Texts written with ideograms can be more or less read in all languages. Phonetic writings can mostly be read only in the language they were written in. This is only because everybody has learned how to pronounce the different letters or signs.
In reality, our European writings are only partially phonetic and some of them very little.
Finally, what is it really that we see on the paper?
Well, the answer cannot be given without language-comparisons. This is not a question of linguistics. It is good to have a dictionary sometimes. But words at the end are simply objects, just as signs are.
It is clear to me that a word, can’t be recreated as it sounded 2000 years earlier out of the written text. If I read it out loud now, Cicero would not be able to understand it by listening to it. The written text is fixed, unchangeable, but the sound, the pronunciation of it has changed over time like flags moving it in the wind. Moreover, the letter-sound relationship has changed also in time.
Once I was listening to a man speaking on TV and I needed the explanation text to understand him. As time went on however, my understanding improved and I was able to stop using the text on the screen. He was speaking a fine Hungarian but in a strange dialect.
Therefore, what we’re talking about above is not linguistics and neither is the following. We are looking for the relationship between written text and the sound of a word. We are just looking at letters. Should we find further logical relations then we must simply accept them, because there are no hidden traps.
We will apply the shadow-effect in a more refined manner than before.
We don’t want to know everything immediately. We won’t learn here how the chosen words were once pronounced and we will not answer this question (but we take it as a gift that we have learned something new). Thus, we avoid the big problem that linguists must solve by looking for the pronunciation of a word and finding out what changed over time, by how much and why.
With this method, we give up the possibility of learning how a word originally sounded and cannot follow the course of its changes.
How much of the bases will still remain us for our investigations? Well, what we have lost were not bases at all, only guesswork. But there are two supports, which can help us to examine the past.
The first is the “shadow-effect” and the second the “root-system”. We can discover what people once said by looking at it today and applying both methods together. We can tell which modern word or root was used by our early ancestors. It does not matter how they pronounced it. More precisely, evaluating that based on our results could become a future task for science. The picture becomes clearer if we separate these two objectives.
Of course, we present here only as much of this examination as is necessary to prove the profound interaction of ancient languages (not the random takeovers) – here Latin – with early Hungarian.
Don’t pay attention to the language in the following and don’t think as a linguist, just watch the letters, the row of letters. If, by watching the shadow-effect, we should meet word-roots of today, that move as shadows every time than we can be sure that those words were part of our vocabulary even in prehistoric times.
If a rule works well than it exists.
Occasional sounding prophecies may be possible.
The construction of the language will still remain a mystery, but examining that is the linguist’s job. However, the words tell us much of what happened in the minds of the people creating them, and this will be revealed to us through the method we are using.
We learned in the chapter “The delight of pictographic thinking” how many pronunciation-variants of the word-root ‘ser’ exist (ser, sür, sur, szer, ször…..), why the meaning of the created words is the same and which basic picture holds these variants together.
Look at the Latin examples below, watch the shadow-effect and see how the different variants of ‘ser’ will turn up. (The Latin ‘s’ is often ‘sh’ in Hungarian.)
sur <> szár, szál
|surúlo||száraz||(dry, cutting stem)|
|surculus||szálka, s<r szárka||(splinter, little stem)|
|surcularius||sűrü <shuerue>||bozótos (dense, bushy)|
|surgo||serken <shεrkεn>||(shoots up, arises)|
|surripio||surran-lop <shurran-lop>||(to pilfer)|
|surrogo||szállít ??||(to put in another place)|
|sursum-deorsum||serken-szárad||(up – down)|
We change now the ‘u’ of sur to an ‘a’ receiving sar:
sar <> szár, ser
|sarissa||száras <saarash>||(long Macedonian lance)|
|sarmenta||szármány, származék||(derivative, cut off twigs)|
|sarmenticus||szárból, rőzséből||(out of brushwood)|
|sartago||serpenyő <shεrpεnjœ>||(frying pan)|
The sartago – serpenyő (frying pan) seems not to match, but it only appears that way. As we have seen before, ser(ken) could sound as szár and sartago may be closer to sercegő <shεrczεgœ> (crackling) than to serpenyő. Otherwise, serpen and sercen (crackles) are close to each other as well. (The fat in the frying pan serceg, is crackling, fizzling). Sartago could be (after t<c change) even sarcago and then it means sercegő (crackling) with back-vowels.
We don’t know how the letter ‘s’ was pronounced (s or sh) in the samples above.
Change the ‘a’ in sar to an ‘e’ or ‘o’ to get ser or sor:
sor, ser <> szór, szer
|sero||szór, vet, soroz <shoroz>||sero szór, vet, soroz <shoroz> (sow, plant, enlist)|
|servio||szervez, szer <srvz>||(observe, reserve, service)|
|series||sor, sorozat <shorozat>||(row, serial)|
|sortitio||sorsolás <shorsholaash||(deciding by lot)|
|serpo||surran <shurran>||(sliding like serpents)|
|syrtis||szirt, zátony <zaatonj>||(cliff, reef)|
Now we modify ‘s’ to a ‘c’ and receive cer:
cer <> cser <chεr>
|cerrus||cserfa <chεrfa>||(oak tree)|
Changing ‘c’ to ‘cs’ (ch) did not work in the case of cherry, because ‘cseresznye’ is not connected to the root ‘cer’, (it is connected to the ker, kör, gur –root, it was brought from the city of Kerasoüs, today Keresur in Middle-East). The word csörtet has the variant of the root tör, tor (breaks, torments) e.g., csörtet = törtet (elbows one’s way). Comparing cerrus and cserfa is uncertain, but the fact that the ‘c’ changes commonly to ‘cs’ (ch) can’t be a random happening.
