List of reconstructed Dacian words

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This article contains a list of reconstructed words of the ancient Dacian language. They have been restored by some linguists from attested Dacian place and personal names (toponyms and anthroponyms) and from words believed to be Dacian relics in the modern Romanian and Albanian languages.[1][2]

In the case of words reconstructed from onomastic evidence, the original meanings ascribed to the names in question are derived from examination of closely cognate words and placenames in other Indo-European languages, complemented by analysis of the historical evolution of such placenames.[3][4] However, the results are hypothetical and subject, in many cases, to divergent etymological interpretations.[5]

Reconstructions derived from Romanian and Albanian words are based on the unproven theory (with some linguists and historians, this theory has become an assumption[citation needed]) that Dacian constitutes the main linguistic substratum of both languages, or the related theory that Dacian and early Albanian both descend from an immediate common ancestor.

Reconstruction of words from place and personal names[edit]


Both Georgiev and Duridanov use the comparative linguistic method to decipher ancient Thracian and Dacian names, respectively.

Georgiev argues that one can reliably decipher the meaning of an ancient place-name in an unknown language by comparing it to its successor-names and to cognate place-names and words in other IE languages, both ancient and modern. He gives several examples of his methodology, of which one is summarised here:

The city and river (a tributary of the Danube) in eastern Romania called Cernavodă. In Slavic, the name means "black water". The same town in Antiquity was known as Άξίοπα (Axiopa) or Άξιούπολις (Axioupolis) and its river as the Άξιος (Axios). The working assumption is, therefore, that Axiopa means "black water" in Dacian. According to the known rules of formation of IE composite words, this breaks down as axi = "black" and opa or upa = "water" in Dacian (the -polis element is ignored, as it is a Greek suffix meaning "city"). The assumption is then validated by examining cognate placenames. The axi element is validated by another tributary of the Danube called the Axios, which is today known as Crna reka (located in Republic of Macedonia "black river") and by the older Greek name for the Black sea, Άξεινος πόντος (Axeinos pontos, later altered to the euphemism Euxeinos pontos = "Hospitable sea"). The opa/upa element is validated by the Lithuanian cognate upė ("water").[4] This etymology is questioned by Russu: Axiopa, a name attested only in Procopius' De Aedificiis, may be a corrupt form of Axiopolis.[6] Even if correct, however, Russu's objection does not invalidate the decipherment of the axi- element.

Apart from Duridanov and Georgiev, other scholars have attempted to reconstruct Dacian and Thracian words. Russu (1967) attempted to decipher Thracian and Dacian onomastic elements (placenames and personal names) by reference to presumed proto-Indo-European roots-words.[7] Georgiev considers such a methodology (known as Wurzeletymologien = "root-etymologies") to be "devoid of scientific value".[8] This is because the root-words themselves are reconstructions, which are in some cases disputed and in all cases subject to uncertainty; multiple root-words can often explain the same word; and the list of proposed IE root-words may not be complete. Reichenkron (1966)[7] assumed that so-called "substratum" words in Romanian (those whose etymology cannot be ascribed to any of the fully documented languages that have influenced Romanian: Latin, Slavic, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish etc.) are of Dacian origin. But Polomé considers that such a methodology is not reliable.[9] This is because there is no guarantee that the substratum words are, in fact, Dacian. Instead, they could derive from other, unknown or little-known tongues at some period current in Dacia or Moesia: for example, possible pre-Indo-European language(s) of the Carpathians.

Methodological problems[edit]

The methodology used by Georgiev and Duridanov has been questioned on a number of grounds, including:

  1. The phonetic systems of Dacian and Thracian and their evolution are not reconstructed from elements derived directly from the ancient languages in question but from their approximative Greek and Latin transcripts.[10] [11] For example, Greek and Latin had no dedicated graphic signs for phonemes such as č, ġ, ž, š and others. Thus, if a Thracian or Dacian word contained such a phoneme, a Greek or Latin transcript would not represent it accurately.[12] This could result in the wrong cognate being selected to decipher the Dacian name.
  2. The etymologies that are adduced to validate the proposed Dacian and Thracian vowel- and consonant- changes (that are, in turn, used for word-reconstruction by the comparative method) are open to divergent interpretations, since the material is strictly onomastic, with the exception of Dacian plant-names and of the limited number of glosses.[13] Because of this, there are divergent and even contradictory assumptions for the phonological structure and development of the Dacian and Thracian languages. [13] Polomé (1982) notes that, in the case of personal names, the choice of etymology is often based on such assumed phonological rules. [14]
  3. Dana argues that both Georgiev and Duridanov ignore the context of the names and start from arbitrary assumptions, such as considering a name to be of Dacian origin simply because it is attested in Dacia. In Dana's opinion, the Dacian origin of some of the names is doubtful or even excluded. Also, Duridanov's method is unreliable because most of the names he considers are unique.[15]
  4. Dana questions the validity of the Baltic etymologies used to decipher the Dacian names.[15]
  5. According to Messing, Duridanov's results are in contradiction with the reconstruction of a Balto-Slavic language group, as they show many parallels between Dacian and Baltic, but only a few with Slavic languages.[16] (This objection is irrelevant if Baltic and Slavic constitute separate branches of IE (i.e. "Balto-Slavic" never existed, as some linguists maintain); or if, as Duridanov argues, Dacian acquired Baltic words through long-term proximity interaction with Baltic languages, rather than through a genetic link).

