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Additional Considerations about Ved. Síndhu-, Av. Hiṇdu-/Həṇdu

Antonio Panaino    Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Italia    

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abstract

In a very important article Paul Thieme demonstrated that Ved. Sindhu- was a nominal -u- formation, based on a non-attested present stem *sinadh-/*sindh- deri­ved by a root sidh (usual present stem sadha-). Then, *sindhú- would mean ‘warding off, keeping away’, while the corresponding substantivization as síndhu-, m./f., (with the stress on the root) meant ‘he/she who wards off, keeps away’, i.e. ‘natural frontier’. Notwithstanding the evident absence of a present stem like *sinadh-/*sindh-, the reconstruction suggested by Thieme is still the most reasonable in the light of the Ṛgvedic passages where the older interpretation of síndhu- just as ‘river’ or ‘ocean’ results patently far-fetched or simply impossible. In any case, for the Avestan corresponding form, hiṇdu-/həṇdu- (O.P. hindu-), no good Iranian or Indo-Iranian (independent) etymology seems to be recognizable, and it is presu­mable, as normally stated, that this one was a very early loanword in Iranian, just meaning not ‘India’, but ‘(natural) frontier’, and thus referring to barriers or obstacles as big and large as a river or a large basin of water (lake, sea or ocean). Here some problems connected with this interpretation of the linguistic data are analyzed, with special regard for the Indo-Iranian and Avestan mythology.

Lingua
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-101-0
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-100-3

Keywords: VedicFrontierIndusAvestanIndo-Iranian

Copyright: © 2016 Antonio Panaino. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.