Friday, June 17, 2011

About luths and guitars

This is a very ancient depiction of a Sumerian man playing luth. This instrument was called gude in that language. Quite certainly this Sumerian word is in turn the origin of Greek κιθάρα, itself the etymon of the word guitar.

It can be noted that apparently the consonants of the root κιθ- of Greek κιθάρα seem to differ from those of Sumerian gude. But this is an illusion. Once borrowed gude or maybe gide (?) becomes *ghidh- hence Greek kith-, with the predictable dissimilation of aspiration in Greek. This word is another example of PIE aspirates corresponding to voiced phonemes.

This is a Kurdish Tambûr, a direct continuator of Ancient gude.

All the best. A.

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