Despite these objections, Georgiev and Duridanov claim a high degree of reliability for their reconstructions. However, Polomé (1982), in his survey of the state of research into paleo-Balkan languages for Cambridge Ancient History, considers that only "20-25 Dacian, and 40-45 Thracian words have had reasonable, but not certain, Indo-European etymologies proposed". [17] This compares with c. 100 Dacian words reconstructed by Duridanov, and c. 200 Thracian words by Georgiev.

Reconstructed Dacian words[edit]

(exc Dacian plant names)
Meaning Attestation Possible Indo-European
Ancient cognates Modern cognates
dava city, settlement e.g. PN Rusidava
per son (child) inscription Decebal per Scorilo ("Decebal son of Scorilus")[18] Thrac. -por ("son of": PRN Mucapor = "son of Muka")
Iranic -pur (e.g. Shapur = "son of the king"
Latin puer ("boy")
Alb. bir ("son")
Lith. bernas ("lad"), peras[19] ("whelp"),

Latv. bērns ("child"), Rom."prichindel"("small child")

-zila or
plant, herb (bot.) Dacian plant-names Lith. žolė
Lat. zāle
Dacian word[20]
Meaning Attestation Possible Indo-European
Ancient cognates
(same meaning unless stated)
Modern cognates
(same meaning unless stated)
*aba, apa water, river RN *Calabaeus,[21] river in Scythia Minor
RN Apos
*ab- ("water", "river")

It derived from akwa (shift kw>p, gw>b) [22]

Latin amnis (der.< arch. Latin *abnis), Old Persian ap- ("river") Old Pr. ape ("river") Lith: Upė Romanian: apă,
Alb. amë "river bed" (< PAl *abnā)
Latv. RN Abava, Abula
Dac. RN Apos
Apos is a Dacian or an Illyrian river name [23] [24]
*akmon stone, rock PN Άκμονία[25]
in R. Dacia between river Thibiscum and Sarmizegethusa
*ak- ("sharp") Greek άχμον (akmon, "meteorite") Lith. akmuo
Old Latv. akmuons, Latv. akmens, akmenis
Alb. kmesë "sickle"
Romanian: ac ("needle")
Lith. RN Akmene, LN Akmenas
Phrygian PN Άκμονία (Akmonia)
Acmonia was spelled Augmonia and Agmonia by the Geographer of Ravenna[27]
*aksi- black PN Άξίοπα (Axiopa), town in Scythia Minor, RN Axios, Macedonian river (now Vardar)[28] Old Persian a-xsei 'black, dark'[28] Alb. i zi "black", nxij "tarnish" (i) According to Georgiev, Dacian Axiopa was translated by Slavic successor-population into mod. name Cernavoda ("Black Water"). River Axios was similarly translated into mod. Bulg. name Crna Rijeka ("Black River")

(ii) Acc. to Parvulescu, Axios name reflects the Iranic (via the Scythian language) root a-xsei 'black, dark' .[28] (iii) Russu argues Axiopa is not a Dacian name, but a corrupt rendition of Axiopolis (a town of Scythia Minor).[6]

*albo[29] white PN Alboca (Dacia)[29]

TN = Albocensi [29]

