up to Gennargentu. This burden conditioned the Turritans to interact with the natives for any need related to taxes, businesses, exports, local police, roads. The colonial privileges, however, were such as to force the Romans to learn the Sardinian language (bilingualism), also because the Sardinians procured to Turris Libysonis and to the whole Romània a remarkable quantity of goods typical of mountain areas, such as cheeses, export flocks, horses , donkeys, game, slaughtered meats, pigs, hams and sausages, wool, hides, honey, wax, horns, wine, olive oil, baskets, timber, pine or fruit tree resins, herbal medicine, cork, typical crafts, ropes, hemp, flax, granites and other building stones.
It goes without saying that the influx of many productions to Turris, then also to Sassari, favored the slow contamination and cohabitation of colonial Latin with the Sardinian language. Not only, but it must be assumed that many Turritans eventually married with Sardinians, and moreover they acquired several properties from the neighboring hill villages, with a mob of trustees, estate agents and slaves of various jus. Osmosis phenomenon that we can consider concluded (and manifest) only with the first appearance of the condaghes and finally with the Statuti Sassaresi, written in Logudorian dialect. And we know well that the new Sassari of Statuti and of condaghes opens the set upon a city nobility who managed their assets especially in the neighboring countries (exactly as 1000 years before the Turritans made).
We have just outlined the first Vichian “ebb and flow”. But this reflux of the Sardinian language within Turris and within Sassari, which began 2030 years ago for the whole of Romània (Romàngia) and then reappeared again at the time of the Maritime Republics with the installation of Ligurian and Pisan merchants and entrepreneurs, it cannot fully understood without considering the obstacles and the brakes (legal, advantage, opportunity brakes) opposed by the “colonialist” constant, under which the Sassarians, even after a millennium, even today, after two millennia, have always asserted their status as citizens against that of biḍḍìncuri, villae incolae, against the villagers who live in hill villages.
That the status of cives Romanorum was very tenacious and distinctive is found even today in the unreasonable arrogance of the Sassarians towards the biḍḍìncuri. Time had taken on the task of transforming that privileged status into ideology (a status already obsolete since Caracalla promulgated Roman citizenship erga omnes). Unfortunately, it was precisely the ideology underlying colonization that remained unshakable. It was even renewed and updated in the Fascist period with the legislation against the urbanization of rural people.
In any case, the original legal status of the Turrenses is historicized in four significant phenomena. 1. Let’s start with the division of the economy between Turritans and Biḍḍìncuri: the first was essentially agricultural, the second essentially pastoral. This yielded to Sassarians, by Biḍḍìncuri (who were of Semitic language), the first epithet: Thatharésu magna cáura ‘Sassarian cabbage eater’, an entirely Semitic phrase. For Thatharésu see the list of etymes; cáula is from Akk. ka”ulu(m); magna from Akk. mânu ‘supply of food’ (cf. anc.fr. manger, a Mediterranean word; Log. mandigáre has different reconstruction, from the genitive chain mân-dêq, ‘eat propitious things’: mânu + dêq, damāqu ‘be propitious’). 2. The Biḍḍíncuri must have been jesting, because they also forged a second epithet: méngu. In fact, the exasperated permanence in the Sassarian territory was observed by Biḍḍíncuri with amused arrogance, and méngu, from Akkadian genitive-chain men-ḫū’u ‘lover of owls’ (menû ‘love’ + ḫū’u ‘owl’), was the least deserved to Thatharésos for the exasperated vocation to guard their gardens, in turn, even at night, in order to prevent the encroachments and damages of the flocks. This watch-over was made known even by the Carta De Logu. Méngu was of Mediterranean use, and in fact the surname Mengo comes from Italy.
3. Let’s now look at the third phenomenon. The Sassarians responded to those Semitic epithets with the curse La crozi mara!, which in classical Latin makes malam crucem!, terrible curse addressed to non-Romans (who could be crucified); it is still alive in Sassari, and it is clear that it was initially addressed exclusively to Biḍḍíncuri. 4. We can see that the linguistic catastrophe in this area had been radical. Along with it there was also the clear separation of the legal tradition. We notice it from the fact that, to the curse La crozi mara!, the Biḍḍíncuri replied (still today they answer) with the epithet “Tatharésu impicca-babbu”, an entirely Semitic phrase: babbu is from Bab. abu ‘father’, impicca is from Bab. pīqu ‘strangle’. And so we learn that they freed ourselves from their father by strangling him. The patricide was a purely Roman use, due to the fact that the peculium of the family always remained in the power of paterfamilias, and the adult and married filii-familias, being unable to access loans of any kind, were often induced to parricide to take over the availability of peculium. The “Macedonian Senatusconsultus”, expressed under Vespasian (69-79), was needed to prevent the parricides from continuing, or at least being less numerous. But in the meantime the Biḍḍìncuri, of Semitic language and law, had already taken their revenge against the occupiers, and the anti-Sassarians reputation continues today.
06. THE BALARES
At this point it’s necessary to introduce a parenthesis and look far behind. The immense Sassari limestone plain was not only capable of providing all kinds of food (including export goods), but it also lay at the mouth of the routes of the Upper Tyrrhenian Sea and the Balearic Sea: therefore it was close to Rome, Pisa, Genoa, the Balearic Islands, Iberia. It goes without saying that the Libysunu estuary lent itself very well as a starting basin to the Sardinian fleets that in the Nuragic age aimed beyond the Pillars of Hercules to procure the Lusitan and British white tin.
This geographical consideration illuminates the troubled and original history of the island’s NW horn (written not only by the Roman colony, not only by Pisans and Genoans), since the socio-linguistic reversals it underwent over the various millennia are almost a text-book. Without going too far back to the peaceful invasion of the Cro-Magnons of 40,000 years ago (see the Corbeddu Cave in area of Oliena), we must however mention the most recent interference by Beaker People coming from the Iberian coast in 2500 BCE. (i.e. 4500 years ago). It certainly landed in Libysunu, and the name of the great Balares tribe, according to Roman texts, seems to have been generated by the Balearics, precisely in the future Romània and in its extensions east to Anglona.
Of course, nothing dramatic had happened with the Cro-Magnons, since their language, similar in radicals to the native one of Sardinia, was only able to enrich it. In addition, by superimposing the Akkadian form on the original Sumerian, Homo Sapiens managed to bring not only an ingenious method of enriching the words (the fusion between two radicals to express new concepts and even to multiply the semantic fields) but also introduced new grammatical schemes, such as genitive-chain and nominal declination.
New processes can also be attributed to the Balares, but only on a technological level, not only with regard to the art of the bell-shaped vase but with regard to the introduction of the domus de janas. The Beakers likely landed at the quiet in Libysunu, entered almost “on tiptoe”, few at a time as craftsmen, and as such with a respected rank. In the way they penetrated, it seems quite obvious that no linguistic distortion occurred. See the statistics of the brachycephalics, which initially appeared in the NW of the island almost by chance. The demonstration that they were well received comes from the progressive expansion of the brachycephalics, which over a few centuries came to equalize the Island’s dolichocephalics, to finally maintain a parity that continues to this day.
07. ANCIENTNESS OF SASSARIAN DIALECT
We can consider exceptional (therefore irrelevant for the language) the blood and cultural renewal brought by the brachycephalic Beakers. After their advent, Sardinia could only improve. But the original language of Sardinia had still remained intact. This can be seen from the fact that Sardinia (and Sassari) retains such an amount of archaic words, that there is no doubt that they date back to several millennia, even tens of millennia.
We note that in Sassari, still today, thousands of words remain so archaic as to be able to be defined as authentic products of the Mother Language, that is, stainless, living relics of the Mediterranean Ursprache. It is true that some of the words that we are now going to examine are not Sumerian but Akkadian based, but it’s true that the written appearance of Akkadian dates back to 4300 years ago, while of its primitive spread to the Fertile Crescent and in the Mediterranean a date cannot be given, being able to go back very well to 10,000 or 20,000 years ago, always from the Delta (as shown by the fact that on the Ethiopian heights and around the lands from which the Nile originates, a tangle of speak Akkadian remains: see SSG).
The very short list of archaic words that I propose below should be sufficient – together with the remaining Sassarian vocabulary – to wash every possible error from the mind of those who have not yet understood that in Sassari the Maritime Republics had only time to lay down a rickety overlying, detectable more than anything else (and not always) at the level of suffixation, certainly not at the level of radicals and lexicon in general. It should also be clarified that the persistence of thousands of intact voices such as those below, means only one thing: that in Sassari the plebs seized the new, entirely retaining the ancient.
ABBUZZA’ Sass. ‘win in the game’. In the high antiquity and up to the whole Middle Ages the victory in some public game or competition was often rewarded with a palio, that is a cloth drape (from which it. Palio, Sd. Palu), a sign that in the past this was the most coveted goods on the market by every social class. It is therefore probable that this Sassari’s verb has the archaic origin in Akk. būṣu ‘fine linen, byssus’, ‘a type of glass’, ‘glass vessel’ for oil, wine etc.
ABURA’ Sass. ‘singe; lightly stain a fabric, a garment, with the iron too hot’. See Lat. ūrere ‘to burn’. Etymological basis Akk. a, ana ‘for’ (final) + Heb. ḥārā ‘burning’ (OCE II 601).
ACCANTARRA’ Sass. ‘set aside, arrange in a corner’ (Bazzoni); also accantuna’. Etymological basis Akk. a, ana ‘for’ (final) + ḫamatû ‘help, assistance’ + arû ‘granary, storehouse’. The compound a-ḫam(a)t-arû originally meant ‘storing for assistance, rescue’.
ACCÁNTU Sass. adj. and pron. ‘a little’: kissa gosa abbałta accantu accantu ‘all this is just enough’. Etymological basis Akk. a, ana ‘for’ (final) + ḫamṭu, ḫanṭu ‘quick, sudden’.
ACCARAÍZZU Sass. adj. and pron. ‘a little’. See also aízzu, aízzi; also aḍḍizzu, adíziu (Camp.) ‘little ‘, ‘just, a moment’,’ small amount ‘; izzeḍḍu ‘a little’. Etymological basis of aizzu is Akk. adi, ad ‘within’+ īṣu, wīṣum’ ‘a little’, ‘little’.
As for accaraízzu, it is an ancient Akk phrase, from adi, ad ‘within, within the limits of’ + karû ‘short’, ‘shorten’ + aízzu (with the etymology already observed). The compound originally meant ‘in the limit of very little’.
ACCIAGGARA’ Sass. ‘Softening, sagging’: lu so’ acciaggaréndi ‘they are making it malleable’; da kissu interrogatòriu n’è isciddu acciaggaraddu “from that interrogation he came out beaten, softened’; acciaggarassi da la risa ‘to wet o.s. from laughing’. Etymological basis Akk. a, ana ‘for’ (final) + ḫaḫḫu ‘phlegm, mucus’.
AFFEŁTU Sass. ‘malicious gossip’. Etymological basis Akk. a, ana ‘for’ (final) + Sum. peš ‘to slice; cut into (pieces)’ + tab ‘to burn’. The ap-peš-tab compound originally meant ‘tearing into pieces and burning’ (black magic operation).
AFFINDI’ Sass. ‘to offend’. Despite everything, DELI cannot prove the Latin origin of It. offendere. Indeed, the basis lies in Sum. ub ‘to enunciate, speak’ + pendu ‘spot, stain’. The compound ub-pendu (read uppendu) originally meant ‘staining in words, denigrating’.
AFFIRA’ Sass. ‘orient yourself, head towards’: a sigundu a undì l’affira ‘according to what trend he shows’; refl. affirassi: s’è affiraddu a l’ara di giossu ‘he headed down’. The base-word is Sd. filu ‘path’; but it must be taken into account that this semantics is a metonymy, from filu ‘thread’. Remember e.g. Ariadne’s thread, since this concept helps to understand that of ‘path’. In turn, filu ‘thread, filament’ should be cf. with Lat. fῑlum ‘idem’; filu, fῑlum is also the spindle of the Parca (see Sd. Filonzana, the carnival Parca that cuts the thread of existence). See Akk. pilaqqu ‘spindle’, of which perhaps filu, fῑlum are retroformations; and cf. Sum. pela (a type of cane, evidently a straw, with which mats and coarse ropes were made).
ÁIVVARU (bot.) Sass.; álvaru Log. ‘white poplar’; also fułtiáivvaru; both words mainly indicate the generic ‘poplar’. Across the island the same names are repeated: fustiarvu, fustiarbu, pustiarbu, pustialvu (in various cases there is the genitive-chain of fuste ‘trunk’); we also have puttiàrvure corruption; other corruptions are cortiarvu, costiarvu, and also linnarbu, linnarvu; elsewhere we return to the Logudorian form: álbaru, álvaru, sàlvaru (the latter evidently understood as su álvaru).
There is no linguist who has not approached these forms with Lat. albus ‘white’. This happened by virtue of an indolent approach to the more comfortable voice, which in their case was the Latin one. And they paid no attention to the fact that in Sardinia the so-called ‘white poplar’ has only one of the two leaf-pages blank; and in any case this tree, compared to the other poplars, is strongly minority, indeed in Sardinia it is almost non-existent. Nobody has noticed that all Sardinian words are archaic (the numerous corruptions prove it, having had the opportunity to develop themselves in the space of millennia). Indeed, the base-word áivvaru is an adjectival relating to wet, marshy places. It is no coincidence that the poplar is a riparian plant, an election tree in humid places.
In short, áivvaru is an exclusively Sardinian phytonym. In Sardinia there is a land for many millennia called Arboréa, later belonging to the glorious Kingdom of Arborèa. This choronym has etymological basis in Akk. ārā ‘land, territory’ + būru(m) ‘swamp’. The compound allows you to understand what the geography of that territory was like before man put his hand into it and tried to transform it. Besides, we have had sufficient historical demonstration of this before and during the big drainage of the current territory of the municipality of Arboréa, which began over 100 years ago to the advantage of a land literally full of ponds, lagoons, marshes. That’s why the choronym Arboréa means ‘territory full of ponds’. And áivvaru properly indicated ‘the tree of the ponds, swamps’.
AKKÉ Sass. in tre phrase: in dugna gosa acciappa l’akké ‘he is always looking for egg-fur, quibbles everywhere’. This is a simple phonetic variant of akkí adv. ‘because’. Anywhere, this voice can also have the etymology in Sum. akkil ‘where’, ‘when’.
AKKÍ Sass. and Log. adv. ‘because’. Basis in Akk. akī, akkī, from ana kī, ana ke ‘how, as’; Ass. akia ‘in the following way’.
AKKIRINADDU Sass. adj. ‘squatting down’. Etymological basis Sum. kir ‘to grovel, roll around; crawling, twisting, rolling’ + in ‘abuse’. Originally kir-in indicated one who writhes abusively (i.e. indecently)’.
ALLINGARADDU Sass. ‘stutterer’. Also called linghiténtu. For the etymology go to linga (< Akk. leqû, laqû ‘to take, take away’) + Akk. raddu ‘pursued, chased’, or even râdu ‘to quake, shake; earthquake, shake violently’.
ANCAUSÉ Sass. adv. ‘otherwise, in that case’. Etymological basis the Sum. anĝa ‘however, in any way’ + us ’to follow, drag’. The compound anĝa-us originally meant ‘however consequently …’ (a meaning almost identical to that of today). See also the forms incausé, sincausé.
ANCU, k’ancu Sass., Log. ‘utinam’ (wish, desire), ‘if …; if I could …; so be it!’; Espa: ancu non ti bìas prus ‘that you may disappear!’, ancu andes kéi su fumu ‘that you go like smoke!’, ancu ti falet ráju ‘that a lightning strike will strike you!’. Etymological basis in Sum. An ‘God of Heaven’ + ḫu-, modal prefix (verbal preformative) with precative, optative value: An-ḫu- ‘God grant!’. The k’ancu form is supported by Camp. ki (which is likewise a wish).
ANCUSIGNO’ Sass. variant of ancu, k’ancu (see). Ancusigno’ is nothing but the confirmation of the etymology proposed for ancu, where -signo’ ‘Lord’ reinforces the invocation also addressed to the Supreme God).
ANNUTA’ Sass. ‘to look at’. Bazzoni renders with this It. verb annotare the expression Mai ti végghi e mai t’annoti (lashing apostrophe addressed to unfriendly, rude, unsocial people who break any dialogue), which he makes thus: ‘that no one ever see you or look at you’. This translation of an undoubtedly residual phrase, stiffened and certainly not very clear, seems somewhat trivial. Instead, the phrase acquires vivid personality if we derive the etymology of annóti from Akk. nūḫtu ‘calm, peace’. So Mai ti végghi e mai t’annoti originally was this following blasphemy: ‘that you from now on remain lonely and without peace’.
APIÓRU Sass. ‘deep’, but only referred to the singer (‘deep bass’). Etymological basis the Sum. pû ‘mouth’ + urum ‘male, virile’. The compound in construct state a-pi-urum originally meant ‘with a virile voice’.
APPRÓSITU, aprόsitu Sass. it is said of a grumpy person, caustic by outrage or resentment, ‘resentful, irritated’. A possible etymological basis is Akk. apû ‘cloudy’ + rusû ’sorcery’. In this case aprûsitu is a participle in -itu from the Akk. compound apû-rusû, with the meaning of ‘darkened, irritated, upset by an act of witchcraft’.
APPUCCIA’ Sass. ‘Despise, reproach, defame’, ‘dishearten’. Two etymologies are possible for this verb: Akk. appu ‘beak’ or Akk. apû ‘cloudy’. In the first case, the original meaning would be ‘to peck, to bite’; in the second case ‘denigrate’.
APPUNDARA’ Sass. ‘subjugate’; ‘use bullying’. Etymological basis Akk. a, ana ‘for’ (final) + pûm ‘beak’ + dārâ ‘for ever’, whose union gives the idea of the continuous insolence of the strong man against the subject one. Phrase used in ancient Akkadian: a pûm X wašābum ‘remain obedient to X’ (wašābum = ‘subdue’).
ARRASA’ Sass. ‘to pray’. Etymological basis Akk. a, ana ‘for’ (final) + rašû ‘to get (strength, help, divine protection)’.
ATTRINTZASSI Sass. ‘Tidy up the trousers or skirt’; fig. ‘fold up your sleeves, in the sense of going for something with commitment’. Etymological basis Akk. a, ana ‘for’ (final) + Sum. tiru ‘courtier’ + anzag ‘treasure’. The at-tir-anzag compound originally meant ‘beautify yourself like a courtier’.
ATTRIPPASSI Sass. ‘get ready’: attrìppaddi l’ippaḍḍi ‘get your back ready to receive a blow with a stick’; attrìppaddi li pédi e pałti ‘take your feet and go away’. Etymological basis Akk. a, ana ‘for’ (final) + Sum. tir ‘arch, bow’ + paḫ ‘leg’. The tir-paḫ compound (with Akkadian prefix of purpose a-) originally meant ‘tensioning the legs’, in the sense of ‘preparing the legs as the arch, as a bow’ (preparing to act or flee). In the current Sardinian form we observe the obvious metathesis of tir > tri-.
AXUBARADDU, aχuparaddu Sass. ‘rainbow’. Anche aχubintu (lett. ‘painted rainbow’). A rainbow just glimpsed in tatters in the clouds is called occi di crabba ‘goat’s eye’ (this definition is by Bazzoni). Etymological basis of aχu-paraddu (from arcu-paraddu) is Akk. (w)arḫu ‘(arc of the) new moon’ + parādum ‘frightening’; therefore it meant ‘arch that inspires (reverential) fear’. This second concept speaks for itself, considering the wonder mixed with fear that the rainbow aroused among the primitive populations.
As for occi di crabba, apart from Bazzoni’s inconceivable explanation, it has a basis in Sum. ug ‘light’+ diĝir ‘God’ + Log. abba ‘water’ (< Sum. a-ab-ba, from a ‘water’ + ab ‘sea’). So occi di crabba (ug-diĝir-aabba) is paronomàsia which originally meant ‘water (reflecting) the light of God’.
BAIBÁTU Sass. ‘plowing, soil preparation for sowing after the September rains’; also ‘soil subjected to this preparation’. Etymological basis is Sum. bar ‘plow’ + bar ‘open’ + tu ‘to weave, comb’. The bar-bar-tu compound originally meant ‘open and comb with the plow’.
BARANDONI Sass. ‘crepitacle’, ‘big clapper’. This is an archaic word dating back to the Stone Age. In fact, it refers to a wooden musical instrument, evidently invented long before metallurgy, and also long before the cutting tools of the Neolithic era. There are still certain oriental “bells” made of a cluster of reeds that crackle when a door opens. Well, lu barandoni must have been originally an elementary instrument whose rattle was to recall the servitude of some rich or powerful man. In fact, it has an etymological basis in Akk. barû ‘to see, look at; oversee, watch searchingly; see; supervise, scrutinize looking for’ + andu, amtu ‘female slave’.
BERIGUNZU Sass. ‘semi-closed’; otherwise said a unu bòi. Etymological basis in Sum. birig ‘to contract, contract oneself; roll up, curl up’. The same etymology of Sass. vaħògna, Log. birgonza ‘shame’.
BÉRRIDDU Sass. ‘bleating; grumbling’; also ibérriddu, ibírriddu. Possible etymological basis. Sum. er ‘tears, weeping, mourning’ + idim ‘furious’. The er-ridim compound originally meant ‘furious crying’.
BIḌḌATZA Sass. ‘vegetable garden near the village’. This compound has the same etymological basis as biḍḍa + Akk. (w)aṣûm ‘to come out’. The bīt-aṣûm compound originally indicated the ‘(land) out of town’.
BILLELLA, billèllera, billèllara. In Logudorian is the hellebore (Helleborus lividus Ait.). La Funtana di la Billèllara, in Sorso, got the ancient name by that poisonous plant. In Sassari a story is told that the neighbors Sorsinchi (jokingly presented as crazy in all the “ethnic” jokes), ardently wished to appropriate the Funtana di Ruséḍḍu, the beautiful sixteenth-century source of Sassari, and had tried to bring it to the village by pulling it with ropes. Having failed, they partially copied it, creating their beautiful fountain. In reality, it is Paulis himself (NPPS 184) who relate to be an ancient belief that hellebore was a remedy for madness, and that the phrase bier s’abba dessa billéllera ‘drinking hellebore water’ was worth ‘being mad’. Hellebore grows in humid places and prefers limestone soils, just like the land on which Sorso stands. The term billèlla is Sardian, based on Akk. billu (a plant) + lillu(m) ‘idiot’ (bil-lillu genitive-chain > billèlla), with the meaning of ‘crazy plant’.
BILLOCCA Sass. ‘dawn, beginning of the day’: a l’òra di la billocca ‘at dawn’. Etymological basis is Sum. bil ‘to burn’ + ukuk ‘to burn’. The bil-lukuk compound, with semantic doubling, originally indicated ‘the time of insolation, of terrestrial heating’.
BILLÓI Sass. ‘rough person, used to living in remote and uncivilized places’. At the time of Fascism, the adjectival was very often addressed to the villagers. Etymological basis is the Sum. bal ‘stone’ + lu ‘man’. The compound originally meant ‘Caveman, Stone Age man’. But it could also be based in Akk. billu ‘admixture; alloy (component of metal)’. In this second case it would have the original meaning of ‘metallurgist’, but in this way we would run counter to the Logudorian semantics, which refers precisely to a backward man rather than to the great craftsman of past eras.
BIRA’ Sass. ‘overflow, especially of liquids coming out of the container’. Etymological basis Sum. bir ‘to scatter, disperse’.
BIRÓNI Sass. ‘lamp, light’. See also làmpana. This word presents the rhotacization of -l-, as is usual in Sassari. Originally it was bilóni, from Sum. bil ‘to burn’ + unu ‘wooden stick’. The primitive meaning was ‘burning stick’ or ‘torch’.
BÒI2, bòe is Sass. and Log. word, in a phraseological formation referring to the doors or windows that have the two shutters ajar, matching, enough to let a mere ray of light pass, even only its reflections, thus obscuring the room: gianna a bòi ‘door with the doors near’. This lemma is reduced by all linguists to the meaning of bue ‘ox’ < lat. bōs, bŏvis. Wagner notes with arrogance that janna a bòi “is said of an ajar door, which allows only one ox to pass” (sic!). He did not even realize that a single ox, in the ancient peasant doors, could not even slip in, even if kept wide open. The real etymological basis of the phrase a bòi is Akk. apu ‘hole, opening’; abû, apû ‘veiled’ < abû, apû ‘to become veiled, cloudy’. So janna a bòi or vintana a bòi originally meant, and still means, ‘door or window that allows you to glimpse a mere hole, which veils and dims the light’.
BRACCA-BRACCA Sass. adv. ‘slowly, gradually’. Etymological basis Akk. warḫu ‘moon, lunation’, with a following metathesis. The repeated voice highlights the slow enlargement of the moon as the days go by.
BRAGA Sass. ‘Braggart, clumsy, arrogance’: ài poggu di fa’ la braga ‘you have little to do the boast’; no ti dà braga ‘don’t be a braggart’. Etymological basis Akk. baqru ‘claim’, ‘right to claim’.
BRÉTTIU (a bréttiu) Sass. adv. ‘randomly, without a precise order’. See also imbréttiu. A possible etymological basis is Akk. birûtu ‘divination’, ‘ability to foresee the future, to interpret the past and, more generally, to discover hidden truths (through clairvoyance, precognition, telepathy and other similar phenomena)’. Already the most independent people among the ancients considered divination a fraud (e.g. Cicero). However, it was not necessary to come to this concept to understand that in reality the priest in divination really proceeded at random.
BRIKKETTU Sass. ‘match’. Etymological basis Akk. barāqum ‘to lighten, shine; illuminate’+ diminutive suff. -éttu.
BRUCCIURA’ Sass. ‘Falling, rolling, tumbling, ruining’ n’è brucciuraddu da sobra la cabiłtùria ‘has tumbled down from the roof’. Etymological basis is Sum. bul ‘to shake’ + ḫulu ‘ruination, ruin’. The bul-ḫulu compound was modified as a result of the Sassari and Cagliari phonetic law of rotacization. Then it underwent metathesis (bur- > bru-).
BUMBA’, imbumba’ Sass. ‘return’, ‘return what you have taken’: tzéχa di bumbanni kissi dinà ‘see to return those money’. Etymological basis is Sum. bun ‘bellow’, bun ‘to blow, push, flutter’ + bal ‘to give back, return stolen property’. The bun-bal compound originally indicated the action of ‘pushing, forcing the return of the stolen goods’.
BURA’2 Sass. in the phrase n’àggiu lu córi buraddu ‘I have lost hope’, ‘I have a bad feeling’. Etymological basis is Sum. bur ‘to tear out, detach’, even ‘to cut, cut into pieces’, or buru ‘disease’.
BURADDU2 Sass. adj. of plants, vegetables, faded vegetables, ripening past, depleted’: cáura a fiori buradda ‘shriveled cauliflower’. Apparently, the etymological basis is Sum. buluĝ ‘to grow up; ripened’. Later the -l- was rhotacized.
BURELLU Sass. ‘curvature, swelling in the net, where the fishes gather themselves’. Etymological basis is Sum. bur ‘to spread out’, ‘to tear out’ + ellag ‘ball’. The bur-ellag compound originally meant ‘swelling by distension’.
CABAGNA, cavagna Sass. ‘large basket’. Etymological basis Sum. kab ‘to test’ (see also kabduga ‘container for measure’) + aĝ (read añ, ang, agn) ‘measure’. The kab-aĝ compound originally indicated a ‘container to measure’.
CABIASSU, gabiassu Sass. ‘container for transporting mortar’. Etymological basis Akk. ḫābû (a storage jar) + azu (a craftsman). The compound originally meant ‘container-jar for crafts’ (in this case to mix the elements of the mortar).
CABIGLIÓNI Sass. ‘mullet (reddish sea fish, excellent for soup)’. Etymological basis in Akk. kāpu, kappu, kāpum ‘rock, shore’ + illu ‘high water’, Sum. illu ‘water’. The red mullets of rock-shore are valuable.
CAḌḌARÌNA Sass. ‘Praying mantis’ (Mantis religiosa); at first glance it would seem to mean ‘Caterina’, from Gr. καθαρά ‘the pure, the virgin, the immaculate’. Instead the etymological basis lies in Akk. ḫadālu ‘to tie, knot’ ‘(of spider) tie up’; Sum. kad, kadr ‘to tie, weave a mat’. In fact, when the mantis stands still, it shakes its front legs with gestures that seem to imitate the work of binding, weaving. It is no coincidence that in Sassari the mantis is also called Caḍḍarìna pitzinna drappéra ‘Cadalina apprentice-seamstress’.
CANU Sass., Log. and Camp. ‘Gray, hoary’: Sass. perigganu, Log. pilos canos ‘white-haired’; cfr. Lat. cānus ‘candid, hoary, old’. Apparently the etymological basis is Akk. kanûm ‘arrange for burial; being overly cared for; be in perfect condition (for immolation)’. It seems that in high antiquity they were referring especially to the old man as such, to the man very close to perishing.
CARABATTÉSU Sass. adv. (a carabattésu, or di carabattésu) in the phrase isci’ a carabattésu ‘to catch a blow, get a good hiding’. Carabattésu! it is also an inciting voice to the fight, like saying ‘To the assault!, L’et’s assault!’. Etymological basis is Akk. qarābu ‘battle’ + tēšû ‘confusion, chaos’. The compound shows the idea of great confusion in the impetus of battle.
CARAVÁ Sass., according to Bazzoni it would be an “unknown” place or region in Sardinia. This word lives only in the phrase L’ánimi di caravà ‘wandering souls, aimlessly’. Etymological basis is Akk. karābu ‘to pray, supplicate, dedicate funerary offering’. So they were the so-called “souls of Purgatory” to whom recurring prayers of supplication were addressed.
CAROMMA Sass. “rope made of vegetable filaments that connects the keepnet to the float’. It is also used for raising mussels. See lubàna. Etymological basis is Sum. kār ‘pier, port’, Akk. kāru ‘idem’ + Akk. ummu (a reed or rush rope, cane rope or rush). The compound originally indicated a cable used for port operations.
CARRITZA Sass. ‘poor meat’ (first choice pieces are called puipùzzi). For the etymology see carri ‘carne’. The second member -itza has an etymological basis in Akk. iṣu, iṣṣu ‘wood, tree’. So carritza originally meant ‘woody, hard meat’.
CARRITZÉIVINU Sass. adj. ‘thin, emaciated’. See also lagnu, iχuipuríddu, łtrimígnuru. For the etymology see carri ‘carne’ + Akk. zēru ‘to dislike, hate, reject’; or maybe Akk. ṭēru ‘mud, silt’. But it can also be from Akk. ṣēlu ‘rib’: in this third option carritzéivinu (genitive-chain < carri-tzélvinu) would mean ‘with the meat reduced to the ribs’ that is ‘lean corpse’.
CASANDRÌNA Sass. ‘housewife’: a ra casandrìna no piázzi a curriura’ ‘a good housewife doesn’t like to go for a walk’. For the etymology of the first member, go to casa ‘home’. The member -andrìna is adjectival based on Akk. andurû (a kind of door). So casandrìna originally indicated ‘she who watches over the entrance to her home’.
CASANZÍNU Sass. ‘domestic’. See also casandrìna. For the etymology of the first member, go to casa. The member -anzínu perhaps is based on Akk. ālûm ‘townsman, villager’. The compound originally indicated an artisan who, not practicing the profession of shepherd or farmer, worked within the home, such as shoemaker, carpenter, blacksmith, etc. (Note that Sd. -anz- = It. –al-).
CASARADDU Sass. ‘lowered, dropped’: sciscìa casaradda ‘peaked cap dropped on the forehead’; occi casaraddi ‘half-closed eyes’. Even ‘battered, crouched’. Etymological basis Akk. ḫašālu ‘to crush’.
CAXASÌNA (X = Germ. bach) Sass. ‘traces of dung left by moving cattle’. Etymological basis is Sum. kar ‘to flee, escape, escape from’ + kaš ‘urine’; also ‘runner, trotter’. The kar-kaš compound in the first case would mean ‘escaped urine (while walking)’; in the second case it would mean ‘(dejection) escaped during the walk’.
CÉGGIARU Sass. adj. “strutting, bloated, full of himself”. See also imbuffaddu, téttaru. This voice is an expressive repetition from Akk. ḫiāru ‘to choose’, ‘seek out; search’,‘ look out, prepare (offerings)’ (ḫi-ḫiāru). This adjective indicates the ‘affected’ person, specifically the one who once dressed up well to present himself to the temple for an offering.
CIÁCCIARA Sass. ‘chatter, rumor’. See also ciaraméḍḍu. Etymological basis the Sum. ḫara ‘ruffian’, appropriately doubled in an exaltative form: ḫa-ḫara.
CIARODDU Sass. ‘everything that looks mushy and muddy”, “mucus”, “dirty confusion”. Etymological basis Akk. ḫarru ‘water channel, moat’ + uddû ‘to impregnate’.
CIÓBBU Sass.; Log. gioba ‘noose, loop, lace’; elsewhere ciobba; un ciόbbu di sałtitza ‘a sausage loop’, that is the sausage with the tips knotted in the shape of a ring or loop. The etymology seems to rest on Sum. ḫubum ‘wheel’.
CÓIBU2 Sass. in the phrase à fattu cόibu (said of a horse pulling a cart that stops climbing and almost kneels because it has given way to fatigue). Etymological basis is Akk. kurbu ‘blessing’. This Sassarian voice is related to curving, bend, It. ‘curvare, piegare’; cfr. Log. incrubare, Camp. incrubái ‘bend o.s., bend over’; incruái (Cagliari) ‘bend your head’, (Teulada) ‘bend your back’.
Around the concept and form of curving, curve and the like, masses of etymologists have ventured in vain, without understanding that the phono-semanthema is a reply of the one describing the ancient gesture of ‘blessing’, of ‘adoration’ to God , of the proskinesis, which was done at sunrise (“greeting to the sun”), especially at noon, always towards the sun.
CÓLLARI Sass. ‘gastric juices’. Etymological basis is Sum. kul ‘meal’ + ari ‘disease’. The kul-lari compound originally indicated a ‘digestive difficulty’.
COLLU1 Sass. ‘transportable crate or bale containing goods’; cfr. It. collo ‘ditto’. DELI indicates first of all for this voice the Indo-European origin (and usually does not indicate what its basis is); DELI also writes that this wrapping of goods “is so called by metonymy, as an object that is carried on the neck” (sic!). Indeed, the etymological basis is Sum. kul ‘to collect’, ‘to be heavy’, to gather up, glean; collect’.
COLLU2 Sass. ‘a tour of the rope around a bollard, around a column or the like’ (to tie a boat, ship, horse etc.). Etymological basis is Sum. kul ‘to collect, bring together’.
COTZA1 Sd. ‘wedge, rod, wooden wedge to fix a base, a wheel, to give stability’. Wagner declares its uncertain origin, on which he makes many hypotheses. Indeed, cotza has a very clear basis, from Sum. ku ‘to deposit, arrange, lay’ + zu ‘tooth’ also ‘tip of the plow’. I remember that originally the tip of the plow was a wooden goad, spur with a conical section, just like a mussel. See also Sass. iχotza’, iχutza’ ‘remove the keys, remove the wedges’.
COTZA2 Sass. s.f. ‘mussel’. DELI writes that this entry appeared in Lat. mediev. of Ragusa (Dalmatia) of 1306. And it is also the vulgar name given to this black and smooth mollusk in southern Italy, especially in Puglia. The etymological basis is the same as for cotza1.
CUCCIÁRI2 Sass. in the phrase ipałti’ li cucciári ‘break a marriage, a partnership, a company, a relationship’. Possible etymological basis in Akk. ḫuḫāru ‘bird-snare, bird trap, bird net’ (in this case the “net” is identified as the nest that contains two sparrows in love). But taking into account that ipałti’ means ‘divide’, we can see in the phrase ipałti’ li cucciári a tautology with an etymological basis in Sum. ḫul ‘ring’ + ḫala ‘share, sharing the inheritance’. In this case, the original compound ḫul-ḫala intended to mean the ‘sharing (restitution) of the rings and inheritance’.
CÙCCIU Sass. ‘dog’. Etymological basis is Sum. ḫuḫ-ḫul doubling of a ḫul base which means ‘to rejoice, enjoy something’. The dog is known as the man’s best friend. So it is obvious that, already in origin, the dog wanted to underline the aspect of the ‘joy’ he always expresses towards the owner.
CUIPA’, cuipátzi Sass. intransitive verb used with auxiliaries abe’ or asse’, almost exclusively with the past tense, in the meaning of ‘get to, reach’: sóggu cuipaddu a Canàglia ‘I went to Canaglia’; l’ággiu cuipadda a Santu Juanni ‘I have come to San Giovanni”. Etymological basis is Sum. kul ‘to run’ + paḫ ‘leg’ (which was also a unit of measurement). The kul-paḫ compound originally meant a ‘foot race’, that is, a distance that can be reached by a man in one walk.
CUMPRIMÓRI (iłtélla cumprimόri) Sass. ‘Comet star’ (that of Holy Christmas). Etymological basis is Sum. kunu ‘to approach, to be contiguous’ + Akk. pârum ‘to seek, look for, search for’ + urûm ‘stable, stall; crib’. The compound kun-pârum-urûm originally wanted to clearly indicate ‘the one who approaches alongside in the search for the crib, the Beehive’.
CUNFIGGI’ Sass. ‘spelling’, ‘learning the basics of reading and writing’. This verb recalls the distant centuries when young people learned to write using wax-sprinkled boards, where they had the ease of pressing, scratching, ploughing the surface with a cane tip or bird pen, and then easily erasing with a level and imprinting new characters. Etymological basis is the Sum. kunu (same as Sd. cun ‘with’) + Akk. peḫû ‘to close up, seal’ (with clay, bitumen, wax),’ caulk’.
CUPANTI Sass. masculine ‘lobster, large marine crustacean’ (Homarus vulgaris): arruiatzaddu ke cupanti ‘reddened like a lobster’. Etymological basis is Akk. quppu ‘sharp knife, scalpel’ (of doctor, for mutilation) + antu ‘barley ear’. The compound originally indicated the ‘sickle for barley’ (an ironic way to indicate the powerful claws of the lobster).
CURRIGGUDDA Sass. (archaic voice, according to Bazzoni) ‘frantic and tiring race’. For the etymology go to curri’ ‘run’ + Sum. gud ‘to jump on, attack, escape’.
CUSCIÁRI Sass. “door or window jamb” (the overall frame of those fixtures is called cimbràna). Etymological basis is Sum. kuš ‘height’. The adjectival in -ári of cusciári originally indicated the object ‘holding the door or window vertical’.
DAGA’ Sass. ‘leave’: dàgami lu cabbu ‘leave me alone’; dàgaru iłta’ ‘leave him’. Contrary to what many people suppose, namely that this verb is a corruption of lassa’ ‘leave’, I precise instead that the voice daga’ is the original verb, while lassa’ is Italianism from lasciare. Moreover, one could never have thought of a corruption in the presence of the unbridgeable phonetic separation between lassa’ and daga’, where each consonant is different. Indeed, daga’ has an etymological basis in Sum. dal ‘dividing line’, dar ‘to split’ + ḫal ‘to divide, separate’, ‘to crawl away’. The compound dal-ḫal already originally marked a strong concept of “detachment”, of “separation”.
DAGÓGGIA Sass. ‘sapwood, a woody layer that increases the diameter of the growing plant every year’. Etymological basis is Sum. daḫ ‘to add’ + ug ‘plant’. The compound daḫ-ug originally indicated ‘the growth of the plant’. See also Sum. ugu ‘to give birth’, ugu ‘watering place’, ugu ‘food’, three voices with which it is possible to compose a good meaning for dagóggia.
DI’ Sass. ‘to speak’. Etymological basis the Sum. di ‘to speak’.
DIPACCIA’ Sass. ‘dismiss, fire, allow to leave’: tzéχa di dipacciammi ‘see if you can serve me quickly’. See Sp. despachar ‘sell’, ‘hurry up’. I clear the field from the separative prefix dis-, des-, composed of the privative de- (etymological basis in Sum. de6 ‘take away’) + the redundant -s- also linked to Mediterranean particles of deprivation (like e, ex). For the second member, cf. It. spacciare ‘send goods, deliver goods’, which DELI presents as originating from Provz. despachar without however providing the etymology. Indeed, the basis is Sum. paḫ, paḫal ‘leg’. So the High Tyrrhenian dis-pacciare originally meant ‘untiing the legs, allowing the legs to move’. Evidently it concerned primarily the prisoners; while the concept of “delivering the goods” is following. The counter-proof occurs in Sass. dipididda ‘leave, dismissal, farewell’, where the second member comes from Akk. pīdu, piddu ‘imprisonnement’.
DIPIDIḌḌA Sass.; Log. dispidiḍḍa, dispedida “dismissing, farewell’; etymological basis dis-, separation particle + pīdu, piddu ‘imprisonnement’. For the purpose of a correct etymology, I clear the field of the prefix dis-, des-, composed of the privative de- (etymological basis in Sum. de6 ‘take away’) + the redundant -s- also linked to Mediterranean particles of deprivation (as e, ex: see). Verbs: Log. dispedire; Camp. dispidiri ‘dismiss’; cfr. Sp.-Cat. despedir.
DUGNA2 Sass. in the phrases of the type V’éra cun dugna sóriggu … ‘there were mice so big …’; abìa dugna cantu di rócciu ‘he had a big stick’. No one has ever attempted to decipher this dugna. In reality, it is a Sumerian wreck, from dūg ‘to be good, sweet’ + na ‘man’. The compound originally concerned a ‘good man’, then spread to animals and things. With the same root cf. Lat. du-l-c-is ‘sweet’, where the Sum. dug can be seen in these two underlines.
DUMÁNI Sass. ‘tomorrow’. DELI proposes it as a word of a late Lat. de māne ‘early in the morning’, considering māne < mānus ‘good’. But nobody explains what it is going to make that ‘good’ in reference to the ‘morning’. If referred to the It. phrase di buon mattino ‘early in the morning’, this does not mean that the morning is good in itself, because that buono ‘good’ is a substitute for the concept of ‘first’, ‘initial’. Indeed, the etymological basis of mane, Sd. -máni in dumáni, is the Sum. du ‘to go’ + Akk. manûm ‘to count, calculate’. The du-manûm compound originally indicated the ‘moving calculation, calculation (of time) that begins’.
EBAGGOTTA Sass. ‘carpenter glue’. Etymological basis is Sum. ea ‘primordial water’ (Sass. éba) + kud ‘fish’. From the beginning it meant, and still means, ‘fish water’. In fact, the glue was always made from fish bones properly dissolved with boiling.
FACCISIGADDU Sass. genitive-chain. The same as facciχóntzu (indicates the condition of great embarrassment for those being misled). For the etymology go to fáccia + Akk. sikkatum ‘a serious illness’.
FA’ CIÓCCURA Sass. ‘to cheat’. Go to Sass. cióccura2 ‘cheating, deception’: inoghi tz’è ciόccura ‘here there is cheating’. Etymological basis is Sum. ḫulu ‘to be bad’; also ‘bad demon’ (appropriately doubled in superlative terms: ḫul-ḫulu). But also see Akk. ḫuḫārum ‘bird-snare‘.
FÁDDIGGU Sass. ‘fatigue’, ‘exhaustion from fatigue or hardship’: à la fáccia di lu fáddiggu ‘he has a fatigued expression, face marked by hardship’; kissa à curriddu lu paru di lu fáddiggu ‘that woman ran the palio of hardship’ (that is, she made the life of the slut): Bazzoni. For the etymology go to faddigga’. Lu fáddiggu referring to the slut does not mean ‘hardship’ but has a comparison with Akk. padûm ‘set free’ (therefore it is understood as the ‘palio of (sexual) freedom’); otherwise see Akk. pādûm ‘forgiving, indulgence’ (and is understood to be the ‘palio of (sexual) indulgence)’.
FERRU DI CONTZA Sass., another name with which the ‘brandy’ is called. For the etymology, it is not necessary to take into account férru ‘iron’ nor the ‘tanning of leather’ (contza); the basis is Akk. bēru ‘selected’ + ḫumṭum ‘heat, fever’. So the two items in compound went to indicate, at the origins, the ‘distillate that gives heat’. In turn the Log. filu e ferru ‘brandy’ is based on Sum. bil ‘to burn’ + Akk. bēru ‘selected’. The compound originally indicated the ‘burning distillate’.
FIRIADDU (rhotacismus from fidiaddu) Sass. in the phrase ora firiadda ‘late hour’. Singular, archaic word, referring to the time of sunset, in which the ancients believed that the Sun was imprisoned by the God of the Night. See Akk. pīdu, piddu ‘imprisonment’ < pādu ‘imprison’.
FIRUMÉNI Sass. pl., so called the donkeys that went up from the source of Rosello with two small barrels full of water to sell to Sassari’s population. I don’t agree with Bazzoni who thinks of their figures as blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla: see firuména), since it would be absurd. Instead the etymological basis is Akk. bīru ‘thirst’ + mēnum ‘love’. The compound bīru-mēnum originally wanted to indicate ‘thirst lovers’ or ‘those who quench thirst’.
FIRÙSI Sass. ‘spider web threads’: piłdi’ li firùsi ‘lose a lot of weight; losing the last threads of the organic tissue’ (Bazzoni). For the etymology referring to the ‘spider web’ go to firu. For the second meaning is more congruous the Sum. bir ‘to shred’ + uš ’to die’, the compound of which originally meant ‘tearing to death’.
FIÙNTU Sass. ‘louse’ (also called zallu). Etymological basis Akk. pīum ‘mouth’, also bi’u ‘opening, outlet’+ tū’a ‘spider’. The compound pīum-tū’a originally indicated the ‘spider of the fissures’. In fact, they have always believed that lice were self-produced by the human head and that they came out of minimal cracks in the skin.
FOḌḌA2 Sass. in the phrase liáddu a foḍḍa ‘(boyfriend) tied in an indissoluble way’. The phrase refers to the matrimonial uses of the past, according to which the man agreed on the marriage by early transfer of cattle (or the equivalent, if he was not a shepherd). In this context, foḍḍa has an etymological basis in Akk. būlum ‘animals, livestock; cattle’, with following -l- > -ḍ-.
FRÉNU DI TRAMATZA Sass. “resistant and rough fabric (generally with brown and white streacks) that was used up to 60 years ago to cover mattresses’. See also frési, iχóttu, diχóttu. The frénu entry has etymological basis in Akk. pārum, parru, bāru ‘skin, hide’. To understand this combination, it is necessary to take into account that until less than a century ago in many houses of shepherds (and farmers) people simply slept on animal skin or on a woven mat. It goes without saying that just the leather (perhaps stitched together) was easiest to pudding, with which a leather-bag bulging of straw was combined (very comfortable for sleeping in). From this package comes the Sass. frénu di tramatza.
GAGNA Sass. ‘gill’ of fish. Possible etymological basis Sum. ĝaĝ ‘to carry’ (read gnagn or gagn) + a ‘water’. Apparently, the “lung” of fish was originally called the ‘water filter’.
GARÍCCIU (properly galícciu) Sass. ‘little hole that was practiced on the ground to be able to play with the small marbles of brick or clay or crystal called balli (little balls)’; it is also the ‘name of this game’: syntagma: intra’ in garícciu ‘entering the galiccio’ or ‘reaching the goal’. Etymological basis is Sum. gala ‘vulva’ + i’iz ‘seed’: in compound gal-i’iz; then the -l- was rhotacized.
This game should go back to the Paleolithic Age, when clay was not yet cooked and clay balls were not made. At that time, the game was probably played with round seeds, e.g. with hazelnuts or walnuts. It seems obvious that the winner, who earned the most holes, kept that food for himself. We can consider lu garícciu as ancestor of today’s golfing.
GHESSI Sass., used as a categorical statement answering certain questions: Ma éḍḍu l’à fattu? No, ghéssi! ‘But did he do it? Of course, yes! And who else, if not?’. NO is not a rhetorical answer nor antifrastic: it wants to mean ‘God, the Creator’ (Sum. nu ‘Creator’). In the highest antiquity, with this response the “witness” par excellence was called just as witness, touching ritually the ‘penis’ < Sum. ĝeš ‘penis’, which was the effigy of the Creator: Nu ĝeš ‘God Creator is witness!’.
GHINDA Sass. ‘wilde black cherry’ (Prunus cerasus), slightly bitter variety of cherries, excellent for syrups, drinks, jams. Etymological basis in Akk. ḫindu, ḫiddu ‘bead’ (a whole program).
GIACCUNETTA Sass. ‘sort of lace similar to sangallo lace’: fattu a giaccunetta ‘adorned with a certain type of lace’. Etymological basis Akk. gāgu ‘ring, torc’, gagû ‘cloister’ + nītu ‘encirclement, surround’. The compound gāgu-nītu originally wanted to indicate exactly the large and composite necklaces (which we call pectorals) that surrounded the neck and shoulders of the great Egyptian personalities.
GIAḌḌU Sass.; Gall. ghjaḍḍu ‘rooster’. Cfr. Sic. gjaḍḍu. Of It. gallo ‘rooster’ never understood the etymology. DELI simply derives it from Lat. gāllu(m) which would be “of probable expressive origin”; DELI ventures, in addition, that the rooster may have the same name as the Gauls, a name moreover known by De Bello Gallico. Nobody has ever observed that the etymological basis of It. gallo is Sumerian, from gala ‘singer’. The reason is obvious: the rooster often sings, even during the night, while the hens never sing.
Note, however, the different pronunciation between the Italian name on one side (gallo) and Sicilian-Gallurian-Sassarian jaḍḍu. This second attestation is based on Akk. ḫādu ‘rejoicing, gloating’. In fact, the jaḍḍu (rooster) is a tireless amateur, sings mostly after coitus, and seems to rejoice of it.
GIRUNDÓ Sass. ‘going around, turning around like some animals before hitting prey’: la jatta è féndi lu girundó a lu pizzoni ‘the cat is going to attack the bird. For the etymology, go to gira’. The second member -dó has an etymological basis in Sum. dud ‘combat, strife, quarrel’.
GISA, cisa (a g., a c.) Sass. adv. ‘(dress, shirt, etc.) without sleeves’: una maglietta a gisa, a cisa ‘a sleeveless t-shirt’. Etymological basis is Akk. kīṣum ‘coolness’: perhaps also kīṣu ‘flayed’.
GUÉRA Sass. ‘sow’. Also called sùa. The etymology of guéra can only be grasped by going to Log. berre ‘boar, uncastrated pig’; cfr. Lat. verrēs ‘male pig’. The two Sardinian and Latin voices can be retroformations. From Akk erēḫu ‘act aggressively, attack’. But it is more appropriate to draw the base from Akk. (w)erru ‘mighty, powerful’.
IBAGANTA’ Sass. ‘overturn, pour, empty’: lu santu ki ti n’à ibagantaddu sobra a la terra! ‘That saint who gave birth to you! …’. Etymological basis Akk. ibaḫu ‘womb’ + Antu ‘Dea Mater, Paredra of the Sun God’. Therefore the compound. ibaḫu-Antu originally meant ‘uterus of the Mother Goddess’.
IBALLA’ Sass. ‘to weary, tire out’: kissa camminadda m’à iballaddu ‘that walk exhausted me’. Etymological basis is Sum. bal ‘to unload (a boat)’; cfr. also bala ‘wastage, loss’. Originally it meant ’emptying (of energy)’.
IBARRIA’ Sass. ‘unload the packsaddle of the donkey’, ‘unload’. Etymological basis is Sum. bar ‘to free, lighten’.
IBARRIADDA Sass. ‘discharge, hail, storm, violent fall, rain shower’: un’ibarriadda di rócciu ‘a volley of stick’. For the etymology see ibarria’.
IBATTIGÙRU (a ib.) Sass. adv. ‘badly, with contempt’: lu tràttani a ibattigùru ‘they treat him like a doormat’. It seems to read: ‘they bang their ass in face of him’. But this is a paronomàsia. The real etymological basis is Akk. batqu ‘damage’ <batāqu ‘hew; cut off’, stative (of price) batiq ‘it is too low’.
IBROTTA’ Sass. ‘to gush, spurt’. For etymology see ibróttu.
IBRÒTTU Sass. ‘gush, spurt’. Etymological basis is Akk. būrtu ‘source (of river)’. The prefix i- (is-) indicates the motion from place.
IBRUCCA’ Sass. ‘to blossom buds on branches, on plants’. Etymological basis Akk. burû (a garden plant) + uqqû ‘painted’. The bur-uqqû compound (later subject to metathesis) originally indicated the ‘painted plant’ (rare poetic vision). The prefix i- (is-) indicates the motion from place. Go to ibruccaddu.
IBRUCCADDU Sass. pp. adj. ‘blossom bud on branches, on plants’. For etymology see ibrucca’. Cfr. it. broccato ‘heavy silk drape woven with flowers or arabesques’ (it is a kind of damask fabric, which we have been used to since the Renaissance by Paolo Veronese’s paintings). DELI certifies that the item broccato ‘brocade’ in Italy was known since before 1492, but they have not been able to give the etymology of it.
IBURRA’1 Sass. ‘cross out, delete’, variant of iburria’, imburria’. Etymological basis is Sum. bur ‘to tear out, tear, detach’.
IFARRATA’ Sass. ‘to prune’, ‘cut off dry branches’. Etymological basis Akk. per’um ‘bud, shoot’. It was originally *iferrata’, but the Corsican-Gallurian influence led to metaphonesis -e- > -a-.
IŁTEPPA Sass. ‘descent, origin’: iłtéppa mara ‘bad lineage’. See Lat. stirps, stirpis ‘trunk, the solid part of the tree’. Its origin was ignored. The etymological basis of the Lat. entry is Sum. tir ‘a plant’ + peš ‘descendant, pregnancy, to give birth’. The compound tir-peš, with derivative prefix s-, originally meant ‘generative tree’. The Sassarian voice is a simplification.
IŁTICCA, łticca Sass. ‘pupil’. Etymological basis Akk. tiqqûm ‘flashing of eyes’, tiqqûtu ‘flashing eyes’. The prefix ił- < is- is a useless parasynthetic weighting, typical of Sassari’s lspeech, of which part of its vocabulary is burdened.
IŁTUŁDIDDA Sass. adj., mostly used in Nurra, ‘(hen, goose etc.) which has ceased to be laying’. Adjective also used for all beasts that can no longer procreate for reasons of age (rabbits, sheeps, etc.). In a tone considered playful, it is also said of a ‘menopausal woman’. Indeed, we find ourselves in a situation of metonymy, since we use the part for the whole, revealed which we returns to the original situation. In fact, the etymological basis is Akk. tulû ‘breast’, also nipple’. This item is composed of privative + tulû ‘breast’ + tîtum ‘nourishment’. So originally is-tul-tîtum meant ‘deprivation of nourishing breasts’, ‘deprivation of breastfeeding’.
IŁTURRA’ Sass. ‘lose weight, lose fat, lose consistency’. Etymological basis the privative suffix is- + Sum. tur ‘to be small, to reduce.
IMBALLA’ Sass. ‘hit one until KO’; see Sass. iballa’ ‘to tire, exhauste’: kissa camminadda m’à iballaddu ‘that walk has exhausted me’. Etymological basis for iballa’ is Sum. bal ‘to unload (a boat)’; cfr. also bala ‘wastage’. Originally it meant ’emptying (of energy)’. As for imballa’, the voice must be dismembered into is-balla’ or in-balla’ (with privative is-) + Akk. ba’ālu ‘to be in force’. So it originally meant ‘depriving oneself of strength’.
