ROĽ SLOVACKOGO JAZYKA V ISSLEDOVANII ETIMOLOGII VENGERSKICH SLOV SEB, SEBES, SEBESEN
Role of the Slovak language in the etymological research of the words seb, sebes, sebesen
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Etymological research is an important field of linguistics along with formal description of word structures. The fact that there are a considerably large number of words of unknown origin in the Hungarian language attests to the need of etymological research. Our study deals with the etymology and semantics of the Hungarian words seb (wound) and sebes (quick, rapid) whose origin is unknown. Our hypothesis is that these words, considered homonyms by current linguistics, stood in polysemantic relationship in early times as both are related to the word denoting ″arrow″. The semantic analysis of the Slovak words strela and šíp has, too, revealed an early semantic relation between them: they were synonyms denoting ″arrow″ in the 16th century. This synonymic relation has been proved by Slovak linguistics and is attested to in Slovak phraseology. In Altaic languages, ″arrow″ is also denoted by synonyms, which has given rise to our assumption concerning the similar semantic relation in Hungarian. The word žebe ″arrow″ in the Kazakh and Kirghiz languages exhibits phonetic and semantic traits similar to the Hungarian word sebes ″quick, rapid″. The typical characteristics of ″arrow″ establish the semantic and etymological relation between the Altaic word žebe ″arrow″ and the Hungarian word *sebe ″arrow″, the latter being probably a loan word from Altaic. The study of the Slovak researcher M. Marek (2003) discusses the historical background of the cultural contacts between Hungarians and Turks settled in the Hungarian territory. The Altaic borrowings are explained in this way.
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