*albho ("white")[29] Latin albus Romanian: alb
Alb. elb (<PA albi) "barley"
*alda (noun),
*alta- (adj.)
swamp, waterlogged place PN Άλδανες (Aldanes):[30] fort near Naissus (Moesia Sup.)
PN Αλτίνα (Altina):[31] fort nr. Tramarisca
*olda, *olta ("water", "odorous") Lith. aleti ("flooded")
Latv. aluots, avuots ("source")
Arm. ałt ("filthy")
Alb. balta ("mud", "clay", "dirt")
Rom. baltă ("puddle", "pond")
Latv. RN Aldes. SN Altenes
Lith. RN Altis
The Dacian origin of Aldanes is controversial.[32]
*alm- to flow, to stream RN Almus,[33] Dacia Ripensis (Lom, Bulg.}, PN Almo (fort at river-mouth) Lith. almėti ("to flow uninterruptedly"), Latv. aluot, aluoti
*amalas mistletoe (Bot. Viscum album) PN Amlaidina,[34] prob. in Scythia Minor (Dobrogea, Rom.) Lith. ãmalas
Latv. amuols
Rus. oméla
*ara river-course, tide RN Arine[35] river in Dacia, PN Αρίνα, (Arina)[36] fort in Moesia Inf. Gothic runs ("flow") Rom. Arieş, Mureş, Siret, Criş river names in Modern Romania Lith. RN Arina
*auras, *auro[37][38] water, moisture, pool RN Αύρας (Auras),[39] river near Istros, Scythia Min. *uer, *au(e)r 'wet, moisten'[38] Greek αν-αυρος (an-auros, "without water") Alb. ujera "waters". Old Pr. RN Aure
*baidas frightening, repulsive PRN Baedarus (from Drobeta),[40] PRN Bedarus (from Potaissa)[41] *bhoidho-s (Pok. IEW 162) Lith. baidýti ("to frighten")
Latv. baîdās, bailes ("fear", "anxiety"), Russian боиться (boit'sja) "to fear"
*balas,*balos[42] strong [42] PRN Decebalus[42] *bel ('strong'),[42] [43] Sanskrit bala-m- 'force, strong' [43] Rom. fală, fălos - pride, imposing Alb. (Gheg) për-balcë "to face, defy"
*balas white PRN Balius (from Dacia)[44] *bhel- ('white, bright') [45] Ancient Greek phalos, phalios, anc. Greek balios "dappled"(<balios is considered a loan from Thracian or Illyrian; it is attested as far back as Homer's Iliad) Rom. bălan (white (horse), blonde), bălai (blonde)
Lith. bãltas
Latv. bãls
Alb. balë "bright", Alb. bal, "piebald dog or horse" [46]
*berza birch-tree (Bot. Betula) PN Bersovia,[47] Berzobis[48] town in SW Dacia *bhereg "shine" "white" including "birch-tree" [49] Old Bulg. *brěza Lith. béržas
Latv. bērzs
Alb. bredh (<earlier *berdh)
Here, it is no observable difference between Thracian and Dacian[50]
*bur, buris[51] plentiful, rich, swollen .[51] PRN Burebista and PRN Mucabur .[51] *b(e)u-, bh(e)u-('to swell, inflate, plentiful') .[51] Old Indian bhū́-ri-ḥ 'rich, a lot, immense'.[51] Lith. būrys ("a lot, a bunch, a flock")
Latv. burvis ( a mag), bur, buris (conjuring)
Alb. boll ("plenty")
*brukla cranberry (Bot. Vaccinium Oxycoccus) PN Brucla[52]
(fort in Dacia, W of R. Mureş)