IMBATTI’(TZI), ibatti’ Sass. ‘get to, reach, go to finish’: tz’è imbattiddu in Sóssu ‘he is finished in Sorso’. Etymological basis Akk. battum ‘side, region, around; corner, region, surroundings’; ina battum ‘somewhere, in one place’.
IMMUJA’ Sass. ‘give, apply a nickname’. Etymological basis Akk. muḫḫum ‘over, above’, ‘at s.o. expense’, ‘incumbent on’,’ laugh about’. This etymology suggests that since the most archaic times the nicknames were always in fashion. Evidently the need to laugh at others is a constant of the human character.
IMPARUNA’ Sass. ‘throw in the garbage dump’. See paróni, which was the ‘sign of the place destined for the garbage dump’ (Bazzoni). I have no elements to reject Bazzoni’s claim. However I have never seen any pole in the Sardinian garbage dumps (I speak of those in force up to 70 years ago) and not even in the numerous dungheaps of the alpine pastures, for the simple fact that there is no need to indicate a site that a resident people knows very well. In my opinion, the etymological basis of imparuna’ is Akk. parû ‘excrete (relating to the dejections of the beasts)’. But it can also be par’u ‘sliced through” (with reference to the separation of the garbage dumpsters from the village); or pārum ‘a container of 1 bur capacity’.
INCARAMA’ Sass. ‘entangling the hook of the line in the rocks, in the bottom’; refl. incaramassi ‘catch the hook with something’. Etymological basis in Akk. karāmu ‘to grasp, restrain, withhold, delay’.
INCASCÍNU Sass. ‘farrier tool, used to fold the tip of the nails that come out’. Etymological basis is Sum. ḫaš ‘to break, divert’.
INGAVUNA’ Sass. ’embarking water for the strong pitching’. Etymological basis Akk. ḫabûm ‘to draw water’.
INGÉŁTU Sass. ‘grimace, mockery’. Etymological basis the Sum. ĝeš ‘penis’ + du ‘to hold’. The compound originally meant ‘holding the cock in hand’ (in the sense of showing it). It goes without saying that this always appeared as a plebeian provocation. Unless the base is ĝeš ‘penis’ + tu ’to weave’. The second compound would suggest the action of masturbating: also provocative and plebeian, if exhibited.
INTIGNA Sass. ‘obstinacy, stubbornness’. Etymological basis the Sum. tag ‘take hold of, bind, attack’ + na ‘man’. The tag-na compound originally indicated the idea of ’man grabbing, clinging to’, all reinforced by the Sum particle in indicating the status in place, the deepening, the insistence.
INTZÓMMI Sass. pl. ‘niggles, useless chatter’. Etymological basis Akk. zummûm ‘to be deprived of, lack, miss’, ‘deprive of’’.
INTZUḌḌISSI Sass. ‘get busy daring’: abbaìdda cuménti si l’intzuḍḍi ‘see how bravely he can do’. Etymological basis Akk. ṭuddu ‘way, path’.
IPANA’ Sass. ‘strip, ruin the thread of a screw’; refl. ipanassi ‘to strip’. At the base is It. pane ‘turn, coil of a screw’ (1550, C. Bartoli), probably from Lat. panūm ‘weaver thread’ (according to DELI). Indeed, the common basis of these words is Sum. pag ‘to enclose, confine, cage, enclose, keep in a cage’ + NU ’to spin (thread)’.
IPIRIGAMBA Sass. ‘meddler, intriguer, cheater’, ‘clever, unreliable person’. Etymological basis Akk. ipiru, eperu ‘soil, dust’+ ḫanābu ‘to flourish, sprout’. The genitive-chain ipirī-ḫanābu originally meant ‘making the desert blossom, the dust blossom’ (how to say, do the impossible, then cheat).
IPUSSA’ Sass. ‘throw a veil of flour on the pasta’. Etymological basis is Bab. puṣûm ‘whiteness, white spot’.
IPUTZA, Putza Sass. s.f. ‘devil, Satan’: candu l’Iputza vi poni la coda ‘when the devil puts his tail on it’. Etymological basis is Sum. puzur ‘cavity, shadow’. So Iputza, Putza from the beginning was considered par excellence ‘He who lives in the caves, in darkness’.
IRI (a i.) Sass. adv. ‘in abundance, in large quantities’: vi n’éra a iri ‘there was plenty’. The etymological basis is Sumerian, but paradoxically it is not easy to identify it due to the abundance of options. It can be ir ‘mighty, power’; ir ‘to plunder’; iri ‘to be high’, ‘to make manifest’.
ÌRRIDDU Sass. ‘downpour, rushing water’: è fend’éba a ìrriddi ‘it is raining hard’. Etymological basis the Sum. ir ‘mighty, powerful’ + id ‘river’. The ir-rid compound originally meant ‘powerful river’, ‘powerful as river’.
ISCIDDU Sass. adj. (referring to the lip) ‘with rash, with èrpes’. This is an archaic pp. from Sum. šed ‘to defecate, escrement’. So labbru isciddu originally meant ‘lip with shit’ (this is a very heavy judgment, referring to the fact that herpes was since then considered a serious illness). Otherwise the basis may be the Sum. ḫeše ‘to be oppressed, detained’.
IVIRÉXIDU (X = Germ. Ich) Sass. ‘cloying’, ‘made lose by dullness’. The entry is made up of ivviri’’ ‘nauseating, sickening’ (< Sum. bir ‘tearing’) + išku ‘testicle’. The compound initially meant ‘breaking balls’, ‘pulling balls’.
IXACCÍNU Sass. ‘shabby, of little value’. Etymological basis Akk. ḫaḫû ‘slag, clinker’. The Semitic item refers to the mineral stone as it is once demineralized in the oven: therefore ‘worthless substance’.
IXARA DI SANTU GIÁGGU Sass. ‘Milky Way’. In this phrase iχara is a parasynthetic compound (also a paronomàsia) from Sum. kar ’to light up, shine’. Originally it meant ‘glares of the Supreme God of Heaven’. The name of God is expressed precisely by Giággu, for whose discussion I refer to Jagu, Jaccu, from Heb. YHWH, name of Almighty God, to be pronounced as it is written, that is Yaḥuh.
IXAROMMU Sass. ‘submarine cliff’. Etymological basis in Sum. kār ‘harbor’ (akk. kāru(m) ‘quay, port, quay-bank; port on river, on sea’) + umun ‘pit’. The compound originally meant ‘pit bank’.
IXATZA Sass. ‘scassa, wooden base with recess to house the base of the boat mast’. DELI does not contemplate the word scassa. Etymological basis of iχatza is Sum. ḫaza ‘to hold’.
IXESSU Sass. ‘emaciated, malnourished’. Etymological basis in Sum. ḫeše ‘to be oppressed, detained’.
IXÓŁTIGGU Sass. fig. ‘carrion’ (not always with excess of malice). Etymological basis Sum. ḫur ‘to scratch’ + te ’to pierce, prick’. The compound ḫur-te + suff. -gu, -cu originally meant ‘(he who) scratches and punctures’.
IXRACCIONI Sass. ‘a person of the lowest rank, dirty and badly dressed’. Etymological basis the Sum. ḫar ‘ruffian, scoundrel’+ zuḫ ‘to steal’. The composition of the two voices gives exactly the idea.
IXUDRUGNA’ Sass. ‘scrutinize, carefully observe, square, plumb, investigate’. See Log. iscodrignare, Camp. squadrignái ‘fàghere una genìa de prova, abbaidare, averguare cosa a fine a fine’ (Puddu). See It. scrutare, scrutinize < Lat. scrutor, -āris ‘I am looking, I explore, I search’.
In this investigation of the origin every researcher failed (Ernout Meillet scrutāri ‘rummaging through rags’, ‘scrutinizing’; DELI ‘ditto’; Semerano: Akk. saḫāru ‘’to look for’’). The Sardinian voice is the only one which preserves the archaic forms and the Mediterranean root, which is in Akk. kudurru ‘boundary, boundary stone’, ‘territorial limits’. The kudurru were nothing more than perdas fittas, driven boundary stones, which were so important that in some cases rules and regulations were written on them, including the famous laws of Hammurabi. See Sum. kudr ĝa (ĝa = gna, ña) from which Sass. is-cudru-gna’, with the meaning of ‘stone of one’s home, of one’s settlement, of one’s territory’ (i.e. boundary stone).
IXUMBATTA’ Sass. ‘compare, paragon, check’. Etymological basis Akk. battu ‘river-side’. From this concept was born It. rivale ‘who is on the opposite side of the river’ and battaglia ‘clash between rivals, between people of the opposite bank’. The Sass. is-cum- shows in cum- the concept of comparison, while is- is a reinforcement.
IXUMÉNTZU Sass. ‘beginning, debut’: a l’iχuméntzu ’from the beginning, at first’. See It. cominciare, incominciare ‘to begin’. Etymological basis is Sum. ḫum ‘to snap off’ + inti ‘way, path’. The compound ḫum-inti originally meant ‘starting the journey’.
IXUPPURA’ Sass. ‘scrape, skin (foot fingers)’: s’à iχuppuraddu lu diddu ‘he’s scraped o.s. foot finger’. Etymological basis the Akk. ḫupû ‘fragment’.
IXUSSU Sass. ‘funnel opening throug which the fishes enter the keepnet, the fish trap’. Etymological basis the Sum. kuš ‘water channel, pipe’.
IXÙTZURA, χùtzura Sass. ‘sort of disaster that hit the crops in the form of an invasion of pests’. The remedy was a spell called oratzioni di l’iχùtzura (Bazzoni). Etymological basis the Sum. kuš ‘devastation’ + zur ‘to take care of’. Originally kuš-zur meant ‘taking care of the devastations’ (referring to the spell to be practiced as an antidote).
KEḌḌA Sass. ‘quantity of seeds that is put in each of the holes drilled in the furrow by an appropriate peg (rόccu)’; even a ‘small space of land where the seed has been placed’ (two Bazzoni’s definitions): simina’ a kéḍḍa ‘to sow by putting the seeds in the holes’; on the contrary, simina’ a písciu di bόi means ‘sow spreading the seeds over the furrow’ (Bazzoni): this second technique is also called a ippágliu ‘by scattering’ (Dedola).
I invite the reader to carefully reread the descriptions and the phrases in Bazzoni’s dictionary since he, not knowing the etymology of this term and not even knowing the basic reasons for certain agricultural techniques, translated everything with a messy approximation. It should be noted that today people have completely forgotten the original act of which the definition kéḍḍa is still fortunately preserved. Originally la kéḍḍa were the ‘holes that at a repeated and regular distance received the seed’, and only today we have the metonymy that suppresses the original idea of the repeated linear measurement and gives exclusive value to the “quantity of seeds that enter each hole”.
To understand the whole issue well, you need to go to Sum. kidu ‘musical notation’. It is proof that 5-6000 years ago music was recorded with ideograms. Moreover, this is indirectly known to us by the Sum. word du, which means ‘to play’ (a musical instrument), while ki, combined with aĝ, means ‘to measure’. In isolation, ki means ‘floor’; in turn kid means ‘landing, break down, cut’, while u also means ‘earth, floor’. We are noticing terms that are phonetically different but competing with the same semantics. This makes it clear that the kid-u compound (‘musical notation’) literally meant ‘hitting the floor’.
In other part I have noted that since the Paleolithic era the man – although he did not know how to record the melody with notations – was however very capable of recording harmony, simply by beating time with a stick (custom stopped about 150 years ago in favor of the wand by the conductor). The original kidu lemma, as neglected by scholars as pervasive and lively, is found in Sd. kida, kita, kéḍḍa, ceḍḍa, cida ‘week’. This is not only proof that in the Paleolithic the week was already considered the fourth part of the (lunar) month; it is not only proof that the partition of time in weeks was already known to Babylonians (without appearing Jewish “innovation”, since the Jews knew and measured the number “seven” already from origin, being of Sumerian lineage); kidu is mainly the proof that in the Mediterranean, in Sardinia, in the Near East, man since the beginning of civilization took care to measure the times of the music he expressed with the drums (soundboards), the flageolets, the dishes, and that soon he managed to express by goat strings (minugia, intestines) suspended above a harmonic case. As you can see, kéḍḍa at a time indicated the ‘week’, the musical notation ‘, the’ linear measurement between one hole and the other during sowing’.
KINTÍNA Sass. ‘cellar’, ‘retail wine sales’, ‘tavern’. See also vindiόru and tzilléri. And see It. cantina ‘basement cool room, for storing wine and other perishable goods’. This Tyrrhenian voice is an Akk compound. ḫimtum, ḫintu ‘leather skin, pouch’ + īnu ‘wine’. It goes without saying that today kintìna, cantìna is a metonymy indicating tout court the ‘wine room’, while originally it was only the wineskin (made of leather) that contained the wine.
KIRRIÓRU Sass. ‘shred, tatter, rag’; also ‘guts, intestines’: l’à fattu la viłtiménta a kirriόri ‘he has reduced her dress to shreds’; dugna tzikkírriu ti ni bogga lu kirriόru ‘each of those screams will rip your guts out’. Etymological basis Akk. qerû ‘to call, invite’ (person to meal, deity to offering) + Sum. ur ‘liver, bulk’, ‘to be convulsed’. The entry kirriόru originally indicated the ‘guts, liver, offered in sacrifice to the divinity’.
KÌSCIA Sass. ‘pain, anxiety’. See also Sass. iχancaggόri. Etymological basis is Sum. kiši ‘the Netherworld, the Underworld’ (which for the ancients was the world of pain). See also Sum. kišur ‘grave, tomb’.
KISCINNA’ Sass. iterative verb ‘complain, moan’. See also Sass. murrugna’. For the etymology go to kíscia, from kiši ‘the Netherworld, the underworld’ + in ‘abuse’. Evidently the iterative form (= ‘abuse of complaints’) is a completely later form.
LEBU Sass. item present in the phrase di primma lébu ‘of first birth’. Etymological basis Akk. lebû, labû ‘to howl, whine, squeal’; lābû adj. ‘howling, bleating’.
MAGARÌNA Sass. ‘valley, compluvium, drainage channel on converging pitched roof’. Etymological basis Akk. magāru ‘to consent, agree, agree with’.
MAMMÁIA Sass. ‘Necrotic rag, purulent substance that lies at the root of an abscess, of a pimple’ (Bazzoni): truppia’ lu ciccioni fintza a iscinni la mammáia ‘squeeze an abscess until it is completely emptied’ (Bazzoni). In my view, it is not that the “necrotic rag” is at the base of a boil. In fact, in the purulent furuncle, pus is created from the top inwards, starting from the outer tip of the focus. When working on the pimple, all the pus flows out and they continues to squeeze until the serum comes out: this is the real purifying agent. A serum that for the ancients must have looked like organic water, given its transparency. So I translate mammáia from Akk. māmū ‘water’.
MAMMUXÓNI Sass. ‘region or locality unknown but distant and far from pleasant, mentioned in phrases of the type E indì tz’éri, in Mammuχóni?! ‘Where have you been, in the devil’s house?’. The obvious answer is A Mammuχóni ki ti tzi półtiani! ‘The people carry you to Mammuχóni!’ (Bazzoni). The “unspecified location” evoked by Bazzoni is actually very clear: it is Hell. Hence the peremptory and annoyed answer recorded here by Bazzoni himself. Indeed Mammuχóni has the etymology in an exaltative Akk doubling based in muskum ‘something bad, something evil’ (so mam-muskum ‘something really horrible’).
MANCANTI Sass. adj. ‘crazy’: tz’è isciddu di casa a l’óra di li mancanti ‘he left the house at mad time, in the dog day’. Etymological basis Akk. makûm ‘to be absent, missing’. This voice, then subjected to Mediterranean epenthesis (ma[n]k-), originally meant ’empty, hollow, absent’. And still today Sass. mancanti literally means ‘he’s missing, vacant, absent from itself’.
MANI-CODA Sass. in the phrase l’àni aùddu a mani e a coda ‘they surprised him by doing something illegal’ (Bazzoni). Etymological basis is Akk. maqûm ‘to spy’ + ūdu ‘ill effects’. The maq-ūdu compound originally meant ‘spying, checking for bad effects’.
MANKÉIBA Sass. ‘weed’. Etymological basis Akk. makûm ‘destitute, poor’+ Sass. éiba ‘grass’. The compound, then subjected to a Mediterranean epenthesis (ma[n]k-éiba), originally meant ‘poor grass’, or ‘grass of the poor’.
MANKÌNA Sass. ‘gutter’. Etymological basis Akk. makûm ‘to be absent, missing’ + Sum. in ‘site’. The compound, then subjected to Mediterranean epenthesis (ma[n]k-ìn), originally meant ’empty, hollow, excavated site’.
MARABAXA Sass. ‘bad luck’; literally it is intended as ‘bad Easter’, but such a formula would make no sense: s’è tziχéndi la marabaχa cu lu lampióni ‘he’s looking for bad luck with a lantern’; e marabaχa ki ti póssia inciccia’ ‘bad luck can incinerate you’. Indeed, it is not Pascha (Easter) but Parca (she who cuts the threads of existence, called in Sass. Paχa). By this blasphemy they want to indicate, of the three Fates (Parcae), just the one who cuts the thread. I remember that the three Latin Parcae were also called Fatae (‘those who manage the Fate’, the destiny); so I refer for the similarity to maravaḍḍa. We cannot forget the Roman origin of the Sassarians. For the etymology of marabaχa go to maru + Paχa, remembering that the lat. Parca has an etymological basis in Akk. parāqu ‘to divide off, separate’.
MARRONCA, marróncura Sass. ‘fantastic figure summoned to frighten children’: mih la marronca ‘here coming the marronca’. See Camp. marragotti ‘old witch, ugly woman, children’s bogey-woman’. Etymological basis the Sum. marru ‘stormwind’ + ukuk ‘to burn’. The compound originally indicated the ‘storm that annihilates by burning’. As usual, the Sardinian voice contains the euphonic epenthesis of -n-.
MAXÉSI Sass. ‘menstruation, women’s menstrual cycle’. Etymological basis Akk. marḫaṣu ‘rinse, lavage’, ‘drainpipe of terrace’, marāqu whipe out, ‘clear o.s.’ + eššiš ‘anew, again’. The compound marāq-eššiš (read markéssi, Sass. maχési) from the beginning indicated the ‘renewal of washing, of cleaning’. Translation with It. marquis is an idiocy.
MIDDRÓNGARI Sass. ‘noodles’. Etymological basis Akk. midru (a type of bread) + garûm ‘cream’. The mixture (with the usual euphonic epenthesis of -n) originally meant a ‘creamy bread’. The compound is truly archaic, since it was intended a pasta useful also for making bread but which in this case was still used soft, evidently boiled as such, rather than being put in the oven.
MIDI’ Sass. ‘to measure, evaluate’; pp. mididdu. See Log. and Camp. mesùra ‘measure, ratio of size’; Log. mesurare, Camp. mesurái ‘to measure’: in these items you notice the fungibility between -d- and -s-. Etymological basis Akk. wadû, madû ‘to know’, edûm, idûm ‘to know’ (OCE II 470).
MISSÀGLIU Sass. ‘sort of dam made of stones stacked along small streams or brooklets, to encourage eel fishing or to poison the waters’. Etymological basis Akk. mīsum (a kind of fish) + âlu ‘to cut’. Originally it indicated the ‘barrier for fish’.
MIZZURÍNU Sass. ‘lamb that has just been weaned’. Etymological basis Akk. mâṣu, wiâṣum ‘too small, tiny’.
MÙCCURU2 Sass. ‘blasphemy, cursing’. Etymological basis is Akk. muḫḫuru ‘offer (to the gods)’. The voice evidently worsened its meaning in the early Middle Ages, when the Byzantine priests forced the perfidious retaliation to stigmatize the persistence of certain uses.
MUŁTITZU Sass. ‘very soft dough, both of flour and cement’; also biaróni. Etymological basis Sum. muš ‘to curdle’ + tu ‘broth’ + zur ‘to roil’. The mixture indicated from the beginning a ‘muddy or semi-condensed broth’.
MURACCÍNU Sass. ‘bricklayer’; also Sass. frábbiggamùru. For the etymology go to muru + Sum. ḫi ‘to mix up, alloy’ + nu (suffix-prefix of profession, position). From the compound mura-ḫi-nu we perceive that originally for ‘mason’ it was meant ‘he who mixes, kneads’ (referred to the creator of mud-straw-stone bricks).
MURÉḌḌA Sass. ‘circular pile of stones, formed during the removal of the fields’. For the etymology of the first member go to muru. What appears to be a suffix (-éḍḍa) actually derives from Sum. ed ‘to go up’. So muréḍḍa originally meant ‘raised wall’.
MURÉXU Sass. in the adjectives frìsciu muréχu ‘padlock’; muru muréχu ‘drywall’. Bazzoni translates this adjective simply as ‘Moorish’, that is, ‘of Arab origin’, making a mistake.
I split the discussion momentarily, dwelling only on padlock, and I precise that Sass. ‘padlock’ is often called simply muréχu; as well in Log. and Camp. muréscu ‘padlock, bolt’ (adjectives already purified from frìsciu, which is evidently considered superfluous); cfr. Sic. muriscu ‘door-bolt’ (Traina); but also catinatzu muriscu (S. Camilleri).
For the etymology of ‘lock’ we have two options: 1) Akk. murudû ‘lattice, grating’ + ešqu ‘solid, massive’. The initial compound murud-ešqu over time was evidently perceived as a syntactic division of *muru-de-esqu and therefore simplified. 2) In the second option I propose the Sum. mu ‘grow’ + ru ‘architecture’, with the meaning of ‘architecture in elevation’, ‘structure in elevation’ (this is the etymology of Sd. muru). For the member -éscu, -éχu is worth Akk. ešqu ‘solid, massive’. In this case I translate muréχu (without the superabundant muru) as ‘solid wall, consolidated wall’. Evidently in primitive times the concept related to the padlock was to make the wall of the house totally solid, even in the empty wall occupied by the door.
MUSA Sass. ‘mood’: di musa bona, mara ‘in a good, bad mood’. Etymological basis Sum. muš ‘face, appearance’.
MUSCIARRA Sass. ‘The boss boat, the boat of the chief of the tunny-fishing nets’. Etymological basis Sum. muš ‘fish’ + ara ‘official’. From its origins it indicated the ‘(boat of the) chief of fishermen’.
MUTU Sass. ‘movement, buzzing, clock ticking’. Etymological basis Sum. mu ‘to make a sound’, ‘word’ + tur ‘small, reduced’. From the beginning it meant ‘soft sound’.
NIVRA Sass. ‘hate’: abe’ in nivra ‘to have in hate, have in shadow’. Etymological basis Akk. nērubu ‘to flee, escape; run away’.
PADÉḌḌA Sass. ‘friendship” in the phrase àni ifasciaddu la padéḍḍa ‘they broke friendship’. Etymological basis Akk. pâdum ‘imprison’ + edûm ‘to know, be aware of, be conscious’. In this case, pâd-edûm originally meant a ‘conscious link, of which one is aware’.
PANATZÓRA Sass. ‘poultice of bread and lard that was applied hot on a skin infection to promote suppuration’. Etymological basis is pani (see) + Sum. azu ‘doctor’ + ur ‘to sweep away, wipe clean’. The az-zur compound originally indicated a ‘cleansing drug (from pus)’.
PARÁIU Sass. ‘component of the patronal celebrations’ (Bazzoni); but in Sassari it is understood first of all as the man ‘bearing the flag of the corporation’. Bazzoni means paráiu from It. ‘operaio, worker’, but he’s wrong. Etymological basis is Akk. pārum (an official, that is, a commander). Otherwise the basis may be Akk. palāḫu ‘to revere, act reverently’ (this is because the paráiu guides his committee to revering the Madonna or the Saint of the feast). The Sassari’s parai are famous for guiding the committees during the Faradda di li Candaréri in mid-August.
PARARÍNCURA Sass. ‘Phangnail, that comes off around the nails of the hand’. Etymological basis Akk. pārum ‘skin, hide’ + anḫu ‘tired’. Therefore the compound in genitive-chain pārum-inḫu originally meant ‘exhausted skin’.
PARASANGU Sass. ‘diaphragm that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen’. The first member has no relationship with Sass. para’ ‘protect’, It. parare; as for -sangu, it has no relationship on Sass. sangu ‘blood’. I exclude this simplistic translation for the obvious reason that the function of the diaphragm is not to ‘protect, shield, shelter’ from the blood of the thoracic area but to lift-release the lungs so that the vital respiratory function is accomplished. The etymological basis is therefore Akk. par’u ‘sliced through’ + samḫu ‘mixed’ < samāḫu ‘to mix’. The par’u-samḫu compound originally meant ‘cutting cleanly, blocking the mix cleanly (between upper and lower organs)’.
PARESSÉGNU, perességnu Sass. ‘cross-sign’: lu parességnu di la Santa Crozi. Analyzing the sequence of words written by Bazzoni, we notice superfluous and even paradoxical concepts, used to indicate a simple fact: the gestures of the sign of the cross. Bazzoni does not explain why in Sassari it is said parességnu instead of grozi-ségnu. He does not say it, but he explains it in his own way with the dialectal phrase lu parességnu di La Santa Crozi, where we note that pare- cannot mean ‘sign’ (otherwise it would disappear in front of the counterpart -ségnu for the principle of non-repeatability).
If we etymologically investigate the phrase parességnu di la Santa Crozi, we can discover a sensational fact, namely that the gestures of the famous “cross-sign” is an invention adopted to make pre-Christian rituals disappear. In fact, the four-sign we do by touching four parts of the body (forehead-chest-shoulder-shoulder) does not correspond to the three concepts that we evoke accompanying that gesture: “Father, Son, Holy Spirit”, evocation of the Trinity.
Having clarified the paradox – which in Sardinia evidently arose from the Byzantines priests – we now identify the etymological basis of parességnu, which is Akk. pāru ‘hymn’ + sînu ’moon’ < Sîn ‘Moon Goddess’. The compound originally simply indicated the hymn to the Moon Goddess that the Sardinians raised during public ceremonies.
PIÓRU Sass. ‘low-pitched voice’, ‘soft rumbling’: no tzi l’è isciddu mancu un piόru ‘he did not even emit a rumbling’; bassu a piόru ‘singer of the chorus at 4 (in Sassari this chorus is called cuncόrdu) having the voice of the deep bass’. Sass. piόru is an Akkadian genitive-chain from pīum ‘mouth (as speech organ)’ + urû ‘stallion (of oxen)’, ullu ‘a bull’ (< Sum. ur ‘lion’, ‘dog’). Therefore in Sassari lu bassu a piόru meant and still means ‘bass with a bull’s voice’.
PIPIADDA Sass. ‘pinch, small amount, sprinkle’: una pipiadda di sari ‘a pinch of salt’. Etymological basis the Sum.pi ‘unit of measurement’, repeated to emphasize the idea + Tyrrhenian suff. -ata.
PÍURU Sass. adj., used in Sorso in the genitive-chain occi píuru ‘squint-eyed’. Log. píuru means ‘chirping’ (of chick). But here the idea is very different, and in any case Bazzoni’s proposal to translate the Sorsian form with ‘tending to fly’ is not valid, since cross-eyed do not give the idea of flying at all.
Mutatis mutandis, the question is repeated similarly also in It. balzano ‘weird, odd, very strange (people)’ [also intended as leap, but I don’t agree and refuse this translation’]. The adjective is extended also to a horse that has white “flounces” above the hoof, except then the arbitrary transfering that characteristic to its ‘weird, bizarre’ character (DELI). Here too things do not match, and it would have been better if the etymologists had interpreted that balzano as ‘leap’, as balzare, balzellare ‘skipping, hopping here and there’ (and the like), that is ‘not very gentle’, regardless of the flounces above the hooves, whose origin is from French, with a very different base.
Returning to píuru ‘squint-eyed’, the entry must obviously be considered an adjectival in -lu. In this case we find the etymological basis in Akk. pīum, pûm ‘opening, aperture’; ‘opening’ (i.e. ‘opening, stretching’ of eyes).
POŁTA2 Sass. in the phrase a bozzi półta ‘screaming’; etymological basis of półta is Sum. pû ‘mouth’ + tal ‘clamor, cry’. The pû-tal compound originally meant ‘screaming mouth’.
PREDDUMÁSCIU Sass. ‘virago, Amazon, girl who prefers games, language and manly attitudes of men’. See Sass. másciu ‘male’. As for préddu, the entry seems to be equivalent to Pietro ‘Peter’, but this homologation would require a justification which is missing, also because every other Sardinian or Sassarian entry having in the first member préddu- has different origins according to the case (see preḍḍuvaba, preddusímuru). So I translate preddu with Akk. perdum (a kind of equid). In this case, we translate preddumásciu as ‘horse-male, stallion’.
PRICUNDÌA Sass. ‘caprice, ambition, pretense’. Etymological basis Akk. pirqu ‘claim’ + dī’um (a disease affecting the head). The compound originally indicated ‘who has vain ambitions, empty wishes’.
PRIMA-CÉGGA Sass. ‘First grade’ (initial phase of a child’s educational curriculum). For the etymology of prima go to prímu. The second member (cégga) obviously does not mean ‘blind’ since it would be a contraddictiō in terminis: in fact the elementary school serves to create the base from which the intelligence of the child launches and projects himself onto the world, it certainly does not serve to blind the view of the world. Etymological basis of cégga is the Sum. kigal ‘platform, pedestal’.
PRÓDA Sass. ‘space between two rows of plants’. Etymological basis Akk. purīdum ‘pace, step’ (as a linear measure).
PURRADDA Sass. ‘share, part, percentage’: éḍḍu puru à aùddu la so’ purradda ‘he too had his share’. Etymological basis Akk. purādum ‘as part of composite beings’.
RISCIARA’1 Sass. ‘to rinse’. Etymological basis ri- (see) + Sum. šar ‘to make splendid’.
RISCIARA’2 Sass. ‘to gossip’. Etymological basis ri- (see) + Sum. šara ‘slander’.
RISCIUMMADDA Sass. ‘violent downpour of rain after a brief calm’. Etymological basis ri- (see) + Sum. šumaḫ ‘mighty’. In ri-sciumm-adda the ‘return of power (of a thunderstorm)’ is clearly evident.
RISÉTTU Sass. ‘multi-storey closet, shelving’. Etymological basis ri- (see) + Akk. sētum ‘projection, salient; height increasing element’ (see fr. etajer).
RUGNUNADDA Sass. ‘foundation of a wall under construction’. Etymological basis the Sum. RU ‘architectural structure, construction’, rugu ‘to withstand’ + nun ‘prince, foremost, best’. The compound run-nun or rugu-nun originally wanted to indicate the ‘main construction structure’ or, which is the same, the ‘main resistance’.
SEDDU Sass. agricultural term referring to ‘wheat’ (Bazzoni): poggu séddu, séddu leccu is said about a field whose ears have not reproduced thickly. Etymological basis in Sum. še ‘barley’, ‘grain’ + du ‘to heap up, pile up’, du ‘to plant’.
SERU Sass. ‘judgment, wisdom, shrewdness, good sense’. This singular word was conceived on the basis of sénnu It senno. Just as that word, this starts from Sum. šennu ‘priest’ (a whole program, given that the priests were accorded seriousness and intelligence), Likewise seru is based on Eg. sr ‘official’ (read ser); Akk. ṣīru ‘august, excellent, of primary rank’. Moreover in ancient Log. sèr(e) was the title given to the Judge or King (CSMB 100: iudice sere Ugo de Bassu; 164: ser Remundu c’arreiat corona). Cfr. It. sire ‘sir, king, sovereign’. This Eurasian title is used in Italy to speak to the king, but this happened shortly before 1566 by Annibal Caro. Indeed, in Italy this word appears before 1250 by Cielo d’Alcamo. DELI, having no other comparisons, proposes it by ancient Fr. sire, appeared in 980 with the meaning of ‘master, lord’, in reference to God. An even more archaic voice is Eng. sir ‘noble title’ (pronounced sér, like the Sardinian and Egyptian words). Another related item is It. sèrio ‘with a concentrated, serious, responsible look’, an ancient adjectival from séru.
SIDDA Sass. ‘old tax relating to the sale of tobacco’. See siḍḍu (Bitti) ‘ancient currency’. Etymological basis in Sum. šid ‘to count’.
SINNÓ2 Sass. adv., conj. ‘also, too’: ággiu una fammi! – e sinnò éiu! ‘I am very hungry!… – I too!’. Etymological basis the Akk. šinnû ‘two each’, šinnatu ‘similarity, equality’.
SINSÁRI Sass. ‘census, mortgage income’; ‘tax’. The cleaned up voice of the occurred rhotacization is sinsali, whose etymological basis is Akk. Sîn ‘Goddess Moon’ + šālum ‘inform o.s. about’. Apparently, the Sassarian voice is a relic of the ancient ages when the response of the Sibyl was asked; she, at least in Sardinia, was the same priestess of the Moon Goddess.
SINTINIDDU Sass. ‘rancid smell’. The item is derived from It. sentìna ‘bilge’ < Lat. sentīna ‘background, refusal’, ‘bottom of the ship, place where drains are collected’. Its origin was ignored (see DELI and other etymological dictionaries). Etymological basis is Akk. šinātum ‘urine’ + iddum ‘point, site’. The compound under genitive-chain (šin[ā]tum-iddum) originally indicated the ‘site of the urine’ or the ‘site that smells of rancid’. It can be easily imagined that in simple offshore ships of the highest antiquity the bilge was the place of choice where the crew evacuated or at least urinated (without the need to expose outboard with rough or stormy sea). It should not be forgotten that urine is still precious today (e.g. in Morocco) for fixing colors in fabrics. This is due to its disinfectant and preservative value, which once was useful even for the conservation of the most vital part of the ship.
SIRASSI, siriassi Sass. ‘to realize, to notice’; even Sass. abbizzassi. Etymological basis in Sum. šer ‘to be bright, shine’,’ brilliance’. This archaic voice is the semantic equivalent of It. appurare, acclarare ‘ascertain, clarify’.
SIZZA Sass. ‘cold wind’. Etymological basis Sum. sisa ‘north wind’.
SORIDÉU Sass. ‘skullcap, circular headdress of prelates (see Jewish fashion)’. Etymological basis Sum. surru ‘priest’ + adda ‘father’. In genitive-chain surr-idd-, with the meaning of ‘(headdress of the) priest-head’.
SUAŁDA, suałta (Ł < -rd-) Sass. ‘rope that secures the load on wagons, carts, trucks’. Etymological basis in Sum. šu ‘handle, tool’ + arad ‘slave, servant’. The compound originally meant ‘auxiliary tool’.
SUGADDU Sass. adj. said of ‘fish that has lost solidity and consistency due to a sort of emptying operated by certain parasites’ (Bazzoni). Etymological basis the Sum. sug ‘empty’, ‘to strip naked’.
SUPPA. In the central-southern part of the island it means ‘nothing’; Kirco e non b’agatto suppa; Non ni budìa fai suppa. Wagner, more amused than scientifically involved, in his DES reproduces the following situation referring to the lemma suppa: «it’s part of the inventory of Italian macaronic the phrase referring to his son: Non ne posso fare zuppa: è morto bicchierino = ‘non posso cavarne nulla: è molto birichino’ = ‘I can’t make soup of him: he died as glass’ = ‘I can’t get any nothing: it is very mischievous’». Of course, that of Wagner is a macaronic saying, a phrase put into the mouth of an ignorant who tries to express himself with the Italian phonetic counterparts, considering them suitable for his own semantics: a Sardinian-Italian phrase comes from, that splash about in the paronomàsia.
I specify that suppa, with an apparent paradox, also means ‘treasure, a wonderful thing’ and the like (Quartu): sa pippìa esti una suppa ‘that little girl is a treasure’. Wagner considers unknown the etymology of Sd. suppa. Instead it is based in the Ass. ṣuppu ‘decorated, coated, covered, plated’, šūpû ‘make it shiny, visible’, with the meaning referring semantically to the result of the embellishment of a brute body, a transformation from goldsmithery, a decoration that greatly improves the raw state.
There is a similar phrase in Sass. bugganni iłtrappéḍḍu ‘get to the truth’. Etymological basis Akk. tarāpu ‘to be covered with color, be painted’ + (w)ēdû ‘prominent’. The phrase refers to the times when people on the occasion of large parties embellished themselves in the best possible way (a use handed down and alive since the Paleolithic in every society).
SUPPU Sass. adjectival in the phrase cottu suppu ‘madly in love’. Bazzoni translates ‘cooked as a soup’, but this is a paronomàsia. The etymological basis is Akk. ḫutul ‘a magical formula’ + ṣupû ‘soaked’. So the phrase ḫutul ṣupû from the beginning meant ‘completely pervaded by a magic formula’. In ancient times there was a lot of belief in spells, and when one was unable to free himself from strong love, he was believed to be a prisoner of enchantment. The voice cotto also passed into Italian, and appeared before 1535 in an essay by F. Berni in the sense of ‘lost lover’ (DELI).
TÁI-TÁI Sass. in the phrase séi sémpri a bozzi ke tái-tái ‘you just continuously scream’; this expression is referred by Bazzoni to one called Taitai of whom nothing is known. Unlikely hypothesis; the etymology is enough to understand its origin. In fact the Sum. base ta means ‘ilness, disease’; its exaltative iteration (ta-ta > tai-tai) can only have the same meaning as It. Aiuto! Aiuto! ‘Help! Help!’.
TAMANTI Sass. adj. ‘marvellous, stupend’. Etymological basis the ancient Bab. tamûm ‘to be amazed’.
TÉGGIA Sass. ‘brick’. Etymological basis the Sum. taḫ ‘to add, increase’.
TIBA Sass. ‘nostril, each of the two openings of the nose’, ‘tubéḍḍa o iłtampa di lu nasu’. The ‘outside of the nostril’ is said pinna di lu nasu. Etymological basis the Sum. tab ‘to double, parallel’ + bar ‘open’, bad ‘to open’. The tab-bad compound originally meant ‘parallel holes’.
TRAIZONI, traizóru Sass. ‘bullock that is about to become a bull’: trattaddu a traizoni ‘treated with gloves, like farm animals’. See traiscone (Padria) ‘young bull’. The prototype is tráu ‘bull’ (see), to which is added (for Padria) the Akk. išku ‘son’. For Sassari is added the Akk iḫzum ‘learning, education’. So traizoni is based on Sum. tar-u ‘bull’ + iḫzum, with the overall meaning of ‘educated, bull-raised’.
TRE SOŁDA – TRE SOŁDA Sass., in the phrase abe’ lu curu tre sółda tre sółda ‘being so afraid’ (in the sense of ‘to be very upset’). A possible etymological basis is Akk. taršītum, teršītum ‘harassment, persecution’. But is more appropriate Akk. tēṣû ‘liable to diarrhoea’ + uddu ‘distress, affliction’. The compound tēṣ-uddu today by paronomàsia is pronounced tre-sołda. Obviously the relationship with It. tre soldi ‘three money’ does not exist.
TRIBA Sass. ‘pod’. Etymological basis Akk. tīru (a covering), which was followed by metathesis.
TRÌGGIA Sass. ‘pergola, bower’. This entry is an obvious adjectival in -ia. Etymological basis Akk. terkum ‘darkness’ (a whole program), followed by the usual metathesis.
TRÓIU Sass. adj. ‘heavy, tiring, hard’: un’imprésa tróia ‘a tough exploit’. See Log. tròglia ‘annoyance, pain’ (Spano). Wagner ignores the etymology, which come from Sum. tur ’to be ill, illness, disease’, followed by the usual metathesis.
TRONÉRA Sass. ‘slot’. Etymological basis the Sum. tar ‘cut clean’ + UNIL ‘menial’. The compound (subject to metathesis) meant ‘auxiliary cutting’. Unless the first member is Sum. tir ‘arch, bow’ + NERU ‘enemy’, where the compound tir-NERU originally briefly indicated an ‘arch-enemy’ in the sense of hole for the use of the arch against the besieger.
TRÙSCIA Sass. ‘great difficulty” in the phrase l’à półtu in trùscia ‘he made troubles to him’. Etymological basis in Sum. tur ‘to be ill, illness, disease’ + uš ‘malaise from poison’. The tur-uš compound originally meant ‘malaise from poisoning’, followed by metathesis.
TURA Sass. ‘tin-plate’. Etymological basis Sum. tulu ‘to slacken, become loose’.
TURA Sass. in the phrase niéḍḍu ke la tura ‘very black’. Cfr. Log. tura ‘blackness’; nieḍḍu ke tura ‘very black’; nues fittas ke tura s’accaḍḍan in s’aera. Wagner proposes the origin from Lat. āter ‘black, dark’ > *atrura. In truth, the etymological basis is Sum. zur ‘to roil, to muddy, to make muddy’.
TURÌḌḌURA Sass. ‘tonsil’. This genitive-chain has etymological basis in Akk. tūru ‘hot coal’ + tulûm ‘breast’. The compound tūrī-tulûm originally indicated the ‘burning breasts’. It was well understood that the tonsils are glands that compensate for colds and air strokes, reddening and swelling often. Then were equated to small breasts.
VISIÉRA Sass. in the phrase l’àni fattu a visiéra ‘they made him very badly’; l’àni fattu lu curu a visiéra they broke his ass’. Etymological basis the Sum. išiu ‘deathly silence’ + ere ‘to throttle’. The compound originally indicated the ‘deadly silence of the strangled man’ (who, even if he wanted to, could not emit a voice).
TZÁNTARA at north (in Gallura: ciàntara) it means ‘scandal, shame, a cause for ridicule, mockery, ridiculous figure’. Log. tùe sèse una tzántara ‘you are the shame in person’; Log. atzantarádu ‘put to shame’. Etymological basis the Sum. za’am ‘stone’ + tar ‘break down’, ‘cut’. By this we have the meaning of ‘broken stone, torn to pieces’. In this case, we are faced with a situation created after the sixth century of the Christian era, when orders were given to cut down the tens of thousands of menhirs (perdas fittas) that dotted Sardinia everywhere. The memory of the fathers was evidently hard to die, and the people still considered for many centuries as a shame those defeats contrary to the religion of the fathers. Hence the meaning of tzántara.
TZIRRIADDU Sass. adj. ‘poor, low quality’. Etymological basis the Sum. zir ‘defect’.
How do you write Dictionaries? All the etymologies just read are impressive and highly respectable, and show that Sassari, like the rest of Sardinia, certainly does not need to accept external words to keep alive or reinvigorate its vocabulary. Yet Bazzoni’s Dictionary contains a plethora of Italian words (therefore not Sardinian), which is lacerating among the thousands of indigenous voices.
Bazzoni has introduced more than 60% of words into his Dictionary which he would have been better to expunge off, for reasons of method. I recognize in the authentically Sardinian heritage, handed down by him, a priceless treasure. But the plethora (majority) of Italian words, despite being a fact of conscience that he wished to insert in order to pass on the testimony of the corruption of Sassari speech, did not have to appear in a normative Dictionary. As an example of impeccable method I propose Mario Puddu’s Ditzionàriu Sardu. Unfortunately Puddu could not be an example because Bazzoni wrote before Puddu.
For many years I have been observing with criticism everything that is happening on the Sardinian language. From the two big Sardinian cities (Cagliari and Sassari) a cupio dissolvi erupts, and it is undermining the whole of Sardinia. The future extinction of sardiness has crept in like a cadaveric disease in these cities, and from there it is exploding in the countryside. But I never expected Bazzoni to tell us about it in his own way by introducing 40% of Sardinian words into his Dictionary against 60% of Italian words.
In any case, whether it’s a method error or the desperate denunciation of a master, today that incredible 60% overturns the balance of Sassarian towards Italian speech. All this is absurd and unacceptable, as far as I will say now.
It is logic that a dialect belonging to a language (in this case Sassari, belonging to the Logudorese and more lately to the Sardinian language) tends to dissolve within the vocabulary of the mother-tongue (in this case within the Logudorian and within the larger Sardinian dictionary). Instead, for Sassari’s speech, an absurd case is occurring, that it’s going to dissolve in the womb of a foreign language: the Italian one.
This is happening because, after the mingling season brought by the continental bourgeoisie in the Middle Ages and after the conspicuous introduction of Corsican-Gallurian blood during the great plagues, the Sassarian dialect was no longer able to re-enter the maternal bed of Logudoro, within that Logudorian which, in turn, had managed, with difficulty but not definitively, to reconquer the city over the “Turritan” millennium. Li Biḍḍíncuri (the villae incolae) in that millennium had reintroduced their hegemonic speech among the Turritans, even though in that long period of time the urbi-centric (pro-Latin) allure had continued to keep within the city a spring which projected Sassari towards Terramanna (the Italian continent). This is a sin of origin, never extinguished, since Latin had been implanted in Turris Libysonis. Today we discover that Sassari never cut the umbilical cord with Rome, with the Urbs.
From the fateful moment of the colonization of Turris, the Sassarian (ex-Logudorian) language had become merely Latin and, from a driving language as befits the speakers of hegemonic a city compared to the hinterland, evolved in the millennial pursuit of the trans-Tyrrhenian spoken which left in Sassari a strong colonial brand derived from the implicit nostalgia of Roman origins. Despite the strong and tenacious influence (and ebb) of the Logudorian speech on the city, today Sassari is in a disastrous season of lexical colonialism and abandonment, a season in which even the whole Sardinian language is in very strong decline due to Italian Television. In this miserable slope, Sassari perseveres not to recognize the Sardinian language as the mother-tongue but recognizes only Italian speech. Here is the cause of that tragic 60% of Bazzoni.
In this way, if in a family there is a simultaneous phase of illness (e.g. gastroenteritis), in Sassari they say: tutti in casa soni maraddi ‘at home is all sick’, refusing to adopt the Gallurian-Sardinian model gadaleta, cadaletta ‘general illness’: esser a una cadaletta ‘being all sick at the same time’. This is a beautiful Sardinian voice, despite the destruction that Pittau made by claiming that cadaletta would be a regressive form of It. cataleptic ‘in a morbid, pathological, lethargic state’, popularly interpreted as cada(unu) a lettu ‘each in bed’. Unfortunately, the fantasies of the philologists have no end, and anyone will ignore that Sd. cadaletta is based in Akk. ḫadû ‘cut away’ + lētu, lītu ‘strength, energy, power’, with the meaning of ‘force-cutter’, (which) cuts forces, energies’.
The urbi-centric (Italo-centric) arrogance of the people of Sassari, however, does not survive without contradictions. Sassari – at least apparently – shows monolithic conservative voices (see the examples given), where the other inhabitants of Sardinia use the same voices with more airy elasticity. The examples are innumerable and we can quote Sass. lóibu ≠ Sd. guttùrgiu ‘vulture’; or mannu, an adjective from Sassari, while in other sub-regions it is used, according to the time and convenience, or mannu or grandu, both adjectives of Sumerian origin although the latter is the one preferred exclusively by the Terramannesos.
The Sumerians. Those who have read the Methodological Introduction to NOFELSA as well as my Historical Grammar of the Sardinian Language, are informed of my scientific discovery related to the Mediterranean Ursprache, highlighted precisely by the Sumerian and Sumerian-Akkadian tablets. Paradoxically, in the Fertile Crescent the written Sumerian language vanished around 1000 BCE (despite the fact that the Assyrians handed it down in writing even later), while in Sardinia the speech recorded in those tablets is still very vivid and pure today.
Everyone knows where the land of the Sumerians is, and nobody dares to imagine that the Sumerians have ever invaded Sardinia. Quite right.
Then it is quite obvious and intuitive to imagine the opposite: i.e., the Sumerian language was originally nothing more than the Mediterranean Ursprache, also shared by the Fertile Crescent due to the spread of Homo Sapiens towards the East. And it was precisely in Mesopotamia, for the reasons that many historians and archaeologists have highlighted, that Ursprache appeared primarily in writing, shared moreover by the coeval appearance of the hieroglyphic writing, within which more than 50% of the same Sumerian language is revealed.
The Sumerian people (that of the tablets) remained very mysterious because of the myopic investigation perspectives. They were called Šumeru by the Akkadian and by Babilonians (v. H. Hunger Babylonische und Assyrische Kolophone: AOAT 2).
Of course, every people had called them their own way. We discover that the Egyptians called them Sangar, the Jews Shinar (both are Sumerian words, as we will see). By themselves, however, they called themselves Ki-en-gir, (ki ‘land’, en ‘lord, sir’, gir ‘cultured, civilized’), to whom we can attribute the meaning of ‘masters of civilized places’. But here arises the first of some interpretative problems, due to the numerous options present. First of all, it must be said that the Egyptian and Jewish finds (Sangar and Shinar) refer to the indication of the territory, not to the adjectival of the inhabitants. This would impel to address the translation in another way, attributing to Ki-en-gir the meaning of ‘land of civilized lords’. Obviously to “civilized” could not be attributed by them the same value that we attribute to it today.
This first complication (which I would downgrade to a simple “interpretative variable”) does not at all conclude the problem relating to the Sumerians. Starting from the same “variable” highlighted, further investigations are required, to avoid the emergence of further objections.
For example, the Hebrew spelling Shinar should be analyzed carefully, to avoid sensational misunderstandings. The Jews prefer to write it in two other ways: Scinear and Sennaàr. It is known that this name indicated the district of Babylon, the vast plain including Uruch (or Erec) and Accad, in central Mesopotamia near modern Baghdad. Well, the three Hebrew writings Shinar-Scinear-Sennaàr, despite being the result of rabbinic uncertainty in the face of the phonetics of the ancient biblical texts, are very similar and can be interpreted in one way only: from Akkadian še, ša ‘that, it ‘+ nāru’ river’. The compound šen-nāru meant ‘that (the territory) of the rivers’. The “river” par excellence throughout the Fertile Crescent was none other than the Euphrates, which is joined by the Tigris to the east.
Thanks to the Jews, we have grasped the most ancient name and meaning of the “Land of rivers”; but that of its inhabitants (a name self-attributed by the residents) lends itself to a more analytical reading, lacking absolute certainties on the syllabic division of the graphic components. The agglutinations of the Sumerian characters can lend themselves, due to the sandhi (agglutination), to the “corrosion” of the radicals that are juxtaposed. Sometimes they thin out until almost disappeared. Well, if we strictly adhered to the left-handed sequential interpretation (the same one privileged by the Sumerian grammar), we could translate ki-en-gir as ‘land of civilized lords’, but also ki-in-gi (ki ‘land’, in ‘sector , in ‘+ gi ‘cane, reed’), and would result in a ‘land where reeds flourish’ (and in fact the primitive Sumerian cities were created with reeds, an essence that was much more robust than the Mediterranean one. But gi also means ‘judgment’, therefore ki-in-gi may very well translate as ‘land where justice is exercised’ (in fact it is known that the first laws were written by Sumerians).
Doubt remains, and we must take it into account. As for the invaders, that is, the Akkadians, who seized Mesopotamia, the judgment they had of the Sumerians was so high that they ended up taking on every aspect of that civilization, respecting it almost to veneration. In this way, a first laic translation of the trisyllable Šumeru can be based on the Sumerian šu ‘totality, world’, also ‘people’ + me ‘to be’, also ‘settle’ + re = uru ‘city’: a compound that we can translate ‘people who live in cities’ (šu ‘totality, world’, but also’ people, a whole of people with a single purpose’; me ‘to be’ but also ‘live, settle down’; re is a contraction of uru ‘city’).
But also for this case there are other options to highlight. We pay attention to the fact that in Mesopotamia, in the Fertile Crescent, and also in Sardinia, one of the various epithets referring to God was in use. It is the Sumerian form Merre, explicitly referring to the ‘Almighty Unique God’, decomposable in me ‘divine essence which determines the activity of the cosmos’ + re ‘that’ (Mer-re ‘That of the First Cosmic Essence’). This highlighted, it should be noted that Sumerian šu also means ‘totality, world, universe’. So šu-me-re could also mean ‘First Essence of the Universe’. If we keep the third syllable of the original Šumeru (ru = ‘architecture, build’) we arrive at a better interpretation of this trisyllable as ‘First Essence Builder of the Universe’.
These interpretations relating to God are however excessive, in my opinion, and I first repudiate them (though they are my translations), considering them “scholastic, academic”, good only in the exercises of the etymological practice.
I therefore believe that the most acceptable interpretation of the Sumerian voice is the previous one provided by me, namely ‘People who live in cities’. In this regard, it is undisputed that the first city builders were the Sumerians in Mesopotamia.
The temporal level. The perspective. The Homo Sapiens. All this acquired in relation to the Sumerians, however, still remain some muddinesses from which academic thought cannot purify itself.
The first muddiness hits the etymological investigation technique conducted in the context of the university institutes of glottology and Romance philology, where the temporal level where the investigation must cease is established a priori. Until now, the history of the current Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean languages has been investigated backwards to plan on the Latin language, only to then arbitrarily introduce the collateral contribution of the Germanic languages (by virtue of the notorious “Indo-Germanic Ursprache theory”) , as well as a vague mention of “Celtic residues” of which they say less than nothing scientifically.
I note that this method is not appropriate, it is not scientific at all, since the etymological excavation is similar (and must remain similar) to the archaeological one. The “excavation method” can never be circumvented, as it leads to touch the lowest level in which artifacts are found (for the archaeologist) as well as the most archaic level to which the manifestation of the radicals of a word can lead (for the glottologist).
In linguistics it is necessary to make lexical and morphemic comparisons up to the most archaic word which, in an investigated area of adequate radius, can credibly compare with today’s word. Establishing that the basic level of the Tyrrhenian or Mediterranean languages is the Latin language means giving up the historicist criterion; is equivalent to admitting that before Rome history in the Mediterranean never took place or (and it is the same) that it is objectively unknowable. Instead, the history of the Mediterranean and its surroundings has been known, with general satisfaction, since the pre-Greek millennia. While the knowledge of languages related to it sinks even further in time and space.
From the first muddiness comes the second muddiness, concerning perspectives. To affirm de imperio that the history of the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean languages has a perspective of only 2000 years means giving up understanding the evolution of the Mediterranean language, which is as archaic as the presence of Homo in this basin can be archaic. Archaeo-anthropological data confirm the presence of the Neanderthal and then of the Cro-Magnon; and since those men left artifacts, it is obvious that they spoke, that they exchanged information, that they gave names to things, to people, to the territory, that they then used the language, that they had a shared vocabulary. The nihilistic idea that they anyhow spoke unknowable languages is generated by the same “Latin” and “Aryan” prejudices referred to above: detrimental, bankruptal prejudices that block any new push for a serious etymological investigation.
Indeed, the Paleolithic Mediterranean men spoke. And they spoke only one language: precisely the Mediterranean language, although it was multi-articulated according to antiquity and the root-taking of settlements in geographical areas. This language is perfectly knowable through a simple induction, which is as follows: Glottological Science has always highlighted an elementary, intuitive fact, namely that the first lexical formations of Homo were essentially monosyllabic. This observation is so palmar that attempting a demonstration (however easy) is idle. Well, from the archaic ages it survived, returned to us thanks to the exhumation of the cuneiform tablets, a language that was articulated in monosyllables: it is the Sumerian language, made known to all through vocabularies and grammars published by numerous universities. Those excavations, those discoveries made “the other half of the world” available to today’s glottologists. Persevering not to investigate how much Mediterranean linguistic history is anchored to the so-called Sumerian language is no longer acceptable.
In fact, I no longer agree to perpetuate the silent hostility (which I unfortunately shared for 31 years) to know the other “half of the world”. I for 16 years began to investigate on both sides, and found that the Sardinian language is archaic, aboriginal, dates back to the origins of the language, and shares much more than half of his vocabulary with the Sumerian language. As will be seen by reading further and in the body of the entire Etymological Dictionary of Sassarian, my discovery is scientifically proven and awaits, if there were any, contrary evidence. As evidence to the contrary awaits the Egyptian dictionary itself, which shares half of the Sumerian language.
