Светлой памяти Нины Макаровны Чередеевой-


Солнце БессознательногоLe soleil de l'Inconscientشمس اللاوعيEl sol del InconscienteThe Sun of the Unconscious

Němščina, العجمة, 胡说

At a time the Germans call themselves *Deutsch* (people, who, consequently, speak a *deutlich*, i.e. 'articulate', language), speakers of Slavonic languages refer to them as *němcy* / *немцы* 'the mute', because of their inability to speak Slavonic. The word has sneaked through Ottoman territory, settling down in Arabic under the guise of نمسا *Namsa* ‘Austria’, a country the Turks themselves now call *Avusturya*. Arabs, too, referred to non-Arabic-speaking populations as الأعاجم *al-acāžim* 'the mute'. In Turkish, a foreigner to this day is called *yabancı* – literally, a 'wild person'. The Amazighs of North Africa speak a variety of Berber languages – a politically-correct form of *Barbari*, a label ascribed to that people by the Romans, who themselves were considered Barbarians by none else than the Greeks, from whom they later borrowed the word. The Chinese, who call themselves 中国人 *Zhōngguórén* 'Middle Country people', referred to many a neighbour in the same way: 胡人 *húrén* 'wild people'. The concept of *barbarism*, however, has rather had to do with the *other*'s inability to articulate 'meaningful' sounds than with physical wilderness, the word being a Greek onomatopoeia implying a 'mumbo-jumbo' or, as the Chinese put it more precisely, 胡说 *húshuō* 'nonsense' – literally, 'barbarian talk'. The latter is reminiscent of Russian *чушь* [čuš] 'non-sense', a derivative of *чужой* [čužój] 'alien', itself from *чудь* [čuď] 'foreign tribe', a borrowing from Proto-Germanic **þeudō* 'people; tribe' – whence the Germans' self-appellation, *Deutsch*, the English appellation of the people of the Netherlands, *Dutch*, and Italian *tedesco* 'German'. French *tout*, Italian *tutto* and Spanish *todo* – all meaning 'all' – are all cognate with Proto-Germanic **þeudō* 'people; tribe', a word going back to Proto-Indo-European **tewtéh₂* 'nation; people', whence Lithuanian1 *tauta* 'idem' – cf. English *strange*; *stranger*; *estranged* (ultimately from Latin *extraneus* 'foreign; strange' through Middle French *estrange*), but also Arabic غريب [ğarīb] 'strange; stranger', from غرب [ğarb] 'west', i. e. غروب [ğurūb] 'sunset' (hence 'darkness; the unknown; unfamiliar').

___________________ 1 Lithuanian is the most archaic Indo-European language on Earth.

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