There are many things to discuss lately. For example, on Phoenix's blog, Proto-Indo-European reduplication is revisited and I might have a few more thoughts on this. However, for now I'll complete the short thread concerning my previous suggestion of Aegean roots for 'pulse' and 'vetch', this time slightly modified to *árapu (> Minoan *árapu > Gk ὄροβος 'bitter vetch') and derivative *árapinta (> Minoan *arápinta > Gk ἐρέβινθος 'chick-pea').
What I wanted to share is that there are further interesting comparanda apparently isolated in Western Europe that many other scholars also believe are indicative of some sort of substrate, although no one is very specific about its transmission. Of course, as always, it's this vagueness that drives me nuts, so let's explore this more:
- Latin ervum 'pulse, bitter vetch'
- Germanic *arwītō 'pea' (hence OHG arawiz)
Then there's also Latin arbōs ~ arbor 'tree'. According to the OED, Latin arbōs is of "unknown origin". As usual, some obsessive Indoeuropeanists have attempted to explain this word away as yet another IE root (eg. Julius Pokorny and *erəd- 'to grow'). These numerous "Western IE" roots fail to convince and it's interesting that arbōs is localized purely within the Italic branch. For that matter, what other Italic cognates exist alongside this Latin term, if any?
I'm also interested in the history of Latin herba 'grass'. If we include this and arbōs as part of the substrate evidence, could the meaning of this underlying root be more general such as 'sprout', I wonder. I'll have to look further and see what other ideas have been published on these interesting words.
If we trek onward and theorize an Etrusco-Rhaetic cognate in Italy, and given my latest rules of sound correspondence, we should then expect *arpu 'sprout', which would explain both ervum and arbōs in Latin, and *arpintʰ 'pea', which would explain Germanic *arwītō (perhaps via a Venetic intermediary, *arwi(n)ton).