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How the mole and mongoose got their names: Sanskrit akhu- and nakula-.

THE ETYMOLOGY OF THE SANSKRIT WORD FOR (supposedly) 'mole', akhu- (RV +), is unclear. There are two proposals in the scholarly literature: according to the more popular view, it is a derivative of the Sanskrit root ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) 'dig', with the preverb a; alternatively, it is to be connected with words for 'mole' in Anatolian and Greek. Both are problematic, the former on morphological, the latter on phonological grounds. On the one hand, it is by no means obvious by what derivational process a ustem, like akhu-, could be connected with a root like ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), despite the plausible semantics. Although Manfred Mayrhofer distances himself from this fairly standard etymology in his dictionary (Mayrhofer 1989: 446), he seems at the same time not to rule it out; (1) however, his comment that the "Verbindung mit [KHAN.sup.I] wohl eine Parallelwurzel * kha voraussetzt [~ kha- ?]" (cf. ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])]- 'gain, obtain' [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Mayrhofer 1996: 696f.) skirts the issue, (2) all the more so as the very existence of this parallel root, which Mayrhofer writes with an asterisk, remains in doubt. (3) On the other hand, even though Jaan Puhvel has cautiously, but in my view probably correctly, interpreted the Hittite animal asku- as meaning 'mole' (connecting it with the etymologically disputed Greek words for this creature, aphaeretic [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]and ~ metathetic [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (4) forms to which I return briefly at the end of this paper) (5) and noted that the "u-stem asku- is also reminiscent of Skt. akhu- 'mole', the explanation of which via a + kha-/khan- 'dig' leaves a lot to be desired" (thus, Puhvel 1981b: 242 [similarly, 1984: 216]), it remains the case that the Sanskrit word does not have a sibilant (it is not *askhu- [vel sim.]), so the connection would seem to be far from impeccable from the point of view of phonology. (6)

Since both loan words and animal names are notoriously subject to linguistic "deformation" (consider just the case of the Wanderwort for 'mole' in Greek), Puhvel's tentative connection between Hitt. asku- and Skt. akhu- should not be dismissed out of hand. But it can be proved, or at least considered the preferable explanation of the Sanskrit word, only if there is independent support for the phonology. For example, is there any other plausible equation between a Hittite word in (-)Vsku-and a Sanskrit word in (-)VKu-? It is my contention that this question can, rather surprisingly, be answered in the affirmative.

In Katz 1998, I discussed the only word for 'badger' that shows up in more than one branch of Indo-European, (7) adding Hitt. tasku- to the Germano-Celtic quasi-equation between Mod. Germ. Dachs and other Germanic words for this animal (< PGmc. *pahsu- < pre-PGmc. *taksu-) and such Celtic forms as the Gaulish onomastic element Tasco(-), Tasgo(-) and the Irish personal name Tad(h)g (< (pre-)PCelt. *tasko-/*tazgo-), as in the hero Tadhg mac Cein, whom Mac an Bhaird 1980 has shown to be specifically associated with badgers. (8) Now, the Hittite word is attested only with the meaning of a subcaudal body part (something like 'anus' or 'scrotum'), but I endeavored to explain how this meaning developed out of 'badger', (9) suggesting also that the original sense is preserved in a number of Anatolian personal names (most notably Hitt. mTaskuili- and HLuv. Ta-sa-ku-wa-li/Ta-sa-ku-li /Tasku(wa)lis/ [~ Hellenized [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (10)) and probably also the place name [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN AS CII] (best-known from Bithynia, but apparently used for a number of locations in western, especially northwestern, Asia Minor), on which see now Neumann 1999a: 17f. (11) The sheer number of discrepancies among the forms strongly supports the idea that we have to do with a Wanderwort: Celtic seems to require both *tasko-, with voiceless *-sk-, and *tazgo-, with a voiced cluster; (12) the Celtic and Hittite forms both show -SK- rather than the -KS- of Germanic; and the Germanic and Hittite forms are both u-stems, whereas the Celtic is a garden-variety 0-stem. A rough approximation of what this word for 'badger' would have looked like in prehistoric times--at least in Near Eastern languages of the late third or second millennium B.C.--is thus *tasku-, a u-stem with inherent a-vocalism.

