Close this search box.

Difficulties of Sanskrit drapsá- ‘drop’ from Proto-Indo-European *dherebh- / *dhrebh-(so-): ‘analogical (original) ps’?

Dr. Mirushe Hoxha,

Faculty of Philology “Blaze Konseki,” “Ss. Cyril and Methodius University” (UKIM), North Macedonia

The second opinion of Mayrhofer (1992, pp. 754-755) on Sanskrit (Skr.) drapsá– differs from his first opinion on this word (1963, pp. 71-72). In his second etymology, Mayrhofer (1992, ibid.) traces back the original meanings of Skr. drapsá– to Proto-Indo-European (PIE.) *dreb– ‘to tremble, quiver’; under one condition, Avestan (Av.) drafša-, the equivalent of Skr. drapsá-, is from PIE. *dreb– as well (ibid., p. 754). This marks the scholar’s withdrawal of his first opinion on the different meanings of Skr. drapsá– from more than one older root, its meaning ‘drop’ from PIE. *dhrebh-so– (Mayrhofer, 1963, ibid.). Main references of the old etymology of Mayrhofer (ibid.) are Uhlenbeck’s (1898/1899, p. 131) reconstructed *dhrabzha-, and Pokorny’s (1959, p. 257) PIE. *dherebh- ‘to harden’. The present study aims to illuminate an issue that is missing from the debates: meaning ‘drop’ of Skr. drapsá– from PIE. *dherebh– / *dhrebh-so– / *dhrabzha– results with the origin of its cluster –ps- from an ‘analogical original ps’ alternating with ‘analogical ps’, while the ‘analogical (original) ps’ in Skr. drapsá– contradicts the most attested meaning of this word, viz. ‘drop’. Unfortunately, we still prefer to refer to the old etymology of Pokorny (ibid., 257; 211); consequently, etymology of Av. drafša– (out of it Middle Persian drafš, New Persian derafš) remains rather floating. Arguments on the doubtfulness of ‘analogical (original) ps’ in Skr. drapsá– ‘drop’ serve also as an introduction to the plausibility of Av. drafša– and Skr. drapsá– from PIE. *dreb– (from PIE. *der-3 ‘to run’) + *-s-, as opposed to their equally doubtful origin from PIE. *drep– (from PIE. *der-4 ‘to cut’) + *-s-.

Keywords: etymology, drapsá-, *dherebh-, *dhrebh-so-, *dhrabzha-, ‘analogical (original) ps’, *drep-, *dreb-, drafša-.

The above abstract is a part of the article which was accepted at The Eighth International Conference on Languages, Linguistics, Translation and Literature (WWW.LLLD.IR), 14-15 February 2023, Ahwaz.