Re to J Silk: kaDevara & cadaaver

thillaud at thillaud at
Wed Oct 30 16:31:06 UTC 1996

>I am almost entirely ignorant of IE and associated problems, but is it
>possible to explain briefly why a connection between kaDevara and lat.
>cadaaver is correctly ignored by Mayrhoffer?
>J Silk

        Briefly: A link between this two words is not strictly impossible, but:
we can't prove it by known phonetical laws nor our knowledge of their languages:

        1) both words are long but don't split in their own languages, none
of them looks clearly as compound or derived in an IE way:
        2) in kaDevara, hesitations in spelling betray a non-IE origin,
kaDa/kala 'dumb' is very far from 'body, corpse' and what would be i(i)vara
        3) cadaaver is perhaps related with cadoo 'fall' but this latter
corresponds probably to skr. zad- and, anyway, the final is obscure (and if
a perfect participe -wes we expect skr. -vas)
        4) in a diphthong the 'i' in kaDevara (and other forms) can't be a
laryngal, just a poor 'i': why vanished in cadaaver ?
        5) we don't know equivalent word in a third IE language.

        The only possibilities I can see are: both belong to a badly known
part of IE (popular, womanly, funeral, ?), are reinterpretations by false
etymologies of a unknow isolated IE word or are borrowed from an other
unknown language. But nothing of that is a better proof than: they come
from the venusian teachers in their flying saucers and that's an
irrefutable proof of their existence!

Dominique Thillaud - Universite de Nice - Sophia Antipolis
email : thillaud at

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