Congratulations to Prof. Alexander Nikolaev on the publication of his article “YAv. Spitiiura- and the Compositional Form of PIE *u̯r̥h1-en- ‘Lamb’ in Indo-Iranian” in the Indo-Iranian Journal!

Abstract: This paper argues that the second member of the Avestan compounded personal name Spitiiura– goes back to the Indo-Iranian word for ‘lamb’: Ved. úran-, Mod. Pers. barra. The name ‘having shining white lambs’ can be shown to have mythopoetic parallels in other Indo-European traditions. It is argued that the expected second member *-u̯r̥h1n-ó– formed from simplex *u̯r̥h1en– with a thematic suffix was analogically remodeled as *-u̯r̥h1– in pre-Indo-Iranian times: the model was provided by second members of compounds made from n-stems which lost the nasal due to the so-called “ašnō-rule”, e.g. Ved. víparva– made from *péru̯on– or YAv. ka-mərəda– made from *ml̥h3dhon-. Similar analogical remodeling is found in Ved. aṣṭavr̥ṣá– from vr̥ṣán– and many other cases. The compound further underwent a laryngeal loss by the so-called “νεογνός-rule” (cf. Ved. tuvigrá– ‘swallowing much’ < *-gwr̥h3-) and the resulting sequence *-u̯r̥o– was resyllabified as *-uro-. Therefore, Av. ºura– can represent a “compositional form” of PIE *u̯r̥h1en– ‘lamb’ and Bartholomae’s analysis of Spitiiura– as ‘having shining white lambs’ may still carry the day.

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