Old Georgian phrases and sentences 25   Leave a comment

Lexica are only as strong as the properly analyzed corpus on which they are based, and the best lexica give examples for lemmata and sublemmata. One advantage among many of electronic lexica is the possibility of pointing to an almost unlimited number of examples from the corpus to illustrate the meaning in question. Due to size, printed dictionaries must limit the number of examples they give, but, of course, well-chosen examples, even if few, may still serve their purpose well. The large (and expensive) Georgian dictionary of Sarjveladze and Fähnrich (Altgeorgisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch, HdO 8.12 [Leiden: Brill, 2005]) might be even better with more examples, but it already strains the limits of maneuverability for a 8º with more than 1600 pages, and that’s with very minimal margins, something unfortunate for a printed dictionary (or printed books of other kinds, too). Still, the examples, all of which are translated into German, are well chosen: while it may not be your choice for a desert-island book, the examples are instructive and at times, depending on the present mixture of your humors, entertaining. Below is an example I recently stumbled upon while hunting for another word. The line is cited from S-1463 264v and appears in the dictionary on 259b, s.v. გარდმოქართულება “to translate into Georgian”.

ბერძულისაგან გარდმოუქართულებიან ესე თავნი, სომეხთა განმაქიქებელნი

From Greek he has translated into Georgian these chapters brought to light by the Armenians.

[S-F translate it “Er hat diese Werke, die die Armenier entlarven, aus dem Griechischen ins Georgische übersetzt.”]

Vocabulary and remarks

ბერძული Greek

გარდმო-უ-ქართულ-ებ-იან perf. 3p, the CV -უ- marking a 3rd pers. IO (the logical agent from the perspective of some languages), with the usual structure of Old Georgian Series III verbs.

სომეხი Armenian

განმაქიქებელი revealed, brought to light (The word is a participle from განქიქება “to expose, shame, dispraise”; the sense of the verb seems often to be a negative one, and the participle, too, can have a negative meaning. Not having any more context than this sentence, we cannot say with certainty, but the participle here probably means more fully “brought to light [as something bad]”.)

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