Proto-Romance *pī̆k(k)- ‘small, little’ and Proto-Indo-European *peiḱ- ‘cut (off), carve, fashion’: on the origin of Italian piccolo, Spanish pequeño, Sicilian picca, Latin *pīcus ‘small’ and pīcus ‘divine fashioner, woodpecker’

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter

Abstract

Italian piccolo, pìcciolo, and piccino, all meaning ‘small, little’, are currently traced back to Proto-Romance *pī̆k(k) ‘small, little’, a root which also underlies several further Romance formations, such as Spanish pequeño ‘small, little’; Portuguese peco ‘stunted, dumb, imbecile’ and pequeno ‘small, little’; Sicilian picciottu ‘kid’, picciriddu ‘child’, and picca ‘small quantity, a little’; Old Logudorese Sardinian pikinnu ‘small, little’; Romanian pic ‘drop, small quantity’ and Megleno-Romanian pică ‘small quantity, a little’. This lexical family is of unclear etymology, as it appears to have no evident parallels in Latin; on the assumption that the analysis of Romance formations may benefit from the insights of IE historical linguistics when more straightforward Latin comparanda appear to be absent, the present contribution argues for a possible etymology of Italian piccolo and its Romance cognates as reflexes of a Proto-Indo-European formation *pei̯ḱ ó ‘who/that is cut (passive meaning); who/that cuts (agentive meaning)’, a reconstruction that finds support in both semantic and formal parallels in Romance, Latin, and other Indo-European languages.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteParola. Una nozione unica per una ricerca multidisciplinare
EditorValentina Carbonara, Giuseppe Caruso, Matteo La Grassa, Cèlia Nadal, Eugenio Salvatore Benedetta Aldinucci
Pagine343-352
Numero di pagine10
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019

Keywords

  • Linguistics, historical, comparative, Germanic, Indo-European, Old Norse, Icelandic, Sanskrit, Vedic, Greek, Homeric, Poetics, Mythology.

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