*bhreu-k- ("to spread") Latv. brūkle, brūklene, brūklenāys (cowberry plant-place)
Lith. bruknė
Alb.brukë "tamarind"
Latv. MN Brùkļu
Lith. SN Bruklynė
*buta(s) house, hut, dwelling PN Βούττις (Buttis)[53](fort in Dacia Med.)
PN Boutae[54] (mountain pass into Dacia)
Lith. bùtas, butà
Latv. buts, būda ("small house")
Old Pr. buttan
Alb. buj "dwell, accommodate", bujtinë "small house"
Latv. PN Butani
Old Pr. PN Butyn
Lith. RN Butėnių (kaimas)
The Dacian origin of Bouttis is controversial.[55]
*čuk-[56] peak, summit PN Thōkyōdis Via[57]
PN *Thoukysidantikī[58]
*ḱu- ("sharp", "pike") Rom. ciucă, cioc "beak"
Bulg. čuka "small hill"
Latv. čuk-ur-s (summit of roof)
Alb. çuka "crest", suka "hillock"
Greek τσούϰα "tumulus"
Hung. csùcs
Rom. MN Ciuc (possibly from Hung. csík)
Rom. MN Ciucaș
*daba character, nature PRN Δαβεις (Dabis) Old Slavonic dob- Lith. dabá
Latv. daba
Pol. PRN Doba, Dobe
*daba put in order, good [59] PRN Dabeis [59] *dabh ('arrange, suitable')[59]
*d(i)egis burning, shining PRN Degis dhegʷh ('to burn')[60] Old Hindi dáhati ("it burns"), Mid Iranian daig Lith. dègti ("to burn")
Latv. deglis ("burning torch")
Alb. djeg ("burn")
*dina(s) place, region, plain PN Amlaidina, Asbolodina Old Pr. PN Resedynen
*dita(s) light (noun), bright (adj.) PRN Ditugentus[61] *dei-, *di- (to shine, shimmer) Thrac. *ditas Alb. ditë ("day") Old Pr. PRN Ditte
Lith. PN Ditava
*drasda thrush (bird) PN Drasdea Old Slav. drozda Lith. strãzdas
Lat. draza
Eng. thrush
Swe. trast
Irish truid
Old Pr. PN Drasda
*dribas/*drigas wild, restless PRN Dribalus[62]
PRN Aurelius Drigissa,[63] a veteran of Legio VII Claudia
Latv. dribis, dribulis ("a restless man")
Lith. drignis
Alb. dridhem "to shake, tremble"
Latv. PN Driba
Lith. PN Drigotas
Old Latv. RN Dryzel
Rus. (Baltic origin) RN Drigin'a
*duia swamp or mist, drizzle PN Δουιανα (Duiana), fort in Dacia Mediterranea[64] Lith. dujà (both meanings)
Latv. dujs ("dirty")
Alb. ndyj "dirt"
Latv. PN Dujas
Russian (Baltic origin) RN Dyja
Lith. PN Daujėnai
The Dacian origin of this toponym is controversial.[65]
*dūmas dark brown PN Dimum (from *Dumum) Old Irish dumhach ("dark, foggy") Lith. dūmas
Latv. dūms
Alb.tym ("fog, smoke, uncertainty")
E.Bengali. "dhuma" (smoke, fog)
Thrac. PN Δὐμη (Dimi)
*galtis sheet-ice, frost PN Galtis gel(ǝ) ('cold, freeze')[66] Latv. gàla
Rus. golot
Lith. gailus (cold) gelti (to bite, to sting, to ache)
Old Pr. PN Galtengarb
*genukla pasture, meadow PN Γένουκλα (Genucla)[67]
(fortress of Getan king Zyraxes on Danube)
Lith. ganyklà
Latv. ganīkla
Alb. gjanë "river mud"
Latv. SN Dzęnuklis
*ger[68] smart, awake[68] PRN Gerula[68] *ger-4, grēi-(to grow; to awake)[69] [68] Latin agilis