There is evidence that in ancient Anatolia, badgers and moles were linked, and in my discussion of Hitt. tasku-, I commented briefly also on asku- (Katz 1998: 70 n. 19 and esp. 73 n. 31), making two intertwined points. First, one ancillary argument in favor of understanding tasku- as meaning, or having once meant, 'badger' is the existence of a morpho-phonologically strikingly similar word for another burrowing animal with a pointed head or snout. (13) Put another way, the similar appearance of the creatures in question, coupled with the likeness in linguistic structure, means that one would not be surprised to learn that tasku- (< *tasku-) and asku- (< *asku-), both animal- Wanderworter, acted as a pair and, perhaps, that they were borrowed together into (or, for that matter, even from) Hittite.

Second and arguably more interesting, there is the curious fact, hitherto unexplained, that the name of (apparently) one and the same Galatian Christian sect--that is to say, a group of Celts in Anatolia--is attested as both [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Ascodrogitae (among other variants). (14) Our best source for these people is an account, in Greek, by the fourth-century A.D. bishop Epiphanius of Salamis, who writes in his Panarion of 374/75 that the [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] are literally 'Peg-noses' (Gk. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), so-called because [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] means 'peg' (Gk. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] means 'nose' (Gk. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'snout, muzzle'), (15) and that when they pray, they put their index finger on their nose: [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (48.14.4 = p. [II.]239 Holl--Dummer). (16) Modern scholars have followed Epiphanius in interpreting [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as 'Peg-noses', but the existence of various by-forms without an initial dental stop (e.g., Ascodrobi and Ascodrugitae; see n. 14) makes it in fact more probable that these people are instead 'Badger-noses'. Rather than assume a sporadic and, as far as we know, phonologically completely unmotivated loss of the initial consonant of the first element of the compound (whether it means 'badger' or 'peg'), it is preferable to think that the 'Badger-noses' might sometimes be referred to instead as the 'Molenoses', (17) with the simple substitution of the word for one snouty animal indigenous to Anatolia with a nearly identical word for another such creature. (18)

With due caution, I suggest that two other languages attest to the same sort of confusion: Basque and Modern Greek. (19) In Katz 1998: 70 n. 19 and esp. 71, with nn. 24f., I mentioned the Basque word for 'badger', azkoin (and many variants), which clearly reflects a pre-Basque preform *azkone, and quoted the standard etymology, namely that it goes back to something like *(t)axonem (cf., e.g., Span. tejon), that is, to the oblique form of the Late Latin word for 'badger', taxo (itself a borrowing from Celtic or Germanic). (20) There are two difficulties: a comparatively minor matter is that * azkone shows * -zk-rather than *-ks- (as in taxo); while this could perhaps be nothing more than a low-level, but seemingly unparalleled, alteration of the cluster /-ks-/ (which Basque does not tolerate at any period), it is also possible that a Celtic language (cf. Gaul. Tasco(-)) is somehow involved (compare Mac an Bhaird 1980: 153f.). Rather more dramatic is the apparent loss of the initial *t-. In my paper on badgers, I wrote that a parallel for this "would seem to be the form azkonaga, defined in [G.] Aulestia['s Basque-English Dictionary] as 'place of yew trees [cf. Lat taxus 'yew']. Used as a last name'" (Katz 1998: 71 n. 25). Larry "Trask tells me, however, that Aulestia's work is unreliable as far as etymology is concerned and that it is generally agreed that Azconaga (which in fact functions only as a name and has no synchronic meaning) is derived from the word for 'badger' (thus, e.g., Michelena 1973: 64). What this means, of course, is that the only parallel for the loss of *#t is not a parallel after all. But rather than despair, the absence of a potentially straightforward phonetic explanation gives us license to consider a completely different sort of solution to the problem: I propose that the Basque word for 'badger' begins with a vowel because it is intimately connected with forms elsewhere that mean 'mole' (e.g., Hitt. asku-)--forms that look like the respective words for 'badger', but crucially lack the init ial consonant. (21) Now, the ending *-one of *(t)azkone can hardly reflect anything but a Latin/Romance n-stem, like taxo (there is no evidence alongside talpa for a corresponding Latinate word *axo 'mole'); nevertheless, as noted above, the cluster *-zk- is not easy to reconcile with Lat. -x- (i.e., /-ks-/) in either the order of the consonants or the quality of their voicing. I therefore conclude that Basque azkoin 'badger' is most likely a cross between the Iberian Romance word for this animal, /taksone(m)/, and a manifestation, presumably unmediated by Latin, of the same vowel-initial Wanderwort for 'mole' that I have been discussing, namely something like /askV-/--in particular, /azgV-/. (22)