In short, we arrive at the demonstration that the (so-called) Sumerian language was spoken ab origine in a very large area having a pivot in the central Mediterranean, and within the large circumference, the Egyptian language, and the languages which are then exhumed in Mesopotamia, have already swirled since archaic times, as too the language of Canaan including Ugaritic, Phoenician, Hebrew; also the Arabic language, the languages west of the Nile (eg Punic), the language which still survives in Sardinia, the Italic languages including Latin, the southern Celtic languages including the Iberian ones.
These vast areas should be considered by default. But it is necessary to stop in the meantime to understand the reason for this vastness. Although in certain scientific branches nothing can be considered final, in relation to anthropology it is easy to identify a primitive focus of the Mediterranean Ursprache. Whether the focus may be on the Ethiopian Plateau or that others scholars place it in Croatia (as someone would recently suggest), the question does not change since it turns out that from the focus Homo Sapiens has moved along the coasts to enclose the entire Mare Nostrum.
Following the anthropological current that narrates of the progenitor Lucy, Homo (and the language that still belongs to us) descended from the Ethiopian Plateau along the Nile, and from there took the Mediterranean coasts as a pincer, west towards the future Carthage and at Columns of Hercules, and beyond in Andalusia, Catalonia, Languedoc. To the east she moved towards Canaan and the Fertile Crescent, and from there along the Anatolian coasts, to the Dardanelles, in Greece, Dalmatia, Italy. Closed the pincer, it touched the central islands of the Mediterranean. It was a time of glaciations, and the arrival in Corsica-Sardinia took place with low seas and very passable in the direction of the Tuscan archipelago.
08. DEMONSTRATIONS OF SEMITIC LANGUAGE IN SARDINIA
In the Mediterranean Sea there were never traumatic linguistic breaks and imperialist pressures could never decree the death of a language. This is clear especially in Sardinia. Demonstrations abound. For example:
1) In the II-I sec. BCE, over a century after the Roman invasion, Cleone felt the need to write a dedication in Greek-Latin-Punic (bronze column of S.Nicolò Gerréi), to be sure that the Sardinians understood it at least through the Punic language.
2) Two hundred years after the invasion, Cicero denounces (Pro Scauro) that Sardinia does not even have a city friendly to the Roman people. If the cities were still hostile to the invader, what should we say about the countryside and the rugged mountains (which make up 70% of the Sardinian territory)?
3) The census takings and the distribution of Italian people in the time of Caesar Augustus show a peninsula made up of 32 peoples, who, until proved otherwise, used 32 languages. That number increases if we add the languages of Sicily and those spoken in Sardinia by the tribal macro-division of the Balares, Corsi, Iliensens.
4) The affirmation of Saul of Tarsus is famous, who, being shipwrecked on the island of Malta, was saved by the residents who spoke a barbarian language (that is, neither Greek nor Latin). It was a Semitic language that lasted in purity among that thousand of sailors and farmers despite the fact that Malta had become Roman for hundreds of years. Melitenses refused, perhaps even unconsciously, to adopt the language of Rome, despite the fact that they were so few and so exposed that it would have been very easy for the Romans to impose it on them. Even today, the Malta’s language is recognized as Semitic.
5) Another episode is that of De Magia 98, in which Apuleius, defending himself from the accusation of having induced the widow Pudentilla of Oea (the current Tripoli) to marry him with magical arts, opens an impressive gash on the African society of the time (we are in 159 ev). In fact, he places on one side Pudentilla, a rich and cultured woman, who writes and speaks fluently not only the Latin language but also the Greek one; on the other hand he puts her son Sicinius Pudens, who not only does not know Greek language despite having been brought up in culture, but who even stutters constantly in the attempt to express, during the process, a few sentences in Latin: he is unable to simple reason that has neglected the study of Latin letters, preferring to live like the rest of the population, who speaks exclusively Punic. From Apuleius’ statement, we learn that in Latin Africa, occupied by Rome in 202 B.C.E. after the battle of Zama (Naraggara), still 360 years later, Punic was spoken almost exclusively, despite the fact that Africa had been fully Romanized. Augustine, a Berber citizen, had learned his excellent Latin, but he was an urbanized man, he belonged to the cives minority to whom Christian preaching was addressed, also expressed in Latin.
6) Another testimony: in the 6th century C.E. the Barbaricìni still worshiped ligna et lapides (Letters of Pope Gregory): only the cities had begun to receive the word of Jesus, and yet many citizens paid the tax to continue to freely worship the God of their ancestors. Mind you, 3 centuries had passed since the liberalization of Christianity, 5 and a half centuries since its inception. Someone should reflect on the fact that the Barbaricini of Ospitone (i.e. the ¾ of the Sardinians, all residing in the immense mountain territory), were still pagans, and even more reason they had not permanently entered into contact with the Latin preachers. Only religion is able to operate, with a slow process of centuries, where political power fails. Religion needs to be preached with great circumspection, as subjects accept the new verb only if it is transmitted in the mother-tongue. So did Wulfila in the fourth century C.E., who transcribed the Bible and the Gospels into the Gothic language, of which he also invented the alphabet. So did Cyril and Methodius, who in order to evangelize Ruš even needed to create a special national alphabet. Martin Luther worked similarly, who imposed his own Reform by translating the Bible into German, after correcting numerous passages.
If these episodes are translated into a large and harsh island like Sardinia, then the example of Malta, even more the example of Roman Africa, but also the example of Ospitone, can well render the linguistic processes that can establish among a people of losers. The key to understanding the problem lies precisely in the conquest of cities and in the clear fracture that in the history of the world has always been created between city and countryside, between city and mountain. In fact, the Sardinian mountains remained free from Roman occupation.
Of course, a religion can take root quickly too: it is enough to carry out a genocide (as Cortez did). Survivors join, all right! But the mountainous territories of Sardinia were never conquered with weapons, at least until the sixth century, when the example of Cortez had a “bright” precedent in Byzantine weapons. Ospitone had to save his own people: he joined Christianity. On the other hand, the Sardinian language remained unscathed. Why would a people have to erase their own language for the benefit of that of invader, an invader who, however, at the time of Ospitone began to express himself with the Greek-Byzantine language and not with the Latin one?
09. THE GENITIVE CHAIN, STRIKING SEMITIC INHERITANCE
I have respect for the work of Antonio Sanna, whose I will talk about later. He is not the main accused of the collapse of Sardinian linguistics studies. The ring-leader is M.L. Wagner, his contemporary. However, the fact remains that Wagner’s successors (excluding Sanna who died a decade later) have not moved a finger to correct the thousands of linguistic madnesses dripped by Wagner’s pen like molten lead. Nobody managed to stop Wagner, nobody overhauled his work (excluding myself) in order to curb the pernicious flood that buried Sardinian linguistic studies under an immense blanket of mud.
Some “pearls” were highlighted by me in the previous paragraphs. Others now deserve due review, starting with the unforgivable neglect (or total ignorance) of the phenomenon of the “constructed state” (genitive chain).
A detail of the dialect of St. Andrea Frίus is that, in indicating a minimum quantity (pagu pagu ‘very little’ < Lat. paucum), they say pìghi pìghi. Note the -i- (moreover repeated in the final), which here and there in Sardinia is abundant in many words. That -i of St.A.Frius is one of the many vowel contaminations, almost a “overflowing spill” from the pure forms of the genitive-chain.
The analysis of the Sardinian genitive-chain would require an entire book, and it is not really the case to linger on certain “Frius-type” exceptions caused by phonetic contaminations, analogy, scruffy phraseologies, local fashions prevailed over the centuries, however obvious, inherent in the role of a living and complex language but little controlled by writers, as is the Sardinian language.
The genitive-chain is the indispensable key to understanding and untangling all the Sardinian (and Sassarian) terms that we perceive to be any ancient compounds. Before introducing the Semitic bases and examples, I want to start with Sardinian phenomenology.
Sardinian and Mediterranean genitive-chain
To understand the existence of genitive-chains in Sardinian compounds it takes practice (cultivated with the indispensable use of Semitic grammars, to which we will return); but for a beginner, a basic rule applies, which is to warn yourself whenever a polysyllable word contains a -i- in the middle position (suture index between two words). The phenomenon is also Italian, and also Latin. Hence the need to start studying without preconceptions. The Semitic impetuosity in the Mediterranean two, three, four, five, six millennia ago was very extensive. I understand the embarrassment of certain linguists, who still categorically affirm that they was not Semites but only Phoenicians, and that they appeared in the Mediterranean from 750 BCE, and that in addition they touched (just to stay on the subject) only Sardinia (as well as half Sicily), and in Sardinia they only left … seven words. This is one of the fundamental errors of the research (one of the many a-scientific blows given by M.L. Wagner). Linguistic science is paying them very bitterly.
Muzzére mìa è mattifalàda ‘my wife has a prolapse of the uterus’. Behold, we are inside the Sardinian genitive chain. So it is for cambirùssu ‘with big legs’, for conkimànnu ‘with big head’, etc. In the first member (which acts as a complement of relationship) the fixed exit in -i-, constituting the jointing morpheme, is relevant, and in the second member there is the variability of the adjective according to gender and number.
In the Italian language we have very much examples, as capinera, pettirosso; in archaic Italian we have capirotto, collicorto, collilungo…
I live out Italian literary imprints as occhicèrulo, occhinero, occhisanguìgno… In Toscana we have many examples (codibianco…), and even more in Corsica (barbibiancu, bokkigrussu, capileggeri, cornirittu, nasitortu…). In south Italy: anchitortu, capirasu, capiddijancu, cudilonga, manilestu… Massive is the presence of genitive chain in the Romance areas, especially in Spain: aliquebrado ‘with broken wing’, barbirrubio ‘with a red beard’, boquiangosto ‘with a narrow mouth’, cabizbajo ‘with bent head’, cari-redondo ‘having a round face’, corniapretado ‘with brought near horns’, cuellierguido ‘with a stiff neck’, dientimallado ‘having decayed teeth’, labihendido ‘with a hare-lip’, lenguicorto ‘of few words’, lomienhiesto ‘with an erect back’, ‘haughty’, maniabierto ‘lavish’, ojinegro ‘black-eyed’, pasilargo ‘with a long step’, pechiblanca ‘having white breasts’, pelirojo ‘red-haired’. Cfr. modern Gascon brassilounc ‘having long arms’, cabiort ‘with a strong head’, caminut ‘with bare legs’.
The Latin language is also full of genitive chain, which are the obvious trace of an archaic Semitic language: armiger, pontifex, accipiter ‘sparrow-hawk’ (the latter < Akk. akki-pitru ‘steppe fury’), etc.
The genitive chain is widespread in Logudoro, Sassari, Gallura, it seems less extensive in Campidano, but only because the form of genitive state here is used with loss of ending: but see pettsiakka ‘cow meat’, casiakka ‘cow cheese’, abressóu (< abrissóu) ‘egg white’. The Sardinian genitive chain also extends to phytonymic formations (e.g. fustialbu ‘poplar’). And it certainly cannot be said that Corsica, which is full of it, has undergone Spanish influence! No, “because of the contradiction that it does not allow”.
Needless to say, Meyer-Lübke and Spitzer put forward the hypothesis that these forms (obviously not recognized as genitive chain) have Latin models of learned origin (e.g. oviparus). Wagner and Rohlfs turn upside down instead leaning towards vulgar Latin origin. But when will academic people raise without being accustomed to mythologizing a Mediterranean split in two by an “iron curtain”? We need scholars who raise their back and extend their gaze, making him wander across the shores of Mare Nostrum. The origin of the phenomenon is Akkadian and concerns all the Semitic languages, therefore it also concerns the ancient Sardinian, as well as the current one, as well as the ancient Latin.
In the ancient Greek compounds two bipartite phenomena are observed: on one hand the proper or common names are simply juxtaposed (Sumerian inheritance, evidently the most archaic); on the other hand, non-compound names are considered non-Greek by today’s scholars. Indeed, the Greek-language scholars do not recognize the second type of names, which have Semitic bases! But to tell the truth, that “doubling” of the Greek compositional method also applies in Sardinia, although it must be finely rationalized to prevent it being cataloged as “syntactic law”.
In Sardinian the genitive chain is still used today as such, and its training law also presides over the construction of compounds, which in Sardinia are numerous, as we have been noticed for many phytonnyms and for many surnames, and as is known for many toponyms and obviously for many common names.
No one among linguists who applied o.s. to the present Sardinian grammar, exspecially to Logudorian one, (and to Sassari’s one),
has realized that the Sardinian language retains a genitive chain identical to the Semitic one, although it sometimes has peculiar adaptations which underline on the one hand the archaic nature of the Sardinian phenomenon, on the other hand its autonomy and the distance between Sardinia and the Near East, whereby the two phenomena, millennium after millennium, have remained mutually isolated but, I repeat, strongly identical in form.
In Akkadian-Assyrian-Babylonian, also in biblical Hebrew, the genitive chain is a sequence of a governing noun + noun governed by genitive case. So: šēmi ikribī ‘prayer hearer’ (from šēmūm ‘hearer, who listen to’), lēqi unnēnim ‘he who accepts the plea’ (from lēqûm ‘receive gift etc.’).
In Sardinia the survived genitive chain is more adaptable, then it can serve to form the regent-rectus grammatical link, but also other bonds, e.g. the rectus-regent reversal, and mainly the predicative compounds. Most of the compounds recorded here are, in fact, predicative.
The form of the Sardinian genitive chain is still active today (therefore it is not, as people might suppose, a linguistic relict), and it works for a myriad of words and phrases, starting with the predicative relationships composed of noun-adjective, of the Sass. type cabi-isciaibiḍḍádu ‘crazy head’ (literally: ‘empty-headed, scatter-brained’, with a logical function similar to that of the Greek-accusative); or curi-sáida, which in Sassari indicates the ‘wagtail’ (Motacilla flava), a curious winter passerine, which frantically wags its tail, keeping it high and quivering. Popular imagination gave it a name that no one today can understand, from Akk. kulu’u ‘male cultic prostitute, sacred prostitute’ + ṣaḫittu ‘(sexual) desire’: gen. ch. kuli-ṣaḫittu, with the synthetic meaning of ‘prostitute with the frenzy of love’ (predicative state).
There are many Sardinian constructions that preserve the genitive chain in the same positions assumed by the Semitic one, therefore in the regent-rectum form. Example, the phytonym (canna) aresta Gall. ‘straw’ (Arundo phragmites L.), where aresta does not indicate the wild state: it is instead a Sardian compound based on Akk. aru ‘branch, frond’ + aštu ‘branches; foliage ’(genitive chain ar-aštu), with the synthetic meaning of ‘(cane) with branched stem, or with foliage’ (with reference to the fact that these straws, in addition to the showy top panicle, have many lateral twigs).
Another Akkadian-style genitive chain is ninniéri ‘rose bush’ (Rosa canina L.), a Sardinian phytonym based on Akk. nīnû (a medicinal plant) + erû ‘eagle’ (nīni-erû genitive chain), meaning ‘eagle plant’. This phytonym was born on the Gennargentu acrocorus, where the golden eagles were numerous, and still live undisturbed today.
Another Sardinian genitive chain of the Akkadian type is the phytonym piricόccu ‘minor bead’ (Bartsia trixago L. or Bellardia trixago L.), a composed word with Akk. base per’u ’bud’ + quqû (designation of a snake), gen. chain per’i-quqû = ‘snake bud’. The Babylonians often used the first member per’u in the compounds to indicate a type of plant: see for example per’u kalbi = ‘dog’s bud’ (genitive chain, where the regent per’u is in status absolutus, as in bēl bītim “the master of the house”), and only the genitive is noted in the second member.
Arizáru too (Arisarum vulgare Targ.), Sardinian aracea, is an Akkadian genitive chain, based on Akk. arītu (a knife, dagger) + āru ‘warrior’ = ‘warrior’s sword’ due to the spadix that distinguishes this aracea.
The macro-toponym Aritzo, always of Akkadian type, indicates the ‘site (ara) of the sources’ (itzo, itze, allotrope of Camp. mitza). Another Akkadian-type toponym is Lanaίttho, which means ‘the compendium (la‛ana) of the springs (itho)’ (referring to the caves named Sa Oke and Su Bentu).
Overturning. In the example of Lanaίttho, and in others that we will see, it is noted that in Sardinia the regent does not always have the suffix -i (as well as among the Semites). Furthermore, I have already said that in Sardinia not all compounds present the genitive chain in the regent-rectum sequence. Often the construction turns upside down, presenting the rectum-regent sequence.
An example of a genitive chain overturned is in the Sd. surname Aléssi, Alèsse, a genitive chain by Akk. ālu ‘village’ + essû ‘well’, which in Sardinian means ‘the well of the village’ (with the genital -i located at the end of the compound, exactly on the nomen regens). This construction is 100% Akkadian, but the ancient Akkadians, according to their grammatical laws, almost always turn it upside down: essû āli ‘well of the village’. We would have expected essi ālu, but in this case the Akkadians expressed the first member in the absolute state, putting the rectum one in genitive; see also per’u kalbi = ‘dog sprout’. Formations of this type clearly reveal some processes very similar to Latin, and we discover that the -i- in the genitive does not belong only to the Latins.
Another Sardinian overturned genitive chain, with respect to Akkadian standards is Camp. áliga, based on Akk. ālu ‘village, city’ + ikû ‘field’ (gen. ch. āl[i]-ikû), meaning ‘village field’, ‘a common site of garbage casting’.
Launèḍḍas is another overturned genitive chain; however, it lacks the final characteristic -i. The etymology of this musical instrument of Sardinia prehistory is based on Akk. laḫu ‘jaw, mouth’ + nīlu ‘flooding, filling’
Alidéḍḍu ‘plume hyacinth’ (Muscari comosum Mill.) derives from Akk. ālu(m) ‘ram’ + te’ītum, tîtum ‘nourishment (food)’, meaning ‘ram’s food’. Upside down genitive chain.
Alìsa, surname corresponding to Akkadian g. ch. indicating the constellation of Hyades. In Akkadian it’s is lê, iš lê (literally ‘the jaws of Taurus’: so the constellation is called), while in Sardinian it is al ίsu ‘the jaws of Taurus’ (Hyades) from alû ‘Taurus of Heaven’ (i.e. constellation of Taurus, in the Zodiac) + isu(m) ‘jaws’.
Alisanzéḍḍa ‘tapeworm, solitary worm’ has etymological basis in an Akk compound. from alû (a bad demon) + isu(m) ‘jaw’ + anzillu(m) ‘abomination’ or Anzû (an evil demon, with the nature of a lion-headed eagle) = ‘evil demon with abominable jaws’. Upside down construct.
Allelùja Camp. Oxalis pes-caprae, a compound based on Akk. ālu(m) ‘ram’ + elû(m) ‘result’ of a harvest (genit. ch. āl-elû). The original meaning was ‘ram grazing land’, and only in the Christian era it did take the current semantics. Overturned genit. ch.
Anki fáχinu Sass. ‘sickled-legs’. Overturned genit. chain.
Anchìta, Anchìtta surname based on Akk. anḫu(m) ‘tired’ + ittu(m) ‘peculiarity; special nature’. This compound meant ‘(man looking like) a tired man’. Overturned genit. chain.
Aspìḍḍa a phytonym which generated by corruption asprìḍḍa, abrìḍḍa, arbìḍḍa (the Camp. squìḍḍa is Italianismus); it’s based on Akk. (w)aṣû(m) ‘to grow a lot’ + pillû (a plant) = ‘a sapling grown a lot’. Overturned genit. chain.
Azzigàna, faccigàna Log. ‘with a grey face’. Overturned genit. chain.
Balossu Camp. ‘careless, stupid, idiot, imbecile’; based on Akk. balu(m) ‘without ’+ uššu(m)’ foundation (at home or otherwise: equivalent of the Lat. imbēcillus ‘without stick, without support’ therefore ‘weak in body or mind’). Standard genitive chain.
Bìttiri surname with well-documented semitic bases. In Bab. and neo-Ass. there is an ērib bīti(m) (from erbu ‘temple revenue’). This was an important task reserved for certain priests, who had to sort visitors according to clothing, sex, ritual decorations, mainly gifts. In Sardinia we have ērib bīti > bīti ērib, gen. chain bīt-ērib > bittéri > bíttiri.
Cabéccia surname which was a very important term of the Sardian people, based on Akk. qābu ‘well’ + ēqu (a cult object). In Assyrian, bīt ēqu is understood to mean an ‘underground grave’, literally ‘temple-sepulcher’; instead the Sardians used the form of gen. chain qāb-ēqu indicating precisely the ‘sacred well’, exactly ‘well intended for worship’. Right genitive chain.
Caddémis, caddémini ‘miserable person, dressed in rags or otherwise badly dressed, dirty’; bases in Akk. qaddu(m) ‘bent’ by misery, worries, diseases + emû, ewûm ‘become’, ‘be like’; this verb is often used with the modal suffix -iš ‘as, like’. The overall meaning is ‘to become like a slave, a servant’. Predicative state.
Culuèbba It. ‘corinoli arrotondato’ (Smyrnium perfoliatum var. rotundifolium Mill.). This Sardinian paronomàsia would match it to … “mare’s ass” (culu e s’ebba) but in reality it has a base in Akk. kulūlu ‘crown, crenellation, battlements’ + ebbu(m) ‘bright, pure, splendid’, with the meaning of ‘shining crown’ (with regard to the fact that the rotundifolia has leaves that close the stem as a “crown”, and they are shiny).
Dίpsakos, Gr. δίψακος, an Italian word based on Akk. dišpu(m) ‘honey, syrup’ + saqqu ‘sack’ (metathesis: *dips-sacco), with the meaning of ‘sack of honey’; the large ovoid heads of the Dipsacus each produce a myriad of flowers that are collected by bees to produce a refined honey. The quantity of honey collected from a Dipsacus is prodigious: hence the Akkadian term. Upside down gen. chain.
Erba de sproni ‘mourning bride’ (Scabiosa atropurpurea L.). Sproni is a Sardinian compound based on Akk. esu, eššu ‘shrine’ + pûru ‘(stone) bowl’ (gen. chain es-puru + Sd. suff. -ni), with the meaning of ‘(herb for) sepulcher pots’. It is evident that the ‘mourning bride’, so called for the purple of the petals, was already used in the Archaic age to embellish the tombs. Integer gen. chain.
Giùspinu (Sinapis) is Sardinian voice based on Akk. ḫušu(m) ‘scraps, seeds’ + pênu ‘to grind’, with the meaning of ‘ground seeds’ (just like the procedure for packaging mustard for seasoning). Gen. chain without -i-, with first member in the absolute state.
Golóstiu fytonym. The common basis of this Sardinian (and Basque) lemma is Ass.-Bab. kullu ‘to put the veil (to the bride), the crown (to the king); garnish with laces’; also ‘support (a canopy or a crown of kings)’ + uštu, ištu ‘(of vegetation) born from, be the consequence of’, even ‘prominent, tall (body, vegetation)’. So we have to see in korosti, golóstiu ‘holly’ a tree born to (‘deputy’) to make wreaths or other sacred ornaments. With this we learn that the beautiful holly in archaic Sardinia was used for coronations, instead of the more banal laurel (which, however, was missing in nature and which instead abounded in Lazio), and instead of the olive tree which was instead preferred by Greeks. Reversed gen. chain.
Innabitza’ Sass. ‘break up, shatter’. Etymological basis Akk. in, ina ‘in, on, by, from’ + abātum ‘to destroy’. The metamorphosis ā > ī is typical of the genitive chain (functional union between two words), but over the centuries this metaphonesis occurred by a process of analogy.
Lanusé, Lanuséi a macro-toponym, divine name meaning ‘form, aspect of the Moon Goddess’, composed of Bab. lānu ‘shape, appearance, stature’ + Sê ’(= Sîn) ‘Moon-Goddess’. Right gen. chain, but without -i-.
Linghiténtu Sass. ‘stammering’. Overturned gen. chain from linga ‘tongue’ + tini’ ‘to keep, restrain’.
Piliálvu surname meaning ‘white-haired’. The cognominal formation in this case arose in the Middle Ages: the second member, of Latin origin, testifies. Perhaps at the time it concerned people with albinism. G.ch. inverted, predicative type.
Pillòsa. Is pillòsas are loaves given to the future husband by the betrothed on the occasion of the engagement. They have the shape of two squat arches juxtaposed so as to form a lozenge whose central emptiness serves to arrange the egg. Its shape is reminiscent of the silhouette of the egg. The base is Akk. pell-usu ‘goose egg’ (from pelû ‘egg’ + ūsu ‘goose’). Right gen. chain.
Trággiu Sass. ‘tone, manner, harmony’: à un béḍḍu trággiu di bozzi ‘he has a nice tone of voice’. The etymological basis is Akk. tīru(m) ‘a courtier’ + awûm ‘to speak’, ‘to reflect’ on something, ‘(words) that are in use, that are in high regard, that are studied (for their preciousness)’. We therefore have a genitive chain that produces the Sardinian compound t(i)r-awum > t(i)rággiu, with the meaning of ‘courtier who recites precious words’ (with reference to the quartet’s tenor); or, with an inverted construct, ‘precious courtier words’. This etymology gives us a very important glimpse of social and civil life of 4-5000 years ago. The Log. áer bellu trággiu ‘to dress up, have good manners’ recalls the figure of the courtier, who made a good lifestyle. Gen. chain upside down.
Ancient-Hebrew genitive chain (see GBH 275)
As we said above, a name can be used in close union with another name to express the notion of possession, belonging etc., as well as in the Latin construction of the genitive (e.g. equus Pharaonis). This relationship is expressed in Hebrew by the simple conjunction of two names: sūs par‛oh ( פַּרְעֹה סוּס ) ‘the pharaoh’s horse’. The two names form phonetic unity and logical unity at the same time. The first is nomen regens, the second is nomen rectum. The first name is defined in construct state because it rests phonetically on the second as a construction rests on the foundation. The opposite of the construct state is the absolute state, that is, loose, detached from other words.
Obviously, the accent of the first word can be altered by the linking, as in ben-adàm ‘son of man’, in which ben loses the accent. Pàḥat does not lose the accent in this link: pàḥat-iḥūdah (פַּ֫חַת־יְהוּדָה) ‘ruler of Judah’.
One of the effects of weakening the accent is the loss of the vowel: some fall, others get shorter: ex. dābār ‘word’ → dbar.
The masculine plural -īm becomes -e (sūs-īm > sūsē ‘horses’), the dual -aym > -e.
Akkadian genitive chain
Note that while compound names are frequent in the Sumerian phase (e.g. ekallum ‘palazzo’ < é gal ‘big house’, asugallum ‘doctor in chief’ < a-zu gal ‘great doctor’), they are rather rare among those of the Semitic phase, the composition of the names being extraneous to the Semitic languages, except through the construct state (genitive chain).
In the Semitic field, composition is not impossible, on the contrary!, only that it is mostly perceived in the form of the constructed state (where regent-rectum constitute conceptual unity). Among the Semites the compound name (because the genitive chain is rightly a compound) is the effect of the fusion of the two elements in morphological unity. Eg šamaššammum ‘sesame’ (lit. ‘herbaceous plant oil’ to distinguish it from olive oil, come from šamanu ‘oil’ + šammum ‘plant, herb’); rabisikkātum ‘superintendent of dams’ (a high officer, from rabû + sikkatum, almost a tautology). Semitic compounds abound among personal names: the same happens for surnames in Sardinia (originating from proper names), most of which have Semitic basis.
Different forms of Akkadian c.st. (or genitive chain) take a support vowel (auxiliary) which is generally i in end of word, exactly as in Hebrew and Sardinian: libbi alim ‘the center of the city’ (from libbu); kakki nakrim ‘the weapon of the enemy’ (from kakku); Sardinian curi-féa ‘(woman having) ugly hips’ (from curu).
But what exatly a genitive chain or construct state is? Orientalists divide the states of the name of several Semitic languages (Assyrian, Babylonian, Akkadian, Hebrew, Aramaic etc.) into:
– status rectus, when the name does not have genitival or relative regencies, but correctly applies the functions of its own ending, of the type “tell to the king” (dative), “the king commanded” (nominative);
– absolute state, where the name has no endings: e.g. seher rabi “big and small”, šar “o king!”;
– predicative state, when the name is conjugated in the permansive: šarrāq “he’s a thief”, ul aššat “she’s not a wife”, sinnišā “they are (now) women”;
– constructed state, when the name has a regency which can be a noun to the genitive, a pronominal suffix or a relative proposition not introduced by the determinative pronoun: bēl bītim “the master of the house”, ana bēlī-ja “to my lord”, dīn idīnu “the judgment that judged”.
I am not going to specify in detail this Semitic grammatical phenomenon in its complexity. The reader will find complete information in GLA (paragraphs 45 to 47); in GA (on pages 55 ff, 61-62); in GBH (paragraph 92).
For our purposes it is sufficient (and yet important) to know that, following a series of phonetic passages, the Semitic construct state presents itself mainly in the two fundamental forms which are, for the regent noun:
a) the loss of the ending: that is, in the singular the forms of the construct state are obtained by removing the endings of the declension from the name in status rectus;
b) the assumption of the final vowel in -i: i.e. the rectum takes a support vowel (auxiliary) which is generally i at the end of the word.
In any case – regardless of the classical forms of construct state – it should be noted that in Akkadian a suffix -ī is however added to the base of many nouns, including personal names, proper ones, macrotoponyms, to form denominative adjectives, concerning the relationship, the belonging to, the geographical origin. This suffix and this behavior is similar to what occurs in the actual construct state. Examples:
maḫrûm (base maḫrī-) ‘first’ < maḫrum ‘front, front sid’
elûm (base elī-) ‘superior’ < elum ‘top, upper part’
šaplûm (base šaplī-) ‘lower’ < šaplum ‘bottom, at the feet of’
Akkadûm (base Akkadī-) ‘Accadian’ < Akkade ‘Akkad’
10. THE CORRECT WAY TO STUDY AN ETYMOLOGY
What is the etymology? I now present it to you. This entry comes from the gr. ἔτυμον, neutral noun of the adj. ἔτυμος ‘true, real’. Among the Greek and Latin philosophers and grammarians it was the soul of a word, the “true and real” meaning. At that time, certain topics were not properly addressed, and the etymology was sought through word↔sound connections (the same technique as our contemporaries!, oh my God!, among they Eduardo Blasco Ferrer, Massimo Pittau and Giulio Paulis dominate, as we will see better in the next chapter).
The word↔sound connection, made without criteria, is mostly arbitrary and fantastic. Ancient examples: Marcus Terentius Varro (1st century BCE) combined Lat. canem ‘dog’ to canendo ‘singing’ (assuming dog’s barking as a song). Elius Stilo, Latin grammarian of the I-II century BC, meant Lat. vulpes ‘fox’ as syncope from volipes ‘flying with his feet’! I could adduce other ancient and modern ravings, starting with Isidorus from Seville and ending with certain current writers who propose crazy combinations, as someone who associates the oldest monument in Sardinia, Monte d’Accoddi, to a lupanar (brothel) because the phonic sequences resemble to the Sardinian invitation “a coddi?” ‘do you want to fornicate?’. Note that living university professors have also fallen into such hallucinatory errors.
Thanks to God, modern linguistics wanted to better frame etymological research, and etymology is meant as ‘the oldest form to which it is possible to descend in the study of a word’. According to this, in order to declare the etymology acquired, every vocabulary or dictionary (from the current one to the oldest) must have been checked by us, in order to be able to highlight in a diachronic line, when this is possible, the similarity between the current word under investigation and an archaic basis connected to it.
Obviously it is not enough to be able to identify a basic word useful for the investigation; here a method is needed too, since there is no interest in seeking phonetic-historical-anthropological relationships between a Sardinian and a Mongolian voice! The comparisons must take place within a historically congruous basin (in our case the Mediterranean Sea and the appendages of the Fertile Crescent and Lusitania) for which certain derivative or parental parameters can be scientifically ascertained and accepted.
All this is still not enough. In fact, the etymological investigation makes sense if it is conducted with the “triangulation criterion”. That is, at the two basic vertices are the two homophonic or homophonic-like voices (the current one and the archaic one); the convergent meaning lies at the top.
All of the above is the method. But it is not at all sufficient when interpretation is lacking. In fact, a large part of the current lexicon differs from the ancient lexicon, first of all in the quantity of syllables and in the interlocking (sandhi) of the syllables that helped to fix the word we received. For example, it should be clearly borne in mind that many Akkadian words are nothing more than the union of two Sumerian words. Recalling this historical phenomenon, it is essential that we do not stop at the Akkadian dictionary but we must also minutely explore the primitive Sumerian words. Obviously this is not enough: the scholar must know the ancient grammatical rules (of Sumerian, Akkadian, Hebrew, Greek, Latin …) capable of revealing how the words met and merged in antiquity. From all this it is clear that an etymologist must have a fair knowledge of the grammars mentioned; he must master the method; he must know how to interpret phenomena historically and linguistically.
All this would still not be enough, if intuition were missing, that is, the spring that triggers the investigation in the right direction or makes it land within appropriate solutions.
Allow me to present some terms that demonstrate the correct way of doing etymological research with the diachronic method.
CUŁTÉRA Sass. ‘’marine coast’. See Sp. costèra ‘idem’. This entry is obviously an adjectival. According to all etymologists, both voices are from Lat. costa ‘rib, side’. But they have dispensed themselves from researching the etymological basis of Lat. costa, which is Sum. kušum ‘to cry, wail; shout’ + ti ’ rib, edge’. The compound kuš-ti originally meant ‘screaming border’ (due to the thunderous perpetual motion of the waves). Needless to say, the origin of this word can go back up to 100,000 years.
DIPACCIA’ Sass. ‘dismiss, fire, allow to leave’: tzéχa di dipacciammi ‘see if you can serve me quickly’. See Sp. despachar ‘sell’, ‘hurry up’. I clear the field from the separative prefix dis-, des-, composed of the privative de- (etymological basis in Sum. de6 ‘take away’) + the redundant -s- also linked to Mediterranean particles of deprivation (like e, ex: see). For the second member, cf. It. spacciare ‘send goods, deliver goods’, which DELI presents as originating from the Provz. despachar without however providing the etymology. If DELI had delved into it, it would have found that this words are Mediterranean, based on Sum. paḫ, paḫal ‘leg’. So the High Tyrrhenian dis-pacciare originally meant ‘untiing the legs, allowing the legs to move’. Evidently it concerned the prisoners first, while the concept of “delivering the goods” is following.
The counter-proof occurs in Sass. dipididda ‘leave, farewell’ (Log. dispedire, Camp. dispidiri ‘dismiss’; Sp.-Cat. despedir), where the second member comes from Akk. pīdu, piddu ‘imprisonnement’. For the antiquity of these words we can safely trace back to when we learned to weave herbs, at least 100,000 years old.
INTUPPA’ Sass. ‘hitting, stumbling’. Also intruppa’. See Log. intuppare, attuppare ‘ambush, hide, or hide o.s. in the bush’; ‘thickening of wheat’. The Sassarian meaning is archaic, it concerns the times of the Upper Paleolithic when even the roads were missing and only the paths in the forest and scrub were passable. In those days, ‘tripping over a root, a bronchus’ was a daily occurrence. For the etymology go to tupa ‘intricate bush’, ‘hiding place’.
LEBRARÍXU Sass. ‘greyhound’, ‘beagle dog’ from Sass. léparu ‘hare’, by means of metathesis -ar- > -ra- and sonorizing of /p/. See Log. lèppere, Centr. lèppore ‘hare’. Needless to say, Pittau derives it (without meditating) from Lat. lepus, leporis ‘hare’. Semerano OCE II 453 rightly recalls what Pliny NH 8, 217 observes for rabbits: «leporum generis sunt et quos Hispania cunicolos appellat, fecunditatis innumerae…». The original basis agrees precisely with the concept of fecunditas: < Akk. lēpu ‘generation, offspring’, of elēpu ’to be grown together’. Verb: Log. allepporeḍḍare (Siniscola, Posada); Log. allepporizare ‘be cheerful, rejoice, perk up, to flirt’. In ancient Log. lepporáriu ‘hare’s lair’ (as interpreted by Wagner).
As for -isku (Sass. -íχu), it is by no means an archaic suffix but is the Babylonian attribute isqum ‘rôle assigned to s.o. by destiny or deity’. So originally (and still today) lebraríχu means ‘(dog) intended to hare hunting’.
MACCARRÓNI2 Sass. ‘pot-hook’, ‘pot-hooks’ (it means the vertical pot-hooks of which in my childhood in the first grade children filled pages of notebook, in order to learn to keep pen and wrist still, and then move on to the real and proper cursive alphabetical spelling. The origin of this word has always been ignored. Undoubtedly it has a close relationship with maccarrόni, and specifically identifies the ‘spaghetti’, by virtue of their linearity. But attention must be paid to the convergence of a more solid etymological basis, which is the ancient Akk. makkārum ‘merchant, dealer’. In that case with sing. and pl. maccarrόni they wanted to understand the first “signatures”, the first seals, the first cretules by which the merchants used to mark and seal the bags containing sold goods. We are, evidently, 5000 years ago, at the beginning of the invention of writing.
SARDIGNA. We are kindly invited to give up doubts about the real name of ancient Sardegna (Sardinia). This island was called Sardigna, exactly like today. If Italians change phonetically Sardigna into Sardegna, no problem. The Italians, however, had not decided on a whim the name of this island, having mimicked it from the Spaniards, who in past centuries had imperial aims, claims and forces, and in fact possessed half of Italy. To them island name sounded like Cerdeña and the Italian State was far too magnanimous to return Sardigna’s -a- to us. However, it is still necessary to perfect the spelling with the -i- intermediate, which is irreplaceable as it is the basis of a Mediterranean phonetic law which I have explained above (the Genitive Chain).
Thank God, no Italian glottologist wanted to rage on the misunderstood -gna, which remains insignificant to all scholars. In addition, this neglect by Italian scholars is replaced by the … “Ascari’s diligence” of the Sardinian ones. Who, Prussianly convinced that in Sardinia everything we touch or evoke is a Spanish heritage, have for 160 years sanctioned that the whole coronym Sardigna (including -gna) must be Iberian (their goodness!).
At this point, my readers have understood that the word Sardigna is stuck in a linguistic hodgepodge. Don’t worry!: we just need a little discipline. If study and reflection had been habitual, everything would have been solved. And I now am solving it.
Historizing, we note that the name of this island was first written by the Sardinians around 950 BC, in the time of Solomon. The Sardinians (from the Egyptians called Shardana, Shardanu) were beginning to flow back from the countries conquered during the epic of the Sea Peoples. They returned to trade in Sardigna, in the mother-country, they were the grandchildren of the conquerors who went to the East, and they brought with them the alphabet invented by themselves in the land of Giahy (from Homerus called Phoenicia but by them properly called Giahy, so that the Sardinian residents, recognizing the Phoenicians as grandparents, properly identified them as the children of grandparents-marines, and since then called them giáius ‘grandparents’). Phoenicians or Giáus, it would be the same, on closer inspection, but Homer’s paw weighed on us, and how!, So far the academies have hardly recognized that it would be better to go back to calling Giahy the strip of Lebanese land, as it was called by the Egyptians for many centuries.
Is Giajus, the grand-fathers, they had returned from Giahy, and with the new alphabet they had written the Stele of Nora in Sardinian language. That Stele is the first document in Sardinian language, at the same time it is the first document in Western history. Into the Stele the name SARDIGNA appears.
In the Nora’s Stele is written that “Saba went to Nora” (called Nùgura): Saba is a beautiful name that also means “grandfather” in Hebrew, and today we keep it as the first surname of Sardinia. Saba founded Nora-Nùgura and ascribed to himself this merit. He divided the Stele in two: in the first part there is the dedication (“Prosperity to the main temple, that of Nùgura in Sardigna”); in the second part there is the self-presentation (“Who wishes prosperity is Saba son of Melk-Aten, who built Nùgura on his own initiative”). In total 20 ancient Sardinian words.
It should be noted that in the Stele the name SARDIGNA is written ŠRDN. There are two reasons: the first reminds us that Is Giáius (the Ugaritic-Phoenicians returning in Sardinia) wrote the consonants without the vowels. The second reason reminds us that Is Giáius did not have two characters to distinguish -gn- and -n-. The same happened to the Romans, who wrote only Sardinia, never Sardigna. Instead the Sumerians had two spellings for the two consonants, and we know that GN near them meant ‘home, homeland, settlement, place where you live’, while ane (‘he’) was an adjective of belonging, appended if necessary as a suffix to the name to connote, as did the Egyptians, who named “those of Sardigna” as Šardanu, Šardin, registered as Šarṭana, Šarṭenu, Šarṭina (EHD 727b); therefore the suffixes of origin already at the first apparition were in -ana, -enu, -ina: we cannot forget it. The Jews, who took a lot from their intermediate homeland (Egypt), followed the Egyptians, and the Hebrew afformant -ān indicates belonging exactly as in Egypt, exactly as near the Sumerians, exactly as it happens near Sardinians.
Sard-ì-gna is therefore the oldest name of this island, with its binder -i- spy of an construct state (genitive chain). Sardì-gna (in Sumerian Šard-ī-ĝa) originally meant ‘House of the Sardinians’, ‘Sardinian’s Settlement’.
This analysis is not complete if we do not remember that originally the Mediterranean language (a precious legacy of Homo Neanderthal, then perfected by Homo Sapiens) was formulated in monosyllables. Each monosyllable was a name, a concept, a universe. And to formulate the relationships of dependence or genitivals came up this magic -i- to tie two words. Thus was born the first phonic chains that made bi-syllable words, and this tradition is recognized as Akkadian.
Correct. But Sar-di-gna has three syllables! Sure! Today languages also have quadrisyllables! No problem. Everything is explained by going back to the origins. We can note that the tri-syllable of Nora’s Stele (ŠRDN) had a sequel – a matter of a few hundred years – with Herodotus 1, 170, who showed the basic-Mediterranean form of the early coronym, Σαρδώ: two syllables that show certainly a multi-millennial age. The archaism of Σαρδώ is demonstrated, among other things, by the ease of circulation of that name throughout the Mediterranean. For example, he also belonged to the wife of Tirrenus, the Lydian prince who was pushed to other lands by a terrible famine.
The analysis of Σαρ-δώ is easy, resting on Sumerian sar ‘garden’ + dū ‘all’: sar-dū ‘Whole Garden’. This Sumerian name given to our island and then to the wife of an Anatolian prince, is amazing. Obviously it is a pre-Neolithic epithet, when Sardinia shone for many resources, for minerals, corals, magnificent forests, fertile plains.
Σαρδώ attests that this island could be named in two ways: either with an archaic Sumerian bi-syllable, or with a contemporary Sumerian tri-syllable, also archaic, whose breakdown showed the same original layout. In fact, by adding -gna was revealed the ‘home’ (Sum. ĝa), the place of residence of the Sardinian people.
This question would be now resolved. Not at all! For God’s sake! Now the “colonization theory” explodes into our hands for a second time! Oh, my God! From that theory it would emerge that Sardinia has been eternally an object of invasions and that for itself it has always been unable to formulate its own personality, its own destiny, between Mediterranean civilizations. Those who believe in this theory are convinced that Sardṓ derives from Sardis (the Herodotus’ Σάρδεις) Lydian city, from which Tirrhenus moved with his wife Σαρδώ. But Giovanni Semerano (Origini della Civiltà Europea) points out that at the time of Herodotus that term appeared already corrupt: in fact the capital of Lydia had the original name of Sfard, Persian Saparda, Hebrew Sephārad. So it seems obvious that the bisyllable sar-dū, antithetical to the forms ascertained as Lydian, pre-existed as the name of the Mediterranean island because it is indigenous, distinct from the name of the Lydian capital.
SERU Sass. ‘good sense, wisdom, shrewdness, judgment’. This singular word was conceived on the basis of sénnu ‘good sense’. Just as sennu, also séru starts from Sum. šennu ‘priest’ (a whole program); likewise séru starts from Egyptian sr ‘official’ (read ser); Akk. ṣīru ‘august, excellent, of primary rank’. Moreover the ancient Log. sèr(e) was the title given to the Judge or King (CSMB 100: iudice sere Ugo de Bassu; 164: ser Remundu c’arreiat corona). See It. sire ‘sir, sovereign’. The Eurasian title is used in Italy to address the king, but this happened shortly before 1566 by Annibal Caro. In Italy this entry appears before 1250 by Cielo d’Alcamo. DELI, having no other comparisons, proposes it by ancient Fr. sire, appeared in 980 in the meaning of ‘master, lord’, in reference to God. An even more archaic voice is Eng. sir ‘noble title’ (pronounced sér, like the Sardinian and Egyptian voices). Another related item is It. sèrio ‘with a concentrated, serious, responsible look’, an ancient adjectival from Sass. séru.
SINARÍXU Sass. adj. ‘inhabitant of Asinara island’. For the etymology go to Asinara, where we have the persistence of the Sinàra voice which is truly archaic (from Akk. sînu ‘Moon’ + ārā ‘earth, land’: Sînu-ārā ‘Land of Moon Goddess’). Note the persistence of the Sardian suffix in -isku (Sass. -iχu), for which I refer to lebraríχu.
TERRASANTA. It has not at all a Latin origin (as unfortunately every Romance philologist is saying) but it is firmly Sassarian; means ‘terracotta, clay’, ‘land from which low-quality pottery is built’. This word seems obvious but the etymology does not derive from Lat. (terra) sancta ‘holy land’, because it makes no sense, unless proven otherwise. This (santa) member is based in Akk. šātûm ‘which absorbs a lot of water’, with reference precisely to coarse clay.
RISA SAŁDÓNIGGA Sass.; Gr. sardónios ghélōs o sardánion ghélōn, that’s ‘sardonic sneer’. The first written appearance related to this expression is in Homer Od. XX 301-302, when Odysseus dodges the bull’s leg thrown by Ctesippus and “laughs sardonically” (μείδησε δε θυμῷ σαρδάνιον μάλα τοῖον ‘smiled in his heart, but painfully’). The only archaic reconstruction to which this Greek adverbial adjective can be attached is the Sum compound sa ‘to burn’, ‘to sting, prick’ + raḫ ‘disease’, ‘to beat, break, crush’ + du ‘to push, thrust, gore’ + niḫuš ‘terrifying appearance’, which agglutinating itself (sa-raḫ-dú-niḫuš) leads to the compact meaning of ‘painful, upsetting’.
But many Greek and Latin following authors, in passing on each other a cultural incompetence on the homeric σαρδάνιον, went to drive on other meanings, in their opinion linked to a special herb that kills between spasms of lips and gnashing of teeth; without ever having thought that Homer with the adjective σαρδάνιον wanted to describe lapidarily a silent and serious Odysseus, who had not smiled at all for the provocation of that domineer but had only turned over in his mind the right revenge for a painful affront that at the moment suggested caution. And today we get to Paulis (Popular Names of Plants in Sardinia, Nomi Popolari delle Piante in Sardegna 143 ff.) who identifies the Sd. isáppiu as the famous “sardonic herb” or “sardony, sardonia”. «Of all the species of Oenanthe this is the most poisonous. It causes fatal intoxications, characterized by violent gastro-enteric inflammation phenomena, accompanied by chills, cold sweat, mydriasis, respiratory distress, convulsions, delirium, amazement and sometimes even syncope. The juice of the fresh plant, when it comes into contact with the air, takes on a characteristic saffron yellow color. It grows in moist places, especially near waterways … We can get to the solution … (of) … etymological problem considering the rich tradition of the classical world related to a poisonous herb … whose ingestion caused death through a clinical picture characterized by muscle spasms and contraction of the lips, with highlighting of the teeth as when laughing, whence, according to many ancient authors, the origin of the Gr. expression sardónios gélōs ‘sardonic sneer, smile’ … Dioscorides, alex. 14, describes the sardonic herb as similar to a buttercup … characteristic of Sardinia (De materia medica 2, 175.1)». Paulis cites various passages by Dioscorides, as well as by his interpolator, and also by Paolo Egineta 5,51, by Sallustius (hist.frg. II, 10, apud Serv. Ad Bucol. VII, 41), by Pliny (N.H. 20,116). «From all this comes the conclusion that the “sardonic herb” of antiquity was the Oenanthe crocata, which being an umbrella herb very similar to wild celery, was defined by all ancient authors similar to celery and in particular to wild celery».
Paulis, in the belief that, like almost all the phytonymus presented on the same pages, isáppiu also has Greek-Latin origins, concludes thus: «After all that we have seen on the tradition of sardonic smile associated with the Oenanthe crocata, it cannot there is the slightest doubt that isáppiu, a dark voice for Wagner, in fact derives from risáppiu ‘a celery that causes smile».
But Paulis is wrong. In giving him credit for having carried out a vast examination and an intelligent interpretation of the available sources, I contest his deductions since they do not result from a phono-semantic comparison amongst all the available Mediterranean terms but only from the comparison amongst Greek terms. While, on the other hand, all her descriptions of this herb (indeed of the various similar herbs), as well as the arbitrary admixture and confusion between buttercups and umbrella plants, are highly questionable; and questionable are the effects of swallowing it. Only the hemlock has certainties, while the Oenanthe crocata has been eaten by me several times without consequences.
I could write a book on sardonic sneer, but it would be wasted, because talking about Sardònian grass or Sardònian sneer is like talking about the sex of angels. In the history of this name each author has been involved in a vortex of collective misleading, seasoned by a lot of ignorance, by presumption and by the fairytale distance between Greece and Sardinia, an island that the Greeks had never seen and to which, considering its location in the mythical Occāsŭs Sōlis, they could ascribe, without suffering consequences, all the Mediterranean mysteries cherished by the civilizations of that time. All this led poets and thinkers to turn on themselves until they falled into a harvest of paronomàsies that stratified themselves and molded over the centuries. Sardonic sneer is smelling rancid.
Therefore there is a need to give the correct interpretation to the Homeric passage, and everyone is authorized to offer proposals that improve on mine: but I urge you to formulate them with intelligence. Moreover, given that the Greek thinkers exchanged and traded a smile or sneer that, frankly, could not have arisen out of nowhere, it would be necessary to prepare to this sneer, if not a historical frame, at least a proto-historical frame, but always in the bed of logic. I think to frame it in the Sum. šar ‘cow’ + du ’imprison’: šar-du ‘imprison within the cow’. It was the excruciating scream emitted by a dying man within the metallic belly of this tool invented by the Cretans and overheated. Others call it Faláris’ Bull, because it was donated to Falarides the tyrant of Agrigento by Athenian Perillos. The sardónios ghélōs was a horrible thing, which today can be understood as ‘childishly, immoderate, plebeian, exaggerated, boisterous, screaming laughter’.
This interpretation of mine, however, risks to be “distilled” and therefore to be overlooked, since my friend Pier Paolo Sciola pointed out to me that in Akk. there is a sartum ‘falsehood, dishonesty, crime’. Therefore the Homeric phrase μείδησε δε θυμῷ σαρδάνιον μάλα τοῖον (interpreted by the Greek scholars as ‘smiled in his heart, but painfully’) must be reinterpreted like this: ‘he smiled, but meditating revenge in his heart, smiled meditating on crime in his heart’. In this case, the famous sardonic sneer is simply intended as ‘fake smile’.
11. LIGURIANS, PISANS AND “THE SASSARIAN REVOLUTION”
Antonio Sanna warns that a historical fact cannot be studied outside of history. In this way he effectively contrasts the various positions, sometimes blatantly metastorical (and I add: liquidatorial and renunciatory), expressed with various nuances on the origin of the Sassari dialect from Campus, Guarnerio, Bottiglioni, Wagner, Petkanov. But even Sanna has her Achilles heel (I say it with great respect), when he traces the border, the non-plus-ultra of his studies, at the time of the first appearances of written Sardinian, thus depriving himself of thoroughly investigate the entire phenomenology of Sassari’s speech starting from the origin of Turris and omitting a non-secondary methodological and epistemological aspect: that the absence of written texts in previous centuries cannot be an obstacle, when there are clues (even evidence) capable of scientifically supporting the reconstruction – albeit broadly – of a not fanciful historical trace.
Just to recall my mention of the Vichian courses-recurrences, Sanna pigeonholed its platform of studies in the second course-recurrence, the medieval one that began in 1016 (with preambles in the tenth century) and ended with the defeat of the Doria.
It is misleading to define the Sassarian dialect of that era as “plebeian dialect” (so classified by Pasquale Tola, Codex Diplomaticus Sardiniae, 1861), except that Tola provides important news: until the 17th century the Sassari nobility spoke Logudorian (Sanna DS 12), therefore the ruling class remained anchored to the mother tongue spoken by North-West Sardinia.
We must understand why the populace started talking differently. In this regard Sanna DS 17-18 starts from the defeat of Mugahid in 1016 by Genoa-Pisa coalition, which were compensated with vast land donations by the Turritan judge. In Porto Torres, the seat of the judge and the archbishop, a Genoese and Pisan bourgeoisie linked to the Dorias and the Visconti took hold, then moved to Sassari due to the growing importance of the city. In Sassari, through marriages with the local element, a new urban class arose, «from which the revolt against archaic and inadequate judicial institutions was to arise … The new urban elements … strong of the Pisan or Genoese protection, roared in the streets and squares, yearning to escape from the obsolete forms of the judges’ organization and to establish themselves in autonomous government. In 1234 a group of Sassari citizens, including the famous Michele Zanche, who had been driven out by the judge and had been confiscated by the judge, were in Genoa and began, by Doria’s intermediary, negotiations with the judge to return in Sassari; but to this purpose they placed some precise conditions on the agreement, which were already a sign of the political value they achieved» (Solmi quoted by Sanna).
The uprisings were headed now by the Genoese element (e.g. in 1236) now by the Pisan element (e.g. in 1238), which were also antagonists among them. The fact is that Sassari broke with the Turritan realm on the occasion of the episode of Judge Barisone III, thrown to the dogs, and quickly the Genoese and Pisan families managed to make Sassari’s autonomy recognized. In 1272 Sassari received the podestà from Pisa, then from Genoa, and soon the Statuti Sassaresi were written (written in Latin). Those were the laws of an autonomous republic where cives, mercatores, habitatores civitatis governed. Then the same Statuti were translated into Logudorian dialect.
From these very stringent news we can easily deduce how in Sassari the upper-Tyrrhenian bourgeoisie quickly introduced the fracture of speech, preserving to itself the use of a vocabulary with a strong Genoese-Pisan influence. But the Pisan-Genoese merchants did not have the predominant majority, and they wrote the laws in Latin and Sardinian so that all the people shared and adapted (even non-permanent people, even employees, suppliers and clientes of the land, especially the local nobles who did not want, or could not, renounce the ancestory Logudorian). This bold and revolutionary action denounces the considerable weight of the new bourgeoisie, who settled in a foreign territory which was however incapable of countermeasures, also for the message of novelty, of great modernity and of progress that the Municipality launched towards the people, towards the countryside and towards the rest of the island.
I agree with Sanna’s conclusions that «such a radical linguistic transformation, such as that which brought Sassari out of the Sardinian speech, cannot be justified by the play of linguistic influences or by the establishment of foreign, Pisan or Genoeses, but presupposes a profound transformation of social and economic structures and a total spiritual and political renewal».
Of course, Sassari had not become a foreign “island” as Alghero was later (which with the Catalans will assume the same political grit and the same robbery that 1400 years earlier Turris Libysonis had assumed). Sassari could no longer even dream of being reduced to a city of occupation; the city had become integrated, had become bilingual, and its only prospect was to remain as an engine of development and of Mediterranean openness. This allowed her not to block the mutual linguistic permeability, which in fact lasted until the alternating fortunes of the Pisans and finally of the Dorias were able to tie her to interact with the territorial context, becoming a stimulus rather than a pole of stagnation. Indeed, the Sardinians were still in charge within the Sassari walls (see Chapter XIV, book I of the Statutes, which also obliges the Pisans to reside extra muros).