Rom. ”ager” ”smart, clever”

*geras good (-natured), kind PRN Gerulo
PRN Gerula
*guer(α)-[70] Lith. gēras,
Alb. gjorë "miserable, wretched"
Lith. PN Gerulių, RN Gerùlis
*germas hot, warm PN Γέρμαζα (Germaza), PN Γερμἰζερα (Germizera) *ghwer- Latin formus
Sanskrit gharma
Rom. "jar" "embers"
Latv. gařme
Gr. θερμὀς,
Alb. zjarm "fire, heat"
Thrac. PN Γερμανἰα
Bulg. RN Germania
*gilus deep PN Gildoba,[71] unknown "Thracian" location where St. Julius was revered Lith. gilùs
Latv. dziļš
Old Pr. gillin
Lith. RNs Gilijà, Gilupis, Gỹlė
Old Pr. LN Gilge
Latv. LN Dziļaune
*gira (giria) forest or mountain PN Giridava gʷeru ('pole, pike')[72] Old Hindi girí-h ("mountain") Lith. girė, girià ("forest")
Latv. dzire ("mountain")
Rus. gora 'mountain'
Alb. gur "stone"
*granda plank PN Γράνδετον (Grandeton), fort near Naissus(Moesia Superior) Lith. grandà ("bridge-plank")
Old Pr. grandico
Latv. gruõdi
Lith. PN Grandų káimas
Latv. RNs Gruõds, Gruõdi, Gruõdupis
Rom. grinda
The Dacian origin of this toponym is controversial.[73]
*griva river-bed or river-mouth PN Γρίβο (Grivo),[74] fort near Naissus (moesia Sup.) Thrac. ? *grava ("valley" or "river-bed") Latv. grĩva ("river-mouth")
Lith. greva ("river-bed")
Alb. gravë "cave, lair"
Lith. RN Grýva
Latv. RNs Grīva, Grīvīte
The Dacian origin of this toponym is controversial.[75]
kaga[76] sacred, holy kaga[77] *kʷog(h)- (< *kʷeg(h)-) Old Slav. kazat′, skazat′ ("to tell", "to say")
*kalas catfish (?) RN Calabaeus Latin squalus ("shark")
Old Norse hualr ("whale")
Old Pr. kalis ("catfish")
*kapas hill, slope PN Καπίδαυα (Capidava) Lith. kãpas
Latv. kãpa ("dune, slope")
Alb. kapë ("huge heap")
*kapura hill PN Capora[78] (in basin of river Tyras (Dniester) Lith. kapùrna ("mossy mound")
*karpa to cut, stone [79] MN Carpates TN Karpoi, Carpi, [79] [80] *sker, *ker ("to cut"), [79][80] Alb. karpe (*karp-m-) ("stone"), [79] këput "to cut". Carpathian Mts.,[79] Carpi tribe .[80]
*karsa cave PN Carsion
Thrac. PN Carsaleon
*katas stable, animal enclosure PN Κάττουζα (Cattuza) Avestan kata- ("cellar") Alb. katoq, kotec, "animal enclosure" Latv. PN Katužs
*keda seat, stool PN Cedonia Lith. kedė
*kerba swampy ground PN Cerbatis Lith. kirba Lith. RN Kerbẽsas
*kerna bush PN *Cerna Old. Pr. kirno
Lith. kirna ("undergrowth")
Lith. LN Kernỹs
*kerta clearing in a wood PN Certie Lith. kertė
*kina dry ground (mound) in a swamp PN Ciniscus Lith. kinė, kinis
Latv. cine, cin(i)s
*klevas maple-tree (Bot.) PN Clevora Lith. klevas
Latv. klavs
*krata swampy place or pile, heap PN Κρατίσκαρα (Cratiscara) Lith. kratà ("heaped"), kritùs ("swampy")
Latv. krata ("shaking when driving on bamppy road")
The Dacian origin of this toponym is controversial.[81]
*kurta grove (stand of planted trees, often sacred) PN Κουρτα (Curta); Thrac. PN Κουρτουσουρα (Curtusura) Old Pr. korto
Alb. korije "grove"
*lug- swamp, bog RN Λύγινος (Luginos) Illyr. ἔλος Λοὐγεον Latv. luga
Rus. luža ("puddle")
Alb.lug ("trough"), ligatinë ("bog"), luginë ("valley")
Gallic PN Lugdunum (Lyon)
*mala (river) bank, shore, beach PN Dacia Malvensis (name of Roman province) Rom. mal
Latv. mala
Dacia Malvensis meant "river-bank Dacia", ref. to its situation on (north) bank of Danube. Name Latinised to Dacia Riparia or Ripensis (Latin: ripa = "bank") in new province created by Aurelian on south side of Danube after evacuation of Dacia.
*maska pool, puddle PN Μασκάς (Maskas) Latv. PN Mãskas
*mauda(s) hemlock (Conium)(bot.) PN Pomodiana Lith. maudá, máudas Illyrian PN Pamodus (island)
*medeka glade (clearing in a forest) PN Μέδεκα (Medeka) Lith. medėkas The Dacian origin of this toponym is controversial.[82]
*musas mould, moss RN Μουσαίος (Museos), Thrac. PN Μωσυπα (Muspa) Old Slav. мъсһъ
Old High German mos ("swamp")
Gr. μὐσος (músos)
Lith. mūsas (mùsas)
Alb. myshk "mould, moss"
*nara(s) river, brook RN (Rom. from Dac.) Nǎruja Lith. nérti ("to dive", "swim underwater")
Alb. hum-nerë "precipice, chasm"