The existence of *azgu-, a u-stem with a voiced cluster, may find surprising confirmation in Modern Greek, where the word for 'badger' is [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. The only etymology known to me does not inspire confidence: according to Andriotis 1983: 39, there is a medieval form [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which in turn "perhaps" ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) comes from [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], a Hesychian hapax glossed as [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 'some animal that eats vines' (Latte 1953: 303 prints the form rather as [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). Given that an old preform *azgu-, once thematized (trivially) to *azgu-o-, would have yielded [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] directly, it is tempting to claim that, almost exactly as with Basque, Greek has inherited a voiced variant of the Wanderwort for 'mole' and adapted its meaning to 'badger'. While it is obviously dangerous to project a lexeme back a millennium or two before it is actual ly attested, the assumption that this word for 'badger' might have remained unrecorded while indeed being part of (pre-)Classical vocabulary is far from impossible: although the Greeks must have known badgers (pace Hunemorder 1997), it is curious that there does not seem to be any normal word for this creature in the Classical language. (23) Note that if it is appropriate to reconstruct *azgu- on the basis of [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and if [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] do in fact go back to *askV-, then Greek has acquired--probably from different substratal sources and very likely at different times--two variants of the same word for 'mole', one of which has undergone an entirely plausible change of reference to 'badger'. A parallel for such vacillation between *-sk and *-zg- is found in Celtic, where, as noted above, the words for 'badger' require setting up both *tasko- and *tazgo- (see n. 12).

Let us return now to Sanskrit and to akhu-, supposedly the word for 'mole' in this language. With the exception of the absence of the medial sibilant, this is effectively identical to Hitt. asku-: both have an initial long a- (note that the Hittite word is often spelled with plene-writing, a-as-ku-; compare Puhvel 1984: 215), both have a medial velar, and both are u-stems. (24) My claim is that the Sanskrit word is borrowed from something like Hittite, whether a pre-Hittite or Proto-Anatolian form or (more probably) some other manifestation of this Wanderwort in or around the Ancient Near East. This may seem unlikely: Anatolia and India are not, after all, very close to each other. Nevertheless, virtually all scholars agree that the Indo-European-speaking Indians are not native to India, but rather migrated southeastward into the subcontinent during the second millennium B.C. The details are tremendously controversial, but it is reasonable to suppose that the pre- or Proto-Indians (perhaps even the Proto-Indo -Iranians ?) passed through Asia Minor or--if this really is too far to the west (for most scholars emphatically reject the model of Renfrew 1987, who would situate the homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans in Anatolia)--through some area between the Black and Caspian Seas that had moles and in which the name for these animals was something like /asku-/. (25) It should be noted that this last hypothesis would be more or less consistent with the most widely accepted view of early Indo-European migrations, the "Kurgan hypothesis" of Marija Gimbutas and others (see, e.g., Gimbutas 1970), whereby the people who ended up in India are said to have moved southward from the Pontic-Caspian steppe beginning, perhaps, around 2500 B.C. (Although they are often portrayed as having made their way along the east side of the Caspian, through what is historically Iranian territory, it seems likely that at least some Proto-Indians took a more westerly route instead; see below.) (26)