The Manno’s and Angius’ hypothesis, later accepted by Wagner, that Sassari would have been emptied by the great plagues of the Modern era and repopulated by Tuscans, Corsicans and Genoeses, is not real. That thesis was statistically denied by Enrico Costa and reiterated by F. Corridore in 1909 (see Sanna 23, 55). Moreover, Sanna keenly notes that «accepting the thesis of the disappearance of the Sardinians … also means shifting the formation of the Sassari dialect … to the period of Spanish domination, which is blatantly contradicted by the harsh Hispanic policy pursued in Sardinia by the Spanish monarchs. To a period, so to speak, in which young Sardinians were forbidden – to be honest, with little success – from attending Italian universities and it was decided to translate into Catalan the texts of the Statutes of Sardinian cities, written in Italian or inspired by Italy, while arranging for the Italian originals to be destroyed so that no memory will remain». Sanna 24 notes that «especially at the beginning and until Aragon completely replaced the maritime republics in the dominion of this island, maintaining ties with Italy was, for the new classes that had conquered freedom and civic dignity, life itself: losing those contacts, loosening these bonds would have meant letting oneself be reabsorbed (and it was now impossible) within the old judicial structures … On a Sardinian base, already deeply affected by Italian elements in phonetics and syntax and enriched in the lexicon, a meeting language was developing … The Sardinian population of Sassari slowly assumed the grammatical structures of the Italian, Tuscan and Genoese, because those expressed the concepts of the new economy and new political and social relations».
Sanna 26 observes realistically that the Sassarian nobles, however, “were not so interested in saving the nationality of the language, they themselves who were the mediators of power, as opposing Sardinian – the ancient language – as a sign of aristocratic and conservative distinction to “bourgeois” and “revolutionary” innovations of the new emerging class: a rich and active class in front of which their ancient privileges and their land properties lost value both socially and economically». We can observe, in short, that Sassari, deprived of the patriciate in the municipal and republican age, was restored to a noble class only starting from the Aragonese-Spanish domination; and this was a new class, foreign elements (ie. Iberian or otherwise loyal to Spain), which had their fiefdoms in the villages of Logudoro. A situation that continued until yesterday, until the collapse of the Fascist period in 1943-1945.
The latter observation shows that the aristocracy was an element of conservation of the Logudorian language in the city, because it was extraneous to the socio-economic transformation that took place with the Doria and the Visconti. On the other hand, it was the popular element, the numerous zappadóri (farm-workers) as well as the many artisans, who felt most attracted to the news and progress and remained strongly entangled in it. That the people at that time had overturned the alliance and had embraced themselves mainly with the new Ligurian-Tuscan bourgeoisie, it also proves an extra-linguistic fact: the tradition of the Candelieri, the Féłta Manna, a secular festival, the most important of the year, as archaic as ever (and not Spanish as too many thinkers foolishly propose), when the various companies of craftsmen and agriculture – a company for each candlestick – still show off power and elegance, taking possession of the city and performing in the name of the city, made authoritative and legitimated by the ostentation of the civic dealers, the civic banner, the fanfares, and made prestigious by the great pomp of the mayor who follows them paternally and is their guarantor.
12. ANTONIO SANNA AND “Il Dialetto di Sassari”
This excellent author, of whom I shared several sentences in the previous chapter, intended to give us a larger and more reasoned book than the legacy entitled “Il Dialetto di Sassari”. On this dialect he wrote 109 pages. It is a pity that Antonio Sanna left early. His prose was beautiful and polite, his mind was sharp, his erudition robust. Unfortunately, it was the cultural climate in which he was immersed (or the distribution system of the chairs) that did not allow him to escape some stereotypes, although his historical and linguistic acumen allowed him to wriggle somewhat and free himself in order to resize here and there the sentences of certain scholars and, in the spaces that were allowed, to often correct the absurd “blind considerations” (sorry for the oxymoron) expressed by investigators such as Guarnerio, Bottiglioni, Campus, Petkanov , also Wagner.
If I had to comment on those 109 pages, I would necessarily have to write as many pages of hard criticisms (almost all addressed not to him but to the five scholars evoked by him). I have no intention of it. It would be extremely idle. In light of the entire content of my present methodological excursus (where I hope to clarify some aspects of the Sassari speech they neglected or denied), perhaps it is sufficient that the reader perceives at least the most macroscopic distortions of those researchers. Such distortions, however, as to implode the entire castle of the contributions received so far on the “Sassarian Question”, excluding the various Sanna’s sentences already shared by me.
I do not delay in the fact that all of them, including Sanna, have programmatically omitted a necessary historical review beginning at least with the Roman occupation. As much as stopping at 2000 years ago would not have been enough to make their method tetragon, since the most authentic characters of the Sassari language – starting with the notorious “lisca toscana, Tuscan fishbone” – sink into the Sumerian-Semitic language.
In addition, it is not exactly acceptable that all their reasoning was focused on synchronic evidences and similarities between Sassarian dialect and Upper Tyrrhenian ones (plus Catalan-Occitan), followed by the incredible corollary of the Sassari’s relentless dependence on these dialects, whence (according to their overt or subliminal messages) came a handful of words, forms, sounds, consonants, vowels, grammatical styles, now from one language and now from another. The effect of their philological judgments is to have imposed on us the vision of an almost patched-Frankenstein-dialect, with a graft of lexical-glottological gadgets that make it an automaton instead of the historical product of the genuineness of a people who, despite them, was Sardinian, genuinely Sardinian, at least because it was reabsorbed in Sardinity after the millennial collapse made by Romanization.
The Vichian ebb-flows evoked by me have just confirmed this for the period from Rome to the early Middle Ages. The same ebb-flow remains to be demonstrated from Middle Ages forward. Meanwhile, the new ebb-flow was not as traumatic as the Roman one but – just the demonstration of Sanna and Costa – allowed the Logudorian language to remain in Sassari and coexist, to interact and to contrast the lexical excesses of the Ligurian-Pisan ruling class. The Sardinian or specifically Logudorian foundations of Sassari’s lexicon have such a sum of radicals and words that they amaze and defy any adverse credulity or propensity: we have seen it and will see it again.
Those numerous researchers cannot be forgiven for having spinned o.s. in short-sighted and fallacious synchronic comparisons, disdaining diachrony, that is, the very long excursus along the millennial history, which they avoided because they were inadequate to formulate a methodology capable of identifying an uninterrupted path (I repeat, uninterrupted) capable to recede to the archaic origins.
To show some examples of their numerous distortions is not easy, since the normality of the reasoning procedures of my predecessors was to express many good thoughts, kneaded however (within the same sentence, in the same phrase!) with beliefs and postulates scandalously crippled by the absence of the diachronic method and soaked with ideology (eg, the ideology of the “Latin prejudice” and the broader “colonial prejudice”). Untangling at least some “pearls” from the pulpy chaos they produce is really difficult. I will try to indicate some aspects.
1) Italianity and Sardity. How do you, for example, support the “non-Sardiness” of the definite article lu (Guarnerio apud Sanna DS 68) only because it differs from the Sd. issu or isse? At the bottom of their belief there is the unshakeable certainty that issu and isse derive from Latin (here the necrotic “Latin prejudice”!); and since issu-isse is Logudorian, ipso facto would certainly be Sardinian (according to their reasoning); while lu (which they falsely claim from Lat. illu) would be only Sassarian-Gallurian directly begged by It. lo. These are petitions of principle!
Indeed, the comparison lu ↔ issu is without foundations, aerial, only synchronic (moreover killed by the “Latin prejudice” as well as by the “colonial prejudice”), and moreover poorly combined in its elements. The reality is another: the Sass. lu derives from Sumerian lu (as well as the It. lo); and it is authentically Sardinian, so that it is also found in Logudorian sentences (e.g. cussu traste est su méu e lu kerzo ‘that piece of furniture is mine and I want it’).
In the Tyrrhenian basin, the art. lu, has two grammatical options, one as a definite article, the other as pronominal; so also in Logudorian.
Let’s now look at the Sass. li ‘them’, art. det. m. and f. plural = It. ‘i, le’; it is also dative sg. and pl.; it is also used as an indicative plural pronoun: li botti ‘shoes’; li doggu un’iχavanadda ‘I slap him’; lì di la crunfarìa ‘those of the brotherhood’. Similar use as an article also in ancient Prvz. m. dative li, f. li; same use in Sicilian: li = ‘i’. Note that in Sassari when used as a pronoun lì becomes tonic: lì di la banda ‘the players’, ‘those of the band’ (this formality is a grammatical cast of Log. sòs de sa cuffrarìa ‘those of the brotherhood’).
Far from diminishing our perspective and seeing in the particle li an Italic origin, we must instead expand on wide Mediterranean sceneries, and consider this form as an archaic Semitic heritage on which this Italian form has only flown over. In fact the etymological basis of li (dative) is the Heb. lī (לִי) ‘to me’ (dative), while li in the nominative adjusts o.s. to the plethora of plural forms in -i of the Sassari dialect (e.g. abéłta ‘aperture’, abéłti ‘apertures’), analytically not dissimilar from the Campidanian plural -is, which would seem to approach the Italian pl. -i like the Sassari use.
As for isse, Wagner and others claim its origin from Lat. ipse. But before ascertaining this, they would have to critically lay down a preparatory plancher. And then it must be said that isse, issu coexisted and coexist in Sardinia with specific areas of use. In Logudoro, for example, isse ‘he’ is used in terms of respect for one’s father or for an important person (as Italian ‘Lei’, and it is in the second person: Isse m’às fattu unu piaghère dèndemi unu caḍḍu ‘You, my father, did me a favor by giving me the horse’).
Issu instead means, equally, ‘he’ and ‘that’. Certainly it is to be noted that in the condaghes the dominant form was not issu but isse (3rd person), however it should be specified that the condaghes were written by Italian priests or in any case by priests (and notaries) of mainly Latin culture, and especially the priests and the friars tended – albeit involuntarily – to “mirror” every Sardinian term in the equivalent of Latin dictionary. Very special were the priests from France, who knew little Italian and nothing in Sardinian, having the only referent in Latin, the only “skeleton” suited to drafting the texts that were dictated in Sardinian.
Secondly, it should be noted that the Sardinians who actively intervened in the condaghes are almost never men of the people but more or less highly placed people, sometimes “floured” of the same Latin culture that soaked the monks of the abbeys and the notaries themselves.
The fact that issu (homologated or not with ipse, isse) is very old, is also demonstrated by the fact that its enclitic forms are frequent in condaghes, especially after the prepositions: CSP 31 kene iura de ‘ssos; 63 cun boluntate de ‘ssa; CSNT 39 in anima de ‘ssos; CSP 10 neunu homine pro ‘ssos; Stat. Sass. I, 151 (49r) per se ouer attera submissa persone prossos; I, 74 (27 r) infra su tempus dauesse ordinatu. As it happens, even in Babylonian there was the same enclitic: -iššu ‘he’ instead of the free form šū ‘he’, ‘the same’ = Lat. ipse. In any case, note Sard. issu has a primary etymological basis in Akk. iššu ‘he’, Heb. išš ‘man’ ( אׅישׁ ).
2) The “lisca toscana”. Campus (apud Sanna DS 69) does not attribute any decisive importance to the Sassari results of L, R, S + consonant, judging them to be “restricted regional phenomena that cannot give any characteristic of the genuine type of the language”. He goes on to say that the points of contact between Sassarian and Sardinian are small, compared to the differences and phenomena that demonstrate affinity with Italian.
Later I will bring, in addition to those already cited, scientific elements that overturn the Campus’ beliefs, and I will also denounce the generic and colonial definition of “affinity with Italian”, thrown casually in order not to explicitly expose themselves with a more clear “Italian origin of Sassari speech”. Here it is urgent to discuss the connection L, R, S + consonant. In fact in the northern Logudoro (with Sassari in the center) this connection is modified. Exactly the -lt- changes into a lateral fricative element (ałtu ‘high’); -rc- and -lc- lead to baχa ‘boat’, to baχoni ‘balcony’, to fuχa ‘gallows’; the -lg-, -rg- leads to aħa ‘àliga, filthiness’, as well as to laħu ‘largo, large’. Etc.
Sanna (DS 94) thinks that the phenomenon dates back to the “Proto-Sardinian” substratum, while Wagner (HLS §§ 338-340) rejects the hypothesis of a “substrate reaction” and assumes that these strange connections have imitated a vulgar Tuscan phenomenon, in particular the so-called “lisca, fishbone” (present only in one very small village). Bottiglioni – precursor of Wagner – noted that already in Èvisa (Còrsica) there is a similar phenomenon, “by virtue of the strong Tuscanization of that dialect”. According to Giulio Paulis, commentator of Wagner, the action of the Tuscan superstrate had operated on a pre-existing tendency to change the anteconsonantic -r- to -l- and to give palatal articulation or squashed articulation to s preconsonant. Paulis thinks that the phenomenon could have developed independently, however, without Tuscan influence. It is a real pity that Paulis, in addition to the laconic, platonic and involuted hypothesis aimed at the autochthony of the phenomenon, did not want to deepen it with an explicit research, the less with a diachronic demonstration. So, while Wagner’s hypotheses do not convince (and as usual they are colonial, that is, they presuppose the importation of the phenomenon into Sardinia), those of Paulis do not bring evidence, they are airborne illusions and cloud the whole field of investigation. Likewise, the Sanna hypothesis is also orphan of demonstration.
The four scholars have not noticed that the Sardinian-Corsican-Tuscan phenomenon is also shared by the ancient French. Aurelio Roncaglia (LO 116) testifies to this, revealing that it is the same lateral veil ł as the Sassari one and the north-western Logudoro. So we can say that this phenomenon is Mediterranean (or at least high Mediterranean). This finding makes petty and unscientific the Wagner’s habit of always imposing the ideology of the “origins” (of the “foreign origins of all that is Sardinian”), and in this case indicating the import from the micro-dialect of a Tuscan village (how to say, the tiny firefly becomes a powerful port lighthouse). Since the phenomenon is macroscopic, expanded, very strong and lively only in Sardinia while the other two are very limited and evanescent (the French one now has disappeared), we could think that they were the Sardinians who exported it. But let’s make it short and allow the phenomena to be joined together, avoiding the temptation to trace the genealogy: in fact all of these phenomena date back to the Semitic-Mediterranean plancher. This means that Sardi, Còrsi, Etruschi, Galli shared this linguistic phenomenon for long periods. The phonetic process we are thinking of has only two etymological models.
I cite as example the Sardinian voices iłtivίgnu and iχudi’, and the corresponding soothed ałdénti and aħa. In total we have nine starting links and only two outcomes (plus the two typical lenited forms as ałdénti e aħa):
Sd. link -lc- draws from the Semitic model l-q, r-g (see baχòni i.e. balcòni)
Sd. link -lg- draws from the Semitic model i-k-, s-ḫ (see aħa i.e. alga)
Sd. link -lt- draws from the Semitic model š-ṭ, lt (see agałtóru, iłtivignu)
Sd. link -rc- draws from the Semitic model rḫ, rḥ, ḫḫ (see baχa, puχeḍḍίnu, suίχu)
Sd. link -rg- draws from the Latin model rg < Sem. rāḫ (see laħu i.e. largu)
Sd. link -rd- draws from the Semitic model rd, Lat. rd (see ałdhénti i.e. ardente, also cardu, and cfr. iłtivignu i.e. istivinzu)
Sd. link -rt- draws from the Semitic model r-t (see béłtura i.e. bértula, and iłtivignu i.e. istivinzu)
Sd. link -sc- draws from the Semitic model sḥ, sḫ, ḫ, šk (see dirraχu i.e. dirrascu, iχudi’, imbuχu, Paχa)
Sd. link -sd-, -st- draws from the Semitic model š-ṭ, št (see iłtivignu i.e. istivinzu, and láłtima)
The phonetic outcome of the nine connections has – as I said – only two outlets (-łt- and -χ-, plus the relative lenitions), whose models are:
- agałtólu, iłtivignu, całdu, láłtima, mułtatzu, priułti’: for which you also see – among many – assułtu, béłtura, bułtá, fałta, frałtimáre, iłthuda’, iłtruddádu, iłturruda’, imbrùłtia, immułtiddu, ippałtizzia’, małtizzu, małtutza’, mełda, mułta, mułtínu, pibiriłta, pułtiggári;
- dirraχu, imbuχu, iχampuḍḍìtti, iχudì, laħu, Paχa, puχeḍḍίnu, suίχu: for which see also – among many – aħa, baχa, baχòni, iχìccia, iχimùzzu, iχurivìtta, iχussìna, iχutta, miχínu, poχrábu, tuχonósu, viχiddòni.
3) Wagner’s dictatorship. We have noticed that this German professor has been freely criticized by Sanna. However, the amount due was paid to Sanna, since Wagner, writing the DES (Dizionario Etimologico Sardo), when he could, did not spare paternal sighs of sufficiency for how Sanna tried to elaborate ramshackle, very naïf, etymologies on the Sardinian language. Evidently Sanna was a linguist well-versed in other fields. Even Wagner, actually. If then in Sardinia (and in the world) Wagner was seen as a “father who rose to the top of the linguistic studies on Sardinian” (almost a demigod, in short), we owe everything to the fact – a very objective fact – that Wagner’s successors had chorally the humility of recognizing all the steps ascended by Wagner, no matter what outlets, compared to the ground floor where they stopped.
Humility is the constant of the glottologists of our universities. A Christian humility, by virtue of which they spares criticism upon their colleagues. So no one has ever noticed the low propensity of Wagner for etymologies (a scandal that I only pointed out on every page of my No.F.E.L.Sa.). In that Dictionary I highlighted about 20,000 Wagner errors. Here – for the sake of space – I present only one of … Wagner’s …contributions.
IŁTRUMA’ Sass., Log. istrumare ‘to abort’. Etymological basis Sum. tur ‘(young) child’ + umu ‘storage’. The tur-umu compound, combined with the prefix of origin s-, is-, meant from the beginning ‘remove the child from the warehouse’ (i.e. from the place where it is kept). See istruminzu Log. ‘abortion’. Wagner, commenting on the ancient Log. isturminare, maintains that also istrumare derives from Lat. exterminare ‘ban over border’. Indeed, not distinguishing the pre- and post-evangelization use of this Latin word, he even suggests that – through the church use – exterminare means ‘exterminating to the last person’. Anyone can argue that the semantic field of birth or abortion cannot agree with the two semantic fields evoked by Wagner.
Wagner was unable to observe lexical relationships from a diachronic observatory. The multi-millennial Mediterranean Koiné in time and space has never existed for him, however strong and evident it was to show anyone the unifying network within which the Mediterranean Sea, from archaic millennia to the present day, has made possible the birth and appearance of languages still today very similar. Wagner wanted to stay out of observatory. He was not Galilean. Moreover, the education he received in his native Germany was not suitable – in those times of hatred and revanche – to overturn that powerful current of thought which, starting from the Germanic focus, from the Aryan focus, established “scientifically” that every language of the Mediterranean had been canceled by the powerful Roman intervention and then by the “tabula rasa” operated by Germanic peoples during the “Barbarian Invasions”.
Wagner perhaps unconsciously nourished these prejudices, which had become encrusted with the advent of Romanticism and finally with Nazism, and assumed them as epistemological and methodological truth. It is no coincidence that almost every lemma of the DES puts in the foreground the Bitti’s voices, secondarily those of Nùoro, compared to the Logudorian and Campidanian ones. He was convinced – and he reaffirmed it openly in the “Sardinian Historical Phonetics” – that the Bitti and Nuoro voices were the prototypes (Latin prototypes!) of the Sardinian vocabulary, and that the similar voices of Logudoro and Campidano were simple derivatives adapted phonetically according to the genius of the individual Sardinian dialects. Incredible but true, Wagner relegated the Gallurian dialect to those of “Italian origin”, not realizing that a dialect very similar to the Bittian has been preserved in Gallura; on the contrary, the Gallura↔Bitti relationship is very evident (above all in the velars); and it is strange that Wagner postulated the Bitti dialect as a “conservative prototype” of the ancient Latin phonetics, and at the same time postulated the Gallurian dialect as a begging from the Tuscan. You can see that Er Professor had studied neither dialect.
Even the various linguists who preceded Wagner had been dazzled by the Nùoro “Latinisms”, and Wagner, inheriting the thought of the academy, was enthusiastic about it. Wagner’s attempts to formalize his beliefs within the “Sardinian Historical Phonetics” have been denounced by me, as I explain in chap. 3.1 of my Historical Grammar of Sardinian. Such was the arbitrariness of linguists of the past, who even invented “phonetic laws” which should demonstrate the derivation of Sardinian from Latin.
For example, Wagner claimed that Log. abba would derive from Lat. aqua, by virtue of the Lat. outcome -q- > Sardinian -b-. In my Grammar I demonstrate that -q- > -b- is an invented derivation, does not display any derivative process; we are not dealing with a phoneme diachronicly derived from another, but with two synchronic phonemes, each operating on its own before the Roman invasion. Abba already existed in the Akkadian vocabulary: abbu ‘swamp, quagmire’; abbû ‘aquatic fauna’; bā ‘water’; Sum. a’abak ‘(sea water); sea (water)’, a-ab-ba ‘idem ‘(< a ‘water’ + ab ‘sea’ + ba ‘marine creature’). Sd. abba in this way has not granted anything to Latin language, remaining unchanged to this day and ignoring Lat. aqua, which instead managed to creep into the Campidanian dialect (áqua). Regarding abba / aqua, I note that Sardinia originally had a double register, which then left two words as an inheritance: abba to the north, áqua to the south. To second register belongs the Akk agû, egû ‘wave, current’. Lautverschiebung phenomenon north ≠ south, as I explained in chap. 3.1.4 of my Historical Grammar.
The same goes for the Sardinian suffix -u, which Wagner derives from Lat. -us, while both existed in the same era, each operating in its own linguistic field before the Roman invasion. For Sardinian -u there is no Roman influence, since the Mesopotamian languages (Sumerian-Akkadian-Assyrian-Babylonian-Canaanite) maintained their suffix -u for thousands of years; to which we can and must refer an original Sardinian -u.
We still perceive the archaic Canaanite endings in -ū for the nominative also in ancient Hebrew (1Sam 2,10 ‘ālū “the Most High”, corresponding to Yahweh of the first stico; Ps 140,9 yārūmū “the Exalted”, also it in parallel with Yahweh of the first stico). Similarly, we still perceive in the ancient Hebrew the archaic Canaanite endings in -ī for the genitive (Sam 22.44; Ez 5.3; Hos 11.4; Ps 26.10). Is this genitive coming from Latin?! Indeed, Latin genitive is nothing more than a Mediterranean genitive with Semitic etymological basis!
Returning to Sardinia, it was typically Sardinian, therefore original, the female suffix -a, for which there is no Roman colonization, as Wagner claims, being this form, in itself, widely present in the Mediterranean, common, for example, to the Latins, to Sardinians, to Arameans. And it is precisely the identity or similarity of certain phonetic laws between Sardinian and Aramaic that allows us to understand the autochthony of many forms of the Sardinian language, pre-existing to the Roman invasion and coeval with the famous Aramaic Koine that existed before the phalanges of Alexander and before the Caesars.
The same is true of the Sardinian velars k, ĝ, which Wagner believes derived from Lat. c, g, while they existed in the Sardian language, with a system comparable to the Akkadian velars k, g, ḫ.
That “scientific certainty” of Wagner is corroborated by a famous though weird fact, which is the following: from the phonetic laws of the current Sardinian (and of the medieval Sardinian), the scholars derived their certainties on the Latin phonetic laws, not vice versa! In fact, to demonstrate that the Ciceronian Latin had velars, there was no better way than to suppose its existence (otherwise unprovable) through the current Bitti’s speech, in Sardinia. But aren’t those “linguists” the same ones who pontificated the origin of Sardinian from Latin?
In short, those scholars took the Sardinian language on a leash to go to rescue Latin language intended as Mediterranean Ursprache, or at least the language of Mediterranean palingenesis. Mind you, the Latin language has been helped: no one else! As if to say that the “blood transfusion” went to one language of their choice. While all the other Italian languages (which were 32 at the time of Augustus) did not deserve their attention. Because? Obvious: they started from the ideology according to which all the perceptible Mediterranean civilization today would have the beginning in Rome. Hence the “aid” of the Sardinian language towards one’s … “mother”! But here are some examples that best illustrate the matter.
Accásu Log. ‘by chance, maybe’; cfr. Sp. acaso. Wagner derives accásu from Sd. casu, and this directly from Italian caso ‘case’, an ‘accidental, unexpected event’, thus considering it not only a loan but also an Italianizing cultism. In turn, it should be noted that all linguists have hitherto considered the basis of It. caso, that is Lat. cāsus, as cultism that was already in the Latin phase. They did the same consideration in front of the verb they considered the incipit, i.e. cădere ‘fall’. According to them, cultism arises from the fusion (or confusion) of the semantics of “cadere, falling” with that of “accadere, happening”. This confusion has lasted for over 2500 years, but it is a confusion packaged “at the table”, coldly, without meditation, therefore idealistic, and it is time to cut off this Gordian knot. The true etymological basis of Lat. cāsus, It. caso, Sd. casu is Akk. ḫašû ‘shatter’, also ‘to become dark’, ‘suffer darkness, be blind’. In short, everything refers to the origins of the universe and to the archaic surname Sd. Casu, identical to Gr. Χάος, both referring to the immense dark cavity that contained the primordial waters. Therefore the reference is not to falling but to chaos.
Avu Sd. ‘grandfather’ = It. avo appeared in Italy before 1374 with Petrarch; pl. ‘ancestors’ (1581, T. Tasso); a word believed as learned by DELI, originating from Lat. āvu(m), and this in turn considered of “Indo-European” origin with the meaning of ‘old’. Indeed, this voice is shared in the Semitic field, from Heb. āv ‘father’ ( אׇב ).
Cartu Log. ‘measure of wheat, horse beans, etc.’ See It. quarto ‘idem’ (which only phonetically corresponds to Lat. quartum ‘fourth part’ adjectival of quattru: see). Wagner does not give the etymology: the Latin derivation seems obvious and sufficient to him. Indeed, the etymological basis is Akk. kārtum ‘current price’. See Akk. qa ‘measure about 1 liter’; karāṭum ‘(salable goods), from which It. carato (measure for stones and precious metals).
Para Camp. ‘friar’. Wagner derives it from Cat. parə ‘father’ (father in every sense, also as a priest or a professional of the sacred). Also in other Italian dialects we have the same results. But in this Wagner is generous, because every time he mentions the Catalan origin he always wants to understand that the Catalan himself in turn has Latin origins, therefore the relationships with similar Italian voices are already put in the account. Obviously this way of going by etymologies is incongruous, so I have to take over by specifying that para meets with Akk. pâru(m) ‘search, go searching’. The first monks who gave impetus to the construction of Christianity were first of all friars “seekers”, for having made a vow of absolute poverty. Despite this vocation, the friars have never been referred to as “beggars” but in another way, at least in Sardinia; the Sardinian man had such a respect for poverty that even the classic beggar was not called so, but mazináiu ‘seller of sacred images’, with reference to what characterized him. So it was for the first Christian friars, who were classified as ‘seekers’ by Akk. pâru(m).
Párdula. In Campidano it is the equivalent of the casatìna of northern Sardinia, but in Campidano ricotta is preferred instead of cheese. The etymological basis is Akk. parû ‘base’ + dulû ‘bucket’ (genitive chain par-dulû > párdula), with the meaning of ‘bucket-based’. According to Wagner, this entry can be traced back to Lat. quadrula “as the pardulas are square in shape”. But this desserts called párdulas are round in shape. An umpteenth ideological intent comes afloat: to first guess the most suitable Latin phonetics, to propose it as a binding etymological basis, and bring back to it the meaning of the Sardinian word, with blatant distortions of reality.
Pesáre Log., Camp. pesái ‘to weigh, balance’ (Stat. Sass. I, 30 (13r): Sa mercatantia et issas cosas qui si aen uender sas quales se pesan, neuna persone uendat ouer peset ultra libras .X. si non cum sa istatea dessu cumone); fig. ‘appreciate, judge the character of a person, ponder’: l’appo pesadu bene. See Lat. pendere ‘hanging, weighing, paying’. Its origin was ignored, which is from Akk. pedû, padûm ‘to set free, absolve, be merciful’. These concepts are closely linked to the practices of the royal duties and also to the practice of tithing given to the temple: on the one hand the concept of acquittal, release of the citizen who had the production verified, giving a part as a tribute to the king; on the other, likewise, the rightness of the tribute due to the temple, a demonstration of pìetas, of correctness in the relationship with God.
Piatza Sass. (in the urban agglomeration it is the rather wide place created by the extension of a street, of a site). Pan-European and Eurasian term, of which one of the references is Gr. πλατύς ‘wide’, fem. πλατεῖα ‘wide way in the city’; cfr. Lat. plătēa ‘wide street, courtyard’. Pompeo Calvia: Li Candaléri fàrani in piàtza / cu li vétti di rasu trimuréndi … ‘The Candlesticks come down in the square (i.e. the widest street of Sàssari), with the shaky satin ribbons …’. See also Sp. plaza ‘place’, Fr. place ‘piazza’ but also ‘site, locality’ = English place ‘place, site’ (the last three entries are Latinisms from plătēa).
The Sardinian lemma piatza, pratza, paltza and the like, so simple and so complex, has numerous semantic relationships in addition to those seen, starting with It. pertùgio ‘narrow natural or artificial opening’, Sd. paltùsu, partùsu ‘forum’, by extension ‘anus’; Camp. pratzìri, Log. paltìre ‘divide, detach’, lat. partior ‘to divide’; It. partire ‘to give rise to the movement of departure’.
The Sardinian term is not a Latinism, neither is the Italian term, nor are Sardinian derivatives such as pratzìri, paltzìri etc. This term is archaic, Mediterranean, primarily Sumerian: precisely from Sum. pad, padr, par ‘break, split, divide’ + zu ‘blade or tip of the plow’: par-zu ‘to split with the plow’, or par + tab ‘divide in two, divide’: par-tab ‘ break in two’.
Pilu, filu. In Log. and Camp. it means ‘hair’. It is claimed from Lat. pĭlus. But its origin was ignored. In analogy with pūbēs ‘hair’ of youngsters, the -l- is an original Mediterranean -r-: cf. Heb. pera ‘hair’, Akk. per’u ‘bud, shoot’, Sass. péru ‘hair’.
Pisciòni Camp. (anat.) ‘calf’. Wagner, anchored to “Latin prejudice”, marks as basis the Lat. piscis ‘fish’, regardless of the absurd combination. Instead the etymological basis is Sum. peš ‘mouse’ + unu ‘wild (animal)’, with the meaning of ‘wild mouse’ (ie Rattus). This entry is native to Sardinia. But cultural circulation in the Mediterranean has never ceased; therefore also the Latins wanted to compare the muscle (for example, that of the arm) to musculus “mouse”, due to the typical attitude of mice to hunch back when they are standing.
Ragno (Italian voice). But see Sd. ranzόlu, aranzόlu, arranzόlu ‘spider’ (Araneum species). Cfr. Lat. arāneum, Gr. αράχνη ‘spider’. Etymological basis Sum. raḫ ‘to kill’ + nu ‘to spin (thread)’. The compound raḫ-nu (> It. ragno) meant ‘waving murderer’. In Sardinia we have the same Mediterranean basis, but with adjectival suffix -lu. This is one of many examples of false Latin origin.
Siḍḍu2 (Bitti) ‘ancient coin’; (Desulo) ‘partridge eye’ (callous, corn); (Cagliari) ‘starfish, sea star’ (echinoderm), ‘hinge of oysters and clams’ (Marcialis); ‘little cup, octopus sucker’. In CSNT it has the sense of ‘seal’; armentariu de sigillu (88, 115, 240); maiore de siillu (129). Wagner hastily proposes for all these voices the origin from Lat. sigillum. But this operation is ametodic, since the semantics are very different and must be explained one by one.
The first entry, relating to the ‘ancient currency’, has an etymological basis in Sum. šid ‘to count’. The one relating to the ‘sucker’ of the octopus may have a basis in Sum. sidug ‘cavity’. The meaning of ‘starfish’ can correspond to Sum. si ‘horn’ + du ‘to go’ (meaning ‘walking horns’). The meaning of ‘partridge eye’ can be Sum. si ‘horn’ + dun ‘to dig’ (with the meaning of ‘horn digging, piercing’).
Sitzillu Camp. ‘quartz, silica’; sa pedra sitzía ‘flint stone’ (Mògoro). Etymological basis the Sum. zi ‘life, breath’ + zu ‘flint’ + illu ‘source’. The doubled compound ziz-z-illu meant ‘stone (flint) source of life’. Such was the great initial meaning. Wanting to derive this entry from Lat. siliceus ‘silica’ (as Wagner suggests) means crippling its vocality and giving the Sardinian voice an undeserved begging mark.
Suspirare Log. ‘to separate the whey from the milk’ (Spano). Etymological basis Sum. peš ‘to be thick’. The milk in the curd thickens. But I think that Spano’s definition is unhappy, since whey is not a bi-component that can be separated from milk but is a transformation product, which became such after the insertion of the rennet. In turn, Wagner intruded on the Spano’s unhappy translation, aggravating the situation (DES II 252), since he originates suspirare from a non-existent Lat. *suspe(n)sare, almost a ‘suspending’, ignoring the context of cheesemaking and renouncing to interpret it.
4) The range of “Pre-Tuscan”. Antonio Sanna DS 73-74 takes place in a lookout without prospects when he welcomes as “Pre-Tuscan” the outcome -i, -u of Corsican-Sardinian and southern Italian vocalism. He has chosen to make a handful of considerations within an asphyxiated and smoky synchrony that does not allow any kind of linguistic demonstrations. Denying himself to diachrony, he could not understand that the -u is an archaic phenomenon, first of all Sumerian, Egyptian, then Akkadian, and pervades throughout the times the whole Mediterranean, not only the Corsican-Sardinian-Sicilian-Càlabrian world but also the Latin one with his -us, and even the Ligurian world.
As for the outcome -i, Antonio Sanna would have been better to compare this Campidanian suffix with the Logudorian suffix in -e; this would have allowed him to appreciate in some way the dialectal macro-division of this island. But I observe that, while the Sumerian suffix -e remains within the Logudorian basin, the suffix -i (with Hebrew-Ugaritic roots) goes beyond the boundaries of the Campidanian speech, especially as regards to toponyms and macro-toponyms.
Sàssari, Ùsini, Sénnari, Bùnnari, Òschiri and other toponyms or ydronyms three-sillable of Sassari, ending in -i, have a proparoxytone accent, and hand down the Hebrew-Ugaritic (and Latin) -i- suffix, exactly like Càgliari and other Campidanian proparoxytone toponyms (Assémini, Barùmini, Flùmini, etc.), as well as several Sardinian toponyms with a flat accent such as Dorgáli, Oziéri, Ortuéri etc.
Wagner (HLS § 46) points out that in the ancient Campidanian Charter with Greek characters, the Sumerian suffix -e by far prevailed throughout the island (he obviously ignored its origin, and left it without comment because he did not understood the Sumerian origin). But he pointed out another important thing, that after the Thousand Year of this Era the pan-Sardinian -e was transformed in the South “into a relaxed -i”. A result which, advancing from the epicenter of Cagliari, had not yet conquered half of Sardinia at the time of the Carta de Logu and the Bonàrcado Code.
I think that the cause of the spread of -i cannot be attributed either to the Latin language or to the Italian language pressing after the year 1000. In fact, it should be noted that the Sumerian-Logudorian -e, at the time of the “revenge” of the Ugaritic-Latin-Campidanian -i, could have had the same possibilities as in the South to disappear or adapt to the -i. In fact, the Latin dominion pervaded the whole island, but only the northern part remained attached to the suffix -e. Roman domination ceased and the Four Dark Centuries arrived, when the Greek language prevailed at various levels, even then the island was not pervaded entirely by the suffix -i, even though the Greek-Byzantines in their own language had suffixes in -i.
With the advent of the Maritime Republics, we realize that the Tuscan-Genoeses after the year 1000 could not influence the question, both because they did not have suffixes in -i, and because the Logudorian suffix in -e was limited to precise words, which did not correspond to the Italian vocabulary.
There is, in my opinion, only one possible explanation for the advance of -i after the year 1000 on half an island. Starting from the south, from the capital of the island, a cultural renewal had started, in which not only the Latin clergy participated (I remember that the best Latin intellectuals were always exiled to Cagliari), but also the strong Jewish ethnicity activate o.s., of which traces still remain today in the toponyms, many surnames and in many other sectors of Sardinian knowledge. It should not be forgotten that the Jews have always been, in the history of humanity, the only ones truly acculturated in the midst of illiterate masses. With good evidence, the Jews also resided mainly in Cagliari and in the south of the island. In my opinion, they too, together with the Latin clergy, kept alive and expanded the Hebrew-Ugaritic suffix -i, which finally, with these united forces, began to exfoliate the millennial persistence of the archaic Sumerian language, which until One Thousand of the Vulgar era expressed itself with the suffix -e and had supremacy in the whole island, as is still documented by the special vernacular of the Ramai of Ìsili.
5) The prejudice of “different age” of Sardinian dialects. Antonio Sanna speaking of the results just examined by -i, -u uses throughout his book the usual stereotypes circulating among the Romance philologists. Hence ambiguity and unconscious deception reign supreme when introducing the opposition between “newly formed dialects” and “dialects of ancient times”, writing (DS 73) that Petkanov states “the very ancient origin of the two dialects [Gallurian and Sassarian]. Petkanov studied the characteristics of Corsican, Gallurian and Sassarian to identify which dialects should be attributed to the pre-Tuscan Sardinia and which to the Tuscan influence”. From this sentence and from the whole context of page 73 the reader easily perceives that the “very ancient origin” is, coincidentally, … pre-Tuscan, it is magically and dryly defined as “pre-Tuscan”: an unscientific classification on which enlightenments are denied because each of these scholars has formulated it without qualifying it in time and space and without taking care of the disruptive consequences that such an empty adjectival has on linguistic studies and Mediterranean culture.
6) The prejudice of “entire romanization”. It would not matter to underline the absurd credulity of Antonio Sanna (DS 75) on the complete Romanization of Corsica and Sardinia already at the time of Pliny the Elder, i.e. 300 years after the invasion. Evidently Sanna did not remember that the two islands had very few coastal cities (especially Corsica), and for the rest they are bitterly mountainous (especially Corsica), a powerful natural bulwark against any type of armed penetration. To which “complete Romanization” does Sanna refer? And yet we note that Sanna is in good company, since the “complete Romanization” up to the early Middle Ages is boasted by myriad philologists, starting with Massimo Pittau.
At this rate, it is mandatory that each of the speeches held by Sanna in DS should be taken with the tongs, passed to the flame of a rigorous historical-geographical-linguistic criticism. Indeed, if we approved the credulities of Sanna and the large copy of Romance philologists still fixed on these fibs, any investigation into the languages of Corsica and Sardinia would become unpresentable to academies around the world.
As a negative example in this regard, we can point to Massimo Pittau, who has probed the entire Corps of Latin Inscriptions, including the Special Section of Sardinia, obtaining a harvest of anthroponyms which for the most part have served to justify the etymology of over 540 names or toponyms of the island. In his book Pittau discusses extensively on Sardinian Latin-based toponyms, with an enthusiasm and impetuosity that sometimes overwhelms and contradicts his previous positions.
I endured that Pittau did not take into account the archaeological-historical-anthropological settings from which it would be necessary to give the correct method in interpreting toponyms. However, Pittau has passed the measurement and has proved to be the strongest supporter of the theory of an integral Latinization of Barbagia (which is the intimate and wild heart of Sardinia). A Latinization so integral that it entails the creation of numerous large estates, imposed everywhere, even on individual fountains (i.e. on 100 m2), on unreachable cliffs, on the most useless ravines of the geological and pedological history of Sardinia.
He imputes almost all the 540 Latin onomastic survivors to as many latifundia (or almost), which is too much, if we think that such a land division would have involved very little economic space for the individual masters. Yet he writes that «these connections demonstrate in a very clear and certain way that the Roman landowners have come to Sardinia, in order to exploit all its economic potential, in truly remarkable numbers». He continues: «The presence in ancient Sardinia of such a significant number of Roman landowners – who however could systematically reside in Rome and only occasionally come to the island to check their possessions left to the effective care of freedmen – is very significant already for itself, for the high sum that it shows to have reached, but it is much more if we consider that these landowners have certainly imported a congruous number of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of colonists and slaves in order to properly exploit their funds (villae, praedia, fundi), salt marshes and mines». He continues: «The documentation of the Latin anthroponyms in all areas of Sardinia, including the central and mountainous area, that is basically the current Barbagia and also the Ogliastra, offers us certain and evident proof that foreign colonists and slaves have been imported and they are established very numerous even in that area. This confirms, and is also confirmed, by the general linguistic framework, for which it is quite certain that even in the mountain area, that is, also in all the villages of Barbagia and Ogliastra, only Romance languages are still spoken today directly and only from Latin»…« The presence of large groups of colonists and slaves also in the internal and mountain area of Sardinia puts a definitive cross on a common place widespread among the Sardinians, even among those with higher culture: a common place, a cliché according to which Barbagia would never have been conquered by the Romans, so it would have constituted the resistance area of the Sardinian rebels (in particular of the ancient Ilienses and their Barbaricini heirs)». He concludes by arguing that the alleged nationality of the Barbaricini is «unfortunately totally and at the root contradicted by the incontrovertible data (sic!) of the general linguistic situation and by the particular names of the entire internal and mountain Sardinia. Even the names of several villages in that area as Bultéi, Lula, Osidda, Orotelli, Orani, Ottana, Fonni, Gadoni, Elini, Locéri, Osini, Seui, Seulo, Esterzili most likely derive from the names of as many Latin landowners: Bulteius, Lucula, *Osilla, Ortellius, Oranius, Ottius, Fonnius, Catonius, Elinus, Locerius, Osinius, Seunius, Sedulius, Stertinius».
In my book La Toponomastica in Sardegna you can read, for almost all the toponyms mentioned above and also for other adducts from Pittau, a different etymology, as there are other approaches to Sardinian toponymy (I speak of integral, serious approaches, without shortcuts). To keep up with Pittau’s intuitions it would obviously be necessary to imagine that Barbagia was depopulata by the Romans, and we should accept that the famous 80,000 slaves sold on the square in Rome were all Barbaricini. Otherwise it is not clear why Barbagia has undergone a Romanization (injection of Italian slaves and colonists) so integral that it has seen its people and its original language disappear.
Apart from the fact that, notoriously, the slaves were not Latin and therefore they could not have Romanized anything, in reality the language of the defeated people never disappeared from Barbagia, also because the Barbaricini were never defeated, if anything they were appeased by means of counterparts territorial and fiscal far from secondary, as can also be guessed from the use of Roman roads, which were not Roman, having been built and used by the Sardinians long before the Romans. In fact, how can we measure the Roman genius, so famous especially in the political tradition, the one that made Rome great, if we do not perceive its application also towards these belligerent but not idiotic mountaineers?
Nobody denies the seriousness of the investigation made by Pittau on Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, but nobody can authorize him to translate 540 anthroponyms for the mere fact that he measured the phonetic congruence with that of the Sardinian toponyms. The “Rule of the five phonemes” 1, i.e. five phonemes that repeat o.s.identical between two words of different languages, by itself has no scientific consistency, if it’s not integrated and does not rely on all the other methodological premises, which must be remembered in front of a toponym from which we try to extract an etymology.
I have shown in its place2 that such a “phonetic law” is methodologically incorrect and throw ridicule on those who propose it. Therefore it’s dangerous to settle on the Law of the five phonemes and fly free over the forest of Sardinian toponyms. Accuracy, sense of history, anthropological sensitivity are needed. And in relation to toponyms, a profound sense of geography is needed, that really experienced and understood by the Sardinian people in the isolation of the cantons where he had the destiny to live.
But let’s go back to the phonetic laws. Is Pittau really convinced that all (or almost all) of the 540 Latin anthroponyms are the basis of as many Sardinian toponyms (ancient Latin personals) that denounce the presence of a large estate (latifundus)? Strange but true: almost all 540 names of Latin masters end in -ius. Pittau must also know that a strict phonetic law is alive in the Island, which requires the transfer of Latin personnel in -ius to Sardinian personnel in -i. Lat. Anton-ius is translated into Sd. Antòn-i, Lat. Basilius into Sd. Basìli, Lat. Gabin-ius into Sd. Gain-i. These are personal names to the nominative, not to the genitive, therefore they do not imply, putacaso, a praedius Antoni, a “latifundium of Antonius”. This belief – supported by a phonetic law – makes me reject the supposed “predial” genitives of Pittau, which presuppose a servus, colonus, villa, praedius (of such or some other), which would overwhelm all historical, archaeological, linguistic theories so far elaborated on the Barbagia populations.
Finally, what has to do with the strange discourse of a more integral Romanization than the plains, and the fact that it was Barbagia that kept the Latin language intact? It seems that Pittau has forgotten a fundamental law of glottology, that of isolation = conservation. In Barbagia, history has always operated late due to the unlikely isolation of a mountain system divided by countless very deep ravines where segregating waters flow. So it is with delay that Barbagia heard the language spoken by the rulers of “higher civilization”; and with delay (too much delay, by virtue of historical events and the hallucinating isolation) this supposed “Latin” (in reality it is ancient Sardinian!) is still evolving compared to the current speech of cities. Pittau has forgotten (but with La Toponomastica in Sardinia I remember it at every turn) that in Sardinia the most conservative toponyms are mostly Barbaricinian and that – coincidentally – these toponyms are mostly of Sumerian-Semitic origin. In Barbagia the 540 Latin anthroponyms of Pittau are reduced to a few dozens: the mountain gives birth to a mouse.
7) The prejudice of “Latin beginning” and the ancient scripts. The refrain of every Romance philologist (not excluding Sanna and his colleagues by him mentioned) is to declare the Sardinian language originating from Latin. And they classify Sardinian as a “Romance language”. This prejudice is a huge and very damaging gnoseological error, and has also had a negative impact on the quality of the translation and in the evaluation of the ancient chartae of Sardinia.
In medieval Sardinian chartae there are actually Latinisms (as we will see), but they have been misinterpreted because of the prejudices and misunderstandings that have always cherished on this issue. Apparently the misunderstandings are not recent, having existed even before Dante took the well-known position in De Vulgari Eloquentia, considering the Sardinians apes of the Latins. Perhaps the misunderstandings date back to the ancient Romans. We cannot be surprised. The history of culture is full of misunderstandings. It is said that Julius Caesar was polyglot, and was brilliant enough to dictate several letters in different foreign languages in one sitting. But Caesar’s performances need interpretation, to avoid exaggerated praise from that leader. I have great admiration for Caesar’s genius, but I think that parallel and simultaneous dictations were easy for him because the Celtic peoples and other peoples to whom he wrote spoke languages very similar to Latin (and Sardinian), even before they were colonized by Rome. I am convinced of this statement, which goes to reiterate the truth of what I confirm throughout this book
13. The pernicious method of “Phonetic similarity between words”
I have already highlighted the inanity of the “Law of the five phonemes” advocated by Pittau. Among the Romance philologists Pittau is not alone in “walking on water” in an attempt to secure a private way to “Revelation”. The “Gothic” squalor of etymological researchers is textbook, and will negatively mark the history of culture.
In this regard, every reader, every researcher, every academic is strongly requested to read the preliminary chapters of my La Toponomastica in Sardegna, where I take inspiration from the book “Paleosardo” by Eduardo Blasco Ferrer to deny that gentleman the qualification of “scholar”. As long as he lived, he splashed about in numerous cultural hotbeds, coming out uninjured. But it is with “Paleosardo” that the pit was dug for him. Unfortunately there are still many scholars who cripple the chairs of linguistics and glottology with equal absurd, unscientific and demented positions
The book “Paleosardo” had the imprimatur of the German academies, which evidently had neither strength nor courage nor ability to hinder EBF in his mad gores against the palaces of culture.
EBF had the shamelessness of writing that just a consonant in enough (at most two!), shared between two words of different languages (even distant from each other, such as Sardinian and Basque) to demonstrate their relationship (sic!). In this way, I would say, it is easy to show the relationship of a Sardinian word also with Chinese or Javanese. Well, this “revolutionary intuition” was enough for him to “prove” that the whole Sardinian language derives from 25 Basque words. Sic! For him, 25 Basque words are enough, dismembered into the individual phonic components, to have a bunch of sounds that reappear individually or in pairs in the 100,000 Sardinian words. Miracle! EBF did not say it clearly because he often communicated subliminally, but he made leak out that the Sardinians, before the arrival of the Basques (united with Catalans), grunted like pigs and learned the language and vocabulary thanks to the Basque people. Miracle!
It would not matter to mention and give importance to those who destroy the cornerstones of culture in gorings. Unfortunately, I have to talk about it, to launch the “save our souls”, since his theories are shared by a mass of dead and alive scholars, with the difference that while the “mass” of the glottologists and linguists stealthily, each on their own, distills some ramblings here and there, he instead adds them all together like the tsunami of Santorini. So, speaking of him, I speak at the same time of all scholars who are destroying Sardinian culture.
Without reading the chap. 2 and 3 of my “La Toponomastica in Sardegna”, one cannot have knowledge of the scientific method necessary to counteract and defeat so much rot. Below I will try only a few hints, taking inspiration from EBF’s claim that one or two sounds are enough to relate two words of different nationality. Pittau had proposed 5 sounds: therefore he was much more credible. But both theories, that of EBF and that of Pittau, are fatal, destructive, certainly not edifying.
Warning! I am discussing a very important question, namely the “segmentation technique” of a current word in order to analyze its components and extract its etymology. It is the same technique that I used, among other things, for the translation of the Stele of Nora, a translation that I managed, while the other translators (including my Master) failed precisely because they were wrong in segmentation!
For the sake of etymology, I don’t deny that two words must confront each other by means of phonic identities (of course, not by one-two phonemes, when a word is polysyllabic!). First of all, however, the two words must have a similar meaning, already verified through their respective dictionaries (an operation never even dreamed of by EBF). In secundis, it is essential to be able to untangle, in one word, the archaic phono-semanthems, the archaic radicals, those which – after millennia and despite the partial changes that have occurred – have brought it up to us packaged in a certain way and with a certain meaning.
For example, what is the correct way to segment the English personal John? And how can we go without damage to an indisputable etymology? To safely manage the etymological technique it’s necessary in this case to have in mind the Germanic and Anglo-Saxon phonetic laws of the contraction of words and compounds, a contraction that can reach the extreme consequences as for John. Going backwards with this awareness, it is necessary to know with certainty that John is the equivalent of It. Giovanni and Heb. Johan, a name attributed to a Jewish preacher during the youth of Jesus. It is also necessary to know the substantial post-exile phenomenon of names in a genitive chain, where the Hebrew tetragrammaton IAHW, also pronounced Yahweh or Geova (equivalent to Lat. Jovis, Jovem), often appeared in the first or second member of personal names. By investigating the hundreds of post-exilic examples, it’s possible to understand that the tetragrammaton IAHW in the compound names was modified by metaphonesis and by contraction in several ways, one of which is precisely Jo-. So here we have the possibility of correctly dismembering the compound name Jo-hn. The second member would be even less interpretable, if we do not have a plethora of examples, diluted over the millennia, from which it can be deduced that -Hn is nothing but the extreme simplification of Canahan (Kena’an). Now we have all the elements to say that John means ‘Jehovah of Canahan’.
The linguist who, managing the “syllable separation technique”, believes that the “phonic analogy” is enough for him, is in a great mistake if he cannot manage the other two techniques cited by me. In fact, without a serious and profound investigation, he will never be able to confirm whether the syllabic separation of a current word was also identical in origin, when it arose from morpho-semanthemes of which we a priori know nothing, if we do not first find them in ancient dictionaries, we do not analyze them, we do not try to recompose them in a phonemic chain capable of giving us back senses appropriate to the present word, from which we started.
Therefore it is insane to establish relationships between words that share only one or two sounds. It is even more foolish to sanction everything “at the table”, without having materially analyzed anything (this was, unfortunately, the EBF’s technique). I say even more: the relationship is not tried even if two words share five phonemes (remember the Pittau technique).
On the contrary, in the etymological technique it’s necessary to practice and hold firm my Rule of the variable segmentation of words. Let’s take the example of a current trisyllable word, and assume that it is divisible into ab-cd-ef. In the historical investigation, to reach the primitive background of its possible origin, we must keep every possibility open, namely that the identified primitive voice is divisible as the current one in ab-cd-ef, but that it is also divisible in abc-de-f, also in a-bc-def, also in abc-def, or in ab-cdef, or in ab-cdef.
Far from proposing EBF’s ideologies, arisen in his dreams, I hope is clear the need to analyze each item on its own, not only to understand well the environment that generated that toponym or that name, but also to confront o.s., freeing the mind from preconceptions, with the complex “law of variable segmentation” (precisely the alternatives amongst ab-cd-ef, abc-de-f, a-bc-def, abc-def, ab-cdef, ab-cdef …).
We need to turn on our skill and reject any preconceived scheme, a scheme arisen by force of ideological and metalinguistic ways. In light of this need, it is not easy to establish a priori an etymology valid for all radicals or homophonic words. Etymological research is effort and doubt and we, perpetually beset by doubt!, will be forced to effortlessly search for the appropriate etymology for each single isolable voice.
We need to turn on our mind and reject any preconceived scheme, a scheme invoked through ideological and metalinguistic ways. In force of this need, it is not easy to establish a priori an etymology valid for all radicals or homophonic words. Etymological research is effort and doubt and we, perpetually beset by doubt, will be forced to search with difficulty the appropriate etymology for each single isolable voice.
The granite bases of a theory are created a posteriori, not a priori. So the segmentation process that EBF flaunts (p. 64 and passim) is not taken for granted in front of a language (agglutinating or not) which was the ancient Sardinian, in the sense that often, instead of a segmentation ab-cd-ef, suitable for a certain lemmas and certain radicals, other lemmas and other Sardinian radicals require, individually, a cut abc-de-f, or a-bc-def, or abc-def, or ab-cdef, or a-b-cdef.
Let’s take the example of a radical (moreover non-existent and hypothesized “in the dream” by EBF!), such as *KUK (Paleosardo 125), to which EBF arbitrarily gives the “unique value” of “peak, summit, top”. He cites “in the dream” roots scattered in Sardinia, in France, among the Dravidian languages. Unfortunately for him, each of the lemmas mentioned (kukku, kúkkuru, kúkkuru nieddu, Cuga, Cugui, Riu Cugada, Mela Kugada, Mela Kuka, Monquq, Cuq, Le Cuq, Cumont, Juxue, Jokoberro) has a peculiar radical, not shared by the other lemmas mentioned. For the Sardinian ones I refer to my No.F.E.L.Sa., where for kukku there is the Sum. base kukku ‘black’, ‘dark places’ (superlative doubling of ku ‘hole, cavity’): cf. Dravidian kaka ‘crow’; for kúkkuru there is the Sum. kur ‘mountain’ which doubles in ku-kur-u, Sd. ‘top, summit’). As for riu Cuga, the term has an etymological basis in Sum. kug ‘pure’ (evidently referring to the goodness of the water). And so on. As you can see, three words = three different origins (ku, kur, kug). The “dreaming” invention of a (hypothetical) * KUK has proved to be insane.