Lith. RN Neris, Narùpis
Illyr. RN Νάρον
*net- flow PN Νετίνδαυα (Netindava), RN Netupa Latin natare ("to swim") Alb.not "to swim" Rom.înot "to swim"
*padas threshing-floor PN Παδισάρα (Padisara) Lith. pãdas
*pala, *palma swamp, bog PN Παλαδεινα (Paladina); PN Palmatis Latin palus Lith. pãlios
Alb.pellg ("swamp")
Lith. RN Palminỹs
*pil- to flow RN Gilpil Lith. pilti ("to pour, to flow")
Latv. pile ("to drip")
*preida pine-tree (Bot. pinus) PN Πρέιδις (Pridis) Latv. priẽde
Alb.bredh ("fir tree")
*put- to swell, thicken PN Putina Lith. pūstis ("to swell"); Lith pùtinas ("snowball") Old Latv. PRN Putte
*rabo, rebo 'to move' 'to flow' 'be in motion' RN Rabon river in Dacia (Jiul?) It was etymologically connected with Arabon (Narabon?) from Pannonia [83] *rebh 'to move' 'to flow' 'be in motion' [84]
*ramus peaceful, restful PN Ραμίδαυα (Ramidava); Thrac. PN Rhamae Old Hindi rámate Lith. ramùs
Alb. ramun ("fallen asleep")
*rō(u)ka drizzle, fine rain PN (from RN) Rhocobae Lith. rõkė
Alb. rrjedh "to flow" or rajka "falling(snow, rain etc.)"
*rus- to flow PN Rusidava; Thrac. PN Ροὐσιον Lith. ruséti ("to flow slowly")
Alb.rreshje "precipitation"
*san-apa confluence (of two rivers) RN Sanpaeus Lith. Santaka Lith. LN Sampė (< *San-upė)
*sausas dry PRN Sausa *saus- ('dry')[85] Lith. saũsas
Alb. thatë "dry"
*sermas river, river-current PN Sirmium
*skabas sharp, quick, lively PRN Σκαβης (Scabis) Latin scabere ("to scratch") Lith. skubus ("prompt, swift"), skabùs ("sharp"), skabrùs ("quick, lively")
Alb. i shkathët "quick, prompt"
*skaudus painful, sad or powerful TN Scaugdae Lith. skaudùs
*skena clearing (in a wood) PN Scenopa Lith. nuo-skena
*skuia fir-tree (Bot.) PN Σκουάνες (Scuanes) sk(h)u̯oi̯-, sk(h)u̯i(i̯)- ('needle, thorn')[85] Old Slav. chvoja (pine needles/branches) Latv. skuja ("spruce-needle")
Alb. hu "stake, picket, pole"
The Dacian origin of this toponym is controversial.[86]
*skumbras hill, down PN Σκουμβρο (Scumbro) The Dacian origin of this toponym is controversial.[87]
*spirus fast, quick, rapid RN Πασπίριος (Paspirios) Lith. spėrus
Old Alb. shpjertë, Alb. shpejtë "fast, quick"
*stendas stiff, rigid, viscose PN Στένδαι (Stende) Lith. standùs Latv. RN Steñde The Dacian origin of this toponym is controversial.[88]
*suka rip, tear, gap PN Σουκίδαυα (Sucidava); Thrac. PN Succi (mt. pass) Lith. šùkė
Latv. sukums
Alb. shuk or shkun "to shake, beat, push"
*sunka liquid, to flow PN (from RN) Σονκητα (Sunkita) Lith. sunkà ("liquid", "tree-sap") Lith. RN Sunkìnė
*suras salty PN Σούρικον (Suricon) Lith. sūras
Alb. shurrë "urine, sour liquid"
*taras chatterer, gossiper PRN Tara Alb.thërras "call"
*tauta people, nation, country PRN Tautomedes Old Pr. tauto ("country")
Goth. thiuda ("people")
Old Irish tuath ("people")
Lith. tautà ("people, country")
*tiras bare, barren, desolate FN Τίριξις (Tirizis) Lith. týras
*tut- blow, emit smoke RN Τοὐτης (Tutes) Lith. tűtúoti ("to blow", "to sound horn")
Ger. tuten ("to hoot")
Alb. tyta "pipe, barrel", tym/tymos "smoke, to smoke"
Lith RN Tūtupis
*upa river PN Scenopa Lith. upė
*urda(s) stream, brook RN Όρδησσός (Ordessos); Thrac. PN (from RN) Οὐρδαυς (Urdanes) Lith. urdulỹs
Latv. urdaviņa
Alb. hurdhë "brook"
Celtic RN Urda
*vaigas fast, rapid PN (from RN) Aegeta Lith. RN Váigupis
*varpa whirlpool PN (from RN) Άρπις (Harpis) Lith. verpetas
Alb. vorbull "whirlpool"
Lith. RN Varpė
*visas fertile, fruitful PN Βισ-δίνα (Visdina) Lith. vislus, vaisùs Lith. PN Visalaukė
*zalmo- fur, skin, shield PRN Ζαλμοδεγικος (Zalmodenicos)
Ζάλμοξις (Zalmoxis)
Alb. thelmë "rag, patch" (in sewing)
*zelmas shoot (of a plant) PRN Ζαλμοδεγικος Lith. želmuo
Alb. çel ("blossom")
*zud-as careful, precise PRN Zude Latv. zūdit ("to take care") Lith. PN Zude, Zudius
*zuras hot, shining RN Zyras Old Hindi jūrvati ("scorched") Latv. zvêruot ("to light up", "shine"), Lith.žaros ("sparkles, glow") Latv. PN (< RN) Zūras
Lith. RN Žiūrà

