Wednesday, July 6, 2011

About the word panther

The Latin word panthera is itself a loanword of Greek πανθηρ ‘panther’, related to πάρδαλις or πόρδαλις ‘leopard’ and the later form πάρδος. These forms are related to Sanskrit prdāku ‘panther, lion (also snake)’, from a possible common source *prd-. It is intriguing to see that the dental suffix –d appears only in Greek and Indo-Iranian. This form can hardly be borrowed. This word may have a bearing on the original location of PIE as a relique word. See red (past) and green (present) areas below.
This root has clear counterparts in Hatti p(a)raš- ‘panther’ (Soysal 2004:299) and Russian bars ‘panther’, with a different suffix.
With a velar suffix one finds Sumerian pirig ‘lion’ and Chechen berg ‘leopard’.
Further comparanda include Dravidian words: Kolami (Setumadhava Rao) perpul, Ollari Gadba berpul, Salur Gadba pullu (pl. pulkul), berbullū (pl. berbulkul) ‘tiger’. Tiger is pul and per means big.

Best. A.

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