*Deu (Paleosardo 125). I noticed that almost all the “etymologies” proposed by EBF start from invented words. And no one will ever be able to understand what the syndrome was that caused EBF to invent words or roots instead of comparing really existing or existed voices. Overflowing, at each invented root he gave a name (a name, sic!), and, in the specific case, he pretended to lead us to believe that the Sardinian toponyms in -déu indicate the ‘white’. He just claimed it, without even giving us a trace for comparison. Of course, no search is possible, because in Sardinian the ‘white’ is expressed otherwise, and in Basque that deu doesn’t even exist! Quintessence of the absurd (I’m moderating the words). I refuse to transcribe his unworthy piece, but I invite the reader to read it carefully, so that he realizes how deep the chasm of madness was where EBF had fallen.
Only a penitential scholar can pursue the twisted and empty logic of the assertions with which EBF has stuffed his book. But I want to examine one of his many ramblings, that of the famous Ítria, patron of some village and nominating some churches. This cult derived from a painting of Madonna-with-Child brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople in 401-450, finally placed in the monastery called of Guides (Biz. ódigon), and from it the Virgin took the name Odighítria. This cult then arrived in Sardinia, I think during the iconoclastic struggle, in the eighth century. Sardinians with frequent simplifications often come to dismember the names, so we must accept that only the suffix -Ítria (from ancient -ḗtria), with the abusive name of “guide”, remains of Odigh-ítria. This suffix is in good company (see Gr. geōme-tría and many others in -tría, -tería, etc.). Strangely enough, in Sardinia this Byzantine suffix continues to simply mean ‘Guide’. We now have to see the comparison made by EBF between the Byzantine compound ódi-g- (-g- from ágō ‘I lead’) = ‘I drive along the way’ with the Basque bide, bid-e ‘path’. The absolute phonetic incompatibility is noted: in fact they have only -d- in common. The reader wonders why EBF did this metalinguistic feat, creating a whirlwind of madness and trying to overwhelm us with a -d-, aiming to demonstrate an unprovable linguistic colonization of Sardinia by the Basques.
Worsening the technique used for Odighétria, EBF tries to overwhelm us by asserting that the Sd. rùbiu, arrùbiu, rùviu ‘red’ is repeated in several Sardinian toponyms to demonstrate the colonization carried out by the Basque odol ‘blood’. But the reader realizes that these two voices do not even share a phoneme! And in addition, rùbiu ‘red’ is an adjective, while odol ‘blood’ is a noun!
It is useless that EBF, occasionally, finally manages to compare real sounds, when they do not converge in the same meaning. Example, in Paleosardo 104 he compares the name of the village Goni with the Basque gain, goi ‘top, summit’. But Goni lies in a valley and takes its sacred name from its beautiful nuraghe: Sum. gune ‘center of worship’. With this etymology, I give a blow to the hypotheses that tend to link toponyms of this type to Akk. gennu, ginnu, kinnû ‘mountain’.
EBF in Paleosardo 114 operates one of the innumerable break-ins with which he tries to demonstrate the colonization of Sardinia by introducing the Basque base ur (corresponding to Sum. uru ‘flood, flood’). But this is not true for Sardinia. This island is scattered in an undifferentiated way with the phonetic clot -ur-, but there is no trace of EBF’s “beliefs”. Paulis too, for this lump, accredits the grafting in Sardinia of the Basque word ‘water’ (see Basque ur-il ‘still water’) and quotes Pliny for urium ‘muddy water’, remaining plagiarized from those two claims.
In reality, the individual lemmas subjected to analysis have each shown their own personality, and they must each be considered in their own context because in Sardinia they always have different bases. Let’s see some.
Ùras, a village near Oristano, reproduces Sum. uraš, ‘land, territory’.
Baḍḍe Ùrbara, next to the summit of Monte Ferru (Cùglieri), is a Sardinian compound based on Akk. urû(m) ‘stallion’ + bāru (synonym of free, open territory), with the meaning of ‘valley of the stallions’.
Ùrbidu, ùbridu is a ‘narrow path cluttered with forest’; also a ‘very difficult place to travel, with high rocks’. It is based in ancient Bab. urbītum (which is, however, a stone).
The toponym Domus Urbis (Osìni) probably derives from Lat. Urbius, name of a ancient owner.
Orgòsolo arose in a granite mountain basin, from whose slopes evidently water could be collected (normally, a village does not arise without having water). In Sardinia, the lump org- is supposed but not proven as an indicator of water arising from depths or ravines. This remains, I repeat, a supposition, also because in Orgòsolo the waters are superficial. For Orgòsolo, the attempt to validate this fleeting assumption can be based only on the agglutination Sum. ur ‘to be abundant’ + gu2 ‘impulse’ + su ‘immerse, submerge’ + lu ‘to be abundant’, with the synthetic meaning of ‘(sources) that submerge for abundance’. But here we can only demonstrate that the lump or-, ur- contains the concept of ‘abundance’, not of water.
Bruncu d’Urèle, in the wild Supramonte (Baunéi), it stands high on the abyss that sinks into the Bue Marino coast, and is often hit by creeping clouds rising from the sea. It means ‘the peak of the fog’. Uréle, uriéle, buriéle, Sd. ‘cloudy, dark’, has the same root as It. buriana ‘big but short storm’, of the Log. buriáre ‘disturbing: water, but also a person’. It can be compared with Greek Βορέας ‘north wind’ and with Cat. boyra ‘fog’.
Urgálu a Talàna is a ‘trickle’, but this is a truncation, whose basic form is thurgálu, túrgalu (a different root).
Urgu, surname based in Akk. urḫu, arḫu ‘road, path’ and also ‘bronze object’, as well as ‘moon, month’. Unless the oldest base is Sum. urgu ‘ferocia’ (from ur ‘dog’ + gu ‘barking’).
Úrgua is based on Akk. urḫu ‘path, mountain pass’.
Uri, a village in NW Logudòro, it is to cf. with the biblical city Ur, called Uri in Sumerian, without forgetting Akk. uru ‘village’ but also ‘(original) of Ur’, and the Heb. ‛Yr ‘city tower, fortified hill’.
Urígu, Sd. surname meaning ‘origining from Uri’.
Urìzi Sass. ‘hem, hemming, edge’ (of skirt and more); urìzi di una trèmma ‘edge of a precipice’. It is based in Akk. urizu ‘stone’, ‘border stone’.
Taccu Ùrrulu is located in the center of the immense pinnaculate platform called Mont’Arbu (average height 700 meters, half belonging to the municipalities of Jérzu and Tertenìa). It is a solitary spire, with a plume of plants on the summit, and is based in Bab. urrû ‘cured, pruned, streamlined’: referred to the palm tree.
Urrácci nurname based on Akk. urrāku ‘sculptor’. Likewise, the surname can be a patronymic from surn. Urru (see) + Akk. aḫu ‘brother’, Heb. aḥ (אָח) ‘brother’, which in the Middle Ages led to the pronunciation Urr-ácci. The meaning is ‘of the Urru brothers’, ‘of the Urru family’, ‘of the Urru clan’.
Urzáki is a Medieval surname (CSMB 2, 208), according to Pittau DCS deriving from Lat. cognomen Ursacius. It’s possible. But it’s more appropriate to consider it as patronymic, from an ancient surname Urtzu, Urzu (for the etymology, see Ursino) + Akk. aḫu ‘brother’, Heb. aḥ (אָח) ‘brother’, which in the Middle Ages led to the pronunciation Urz-áki. The meaning is ‘of the Urzu brothers’, ‘of the Urzu family’, ‘of the Urzu clan’.
Urzuléi, name of a village in Ogliastra. It seems the Sd. phytonym urthullé ‘sarsaparilla’, i.e. Smilax aspera L. On this toponym various options related only to homophony, rather than to logic, can be hazarded. The option that has an acceptable criterion is Akk compound. ūru ‘city’ + ṣullû ‘beg, pray to’ + Sum.-Akk. lē’u ‘table’ (in the sense of altar): ūr-ṣul-lē’u genitive chain with the meaning of ‘inhabited site where people implore God on the altar’. In short, Urzuléi in ancient times may have been a village-sanctuary, a sacred site.
14. Width of Mediterranean language – The cacuminals or retroflexes
The perception of the archaic breadth of the Mediterranean language is offered to us by many elements still alive in the phonetic of some ages, and alive even today. We have already largely noticed this in previous chapters.
Of the Sardinia’s aspirated-retroflexes or cacuminals (ḍḍ), only myopic hypotheses were made, and it was not wanted to observe that even in Sanskrit, even in the ancient Langue d’Oïl the same phenomenon occurred (Roncaglia LO 116: «presence of a aspirated alveolar graphically indicated in some of the most ancient texts: aiudha, cadhuna, Ludher in the Oaths of Strasbourg, cuntretha, mustrethe in a manuscript of S. Alexis, etc.»).
M.L. Wagner ( HLS §§ 346-7, 506) could not escape the concession that this phenomenon is a “substratum”3 fact. But not knowing what certainties to reach, he gladly gave way to G. Millardet, who at the end of his discussion concludes: «Cette cacuminalisation et ce recul ne s’expliquent d’une manière satisfaisante que par un état de communautè linguistique sans doute très ancien, bien antérieur non seulement à la francisation de la Corse, à l’italianisation (par Gênes, ecc.) ou toscanisation (Pise) du même pays, à l’italianisation – admissible en vérité mais non prouvée – de toute la Sicile, mais encore à la romanisation initiale de tous ces territoires».
If Wagner shows sympathy for Millardet’s thought, Giulio Paulis shows more sympathy for M. Contini’s studies of experimental phonetics, even though the case-studies allow him only to move the discussion, without providing the least handled to solving this case.
Yet it is all too clear that the current cacuminal twin of northern Sardinia and especially Gallura (-ḍḍ-) is the result of the original liquid twin -ll- existing not only in Latin, but mainly in Akkadian, in Assyrian, in Babylonian.
The occlusive palatal-retroflex sound is currently also present in the Salentine dialect spoken in Lecce, in the Sicilian dialect, in parts of Tuscany, in the Sardinian language (Sassari and especially Gallurian varieties), as well as in Corsica. This phenomenon is however expanded in the world, being in the Swedish language (-rd- of north is made nu:ḍ), in the Norwegian language (nexus -rd-: varde > vaḍ:ε), in ancient French, in Hindi language, Sanskrit, Javanese, Kannada language, Nihali language, Gascon, Asturian.
It seems obvious that such a vast expansion has roots in an archaic phenomenon, certainly paleolithic, linked to the origins of language itself. In all probability, the phenomenon in the archaic ages was generalized among the Mediterranean-Euro-Asian languages and then, after the various mixtures of populations (e.g. those created by the millennial movements of the Steppe Peoples, even before the Cimbri, the Teutons, by the Germans and, subsequently, by the so-called Barbarian Invasions in Europe, including the raid of Attila, and finally the invasion of the Goths). Then this phenomenon began to regress, and in any case it broke up. The reasons for the regression can be seen, statistically, as the prevalence of the phonetic inflections of the new peoples, who articulated the dental instead of cacuminal. Undoubtedly it is not easy to examine the phenomenon. Only starting from a good erudition people can attempt to catalog the various phenomena, territory by territory, firmly linking them to the oldest linguistic roots, always keeping in mind that the only scientific method with which we can proceed is that of etymology. There is no other method.
I would disappoint the reader if I affirmed that the roots of the most ancient words attest to a primitive /ḍḍ/, of which we actually have no documentation, excluding the ancient Sanskrit (and excluding the spoken Sardinian language, which has Paleolithic ancestors). This does not mean that the cacuminal twin was not originally expanded: it only means that linguists, when they translated the oldest languages (Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian), were unable to grasp, from the unearthed written tablets, the evidence that the original twined was cacuminal rather than dental.
The framework just considered makes the Sardinian scholar shrewd in the search for the bases to which to hook the current /ḍḍ/, since the retroflexed contained in a Sardinian word, in addition to corresponding to an original grapheme -dd-, and sometimes -d-, it can also correspond – according to the words examined – to an original grapheme -t-, and also to an original grapheme -ll-. This is the somewhat complex picture that I ascertained in observing the etymological bases found in the Latin, Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian languages.
This means that the current retroflexes of northern Sardinia, Sassari, Gallura are the result of the convergence of four different phonetic bases. And while it is quite easy, even obvious, to identify the current retroflexes to the three Semitic graphemes -dd-, -d-, -t-, instead the identification of /ḍḍ/ to Latin and Semitic words containing /ll/ (or /l/) requires a supporting procedure, due to the different phonemic outcome.
Here the Romance philologists burst in with unjustified arrogance, all cohesive in “validating” (I would say in claiming) the derivation of Sardinian /ḍḍ/ from Latin /ll/, although in proposing this derivation they are uncritical, in the sense the Latin phoneme /ll/ is believed to be certain, absolute, original, unique, unfailing. They do not realize that the phenomenon of retroflex is almost worldwide, very old (as I observed) and that in any case it excludes Latin, which instead presents an isolate /ll/ that must be justified.
Certainly the Romance philologists have on their side an evidence, i.e. the strong similarity of Sardinian and Latin words as well as their semantic identity (e.g. giáḍḍu = gallus). All right. But meanwhile the Sardinian-Latin identity is somewhat restricted in the number of shared words; and then, I wonder why they don’t want to extend the field of investigation to Semitic languages too, considering that the philologists cannot explain the reasons for the metamorphosis /ll/ > /ḍḍ/ within the “Indo-European” and “Romance” fields (congenial to them). Why can’t the unveiling of this busillis be found in the Semitic languages?
As usual, the Romance philologists entrenched themselves in the ideology that forces them to blindly declare the Latin origin of the Sardinian language: and by that ideology they remain imprisoned. The similarity or equality between the various Latin and Sardinian phono-semantems linked by the phenomenon /ll/ > /ḍḍ/, for them is the “proof of nine”. Obviously this is not the case, since the Latin language is only one of the tesserae of the largest and most articulated Mediterranean language of the pre-Roman era. This means that relationship between Latin /ll/ and Sardinian /ḍḍ/ can be explained and understood only in the broader framework of Semitic-Mediterranean linguistics. So here I am to explain the causes of the metamorphosis /ll/ > /ḍḍ/.
The basic model is found in Akkadian and Babylonian (w)ēdû(m) ‘prominent, high-placed’ (of persons of high rank), which semantically corresponds to the adjective elu(m) ‘top, top place’, ‘tall, elevated’, ‘rising high’, ‘exalted’. To this semantic binomial, phonemically opposed (-d- versus -l-), is also added the Akkadian adjective ellu(m) ‘pure, limpid’, ‘bright, shining’, ‘(ritually) pure’ (said of divinity and person, also said of spell, temple, place, meal, offering, priest). As can be seen, ellu is phonemically similar to elu, and their semantics also converge within a similar field.
It was this trinomial -d-, -l-, -ll- that converged diachronicly in the model /ḍḍ/ found in the Mediterranean, Sardinia, Corsica (but not in Lazio), in the sense that many of the Semitic words containing -d-, -l-, -ll- (and the Latin ones containing -ll-) were finally homologated (or reduced) to Sardinian-Corsican forms in -ḍḍ-. I only deal with the Sardinian phenomenon, and I am able to demonstrate that in Sardinia those three forms in -d-, -l-, -ll- have merged into the unifying phenomenon /ḍḍ/, as we will see in the etymological examples listed below. In addition to the three models now exhibited, the other Semitic items above considered, i.e. those bearing a /t/ median, obviously flow into the Sardinian cacuminals.
ALIDÉḌḌU, aridéḍḍu Log. ‘plume hyacinth’ (Muscari comosum Mill.). Paulis NPPS 213-14 maintains that not to alum (Pliny, N.H. 26.42) people must go to search for the etymology of alidéḍḍu, aridéḍḍu, but to Lat. aretillum (cited in CGL 3,26 and Ps.-Diosc. 3,151), which he undoubtedly considers a paronomastic attraction of aries, arietinus. This intuition of Paulis can be valid and, if it is, this phytonym has a Mediterranean expansion, being confidently Sardinian too and having an etymological basis in Akk. ālu(m) ‘ram’ + te’ītum, tîtum ‘nourishment (food)’: genitive chain āli-te’ītum, meaning ‘ram’s food’.
ALLÓḌḌU ‘here it is!’ Camp. adv.; cf. Log. accollu! ‘there he is’. E Déus at náu: Luxi! E comenti at náu “Luxi”, allóḍḍu! éccus ainnói sa luxi ‘And God said, “Light”. And as said “Light”, look!, here is the light (Piero Marcialis, Sa Creazioni).
Camp. allóddu has semantics equivalent to that of It. ecco, an adverb that calls attention to something sudden or in any case perceptible, and also introduces a telling. Etymol. base of allóḍḍu is Sum. al (prefix verbal indicator, indicating status) + ud, uda ‘when’ (locative particle), ud ‘today’, udda ‘on the day when’: in composition al-lud = ‘at this precise moment’.
ANEḌḌA a surname based on Akk. Anu(m) ‘the god of Heaven’ + ellu ‘pure, clear, limpid’: genitive chain An-ellu, one of the epithets addressed to this deity.
BAḌḌE Log. ‘valley’. It has comparisons in Lat. vallis but above all in Sum. bad ‘opening, creating a ditch’, bal ‘digging’, ‘opening a canal’, crossed with bala ‘pouring, widening, flooding’. The basic concept is depression, excavation, channel, water drainage system (OCE II 604). As you can see, the Sardinian voice derives from the bad root, the Latin voice derives from the bal root. There is therefore no reason to hypothesize in Sardinia a cacuminal transformation from Lat. vallis.
BAZINEḌḌA Sass., Log. bazzinèḍḍa ‘dizziness, vertigo’. Etymological basis Akk. (w)aṣû(m), very productive verb that ranges semantically from ‘going out’ (with the head, with the senses), ‘running away, going away’ to ‘going away’, ‘releasing’, ‘losing’ + ne’ellû ‘wander around’: genitive chain (w)aṣi-ne’ellû; the analytical meaning is ‘wave that comes out (from the head) and buzzes around’. These are all the sensations that you have when you feel dizzy (for example when you dance the waltz by making long twirls).
BIḌḌÌA Centr. and Log. ‘ice, frost’. See Log. ghiligìa, Camp. ciližia, giḍḍigìa. Etymological basis in Akk. ḫillu(m) ‘cover, shell (of the egg); bark’, ‘cavity left by a dead and emptied root’, ‘cloudy layer’, ‘veil, haze’. Biḍḍìa is an adjectival in -ìa of Akk. ḫillu(m). As usual, the Lautverschiebung b- < ḫ (see § 3.1.4 of GLSP) occurs in north Sardinia. Compared to the Logudorian form, the Campidanian one retains the Akk compound. ḫillu + ḫi’u (a type of dress): genitive chain ḫilli-ḫi’u, with tautological meaning of ‘shell coating’.
BIḌḌIGHÍNZU, bitikinzu, vitikinzu, pilighinzu Log. ‘old man’s beard’ (Clematis vitalba L.). Adjectival based in Akk. bītu ‘tent, dwelling, house’, Heb. bait ‘idem’ + ginû ‘child, son’: genitive chain bīti-ginû with the meaning of ‘daughter of the tent’, or ‘similar to the tent’. Hence biḍḍighinzu (ie *vitekìneu). To understand this ancient base it’s necessary to remember that the house in the high Middle Eastern antiquity was, above all, the tent, and this in turn took the idea from the “tent” created by Vitis vinifera in the forests, above the tree crowns, a immense tangle with which this creeper envelops and pervades the trees to which it clings.
BIḌḌISÓ Sass. ‘sparrow’, from Akk. bītu ‘tent, settlement, house’, Hebr. bait ‘idem’ + su’’u ‘dove’: genitive chain bīti-su’’u = ‘dove of the houses’. The tendency of sparrows to nest on the roofs or on the eaves of country-houses is well known.
BOÉḌḌU Sd surname based on Akk. bûm ‘bird’ + ellu ‘(ritually) pure’, meaning ‘suitable for rites’ (in relation to auspicium). See Boèlle, allotrope.
BOÈLLE cognome allotrope of Boéḍḍu; it has been preserved in its original phonemic purity, being a Sardinian term based on Akk. bûm ‘bird’ + ellu ‘(ritually) pure’, with the meaning of ‘bird suitable for rituals’ (in relation to the auspicium).
BULLA, bollonkèḍḍa, bullùcca, bullìcca, bubbulìcca. In Sd. is the ‘vesicle, bladder”, also ‘pustule’. Base in Bab. bullu ‘decay’, bullûm ‘putrid’; bullûtum ‘state of decay’. It crosses with the other term Bab. bubu(’)tu(m) ‘furuncle, pustule’. As you can see, bulla has preserved the phonemic purity of its origins, without incurring mutations.
(CARDU) CABIḌḌU in Márghine and Gocèano is the name of Carlina gummifera. Base in Akk. ḫâpu ‘fear, be afraid of’ + iddum pl. ‘tips, sharpened points’, with the meaning of ‘fearsome points’.
CADELLO, Cadeḍḍu a surname based on Akk. ḫadû(m) ‘gioy’ + ellu(m) ‘pure’, meaning ‘pure gioy’ (referring to flower beauty). Cadéllo is the primitive form of this surname, Cadéḍḍu is the following form, after having undergone the palatalization of -ll-.
CIRUDDU a surname in Santa Teresa; its varying is Cirullo.
CIRULLO is a surname based in Akk. ḫīru(m) (a piece of clothing) + ullû (a dress), with the meaning of ‘dress of the genus ḫīru’.
COḌḌÁRE Log. ‘to implement coitus’. Etymological basis Akk. kullu(m) ‘take, grab (someone); take possession, be in possession of’, ‘wait (for a matter)’; there is also the etymological alternative in ḫūdu(m), ḫudû Bab. pl.f. “happiness, pleasure, satisfaction, contentment”, with reference to the effect of union.
CORDELLA surname-prototype, from which Cordeḍḍa and Cordeḍḍu developed. Etymological basis is this following: Sum. kur ‘burning, roasting’ + udu ‘sheep’: compound kur-udu > kur(u)du + Akk. ellu ‘(ritually) pure’ = ‘sheep of the burnt offering’, that is ‘sheep totally burnt on the altar’. Note once again that homologation to -dd- (-ḍḍ-) of the original terms does not operate constantly, even between the same surnames. This phonetic law involves both the evolution and the conservation of the basic models.
CORODDA surname based on Akk. kurullu ‘harvest festival, wheat harvest feast’. Apparently, the Latin (and Italian, then Sardinian) corolla was originally nothing more than a clever arrangement of the sheaves during the festival, which was invariably made at harvest. It seems clear that this Sardinian surname does not derive from Lat. corolla, being an original Sardinian noun.
COSSEDDU surname which was a Sardinian ritual term, based on Akk. kussû(m) ‘chair, stool, throne’ + ellu ‘(ritually) pure’, with the meaning of ‘priestly throne’ and the like.
COSSELLU variant of surname Cosséddu. Or rather, Cosséllu is the prototype from which Cosséddu evolved. It is an original noun.
COSSIGHEḌḌU surname attested in the province of Nùoro. Pittau believes it corresponding to diminutive of surn. Cossìga, according to him as filiation of the former from the latter. But -éllu has never indicated either filiations or diminutives, being an original Akkadian term (ellu) that indicates something ‘pure, limpid, clean’, referring to rituals. Since Cossìga meant an unidentified ‘stone’, it is clear that Cossigh-éḍḍu means ‘sacred stone’, that is, sa perda fitta.
CRAGÁLLU, crogállu Camp. ‘wooden spoon’. Etymological basis Akk. ḫarû ‘a large container’ (+ Sum. suff. -al), made of ceramic or copper, for grains or liquids; ḫar-al also designates an offertory ceremony. The Sum. ḫara ‘idem’ + ḫal ‘pot’, ‘basket’: ḫar-ḫal indicated a ‘large container in the shape of a pot or basket’. See also craḍḍáju. Having clarified this, the original meaning of the mythical Grail is not unknown: on the contrary! It is known as the arrogance that feeds the crowd of buzzing medievalists around a name whose legends they prefer to cultivate. Not even this voice has suffered the “cacuminal law”.
CUCCURUMEḌḌU Sass. ‘tumble, somersault’. The first member derives from cùccuru ‘pointed top’, ‘top of the skull’ < Sum. kur ‘mountain’, with a doubled term: ku-kur. Cfr. Skr. kāhra ‘hard’ (OCE 866).
As for the member (-meḍḍu), it has an Akkadian basis too, from mēlulu ‘to play, operate’; with the loss of the first -u-, we had mellu > meḍḍu. The whole term means ‘play with the head’, and it is to be imagined that in ancient times it was just like that: just see the behavior of the children.
CUCUMEḌḌU Sass. and Log. ‘mushroom’. The origin of this compound was ignored. The etymological basis is as follows: kukkum ‘dark, darkness’ + me ‘silence’ + du ‘to spread out’. The compound kukkum-me-du originally meant ‘spreading in the silence of darkness’.
CUKKÉḌḌU Centr., cuccu (Alà), cuccùi (Désulo), cuccummiáu (Dorgáli) ‘cyclamen’ (Cyclamen repandum L.). Base in Akk. kukku(m) ‘(a kind of) cake’ + ellu ’pure, clear, crisp’, with the meaning of ‘perfect dessert’ (considering the perfect shape of the tuber, similar to a small hamburger). But -éḍḍu can also be the Sardinian diminutive suffix: see § 22.214.171.124 of my Grammatica.
FANZELLU variant of the surname Fancellu, which Pittau believes to be a Sardinianization of the identical Italian surname. It seems strange that De Felice approaches Fancello to what is believed the prototype, i.e. Fanti, from ancient It. fante ‘one who assists the knight’, fan(ti)cello ‘child, boy, young (unmarried) man’, that is ‘still serving in the family’, ‘jockey’, ‘infantry soldier’, then ‘who rides on horseback by profession’, ‘puppet’, ‘effigy of the enemy soldier’. De Felice does not give the etymology, believing it obviously linked to the usual proposal, from Lat. infānte(m) ‘who does not speak’, or ‘suckling baby’. And so we are led to believe that all these terms that came out (?!?) in the Middle Ages have the semantic basis in a child who can only suck. Unbelievable.
And so also the fante, the fantesca, that is the woman who rules the house, who assists the owners in the government of the family and of children, would have the same etymology. And no one bothered to read in the Akk. dictionary bāntu ‘mother’, bāntiš ‘like a mother’. Having therefore made the cleaning of the shame of De Felice and his infantryman Pittau, and returning to Fancellu, we can note that it, together with the heap of similar surnames present in Italy, is a sacred Mediterranean epithet, based on Akk. bānû ‘(God) Creator’ + ṣellu, ṣēlu(m) ‘rib’ (genitive chain bān-ṣellu > Fanzéllu > Fancello), with the meaning of ‘rib of God’: in all probability referred to the God of Nature, who was often deemed subordinate to the Supreme God.3
GRAVELLÍNU Camp. ‘wild carnation’ (Dyanthus sylvestris). Gravellínu, gravéllu ‘carnation’ participate equally in the etymology of Cat. clavell, having a common basis in Akk. karab-ellû (karābu ‘prayer, blessing’, ellû ‘high, exalted’), with the meaning of ‘prayer to the Most High’ for the pleasant fragrance.
KIAÉḌḌU Log., ciaéḍḍu Gall. ‘pustule’. Etymological basis Akk. ḫiālu(m) ‘exudate’ + elû(m), eliu(m) ‘superior, external’ = ‘leaking out (of purulent swelling)’.
KIKIRÌḌḌAS Log. ‘caloric chloasma’. I remember that this epidermal phenomenon, produced on the female legs by excessive exposure to the heat of brazier, appears as a network of circles, rings or “blue-red” eyes and disappears in a short time. The etymological basis is Akk. kīlu ‘closure, imprisonment’, repeated to indicate multiplicity + illu, īlu ‘weaving of canes’ (to indicate the structure with narrow links). The whole produced by genitive chain *kil-kil-illu > *ki(l)kilillu > kikiliḍḍa and kikiriḍḍa.
KIRIELLE Field chrysanthemum’ (Nùoro): Chrysanthemum segetum and Chrysanthemum coronarium. Sardinian compound based on Akk. qerû(m) ‘recalling, inviting’ the divinity to the offering + ellu(m) ‘brilliant, shining’ (always referring to sacred things, as well as to the purest things of nature), with the meaning of ‘recalling (divinity) through the splendor’. It should be noted in this regard that the chrysanthemum meadows in Sardinia are often immense, they colonize entire wheat fields, fallows, ungrazed meadows and cloak them with an amazing golden-yellow color, a true hymn to joy. As you can see, this lemma has preserved the phonemic purity of the origins, without incurring mutations.
MULEḌḌA, Moleḍḍa surname. It would seem, at first sight, to derive directly from the Arabic Muled, which is the 12th of the month of Rabi el-Auwal when the birth of the prophet Muhammad is celebrated (the same date also recalls his death). A variant of Muleḍḍa might even seem to be the surn. Milella. Actually Muleḍḍa, Moleḍḍa has autonomous etymology, from Akk. mūlû ‘height, precipitated side of an acropolis’ + elû, ellû ‘high’. So we can translate Muleḍḍa with ‘high side of the acropolis’.
MUNTEḌḌOS Log. ‘Helichrysum’ (Helichrysum italicum G.Don.). It seems that our ancient mothers successfully used the infusion of flowers against foot diseases. In fact munteḍḍos is a Sardinian compound based on Akk. munû (a foot disease) + tele’û ‘very competent’, with the antonomastic meaning of ‘(plant) for foot care’.
MUREḌḌU ‘weasel’. Rare name of northern Sardinia instead of tana e muru, danna e muru and the like. This small mustelid, carnivorous, attacks mice, rats, but also chickens if necessary, slaughtering them in the chicken coop. In ancient times it was bred precisely for hunting rats, and was replaced in the imperial age by the cat. Francesco Cetti recalls that in the eighteenth century the weasel was bred in Sardinia for pleasure, as it can be tamed. The ladies of rank wore it with a ribbon and a bell (ADS 143). This term is believed to refer to the wall due to the fact that this animal lives in dry stone walls or inside ruined houses or monuments. Instead the etymological basis lies in Akk. mūru(m) ‘young animal’. In this case -éḍḍu is a diminutive of Sardinian language (see § 126.96.36.199 of my Grammar).
MURISTELLU Log. ‘black grape vine’. Base in Akk. mūru(m) ‘young animal’ + šitû ‘drinking, the act of drinking’. Mūru was an epithet addressed to the king; By genitive chain, the term šitû + ellu ‘offer wine’ was added to this epithet. So it meant, synthetically, ‘(wine that) the King drinks in the sacrifices of the Temple’. There are no words to weave more valid praises to this portentous wine. You can observe the maintenance of the very ancient -ll-, an option which many Sardinian words have used.
MUTTEḌḌU. Pranu Mutteḍḍu o Muttédu, in Goni’s land, is a flat site covered by a cork forest, where there is one of the most beautiful and interesting pre-nuragic settlements in Sardinia, characterized by a large cist entirely carved out of the rock through the original hole constituting the door. The cyst, about 1.5 m high, stands at the center of a large solar circle delimited by orthostats, next to which a long row of aniconic menhirs unfolds, hammer-shaped and oriented in an east-west line. Pranu Mutteddu has always been interpreted as ‘the plan of myrtle wood’, from Camp. mutta ‘myrtle’. But apart from the fact that myrtle is not found throughout this district, the site is one of the few in the area where the original forest has been preserved almost intact. It should therefore have been called Pranu Suérgiu ‘plain of cork trees’. Indeed, Mutteḍḍu has an etymological basis in Bab. mu(t)tellu ‘noble, princely’ and Pranu Mutteḍḍu means ‘plain of principles’. Whether you like it or not, this irrefutable translation gives archaeologists an excellent tool to better interpret the great mystery that still envelops this ancient funeral site.
PANEḌḌA surname which was a sacred Sardian term, based in Akk. pānu ‘face, the color (of the face)’ and more precisely the ‘face of the Sun, of God (which shines red and incandescent)’. It is the same term as Gr. Πᾶν, also originally referred to the Sun and following to deity of the woods. In Hebrew it was said penû ‘El ‘face of the Sun, of God’. The goddess of fertility and love, Tanit, was also called Tanit Panè Ba’al = ‘Tanit Face of Baal’, as if to say ‘Face of the Universe, of the greatest God, the one who rules the world’. As for the suffix -édda, it is from Akk. ellu ‘pure, holy’ which, combined by genitive chain to pānu, gives the meaning of ‘holy face’ (which undoubtedly was a woman’s name).
SANTEḌḌU surname based on Akk. sāntu, sāmtu ‘dawn’ + ellu ‘(ritually) pure’. Originally it had to be a muliebre name with the meaning of ‘pure dawn’, ‘sacred Aurora’, with reference to Antu, the paredra of Anu, the supreme God of Heaven. At the beginning sāntu, sāmtu ‘dawn’ was none other than ša Antu ‘that of Antu, relating to Antu’ (i.e. ‘just the Aurora’, ‘Antu rising to Heaven’).
SANTELÌA surname which is corruption of the surn. Santeḍḍu, obviously made by the Byzantine priests during their war against the pagan religion. In fact Santeḍḍu (even before Santelìa, Sant’Elìa) was written sāntellu, genitive chain of sāntu, sāmtu ‘dawn’ + ellu ‘(ritually) pure’: go to Santeddu.
By all researchers it is recognized that the personal name Elijah masked the supreme God of Heaven, namely the Phoenician-Heb. Eli, Elu, who in the new Christian religion was degraded to “saint”. So it is obvious that Santelìa, Sant’Elìa can also mean ‘Ascent of Eli’ or ‘Ascent of the Sun god’, ‘the rising of the Sun god’. Therefore both hypotheses here made are valid, that of sāntellu and that of sāntu Eli, Elu.
SPANEḌḌA surname which is an archaic compound with Ugaritic base, whose first member is the same as Surn. Spanu, the second member is Akk. ellu ‘pure’ epithet referring to the god Ṣapānu, with the meaning of ‘pure, holy Ṣapānu’.
UCCELLA surname which was an ancient Mediterranean and Sardinian feminine name, based in Akk. ukû ‘loom’ + ellu ’(ritually) pure, holy, sacred’, with the meaning of ‘holy loom’ (name that was all a program). Clearly the same origin has the It. surn. Uccello (see the famous Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello).
UCCHEDDU surname which is a variant of Uccella, Uccello (see).
UḌḌA Camp., buḍḍa Log. ‘gut, straight intestine’. In Campidano’s villages it also mainly means cunnus. To find the etymology we must first deconstruct the current semantics to bring it back to Akk. ullû ‘exalted’ (goddess). Note that Akk. ullu is also a kind of bull (especially silver-bull, the one depicted in the sacred statuary). Therefore it’s obvious that originally this term indicated both the God-Bull and the Goddess-Cow (not by chance the Egyptians interpreted the cow as hypostasis of the goddess Hathor, the goddess of Nature, of beauty, love). The current meaning of ‘pussy, vulva, belly, backside’ (as a complex of femininity) must be interpreted as a destructuring and impoverishment of a sacred epithet of the Šardana, made by Byzantine priests.
15. DEVELOPMENT OF SARDINIAN GRAMMAR
External grammars managed to influence late on the current Sardinian grammar. The Latin one, contrary to popular belief, did not affect, not only because Latin was only spoken in the cities (where there were few people, compared to the masses of the countryside and the mountains), but because after the breakup of the Empire, Sardinian language quickly ebbed in the cities, reducing Latin language. In the meantime, the new Byzantine masters with a different language had taken over, and even more than Latin, Greek language remained scarcely spreadable within the island. Indeed, we discover that Greek in Sardinia did not even affect cities; for this reason it did not become “superstrate language”. The island had to wait for contacts with the Maritime Republics, as well as the prevalence of Tuscan literature, to finally undergo a captivating and lasting model of grammar.
However, it is to be imagined that even the Italian phase was not easy to embrace, since the linguistic uses of the Sardinian people until more than 1000 of the Vulgar era remained innervated by a Semitic tradition rooted remotely in the pre-Latin millennia. This long and tenacious persistence had hindered Latin, then Greek, and began to give up only because of the changed socio-economic climate.
From what we can see, the prevailing illiteracy had played no role in hindering and “unnerving” the adaptation processes. The changes in antiquity did not prevailed since the colonial links already mentioned were scarcely strong. A propensity for change occurs only when there is social and economic mobility, therefore when you enjoy a certain freedom, harbinger of exchanges and understandings. It was precisely this dynamic that had been lacking in the Latin and Greek centuries, while it finally appeared thanks to the new mercantile and organizational spirit of Ligurians and Tuscans.
In their peculiarity, the various dialects preserved in this inland areas looked to medieval history and to the Mediterranean landscape anchored to the millennial heritage, and the faint change of view still did not have all the power to overturn the grammar and the lexicon. Italian merchants and monks were bringing contamination and linguistic novelty into a lazy, inertial, disorganized fabric, between inviolate pockets of “conservation”, ankylosed by the anguished and impenetrable mountain range.
Nevertheless, the pervasive wind of the maritime Republics, full of novelties, was finally moving the plebs and the agro-pastoral economy, making itself felt even in the internal areas. Together with the Italian merchants, the companies of monks moved, which helped organize a series of economic poles that shook the millennial static nature of the Sardinian economy.
These unthinkable openings favored the encounter of the Sardinian lexicon with the similar one of the maritime republics, and immediately after the encounter with other neighboring lexicons, significantly advanced in the elaboration of an analytical Mediterranean grammar. The Sardinian speech was meeting with the Tuscan and Ligurian language, with the Languedoc and also with the Catalan language.
The wide and profound historical disturbance was at the same time generating the urge to write (to write among the people and for the people, to write into vernacular, not in Latin) a series of documents, first of all the notary ones, to whose drafting Latin-trained immigrant priests and Sardinian notaries were called, people trained in Italian universities and likewise educated in Latin.
The commitment to write in Sardinian gradually offered the chance to the priests-amanuenses (and notaries) of the Sardinian Giudicati (kingdoms) to force and orient the island expression towards the grammatical and literary methods in force in the evolved centers.
But it’s even intuitive that the first contractual documents (the condaghes, the Vulgar Papers etc.) ended up being written with many regressive phrases (today here and there flowed back into the incomprehension), which the scribe often wrote under dictation. We can imagine the embarrassment of the priest-scribes from Italy, who perhaps were often induced to frame (and modify) the incomprehensible sentences within reassuring Latin patterns. However, this operation was easy, at least for them, given that every Latin-educated scholar has always discovered a sort of sister-language in Sardinia, since Sardinian lexicon retains swarms of “Latin” words on its own behalf, for millennia before Rome. It was precisely this archaic phenomenon that had deceived Dante Alighieri, however, reversing his perspective and making him believe that it was the Sardinians who mimicked Latin.
Some Carte Volgari (Vulgar Charts or Papers) were the field where the mixture and the blend of the two ways of speaking (the “involute” or conservative of archaic Sardinian language-and-grammar, confused with the Latin one from Tuscany) reveals itself.
This is not the place to analyze all the Vulgar Papers, nor to make the whole analysis of one. I just want to take for example the XXI parchment of 22 June 1226, extrapolating a long passage where the dough is palpable (and at times incomprehensible, so much as to have misled some modern translator).
With this card, the queen Benedetta, in giving to the bishop of Dolia a series of immunities, warns, among other things, that they «non turbint gimilioni de manus perunu, et nin de messari, et nin de binia, et ni de regnu, et ni ad peguliari, et ni a curadori, et ni a peruna personi, pro cerga ki ad essiri pro su seniori de sa terra, et non faççant peruna munia mala plus secundu in co fagenta».
My traduction is this: “do not transform [in the right of fornication] any performance of work (gimilioni de manus perunu), nor that established in the form of a harvest (et nin de messari), nor that in the form of a grape harvest, nor in the form of a state corvée, nor of corvée for the judge (king), nor corvée for the curator (vice-re), nor that in favor of any person for charges (cerga) due to the lord of the earth, and such gentlemen do not impose any dishonest burden (peruna munia mala) higher or different from how they had done so far”.A doubtless dark phrase.
Many philologists have practiced on this mysterious gimilioni, with poor performance. It also appears in the phrase of an act of 1119, therefore a century earlier, containing a large donation of farmhouses, lands and servants, made to the main church of Santa Maria di Pisa by Torchitorio II, ruler of the Cagliari kingdom, and by his wife Preziosa di Làconi, with their son Constantine. In the part that interests us it sounds like this: «et non appat zerga de turbari gimilioni, si non unu aerem serviat ad Sancta Maria propter Deum, et anima mea; et vivat cum servos de pauperum».
My translation of this second sentence, considering that zerga, cerga is ‘something that is given in proportion to the goods owned’, sounds like this: “and (the church, i.e. the monks) does not receive services such as to reconfigure according to primitive use the gimilione, if a (substitute) contribution in cash is not enough (that is, when it is not enough)… “.
I acknowledge going on a collision course against many people with my two translations; especially in translating gimilioni, since I affirm that it was originally nothing more than jus primae noctis (read the broad etymology I wrote in No.F.E.L.Sa.). Gimilioni by someone is combined with Gr. gaméo ‘to couple, unite, marry’, and “marriage therefore appears to be the determining cause of the tribute and for this reason the Greek word Γαμηλιών which indicated the most favorable month for weddings in Greece, offers us the etymological explanation of gimilioni” (DFC 52). But we must pay attention to the fact that this Greek term (and month), still intact in the Byzantine era, does not affect the oldest etymological basis of the Sardinian legal term, dating back to Akkadian, where we find gimillu(m), gimlu(m) with the meaning of ‘compensation, exchange, reward; friendly action, of respect (of someone able to do a favor)”. The verbal form gamālu(m) also means ‘to do someone a favor, to return a favor’.
However, this is not the aspect I wanted to point out, but rather the remarkable obscurity of the first sentence, where you can see an involute and convoluted proceeding, slightly softened by the notary’s effort to make the grammatical plot more patent, which in non-cancellerque speech had to be even more obscure, considering the distant non-Latin origins.
In both sentences, then, more in the second, the use of Latin is well perceived, which, although lexiconally connoted to the pre-Roman Sardinian language, in my opinion was here and there “tamed” in notary forms in order to make the most perspicuous the whole sentence in front of all (in front of natives and in front of the priests who received the donations). Unfortunately Antonio Sanna thought in the opposite way to mine, and wrote that even Terracini in 1931 noticed a Latin “once again become the language of chancellery in Sardinia”, which appears trod on a model of vulgar tradition … “truly unique in the history of Romance languages” (Sanna DS 41).
Terracini e Sanna had not perceived that the deep soul of the Sardinian lexicon was precisely that treasure chest of “latinity”, dating back to the distant millennia, and so powerful that it even managed to move massively in the Lazio and in Tuscany (with the mediation of the Etruscan element) before Rome became strong and seized the Mare Nostrum.
16. AMANUENSES AND ARBITRARY LATINISMS
In defense of medieval amanuenses, I recognize that they did not have the scrupulous respect that is proper to modern philologists for the linguistic aspect of a text. Moreover, here they were dealing with contractual texts, as such adjustable. The amanuensis wanted to make the contractual text accessible to the reader; and for this purpose he did not hesitate to temper it with his own habits and with those of environment with linguistic adaptations, sometimes pushed to disguise.
Widely observing, the fashion of adaptation appears even freer in the incipient literature in the Upper Tyrrhenian Sea; and for this the troubadours’ poems appear with different patina, not only graphically different, in the various songbooks: in the manuscripts copied in Italy there is no lack of Italianisms, nor catalanisms in the Catalan manuscripts; in some codices we have Frenchized Provençal lyrics, just as in Italy the lyrics of the Sicilian School will appear Tuscanized by the Tuscan scribes.
We must also say frankly that in Sardinian, as it was in anc.Fr. and still today in many languages, the handwriting based on the traditional signs of Latin alphabet did not allow and does not allow expressive uniformity, indeed it presented and presents several uncertainties. Identifying the correspondence between graphemes and phonemes is often difficult for any language (a catastrophic example is the handwriting of Anglo-Saxon, with 400 options on 25 phonemes), and it’s natural that various graphic traditions remain, as are natural the reciprocal influences, or the mutual discrepancies, the considerable differences in pronunciation in face of the same graphemes, the freedoms that scribes took with the originals, adapting them to varying degrees to their own writing, pronunciation, even lexicon habits. Any inaccuracies still appear today in Sardinia, of course, and they are accentuated in the writing of Sassari for deficiencies in graphemes corresponding to certain phonemes.
A typical graphic disorder can be found in representing the deaf velar, where in anc.Fr. there is k or q or ch (as indeed in Sardinia). And so in Roland oxoniensis Karles, Carles, Charles coexist (Roncaglia LO 119).
Examples of phonetic differentiations are, in abundance, within the Sardinian language and even more between it and the other languages. But in Sardinia the constraints of amanuensis, those of Latinity, are perhaps more relevant. Let’s see a few examples:
Sóiu, sóu Sass.; anc. Log. sùo, mod. Centr. ‘ditto’; Log. sόu; anc. Camp. súu; súu, mod. Camp. sú ‘suo, its, his, her’. Obviously the Romance philologists accredit the basic form of these variants to Latin language, to sūus, and nobody has noticed that the etymological basis of all forms, including the Latin one, is Sum. -zu ‘yours’.
Iχinkiḍḍa Sass.; iskintìḍḍa (Bitti, Oroséi, Posada, Busachi, Norbello), iskintriḍḍa (Siniscola), iskintìḍḍia (Scano), iskintiza (Dorgali), iskintziḍḍa (Nùoro, Orani), iχentìḍḍia (Ozieri), iskindiḍḍa (Bonàrcado, Sennarìolo), iskindìḍḍia (S. Lussùrgiu), iskinditta (Pàdria, Macomèr, Cùglieri), iskinnitta (Bonorva), iškenditta (Pattada), istinkiḍḍa (Fonni), istinkìḍḍula (Luras), iyχinkiḍḍa (Sénnori), iskinkiriḍḍa (Tonara), skinkiḍḍa (Milis), šinkiḍḍa (Narcao), šinciḍḍa (Seùi, Perdadefogu, Escalaplano, Samassi, S. Antìoco), cinciḍḍa (Mògoro), cicciḍḍa (Làconi, Càgliari) ‘spark’. We notice the various deformations due to metathesis, assimilation, imitative tendency, addition of suffix. Something similar in Calabria. The prototype-formation appears to be a diminutive of Planàrgia (iskindiḍḍa) with pref. s- disjunctive-derivative-multiplicative (motion from place), from ex, es- (imitating the motion of sparks) + -kind- (metaphonesis of qandu < Akk. qâdu ‘to ignite’: from which cand-ela) + suff. diminutive -illa, -iḍḍa.
On the likely intervention of the amanuensis, several Sardinian voices leave no doubt, as the following etymes denounce:
Merkede anc. Log. ‘gracefullness’. Etymological basis is the same of mercátu (see), It. mercede ‘pay, wage’.
Missu Log., Gall. and Camp. ‘messenger, town crier’ (Stat. Sass. I, 100; CdL 58). Latinismus.
Tramutare anc. Log. ‘permutare, scambiare’ (CSP 97: Tramutai homines cun donnu Gosantinu de Cannetu; CSNT 19: Tramutai binia cun Dorbezo furca; CSMB 112: Tramudarus homines cun s’archipiscobu Comita de Lacon, and similarly often in condaghes); subst. tramutu (CSP 56: Appit tramutu scu. Petru cun Comita de Thori; CSNT 224: in su tramutu ki fecit isse cun…; CV XV, 1: tramuda (po tramuda ki fegit megu mia donna Binitta de Lacon, e spesso). Cfr. Lat. transmutāre < mutāre ‘move, change, exchange’, mutuus ‘reciprocal, mutual’. Etymological basis Akk. muttum ‘front (part), front, facing’.
For the avoidance of doubt, I remember that the priests who arrived in Sardinia in the “four dark centuries” (ie before the Ligurian-Pisans) were of Byzantine origin and training, and among them they used the Greek language. They also used it at the Authority established in Càgliari, in Sàssari and in other cities, as well as with the Levantine merchants who had replaced the Latin ones in frequenting Sardinia. However, coincidentally, the Sardinian language and handwriting is totally and paradoxically devoid of Greekism, despite the fact that Greek priests and monks have alternated among themselves (or remained) in the island for five centuries.
A fortiori the ill-famed “Latinisms” of Sardinian vocabulary attributed to the Sardinian-Byzantine environment of the early Middle Ages, they cannot be Byzantine (if they were, this would be paradoxical). Since the forms of Byzantine power did not differ from the Roman ones, it is questionable – with equal reasoning – why all the Latin-like words of the Sardinian language should be necessarily Latin. Above I have shown that certain beliefs have drawn authority from the mind of “scholars” who do not like meditation.
Considering this, the Latin words not belonging to the medieval period (nor to the Roman period) must however be explained, Dante Alighieri (De Vulgari Eloquentia I, XI) wrote: Sardos etiam, qui non Latii sunt sed Latiis associandi videntur, eiciamus, quoniam soli sine proprio vulgari esse videntur, gramaticam, tamquam simie homines imitantes: nam domus nova et dominus meus locuntur ‘…and we also reject the Sardinians, who are not italics but seem to have to associate with the italics, because only these appear to us without their own vulgar, and imitate grammar [ie Latin] as monkeys imitate men; they say indeed: Domus nova and Dominus meus’.
But we have ascertained that the Sardinians have never aped the Latins. On this matter, however, there has not been a single scholar who has not caught the blunder. The reader who has the power to read the entire No.F.E.L.Sa. and also this Etymological Dictionary of Sassari, will learn that the Sardinian words deriving directly from Latin are much less than 10%. To those who want to declare this residue a legacy of Roman colonization, I grant it to them, but I am surprising them in saying that the Romans in turn inherited at least 50% of the words from Sardinia.
As long as the conviction of the learned in this direction does not change, until it’s not accepted that the Sardinian and then Latin languages were part of the great Mediterranean Koiné, the fatal “Latin prejudice” can never fall. It must fall even more so, if we consider that thousands of words that most consider Latin were spoken by the Sardinians in the middle of the Nuragic age, that is at least 1000 years before the first hut of branches arose on the Palatine. How did the people of Lazio manage to saturate the Sardinian language with Latin, if in those days Rome was still “in God’s mind”?
Here are a few examples, among the thousands that would impel (but see the discussions in the two Dictionaries mentioned).
Auinde anc. Log. (CSP 5: et falat su ualliclu derectu ad riuu, auinde riuu falat isc’a badu de preuiteru et cludet; CSNT 290: auinde toctuve via a derectu ad rivum de gulpe). Cfr. Lat. ăb-inde ‘di là’ (motion from place). This ancient entry is taken from the Latin vocabulary by the amanuensis who wrote the Sardinian document (note, here, ad rivum, an unequivocally Latin construction).
Inde Log., indi Camp. adv. ‘from’ (translation by Wagner). The Lat. place adv. in-dě (anc. im-dě) means ‘from there, from that place’ (motion from place): inde reversus ‘got back from there’; social provenance: ‘from him, from them’: inde oriundus erat ‘he came from him’; fig. ‘from this, therefore, consequently’. This Latin entry is based on Sum. im ‘to run, run out’ (motion from place) + de ‘to bring’. The compound im-de originally meant ‘going out in a hurry’. In this regard, I quote the ancient quotations produced by Wagner: CSP 207: derun inde su saltu de Ualle de Cucke; CV XV 4: pro su ki apat indi proi sanctu Antiogu. Frequently indě is written as enclitic: ‘nde, ‘de (CSP 204: non tinde do; ca ui andai e ‘nde la leuai; CSMB 48: Comporeilli a Petru Zote terra in Pubusone et fegindelli sollu).
Carnattu (St. Sass. I, 69): dessos qui fachen carnattu et dessa bructura de cussu. Apparently the phrase refers to butchers who manipulate meat to make sausages and more, producing pollution. In Sardinia, in addition to petza, the other word indicating ‘meat’ is carre (see for etymology); in Sardinia the basic word carne is missing.
Famígiu Stat. Castels. 179: gasi su iuuargiu, famigiu i ouer figiu dessu pupidu; 232: ouer roba de alcunu famigiu ‘servo’. Cfr. anc. It. famiglio. This voice is a striking result of the freedom with which Latin-trained priests, who arrived in Sardinia in the Middle Ages from Italy or France, handled the authentically Sardinian words that were dictated to them for official texts.
Fizzastru Log., fillastu Camp. ‘figliastro’ (CSP 31: cun sos fiastros; CSNT 29, 200, etc.: filiastru, filastru). This entry is influenced by the Italian suffix of figliastro < Lat. filiaster (REW 3297).
Gotantu, gatantu anc. Log. = anc. It. cotanto. This word is yet another indicator of the fact that priests and other scribes wrote the Sardinian language with a certain ease, limed by their basic training.
Infra Log. and Camp. ‘between, among, within’ (Stat. Sass. I, 27: infra dies XX; infra de otto dies; Liber Jud. Turrit., cap. 8: infra sa ottova de Pascha Manna; Cod. Sorres, cap. 20: infra dies XV). This entry is still used in Sardinia; but is learned Italianism, from Lat. infra. Indeed, here we are in pure Latinism, perhaps introduced by the scribes.
Patre anc. Log. ‘padre, babbo; father’ (CSP 15, 38, 262); patri (CV V, 3); padri (CV III, 3; V, 3; XIV, 9; XIX, 5). From It. padre < Lat. pāter. This word was never used in Sardinia (of Monte Santu Padre I discuss in No.F.E.L.Sa.). This is one of the macroscopic evidences that the Latin scribes of that time reworked the Sardinian language ad libitum in writing Sardinian charts.
Pecuiu anc. Sd. CSP 231: II sollos de pecuiu; CSMB 43: in tremisse de pecuiu), also written peculiu (CSMB 41: et sollu de peculiu) ‘goods, peculium’. In CV XX, 2 it appears in the ancient meaning of ‘animals’ (bollant pasquiri cum peguliu issoru, bollant arari …). A very clear example of the fact that very often the amanuenses or scribes (priests or notaries) of Latin education expressed themselves, when possible or necessary, with words extracted from their cultural background, although this word was foreign to the Sardinian tradition. See also Sd. pecuiare e pegugiare.
Termen anc. Log. (CSP 187; CSNT 43) ‘boundary’; pl. termenes. For etymology go to Sass. tremma. This entry is clearly connected to Lat. termen. Currently in Log. is preferred trèmene.
Turpe anc. Log. in faker turpe ‘to do a wrong, insult’ (CSP 43: ca minde aueat fattu turpe duas uias; 73: e cca ui li feki turpe). This entry is a classic begging from medieval Latin.
Uske a, anc. Log.-Camp.; usca a (CV, IX, 2) = Lat. usque ad. Latin entry.
17. UNITY BETWEEN SARDINIAN DIALECTS AND SASSARIAN ONE
The Sardinian language is complex. But more complex is the effort to make many connoisseurs think about it. And if every Sardinian (every connoisseur or practitioner of Sardinian) goes his own way, without perspective or discipline, a crazy community has been identified.
To begin with, non-specialist people (the connoisseur) normally love to lock themselves in their own particulare, floats on the fumes of theories never discussed, fideistically accepts the dated “judgments” of the learned, and does not notice that the Sardinian language is truly singular. Unfortunately, the connoisseur is refractory to accept the truth that the words he handles are too often peculiar to his or her birth of existence area. The only one who perceives this truth is who speaks Sassarian language, for the reasons already discussed.
We are ridiculous. 80% of Sardinians (I mean Sardinians interested in the Sardinian language) are made up of partisans, in the sense that they classify the Sardinian language starting from the particular of their area. Woe to remove them from that perspective! The Sardinian language is very often not perceived as a whole, even if the user, with reference to himself, would instead swear to perceive it as a whole.
