2016, Volume 13, Issue 1

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Luka Repanšek
University of Ljubljana
Ljubljana, Slovenia

On the Origin of Trbiž, Ancient *Taruisia/-um

Voprosy onomastiki, 2016, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp. 43–61 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2016.13.1.003

Translated from Slovenian by M. V. Jasinskaya
Received 2 February 2015

Abstract: The article deals with the etymology of the Slovene place-name Trbiž (standard Slovene form), relating to a small settlement in the Canal Valley (Val Canale, North-Eastern Italy) in a traditionally multilingual area with people speaking Slovene, Friulian and Bavarian. The name’s contemporary dialectal variants are attested in the Gail Valley dialect and the Resian dialect of the Slovene language, as well as in the Carinthian dialects of Southern Bavarian (the contemporary Friulian form is a late adaptation of the Bavarian variant and thus irrelevant for the analysis). The extant Slovene dialectal forms lead to reconstruct a common Slovene prototype with a satisfactory Slavic etymology. However, for reasons of historical phonology, a Slavic starting point can hardly be the ultimate source of the Bavarian form, which makes it reasonable to conclude that both Slavic and Bavarian forms originate in a Romance (Old Friulian) place-name which must go back to some Pre-Romance source. We are thus probably dealing with an independent integration of the Romance source into the two superstratal linguistic systems in the region (viz. Slavic and Bavarian). In the context of the ethnic and linguistic history of the region, this scenario seems plausible, yet it is very difficult to establish the etymology of the postulated Pre-Romance form. The article provides a detailed analysis of its likely wordformation, which confirms a transparently Indo-European pedigree of the name and enables the author to isolate the stem that is most likely to be related to Celtic *taruo- ‘aurochs’. The author shows that the validity of this already familiar suggestion is etymologically feasible, the same etymon being also attested in the ancient place-name Taruisium in Northern Italy. Nevertheless, there exists a number of extralinguistic factors which prevent from considering this etymology as definitive.

Key words: Slovene language, Gaulish language, Friulian language, substrate toponymy, etymology, Trbiž, Taruisia


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