Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:55 pm

Reminds me of Polish smykać = biec szybko, uciekać; przemykać, umykać, czmychać
(Zając smyknął im spod nóg.)
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Ilian Velikov » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:02 pm

Berislav Horvatic wrote:Look at the Proto-Slavic root *smukъ and its derivations in various Slavic languages.

Don't get me wrong I was not saying that the root is NOT Slavic but simply that the argument you gave was not enough to prove that the word is Slavic. It might be that it originates from somewhere else in both languages. It's like saying the word "porta" in Catalan means "door", and its pronunciation and meaning in Bulgarian are exactly the same, so the word has Slavic roots.

Besides, Proto-Slavic by definition is an Indo-European language which includes all modern languages spoken today in Europe as well as half of the ones spoken in Asia. So who knows maybe "smok" has it's origins in some ancient Persian dialect...or maybe not. It's hard to tell.
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:27 pm

Ilian Velikov wrote:Don't get me wrong I was not saying that the root is NOT Slavic but simply that the argument you gave was not enough to prove that the word is Slavic. It might be that it originates from somewhere else in both languages. It's like saying the word "porta" in Catalan means "door", and its pronunciation and meaning in Bulgarian are exactly the same, so the word has Slavic roots.

I'm not getting you wrong, because you were right in your argumentation, and mine was deficient. So I tried better than that.

Besides, Proto-Slavic by definition is an Indo-European language which includes all modern languages spoken today in Europe as well as half of the ones spoken in Asia. So who knows maybe "smok" has it's origins in some ancient Persian dialect...or maybe not. It's hard to tell.

Yes, of course. Only in linguistics one has to stop at some reasonable point, instead of tracking all Indo-European languages as far back as the (assumed) Proto-Indo-European. If there is an (assumed) Proto-Slavic root *smukъ and if
it produced rougly the same meanings in all or most of the present-day Slavic languages (moving fast, gliding, skiing!...), one can safely say it's a Slavic root and leave it at that. (It's not Germanic, or Romance - which is the same level.) Whence it came millenia ago, as well as Germanic or Romance roots, is another story, taking all of them far back
- into the grey zone.
A biological analogy: Humans, chimps, gorillas etc. are primates, they are not birds. But if you go far back enough,
both primates and birds are FISH, by the definition of a clade (a common ancestor & ALL its living descendants...)

To (hopefully) conclude this "off-topic" issue: In many (maybe all?) present-day Slavic languages big Colubers are
named as something moving swiftly, gliding, dashing - which certainly makes sense as a description.
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:47 pm

Berislav Horvatic wrote:Reminds me of Polish smykać = biec szybko, uciekać; przemykać, umykać, czmychać
(Zając smyknął im spod nóg.)

Makes sense.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/smyk

btw
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavic_dragon
A slavic dragon is any dragon in Slavic mythology, including the Russian zmei (or zmey; змей), known in the Ukraine as zmiy (змій, pl. ), and its counterparts in other Slavic cultures: the Bulgarian zmei (змей), the Polish żmij, the Serbian and Croatian zmaj (Serbian: змај, Croatian). The Romanian zmeu is also a slavic dragon, but a non-cognate etymology has been proposed.

A zmei may be beast-like or human-like, sometimes wooing women, but often plays the role of chief antagonist in Russian literature. In the Balkans, the zmei type is overall regarded as benevolent, as opposed to malevolent dragons known variously as lamia, ala' or hala, or aždaja.

The Polish smok (e.g. Wawel Dragon of Kraków) or the Ukrainian or Belarussian smok (смок), tsmok (цмок), can also be included. In some Slavic traditions smok is an ordinary snake which may turn into a dragon with age.
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Ilian Velikov » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:57 am

Berislav, I agree with all that you are saying, so case/conversation closed.

Just one thing. You said "In many (maybe all?) present-day Slavic languages big Colubers are named as something moving swiftly, gliding, dashing - which certainly makes sense as a description." Are you saying that this is the meaning of the word "smok"? If yes, would you please give a link/reference for this information as I'd be interested to have a look?

Michal, interesting stuff. Thanks. In Bulgarian folklore we have all "zmei", "lamia" and "hala", but "smok" is never used for mythical creatures, always just a regular existing snake.
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:56 pm

You said "In many (maybe all?) present-day Slavic languages big Colubers are named as something moving swiftly, gliding, dashing - which certainly makes sense as a description." Are you saying that this is the meaning of the word "smok"?

Sorry for interrupting but let me give Polish point of view. "Smok" here means "dragon" and "smok" is probably a mutation of "smykać" what means "to flee".
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Ilian Velikov » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:19 pm

Michal Szkudlarek wrote:"Smok" here means "dragon" and "smok" is probably a mutation of "smykać" what means "to flee".


Ah, right. I get it know, I didn't really understand the phrases in Polish that Berislav posted before. Thanks.
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:23 pm

Michal Szkudlarek wrote:
You said "In many (maybe all?) present-day Slavic languages big Colubers are named as something moving swiftly, gliding, dashing - which certainly makes sense as a description." Are you saying that this is the meaning of the word "smok"?

Sorry for interrupting but let me give Polish point of view. "Smok" here means "dragon" and "smok" is probably a mutation of "smykać" what means "to flee".

There, you sad it. "*Smokъ" is just the (assumed, back-reconstructed) Proto-Slavic root, which may have given "smok..." or "smuk..." or "smyk...".
Actually, proto-anything roots are RECONSTRUCTED from the words of actually existing languages. If the "derivations"
from that root consistently refer to something/anything in common, than you've probably guessed right.
When it comes to dragons, Polish or any other, what do you think was the pattern/model for imagining creatures
like that?
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