I recognize that it is not easy to master 100,000 words of the Sardinian language, and it is not easy to admit that this mass should be lightened by dividing it among the various sub-regions of the island. Which does not mean that each sub-region should care only for its own words. Very often many Sardinian words are identical between the individual subregions, but they stand out one by one for phonetic peculiarities (we have seen this in the various terms already treated). It goes without saying that the exorbitant number of 100,000 is suddenly reduced if we unify all the entries under some “leaders” in clusters, under lemmas capable of bringing near and explaining the diversity-affinities (as I often do in this Dictionary, and as masterfully did Wagner who, despite the many errors in trying to reunite them, managed to bring his 20,000 words back within 7000 lemmas).
Sardinia has an archaic heritage, speaks his language for tenth of millennia, and its lexical roots almost always intersect between zone and zone pervading all the linguistic areas. Those who ignore the existence of a real network ignore the complex unity-variety of the Sardinian language. The concept of the network is adequate. And if the net is torn in one place, this is enough to make tuna run away. The network is unique, the language is unique. To understand the language you need to keep the network intact. Otherwise we miss the opportunity to master the entire phenomenology.
The cultural lightness (I would say the childhood of the neophyte) has led many scholars to tear this network, creating great damage, including damage to the Sassari dialect. For at least 100 years there has been the “conventiō ad excludendum” of the Sassarian dialect (and of the Gallurian one!), simply because none of the experts wanted to study it interwovening it to all other Sardinian dialects. This lead cape weighs, of course, mainly because of the deaf opposition of Wagner, who never admitted the Sassarian dialect to the Sardinian dialect (never admitted the Gallurian one, too!), and thus cut off a third of Sardinian land. This is Aristotelianism; here is the Ipse dixit! But Antonio Sanna was a burden too, at the time of Wagner, by his work “The dialect of Sassari.” A research that refreshed Wagner and Sanna himself (he was a native of the Sardinian Île de France: Bonorva).
Why not say it?: those were times of “Premio città di Ozieri”, the times of the magazine “S’ischìglia” by Angelo Dettori, times when the chair of Sardinian linguistics was entrusted to a Logudorian fellow, when the poetic competitions were expressed often in Logudorian language and the same literary awards as Ozieri belonged to Logudorian writers. There were many scholars who swore on the genuine Sardinity of the Logudorian dialect, while the Campidanian one had the shame of having contaminated himself with languages of Beyond-Tyrrhenian.
Here is the claimed purity, the ideology that has blinded cohorts of scholars, inducing them to create scales of values, to invent the chromatic spectrum at whose limits light “is impure” because it vanishes in non-measurable frequencies. Where a Sardinian dialect seems to melt in other linguistic universes, here are the scholars to declare its liminarity and for this very reason the exclusion from the canons of the original sardiness. Not even the insularity of Sardinia has ever managed to make the automatic insularity of its language accepted, and still today some bold scouts claim to discover the Ark, to discover a dialect more original than the contiguous one, which they will never find, at least as long as their ideological canons will pursue a vision in the air, not supported by the iron will to materially parameterize a reality that has been waiting to be known for decades.
In this methodological premise I have abundantly shown (and will demonstrate further) the method errors in which these scholars have stumbled. Admitted and not granted that it is possible to speak of a Sardinian frankness in the sense of a genuine originality referring to a specific linguistic area, it should then be explained what is it, and why people wants to identify precisely that area. So far, no one has done it, or rather: they have tried but failed. But it’s singular that, under trace, the worm of Sardinian frankness, of Sardinian individuality, has worked and is still working and devouring the best brains of our universities, as well as a huge mass of people.
On the Sardinian language everyone went freely on his behalf, like a “boy on the dolphin”, freed and dreamy in a galloping and wild indiscipline that not even Wagner was able to restrain, since he first was inadequate by his ideological scalimeter that gave the report card of the superior and the inferior. Nobody noticed that Wagner, writing the Sardinian Historical Phonetics, imposed it as a “touchstone” for any future linguistic study, while it was nothing more than a damned cheat.
As for Antonio Sanna’s study of Sassarian dialect, it was not in itself the “stone of scandal”. His study had to be done, and I thank Sanna for his merits. But usually the damage comes from the followers. Sanna’s study is set up as a dazzling and totalitarian Moloch, and it’s accepted as a “nec-plus-ultra”, impassable Hercules Columns, the terminus of the itinerary allowed to study Sassari’s dialect. In contemplating that Moloch we accept (almost like a thesis that frees us from any responsibility) the chain of Sassari’s dialect to the Gallurian one → to the Corsican language → to the Italian language (to the Tuscan, to the Genoese), creating the centrifuge that projects Sassari ( and Gallura) beyond Tyrrhenian Sea and makes Sassari landing on metalinguistic soil.
But it’s necessary to try a straightening, it must be taken into account that Antonio Sanna wanted to do only a historical study, demonstrating the weight of the Genoese-Pisans in the dialectal mixing of Sassari. We are the ones who have seen him as “Columns of Hercules” and have hitherto been deprived of the possibility of positively hoarding Sanna’s effort in the broadest sphere of research, which always is possible and which leads us to understand exactly the role of the Sassari dialect in Sardinian linguistic history.
It was precisely the analytical study of DES, conducted by me up to the last lemma (see NOFELSA), that ascertained that Sassari dialect shares with the remaining Sardinian dialects over 90% of the words (except for part of its phonetics, which is shared, however, by North Logudoro, whose archaic sardiness I have discussed extensively in my Historical Grammar, chapt. 3.1.10).
In this Methodological Premise there is no space to discuss exhaustively the sardiness of the dialect of Sassari (however, what already discussed in chapter 07 would seem sufficient). In this chapter, it should be noted that the Sassari’s dialect shares more words (and even more phonetic) with Cagliari than with the rest of Sardinia. This sentence should not be seen as an némesis launched by me against the detractors of the island’s linguistic unity; however, it’s an aspect that alone is capable of detonating all the previous certainties. And here I’m closing, proposing only a few lemmas among the thousands that demonstrate the unity of the Sardinians.
Abbastu Camp. ‘sufficiency’; Sass. abbáłtu ‘idem’; Camp. di abbastu ‘a sufficienza, enough’; Sass. abbáłtu ‘idem’.
Abbundare, -ái Log. and Camp. ‘abound’; also Log. bundare: bundat sa vida in noa giuventura; Sass. abbunda’. There are two etymological options: the first leads to Lat. ab-unda (concept of the overflowing wave: ab- + unda); the second is Sum. bun ‘push’ + du ’to heap up, pile up’, then bun-du with the synthetic meaning of ‘gathering together’: this would be good for Sd. bundáre.
Abbundíri Camp. ‘food that increases in volume during cooking’; Log. bundìre. For the etymology go to abbundáre.
Accabussái, cabussái Camp. ‘to plunge, dive’; cfr. Cat. accabussar ‘id.’. The initial meaning was ‘to enter the head as an arrowhead’, from Sd. cabu ‘head’, Sass. ‘idem’. (see Cat. caput ‘id.’). The origin of the Sardinian and Latin terms is Akk. kāpu, kappu, kāpum ‘rock, shore, cliff, embankment (of river, of mountain)’. The second member of cab-utza’ has basis in Akk. ūṣum, uṣsu ‘arrowhead’.
Accattái(sì) Camp. ‘to notice’; Sass. agattassi ‘ditto’. Etymological basis Akk. qatû ‘be completed, be achieved’. See Log. agattáre, Sass. agatta’ ‘to find’.
Acciappinái Camp., ciappináre Log. For the etymology go to Sass. ciappínu.
Accióu Camp. ‘nail’, Sass. ciódu.
Aggaffare Log.; -ái Camp. ‘grab, catch’; cfr. Cat. agafar ‘coger, asir, apañar’, also Log. accaffiáre, Camp. accaffái, aganfái. Etymological basis is Akk. kappum ‘hand’.
Aláscia Camp. ‘furniture’; Log. aláscios ‘tools, furnishings, work tools’. It’s necessary to compare these terms with Log. and Camp. calásciu ‘drawer’ (of a chest of drawers, of a linen container), which is the prototype, at least for Sardinia. Apparently, we are faced with various lexical forms with various phonetic and various semantic outcomes; this gives valid reasons to see these various terms as autonomous growths, each in its own territory, within the Sardinian language. In any case, the etymological basis of Log. calásciu, Sass. carásciu is Sum. ḫal ‘basket, pot’, kallu ‘bowl’ + aš ‘bread’; therefore the compound ḫal-aš originally meant ‘bread basket’.
Alloriái Camp. “troubling others’ minds with shouts or acts that deafen the brain, so that we lose feeling’. This term is the genetic basis of Log. allorigáre, in formations of the type mi fazzi vinì la lòriga Sass. ‘it is wearing my nerves out’, arrigga’ a la lòriga ‘reduce to the extreme of endurance’.
Ammaccionaisì Camp. ‘curl up, fold over on itself, sitting or lying down’. According to Spano also ammasonaisì. This verb is linked to ecstasy, to extreme sensations in the oracular phase, from Akk. maḫum ‘to rave, depart (from himself)’; maḫḫû ‘exalted’, from which Sd. maccu ‘crazy, stupid’.
Aúndi south Camp. ‘where’. The prototype is Sass. undì.
Burríccu Sass., Gall. Camp. ‘donkey’: basis in anc. Akk. būru ‘(bull) calf; small quadruped’, ‘suckling calf’ and other young animals.
Busincu Sass., Gall. adj. and surname indicating the inhabitant of Bosa. This term is Sardian, both in the root and in the suffix, neither more nor less as is the ethnic Sussíncu ‘inhabitant of Sorso’ or Lurisincu ‘inhabitant of Luras’; so is the toponym Baldìnca (Sassari), which should mean ‘(original) from Baldu farm (Gallura)’. In Roman times Bosa had a municipal system, and the toponym was attested by the the ethnic Bosenses. But the Bosìnchi to date have preserved their ethnic -íncu, a suffix that not only qualifies the ethnic but also certain Campidanian adjectives as spullíncu ‘naked’, pibíncu ‘harassing, importunating’ but also ‘boring’ and ‘fussy’, pruddíncu ‘who does not hurry, very slow to act, neglectful, lazy’ (Quartu). It also qualifies the Logudorian terms, e.g. sa pruna limunìnca ‘the lemon-shaped plum’, sa munìnca ‘the monkey’. The suffix -incu has base in Sum. in ‘sector, demarcated area’ + ku ‘to situate, to place’; therefore originally meant ‘who is or lives in a specific site’; Busincu is therefore ‘who lives in Bosa’, Sussincu ‘who lives in Sorso’, Lurisincu ‘who lives in Luras’.
Buttáriga Sass., Log. and Camp.; buttàrica Gall. ‘salted and dried eggs of mullet or tuna’; cfr. ancient It. bottàrica, buttàraga; Sic. butàraca; Cal. votáracu.
Caipi’ Sass., calpi’ Gall., carpìre Log., crapìre Centr., carfìre Dorg. ‘chapping, opening, splitting, dividing, crashing’. Base in Akk. kapru ‘sectioned, in sequence’, ‘break’.
Cama Sd. (and Gall.) ‘strong summer heat’. Base in Akk. qamû ‘burning’ and also ‘blaze of fire’. See also Skr. kāma ‘amour; objet du désir’, but mainly Heb. ḥammah ‘heat, intense heat’ (חַ מָּ ה).
Ciappínu Sass. ‘incompetent, bungler, not very capable’; Sass. acciaputza’, Log. acciaputzáre, inciaputzáre, Camp. acciaputzái ‘to botch, bungle’. Etymological base Akk. ḫapû, ḫepû ‘to break’ (vessel etc.), ‘to ruin, destroy’ (city, land, people), ‘to crack, crush, injure’ (part of body).
Cuguḍḍu Sass., Log.; cucuḍḍu Gall. ‘hood’, Centr. crucuḍḍu; (Fonni) ‘hooded cloak’; it is also a characteristic cap of women. See Lat. cucullus ‘hood’ also ‘hooded robe’. Both the Latin and Sardinian terms are based on Sum. kukku ‘shadow, darkness’ + ud ‘sun’; the compound indicates an instrument capable of making ‘shade in the sun’.
Guruséle name of the famous Sassari’s source (today called Rosello or Ruseḍḍu). It once stood outside the city walls, at the base of the limestone wall. Guru- has etymological comparisons with Heb. יְרוּ (*iěru) ‘settlement’ < Sum. iri ‘city’. -Sèle = Šalimu (Semitic god of health) < Akk. šâlu ‘rejoice, enjoy something’, ‘feel good’, salāmu ‘be at peace’ (Heb. šālom ‘peace, hello!’, Arabic salām ‘peace’). See Bruncu Salámu (a mountain of Dolianova, where waters believed to be curative); and see Mount Guruséle, the highest of the Supramonte of Baunei, whence the first stream that forms the sacred river called Ilune departs. Anyway, see Akk. šalû ‘submerged’ (> “baptisms”), salā’u ‘spraying’ water ‘(in purification rituals). Guru-séle = Jerušalaim meant ‘city of Šalam’.
Ille, illu, illa etc. existed as a pronoun after preposition in ancient Log. (CSP 203: Et ego tenninde corona cun ille).
Lu Log. and Sass. is pronoun and det. art. = ‘il’, ‘the’. Now the Sum. lu as Mediterranean determinative article, survives in Sassarian-Gallurian dialect: e.g. lu cani, lu pani, la prància ‘the dog, the bread, the iron’. It also survives in southern Italy: e.g. lu pisci-spada ‘the swordfish’. Other Sardinian examples of Sum. lu are currently found in the crystallized suffixes of Sardinian surnames in -lu, into which the demonstrative pronoun Sum. ul also flows. See Buttόlu surn. composed of Sum. bu ‘perfect’ + tu ‘magic formula’ + lu ‘person’, ‘he who, she who’: bu-tu-lu, with the original meaning of ‘who is in charge of magic formulas’. From all that has been said, it’s clear that the previous Sd. forms ille, illu, illa have been influenced by Lat. ille, illa, which overlapped with the Sumerian forms in lu originally used throughout Sardinia.
Spaperrottái, spapparottái Camp. ‘fueḍḍai meda e sentza neçessidadi’ (Porru), ‘to chat’. Casu registers ispabarrottare ‘shout’. And already Casus’s contribution demonstrates the lexical unity between Cagliari and High Logudoro. The etymological basis of spapperrottái is the same that applies to ‘swifts’ (Apus apus called in Sassari babbarrotti), from Sum. par ‘canal’ (doubled in a superlative sense) + ud ‘bird’: therefore pa-par-rud meant, already 40,000 years ago, ‘bird of the canals’ (in fact this animal feeds exclusively on insects, mosquitoes, and for this frequents humid sites where insects abound). This translation referred to those who constantly chatter is due to the fact that the swallows, the swifts, when they hunt in a flock, scream relentlessly, flying with their mouths open and creating a festive noise.
Θurpu Centr.; tzulpu Gall.; túrpu Log.; tsurpu, tsruppu Camp. ‘blind’. The masks called Thurpos in the general appearance are of a total black, moreover covered by a large hood, so they give the impression of being wandering blinds.
Zaibéḍḍu Sass.; cialbéḍḍu Gall., kerveḍḍu Centr., kerbeḍḍu Log., črobeḍḍu Camp. ‘brain’; cerbeḍḍale ‘front’ (Olzái). Etymological basis Akk. qerbum ‘center, internal’ + elu ‘top’. From the beginning it was recognized that the brain was a vital organ, internal to the upper part of the body.
Tzacca’ Sass., Gall. ‘to stick, let penetrate”; tzaccare Log.; tzaccái camp. ‘put, introduce, stick, sneak, intrude’ (Puddu). Base in Akk. šakanum ‘lay, put, install’.
18. STRONG RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOGUDORIAN AND CAMPIDANIAN LANGUAGE
In addition to the hints of the chapter just concluded, the following few examples show (among a thousand and a thousand), even more so, the very close affinity of the Logudorian dialect with the Campidanian one, which is expressed in several tens of thousands of voices, in addition to the present handful that I gleaned from the letters A and T.
Abbojare, abbojare (Mores) ‘to meet’. Far bei t from the etymology of attoppare (see), this entry has an etymological basis in Sum. bu’i ‘to face, meet, confront each other’.
Abbóju Log. and Camp. ‘appointment’. Go to abbojare.
Abborréssere Log., abborréssiri Camp. ‘abhor, hate’; Sass. abburrissi’ ‘be ashamed, cover yourself with shame, discredit yourself’. Go to abburrésciu.
Abburrésciu Camp. ‘sodden drunk’; burràcciu ‘drunkard’, burraccéra ‘drunkenness’. See Sp. borracho ‘drunk’. The Sardinian and Spanish terms are metathetic forms from Akk. buḫḫuru ‘cook, heat’, ‘keep warm’; buḫru ‘cooking state’. It’s no coincidence that in Sardinia cooking is semantically equivalent to a hangover. To tell the truth, these semantics converge from the origin, since also the Log. cóttu ‘drunk’ has Akkadian origins, from Akk. quttû ‘completed’ (i.e. filled, knocked out by wine). It seems to understand that while the form abburrésciu took root only in the south of the island, cóttu took root in the north. Abburrésciu crosses, even semantically, with Log. abburrare, abburrigare(si) ‘immerse o.s. in mud or water’, ‘to mud’, which Wagner believes from Sp. barro ‘mud’: it is possible. But in the meantime there is the comparison with Akk. barruru ‘with flashing eyes’ also with reference to the drunk person. In any case, the true etymological basis of abburrare is Akk. burrû ‘prostitute, sacred prostitute’ (a whole program).
Alleputzíu, alleputzáu Camp. ‘well dressed’, but also ‘to get cocky; rejuvenated’, ‘cheerful’; perhaps these three semantic fields were originally ideally more contiguous, since in archaic times well-dressing was typical of big celebrations, therefore a sign of joy. The semantic basis refers to the compound Akk. allu ‘pure, clear’ + pūṣu ‘whiteness, candor’: genitive chain alli-pūṣu, meaning ‘immaculate candor’. We must reject Wagner’s proposal to trace these words to lèppore ‘hare’. This past. part. instead has the reference in Log. alleputzare, Camp. alleputzái. ‘close-fitting, dressing elegantly, dressing carefully, dressing’.
Attobiái Camp. ‘to meet’. Etymological basis is different from that of attoppare ‘meet’, Sass. attuppa’ (see): attobiái contains a labialization that took place under Campidanian phonetic law on Sum. tul ‘well’. In primitive ages, the well was the only sure and diuturnal meeting point of the community. See Log. attόliu ‘meeting, encounter, appointment’; attoliare ‘call, unite’ (Fonni): Spano.
Taja Gall.; taza Log. According to Spano this term is equivalent to mutu (see), ‘stornello, respect (musical voice)’. For Brandanu, it’s a ‘five-voices polyphonic Gallurian choral singing (1.bóci, 2.contra, 3.trippi, 4.falsittu, 5.grossu)’. While Cirese maintains taja’s inability to be the name of a precise poetic composition, instead it’s clear that taja refers, in addition to the Gallurese group, mainly to the Sardinian mutos and mutettos, of which it seem to want to govern the compositional laws. Taja must be the oldest term of the Sardinian compositions, which only in the eighteenth century Sardinia began to call mutos and mutettos, due to contamination from the Italian peninsula. Taja is based on Sum. taḫ ‘add’ and in some Akkadian forms, such as ta”uru ‘turned’, tajjartu, ta”artu ‘repetition, yielding’, ta”mnu ‘duplicate, twinned’, tajaru ‘measure for fields’, taḫḫu ‘substitute’; ‘additional song’.
19. INTEGRATION AMONG SARDINIAN DIALECTS; RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SARDINIA AND ITALY
The Sardinian language, divided for thousands of years into various dialects due to the widespread mountaininess, already contained in its bosom, we can say ab origine, the Logudorian/Campidanian macro-division. A division that dates back to prehistory, for whose investigation it is necessary to go down to prehistory, avoiding the ridiculous shortcuts of many people who scrutinize Sardinia as a naḯf prey by historically established peoples and extremely close to us, therefore proposing very close causes dating back first to the Latin, then renewed by the Genoese-Pisan colonization, made definitive by the Catalan-Aragonese invasion, irrevocably sanctioned by the Italian dominance. An unacceptable cultural vision.
When Sardinian language appeared written at the dawn of the second millennium, it was already divided. No interference by Rome in this subdivision, since it, if anything, had aimed at the mere suppression of the Sardinian language. After the appearance of the Ligurian-Pisans and their unconscious “overlay” intrusions, the unifying attempt with the Carta de Logu by Eleonora d’Arborea followed. This was the second autonomous attempt, with far greater hopes, after the edition of the Sassari’s Statutes and those of Castelgenovese, which for known historical reasons could not have risen as unifying poles of the Sardinian language, except in the face of linear historical conditions which never occurred.
The Iberian feudalism followed the Carta de Logu; it accentuated the thousand-year-old dialectization, producing an involution. Moreover, the status quo and even involution was useful to Iberian rulers (divide et impera). From that moment on, it will only be possible to observe a complex of dialectal systems juxtaposed and connected in a varied game of tensions and rare contacts which never made us hope for desirable evolutions.
In the sixteenth century, Girolamo Araolla managed to somewhat push the Logudoro language towards the point of view of the Tuscan language, which for centuries had been a stable point of reference to which we could link the normalization of locutions and Sardinian grammar itself.
To avoid diminishing our universe of investigation, we must observe that in the Mediterranean Sea the development of vulgar languages had made a long way since before the end of the Roman empire, and the Oaths of Strasbourg (842) were only the spy of a widespread phenomenon, in which Christian preaching, the most important monasteries and the court of Charlemagne had paved the way for the future. In the early Middle Ages Tuscany also had its literary incipit, and it aimed first at the bright beacon of normalization coming from trobadoric literature, that is from the Occitanic language, to which, however, few negative events were enough, the Crusade against the Albigensis was enough (1209-1229) and then the direct tampering of the great southern fiefdoms was enough, to quickly sit down and ruin in a system of dialects (as happened in Sardinia) from which it would never recover. While on the contrary the Tuscan nursery expressed an uninterrupted succession of high-ranking writers, who gave him the glory of attracting first the luminous Sicilian language of Friedrick II and then the other Italian languages towards a single expressive norm. In Italy the miracle of grammatical and expressive unification preceded political unity by 700 years. Girolamo Araolla from Sassari sensed that process, or at least took advantage of it to fix in the Logudorian language those otherwise inexplicable Tuscan characters, such as the integral Latin suffixation of the verbs (-áre, -ére, -íre) in the face of Sassari, Gallura and Campidano truncations (canta’, cantái).
Unfortunately, what proved to be a free grammatical and lexical convergence of Italian and Tyrrhenian writers towards Tuscany, will then be “militarized” by a swarm of “sharp-eyed guardians” (I remember Tommaseo among them, marked by the deaf hostility of Leopardi), who will begin to dictate one-way strangling rules, and in addition they will aim to cage even the lexicon.
The Italian regional lexicon has for centuries been the object of pedanteries that would like to suffocate it to let emerge only that already “cleared” by the great writers. Romanticism played a strong role in the Italianization process, and Alessandro Manzoni excelled in “washing clothes in the Arno”. Without him, linguistic Italianization would still be lagging behind.
If the spontaneous millennial amalgamation of grammars among the single Mediterranean peoples had had such a power to make it easy for anyone to use coastal languages, certain obstinacies by Italian intellectuals aimed at stifling regional lexical disparities have dug (they are still digging) a “black hole” where tens of thousands of words are “identified, hunted down, imprisoned in dungeons”, damned to extinction for being prevented from communicating.
The “militarized block” also works for grammatical and syntactic forms, and the derision of the “purists” addressed to the celebrities in sight – the politicians above all – is not counted today, when a liberal Italian speech erupts from the “celebrities” mouths, in which sometimes the use of the subjunctive is neglected. The manifestations of “horror” of the “purists” are in themselves an incitement to the uprising, to the chorality of a public smockery. The omission of the subjunctive especially concerns the Southerners, and one does not realize that this people belonged to Magna Grecia for almost a millennium, where the exasperations of Latin grammar and the consecutiō temporum did not exist.
The horror of the censors multiplies when – through television – they perceive intransitive verbs used as transitive (eg. sedere il bambino “sit the child”, uscire il cane “make the dog get out”). We forget that the Englishmen are masters in formal indifference, and this does not prevent their language from being the most used in the world.
Est modus in rebus. We cannot inhibit ourselves under a ban. In Italy we have many censors, but there are few real language specialists; and even if they were, they have no right to pose themselves as “gardeners” who dictate the rules of the “Renaissance garden, of Italian garden, of English one, of Arab one, of Zen one …”. They do not have the right to “tame” and “standardize” a natural park according to a taste, a fashion, a pattern. The language-specialist must be moderate, above all must be capable of considering the Italian language as a prodigious and profitable climax, an admirable evolutionary balance leading to development for national communication. In this way, the vision and mission of the linguist-custodian must be based on what the botanist does by observing certain natural environments, where the flora, not disturbed, spontaneously creates a multifaceted and balanced pasture, and the herds take advantage of it by obtaining balanced nutrients.
The phenomenon of literatures, of literary scriptae, although based on the language spoken at a specific moment, makes each one aspire to overtemporality and supraregionality, as was Latin par excellence in the Roman Empire and then in the Vatican Church; therefore they have always tended, more or less, to drop the more strictly local and daily forms of use and instead to adopt other forms which come from a wider or more prestigious context, which could ensure greater dignity and representativeness to a wider audience. This was the path chosen by Girolamo Araolla in Sardinia.
But if grammatical and syntactic normalization can have, and does have, a meaning, which not by chance has been accepted, shared and appreciated for a millennium, the tendency to replace local voices with the most prestigious “Tuscan” ones is alarming. In fact, if on the one hand it is easy to intuit and accept the uniqueness of grammar, since it is nothing more than the ideological framework that gives model and form to logical processes to which the speaker and writer must adapt the formation and expressiveness of the own spoken chain, on the other hand, the substitution of a local word with another “foreigner” (Tuscan) inevitably leads to the impoverishment of the respective vocabularies, crystallizes both, and in any case it causes a detriment to the “dialectal” vocabularies, which in a few centuries and even in a few decades are emptied, with the result that each dialect tends to impoverish and cancel itself out with respect to the dominant dialect (in this case, compared to the Tuscan dialect, because this has given much skeleton to the whole vocabulary of the Peninsula).
Each word corresponds to a concept. Logic would like that a complex country, aspiring to express a cohesive nation, to take care of every word expressed by individual peoples called to unite themselves as a nation, since each people has its own specificity, its own genius that has laboriously expressed itself over the millennia, a genius preserved above all in the lexical stratifications that narrate its history, its roots, its culture. It is a serious cultural mistake to persevere in promoting the hegemonic speech alone.
In this perspective, the Sassarian language must also be seen with respect to the remaining Sardinian language. The Sassarian language will soon die if the vision I have just outlined is missing in Sardinia.
I recognize that talking and writing is above all effort. It takes a long time to speak and write better. It is no coincidence that most people use no more than three to four hundred words to communicate, out of about 200,000 available in the Italian vocabulary and 100,000 recorded in the Sardinian vocabulary. If several people overflow from the threshold of 3-400 words, it is only by virtue of as many words learned to extricate themselves in the field of their profession (and we are at 6-800).
Undoubtedly, without writers and various intellectuals, a language, any language, is destined to dry up, despite the great commitment of the many scientists to keep alive, reawaken, even invent, words useful to individual academic specialties. Language is a treasure guarded by each one of us, and it gets worse when we uti singuli neglect it. Words are really everything, even if it is true that every concept, deprived of the awareness of the etymology, is empty, vane (as I have already explained above).
Today we cannot afford a severe and censorious attitude towards the mother-language (the Sardinian, the Sassarian one), even less towards the dialects that could contribute to the collective health of the nation. If the Accademia della Crusca has created by itself, among many tensions, a certain linguistic unity in an Italy that was at first disunited (and now again stormed by separatist earthquakes), today we can no longer “give a hand” to Crusca (… believing that we oppose it! …) with a maniacal lexical separation between dialects and language, between Sardinian and Italian language, between Sardinian and Sassari speech, “in order to avoid unconscious interference between linguistic systems”. Who benefits from this schizophrenic operation?
In Italy we have a strong need for lexical freedom, there is a need to fire the warders of the language by assigning them to another profession. Unfortunately, there are thousands barons of teaching who claim to avoid interference between linguistic systems. They are journalists, professors, scholars, teachers, academics. This deck also includes the “separatists”, the lovers of -isms (“Padanism”, “Sardism” and so on).
For the “separatists”, or sovereignists, who plan the political division between the “peoples” (a division among the peoples who currently make up a nation), I have a paternal warning, although premising that I do not want to enter their political vision (politics does not must belong to a glottologist). A good glottologist perceives the premises and consequences of certain actions. Among the real (or planned) premises there is an anxious search, classification, justification, by the politician, of the disparities that can be configured a priori as a cultural and “structural” distinction between groups. In this attempt at opposition, the language should play its part, because in the hands of the politician the langue becomes an object of “piloting”, all convergence processes are inhibited at the start (forcibly), while all processes of distinction are favored. In order for this operation to succeed, the “separatist” politician obviously needs the “shoulder” of a glottologist, from whom he expects some actions in planning and organizing the issues relevant to language. Ultimately, the separatist politician aspires to cloak the speech of his territory with “indisputable” individuality and original “sovereignty”. An aberrant operation, especially if perpetrated in the Mediterranean basin, where languages coexist and interact since the inception of Homo Sapiens.
Therefore the paternal warning to the separatists is as follows: once the desired political independence has been obtained, the “individuality” and “sovereignty” they advocate for the language has two ways opened: 1) the first is that the language resumes the normal soothing processes from which you wanted to divert it; 2) the second way is that the politician insists on the ideology of “individuality” and “sovereignty”, piloting the language in a poor isolation from other Mediterranean languages. In the case of the Sardinian language, the second option would be losing. By virtue of the digital empire now dominant in the world, the language chosen by the speakers would still be English and in the alternative Italian. The Sardinian would be destined to become extinct within two to three generations.
I remember that in USSR, once the Hitler’s macabre staging was clear (he was plunging Germanic speech and culture into the abyss of Arianism), the glottologist Marr tried to prevent Soviet culture from being absorbed by the Nazi camp; in this way he identified a “socialist way” for the Slavic language. It was Josif Stalin to opposed himself, as he sensed the political twists that would have gripped the Russian Academy’s studies within an anti-scientific enclosure.
Whoever wants to outrage a language, take the consequences. But I remember that a language can be outraged even just by leaving it without care, sanctioning its diminished communication capacity through neglect, disuse, condemning it to indifference and therefore to extinction. This warning is aimed mainly at Sardinian intellectuals and Sassari intellectuals. To all I say: Cave!, Attention!
Returning to the intrigues of certain glottologists, most of them do not look for “separatisms”: united Italy is fine with them; but then, paradoxically, they trigger a disruptive bomb with the philosophy of “avoiding interference between linguistic systems”, between Italian and the dialects existing in its varied geographical fabric. On reflection, this means that the Italian language in this way will tend to crystallize the current system, becoming fossilized. So, what unity of Italy did we do 160 years ago? Contradictory, right?
The very long history of Mediterranean languages clarifies that they were formed and have coexisted over the vast span of 40,000 years without ever taking anything away from each other, indeed giving each other sentences, words, grammatical systems. A century and a half ago, it was decided to make Italy with a group of languages (or … “dialects”). There was an immediate concern to create a single language, breaking down what were now truly becoming dialects. In this way, certain politicians perceived that it was necessary to force the speech towards the Tuscan.
Well, today we have to, I don’t say stop the convergence, and not even to brake it. But we must at least stop urging the people towards a preordained convergence. I suggest experiencing integration freely, as an airy coexistence, without constraints nor directions. This is the only method that would honor Italy and make it stand out as a nation.
Today we have to change our perspective and accept the Italian language is unique insofar as each dialect has equal dignity in its Dictionary. So it must become natural that thousands of Sardinian or Sassarian words enter permanently (albeit “in becoming”, without haste) in Italian speech (despite the obstinacy of the Accademia della Crusca and the ascarism of many intellectuals).
If, in the future, listening to a renewed or dissonant talk between Italians will raise some (bearable) difficulties, everyone can civilly and humbly ask for the translation of a non-Tuscan word.
But doing backwards, avoiding linguistic interference, then we would remain in an oppressive apartheid, where we would all lose, not win, and we would not be able to educate teachers of good will.
The Italian language is complex and rich, and it can remain so thanks to its dialects. The dialects are a treasure that other nations can only envy us.
20. GENOA’S INFLUENCE
Isoglosses. For isoglossa it is not meant only the trace of the presence of a word for the wide territory; it also means the trace of a grammatical phenomenon (suffixes, diphthongs, lenition, spirantization of deaf occlusions, etc.) such as to define a linguistic system in front of another linguistic system.
Two linguistic systems cannot declare themselves divergent due to the divergence of sporadic grammatical or lexical phenomena; conversely, the convergence of rare grammatical or lexical phenomena is not enough to declare two languages similar, much less identical. For example, it is not enough to declare the Sardinian and Occitan languages similar because both present the soothing of deaf intervocalic occlusions limited to the first degree (sonorization: -p- > -b-; -t- > -d-; -c- > -g-).
Likewise, it is not enough to sustain a Tuscan influence on Cagliari for the mere co-presence of a euphonetic -d affixed to certain Tuscany and Cagliari grammatical forms. Example from the Milione (the one written in ancient Tuscan, cap. 170 par. 28: Incontanente ched elli vide una bella moglie…
Even more shared (but still distinct) European phenomena are discovered in the laryngeal fricative (the so-called h- aspirate), which Latin had lost but which the ancient French regained due to Germanic influence, preserving it, albeit with gradual weakening, until the 16th century (Roncaglia LO 116). It is a fricative that remains alive in northern Sardinia; but, incidentally, it comes from the Sumerian language.
Other shared phenomenon, e.g. by ancien Fr., is the lateral velar ł of Sassari and of northwest (Roncaglia LO 116).
Most of the Romance philologists have always considered it to be French and anc. Fr. the strong veiled nasalization of m (labial) and n (dental), as it is in sanc, and they have not been noted that southern Sardinia presences, in a leopard spot: an acute survival of the phenomenon (see the Masullas speech and mainly that of S. Vito, but not only).
I wanted to preface this clarification on the isoglosses so that the sense of balance is preserved in observing the Genoese influences on the Sassari speech at the age of Maritime Republics. It is worth pointing out that between the two competing republics (Genoa and Pisa), the former seems to have left such ephemeral traces in Sassari, that it would be worthwhile to abandon the search for evidencing a temporary colonization. More tangible absence of traces (forgive the oxymoron, please) is discovered in Castelgenovese (Castelsardo).
And it is Castelsardo himself who provides the “litmus test” that best highlights the Genoa’s failure to impose the “overlay”. A “catch”, an imposition that instead succeeded in Alghero by the Catalans; but here it was not a matter of “superstructure”, i.e. a moderate overlap of a speech on the previous one, both free to express themselves and interact. In Alghero there was the depopulatio, i.e. the entire Logudorian population was expelled and the Catalans took over; and they, by virtue of fortunate historical sequences, managed to resist in purity for half a millennium, so that the late ebb of Logudorians within the walls was no longer able to influence, and still today a good Catalan is spoken in Alghero.
Apparently, the Dorias, despite the complete possession of Castelgenovese (and of Perda e Thori), were so permissive as to allow or even favor a profitable and beneficial interaction between the local population and Genoese merchants. So, after a couple of centuries, the extinction of the Doria in Sardinian soil could not leave any linguistic traces whatsoever. In Sassari, mutual tolerance was even more striking than in Castelgenovese, considering the balance of the two entrepreneurial and commercial ethnic groups (Genoese and Pisan) settled in the city, among which, however, the local element speaking Logudorian language numerically persisted and predominated.
In Sassari there are currently a hundred words where – under the lens of a careful etymological analysis – you can see among the many elements also the Genoese one. But it is really difficult to want to demonstrate an engraftment that perhaps we can attribute to other causes, among which the geographical and historical presence of Corsica is rightly included.
In this regard, we cannot underestimate the “law of contiguity”, which obliges two contiguous peoples to share more isoglosses than they can share with peoples more distant. And it is shown that Gallura, being contiguous to Corsica, shares with it many more words than Logudoro (which lies geographically below Gallura). So we can consider Gallura as a “buffer territory” between Logudoro and Corsica. All over the world, in this respect, the “buffer territories” are infinite. Each territory becomes a “buffer” between what precedes and what follows in the sequence.
So it is completely idle to get stuck in the claim to highlight the obvious isoglosses between contiguous territories, since such a practice – in itself paranoid – resembles the exploits of Alexander the Great, who at every conquest felt the need to enter the contiguous territory to ensure its non-belligerence. And so on to infinity, since beyond every border he discovered a contiguous people that had to be subdued in order to secure the borders.
I will write more about the isoglosses between northern Sardinia and High-Tirreno in the following chapter about Gallurian speech. Here I insist on the need to exercise the maximum accuracy and the maximum openness of ideas, depriving o.s. at the start of the short-sighted prejudice of “colonization” which, once put into account, would only cause methodological and epistemological disasters to any linguist.
For example, what can we say about the Sardinian surname Rocca, Roca, Rocche? First of all, we can say that it is also an Italian surname. In Sardinia it’s already present in Silki’s condághe like Rocca and Rocha, but its origin has become very ancient, since it has Sumerian bases. Before moving on to the etymology, it’s necessary to specify some little-known aspects. In Sardinian language, rocca means ‘rock’, a ‘rocky outcrop’, a ‘rocky eminence’; while in Italian rocca is a ‘large fortress usually built in an elevated place’ (1313-19, Dante; 14th century F. Buti: “Rocca is called the well-stocked fortress”; also in the medieval Lat. of Salimbeni, 1281-88). A well-known derivative is It. roccaforte ‘stronghold’, a word that specifies the attributes of the rocky outcrop.
DELI, which gives these informations, gives rocca Mediterranean origins. But it does not know its deep origin, and in this case it self-stripped of the “etymologist” license. In reality the origin is known, it’s Sum. ru ‘architecture, architectural construction’ + ku ‘strengthen’, with the meaning of ‘reinforced construction’, ‘strong house’. It goes without saying that Sd. rocca in the sense of ‘rock’ is nothing more than an adaptation of the archaic Sumerian term, which also passed to the Franconian language, and obviously in Còrsica, where it took root also by virtue of the annexation of that island to the Frankish Empire. In fact, It. ròccia ‘rock’, correspondent of Sd. rocca in the sense of ‘aggregate of minerals due to geological phenomena’, is shared by the anc. French (XII century) but with a first written testimony in Galloromania as early as in 767: “multas roccas et speluncas conquisivit”, Annales regni Francorum) (DELI).
Amongst readers, you all are aware of the complex and archaic pervasiveness of this Sumerian voice, which obviously also influenced the Ligurian territory. But certainly the elements to credit the Sd. rocca to an external origin are missing. A “colonial” origin is missing too, since there is absolute evidence that this voice is Mediterranean and from this Sea it expanded, reaching even among the Germanic peoples (see Ags. rock).
What has been said so far does not mean that Genoa has not exercised any influence on Sassari. Take for example giałtemma Sass. ‘blasphemy, cursing’. See Gen. giastemma ‘blasphemy’. This item is above all allotropic of Sass. frałtémma ‘blasphemy’. But precisely because its being different, it’s clear that giałtemma entered Sassari later on: therefore it’s easily credible as a Genoese voice. This is more easily intuitive since in Gallura the phonetic equivalent of Sass. vb. frałtima’ is missing. while there is only Genoese ghjastimma’. A fortiori this is evident in Corsican ghjiastima’. By virtue of the “law of contiguity” at this point the Genoese influence appears increasing obviously and certainly, considering that Genoa set foot in Sassari and in northern Sardinia as a maritime republic. The occasion allows us to present other terms from which Genoa appears:
Bantziga’ Sass., bantzicare Centr. ‘hesitating, staggering, swinging, wobbling; lulling’; unu ki bántziga l’anca ‘one who wings the crossed leg’ (i.e. who flaunts well-being: Bazzoni). Wagner presents many attestations of this lemma somewhat throughout Sardinia, with slight variations; the same lemma occurs again with few variations in various parts of Italy, including Gen. basiga’.
Fiorenzo Toso (PDEL 64) considers the Sardinian voice of Ligurian origin, and this without even having given first account of the origins of Gen. bansigase ‘swinging’. According to Wagner, the Sardinian voice is an indisputable onomatopoeia. But these two linguists do not center the matter. The Sardinian (and Ligurian) lemma shows it’s rooting in the Mediterranean area thanks to its archaicity, which almost certainly dates back to the Neolithic period. Etymological basis is Akk. bāntiš ‘like a mother’, bāntu ‘mother’ < banu ‘make good’ a person, ‘watch over, take care of’ with delicacy and love’ + ḫāšu ‘be anxious’ or ḫaṭû(m) ‘act badly’. This term initially applied to the baby who was sick, or was crying, in order to appease him.
Baχóni Sass. ‘window’, word corresponding to It. balcone ‘balcony, window open to the floor and equipped with a balustrade or railing, generally protruding overhanging’; vb. abbaχuna’ ‘look out’. This term is Mediterranean, therefore also Sardinian, with basis in Akk. balû, ba’ālu(m) (Ug. bʽl) ‘Baal, God of Heaven’ + qunû ‘color of lapis lazuli’ (genitive chain bal-qunû). So balcòni, balcony, was originally an epithet of Ba‛al, literally: ‘Baal of Lapis lazuli’, or ‘Baal Celestial’, ‘Baal Lord of the Heavenly Vault’. To understand this epithet, strange only in appearance, let’s start from the figure of Baʽal, divinity of Phoenician mythology, central figure of the religiosity of ancient Ugarit. For the Canaanites of the Bible, the name was synonymous with God, and only from the fourteenth century BC did it pass to indicate the greatest of the gods and the Lord of the Universe. He was the ancient Semitic god of storm and fertility.
It goes without saying that the window of the primitive houses, normally placed at the top, from which people could only see the sky, was originally considered a sacred observatory dedicated to the God of Heaven. All the more reason the function of ‘sacred specula, observatory’ was reserved for the terrace on the building roof (where women performed half-naked to celebrate the God of Fertility), as well as for the “balcony” built on the upper floors by means of a French door and supported in space by wooden beams. The delusional attempts by DELI to patch any etymology to It. balcone are not needed, because is enaugh just the famous phrase of Purgatory IX, 1, referring to Aurora: “La concubina di Titone antico – già s’imbiancava al balco d’oriente – fuor de le braccia del suo dolce amico; – di gemme la sua fronte era lucente…”. Even Dante was unable to escape the poetic reminder that balcone, since the highest antiquity, exercised as a “specula of the firmament”. The Longbard balk ‘timber stage’ (from which many Romance philologists, including Devoto and Oli, derive the It. balcone) can only be a begging from the Sumerian language. For this same reason, Toso’s proposal (PDEL 65) to derive Gen. barcon ‘window’ from a hypothetical Germ. *balko, *palko ‘beam’ is not acceptable.
Burrìda in southern Sardinia is the ‘sea catfish in vinegar’, but in Sardinia it’s also commonly the ‘stewed fish’. In Corsica it’s a ‘kind of fish soup’. See Gen. boridda ‘fish soup’, Majorca Cat. borrida. This dish can be made with various types of fish and derives its name from Provençal boulì ‘boil’ crossed with Latin burra ‘coarse hairy dress’ (according to Wagner). This Wagnerian cross appears unlikely, since burra has no connection, much less phonetic, with boulì. Instead, it’s necessary to imagine that in the age of Phoenicians, and even before in the age of Shardanas, that dish was neither more nor less than a normal ‘fish soup’, the classic fish soup that still remains famous, more than anything else, for the riot of colors that makes it eaten first “with the eyes”. Etymological basis seems to be Sum. uru ‘fish’ + da ‘to stir, mix’. So originally the genitive chain urī-da wanted to properly indicate the ‘fish soup, mixture of fish’. I do not accept Toso’s (PDEL 80) proposal that the Sardinian voice derives from the Genoese one.
Coffa is the ‘brazier’ (Sass, Log.), cuppa (Quartu); in Sassari coffa is first of all the circular wooden base within which the brazier is embedded; in other parts it’s the ‘basket, wicker basket for cloths or for the transport of straw’; also ‘watertight container for harvesting grapes’. Apparently, this voice follows It. coffa ‘lookout platform on sailing ships’. It is based in Akk. quppu ‘box, chest; cage’; ḫuppum ‘a kind of basket as container’ (see also kūbu ‘a jar for drinking, for pouring water’). For Toso PDEL 114 it derives from Ar. quffa «well documented in Ligurian medieval Latin since the century XIII-XIV (coffam vel cavagnum) and from the XV in vernacular: the diminutive coffin is in turn present in Ligurian vulgar Latin since the thirteenth century (end of the XIII century, per inpir lo coffin, Anonymous Genovese)». The latter item is also Camp.: coffínu ‘cesta, corbella; basket, skep’.
Criccu Sass., Log. ‘bolt’, also ‘jack’; Camp. incriccái ‘to close’. See Gen. cricca ‘ups and downs, swipe patch, spring stake’. Toso PDEL also notes it in Fr. cric ‘jack’ and high-Germ. kric, already present in med. Ligurian Latin (1508 crica), considering it onomatopoeia. Indeed, the etymological basis is Akk. kerku(m) ‘blocking’, probably crossed with kerḫu(m) ‘closing wall, closing area’ (e.g. of a temple). See croccu.
Fainé Sass. ‘chickpea porridge’ (a sort of pizza but without condiments). Word of Genoese origin (fainà < farinata).
Giałtémma Sass. ‘blasphemy, cursing’. Cf. Gen. giastèmma ‘blasphemy’, whence it seems to derive.
Libánu Log. ‘hawser, thick rope for pulling weights’ (Spano); libbánu Camp. ‘rope to which the caps of the binding are attached, in order to draw water from the wells’ (Porru). See It. libano ‘esparto rope, which is used for many purposes in ships’; Toso PDEL 167 attests the first appearance of this word in Genoa (1265). Apparently, the etymological basis is Sum. li ‘branch, twig’ + ban ‘palm part, part of the palm’. The lib-ban compound originally indicated (just the Italian definition) a rope made of palm leaves. Moreover, palm ropes were made in Sassari until all the 1950s of the twentieth century, because in the Nurra there were entire forests of this palm. In this regard, see sa libida, the ‘common gwoad-waxen’, which is a relative of the esparto, suitable for making ropes.
Pałtùsu Sass. ‘hole, slot’: lu pałtusu di ru guru ‘the asshole’; Madd. partusu, Gen. pertuso, Còrsican pertusu. Etymological basis Sum. tud ‘to beat, hit’, with Mediterranean prefix per- ‘for-‘. See also Sass. pałtusa’; Log. pertúnghere; Camp. pertúngiri ‘to puncture, pierce’; pp. Sass. pałtuntu, pałtusaddu “pierced, riddled with holes”; Sd. pertuntu ‘perforated, pierced’: Log. perda pertunta ‘perforated rock’; truḍḍa pertunta ‘ladle perforated, skimmer’. Derivative: pertungheústes (Fonni) ‘woodpecker’, literally ‘punch-tree’. There is also Sd. pertuntare ‘pierce, corrode’. It’s also used pertusare, -ái Log. and Camp. ‘to puncture, slotting’; impertusaresì ‘hide in a hole, hide yourself’. See Lat. pertŭndere ‘to drill, pierce’. Except for the Mediterranean pref. per- indicating the passage from part to part, the etymological basis passes through Lat. tundō ‘beat, crush’, going down to Sum. tud ‘to beat, hit’. Sorry that Toso, as usual, blocked his etymological investigation on the Latin stratum.
Prisumíddu Sass.; presumidu Log.; presumíu Camp. ‘presumptuous, snooty’ = Sp. presumido ‘presumptuous, vane’. In NW Log. also preyumídu (Casu). Cfr. Gen. presùmî ‘presumptuous’. Erudite word from Lat. praesūmere ‘taking first’ < sūmō ‘I take’, which follows a Mediterranean base with obscured tone (ū < ā), from Akk. šâmum ‘to buy, purchase’ (OCE II 580).
Scabécciu Camp. ‘(fish) in brine’; Log. iscabecciáre, Camp. scabecciái ‘marinate the fish’; pisci scabecciáu ‘marinated fish’; scabecciái ‘make a fish boiled and seasoned with oil and vinegar and a pesto of garlic and parsley’. See Gen. scabéccio ‘marinade’, ‘ditto as in Sd.’. Wagner derives it from Sp. escabechar, Cat. escabetx ‘salsa de vinagre, laurel y otros ingredientes en que se conserva el pescado’. Corominas in turn derives the Hispanic term from Arabic, exactly from a vulgar form iskebêŷ in place of the ancient sikbâŷ ‘meat stew with vinegar and other ingredients’. Toso PDEL 222 specifies the origin «from Ar. iskebeg, sikkeğ ‘marinated fish’, also passed in Spanish and Portuguese in the escabeche form and probably from here in some Italian dialects».
But it’s not necessary to imagine that su scabécciu came to the Sardinians by the Arabs through the Hispanics, indeed it’s to be believed for certain that the Arabic, the Hispanic and the Sardinian forms lived on their own despite having a common origin, because there is the etymological basis Akk. ḫabû (a pottery bowl), qabḫu (a bowl), ḫabû ‘wine’ + Sum. eku ‘food’, from which the genitive chain ḫabû-eku ‘food cooked in a pot’, or rather ‘food (cooked in) wine’. To better understand the two semantic hypotheses, it should not be forgotten that in the history of cooking two main forms of cooking have emerged (and have remained distinct): the roast, with meat or fish cooked in the air, without cover, in direct contact with the heat of the embers; and that in sealed pots, protected by the lid, subjected to direct flame or introduced into the oven, where the food cooks mixed with various sauces. Su scabécciu belongs to the second category.
With this short list, I believe I have highlighted a large part of the common basin between Sardinian and Ligurian voices, apart from some other hints that I will do in examining Gallurian speech.
In this analysis, I highlighted the unbridgeable gap between my method of investigation and that of Fiorenzo Toso, a Ligurian professor of linguistics, whom I also have an esteem for. A single lemma, in addition to those listed by me, is enough to disrupt the methodological system of Toso’s etymologies. The word GOTTO Gen. ‘glass’ is considered by Toso from Lat. guttus which indicated a particular type of narrow-mouthed vase. He opportunely recalls the expansion of this term into Catalan, Provençal, Venetian, in some dialects of southern Italy, Corsica and Tuscany (‘big glass’). But he observes, without half measures, that the Corsican gottu “is a Genoismus”. He says this only because in Liguria this term appears first (in medieval Latin gothos duos). But I would like to politely remind Toso that the written apparition can never be a sign of absolute seniority: in this Toso makes the same macroscopic methodological error in which all the Romance philologists have always stumbled.
Unfortunately, this method of judgment keeps philologists nailed to the unilateral evidence of a written text whatever (Ipse dixit), and they forget other more authoritative written texts, which are the Vocabularies and the ancient Dictionaries (which retain the same word, but more remote than that unilaterally found in a isolated medieval text). The Dictionaries containing the item in question are of higher antiquity, and they too are historical and scientific witnesses, since they have been written on the basis of long and thoughtful academic investigations.
The strong refusal to consult the ancient Dictionaries yields the etymological basis of gotto unknown to the philologists, which are two Babylonian bases: ḫuttu (a storage vessel for liquids); kūttu ‘jug, can for liquids’. Linked to this etymology there is Log. and Camp. cotta ‘sufficient amount of wheat for a week’s bread, ordinarily 50 liters, a starello’. For it, the etymological basis of cotta cannot be reduced to It. verb cuocere (part.p. cotto) but it is, as for gotto, the Akk. ḫuttu (a storage vessel).
Rhotacismus. Having made these observations (some more will be done later for the Gallurian speech, with regard to the Upper-Tyrrhenian dialects), a rigorous and unappealable “ALT” must be opposed to those Romance philologists who, slaves of the “colonization theory” (and of the “derivation from the speeches of the most powerful peoples”), propose a “Genoese influence” also for the L > R phenomenon dominant in Sassari. Antonio Sanna (DS 71), subjugated by Wagner’s equal credulity, wanted to persuade us to believe this phenomenon was authentically Genoese. But that of Sanna is a mere petition of principle.
The rhotacization of -l- is found massively in Sassari (with strong intensity also in Cagliari), and in other Italian dialects. The Genoese expresses it especially in the definite article (ri = li; dro = ‘de lo’); for the rest it does not express it, except in artà ‘altar’ and in barcon ‘balcony’. So while the massive phenomenon of Sassari (and Cagliari) takes on the dignity of “phonetic law”, in Genoa obviously not.
One of the thousand examples that deny the twin Wagnert-Sanna is Sass. còibura; Gall. cólbula; Log. córvula ‘big basket’ (usually wicker but also rush or hay, to bring bread or wheat); cfr. Gen. corba ‘grocery-basket’, corbetta a little grocery-basket’, which replicates the original Tyrrhenian model found in Latin (corbis and corbula). Ernout-Meillet recognizes that the two Latin terms are part of a series that is undoubtedly Mediterranean, of which no one has ever investigated the meaning.
The primitive meaning lies in a Sardian-Mediterranean compound based on Akk. qû ‘1 liter capacity measurement’, kurru(m), gur, kur ‘capacity measurement for solids’ + bulûm ‘dry wood, dry reed’; therefore kur-bulûm originally indicated a ‘1 liter solids container’. The Sardinian corve, corbe, crobe is a retroformation having the same etymological basis.
As a further gesture of goodwill, we could also attempt the analysis of the verb anaria’ Sass. ‘floating, swaying gently’. And we realize that, while elsewhere in the Mediterranean this Sassari phonetics remains isolated, it’s a sign of the vigorous overflow of the Sassari phonetic law, which also expands to the ratio D > R (at least under certain conditions). See natare (Bitti); annatare (Siniscola); Log. nadare, annadare; nadrare (Nuoro); nadái, annadái Camp. ‘to swim’; substantive natu (Bitti), nadu Log., nádidu Camp. ‘swimming’. In Sass. for ‘swim’ we also have annuda’, Gall. nuta’, Corsican nuta’, nuda’ as in Tuscany; in south Corsica also nata’. See Gen. natta ‘cork’, nattello ‘net support’ (made from cork), both pertinent to the etymology that follows, relating to “floating”.
The etymology is in fact the same as in Camp. nái ‘ship’ (see Lat. nāvis). Far from thinking d’amblée to the great hulls of historical age, we must imagine the initial ship or boat as a simple boat, composed of a series of skins inflated or swollen of hay, on which evidently a mulch of strips was placed to level the gibbosity and allow man to displace that system of “wineskins”. Hence the adjective It. natante, from Sum. nadum ‘waterskin’. But I note that the archaic Camp. nái (Gr. ναῦς) understood as ‘boat, ship’, has etymological basis in Akk. na’ûm ‘to set in motion, put in motion’.
I recognize that the Sassari-Sardinian example just proposed here is border-line, since in that -d-> -r- of anaria’ there is also the influence of Akk. nāru ‘river’, which – due to the contiguity of the semantic fields – entered phonetic competition with Sum. nadum ‘waterskin’.
The mighty Sassari’s phenomenon L > R corresponds practically nothing in the Genoese language. To be honest, the phoneticians who have been trying for decades to trace the Sardinian isoglosses, have not yet recovered from the amazement in front of all isoglosses (related to words, morphemes, phonemes) that work chaotically for the whole island with distinctions, parcellations, overlaps, mixtures, doughs that will continue to appear absurd, until all of them (phoneticists, Romance philologists, glottologists) have decided to reject all the preliminary prejudices of which we have discussed previously. Without the diachronic method I advocate, combined with a careful analysis of geography and rare news from the Middle Ages down to the Latin and Greek writings, the phenomenon L > R (or D > R) will never be clarified.