This brings me to a most obvious point, one that no one seems ever to have made in connection with Skt. akhu-: the fact is that although the word shows up already in the Rigveda (a hapax in an obscure verse: 9.67.30c akhum cid evd deva soma, which Geldner 1951: 57 translates, "[Die Axt des Alayya ist verschwunden; die lautere her, Gott Soma,] die wie ein Maulwurf (versteckte), Gott Soma!"), there are no moles (genus Talpa), or other mole-like talpids in Aryan India (or, for that matter, in southern [Dravidian] India). In fact, with the exception of two kinds of Talpa micrura in the Himalayas--east of Bangladesh and into Burma (i.e., to the far northeast, a direction from which the Proto-Indians obviously did not arrive)--the nearest moles are thousands and thousands of miles away, west of the Caspian Sea (N.B.: not east!), in what is now Turkey (i.e., the land of the asku-) and northern Iran. (27) Since the akhu- and the dirt through which it burrows are not uncommon features of Vedic ritual, it should be possible to figure out what the animal actually is. Given that rats are ubiquitous in India and that certain kinds of rats are easy to confuse with moles, it is likely that akhu- denotes some kind of rat-like rodent, (28) and I note that many editions of Sanskrit texts (especially older ones) actually do translate the word as 'rat' and that Puhvel himself (in almost all the publications cited in n. 5) is careful to mention rats alongside moles. (29) In any case, whatever exactly akhu- may mean, it is likely that the word entered the earliest layer of Indic as a result of the migratory peoples' having picked it up from the inhabitants of an area populated by moles (or mole-like creatures) well before they made it anywhere near the Punjab, where, it is generally said, the core of the Rigveda was composed around 1500 B.C.

With this in mind, but with the loss of the medial sibilant still unexplained by this scenario, let us come back to the badger. I hope in my paper on Hitt. tasku- to have shown that there is a word for this animal that is confined neither to a specific part of the Indo-European world nor to a specific time: we find it not only in Western and Northern Europe (the British Isles, Gaul, and Germania), attested from Gallo-Roman times to the present, but also in Anatolia, both in Hittite texts from the middle of the second millennium B.C. and, much later, in the remains of fourth-century A.D. Galatian. Now, the one branch that one might specifically expect not to have the word is Indic, for India is the sole area of the Indo-European world to which the Eurasian badger, Meles meles, is not indigenous. However, it is well known that languages and cultures often employ the "same" words for animals, trees, and other natural entities, but with slightly different referential sense: the "salmon-" and "beech-problems" are familiar from debates about the Indo-European homeland, and compare, as I have just suggested, the case of Hitt. asku- and Gk. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'mole' vs. Skt. akhu- 'kind of rat (?)'. Since, furthermore, India does have a number of badger-like animals (an obvious example is the ratel (30)), it is hardly difficult to imagine that the word /tasku-/ 'badger' (just like, in my scenario, /asku-/ 'mole') could have made its way to the subcontinent, where its referent (just like that of /asku-/) shifted when the people who would become the Indians found themselves in a part of the world without badgers (or, for that matter, moles).