N.B. Asterisk (*before word) indicates reconstructed word
PN = 'settlement placename

PRN = personal name
TN = tribal name

RN = river/stream/brook name
LN = lake/pool/spring/waters name
SN = swamp name

MN = mountain/hill name
FN = field/meadow name
PLN = plant name

Reconstruction from Romanian and Albanian words[edit]

Georgiev, Duridanov and Russu concur that the Dacian language constitutes the main pre-Latin substratum of the modern Romanian language. Duridanov also accepts Georgiev's theory that modern Albanian is descended from Daco-Moesian. Where words in modern Albanian and/or Romanian can be plausibly linked to an Indo-European root and modern cognates of similar meaning, a reconstruction of the putative Dacian originals have been proposed by Duridanov, who included them in a separate list from words reconstructed from placenames.

CAVEAT: The following word-reconstructions are based on the assumption that the Albanian language is descended from Daco-Moesian. This theory is contested by many linguists, especially Albanian, who consider the language a direct descendant of the extinct Illyrian language.[89] Thus, reconstructions based on modern Albanian words, or Romanian substratum words with Albanian cognates, may in reality represent ancient Illyrian, rather than Dacian, elements.[citation needed] In addition, the reconstructions below, unlike those in Table A above, are not validated by Dacian place- or personal names. The "Dacianity" of the reconstructions is therefore more speculative than those derived from placenames. (N.B. Even if Albanian is descended from Illyrian, the reconstructions below could nevertheless represent Dacian elements if the Daco-Illyrian theory - that the Dacian and Illyrian languages were closely related - is correct; or if the words below represent Illyrian borrowings from Daco-Moesian)

Meaning Albanian/Romanian
Possible Indo-European
Modern cognates Notes
*bred- fir-tree (Abies alba) Alb. bredh, Rom. brad *bhreg'-os, *bhrog'-os (Pokorny IEW 139) Rom. brad
Lith. brãzas (resin), Old Slav. brěza (birch)
*daina song Rom. dialect daină, doină, Alb. zana "mountain fairy" *doina Lith. dainà, Lat. daīņa
*draga yeast Alb. drā *dhraghā (Pok. IEW 251) Rom. "drojdie" Lith. drãgės, Lat. dradži, Old Pr. dragios, Old Bulg. drożdje, Pol. drożdże
*gen- to hunt, to chase Alb. gjanj (hunt, chase) *gu̯hen- Lith. genù (giñti)
*gerna skin Alb. zorrë *gųernā (Pok. aaO. 474) Lith. žárna, Lat. zařna
*kasla cough Alb. kollë kųāslā (Pok. aaO. 649) Lith. kosulỹs, Lat. kašļi, Old Slav. kašĭlĭ
*kesa time Alb. kohë *k(u)ē(i)sā (Pok. aaO. 636) Old Pr. kismān, Old Bulg. časă, Pol. czas
*kur when Alb. kur (when, as) *ku̯ur- (Pok. a.a.O. 647) Lith. kuř (where), Lat. kùr (where), Arom. kùri (whom), Toch. kwri
*lad- hazel-bush Alb. lethi, laithi *lag'(h)- (P0k. aaO. 660) Lith. lazà (lazdà), Old Pr. laxde
*laid- mud, loam Alb. leth (-dhi) *loid(h) (Pok. aaO. 662) Old Pr. laydis
*mal- bank, shore or mountain Alb. mal (mountain), Rom. mal (bank, shore) *mol- (Pok. aaO. 721f) Lat. mala (beach, shore)
*mat- to measure, mass Alb. mat, mas, matë *mot- (Pok. aaO. 703) Lith. mãtas (mass), matúoti (to measure)
*met- year, time Alb. mot *mēto- (Porzig Glied. 176) Lith. mētas (time, year), Latv. męts (space), Old Pr. mettan (year)
*skrebr- hornbeam tree: Carpinus betulus) Alb. shkozë *skrēbh-ro- (Pok. IEW 943) Lith. skrúoblas and variants, Lat. skābardis Old Pr. scoberwis derivation: Bulg. skreba (Clematis vitalba)
*spand- hellebore (plant: Helleborus purpurescens) Alb. shpendër, Rom. spînz *sponǎ(i)- (Georgiev 1965 p80) Lat. spuóds (bright)
*staig- way, path, passage Alb. shteg *stoigh- (Pok. IEW 1017) Lat. stiga, Gothic staiga, Ger. steig
*skrumb ash, burnt material Alb. shkrumb, Rom. scrum *skrṃb(h)- Lith. skrembù (skrebti) Old Prussian placename Scrumbayn (today Schrombehnen)
*strunga milking-enclosure Alb. shtrungë, Rom. strungă *strṇgā Dacian placename Στρὁγγες (Proc. Aed. IV.4)
*zuv- fish Rom. juvete (a species of fish) *g'hduụ- (Pok. IEW 416) Lith. žuvis Lat. dial. zuva Dac. placename Ζουσἱδαυα

