3

I encountered a contradiction between two respectful monographs.

Mallory gives the word as h2/3u̯obhseh2 thus excluding h1 while de Vaan gives totally opposite version, h1u̯obhseh2 thus excluding h2 and h3. I wonder who is right? What do say the primary sources?

In other words the both sources also differ similarly.

  • I think Mallory has more than the common 3 laryngals or at least something like "ha" in addition. He seems to represent an older tradition of the laryngal theories. And de Vaan has *(h1)uebh- 'to weave' as underlaying root. – user2498 Oct 9 '13 at 12:05
  • @aorists Mallory asserts that in the root for weave there also should be h2/3 – Anixx Oct 9 '13 at 13:43
4

The word for 'wasp' does not require a laryngeal:

Middle Persian wpz, Lat. vespa, Welsh gwychi, Old English wæfs, Lith. dial. vapsà, Russian osá are all compatible with *uobʰs-h₂-

The only reason to reconstruct a laryngeal is if you assume the word is derived from 'to weave' (seeing wasps as 'weavers' of their nests), but this is not evident.

The word for 'weave': The evidence for a *h₁ in this word the Mycenean future participle e-we-pe-se-so-me-na 'that must be woven', attested once:

pa-we-a₂ e-we-pe-se-so-me-na WOOL 20 'twenty woolen cloaks to be woven'

The alternative interpretation as 'to be well boiled' is highly improbable (see Beekes 1969: 67).

The evidence for *h₂/₃ is presumably the connection with Hitt. huppai-zi 'to blend', however this is not possible due to the fortis -pp- in Hittite, which implies IE *p, and the semantics are not that strong, either.

But once again, this is only relevant if wasps were seen as 'weavers', which is rather a speculative conjecture.

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