quote:Originally posted by virtue:I know nothing of etymology.... what is the method? And why if the same word pops up in major religions around the world as well as translated from ancient texts as such is this not cause for serious investigation?quote:Originally posted by HonestBrother:quote:Originally posted by Melesi:
1. Meaning is as the word is used. Nobody uses the word like that, therefore that's not what the word means.
2. Moreover, the etymology may not be right. It could be from a similar but different Hebrew word, amman.
3. Be careful of similar-counding felicities. They are usually wrong.
4. Be careful of your motives.
I agree with Melesi here (will wonders ever cease?)
But it frequently happens in linguistic research that one encounters similar sounding words. Just because two words sound or look similar it doesn't mean that they are related in any way. Similarity can be coincidental. So there are methods that are more or less reliable for determing if they are truly related. In the absence of evidence all else is speculation.
Let's take English as a case study. English has borrowed extensively from other languages:
theology, logic, skeptic (are all from Greek)
paternity, ad hoc, ad hominem (come from Latin)
kindergarten (from German)
Yenta (from Russian)
The tendency to borrow from Greek and Latin is most intense in the areas of scholarship and higher learning.
Whereas things like "smorgasbord" seem to have been retained almost randomly (and reflect our immigrant history).
But in all cases conscious borrowing shows similarity (or at least analogy) of usage between the source language and the corresponding English term. In the case of 'smorgasbord', for example, the English term denotes something like a meal in which there is a large variety of dishes to choose from (like a buffet). But the Swedish source (if I remember correctly) denotes the buffet table itself.
There has also been a very heavy French influence in English since the Norman invasion. But we still say that English is a Germanic language. So on what basis do we make that determination? Look at basic items of vocabulary (words that even children know):
Point? You see an extensive system of similarity between terms which have more or less the same meaning - and English and German are separated by a few thousand years. There are in addition fairly predictable rules governing the way pronunciations have diverged over time.
Sister Fine, I love you (and usually admire your intentions) ... I'm no expert but if Hebrew were an offspring of Akan it would not be such a well kept secret.
I'll be back to finish.....