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17.8.09

Macedonian names and makeDonski pseudo-linguistics: The case of the name Lyka.


Macedonian names and makeDonski pseudo-linguistics: The case of the name Lyka.
Miltiades Elia Bolaris
August 14, 2009

"Lyka. This female Macedonian name, which exists in the present day language, is possibly derived from the noun "lika" (a face, pretty face). The name Lika is present in today's Macedonian onomasticon." Quote was taken from: "Similarities between ancient Macedonian and today's' Macedonian Culture (Linguistics and Onomastics)" by Aleksandar Donski, celebrity "historian" and propagandist from FYROM.Lyka/ΛύκαLykos/Λύκος in Greek means wolf.
In Greek the substitution of the -os/ος ending of masculine names by the -e/-η and -a/-α endings signifies the female equivalent of the same noun or adjective. Therefore, to the uninitiated, Lyka obviously sounds like female wolf in Greek. Under certain conditions it could be, but properly it is not.
The female wolf in standard modern Greek, is Lykaina (G.Babiniotis, Athens, 2002). Lyka/Λύκα is also understood, but it does not sound proper. The modern Slavic name Lika/Лика, (wherever it is not a simple cut-off derivative of Angelika) can possibly be a survival of the ancient Greek name Λύκα/Lyka, since many Greek rural populations lived side by side with Slavic ones and some were probably assimilated into the Slavic populations of later times, post 7th century Ad.
But since this name is found also in other Slavic languages, who never came into contact with the local Greek speaking populations of the Balkans, then this hypothesis is probably unsupported.
Personally, I would would tend to think that if, and that is a big if, the Slavic female name Lika/Лика is related to Greek, then it is most probably a modern loan name that could in fact be derived from the Greek Lykos/ Λύκος=wolf that in a dialectical format in some parts of modern Greece may also be called Lyka/λύκα, the she Wolf. In ancient Greek the she wold was either Lyko/Λυκώ or Lykaina/Λύκαινα(Stamatakos, Athens, 1972).
The commonly used word to describe the the she-wolf in Modern Greek is also Lykaina/Λύκαινα, the "Wolfette" .
For the record, Lykos/ Λύκος is derived from the common Indo-European word for the wolf *wlkwos, which is found in numerous other Indo-European languages, besides Greek: Latin "Lupus", Sanskrit "Vrka", Tocharian B "Walwa", Lithuanian "Vilkas", Albanian "Ujk", English and German "Wolf", Russian "Volk", etc. (Oxford Introduction to Indo-European, Oxford 2006).
Professor Donski may actually be correct in pointing out that Lika/Лика "is possibly derived from the noun "lika" (a face, pretty face)". Face in Russian is "Litso/лицо", and when speaking of a Saint's face they say "lik/лик svjstogo". In Serbian and Croatian it is "Lice/лице" and in Bulgarian it is "Litse/лице" or "Lik/лик" so it seems probable that Donski may actually be partially right on this one, on the derivation of the Slavic Lika.Regardless of where the modern Slavic female Lika/Лика is derived from, the ancient Macedonian name Λύκα/Lyka is unquestionably Greek.
Unlike the modern version, though, it is for sure not derived from Λύκος/Lykos, the wolf. Linguistically the two words are totally unrelated.
We must go to the ancient sources and look at what the ancient epigraphy can reveal to us, in order to find out why.
The first inscription is from the Macedonian city of Amphipolis/Ἀμφίπολις, not far from the city of Serres:
Regions : Northern Greece
(IG X) : Macedonia
SEG 35:712 Makedonia (Edonis) — Amphipolis — Portraita se Taphika Mnemeia (1983) 194, 127 — Grabdenkmäler mit Porträts (1998) 104,135
Ζώσιμος καὶ Χρη-
σίμα Λύκᾳ τῷ τέ-
κνῳ μνήμης
χάριν.
Zesimos and Chre-
sima to Lyka their child
in memory's
Grace.
A second inscription from Macedonia comes from Beroia:

All article here: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/114302

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