I suggest that this is in fact what happened. One of the best-loved of all Indian animals is the mongoose, the most familiar word for which is nakula- (AV+), a creature famous for its ability to kill poisonous snakes (see already AV 6.139.5 yatha nakulo vichidya... ahim "as a mongoose, having cut apart a snake ..." ) and for literally sticking its nose sociably into human affairs. (31) The mongoose gained popularity in the West a little over a century ago when Rudyard Kipling published his first Jungle Book (1894), with the story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," whose eponymous character kills the threatening cobra couple Nag and Nagaina and otherwise, too, behaves like a typical mongoose. (32) In the past decade, the mongoose has been a popular topic in Vedic philology, the subject most notably of a 1993 paper by Claudius Nenninger (discussed below). Aside from Nenninger, Stephanie Jamison has commented on the interpretation of the substantivized adjective harina- 'tawny' in an unclear passage in the Maitrayani Samhita (3.9.3 tasmad dharinah svajam khadati "therefore the harina eats the viper"), where it may refer to a mongoose (alternatively, it means 'gazelle'). (33) Furthermore, Christiane Schaefer and Alexander Lubotsky have each adduced the mongoose's active and odoriferous sex life in interpreting the intensive verbal form jangahe, said of a wanton woman, in the hapax-laden stanza RV 1.126.6 (b ya kasikeva jangahe; note the hapax kasika-, generally--though not entirely accurately (see below)--translated as something like 'Ichneumonweibchen'): Schaefer appeals to a new root [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]- 'hochbiegen' and the animals' strenuous mating ritual ("squeezed, embraced, she is continually bending upward like a mongoose"), (34) whereas Lubotsky turns instead to [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]- 'smell', referring to the creatures' anal scent glands ("squeezed, embraced, she smells like a mongoose"). (35) The very recent "preliminary edition" of AVP 19.34.7-9 (Griffiths and Lubotsky 1999), a trca-hymn to a fragrant plant, whose first stanza (7c) contains the form (vi) jangahe (hitherto known just from RV 1.126.6b and, likewise with the preverb vi, AVS 5.19.4b [=AVP 9.19.1b]), suggests that Lubotsky's attribution of the verb to the root [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]- 'smell' is correct. What is interesting, though, is that from a biological and perhaps also a linguistic standpoint, both views are plausible.

As the previous paragraph demonstrates, Sanskrit has quite a number of words that have been said to mean 'mongoose': the standard form nakula-, the color-epithets babhru(ka)- (see n. 33) and very likely harina-, and the Rigvedic hapax kasika-. (36) Given the context in which kasika- appears, it is impossible to state with certainty that it does in fact designate a mongoose rather than, say, a weasel or some other, similar, animal; I have nothing to say about its exact referent or its etymology, both of which are unclear. (37) In principle, though, all these words could indeed mean 'mongoose', for there is nothing especially odd about having an abundance of words for a culturally important animal. It is possible, even likely, that the various designations are used for different varieties of mongooses, and before examining the history of the basic word nakula-, I turn to a few observations on mongooses and mongoose-like creatures in India and elsewhere.

Mongooses are carnivores, members of the family Herpestidae (until recently, they were considered to be Viverridae, along with, e.g., civets); most--including the ones in and around India--belong to the subfamily Herpestinae. Now, it is usual in Sanskrit studies to speak of the mongoose as an 'ichneumon' (or, in German, 'Ichneumon'), a learned word borrowed from Greek ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'weasel, mongoose [vel sim.]', literally 'tracker'): Mayrhofer 1992: 2, who confidently renders nakula- as 'Ichneumon, Viverra ichneumon [sic]', may be taken as representative. The fact is, however, that an ichneumon (now properly called Herpestes ichneumon) is just one kind of mongoose, the Egyptian mongoose, and while it is found throughout much of Africa, it is entirely absent from India. As Rahul Peter Das and the honored recipient of the present volume both pointed out to me after my 1999 AOS talk, this observation is not original to me, but is found as well in a paper from 1993 entitled "Wie kommt die Pharaonsratte zu den vedischen Gottern?," in which the author, Claudius Nenninger, determined to correct "einen offensichtlichen und doch hartnackig wiederholten Fehler" (168), provides a good historia quaestionis of the rather embarrassing fact that "[o]ffenbar hat man den indischen Mungo mit seinem afrikanischen Verwandten verwechselt" (163). In addition to various sorts of mongooses in southern India (note that the very word mongoose [also mongoose and the older mungo; cf. Germ. Mungo and Manguste] is a Dravidian borrowing), one kind (Herpestes urva) in Nepal, Assam, and Burma, and another (Herpestes smithii) with a fairly wide distribution in central and southern India, we find two species indigenous to northwestern (i.e., Indo-European) India: Herpestes edwardsi (Common or Indian Grey Mongoose) and Herpestes javanicus or auropunctatus (Golden or Small Indian Mongoose). (38) The words harina- and babhru(ka)-, discussed above, as well as the fact that nakula- itself can refer to a red-brownish color (see a. 33), suggest that the composers of the Vedas were acquainted with at least the latter (compare Nenninger 1993: 167f.).