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Duridanov (1969) 90-5
  2. ^ Georgiev (1976) 276-8
  3. ^ Duridanov (1969) 12-13
  4. ^ a b Georgiev (1976) 277
  5. ^ Polomé 1982, p. 878
  6. ^ a b See Russu 1963, p. 131 and Russu 1969, p. 76. Ἀξιόπλ is assumed to be an abbreviation for Axiopolis in the manuscripts of De Aedificiis.
  7. ^ a b Posner & Green 1981, p. 71.
  8. ^ Georgiev 1977, p. 276.
  9. ^ Polome & 1982 876.
  10. ^ Fisher & 2003 570.
  11. ^ Polome & 1982 885.
  12. ^ Paliga & 1986 120.
  13. ^ a b Polome 1982, p. 878-879.
  14. ^ Polome 1982, p. 881.
  15. ^ a b Dana 2003, p. 169-170.
  16. ^ Messing 1972, p. 962.
  17. ^ Polome 1982, p. 872.
  18. ^ McKendrick (1965) 45
  19. ^ "Lietuvių kalbos žodynas (Academic Dictionary of Lithuanian)". Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  20. ^ Source unless otherwise specified: Duridanov (1969) pp90-5
  21. ^ ISM I 68
  22. ^ Walde-Pokorny 1959, p. 46
  23. ^ Kitson 1996, p. 218.
  24. ^ Athanassakis 1999, p. 108.
  25. ^ Ptolemy III.8.4
  26. ^ Rav. 203.14
  27. ^ Schütte, 1917 & 85.
  28. ^ a b c Parvulescu & 1989 291.
  29. ^ a b c d Russu, 1967 & 90.
  30. ^ Proc. De Aed IV.4
  31. ^ Proc. De Aed. IV.11
  32. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 11, but Celtic according to Beševliev 1970, p. 104, cf. Aldaniae, Aldaniacus mons.
  33. ^ It. Ant. 219.4; Tab. Peut. VII.5
  34. ^ CIL III. 13743
  35. ^ Rav. IV.14
  36. ^ Proc. De Aed. IV.11
  37. ^ Duridanov (1969) 91
  38. ^ a b Russu, 1967 & 137 and 143.
  39. ^ Herod. IV.49
  40. ^ CIL III.8021
  41. ^ CIL III.917
  42. ^ a b c d Russu, 1969 & 150 and 163.
  43. ^ a b Walde et al. 110.
  44. ^ CIL III.8064
  45. ^ Walde et al.
  46. ^ Demiraj et al.
  47. ^ Rav. 204.3; Tab. Peut. VII.3
  48. ^ Prisc. Inst. VI.13
  49. ^ Walde et al. 170.
  50. ^ Solta, 1980 & 22.
  51. ^ a b c d e Russu, 1967 & 97 and 132.
  52. ^ Tab. Peut. VIII.2
  53. ^ Proc. De Aed IV.4; Hes. 122.26
  54. ^ Jord. Get. 74
  55. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 84, but Celtic according to Beševliev 1970, p. 99.
  56. ^ Olteanu (2007)
  57. ^ Olteanu 2007. Θωκύωδις βία in Proc. De Aed., IV.11,15
  58. ^ Olteanu 2007. *Θουκυσιδαντικη is one of the strategies of Thrace. Θουκυσιδαντικῆς on IGB IV 2338.
  59. ^ a b c Russu, 1969 & 151 and 158.
  60. ^ Walde et al. 240.
  61. ^ CIL III.835
  62. ^ CIL III.3888
  63. ^ CIL III.14507
  64. ^ Proc. De Aed. IV.4; Hes. 121, 17
  65. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 151, but Latin according to Russu 1962, p. 398 and Beševliev 1970, p. 97, derived with suffix -iana.
  66. ^ Walde et al. 366.
  67. ^ Dio LI.26
  68. ^ a b c d Russu, 1967 & 137 and 140.
  69. ^ Walde-Pokorny, Julius 598f.
  70. ^ Pokorny 478
  71. ^ Acta SS Nov. II.155 XIII Kal. ian.
  72. ^ Walde et al. 479.
  73. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 108, but Latin according to Beševliev 1970, p. 106: Granditum [castellum].
  74. ^ Proc. De Aed. IV.4; H. 124, 9
  75. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 109, but Latin or Celtic according to Beševliev 1970, pp. 25, 114: Gribus possibly derived from a Celtic *gravo = "sand".
  76. ^ Sluşanschi (1989)
  77. ^ Olteanu 1989. The word καγα occurs twice, in ISM II 36 and in ISM II 138, with the meaning sacrum.
  78. ^ Rav. 178, 3
  79. ^ a b c d e Russu, 1969 & 114 and 205.
  80. ^ a b c Poghirc & 1989 302.
  81. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 266, possibly derived from a Greek name, but Celtic according to Beševliev 1970, p. 93.
  82. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 291, but Latin according to Beševliev 1970, p. 97: the adjective medicus.
  83. ^ Russu & 1969 134.
  84. ^ Russu, 1969 & 153 and 158.
  85. ^ a b Walde et al. 880.
  86. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 461, but Latin according to Beševliev 1970, p. 100: squama = "scale, metal plate".
  87. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 459,461, related to the Thracian tribe Σκόμβροι, and to the mountain name Σκόμβρος, but Latin according to Beševliev 1970, pp. 57, 111: scomber = "mackerel".
  88. ^ Thracian according to Detschew 1957, p. 479, but Latin according to Beševliev 1970, pp. 94, 114.
  89. ^ Polome 192, p. 888.
  90. ^ Duridanov 1969 93-5 unless otherwise stated




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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]