Studies in the History and Language of the Sarmatians
J. Harmatta


3. The Sarmatian Dialects of the North Pontic Region

The Old Iranian group of phonemes *fri- has also a twofold development 1. fli-, 2. li-.

Old Iranian *fri- > fli-.

Olbia, Latyshev, IOSPE I, 24: Vasmer (loc. cit.) regards this word as the equivalent of the Ossetian word limän 'Freund' and traces back both words to the Old Iranian form *frīyamāna-. The antecedents of this view were that Hübschmann (Etymologie und Lautlehre der ossetischen Sprache, 46) connected the Ossetian word limän with Avestan frya: friya and Old Indian priya-, both the latter meaning 'lieb, wert, freund', and suggested the idea of an exact correspondence between Ossetian limän and Old Indian prīyamān
̣a-. Miller, too, (, III. 83) sought to derive the Ossetian word from the Iranian stem *fri-, without defining, however, more closely the Old Iranian form to which it might have corresponded. It was on the basis of the Old Indian form prīyamāṇa- conjectured by Hübschmann that Vasmer restored his Old Iranian form *frīyamāna- which would correspond exactly to the name  as well as to the Ossetian word limän. But this conjecture raises many difficulties. First of all, it is open to doubt that the group of phonemes -īya- developed into -i- ~ -ə- in Ossetian (limänləmän). On the basis of the correspondence between Western Ossetian liyun ~ Old Indian rīyate (see Miller, Die Sprache der Osseten, 17) one would rather expect the development -iy- or -iyu- (the position is particularly clear in the 3rd person plural: liyuncä < Old Iranian *rīyanti). But even if one were to disregard this difficulty, it is certain that the form -māna- would have developed in Ossetian into -män, not into -man (cp. Ossetian bon 'Tag' < Old Iranian *bānu-, Miller, op. cit., 20). Thus the probable development in Ossetian of the Old Iranian form conjectured by Vasmer would be *liyumon ~ *liumon, perhaps *limon. But the difficulties belong not only to the category of phonetics but also of semantics. The Old Indian form given by Hübsch-


mann is the participle of the verb prīyate 'befriedigt, froh sein, Gefallen finden an': hence its meaning is 'glad, satisfied'. From this meaning it would be fairly difficult to deduce the meaning 'friend'. All these difficulties disappear, however, if we regard the name  and the Ossetian word limän as developments of the Old Iranian compound *friya-manah-. The first part of this compound would correspond to Avestan frya- 'lieb, wert, freund', while the second part to Avestan manah- 'Sinn, Geist: Denken, Gedanke'. The meaning of the compound would thus be 'freundlichen Sinn habend, freundlich gesinnt'. Similar compounds are very frequent in the Avesta: naire.manah-, hamō.manah-, hu.manah-, etc. There exists also the compound expressing the exact antonym of *friya-manah-: duš-manah- 'des Denken übel ist, des Denken feindlich ist, feindselig' (Bartholomae, AirWb., 753–4). The Modern Persian dušmän which is the development of the Old Iranian compound duš-manah-, as well as the Greek word  'feindlich gesinnt, feindselig' which present a close parallel, later came to mean 'Feind'; in the same way the Old Iranian compound *friya-manah- 'freundlich gesinnt' which developed into limän in Ossetian, came to acquire the meaning 'Freund'.

Olbia. See the foregoing.

Olbia, Latyshev, IOSPE I, 64: < Old Iranian *friyāna- ~ Avestan fryāna- 'Name einer gläubigen tūrischen Familie' (Vasmer, loc. cit.). It is worth noting that all the three available forms which show the development fri- > fli- came from the same district, viz. Olbia.

Old Iranian fri- > li-.

Panticapaeum, Latyshev, IOSPE II, 29A, Tanais, Latyshev IOSPE II, 446; < Old Iranian *friya-manah-.

Gorgippia, Latyshev, IOSPE II, 402: : limvna-k. Same as the preceding, with the suffix *-ka-.

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