If they wished, the Romance philologists could point to more substantial similarities that bring Genoa closer to Sardinia. For example, the use of the grapheme -x- to indicate a -j- (/ ž /) is equal; this is common to Genoa and Cagliari (see for example the Gen. entries axillo (ažilu) ‘joyful state of agitation’; bexin (bežin) ‘drizzle’, baxaìco ‘sweet basil’, çexende ‘small oil lamp’, frexetto ‘silk ribbon’, laxerto ‘mackerel’, etc. The handwriting also extends to toponyms: eg Vexina (Vežina), and it’s often the same, or slightly varied, in surnames: eg Striscioli (Strižoli). But we must consider that those spellings, in addition to being Ligurian and Campidanian (but not Sassarian!), they are also expanded in medieval Sicilian.
Apocopation of infinitive. Another striking similarity is found in the Tyrrhenian verbal truncation, which unites Sassari, Gallura, Corsica, Genoa, Romanesque, Neapolitan. In Sardinia this phenomenon is repeated in the Campidanian area, where it remains slightly concealed by the support suffix -i. I give only one example among the tens of thousands:
Intatza’ Sass.; but intatzare Log. ‘carving’, especially ‘making a notch in watermelons or melons for tasting’; cfr. Corsican intazzulà’ ‘carve, indent’ (Falcucci); Gen. intaggia’ ‘carving’.
But I observe that this phenomenon of verbal truncation is found identical also in Romania: ex. frana’ ‘‘to brake’.
So we discover this phonetic law in 70% of Sardinia, in Còrsica, in Liguria, in Lazio, in Campania: that is, in a large part of Italy and the Tyrrhenian Sea. In addition, we discover that Romania, although very far away, is governed by the same law. This, therefore, can no longer be considered a “matter between us”, since it is not “Mediterranean”, let alone “Tyrrhenian”. Nor can we consider its focus in Genoa.
In the meantime, I would like to point out to the Romance philologists that in the Tyrrhenian Sea 2300 years ago the grammar that prevailed was the Latin one, and it’s not disputed that the grammar later adopted by the Italians through Tuscany is considered to be of Latin origin. Sic stantibus rebus, we can observe the paradox that in Rome during this long period the truncation of its verbs took place, while in Tuscany the Latin verbs have been preserved in purity. That Rome has “moved” to Tuscany (above all to Pisa) while preserving tradition, it is not difficult to explain it, since the Pisan territory is by far the most exposed to the millenary transits of imperial troops. Being a strategic land, it goes without saying that the Roman Empire took root there in the highest degree.
This observation is obviously insufficient. It should be accompanied by the observation that the tendency to truncate infitives goes beyond the boundaries outlined here to extend also to the French language. In fact, in France there is a discrepancy between handwriting and pronunciation: e.g. marquer is read / marké /. Therefore we return to the prevailing Tyrrhenian pronunciation.
To bring Romanian language back into this problem would seem obvious to most people but not to me, since the Romanian language dates back to the remotest millennia of the spread of Homo Sapiens, and from the beginning it remained detached from the Mediterranean language. Sapiens, once he reached the Carpathians and the surrounding area, imposed their language exactly as other Sapientes were doing in the Mediterranean and in Sardinia. But as detached from the Mediterranean Language, the Romanian language has not Latin roots but is native. Only in Roman times it was “related” to the Mediterranean language by virtue of similarity. I suppose there were numerous prehistoric episodes that divided the peoples of the East during the millennia in which the Steppe Peoples, the People of Andronovo, the People of Ruš took possession, here and there – periodically or definitively – of vast portions of the Eastern Europe. The fact is that the Romanian ethnic group was stuck there and kept his original language stable (exactly as happened to Sardinia, isolated in the middle of the Mediterranean).
The truncation phenomenon is more widespread than imagined, since it includes not only verbs but also nouns. Example, the Catalan people writes ficciò and pronounces / fiksió / while in Italy we write and pronounce ‘finzione’. In Catalonia, nominal truncation is far preferred over verbal truncation.
In Sassari and Gallura there is also often a “recovery” phenomenon, since in the spoken chain – for euphonic reasons – the truncated voice is affixed with an inorganic, non-functional, “filling” suffix of support. So a verb, e.g. insikki’ ‘’dry up, become dry’, is often pronounced insikkìni. Equal phenomenon concerns the Sass.-Gall. pron. tu ‘you’, who becomes tùni.
It is useless to look for a “source” to this broad phenomenon of truncation, since it has pervaded all Mediterranean grammars (and not only) since the origins of language. So it is also found in ancient Hebrew, in the Sumerian language, as well as in the grammatical “states” of Akkadian language (eg in the free state and the bound state): it is found in various forms that it’s idle to retrace here.
In short, the truncation is due to phono-syntactic economics needs, often to sandhi meetings. However, this verbal truncation, whose presence as a “leopard spot” is one of the proofs of non-contamination but of autonomous management of the individual languages, remains in the public eye. Then, those who claim to camp an inexplicable “law of linguistic dependencies” between a people and another, with “scalarity of dominations”, are fired, because this do no honor them.
21. GALLURA’S INFLUENCE
I’m sorry not to have thoroughly deepened (for about 100,000 entries, one by one) the comparison between Sassari and Gallura vocabularies. If I had, I would have ended up composing a third etymological dictionary (the Gallurian one); but in that endeavour I would have had to commit myself for another five years. Instead, after reading and comparing all 100,000 items, I preferred to narrow down the choice, making particular comparisons between a few thousand of them (a very reliable sample) in order to highlight the phonetic differences and other distinctive macro-phenomena. This investigation seems sufficient to me, also because I am a native of Sassari (I have the roots there, having lived there until maturity). As for Gallura, I have always had direct contact with Gallura, vis-à-vis since childhood within the city of Sassari, and several times directly in Gallura. I know their speech from the inside.
Gallura has an immense quantity of typically Sardinian words, over 90%. In this context, contrary to the belief of several scholars, Gallura shared less with Sassari than it shares with Logudorian and Sardinian language in general. Instead it shares much more with Bitti speech. This can be interpreted in one way only, that the Corsi’s tribe (in Roman era) was quite permeable, and was frequented by the other neighboring tribes, mainly by the more imposing, that of Ilienses in the center-south, from where the transhumances from the land of Bitti came. It is no coincidence that the Giudicato of Gallura in the Middle Ages was very extensive in the south, incorporating the large territories of Bitti, Orosei, Galtellì.
I hope that some less biased scholars will soon be able to scientifically and statistically illustrate how many radicals, how many forms, how many isoglosses Gallura shares with Sassari, with Sardinia in general and especially with Bitti-Orosei, as a demonstration of the absolute Sardinity of the Gallurian glossary, mainly to demonstrate its wide contribution to the formation of the Sardinian language.
In saying this, I give a rigorous STOP to the ideological beliefs of those who are still convinced that the Gallurian dialect is nothing more than a variant of the Italian language. They reveal to have never engaged in the study of Gallurian. Indeed, their imaginary reality is turned upside down: Gallurian speech contains as many Sardinian and ancient-Sardinian terms as the other dialects of Sardinia: each bundle of cantonal lemmas of Sardinia (I’m speaking of words preserved in the particular heritage of a sub-region, area by area) has details that are typical of that area, but all together are deeply Sardinian. In the phytonymy and in the fauna nomenclature (for which I refer to NOFELSA), the Gallurian area preserves many more authentically Sardinian voices than those found in the remaining island, where we now find many terms from Italy.
In its particular, Gallura actually retains hundreds of unique, original voices, untraceable in the other Sardinian languages and yet authentically Sardinian and certainly archaic, such as to prove the vitality of the Corsi’s tribe dialect (Corsi = Gallurians in pre-Roman age). Before Rome they must have been the undisputed actors of Olbia harbour, just as the Libysones (the inhabitants of Sassari land before Romans) were the undisputed actors of Turris Harbour (previously called Turu < Sum. ‘Refuge’). It takes little to understand that these, together with the Karallesi (the inhabitants of Karallu, later called Karalis) and the Bosani (those of Bosa, meaning ‘Safe Harbor’) and together with the Tarrenses, originally were the protagonists of the trips to the Mediterranean and beyond the Pillars of Hercules. It was these sailors-merchants – who later became assault marines at the time of the Nuragic civilization and made famous with the adjective of origin Shardanu, attached to them by the pharaohs – to frequent every site in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts.
The Sardinians also came to Cyprus, of course, and it’s from the very rich Cypriot copper trade that in Sardinia, nearby the Corsi of Gallura, a unique adjective took root in the whole West Mediterranean. It is cuprósu ‘rich, who has a lot of money’. A very lively adjective in Gallura, non-existent in Corsica, nor in the rest of Sardinia and throughout Italy. It does not take long to understand that were precisely the Còrsi (the Gallurians) who left the Olbia harbour to bring back to Sardinia, and trade for all the shores of the Mediterranean, the famous “ox-hides”, the “ox skins”, that is, the Cypriot copper loaves (called cuprum) regularly punched with the initial of the name of the lands to which the Shardanu brought that precious material.
Among the many words exclusively Gallurian I mention: abbaióla ‘bee-eater’, árrula ‘sows pen’, bréḍḍula ‘weasel’, caccaéḍḍu ‘hawthorn’, cagghjìna ‘tub’, kévia ‘turf’, mitáli ‘entrance step’, pasciári ‘sheepfold’, titìmbaru ‘euphorbia’, vagghjimu ‘autumn’.
Here below I analyze these and other indigenous examples as well as some others preserved first of all in Gallura as a sign of profound sardiness and strong links with central Sardinia:
Amatu. Go to fucétti.
Árrula Gall. ‘Rectangular enclosure that houses wild pigs; in other regions it’s the ‘enclosure that houses pregnant sows’. Etymological base Akk. arû ‘to be(come) pregnant, conceive’ + Sum. la ‘that which, the one that’. It indicated ‘that of conception’, the enclosure where animals are locked up to conceive.
Avru Gall. ‘portion of pasturicciáli cultivated with beans’; also ‘large hollowed-out trunk to house wild pigs, especially the sow after farrowing’. Etymological basis the Sum. ablal ‘nest’ or abrum ‘storage, warehouse’. It is customary in Sardinia that the shepherd uses hollow trees near the sheepfold as a temporary store.
Bréḍḍula Gall., Log. ‘’Sardinian weasel’. It lives on dry stone walls in a shady place. Etymological basis in Akk. birtu(m) ‘fort, castle’, ‘area protected by fortified outposts’ + Sd. adjectival suffix -la. Over time the metathesis *bìrtula > *britula was produced, with subsequent lenition of the dental (> brèḍḍula). The origin of this strange name lies in the fact that the weasel has always preferred the walls built by man, being an animal not very suitable for digging and instead very suitable for the tiny holes or cracks present in any wall. The original meaning is therefore ‘that of the walls, that of the castles’, for the simple fact in countryside the houses were normally made of wood, while the only stone buildings were castles or fortifications.
Bronzéḍḍu Gall. ‘purple betony’ (Stachis glutinosa L.); it’s a favorite plant to light the oven fire and also – when available – to brown the pig bristles. This entry is a Sardian compound based on Akk. burû (a garden plant) + ṣelû ‘to burn, to light’, with the meaning of ‘plant to burn, to light’.
Caccaéḍḍu Gall. ‘hawthorn’ (Crataegus oxyacantha L.). The phytonym, shared in minimal part by the Eastern Logudoro, is a Sardinian compound based in Akk. kakku (a small legume) + ellu(m) ‘pure, clear’ and the like, with the meaning of ‘excellent legume’. It is known that the hawthorn fruits are eaten with pleasure, and jams are also made of them.
Cagghjìna Gall. ‘vat, 15-20 liter wooden tub, used in the statzi for the supply of drinking water, as well as for other uses’. Etymological basis in Sum. ḫal ‘basket, pot’ + gina ‘clamp’. It was a basket or a tub with slats, held by one or several horizontal strings closely tied. Etymological basis may also be the following: Sum. kad ‘to tie, gather’ + ḫi ‘to mix (up), alloy’ + naĝ ‘to drink’: kad-ḫi-naĝ ‘(basket) held together to mix and drink’.
Calábrike, caralìghe, calarìghe Log.; calávrike Centr.; caráviu, coráviu Camp. ‘hawthorn’ (Crataegus oxyacantha L.).; Gall. calarìgghju. Cfr. Lat. calabrix (Plinius). Etymological base in Akk. kâru ‘tu rub’ + leqû(m) ‘receive, suffer’. It’s typical of this thorny plant to annoy and injure those who are forced to touch it.
Carrabùsu Sass., Gall., Camp. ‘dung beetle’ (Scarabaeus sacer etc.), an archaic Sardinian term based on Akk. karru ‘ball, knob’ + abūsu ‘warehouse’ (genitive chain karr-abūsu), with the meaning of ‘(he who) stores the balls’. This is exactly what the dung beetle does.
Ciattu Sass., Gall., Camp. ‘flat, crushed’; téula ciatta ‘flat tile, embryx’; cfr. Sp. chato, It. chiatto; cfr. It. chiatta ‘flat-bottomed barge’, the etymology of which was ignored. This is based on Akk. qātum ‘hand’ (obvious the reasons).
Cuigghìna Sass., cuikìna Gall. ‘lentisk root or of other Mediterranean plant’, ‘log obtained from roots’. See Log. cotzighìna, cotthighìna, cottighìna ‘log, stump’; (Désulo) coccìna, Camp. cottsìna. Etymological basis Bab. kuṣṣuru(m) ‘chock full of knots’, with the falling of the third syllable at the moment when the Sardinians, having lost the ancient meaning, understood this word as an inappropriate adjectival (see cotza, and cótzula). The term was then recomposed in a genitive chain with the addition of Bab. ginû ‘child’. This compound follows the same Log. formation puḍḍighìnu < puḍḍu ‘chick’ + Bab. ginû ‘child’ (hence: ‘baby chicken’). Originally the compound was to be *cottsuri-ghinu > cotzighina.
Cuìri Sass.; cuile Log.; cuìlì Camp.; cubìle Centr. ‘sheepfold’, ‘sheep shelter site’; Gall. cuìli (as in Camp.) ‘den, lair’. See Lat. cŭbīle ‘bed of man and animal’, also ‘thalamus’ < Lat. cŭbo ‘be lying, lying on a bed’. But it should be noted that the Italian derivative covìle means ‘den of wild animals’: etymological basis in Akk. ḫu’a ‘owl’ (+ genitival suffix -uìle), in deference to the fact that the owl works in the dark, and it during the day is invisible because it hides in the thick foliage. This is also understood in Sardinia as original meaning, while the semantics of ‘sheepfold’ seems derived.
The problem of whether the concept of den or sheepfold comes first is solved by observing the Sumerian base, which allows us to glimpse, already in the archaic era, the convergence and confusion of two ways of interpretation: the first of which is ku ‘hole, cavity, den’ + bilam ‘animal’, with the meaning of ‘animal den’ (and we are with the Italian meaning as well as the one original from Sardinia). The second interpretation, always of Sumerian origin, brings into play gub (a designation of sheep or goat): with the agglutination of bilam it gives gubbilam, hence cubile, cuìle intended as ‘sheepfold’.
Cuiuba’ Sass. ‘’marry, celebrate a wedding’; Gall. cuiua’; coiuvare (Orune), coiubare (Nuoro), coiuare Log. coiái Camp. ‘maritar(si)’. Word made up of Sd. cun (Log.), kin (Camp.), particle corresponding to It. con, Lat. cum: kin tegus, cun tegus ‘with you’; in compounds it takes the form co- = It .; etymological basis the Sum. kunu ‘approach, stay contiguous’; cfr. Ug. ʽm, /ʽamm/ ‘with’.
For the member -juvare see coiube ancient Sd. ‘husband and wife; wife’ (CSP 23: Petru Caste e Justa de Funtana couues furun ‘husband and wife’; Carta Arborense II: Ego iudice Turbini de Lacon… cum donna Ana de Zori e regina coiube mia facemus ista carta…). Etymological base is Sum. kuduš ‘status of bridegroom’, confused with Sd. jubu ‘yoke’ (cf. Lat. iugum < iungō ‘join, unite, put together’ < Akk. unqu ‘neck’).
Curignóni Sass. sg. ‘ravioli’; culilgioni, pulilgioni Gall. ‘idem’. See Centr. culigióni, culurgióni, culuriònes. This word indicates the typical Ogliastra potato-cheese ravioli, but also the Nuorese ravioli stuffed with cheese. The phono-semantic basis would be Akk. kullūlu ‘veil, cover’, in the sense and with the gender of the semantic evolutions of Latin testa ‘crock’ > testūdo ‘turtle’. Indeed Akk. kallu means ‘tortoise shell’. I accept the fact in the palace of Knossos in Crete there were three large underground silos called culures, which were used to store large quantities of cereals for periods of famine (Cnosso, Mondatori, 2007). It goes without saying that this meaning seems the best, and also testifies to the stable contacts that existed between Shardana and Aegean navigators.
Filugnàna it’s one of the twelve forms of Cantu a kittérra, typical of Gallura although it is mainly sung in Logudorian. You can read the presentation of this love song in the Enciclopedia della musica sarda, IV, 145; V, 98 (as well as in the two attached disks). From it we can deduce that these are mainly 4-verse or 8-verse stanzas (or alternate stanzas: 4-8), with octosyllabic verses (or alternate: septenary-octonary). As for the etymology, the curious homophone Filonzàna, designating the carnival mask of Ottana and other Nùoro’s villages, representing the Parca that cuts the thread of existence, should be mentioned. But this combination is very bad, when we think that Gallura chant is destined for amorous courtships, for joyous parties. It’s therefore a matter of pure phonetic juxtaposition whose comparison leads to nothing. The current Gallura’s chant has an etymological basis in Akk. bēlum ‘Lord’ + Anu ‘supreme God’: bēlum-Anu was evidently, in archaic ages, the beginning, the intonation of a song in honor of the supreme God.
Fruscu, frùsciu, fruscru (Logudoro), frùsciu Gall.; frùskiu, ruscu, rùskiu (Nule, Siniscola) ‘butcher’s broom’ (Ruscus aculeatus L.). Etymological basis Akk. purûm ‘abuse’ + ušku ‘servant’ (genitive chain pur-ušku > p[u]ruscu, fruscu), with the meaning of ‘instigator of abuse’ (with reference to beautiful children, for which the men of that age went crazy, pedophilia being common). This name is justified by the fact that the butcher’s broom is a very pretty plant, in great demand during the Christmas period
Fucétti Gall. ‘rods that support the tiles, placed perpendicular to the truss beams’. Etymological basis in Akk. pūqu ‘crack, slit, neckline’ + eṭû ‘to be(come) dark’ (of day: darken, make obscure): pūq-eṭû ‘darkening of the cracks’. Li fucétti amati are the ‘close rods’ (those that support the tiles). Amati is a pp. of action, based on Akk. amu ‘raft’. So fucetti amati once meant ‘close strips as in the construction technique of rafts’.
Iłtraccu Sass. adj. ‘tired, fatigued, weakened from fatigue, exhausted’: straccu Gall.; Sass. tarrénu iłtraccu ‘over-exploited agricultural land’.
Kèa Sass.. Gall., Log. ‘charcoal maker, woodpile covered with earth and set on fire to turn it into coal’; mainly the ‘site where the pile is prepared to make coal’. Zonal variant is Camp. cea ‘plane’; in the central regions it mostly indicates the ‘plain or valley between mountain sides’; in Árzana, Urzuléi and neighboring countries it’s the ‘flat ground embedded between the sides of a mountain’. In the harsher patches of the Supramontes or other inland mountains, sa cea or kéja is a small “handkerchief” of arable land.
This word often appears in condaghes, and sometimes it has the primitive meaning of ditch for coal or cavity for other purposes; also cea dessu athìle (Dorgali) ‘the dimple of the neck’; kea dess’ogu ‘eye concavity’.
Pittau (OPSE 102) for etymological purposes compares it with Gr. chéia ‘hole, hiding place, cavity’. Certainly the two semantic fields tend to converge, but the original semantic field seems to be the Logudorian one, to which the etymological Akk qīlu ‘burned, branded on fire’ is connected < qalû ’burn, set on fire’. See surname Cella and toponym Chelle.
Kéiva Sass. ‘clod of earth’; also ‘mass of earth left around the roots of a seedling to be transplanted’; Gall. kélvia, kévia ‘clod of plowed earth’. This voice seems to have been accepted by Gallura or in any case influenced by It. The ways in which the fundamental term kèa returns with phonetic variants in other Sardinian words are very interesting. Here we have the same primitive meaning that we find in certain hidden areas, where kèa, kèya, cèa indicates a “little piece of land”.
Kessa Gall. ‘lentisk’ (Pistacia lentiscus); this voice then passed to Sassari or at least influenced the primitive Sassari word. Etymological basis the Bab. qīšu(m), qēšu means ‘forest, wood’.
Kítzu Sass., Gall. ‘early in the morning’; kitzi Camp.; kíθo, kíto Centr. Base the ancient Akk. kīṣu(m) ‘coldness (cold moment of the day, which is that of dawn)’.
Lácuna Gall. ‘Monolithic sunken drinking trough’. The etymological basis is Sum. laḫan ‘flask’, Akk. laḫannu ‘a flask’.
Luppu Gall. ‘water container’. Etymological basis Akk. luppu(m) ‘bag, leather bag’. Once, in fact, the wineskins were made of leather.
Méli de bruna, bruma is the ‘bitter honey’, obtained from the strawberry tree flower. The bruna name seems strange, but not much, when we come to etymology. It should be considered that bitter honey is recognized since the highest antiquity as a healing honey. The fact that, unlike all others, which are produced in the spring, bitter honey is produced at the end of autumn, makes it truly unique; so that the ancient Sardinians called it ‘honey from the tree of the Lord’ (i.e. honey of God), from Sum. bur ‘tree’ + nam ‘lord’.
Miciulátu Gall., Sass. mizzuláddu, mizzuraddu) ‘yogurth, fermented milk’; it’s a compound from Akkadian miz’u, mīzu, mizzu (a sweet alcoholic drink: as are the yogurths produced in the Near East to date). The second member -raḍḍu, -radu, -laddu, -latu can be understood as ‘milk’, and the overall meaning would therefore be ‘alcoholic milk’. Instead also the second member has Akkadian basis (râdu ‘shake’, better laqtu ‘collected, coated, quailed, gathered, gleaned’), so the overall meaning would be in this case ‘agitated sweet alcoholic drink’ (due to the fact that the natural serum, so that the product takes the consistent characteristic, it is immersed in the tepid milk and stirred in the mass to homogenize it). So miz’u-laqtu originally indicated the ‘sweet-alcoholic (milk) quail’.
Mitáli Gall. ‘threshold, step: of the house’. This adjectival seems to have the etymology in Bab. mīṭu ‘low level (water and other)’, to which the suff. Sardinian -li was affixed.
Monti Sass., Camp.; monte Log. ‘mountain, high ground’: para di monti ‘mountain slope’; iχìna or atta di ru mounti ‘mountain ridge’; è andaddu a fa’ legna a monti maru ‘he turned to the wrong person’; pari ki ni sia bugghéndi monti da fondu ‘he seems that is making superhuman efforts’; (Bitti) m’à iscuttu unu monte ‘he threw me a stone’; (Tempio) m’à tiratu unu monti ‘idem’. The etymological basis is the same as for muntagna (see), excluding the particle -na ‘stone’. Derivative: montarzu Log. (Casu); montraju Camp. ‘mountaneer’; monticru Centr., montigru Log., montiju NW Log.. ‘hill’.
Muscatóiu Gall. ‘shelter of the cattle with a roof of twigs, supported by poles’. There are similar toponyms in other places, e.g. in Silius (Muscadrόxiu). In Akk. mušku indicates a tree and its wood. The Sardinian term refers to the function of the tree, which is the original one of giving shade and freshness.
Musòni Gall. ‘bucket; basin in juniper staves once used to transporting water and storing it’. Etymological basis Sum. muš ‘pot’ + unu ‘tall’: in compound muš-unu with the meaning of ‘tall bowl’ (specially made to better contain liquids).
Paḍḍa Gall. ‘straw’. For the etymology go to palla Camp. ‘straw’, pàzza (Log.), pălea (Lat.), names belonging at least to the Neolithic, in the early days of the cultivation of cereals; the etymological basis of pàglia is Sumerian, from pad ‘to be broken, broken; to break’ + la ‘to winnow (grain)’: pal-la ‘chopped pieces’.
Pastíni in Gallura is the ‘vineyard land’. In Akkadian paštu indicates the ‘hoe’, Sum. pašu ‘idem’. The name pastíni overshadows the Neolithic early agrarian practices, when men began to thin out the forests to make way for the fields. Sd. ínu, binu ‘wine’ was added to this member (cf. Lat. vinum) < Bab. īnu ‘wine’, Heb. iāin. In turn, these Semitic lemmas indicating the ‘wine’ have an etymological basis in Sum. u-in ‘tree of abuse, of words’ (from u ‘plant, tree’ + in ‘abuse; word’). Obviously, originally all these archaic words did not indicate only the ‘wine’ but also the ‘vineyard’ (cf. Ags. wine, vine). So pastíni is an archaic compound indicating the ‘(soil) cleaned with a hoe for the vine’.
Pastrucciáli or pasturicciáli ‘space around the Gallurian house, enclosed by a drywall’. The etymological basis is Sumerian, from paš-tu-ur (pašu ‘hoe’), for whose meaning I refer to pástuma ‘lawn, pasture’ and pastòri ‘herdsman’. It originally indicated the place ‘beaten with an ax by the shepherd’ (in order to clear the trees and make room for the farm). As for the member -icci- of pasturicciáli, it’s the Sd. suffix of quality -icu, -igu < Sum. igi ‘quality’, Akk. ikku ‘mood, temperament’ (cf. Lat. -icus, Gr. -ikos). The final suffix -áli is Sardinian, based in Sum. al indicating the state in the conjugation verbal prefixes (such as for example lug-al ‘that of the place’ ie. ‘king’).
Pástuma Gall. ‘lawn or pasture’; in sa pástuma ‘on the lawn’. In pas-tu-ma we note the radical of It. pas-colo and pas-tu-ra ‘grazing place’. In this regard, however, some observations must be made, with reference to the primeval times, when nature was intact and man was able to dominate it (so to speak) only with fire, and then with fire and with stone axes. In those archaic times in our latitudes only the forest existed, in rare cases existed the scrub created by the intense grazing of the ungulates, plus some clearing (Sd. campos bárgios) “flattened” for the annihilation of the flora produced by the “dormitories” (dens, resting places) of wild herds. The pastures were a following phenomenon, when man managed, albeit with immense efforts, to cut down trees and plants with primitive axes. It goes without saying that the pasture (especially the meadow-pasture, which needs a lot of care) was obtained using the pickaxes, the axes, the hoes.
And it is from these tools that la pastura, ‘the pasture’, takes its name, from Akk pāštu ‘ax, hoe’ < sum. pašu ‘ax, hoe’ + tu ‘beat’: paš-tu = ‘beat with an ax’. It’s the third member (-ma) of pás-tu-ma to measure how archaic this word is, given the Sum. basis ma ‘burn’. Originally the Sd. pás-tu-ma meant ‘beating with the ax and burning’ (which were precisely the primordial forms to make the forest back and conquer the pastures). It goes without saying that mediev. Lat. pās-cul-um (from pascō ‘I eat’) derives from Sum. pašu ‘ax, hoe’ + Lat. colō ‘cultivate’ < Sum. kul ‘meal, food’. Lat. colō originally meant ‘procuring food’.
Pibirìłta, pibariłta Sass. and Log., pipirista Centr., Gall. ‘eyelashes’.
Pisatógghja Gall. ‘large trunk surmounted by a granite slab on which the milk spends the night in the open for a clearing’. To understand this term (letteralm. ‘lifter’), you need to go to Log. pesáre, Camp. pesái ‘to raise’, also ‘to leaven’. The same verb is also used to ‘raise’ children. Camp. pesái also has the meaning of ‘run away, sneak away, move instantly from a dangerous point, immediately get away from a threat’. Accepting the etymology proposed by Wagner, from Lat. pensare ‘to think, ponder, measure the heaviness of a body’ would be paradoxical for the semantic field is diametrically opposite. The etymology is to be found in Sum. peš ‘mouse’ + atu ’doorkeeper, guardian of the entrances’. The compound originally meant ‘rat guardian’. This technique is identical to that of the Walser alpine houses, who created a pile-dwelling and above each pole imposed large slabs of schistose gneiss, and finally the housing structure rested on top. The ingenious construction prevented mice from climbing to damage the house.
Scábula. In Gallùra la perda scábula is the ‘granite put in place without geometric roughing’. In Italian it is pietra scàpola (‘idem’). Etymological basis Sum. kab ‘take away’ (referring in this case to the stone detached from its base and not yet worked).
Sitágliu ‘wild animal lair’ (Gallura). Etymological basis the Sum. si ‘horn, finger, punch tool’ + tar ‘cut away’.
Tàja Gall., taza Log. Salvador Vidal4 named it tasi. For Giovanni Spano this Gallurian (and Logudorian) term is equivalent to mutu (see), ‘stornello (a type of folk song)’, ‘rispetto (idem)’. Espa in Dizionario del Sardo-Italiano indicates for tàja a series of equivalent words: stornello, strofetta, rispetto, mutu, nènia and canto funebre ‘funeral singing’, particular way of singing, chorus. A.M. Cirese maintains taja’s inability to be an appellative of a specific poetic composition. But it’s clear that taja refers mainly to the Logudorian mutos and the Campidanian mutettus, of which it seems to want to govern the compositional laws. Taja must be the oldest term of the Sardinian compositions, which in the eighteenth century we discover are also called mutos and mutettos in Sardinia, also archaic words, apparently shared in the Italian peninsula. But meanwhile see the etymology of mutettu. Taja has etymological basis in Sum. taḫ ‘add’, taḫḫum ‘substitute’; ‘additional song’. Especially in Gallura, tàja indicates tout court polyphonic singing (Gavino Gabriel, Canti di Sardegna, 1923): a definition that still corresponds today to the primitive Sumerian explanation.
Tippi in Ággius it is one of the five voices of the male choir (especially in su cantu a tája, which in this village gives its name to the entire tradition of polyphonic singing). The other singers are called bozi, bassu, contra, falsittu. In the tája cun baḍḍu a passu, «the bozi intones a pair of hendecasyllabic verses and the choir intervenes on the last syllable of the second. The same structure is repeated three times … Lu baḍḍu a passu follows: it’s an accompaniment to the dance in which the bozi … introduces the rhythm of the dance with a text …; at the second repetition of the second verse the choir enters on the sixth syllable, with short and well marked interventions that will continue for the duration of the dance … At the end the rhythm is free again and the four voices are compacted proposing a sequence of chords; at last is added lu falsittu “(Marco Lutzu, EMS VI 176). If necessary, lu tippi splits even by singing the part of lu falsittu. The “Coro di Aggius” today interprets the word tippi as Lat. triplum ‘triple’, and indicates it as “the triple high of la bozi”. It’s possible that the passage of centuries has led to the striking corruption from triplum to tippi; but this would be unique in the etymological cases; and people should then explain why the Lat. triplum in Aggius has not maintained the same popular phonetics that is still heard in other Sardinian districts, where triplu is said exactely so (instead of tres bortas). Here we have to assume a paronomàsia. Which is revealed by Akk. ṭīpu, ṭēpu ‘supplement; that overlaps continuously’. In the specīmen of cantu a tenòre, which in ancient times must have been very popular in Gallura, the specific voice called tippi had to have the role of being inserted at the right time after the introductions (pesàdas) de sa boke.
Titímbaru, titìmalu Gall. ‘euphorbia’ (Euphorbia dendroides et Euphorbia pithyusa L.). Etymological base in Akk. tittu(m) ‘fig tree’ + bâru(m) ‘bad, hostile’, with the meaning of ‘fig enemy’ (due to copious latex, similar to that of figs, which produces traumatic effects, as well as the absence of edible fruits).
Uppu, upu (Gallura and elsewhere) is the cork drawer, cup, a bowl obtained naturally from the cork ashlar. The etymology reported by Wagner refers to a Latin cuppa, which, however, with the cup properly understood has no reference. It is from Akk. uppu ‘small cavity’.
Vagghjimu Gall. ‘Autumn’, ‘autumn pasture’, ‘grass that grows with the first rains of autumn’. Apparently, the etymological basis is Sum. ua ‘caterer, supplier’ + gin ‘grass’: ua-gin ‘grass caterer’. In fact, in Sardinia the grass begins to grow with the first autumn rains; all the more so in Gallura.
Tziḍḍa Gall. ‘’hearth’. Etymological basis the Sum. zil ‘to boil’ + da ‘side, corner’: zil-da ‘corner to boil, to cook’.
Tyrrhenic and- upper-Tyrrhenic isoglosses. Now that we have entered the domain of the Gallura dialect, it is easier to treat also the high-Tyrrhenian isoglosses, by virtue of the Corsican “buffer” which has always acted as a bridge between Sardinia and the peoples of this basin. The terms highlighted below often show relationships with the Genoese, as well as obvious Tuscan relationships.
Abbauca’, abbacca’ Sass., Gall. ‘to daze, stun’; Log. abbauccare ‘being distracted, forgetful, dazed, stupid’. In Log. and Camp. abbaccáre, abbaccái ‘slow down, calm down (e.g. wind, pain)’; in Sass. also abbracca’ ‘decrease, diminish’ (Muzzo): una tzanda abbauccada ‘a withered poppy’. See Sic. abbacari ‘calm, cease, soothe’ (Traina 39); Cal. abbacare ‘idleness, have free time’; so also in Molfetta, in Abruzzo, in the northern Italian dialects, e.g. Lomb. balcà; in modern Provençal there is (a)baucà; Cat. (a)balcar.
Aipétta, ipétta Sass. ‘grappling-iron, tool for fishing octopuses, but also for recovering objects fallen into the sea, formed by a rod with long hooks at the end’. See Madd.-Gen. arpetta ‘ditto’. This entry is diminutive from It. arpione ‘harpoon, hooked iron’. Etymological basis Akk. ḫarbum ‘plow to break the ground’.
Allica’ Sass., Gall.; alliccare North Log. ‘entice’, ‘flatter, entice’; intr. ‘get a taste for something, get used to it’; alliccu Sass. ‘taste, profit, advantage’, ‘flattery, enticement, bait’. See Gen. allecca’ entice ‘to entice’; Corsican allikigiula’, allicula’, liccula’; Fr. allecher (De Martino). Wagner notes that the same voice exists in the southern Italian dialects, and thinks that all these words derive from It. leccare ‘to lick’. I do not agree. The etymology is the same as liccałdu, liccardu (see). Derivative: allicantzare Log. ‘to be greedy’.
Alluppia’ Sass. ‘opiate, drug’; cfr. Gall.-Madd.-Corsican alluppiatu ‘sleepy, asleep, dozing; enchanted, dazed’. Basic-word is allòppiu ‘opium’. Erudite word.
Araḍḍu Sass. ‘tartar, barrel fouling’; also láḍḍaru. See Camp. aregàḍḍa, aragàḍḍa; Log. láḍḍaru. In Senorbì it indicates urticaria; Madd. raḍḍa ‘mange, dirt’; Gall. rudda ‘slag’ (rudda di lu caffè). Wagner gives for aragaḍḍu, aregaḍḍa, aragaḍḍa, argaḍḍu, grağaḍḍu and other variants the meaning of ‘pipe gum; crust; barrel or teeth tartar; dirt, grime’. he also gives the meaning of ‘lattime’ (eczematous crust that forms on the head of newborns: Perdasdefógu). Finally, for aregaḍḍa he gives the meaning of ‘sudàmina’ (red rind left by sweat on the skin, which gives a lot of itch). However, he does not give the meaning of ‘acariasis’ or ‘furious itching caused by the barn, granary mites’. According to him (and according to Zonchello who follows him: DMCDS 78, 172), these words agree in meaning with Cat. carrall ‘sarro de la pipa, de los dientes’, ‘slag, tartar, fouling, rubber’.
But thise Catalan term will also have an etymology, which is not clear to any researcher. And it is because the Sardinian term and, despite the metamorphosis, also the Catalan one, derive from Bab. araḫḫu(m) which means ‘homemade silo, homemade warehouse’. Here too, as often happens, the Sardinian form shows a semantic evolution compared to the original term, producing the effect for the cause, i.e. the effects produced by the homemade silos, which in the hot season were subject to massive predations of the curculionids, on whose edible slags (white powders) colonies of very small mites settled which also attacked the skin of men producing them, in addition to urticaria, real mites. De Martino DM 115 claims the origin of these words is the ancient It. rud (genitive ruu ‘debris’, Lomb. rüd; Friul. rudìna ‘rena’ < Lat. rudus ‘rubble, debris’’ (see It. rùdere).
Arrettu Sass. ‘Erect, straight, excited (of the virile member)’, fig. ‘lively, witty, impetuous (always vulgar); vb: Sass., Corsican arritza’. Wagner proposes from Lat. arrectus, and also reports the ancient Sp. dialect arrecho ‘tieso’; anc. Franc. aroit ‘en erection’. It comes from Bab. ariktu (a kind of spear); ‘length’ < arku ‘high’. However, the current form is nothing but a variant (and metonymy) of Akk. riḫītu ‘insemination, sperm pouring’. A variant of this term, also due to the proximity of the semantic field, is Sd. adj. árridu (see).
Arrumba’ Sass., Gall.; arrumbare, arrimare Log. ‘move near, lean’; Cat. and Sp. arrimar(se): ‘apoyar sobre una cosa’ Gen. arremba’ ‘lean, put one thing close to another’; Madd. arremba’ ‘lean, bring closer’; Cat. arrambar ‘lean against, approach’. Likewise, also the deverbals are identical, e.g. arrimadéru Camp. ‘support’ = Sp. arrimadero. Even the Sardinian form arrumbare has its identity with Corsican arimba’, aremba’, from ancient Gen. arrembarse ‘grab, stick’, current Gen. arremba’ ‘lean, go closer’. F. Alberti de Villeneuve in 1772 then produced, in his Nouveau dictionnaire françois-italien (and Italian-French) the derivative term arrembare, and arrembàggio ‘boarding, assault on a ship’.
The etymology of these words is highly uncertain for all linguists including Wagner (DES). It is believed that the term may derive from a supposed Lombard form rambòn but, if nothing else, this hypothesis is hindered by the too late appearance of this marine meaning. Nor does it persuade the strange hypothesis of the derivation from Lat. ad-remigare, which not even the proposer V. Pisani takes seriously.
However, this root must be combined with that of It. rima ‘two-word consonance with an accented vowel at the end’. The Italianists note its first appearance in 1370 from French rime and believe it to be probably derivative from Lat. rhytmu(m). Strangely, no linguist has reflected on the possibility of endorsing the etymology of It. rima with that of It. arrembare and Sd. arrumbare. The Sp. arrimar, term of the 13th century, means apoyar una construcción en otra, poner una cosa junta a otra. Although Corominas gives this term of uncertain origin and moreover it has a different origin than arrumar y arrumbar ‘estivar la carga’ (1519), I believe that for all these terms there is a common basis in Ass. rêmu(m) ‘be mutually accommodating, conciliatory, kind, caring’, Bab. re’um ‘friend’, Akk. rēmu(m) ‘compassion, mercy’.
And also It. rima ‘crack, linear orifice’ dating back to Lat. rima (‘vulvar rhyme’ and other), as far as it is believed to have dark origin, must instead have the same as those given above, precisely from Akk. rēmu(m) with the multiple meaning of ‘uterus, compassion, clemency’ which in turn produces the Ass. rêmu(m) ‘be mutually accommodating, make someone kindly disposed’.
Attałta’ Sass. ‘to taste’. Cfr. Cat. tastar ‘to taste’, Gen. attastà ‘id.’, Corsican-Gall. ‘idem’. For etymology go to tałtu.
Bagna Sass. bánnia, banza Log., bángia Camp. ‘sauce’. Cfr. Gall., Piem., Gen. bagna ‘ditto’. Today this term means the ‘tomato sauce prepared with fried onions (and other flavors) and consumed into the pot until thickened’: it is used to season, mixed with cheese, is marraccònis, sos maccarrònes, ‘pasta’. To understand its etymology it’s necessary to go back to the earliest ages of Neolithic, when the pots began to appear, the terracotta pans, which were created because they resisted the flame. With them began the revolution of cooked “cassola” foods, and it was the second culinary leap after the advent of roasted meat and bread-pizza cooked on hot stones (an event of the Paleolithic Age). In this perspective, it’s easy to argue that bagna has an etymological basis in Sum. ba ’pan, container’ + ĝa (read gna) ‘home’: baĝa, with the meaning of ‘home pan’ (so called because the fragility of the container did not allow its transport). From the tool the meaning passed to the content.
Báina (pedra báina) Sass. and Log. ‘slate, blackboard’; Corsican baína, abaínu, paínu; cfr. Gen. abbaén (known in the blackboard industry as abbadíno). Etymological basis Akk. banûm ‘to build’. The adjectival prevailed because this kind of shale is the most suitable for erecting long-lasting constructions, given their flat nature which makes the individual pieces combinable without the use of mortars.
Bambu Log., Camp., Gall. ‘tasteless’, ‘silly’; Corsican bambu ‘simple, silly’; Cat. bàmbol ‘bendito, tonto, necio’; Sass. bambu ke lótzu ‘insipid like mud’; soli bambu ‘pale sun’ (Porru); ḍḍa fai bamba ‘fail’; filu bambu ‘a thread not well twisted’; cfr. Decam. IV, 2 una giovane donna bamba e sciocca ‘a young insipid and foolish woman’ (De Martino). For Wagner, all these voices are onomatopoeic, starting from bambino ‘child’. This is possible. In this case the etymological basis is Akk. bābu ‘small child, baby’.
Barabáttura, barabáttula ‘butterfly’ (Sàssari, Gallura); cfr. the Corsican phrase questu è lu vieghju di la barabàttula ‘this trip earns nothing’ (Falcucci cited by De Martino). Also Sass. zarabáttula. Etymological base seems Sum. ba-ra (coloristic term), but it’s preferable to use barbar ‘shuttle’ (for the attitude of the butterflies to settle now or there) + tur ‘small’: barbar-tur = ‘small shuttle’. See Heb. parpâr ‘butterfly’. Also It. farfalla has the same Sumerian-Jewish base.
Barracoccu Sass. and Log., piricoccu Camp. ‘apricot (tree and fruit)’. Wagner merely finds parallels in Corsican, Sicilian, French (abricot). The camp. piricoccu, right Wagner, is corrupt due to the interference of pira ‘pear’. See Gen. bricocua, Lucch. ballacocoro (De Martino). DELI, in relation to the etymology of It. albicocco, dates back only to Arabic, which makes (al)-barquq (birquq) ‘plum’, and assumes it dates back to Aram. barquqa.
But the etymology of this compound, although passing through Aramaic, is based on Akk. barāqu(m) ‘brighten, shine’, ‘turn yellow (fruit)’, also ‘hit (enemies with blinding light)’. In Sardinia the term barāqu was “rounded” and iterated in the suffix, with reference to the term coccu, with which all rounded shapes are called, such as a “smooth stone”, the “round bread”, a term also deriving from Mesopotamian speech (Ass. kukku, which is a kind of cake). The ancient meaning of Sd. barracoccu is therefore that of ‘sweet, golden and round (fruit)’. It’s surprising how much the Accadians (Babylonians) loved this fruit, whose beautiful golden color was compared to the solar colors.
Biséłtru Sass.; bisestru, bisestu Log. ‘calamity, ailment’; biséstu Gall.; Log. occannu in Tissi bi faghet bisestu; ite die bisełtru ‘what an inauspicious day’; (Úsini) bisestrare ‘to cripple, cut, beat up’; a bisestru ‘battered’; cfr. Corsican bisestu ‘calamity’; Piem. bsest “ailment, disarray”. Oddly, Wagner and other linguists advance It. bisesto (ie ‘leap’ year) as origin of these words, suggesting subliminally leap year is a harbinger of disaster. In my opinion, bisestru has an etymological basis in Akk. bišû ‘possession, property’ + esrum ‘imprisoned, prisoner’. The original compound meant ‘seizure, confiscation of property’ (people can imagine the economic disaster that this entailed a family).
Brikkéttu Sass. ‘match’. See Madd.-Gen. bricchetto ‘ditto’; Romanian brichettă ‘lighter’. Etymological basis Akk. barāqum ‘to lighten, shine’ + suff. diminutive -éttu. According to De Martino it derives from Fr. briquette dimin. of brique ‘brick’, originating from It. bricchetta ‘coal tile’.
Buatta Sass., Log. ‘doll’, ‘rag doll’; Gall., Corsican, Gen. bugatta. Originally the etymological basis must have been Akk. ubātum ‘fat’, ‘pregnant’ (referring to animals but not only). Hence the Sass. buattòni ‘scarecrow’ (as dressed in rags) and also ‘ragman’.
But this situation can very well be reversed, since it’s much easier to find the etymological basis of buattòni in Akk. bûm “bird” + atû(m), atu’u ‘guardian of the city gate’, with the extensive meaning of “guardian (of the fields) against the birds”. In truth, just as it happens very often to the Sardinian language, which presents its compounds in an ýsteron-próteron position with respect to the original Akkadian formation (worth the example of English beautiful ← woman = It. donna → bella), here too can be noted an original composition from Akk. bûm + attū- ‘belonging to birds’.
Buffa’ Sass., Gall., Gen. ‘inflate, blow’; Sass. imbuffassi fig. ‘pride yourself, be pleased with yourself’; imbuffa’ “inflate, dilate”; see also buffáre, -ái Log. and Camp. ‘blow’; Log. bùffidu ‘murmur’; Log. imbuffáre ‘blow’; buffadòri Log.-Sass. ‘bellows’.
These words compare with It. buffa ‘strong and sudden wind gust’, buffo ‘impetuous and sudden gust’, bufera ‘storm, torment’, buffone ‘who in the Middle Ages and Renaissance exercised the profession of amusing’. DELI does not find the etymology, while Wagner thinks the Sardinian lemmas and the Iberian correspondents are onomatopoeia. Indeed the etymological basis of all these terms lies in Sum. bun ‘bellows’, ‘bladder’, ‘to blow, push, flutter’ + pû ‘mouth’. The bun-pû compound originally meant ‘blowing, swelling with the mouth’. For similarity, Log. and Camp. buffáre, -ái ‘drinking, gulping’ have the same etymology, taking into account that in the highest antiquity the receptacles were only wineskins, i.e. inflatable hides.
Buria’ Sass. ‘upset, become cloudy; mess up’ (Bazzoni); Log. bulizzare, abbulizzare (Casu); Gall. bulia’; bolizzare (Fonni); abbuluzzare Centr. and Log. ‘mix, upset, turbid the water’; abba bulutzata (Bitti); boluzzósu ke mare ‘scrambled, angry as the sea’; abbulizzu, abbuluzzu ‘mixture’. See Pis. buria’ ‘poking’. Wagner places alongside these terms also Gall. bulìggiu ‘mud, turbidity’, Corsican buliggia’ ‘to mix’; Log. abbulizzare faes e fasolos ‘mix incompatible things’; Log. abbolojare ‘upset, reshuffle’; Log. buliare (abba buliada). Etymological basis for buliare, buria’ is Sum. bul ‘to shake’; for bulizzare is added to bul the Sum. ulu ‘wind’, ‘a demon’.
Burioni Sass. ‘storm, gust, typhoon, vortex’; Gall. bulióni. See also Sass. baffagna. For the etymology see buria’.
Ciaputzéri Log. ‘’master who works badly’ (Puddu); ciabottèri, ciapotéri Sass. ‘improviser, incompetent’; ciabóttu Sass. ‘great racket, chaotic situation’; ciapùtzu ‘id.’ (Sassari, Gallura, Madd.); Corsican chjaputzu ‘rough, ignorant’; Gen. ciapusso ‘bungler’. Etymological basis in Akk. kabūtu(m) ‘shit’ of animals.
Ciónfra Sass., Gall. ‘mockery’. Wagner notes its similarities with Corsican cianfôrnia ‘prank, nonsense’, Tuscan cianfrogna; but he does not indicate the etymology. It seems to be based on Akk. kupru(m) ‘bitumen, pitch’ (with subsequent insertion of -n- and normal transformation of explosive into a fricative). Evidently at the origin there was the idea – still alive in Italy today – of denigrating, that is, of blackening, covering with filth (a real act for people to be mocked, ideal and deferred act for people to slander).
Cuppuddu Sass.; cupputu Gall. adj. ‘concave’: piattu cuppuddu ‘deep dish’; Gen. coppùo ‘concave, deep’. For the etymology go to cuppa.
Digógliu Sass. ‘massacre’, ‘cataclysm, end of the world, noise, upheaval, uproar’; Log. degógliu; Sass. also ‘stir’; dicógliu Gall. ‘noise, racket, din’. The Fr. manuscript 1747 of the National Library of Paris (translation into Occitanic of the Venerable Beda, ff. 9°-18c) contains se degolar ‘to rush, go to ruin’ (Ebrius cuda far alcuna bona chausa, cant si degolas).
Dóru Sass.; dólu Log., Gall., Madd., Camp. ‘pain, pity, compassion’; also ‘grieving, mourning’; Corsican dólu: Log. addoluméu!, addolusóu!; addolumannu!; addolumannuméu! ‘Poor me!, out of great misfortune, etc.’ (Casu).
Drollu Camp. ‘relasciáu in su bistiri e in attus’, ‘sloppy, dirty, ramshackle’. See Madd. sdróllu ‘spineless, soft, flabby, indolent’. Wagner considers it as Gallicism < Cat. drol.le, drol.la ‘estrany, singular’, ‘persona informal, sense serietat’. Also in Piedmont there is dròlo but with the sense of ‘lepid, playful’. The Sardinian and Catalan terms have the same meanings, while the Piedmontese one has lost it. The etymological basis of this lemma is Akk. durrû(m) ‘to neglect, reject’ + suffix -lu, all subject to metathesis.
Frázziggu Sass. ‘fradicio, putrido’; Gall.-Madd. fárcicu, frácicu; Corsican fràgicu; Romanesque fràcico. For etymology go to frazzigga’.
Fiára Log., Sass. ‘flame’; Gall., Corsican fiára; cfr. ancient It. fiara ‘idem’; framma Centr., Log., Camp.; fiamma (Ploaghe): Sass. à fattu foggu e fiara ‘he made fire and flames’. Etymological basis is Akk. ba’ālum ‘to shine’, ‘to be anormally bright (of stars). Also note the shapes frámmula (Milis) ‘flame’; frammarída (Planàrgia), fiammarída Log. ‘flame, spark’ = Cat. flamarida next to flamarada ‘el flam de la llenya encesa’. In Scano they call frammarídas the films that come off the nails (confusion with panarighe ‘nail pee’). Etymological base the Akk. ba’ālum ‘shine’, ‘to be anormally bright (of stars)’.
Figgiura’ Sass.; figghjiula’ Gall., Corsican; figiulare Log., also bizuláre, biziláre, bizzáre < Lat. vigilare (Wagner). This northern word has a specific semantic corresponding in Camp. castiái. It means ‘waking up, arousing, heightening attention, being alert, lively, quick’; in Logudoro it is classic the imperative figiùra ‘look, look carefully!’; Sass. figiura’ ‘to look, observe’: figiùra caḍḍé! ‘observe, you fool!’, a phrase pronounced after making the “April Fool” (Bazzoni). Kaḍḍémis Cagl. ‘plebeian. ragged, dirty, badly dressed’ < Akk. qaddu(m) ‘bent’ by misery, worries, diseases + emû, ewûm ‘become’, ‘be like’; this verb is often used with the modal suffix -iš ‘like’. The overall meaning is ‘to become like a slave, a servant’.
As for figiuláre, the Sardinian term and the corresponding Lat. vigilare (of which the first -ĭ- derives from original -a-) has archaic origin in Akk. (w)aqû(m) ‘to wait for’, wait, await ‘(Semerano OCE II, 613). The Sardinian ğ or dz have become mild, compared to the Akkadian deaf velar, due to the influence of the Latin lemma.
Frijóra Sass. ‘pancake’; Gall. frijòla; Gen. frijò. Go to frijóri.
Fuéttu Sass., Log., Camp.; fuette Log., Camp. ‘whip’; Gen. foètto; cfr. Cat. fuet, Sp. fuete, Fr. foet. Begging.
Gana Sass., Log., Camp., Gall., Corsican ‘desire, appetite’ = Sp. gana; mala gana ‘listlessness’. Apparently, the etymological basis is Sum. gana ‘shackles, impediments’. Evidently the concept of ‘desire’ has evolved from an archaic meaning that privileged the act of holding, jamming. Vb.: disganare Log. ‘not wanting’.
Giotta Sass., Fonni; jotta (Bitti, Dorgali, Busachi, Ploaghe) ‘whey that remains after the white unsalted cheese is made’; but it also means ‘ricotta, white unsalted cheese ‘ (Bitti, Dorgali, Fonni); ghjotta Gall., Corsican. For the etymology go to oiotta.
Ifrósu Sass. ‘’fraud, smuggling’, ‘covertly’; Gall.-Madd. di sfróju ‘in secret’; Gen. sfròuxo ‘fraud, smuggling’; Camp. sfrosái ‘smuggling’. In Lombard-Venetian use, sfroso means ‘smuggling’. Etymological basis Akk. purûm ‘abuse’ + usum ‘usage, custom’, Originally the pur-usum compound meant ‘abusively practicing’ i.e. without the community’s consent. Sass. a ifrósu adv. ‘of fraud, of smuggling, hidden’.
Iłtruḍḍádu Sass. ‘good for nothing, inept, incapable’; struḍḍatu Gall.-Madd.; istruḍḍadu Log. ‘ki est fatu a sa russa, pagu fine, pagu dìligu de maneras de fàghere, ki est pagu de tzou, bonu a nuḍḍa, kentza cabu’ (Puddu); also Log. intruḍḍádu. Wagner considers it as adjectival of Log. truḍḍa ‘ladle, spoon’ < Lat. trulla ‘spoon’. If this were the case, we must deduce that originally istruḍḍádu indicated a person without a ladle, therefore unable to serve pasta and even less to eat it, if not using coarse ways. Until a few years ago, it was common among Sardinians that the village man (especially the shepherd) in moments of relaxation was busy shaping wooden spoons, even during Holy Mass! It’s clear that being without a spoon or ladle among the Sardinians was a deplorable omission. With istruḍḍadu ‘incapable, without the spoon’ we are therefore faced with an acceptable metaphor. Yet we have to weigh well the various semanthemes related to this term which, rather than the dismantled one, concern (see Puddu) a man ‘grossly made, not very fine, not diligent in action, not intuitive, good for nothing, brainless’; sa fémina istruḍḍada is a ‘woman who works with gross neglect’, making a mistake in the various domestic processes or dropping tools. These semanthemes indicate many negative qualities, which, however, are different from that of the gross man who does not even make a spoon. I am led to identify the etymological basis in Akk. ištu(m) ‘out of’ + rūdu (part of the head), with the original meaning of ‘without brain’, see Log. iχaiveḍḍádu.
Iłtumbadda Sass. ‘headshot’; stumbata Gall.-Madd.; tumbata (Bastìa). See Log. tumbare, attumbare; Camp. tumbái, attumbái ‘Collide, clash’ (especially goats and rams that get shocks); Log. also intumbare, istumbare; subst. attumbu, attúmbidu. In my opinion, the etymological basis is the same that I propose for tumbare2. So there is nothing onomatopoeic, as Wagner would like.