Now, leave out the vowel between ‘c’ and ‘r’ and receive just a ‘cr’
Cr <> ser, ször
|creber||sűrü <shuerue>||(dense standing)|
|crinis||szőr <sœr>||(hair, bristle)|
In every case, there is a member of the ‘ser’ series in the Hungarian column instead of ‘cr’. The roots ser, sör, szőr, sür… are really one root with different pronunciations. We can state after this sequence of words that the ‘cr’ in Latin always corresponds with ‘ser’ or one of its variants on the Hungarian side. The last proof is cervisia = sör, in which case the ‘e’ couldn’t be left out because of the following ‘v’.
The early ways of the local customs, use of letters, spelling and even alphabets are not easy to follow.
We learned from the list above that szűrő (sieve) is in reality a sűr-ő >> sűritő <shueritœ> (thickener) and that cremo – krém (cream) also had the same meaning. The szörp (syrup, squash) is condensed also.
We wouldn’t have recognized these if we hadn’t analyzed the possible pronunciation variants of the root ‘ser’ in a previous chapter.
We receive more support for our theory by comparing more words starting with ‘cr’ in Latin. Taking a step further, we will see a change, however also on the Hungarian side:
|crepat||csörög <chœrœg>||(jangle, jingle)|
|crepitus||csörgés, zörgés||(rattling, chattering)|
|crepundia||csörgetyű <chœrgεtjue>||(toy-rattler, plaything)|
|(con)crepat||csörömpöl <chœrœmpœl>||(makes a rattling noise)|
|crepitat||csörren <chœrrεn>||(sudden clink)|
|crepito||csörög, zörög||(it jangles, clatters)|
|crepo||zörget||(he cracks, resounds)|
|crepat||zörren||(sudden small crack)|
The above differences at the beginning of the words are only due to the variants of spelling, pronunciation and alphabets.
Csörög seems to be identical with zörög according to the list above. We could write: csörög-zörög, csörgetyű-zörgetyű. Thus, cr = csör = zör. In every Latin word not only the ‘cr’ but the ‘crep’ is identical as well. Thus, back in old times csörög could have sounded as csöröp or even as today csörömp <chœrœmp> (the rattle, clatter). We savedcsöröp as cserép <chεrep> (tile, flower-pot) Cserép got its name because it csörömpöl <chœrœmpœl>, makes a rattling noise. Further variants are csorba <chorba> (notchy), for the cserép csorbul if it gets notched and cserfes <chεrfεsh> means chatter.
The krepp-papír is a crackling paper.
We assume that our word ‘cirip’ <czirip> (chirr) saved this root as well. The simple pronunciation variant of crep, cirip are: cirip-cerep-cserep-csöröp. See further:
csörren / cserren <chœrrεn> (clink)
csurog, (run, flow)
csurran (trickles, drip)
we often double as in
csicsereg <chichεrεg> (twitter, chirp)
the back vowel variant:
csacsog <chachog> (prattle, chatters)
Assumingly, the ‘m’ is only a guest-sound in csörömp as in
Kelepel – kalapál (klatters – hammers)
Kolompol – kalimpál (sheep-bells ringing – thump the piano-keys) A modification of meaning happens, but all use the root ‘kal’ as in the words
Kólint (strikes, knocks) andkalapács <kalapaacs> (hammer) as well.
The word root of cirip, cserep, csörömp, crepat is a variant of root tör-, tor- after a t<c<cs change. The same root became after a t<d change dör-, dor-, dur-.
See dörömből <dœrœmbœl> (pounds the door)
or dorombol (durr).
This is why, if one csörmpöl <chœrœmpœl> (rattles)
or zörget <zœrgεt> (clatters),
then he dörömböl (pounds) and
if somebody tör <tœr> (breaks)
then he darabol (to break into pieces) as well.
Letör egy darabot (to break off a piece)
A dárda <daarda> (spear)
could be a törde
or törő (breaker) and after r<l change toló (the pushing)
We found some consonance between the Hungarian and Latin languages and much more. While we planed the bumpy road between the alphabets, soundings and spellings, we found ourselves in the past and through this we better understand who we are today. Now we know that the konretum is a differently spelled and pronounced sürítmény <shueritmenj> (condensation) and why a doctor calls the stool a concretum.
Based on the above, we can state that the Latin ‘cr’ stands really for three sounds. Let’s try to pronounce the words csir, csör, cirip, csirip or cserép without vowels. We can’t really. It will still sound somewhat, even if we try very hard. The ancient Latins did not write the sound which was there even without writing. They wrote it, if they had to, as certamen=csörte (bout) or cervisio=sör (beer), (they had to for the consonant following the ‘r’).
This should explain why we write now a vowel between ‘c’ and ‘r’.
How did ‘c’ sound in the old times? Not necessarily the same sound every time. We can look at some known examples: Cristus, crist (helm decoration even rotating in wind), crispo (cury) starting with ‘cr’ and it is pretty sure that this was pronounced with a ‘k’ as in Kristus, krist, krispo. If we reinstate the vowels as in crep-cserep then we receivekereszt earlier köröszt (cross), and crepo will become kerep(lő) (rattler) and because it turns steadily, it was called earlier köröplő. Kristian (christian) sounds very Hungarian, putting back the vowel: Köristen (circle god = Sun god) and kereszt (cross) in reality kör-oszt (circle-divided).1 These words are even agglutinated in the Hungarian way.
Finally, we may rightly suspect that the ‘c’ in ‘cr’, – as seen today, because we see now only the letters – didn’t signal only one sound. It stood possibly for a sound standing between ‘k-cz-ch’ or it was somehow a sum of those. Similar is the ‘s<x’ relation. However, our method is only suited to determine how what people once wrote down sounds today. (However, a multilateral approach may provide a good guess.)