On the etymology of the hydronym Oredezh
The hydronym Oredezh has neither Uralic nor Indo-European etymology, but can be explained through the language of the people who lived in the region in the Neolithic period. Those people spoke a language that was a juncture between Yeniseian languages, Caucasian languages, Hattic, and Sumerian. Oredezh/Uredezh originally was *ur-deʔG;it consists of Proto-Yeniseian roots: *ul/ur – “water” and *deʔG “lake”. And this name meant simply “river oxbows” or “river backwaters”. In the current context the root *ul/ur means “river”, but not just “water”. The Oredezh river is famous for its meanders and swampy oxbows. The level of the Littorina Sea was 5 to 7 meters higher than that of the present Baltic Sea, and therefore the level of water in rivers that flew into the sea also was higher than the present, so there were more oxbows in the Oredezh river, and they probably were larger than the modern.
Keywords: hydronymy; substrate hydronymy; Leningrad oblast; Neolithic period; Paja Ul Deˀŋ
Poinamukaru niushpe ashinka shiri tinka
Describing the Ainu of the Northern Kuril islands D. M. Pozdneev shows the following proverb: poinamukaru niushpe ashinka shiri tinka, and, according to Pozdneev, this saying means: “cutting a tree with a stone ax took great efforts”. However, this translation shows just the general meaning, but doesn’t express the precise meaning of the saying, and also the recording of the proverb is quite inaccurate. This proverb originally had the following view: poyna mukar ni-us-pe asin-ke sir e-cin-ke and its original meaning is the following: “to cut a tree [with] a stone ax is [as difficult as] to stretch land like a skin of an animal”.
Keywords: Ainu; Ainu of the Northern Kuril islands; Kuril Ainu; Ainu language; Kuril islands
Some questions on reflexes of –eu– in Slavic languages
The Slavic languages are traditionally believed to have (-)ju- as the result of the change of the proto-IE diphthong (-)eu- in the first syllable and, as a consequence, the elision of -j- with the palatalization of the consonants before: Ceu > Cju > C’u. Some scholars try to show examples of this palatalization, and some even try to reconstruct this prosthetic -j- as a Balto-Slavic isogloss. This reconstruction seems to be currently accepted. But when we start checking the list of all stems proposed to us to illustrate this sound change, we face some serious contradictions and difficulties that could make us call this description into question.
Keywords: phonology; etymology; Slavic; Balto-Slavic; reconstructions
How many voices are there in Ainu really?
Japanese linguists usually describe Ainu as a language with a passive voice. One example considered as passive is hapo or wa a-en=koyki – “I was scolded by mother”. Such sentences can’t be considered examples of passive since they contradict all conditions of the passive voice. Other items considered passive are personal markers enci= (1sg) and unci= (1pl) used in Ishikari/Asahikawa dialect. These markers show that the marked person is a patient/target/beneficiary of an action. When these markers are used, then other personal markers are absent. These markers could be considered as implementations of passive, but in Ainu there are no personal markers like enci= and unci= for other persons and numbers. A voice cannot carry out itself only for some persons and numbers, so this case also can’t be considered a true passive. And thus, Ainu should be considered a language without voices.
Keywords: Ainu language; passive voice; voices
Uganda: impressions of a trip
The current paper is the first part of the trip report of the ‘grand voyage’ to Uganda and Tanzania that I took in February 2022. The primary purpose of the visit was to participate in the International conference at the Russian Cultural Center (Dar es Salaam). The first part is devoted to Uganda (Fig.1). The current paper consists of my own impressions of the places, that I visited, and my own live photos from the trip. Having only one week, I visited the so-called Grand triangle of Uganda: Kampala – Jinja – Masindi, and thus crossed the country from the Central part to the West, but in this article I focus on the sites of the Uganda capital – Kampala.
Keywords: Uganda; Kampala; boda-boda; Kasubi tombs; Baganda people; Buganda kingdom