Tumbare2. Andrea Deplano (Bidustos 36) writes: «The verb tumbare establishes a linguistic continuity with the bass (tumbu) of the tricalamo instrument of launeḍḍas. Again we are in presence of a composed word from Sum. tu ‘beat in rhythm’ and the adjective bu ‘perfect’. The [m] between the two syllables is produced by nasalization as in singing. The expressions tumbare una vo’he, tumbare su ballu refer to the production of sounds for singing and dancing. In short, the dance is beaten to rhythm and since there is rhythm there is a movement in the poetic text. The production of sound is in the full meaning of tumbare which for some people is onomatopoeic sound but in Sardinian refers to the dull sound of mouflons clashing horns, or of goats in fights to win supremacy over the pack».
Almost everywhere in Sardinia this verb indicates the act of banging with the head (e.g. Sass. iłtumbàḍḍa). But I disagree with the etymology of Deplano. It’s more appropriate to refer to It. tambùro, the primordial instrument which echoes with percussion and which has very ancient origins: see Sum. tun ‘container, crate, sack, stomach’ + bur ‘tree’, with the original meaning of ‘tree case’ or ‘hollow tree’. In Sardinia this Sumerian root is more evident through the noun tùmbaru ‘tambùro, drum’ and tumbarínu ‘drum percussionist’. So the syntagma tumbáre una vo’he, tumbáre su ballu recalls the work of the drum, which with a precise stroke starts the vocal or choreic rhythm. See in this regard the etymology of tumbarínu. They are famous sos Tumbarìnos di Gavoi.
Imbuggia’ Sass. ‘to darken’; rifl. imbuggiassi ‘to darken’; Gall. imbugghja’ ‘idem’. Cfr. Corsican bùgiu, bùciu ‘dark’.
Imburigga’ Sass., imbulica’ Gall.; imbulichjia’ Corsican; imbolicare Centr., imboligare Log. ‘wrap’; fig. ‘cheat, deceive’; similar forms in southern Italy and in Catalan. Subst. ‘imbόlicu, Sass. imbόrigu ‘wrapper, package’. (Busachi, Milis) imboḍḍicare, Camp. imboḍḍiái (next to imboḍḍiái). See lat. involucrum ‘wrapping’ from in-volvō < voluō ‘bend round, I make a turn’ < Sum. bala ‘to turn over, turn upside down’.
Ipanna’ Sass.; ispannare Log. ‘clearing up’ (also Sass. ipannaχa’, inciara’, inciari’); Camp. ‘dawn’. See camp. a su spanigadróxu ‘at dawn’. Wagner records Log.-Gall. verb ispannáre ‘thin out’, ‘open up’, lighten’ (of the sky, of the mind). See Corsican of Sartene spanna’ ‘open’. De Martino finds its origin in It. panna ‘cream’: then spanna’ = ‘remove the cream’. Instead the etymological basis refers to the appearance of the face of the Sun, which by the ancient Semites was called pānu (hence the Sardinian surnames Panu, Pane, Pani), which is the ‘face, the color (of the face)’ and more precisely the ‘face of the Sun, of God (which shines red and incandescent)’. It’s the same term as Greek Πᾶν, also originally referred to Sun and following the deity of the woods. In Hebrew it was said penû ’El ‘face of the Sun, of God’. The goddess of fertility and love, Tanit, was also called Tanit Panè Baal = ‘Tanit Face of Baal’, as if to say ‘Face of the Universe, of the greatest God, of the One who rules the world’. Phoenician p‛n means ‘face of …’ and pny ‘in front of’.
Ivintia’ Sass. ‘to grow foolish, lose memory’. Elsewhere the meanings are more varied: Log. isbentiare, isventiare, isvantiare; Nuor. irbentiare; Log. ilbentiare, ilventiare; Camp. sbentiái ‘evaporate, take air, be exposed to the wind’; also ‘exhaust’ (of wine); Gall. svinta’ ‘to weaken (of wine)’; Sd. ‘digest the drunkness, the anger’; Log. also ‘freeing animals’; isbentiadu Log. ‘evaporated, exhausted’; of a boring man ‘slanderous’; isbéntiu ‘boredom, harassment’; isbentiúmine ‘continued harassment, weariness’ (Casu). For etymology go to ventu.
Iχaḍḍa’ Sass.; Log iχaḍḍare, iscaḍḍare, iskeḍḍare; Camp. scallái ‘getting burned, became shrewder by other people’s example, learning at the expense of others’: ca iχaḍḍa in péḍḍi sóia dibénta sábiu ‘those who learn at their own expense become wise’; Gall. scaḍḍa’. Wagner is not aware on the origin of this term, which is actually a negative, and presents an original deprivative s- combined with Akk. base ḫadû(m) ‘be joyful, rejoice (of an action)’. Same phono-semantic base has Log. iscaḍḍare ‘give the shine to the bread’ (made with boiling water passed on the crust and then put back in the heat, in order to make it shiny).
Iχiccia’ Sass.; skiccia’ Gall.; iskitzare Log., iχitzare (Ploaghe) ‘to squash, mash’; cfr. Gen. skisá, Lomb. skisciá ‘ditto’. Apparently, the fundamental concept recalls the action of crushing (i.e. breaking) a nut. In this case, it’s appropriate to go back to the common etymological basis, since the ‘pulpy kernel of the walnut’ from its origins took its name as a translate, from Akk. ḫībum ‘beloved’ (for its hidden value). If this is so, iskitzare is tricomposed, from suff. is- (concept of removal, explosion) + radical ḫīb- + suff. -are.
Iχùipina Sass. ‘scorpion fish’ (Scorpaena scrofa); Gall. scùlpina. Cfr. Gen. scòrpena ‘id.’.
Iχutzura’ Sass.; iscuttulare Log. ‘shake, shake vigorously’, ‘beat’: Sass. no mi lu pudìa iχutzura da innantu ‘I could not shake him off’; Gall. and Madd. scutzura’. See Romanian scuturà ‘shake’.
Léłtru Sass.; léstru, lestu Log., Camp. ‘agile, ready, quick, slender’; léstru Gall. and Corsican; Camp. also lésturu. Deriv.: allestrire, allestire, illistrire Log.; set up’; Camp. ‘set up, hurry’; illistrida Log. ‘hurry, care”. Gr. ληστής ‘killer, robber’ leads us to a decidedly negative semantic field compatible with Akk. lī’šu ‘desecration’, on which the adjectival suffixes -tu, -tru would later be added. Sass. léłtru ke frea ‘quick as a ferret’; lèłtru ke balla ‘as quickly as a shot’; léstru ke póivara ‘quick as gunpowder’; léstru ke la pibariłta ‘as quick as the blink of an eye’.
Lóvia (Luras) ‘hog female’. Also Gallurian and Corsican word (lóvia, lófia). In Sd. we normally say súe (Log.), súge (Centr.), súa (Sass.); mardi (Camp.). Possible etymological basis of lóvia is Sum. lubi ‘dear; a term of endearment; affectionate term’, due to the value of the lóvia raised at home.
Magnatzona Sass., Gall. ‘itching’: abe’ magnatzona a curu ‘wanting to kick o.s. ass’; Madd. smagnatzona ‘painful itch’; Corsican manghjatzona ‘nuisance’. For the etymology go to magna’.
Mancárri (also magarri) conjunction and concessive Log. adv.’maybe’ (secondarily ‘although, albeit’); Camp. mancái, maccái: it means ‘although’, but also incorporates the semantics of It. magari ‘utinam’, although Wagner did not feel this subtlety; macári (Bitti) ‘maybe’, ‘although, albeit’; Gall. maccàri; Corsican maccàru. The use of this term in Sardinia has undergone (better, has participated in) the tossing of semantics from other Mediterranean languages that have the same root, such as It. magári, Gr. (and Byzantine) μακάρι ‘wanted God, utinam!’. But all these languages, including Sardinian, draw on the same etymological basis, which seems to be Akk. Amarnian maḫari ‘tomorrow’ deriving from ancient Semitic. It could therefore be seen in Sd. mancarri, It. magari, Gr. μακάρι an original meaning of ‘tomorrow! …’, still used today as a negative forecast of an event: tomorrow that you succeed! …(ie ‘you will not succeed). Yet we have the other meaning It. magari! ‘maybe!’ (and Sd. mancarri!) which expresses strong desire or hope, without irony; indeed this is precisely the meaning that prevailed in the Mediterranean: see Sp. macare (today maguer) attested since the middle of the century. X (Corominas). «The concessive value is due to a kind of courtesy towards the interlocutor, showing that he wants what he promises to happen» (DELI). In this second case there is no need to propose the Amarnian etymology maḫari ‘tomorrow’ but the Akk. etymology prevails: magāru(m) ‘consent, agree, mutually agree, reconcile, bring back into harmony’, which agrees with Lat. semantics of utinam! It is clearly noted that ‘magari’ ‘maybe’ in the Mediterranean sense was originally a desire, an imploration expressed by a pious man to his divinity, in order to achieve something.
Matzamùrru Sass. ‘biscuit shred once consumed by fishermen; by extension ‘shredding of mixed things’ (Bazzoni); Camp. ‘mazzamurro, panata’ (according to Wagner); in Quartu it indicates ‘dry bread softened and mixed with tomato sauce’ (a way to recycle bread), also called ‘pancotto alla cagliaritana’. See Gen. masamora ‘cookie shred once used on ships’ (Gismondi quoted by De Martino). In Sass. it’s said misciamurreḍḍu for ‘mix, hodgepodge’. Sass. siminéra a matzamurru ‘sowing done immediately after plowing, without letting the land rest’. Matzamurru is to be divided into matza-, matta- (go to matzacana, matta1) + -murru < Sum. mur ‘fodder, fattening fodder’.
Mùcciu Sass., Gall., Log. ‘rockrose’; also in Corsican; Sass. also mudéggiu. Wagner ignores the etymology; Paulis (NPPS 411) in joining this Sd word to Etr. mutuca ‘beach rockrose’, makes a bunch of them with the allomorphs mutrécu, mudrécu, murdégu; but he’s wrong, because this common meaning of ‘rockrose’ is not enough to amass in the same semantic field some terms having such different phonetic lines. Mùcciu is based in Akk. muk, muku (a plant); it may also be from muqqu, mukku ‘poor quality; deteriorated wool’. For this second meaning, it’s right the fact that cistus in Sardinia is considered a plant of the lowest quality, useful (indeed very useful) only for the oven or a temporary fire. But see mutrécu.
Mugliéri Sass. ‘wife’; Gall. muḍḍéri. Cfr. Lat. mulier, mulīeris ‘woman, spouse, wife’; Camp. mulléri, Tusc. moglièra, Aprvz. molhér, Gen. moggê. Note the similarity of the Sassari voice with the Tuscan and Occitan ones; in the condaghes we also have muiere, muliere, Latin forcing introduced in the Middle Ages by the priest-amanuenses; the Gall. muḍḍéri dentalizes the two liquids by analogy with the similar dentalizations imposed by the phonetic law of northern Sardinia. In Logudoro, however, we have muzzère.
Camp. mulléri is the result of medieval influence from Lat. mulier; while the other so-called “Romance” forms did not adapt to Latin, preferring to maintain the archaic pre-existing consonance, which has no relation – as we will see – with Latin nexus -lĭ- which emerges from the accusative mulí-ĕ-rem (as instead Roncaglia LT 45 believed).
Romance philologists claim that all these phonetic evolutions were driven by Latin. But in the meantime the well-known Latin form has not been understood. Ernout-Meillet wrote that «mulier est un nom nouveau, d’origine inconnue». Indeed, the Sumerian origin was not understood, from mug ‘vulva, female genitals’ + ereš ‘lady, queen’, whose compound mug-ereš meant ‘lady of the vulva’ or ‘she who owns the vulva’, ‘who holds the organ intended to reproduce Humanity’
From etymology it’s easy to see that the current “Romance” consonantizations -zz- or -gg- or -gl- were not guided by the Latin nexus -lĭ- but were already present on their own in the single Mediterranean languages spoken before the Roman colonization.
Pábaru adj., in Sassari referred thorougly to an egg having a tender shell, not solidified due to lack of minerals. By extension čéggu pàbaru is said to one who is ‘completely blind’, as is someone with a white eye for cataracts, which somehow recalls the white of the egg, especially when it is fried. For further extension, this term also indicates infertility, so they say fémmina pàbara, ‘sterile woman’, who cannot have children. Dìriggu ke l’óbu pàbaru ‘delicate as a shellless egg’ is said of a poor health fellow (Bazzoni 429). See Madd. pàparu, pàpiru, referred to egg as in Sass.; De Martino (DM 104) cites Lat. ovum apălum (classical Latin ovum hapălum) as forerunner, Gr. apalós ‘soft’; and also mentions the medieval term apalonìchia ‘alteration of the nails, in which the horny tissue is not formed’.
Pàbaru is originally Akkadian term, papparum ‘white area’. It’s registered for agate but is valid for similar situations. In fact, it seems to have originated from Sum. pap ‘preeminent, first ever’ + ari ‘ailment, dysfunction, disease’, with the meaning of ‘serious, invalidating disease’. Such was the cataract and blindness for the ancients.
Paggióru Sass., pajólu (Bitti, Nùoro, Baunéi, Làconi); pajόlu (Talana); paggiόlu Gall. ‘copper pot’, ‘copper kitchen vessel in the shape of a round and deep vase, with an arched handle, which hangs on the chimney chain’; Madd., Corsican paghjiòla. DELI gives it a Celtic origin but does not even produce the Celtic word. Undoubtedly this type of container was only possible to obtain with metallurgy. Apparently, the etymological basis is Akk. pâdum ‘imprison’ with fetters ‘block, stop’ with chains.
Parałtrággiu Sass.; parastrággiu Camp.; parastazzu Log. ‘rack for plates’; also ‘shelf for goods and supplies’; (Siniscola) barastázzu; (Norbello) parestázzu; (Isili) parestággiu; Corsican parastágghiu, parastágiu ‘shelf’ (Falcucci).
Perca Centr., Log., Camp. ‘ravine, rock crevice; cave; hole in the walls’; pércia North Log. (Bonorva, Osilo); elsewhere also pélcia; Madd., Corsican pérchja ‘slot, hole’. From Lat. *specula ‘small cave’, from specus ‘cave’. The Latin form interferes and is confused with Akk. perkum, pirkum, ‘boundary or defense line, barrier (also of channel)’.
Pésciu Sass. ‘fish’; piske Log.; pisci Camp. ‘fish’. Cfr. Gen. pèscio, Madd. and Corsican pésciu. Etymological base Sum. peš ‘to gather’ + kud ‘fish’ (cfr. kad-kud ‘baked fish’): then in origin peš-kud meant ‘gathered, caught fish’.
Pingu North Log. ‘fat, fatness’; also ‘dirt, smell’; Log. and Sass. pinghinósu ‘fat, anointed, full of grease spots’ (of clothes, but also of the body); ispinghinare ‘drip the fat’; ‘sweating, feeling the heat’; Sass., Gall., Corsican pingu ‘dirt’. Wagner maintains that this word is not Sardinian, and suggests the etymological basis is Lat. pinguis ‘fat’. Instead this word is very Sardinian, and the Akk. basis is more congruous: pīḫu ‘beer-jar’, from which the metonymy indicating the rubber, the yeasts, the foam which, especially in antiquity, characterized the overall vision of the beer jar.
Pitíggina Sass. ‘impetigo, eczema’, ‘skin irritation’; Gall. pitìggina; Madd. pittighìna; Corsican petìghine (‘sunspots’); Lucch. pitìggine, Cal. pitijna (Romanian pecingine); ancient It. petìgine. From Lat. petigo, -inis, apheresis from impetigo, -inis (according to De Martino). Indeed the etymological basis is Sum. pel ‘to defile’ + te ‘cheek’ + gum ‘mange, scabies’, ‘a skin complaint’. The compound originally indicated a ‘painful ailment in the cheeks’.
Pressa Sass. ‘fretta’; Camp. pressi (idem), de pressi, in pressi ‘quickly, instantly’; Gall. pressa, Madd. préscia, Corsican préscia. At the base there is Sardinian word presse, pressi, pressa ‘haste’. It’s already found in ancient Log. (Stat. Sass.I, 28, 29: su plus ad presse qui aet (aen) poter); tocca in cuxìna de pressi ‘quickly, go to the kitchen instantly’. Even in Italy it’s used pressa ‘hurry’, and even in Catalan. Verb: appressare Log. ‘to hurry’; impressare Log. ‘to rush’. Wagner notes the Spanish collateral use: appresurar ‘to rush’, but does not solve the etymology. This has basis in Akk. perṣu(m) ‘breach’, ‘rupture’ < parāsu ‘to cut off, decide’, ‘divide, dissect, break’.
Rántzigu Sass. ‘bitter’; sometimes also ‘rancid’; ránkidu Centr., Log.: ráncidu Camp. ‘rancid’; Gall., Corsican ráncicu; Gen. rancio (Sp., Port. rancho). In Log. also ‘bitter’. It seems appropriate the Sum. raḫ ‘disease’ (with the following epenthesis of -n-) + kid to dissolve’. It seems clear that originally the perception of the ‘dissolution of a certain substance due to a disease’ was expressed with the compound ra (n) ḫ-kid.
Raunzare, arraunzare, ranzare North Log. ‘to mutter, grumble’; (Ozieri) ‘grunt’ (of the pig); (Ploaghe) ‘growl’ (of the dog); ranzare (Berchidda) ‘purring’ (of the cat); Gall. raugna’ “bickering, contending”; Corsican rangugna’ ‘mutter’ (Falcucci); Gen. rangogna’ ‘idem’. Sost. raúnzu ‘rumbling, grunting’; also raganzada or raganza (Casu). Verb Log.: raganzare ‘muttering, grumbling’; also ranzidare ‘whimpering, grumbling’ (of the dog); ranzèra ‘hum, buzz’ (Casu). These all seem phonosymbolic voices. However see Sum. ri ‘to cry out’, which looks like the radical prototype.
Roba Sass. ‘any material thing’, ‘goods, possessions, livestock’: roba di mudda ‘party dress’; Sd. ‘flock, property‘, ‘livestock’, ‘everything people has’; Gall. and Corsican ‘idem’. Wagner claims it derives directly from It. roba. In turn, DELI records roba such as ‘what material you have or which generally serves the needs of life’, deriving it from Franconian rauba ‘armor’, ‘dress’. We can see that this term has expanded well in Europe, but no researcher has highlighted its etymological basis, which is Akk. rubbû ‘brought to full growth’, ‘increase, improve’, ‘have interests on’. See English robbery ‘property acquired with robbery’, to rob ‘robbing’, robber ‘thief’; Sp. robar ‘to steal, rob’.
Rułtágia Sass.; rustágia, rustágliu Gall. ‘bill-hook’. Word attested in northern Sardinia (including Gallura), Corsica, Tuscany. Wagner mentions something like this in Cato (de re rustica XI, 4), Varro (RR XXII), Tertull. Apolog., chap. 4: Securibus rustatis et caesitis (Forcellini), from rustum ‘blackberry bush’ variant of ruscum, found in manuscripts and glosses. See (Pistoia) rostàgia; Garfagn. restàghia, (Lunig.) rustàghia; Elb. ristaja (Rohlfs). In my opinion rustàgia goes through Lat. rostrum, and this < rodō, which is based on Akk. ḫarāsu ‘scratching’, (ḫa)rāṣu ‘cutting away, hacking’, from which It. radere ‘shave’; cfr. Heb. (ḥa)raš ‘dig, plow, take away’ (OCE II 547). Cfr. rustágliu, rustrágliu North Log.; rułtáglia (Olmedo); rustázza (Luras); orostázzu (Orosei) ‘bill-hook’.
Russéttu Sass. ‘petecchia’, ‘measles, scarlet fever’. See rossette, Ozieri’s term that has its variants, as well as in russettu (Sassari), in ruggittu (Màrghine, Planàrgia), rubiólu (Sédilo). It’s the ‘scarlet fever’, but in some villages (e.g. Scano Montiferru) also ‘chicken pox’ and ‘measles’; Gall. russittu ‘rubella’, Corsican russettu. This term is claimed to descend from Lat. russus ‘red’, but the deep origin is from Bab. ruššu ‘red’.
Sciscía, ciccìa Sass., Log. and Camp. ‘subcircular hat of cloth of moleskin or orbace, without wing or visible peak’; Gall., Madd. sciscìa ‘papalina, cap (especially nightwear)’. See Tusc. cicìa ‘papalina, fez’. Probably the etymological basis is Akk. ḫī’um (a garment), doubled in exaltative manner.
Surraga’ Sass., sorrogare (Busachi), corroskiare Centr., farroscái Camp., sarracrare (Lollove), sarrascare (Fonni) ‘to be hoarse’, ‘to snore’, ‘to rattle’. See Gall.-Corsican surraca’ ‘snoring’. Wagner proposes the etymology from a possible Lat. *sub-raucare (this only for the sarracrare form), while in the other Sd. forms he sees onomatopoeia. Instead the etymological basis lies in Akk. sarāḫu(m) ‘destroy, ruin, demolish’, with evident metaphore.
Tanḍu Sass.; tanḍo Log. ‘then, finally’; Camp. tandu, tzandu. Cfr. Gall. and Corsican tandu ‘then’; but Lat. tandem ‘finally’. The etymological basis is Sum. tam ‘to be clean, bright, pure’ + de ‘to bring, carry’: tam-de, with the meaning of ‘bring to clarification’.
Técciu Sass., Log., Gall. ‘sated, rigid’; télciu (Casu); fig. ‘haughty, superb’. See Gall. and Corsican ticchjiu ‘sated’. Wagner states without ambiguity that it’s «not a Sardinian voice, but a Sassari one». In this lapidary sentence we have condensed his thought on the nature of the Sassarian dialect. He reinforces his thesis by presenting a series of other events, such as Corsican técciu, Gen. téccio; ancient It. tècchio ‘big’; Lucch. tégghio ‘solid, tenacious, hard; full, sated’. In any case, he does not present the etymology. This is based on Akk. ṭeḫû (designation of a bakery activity), probably crossed with ṭuḫdu(m) ‘quantity, abundance’. Derivative: tecciùra Log. ‘stiffness’.
Tèttaru Sass., Gall., Madd. ‘’stiff, rigid’ often from the cold, Log. tètteru.
Tòrra Sass. and Log. adv. ‘again’ deverbal from storrare, Camp. storrái ‘to leave, separate’; storràus ‘left, separate’. See Gall., Corsican, Gen. torna ‘again’. The current meaning is to ‘dissuade, divert, rethink, change your mind, retract’; storru ‘dissuasion, afterthought’, ‘anything that can change your mind’; passu torráu is one of the forms of Sardinian dance; torrada is the second part of the muttos, sung septenaries in which the second part returns and repeats the verses of the first part (istérria). Wagner considers this lemma from It. tornare, which DELI in turn considers < Lat. turnāre ‘working on the lathe’. Instead the Sardinian entries storrái, storrare, torrare have etymological basis in Ass.-Bab. tūra ‘again’, literally ‘come back!, go back!’ (imperative), hence Sd. word torra ‘again’, torra! ‘again! …’ (in terms of discomfort when it must be repeated, or seen repeated, an action of which people is tired or bored). Other Babylonian voices: turru ‘turned’, tūru(m) ‘return, retreat’, turrūtu ‘curve, turn, backtrack; on the contrary, the opposite’.
Tubetzu Log.-Sass.; tubitzu Log. ”nape, rear part of skull between neck and top of head’; Gall. tupitzu. Wagner believes it is a non-Sardinian voice (Corsican tupèzzu, Elban topèzzo). But this lemma is Mediterranean: the etymological basis of the three terms is Akk. tubqu(m) ‘corner, recess’, mixed with tūwamtu ‘double’, ‘double vase’, ‘double pocket, saddlebag’. It seems to be read in the ancient semantheme of ‘nape’ almost a ‘double (forehead)’.
Tuncia’ Sass., θunkiare Centr.; thunkiare, tunciare Log.; tsunkiái, intsunkiái Camp. ‘mourning, sobbing, moaning, grunting’; intzùnkiu Camp. ‘hiccup’; thùnkios Centr. ‘complaints, moans (including those of love)’; it is also a Gallurian and Corsican voice, as well as a Logudorian one. Wagner ascribes these words to onomatopoeic or phonosymbolic phenomena. Instead, this term has an etymological basis in Akk. ṣuḫu(m) ‘sound laughter’, also ‘love game, orgasm’, ’violent enchantment tool (therefore an aphrodisiac)’ < ṣiaḫu(m) ‘laughing, shouting, amusing, make people laugh; funny’. But see the other forms like tzunconái, assunconái, assucconái, atzucconái ‘to sob’; tzucconi; tzúcculu, tzucculittu ‘hiccup’, for whose etymology go to thunkiare. And mainly see assucconare ‘scaring’.
Uscia’ (read uša’) Sass., Gall., Madd.; uskiáre, uscráre Log., Nuor.; uscrái Camp. ‘burn, singe, scorch”; Corsican uschjia’, uscia’. Word used for the operation of burning the hair of a slaughtered pig, for the accidental superficial burns (e.g. of the arm hair), and also for the operations of burning and cleaning up the grasslands dried up by the sun (denshiring). According to Wagner, the term derives from Lat. ustulare ‘burn’. But the Sardinian and Latin terms have the most distant ascendant in Sum uš ‘death, to die’ + ki ‘earth, land’. The compound is truly archaic, it certainly dates back to the Paleolithic, and in the early days it meant ‘killing the earth’ (it was, obviously, the denshiring): with which we come to know that the land for our archaic progenitors was not so much the soil but the topsoil, what arose from the ground. See Akk. išātiš ‘in flames’, from išātu ‘fire’.
Gallura’s lacking of rhotacismus. In addition to the fairy-tale told by certain Romance philologists little informed, according to which Gallura has an Italian dialect, there is the symmetrical tale that Gallura is almost a Siamese twin of the Sassari dialect. Also the second sentence is out of place, considering that the fundamental differences are such as to nail Sassari and Gallura to distinct, mutually autonomous structures, as happens, moreover, to the relationship between Gallura and other Sardinian dialects.
Gallura lacks totally the strong, characterizing and omnipresent Sassarese rhotacism of / l / (which in the compounds -lt-, -rt- becomes Sass. -łt-). Gallura has such an aversion to the rhotacism, that in Gallura they express with / l / also the original Logudorian and Campidanian /r/. As if to say that every Sardinian /r/ in Gallura becomes / l /. Examples:
ałti Sass. (from *arti) ‘art, technic’, alti Gall.; baibata’ Sass. (from *barbata’) ‘plowing soil immediately after the first rains’, Gall. balbata’; barabàttura Sass., barabàttula Gall. ‘butterfly’; baria’ Sass., balia’ Gall. ‘bearing’; baχa Sass. (from *barca), balca Gall. ‘boat’; baχu Sass. ‘stock (bot.)’, Gall. balcu, Log. barcu, bascu ‘violet’; Béłtulu Sass., Bértulu Log., Béltulu Gall. ‘Bartolomeo’; béłtura Sass., bértula Log. and Camp. ‘horse-knapsack’, béltula Gall.; buria’ Sass. ‘upset, become cloudy; mess up’, bulia’ Gall.; buriòni Sass. ‘storm, gust, typhoon, vortex’, bulióni Gall.; carruranti Sass., carrulanti Gall. ‘car-driver’; curimpíparu Sass., culimpìppiri Gall. ‘bent over with your butt exposed’; fértu, feltu Log., féltu Gall., fretu Camp. ‘striked, head-injured’; fraíri Sass., fraíli Gall., fraíle Log. ‘smith-forge’; Sass. iχara, Gall. scala ‘stairs’; Sass. kirivra’, Gall. kilivra’ ‘break up, break into bits’; linnarbu Centr., linalvu Gall. ‘manna and poplar’; perca Centr. and Log., pélcia Gall. ‘ravine, rock crevice, cave; hole in the wall’; Camp. prisucci ‘pea’, Gall. pisudulci; Sass. risuránu, Gall. risulanu ‘jolly’; Sass. rusignóru, Gall. risugnólu ‘nightingale’; sari Sass., sali Gall. ‘salt’; sássura Sass., sássula Gall. ‘soup tureen’; sùrbile, súrvile Nuor. ‘evil witch, sort of vampire’, sùlvula Gall.
Gallurian -gl- > -ḍḍ-. Another strong distinction between Gallurian and Sassarian (and between Gallurian and Sardinian in general) is also the transformation of -gl- into -ḍḍ-. I mention among many mugliéri Sass., muḍḍéri Gall. ‘wife’; ritaglia’ Sass., ritaḍḍa’ Gall. ‘cut’; scraccagliái Camp. ‘laugh rudely’, Gall. scaccaḍḍa’.
Gallurian is- > s-. In the Sassari dialect the prefixes is- are almost infinite. In Gallura, on the contrary, there is not one. This too is a characteristic that clearly distinguishes the two speeches. Let’s see some examples:
Ibambia’ Sass. (from *isbambia’) ‘to desalt’; Gall. sbambia’.
Ibarraddu, imbarraddu Sass. (from *isbarraddu) ‘quartered, ripped, open, split’; Gall. sbarratu.
Ibarria’ Sass. (from *isbarria’) ‘download the pack saddle of the donkey’,’ download’; Gall. sbarria’.
Ibattura’ Sass. (from *isbattura’) ‘beating persistently’; Gall. sbattula’.
Iχadria’ Sass. (from *is-cadria’); Gall. scatria’, Log. iscadriare ‘to slip’.
Iχałdiddùra Sass. (from *is-całdiddùra) ‘irritation, redness of the skin’; Gall. scalditùra.
Iχina Sass., Log. iskìna, Camp.-Gall. skina ‘back’.
Iχraméntu Sass. (from *iscraméntu) ‘negative and painful experience that leaves its mark and memory; Gall. scalméntu.
Iχummara’ Sass. (from *is-cummara’) ‘to break the back, exhaust’; Gall. scummara’.
Lacking of lenition. Another strong distinction between Sassari and Gallura (and between Gallura and the rest of Sardinian speech, excluding Bitti), is the absence of the lenition. Examples:
Bóidu Log. ‘empty’, Sass. bióḍḍu, Gall. bóitu.
Cabiḍḍári Sass., Log. cabidale, Camp. cabidali ‘pillow, cushion’, Gall. capitali.
Céggu Sass.; Log. tzégu ‘blind’; Gall. cécu.
Coidare Log. ‘to hurry, quicken’; Sass. cuida’; Gall. cuita’, Bitti coitare (note the affinity between Gallura and Bitti).
Cubrénda Sass., Gall. cuprenda ‘blanket for bed, bedspread, blanket’.
Cuji’ Sass. ‘to sew’; Log. cosire, Camp. cusiri; Gall. cuci’.
Cummégu Sass., Log. ‘with me’; Gall.-Bitti cummécu.
Digógliu Sass. ‘strage’, ‘cataclysm, end of the world, noise, upheaval, uproar’, Log. degógliu; Gall. dicógliu ‘noise, din, clamour’.
Disaogare Log., disaogái Camp., ‘entertain, amuse’; Log. and Camp. subst. disaógu; Gall. disaócu.
Imbriágu Sass.; Log. imbreagu; Camp. umbriagu ‘drunken’; Gall.-Bitti imbriacu, (Nuoro) imbreacu.
Kéḍḍa Sass., Log. kida; ceḍḍa, cida Camp. ‘week’; Gall.-Bitti kita.
Ladu Log. and Camp., latu Gall.-Bitti ‘wide, broad, flat’.
Sardinian -ll-, -gl-, -zz- > Gallurian -ḍḍ. Another characteristic distintion is that Sass.-Log. -ll- or -gl- or -zz- > -ḍḍ- in Gallura. Examples:
Appaḍḍuttura’ Sass., Gall. ‘to pellet’. In this case, note the attraction of the Gallura form on the original one of Sassari.
Baéḍḍu Log. and Gall. ‘chin’ (from ancient *baéllu).
Barratzéllu Log. ‘field guard’; Camp. barracellu; Gall. barracéḍḍu; Sass.-Gall. barruntzéḍḍu (the Sassari one is a begging from Gallura)
Battáglia Sass.; Camp. battalla, Log. battazza ‘fight, battle’; Gall. battaḍḍa.
Brìglia Sass., Gall. briḍḍa ‘bridle, halter, reins’.
Logudorian-Sassarian z-, -zz-, tz-, -tz-, -gh-, -gl- > Gallurian -ci-. Another distinctive phenomenon of Gallura dialect, compared to Sassari and Logudoro, is the reduction to the phoneme -č-, / č / of each voice containing the phonemes z-, -zz-, tz-, -tz-, -gh-, -gl-. Examples:
Accuntza’ Sass., accuncia’ Gall. ‘to repair, mend’.
Àgliu Sass., Log. azzu, Gall. àciu ‘garlic’.
Aizzu Sass., aìciu Gall. ‘a little’.
Aùzza Sass. ‘brooch, safety pin’; Log. aùggia, Camp. agùgia, aguzza; Gall. aùcia.
Atza Sass., Gall. àccia ‘bold attitude’.
Atzùa Sass. ‘anchovy’, Gall. acciùa.
Bantziga’ Sass., Gall. bancica’ ; Bitti bantzicare ‘to waver, stagger, swing, wobble; swing; lulling’.
Bozzi Sass.; Log. boghe, Camp. boji ‘voice’; Gall. boci.
Butzéḍḍi pl. Sass.; Log. botzéllu; Gall. buccéḍḍu ‘cheek’.
Contivizzare Log. ‘to cure, cultivate, guard’: cuntivicia’ Gall. ‘take care, assist, look after, cure’.
Curizóni Sass. ‘intimate part of a lettuce’, Gall. curicióni.
Disizzósu Sass., disicciósu Gall. ‘eager’.
Frétza Sass. ‘arrow’, Gall. frìccia.
Zèa, žèa in Sass. and NW Log. is the ‘chard’ (Beta vulgaris L.); Gall. cèa.
Zurradda Sass.; Log. zorronada; Camp. gerrunada ‘day’ (especially: working day); Gall. ciurrata.; but Bitti zorronata.
Tzonca Sass., Camp. ‘horned owl’ (Otus scops); Centr. thonca; Log. tonca; Gall. cionca.
Tzioḍḍa Sass. ‘onion’ (Allium cepa); Centr. kipuḍḍa; Log. kibuḍḍa: Camp. cibuḍḍa; Gall. ciùḍḍa.
Tzíru Camp. ‘jug, pitcher’; Gall. cérra ‘terracotta jug’.
Tzucca’ Sass. ‘to beat, knock’; Gall. ciucca’.
Gallurian -er- (-ur-) > -ar-. We have already listed six full-bodied phenomena of Gallura dialect that distinguish it markedly from the Sassari dialect and almost always from the Logudorese one.
A seventh characteristic of Gallura speech is instead shared with Sassari (exclusively) and Corsica. This is the Log link -er- which tends to become sometimes -ar- (inorganic apophony). In part this also happens to -ur- bond. It is useless to look for a constant, since in Gallura this phenomenon is not constant (much less in Sassari), indeed it remains isolated with few voices.
This Gallurian phenomenon also passed through the Sassari dialect (evidently this occurred at the time of the plagues, which required substantial replacements of workers from Corsica-Gallura). But now in Sassari this phenomenon is drying up and has remained in only a few voices, such as tarrénu ‘soil’. Let’s see some examples:
Abbéłta Sass. (from *aperta), abbalta Gall. ‘opening’. Note the usual Gallurian phenomenon of refusing rhotacism.
Affarra’, affarrassi Sass., Gall. ‘to come to blows’. Cfr. It. afferrare (initially ‘strike with iron’, then ‘hold tight’).
Baḍḍerínu Sass. ‘dancer’; Gall. baḍḍarínu.
Diłtarra’ Sass. , distarra’ Gall. ‘send to exile, exile’: Log. disterrare, isterrare; Camp. disterrái.
Éiba Sass. (from *erba), alba Gall. ‘grass’.
Eremitanu Sass., arimitanu Gall. ‘hermit’.
Farrandáina Sass. ‘train, engine’: influenced by analogy from Gall. farru ‘iron’.
Ferru Sd., farru Gall. ‘iron’.
Ifarrata’ Sass. ‘to prune’ (with iron tool): influenced by analogy from Gall. farru ‘ferro’.
Infarradda Sass. ‘grating’, influenced by analogy from Gall. farradda, ferrada, infarriata.
Intarra’ Sass. ‘to bury’, influenced by analogy from Gall. tarra ‘terra’.
Insarraddu Sass. ‘enclosed’, from Gall. sarra’ ‘to enclose’.
Nurágu Sass. ‘nuraghe’ (tower sacred to Sun-God), Gall. narácu.
Pàrracu, Sass. and Gall. ‘parish priest’ (from the original *párrocu the apophonic tendency of -o- > -a- also invaded the second syllable). The Sassarian voice is obviously a begging from Gallura.
Serra Sass. ‘saw’ is told sarra in Gall. and in Corsican, alternating also serra. The same alternation is there to name ‘mountain coast’, a ‘ridge’: Gall.-Corsican sarra-serra.
Among the examples of inorganic apophony we can also propose some rare hyper-corrections (in addition to that already seen in párracu), where the conservation of Gallurian apophony is observed in Sassari’s area, while in Gallura the purely Sardinian form is preferred. Therefore: Sass.-Log. arìba ‘olive’, ‘olive tree’; Gall. ulìa.
Gallurian archaismus not shared by Sassarian language. We have already noticed that the clearly Sardinian words are very often maintained in Gallura dialect, without being reflected in the Sassari one. Note that Sassari speech is archaic too; but the privileged findings with the rest of the island (more than anything else are findings of radicals) highlight, if there was still a need, the umbilical cord that Gallura has always maintained with central Sardinia and also with the Campidani. Examples:
Abbrìgu Gall.-Log. ‘shelter, sheltered place’.
Baccu Gall.-Barbaricinus ‘valley’ (Désulo); (Ogliastra) ‘ravine, cliff’, (Tonara) ‘sadle betweem two mountains’, (Camp). ‘ravine, mountain gorge’.
Baraliccu Gall., barralliccu Camp. ‘special four-sided dice’.
Barrancu Camp., Gall. ‘difficulty, embarrassment’.
Bonaùra Gall.-Log. ‘fortune, luck, greeting’; also Gall.-Log. ura ‘fortune, misfortune’.
Burrumballa. This Sardinian term (absent in Sass.), with its phonetic variants, means ‘thing or people of little importance or value; sawdust, shavings, junk’. It also means ‘confusion, turmoil’, especially in northern Sardinia.
Ceḍḍa, keḍḍa is a not so large group of newly born animals (pigs, calves, goats); in Gallura ceḍḍa is a featherless bird’. It also indicates a ‘very small soil’, as well as a ‘handful of seeds’.
Ciarabáttula Log.-Gall. ‘cowardly, unimportant person’.
Codìna, cuadína, Sardinian (not Sassarian) adjectival which seems to derive from code ‘flint’ < Lat. cōs, cōtis. But see Gall. cutina ‘friable rock, arid and rocky terrain’; codína in Mamoiada indicates the ‘unmade, putrescent’ granite, pùdrile, what in Gallura is said scarracciàna.
Cùccuru Sd. (not Sassarian) ‘mountain pointed top’, also ‘top of the skull’; the oldest base is Sum. kur ‘mountain’, with a word doubled in icastic terms (kuk-kur).
Curusta ‘bedbug’ (Baronia and Central-Sardinia); in Gallura ‘tree-bug’, elsewhere named pìnnighe, pinni, cìncia (Alghero).
Dèkere Centr., dèghere Log., deghi’ Gall., dèjiri Camp. ‘to be worthwhile’.
Dillu, dílluru, dìllaru ‘a genre of Sardinian dance with accompaniment of music and singing’; dillu Gall.-Bitti ‘round dance’.
Ḍoḍḍi Gall. ‘robin’ (also Nùoro, Orgòsolo).
Eccisare Log. ‘bewitch, enchant’; Gall. eccisa’.
Fante Log. ‘servant, serving-wench, concubine’, Gall. fanta ‘female lover’, fantu ‘illegitimate lover’. Also in Stat. Sass. I, 53; CdL 50; I, 124; in ancient Lucchese fante ‘harlot’.
Freátu, freádu. Spano traduces this Log. word with adj. ‘guilty’ and subst. ‘dandruff’. He gives also frèa as ‘fear, bad spirit’ (as well as in Gallura), and also ‘ringworm’ (likewise in Gallura). Tenner freadu in Log. means ‘having remorse’.
Gutta Margh., Gall. ‘syncope, apoplexy, paralysis’: gutta ti cálidi ‘you are damned!’.
Kirìna Log., crina Gall. ‘fence for pigs, especially for sows’.
Kirra Nuor., Gall. Fence covered with branches for lambs or kids’.
Listincu, lestincu, lostincu Camp., Gall. ‘lentisk’ (Pistacia lentiscus).
Loḍḍe ‘fox’ (Vulpes vulpes) (North Logudoro, Anglona, Castelsardo); loḍḍi Gall. ‘fox’ (tabuic name).
Malaùra Log., Gall. ‘unfortune’. Originally it meant ‘with the opposite Moon’. In fact – ùra is corrupt word from Akk. urḫum ‘Goddess Moon’, with following fall of -ḫ- by Sardinian-Tyrrhenian phonetic law.
Mammagráida (Bitti, Gallura) is the ‘big grasshopper’. This referring to a ‘pregnant mother’ indicates not only the size of this locust compared to the other minors, but also the fact that it’s slower in jumping.
Mara Camp., Gall. ‘marsh, swamp’; in Cagliari ‘sewer’ of city or village: bucca e mara ‘mouth of sewer’.
Mullóni Centr., Gall. ‘boundary stone’.
Póju Log., Gall. ‘ditch, water container’; póggiu North Logudoro ‘idem’; póu Camp. ‘small ditch full of water’: fòja (Arzana) ‘pond, swimming pool’
Puále Log. ‘bucket’, puali Gall. adjectival in -ále with base in Sum. pû ‘mouth, well’ + -al (suffix). Truly archaic word.
Rese, arrèse f. Log. ‘race, lineage (in a derogatory sense): de rése mala; sos dessa rese tua; (Fonni) ‘all kinds of harmful animals’; arrèsi f. Camp., arresίa, arrasίa Camp. ‘reptiles and poisonous animals in general’; arresίu (Isili) ‘worm, insect’ (Atzori); s’arrèse (Mores); Camp s’arrési. (Gàiro, S. Gavino, Sulcis, Marmilla) is also one of the taboo-names of the fox. In Gallura resa ‘pet, beast’.
Satzái, sassái Camp. ‘eat beyond satiety, fill the belly’; Gall. satza’; cfr. It. saziare ‘satisfy hunger entirely’ < Lat. satiāre < sātis ‘enough’, sātur ’saturated’.
Scórriu Camp., Gall. ‘gash, rag’, from scorriái ’to rip, to fray’, from corrìa ‘strap, belt’ < Lat. corriga ‘shoe string’. By extension scórriu is also the ‘conflict’, the ‘quarrel’, the ‘breakdown of relations between two people’. This name is also given to su scórriu (or trímpanu or moliághe, according to the areas) which is an archaic phonic tool.
Simingiòni, timingiòni Camp. ‘nippel’; Gall. cimignòni.
Strobbái, storbái Camp., istrobbare Log. ‘to disturb’, isturbu ‘trouble’; Gall. stròbbu ‘damage, inconvenience, obstacle, hitch, disturbance, mishap, disfavour’.
Suggéttu North Log. adv. ‘perhaps, probably, easily’: Gall. ‘idem’; cras è suggéttu ki pròat ‘tomorrow maybe it’s raining’. An use of this type also in Irpinia.
Sùrbile, sùrvile Nuor. ‘evil witch, vampire species’; Gall. sùlvula. She was a woman who at night felt the need to transform into a kind of fly and entered the houses where she sucked the blood of newborn babies.
Tuva Log. (Sennarìolo, Bòrore), also Camp.; tova Gall. ’empty bush’, ’empty trunk’.
Ùe, ùbe Log., Centr.; ùi Gall. ‘where’.
22. MEDIEVAL SASSARI’S SPEECH IS ALIKE TO CURRENT ONE
In these pages I made some considerations on the grammar of Sassari, without ever entering to explain certain aspects that require clarity. I do it now to explain a few things.
A) In the ancient Tuscany many voices of the verb “to be” could have had a different form from the current one: see semo in place of siamo (this form is repeated in Romanesque). Well, this ancient form still persists today in the Sass. semmu. See also impf. Tusc. era (= Sass. éra). However the similarities between Sassari and ancient Tuscan are very few.
B) If we want, among any Sassari medieval forms there is also another Tuscanismus: it’s the impf. fùssia (found in Cellini Vita 135), as well as the conditional saria.
C) All in all, Sassari has retained a few Upper-Tyrrhenian forms, since a millennium ago its grammar was still tied to the archaic forms of the Lower Tyrrhenian, from which it never disengaged.
For example: in the normality of the Sassarese verbs the 1st pers. of the simple future ends in -ággiu, like the future of “being” and “having”. Eg. farággiu ‘I will do’, labarággiu ‘I will wash’, sarággiu ‘I will be’, abarággiu ‘I will have’.
This strange morpheme (which I prefer to call suffixid) loses its morphemic function and finds itself whole as an autonomous verbal voice in Sass. ággiu ‘ho’, Nap. ággio ‘ho’, Sic. ágiu ‘ho’; it is repeated in the subjunctive present ággia ‘that I have’ (same in Sicilia and Sassari). As a verbal voice it is also found in the compound verbs Sass., Nap. and Sic. Example: Sass. ággiu magnaddu ‘I ate’; Nap. ággiu durmitə ‘I slept’; Sic. ágiu currutu ‘I ran’, ágiu cantatu ‘I sang’.
The verbal form aggio ‘ho, I have’ is found, drawn from Sicilian poets, also in Giacomo da Lentini ((«assai v’aggio laudato» “very well praised you”): cfr. Grammatica Italiana UTET 343.
The future of Sassari, type labarággiu, also returns to the future form of the lower Tyrrhenian, e.g. in Sicilian sarrògghju ‘saro’, starrògghju ‘I’ll stay’; but see some Sicilian futures such as ágiu a jiri a Trapani ‘I will go to Trapani’, as well as Sassari forms such as ággiu a laba’ ‘I will wash’.
All verbal or suffixed forms examined so far have a common etymology. Hence the mysterious “suffixid” Sass. -ággiu, Sic. -(ò)gghju does not derive from the indicative verb form at all. Both are archaic voices that have survived in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea.
For all, the etymological basis is Sum. *AG ‘to make, to effect a change’ (see Lat. ag-ō).
As you can see, this etymology is not the same as in It. ho, which derives from Lat. habeō and originates from Akk. ḫâbu ‘to love’, a concept far from the meek ideology of the current peoples with democratic legislation, where love is intended as an ‘exchange of mutual affection’ or ‘consenting sexual union’. In the highest antiquity, when the concept was born, it referred exclusively to the forms of “possession” and to the “availability of possession” (in all its modalities). A concept similar to that of Lat. capĕre from Akk. qappum ‘palm of the hand’ (dominated by the concept of grasping).
Note in this regard the archaic survival of Sic. ágiu statu ‘I have been’, which Salvatore Camilleri (VIS 488) believes to be the current corrupt form that has replaced the ancient “purity” of sugnu statu ‘I have been’. In reality it is quite the opposite, since the “pure, defunct and mourned” form by Camilleri is nothing but one of the many forms that were quickly acquired by Sicilian fashion coeval with the “Dolce stil novo” in order to adapt to the charm of Tuscan and Provençal literature.
So we can agree that the suffixid -ággiu, ággio, -(ò)gghju is certainly the oldest form of future that has come down to us, while they are following the Sassarian-type forms ággiu a fa ‘I will do’. Nap. ággio a durmì ‘I’ll sleep’, Sic. ágiu a cagnari ‘I will eat’.
In Logudoro, instead of Sass. farággiu or ággiu a fa’, it is said appo a fághere ‘I will do’, where appo looks like Lat. habeō. But see chap. 3.2.6 of my Historical Grammar to better reflect on this phenomenon, to which also hang imperf. subjunctive Log. like cantárepo ‘I would sing’.
Campidanian speech does not use the archaic forms in -ággiu nor the Logudorian form in -po.
Those from Sassari are the only Sardinian forms to be related to the Neapolitan and Sicilian ones, while the dominant dialects of Sardinia (Logudorese and Campidanese) are excluded. Furthermore, there is no connection between these Sassari’s forms and those of the maritime republics. To examine the question with the synchronic method, this phenomenon should be properly reversed, i.e. the Sassari language would have had to retain more high-Tyrrhenian forms.
No linguist, no glottologist, no Romance philologist has so far studied this singular phenomenon of “territorial reversal” which seems to become an historical absurdity. In fact, not much doctrine nor much explanation is needed to understand that it was especially Cagliari and its Campidano that had close contacts with the Kingdom of Naples (ie with Naples, Palermo, Sicily); therefore it would have been Cagliari to keep the forms in -ággiu. This “territorial reversal”, in which these forms are preserved exclusively in Sassari, is one of the many proofs that the archaic heritage is very hard to die, and the imperial or cultural “overlays” have little effect on it.
All this considered, we are forced to admit that it was a matter of “substratum”, a truly remote fact, which belonged to the Mediterranean Koiné, which now remains not only in Naples and Sicily, but also in the small Sassari enclave.
For the rest, we can say that in the Sassari dialect there remains an undoubtedly ancient (pre-Roman) legacy, such as that of the rather peculiar derogatory suffixes. E.g. -accia’ in verbs like innamuraccia’ (i.e. ‘engaging in love with little seriousness’). This suffix pairs with Sass. and Log. -atz- and has etymological basis in Akk. aḫia ‘outside, out of place’, ahûm ‘outside, strange; out of place’.
I believe that what I have written so far about lexicon and grammar is sufficient. I do not intend to insist on rummaging every corner of Sassari’s current grammar in order to rewrite and describe – aspect by aspect – a temporal scaling backwards. Up to now I have highlighted the phenomena of recovery of lexemes and phonemes in the state in which Tuscan influences had not yet invaded, let alone the Castilian ones.
I recognize that in past centuries the traces of the coexistence of Sassari with the Tuscan and then with the Castilian overlay have been conspicuous. But it was enough for me to observe that, after the long periods of occupation, the ebb of the Sardinian in driving back the superstructures has always prevailed. So, while recognizing the greater weight of the past influences on Sassari by the Pisan, Corsican, Castilian, today it must be noted that each of those aspects is tending to re-enter, and the Sardinian speech as well as the Sassari one is redirected exclusively towards the Italian language.
In any case, it’s worth launching – by way of flash – some phrases that my friend Luciano Carta sent me on May 25, 2016. He wrote that according to Mauro Maxia Sassari’s speech is to be derived rather from Corsican one, a language imported from the conspicuous Corsican community present in the city since its origins: «The thesis according to they identify in Sassari’s speech a Tuscan base, must have newly examinated in light of the conspicuous Corsican migrations which since the Giudicato age mainly affected the north of Sardinia. In fact, that the north of Sardinia, at least from the mid-fifteenth century, was affected by a strong Corsican presence can be deduced from several observation points. One of the most evident proofs is constituted by the express quotation that of this phenomenon makes the chap. 42 of the second book of the Sassari’s Statutes, which was added in 1435 or immediately after. If we take into account this massive Corsican presence and the fact that the Pisan presence in the kingdom of Logudoro ceased definitively by the thirteenth century, the origin of the Tuscan background will not be attributed to a direct influence of the ancient Pisan but of the Corsican which represents, itself, a consequence of the ancient Tuscanization of Corsica» (Mauro Maxia, “Studi sardo-corsi. Dialettologia e storia della lingua tra le due isole”, p. 58).
I leave the responsibility for these statements to Mauro Maxia.
My friend Carta also wrote to me that some letters from Spanish officials and religious dated 1561 already highlight the citizen’s multilingual context and the affirmation of Sassari’s speech among the various languages: «Los lectores, muy mejor sería que entendiessen y supiessen hablar italiano, porque es la lengua más entendida de lo niños por ser la propria lengua d.esta ciudad, la qual tiene peculiar lengua, muy conforme a la italiana, aunque los ciudadanos dessean desterrar esta lengua de la ciudad por ser apezadisa de Córsega y entrodusir la española». (Baldassarre Pinyes, rector of the Jesuit college in Sassari).
«En esta ciudad de Saçer algunas personas prinçipales hablan mediocremente la española, pero lo común es sardo y corço, o italiano que le es vezino… no se venía quasi nadie a confessar con nosotros por no saber la lengua… los pocos que acquí hemos sido siempre fuimos de pareçer que en casa la habla ordinaria fuesse sarda… si los lectores o confessores que han de venir acá sono españoles, tendrán harto trabajo y haran poco fruto por espaçio de un año o más, porque los mochachos ninguna lengua hablan sino es corça…». (Padre Francisco Antonio)
«En lo de la lengua sarda sepa vuestra paternidad que en esta ciudad no la hablan, ni en el Alguer ni en Caller; mas solo la hablan en las villas. En esta ciudad se hablan quatro o sinco lenguas quien catalán, quien castellano, quien italiano, quien corso, quien sardo; de modo que no hay lengua cierta sobre que el hombre pueda hazer fundamento; todavia se pone algún cuydado en que se hable sardo…
aunque, como digo, en esta ciudad no le hablan, mas tienen lengua por sí quasi como corcesca… ». (Padre Francisco Antonio)5
All this recorded, I like to reiterate what I already noticed in the Methodological Preface to NOFELSA, i.e. that an archaic language like the Sardinian one, despite having suffered many traumas from the conquerors, had the good fortune to flow back against the overlayings, “digesting” them and making them disappear in the short span of a century, sometimes decades.
Today, unfortunately, times have changed and Italian Television is wreaking havoc in regional speeches, so that now hopes of survival are reduced to a minimum, despite the already active national and regional laws, which should be a valuable aid in the protection of linguistic minorities.
Salvatore Dedola, glottologist, 2020 February
1 Ulisse e Nausica in Sardegna, p. 137
2 Grammatica della Lingua Sarda Prelatina
3 See Salvatore Dedola, Monoteismo precristiano in Sardegna.
4 Urania Sulcitana, 1638.
5 «Readers, it would be much better if they understood and knew how to speak Italian, because it’s the language best understood by children as this is the language of this city, which has its own peculiar language rather similar to Italian, although the citizens of high rank would like to extirpate this language of the city, being this originary from Corsica, and to introduce Spanish instead (14)». (Baldassarre Pinyes, rector of the Jesuit college in Sassari)
«In the city of Sassari some high-level people speak Spanish in a mediocre way but commonly they speak Sardinian and Corsican or Italian, which is similar to the latter … almost no one came to confess to us for the fact that they do not know our language … Those few of us who have always been here ended up giving the impression that in home the common language was Sardinian … if the readers or confessors who come here will be Spanish, for at least a year they have to work hard in exchange for poor results, because the children do not speak any language other than Corsican.» (Padre Francisco Antonio).
«With regards to the Sardinian language, your Paternity should know that in this city (Sassari) they do not speak it (as it is not spoken) either in Alghero or Cagliari, but speak it only in the villages. In this city four or five languages are spoken: some Catalan, some Castilian, some Italian, some Corsican, some Sardinian, so that there is no certain language on which anyone can rely. However, some care is taken to express themselves in Sardinian … although, as I said, in this city they do not speak it and consider their language to be a variety similar to the course… » (Padre Francisco Antonio).