Russian: Woina

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rushalaim

Senior Member
русский
May Russian [woina] ([война]) "war" derive from [boinia] ([бойня]) "slaughtering"?
 
  • Morphologically this word is a feminine short relational adjective from the word вой «воин», i. e. it originally meant "warrior's (business)". Likewise гривна from грива, with the original meaning "neck's (decoration)". The Old East Slavic forms are respectively воина/vojьna, вои/vojь and гривьна/grivьna, грива/griva. This -на is thus the same element as in countless Russian relational adjectives in -на(-я) (тьма : темна, холод : холодна, слава : славна, воля : вольна).

    Вои/vojь is formed exactly as бои/bojь, but its producing simple verb (Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/weyh₁- - Wiktionary) is lost in Slavic, probably because it phonetically merged with вити/viti «вить» (Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/weh₁y- - Wiktionary). The root is alive however in e. g. вина.

    P. S. Вой "warrior" and вой "howl" (from выть) are not related either.

    P. P. S. This type (in the form of long adjectives) is still alive in the modern language: ванная, пивная, проездной, военный, рядовой, отпускные, выходные.
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Well, e.g. in Slovak we have boj (battle) and vojna (war). Also various derivates as bojovať (to fight, to battle, ...), vojak (soldier), etc ... So if I do understand your previous post (#2) well, then the words boj and vojna are etymologically unrelated. Is it so? ...
     
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    rushalaim

    Senior Member
    русский
    Well, e.g. in Slovak we have boj (battle) and vojna (war). Also various derivates as bojovať (to fight, to battle, ...), vojak (soldier), etc ... So if I do understand your previous post (#2) well, then the words boj and vojna are etymologically unrelated. Is it so? ...
    Slovak [bojovat'] is interesting! Russian has [wojewat']. Also, Russian [wojenny] "military" and [bojets] "soldier" have equal meaning.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Is there a single instance of interchange of b and v in Slavic ... ?
    Perhaps no (at least I've not noticed). But there may be other reasons ("exceptions") as well, see e.g. the answer of rushalaim (#5): bojovať versus vojevať .

    Ok, I've understood your answer (#4) and I find it satisfactory.
     
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    What rushalaim promotes here since 2010 are examples of the average human approach to etymology, attested since Ancient Greece if not earlier: anything can become anything. In the real life, this does happen from time to time, but the majority of words, when analyzed scientifically, appear to have evolved according to certain sound laws, often pretty strict ones. Slavic languages are quite disciplined phonetically, in the sense that sounds evolve more or less predictably in them (unless, of course, when words from different dialects get mixed, like in Standard Slovak). To demonstrate that the variants with b and v are etymologically related, one has to (1) show that this correspondence is not unique, i. e. that there are instances when other related Slavic words show both b and v, (2) explain why both stages, with boj- and voj-, coexist, (3) eliminate the alleged Indo-European cognates for either variant, i. e. prove that one of them is original and another is secondary.
     
    I've just found that this relational adjective is alive in Serbo-Croatian: vojni/vojna/vojno (vojni - Wiktionary), so that vojna has two meanings: (1) the feminine Nom. Sg. of a relational adjective (now definite only if I understand correctly, thus leaving aside the vowel length from the contraction -ā<-aja), "военная", presumably original and (2) the Nom. Sg. of a noun, "война" (vojna - Wiktionary), presumably derived as suggested above.
     
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