As I have already stated, there are no badgers in India. But physically and behaviorally, the mongoose is the indigenous Indian animal most like the badger (for what it may be worth, the two animals may even be closely related phylogenetically; see immediately below). Given the affinity between badgers and moles (or, one presumes, mole-like rats, for that matter), we may consider all three animals in conjunction. First of all, both badgers and mongooses (as well, of course, as moles) have prominent noses. In addition, it should be stressed, in view of the importance I accorded the anal and subcaudal scent glands in my discussion of the Hittite badger, that mongooses, too, have perfume-pouches near the anus (compare the discussion above of the Rigvedic verb jangahe) and go around scent-marking (or "musking") territory. (39) Furthermore, mongooses, specifically females of the genus Herpestes edwardsi, though not burrowing creatures, like to "play mole" (this is known in the literature as the "Maulwurfsspiel"), that is, to slip underneath tablecloths, sheets, or blankets and run around back and forth, reversing direction as soon as their head reaches an edge. (40) More generally, the behavioral similarities between mongooses and mustelids (e.g., badgers)--and exclusively between these two--are so many and so striking as to leave zoologists marveling. Not only do they share a threatening cry and various modes of movement, but, most strikingly, they have in common a number of games: the "Maulwurfsspiel," the high jump, the somersault, the way of beginning mock-fights by sitting up and begging and by jumping atop their playmate, and so on. (41)

Having established that the mongoose is a sort of Indian answer to the badger, we can now turn to the principal Sanskrit name for this creature, nakula-, a form that has no etymology and that Mayrhofer 1992: 2 suggests might be a loanword ("Unklar; Fremdwort?"). None of the etymologies that Mayrhofer cites seems cogent, and it is unlikely that anything but coincidence lies behind what one might otherwise interpret as a "Caland-relationship" between nakula- and the word for 'crocodile', nakra- (Gopatha-Br., Pan., Mn., ep.+). (42) As for the Chwarezmian word [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which means 'weasel' or 'mongoose', this could in theory be an Iranian cognate of nakula- and thus evidence that the form is of Proto-Indo-Iranian date (thus, Henning 1950-55: 436 [= 1977: 499], who derives it from PIIr. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), but N. Sims-Williams (apud Mayrhofer 1992: 2) notes the attractive possibility that it is rather a borrowing from Sanskrit.

It should at this point be clear what I think the etymology of nakula- is. I suggest that the "Indians-to-be" borrowed a word for 'badger' something like Hitt. tasku- from a more northerly people in the same general milieu as the (Proto-)Anatolians and that when they came to the subcontinent, they used their adaptation of this word to refer to the indigenous mongoose. But it is simply not possible, of course, to claim that the putative relationship between nakula- and tasku- is obvious, and I turn now to an explication of the various difficulties.

There are three matters to discuss. From left to right, these are as follows; first, the initial n- rather than t-; second, the -k- rather than the cluster -sk-; and third, the ending -ula- rather than just -u-. Let me begin with the question of the initial consonant, i.e., with why nakula- is not, say, *takula- I cannot answer this definitively, but note simply that alternations between oral and nasal dental stops are well known in Wanderworter; furthermore, since it is phonetically more plausible that an initial voiced stop, /d-/, would turn into an /n-/ than that a /t-/ would, it is not irrelevant to point out that there is some evidence for the pronunciation of Anatolian tasku- as /dasku-/ in the names [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (see above), written with Greek letters and with an initial delta. (43) Skipping over the question of the lost sibilant, I turn next to nakula- rather than the hypothetical *naku-. Again, there is probably no way to know exactly why speakers added -la- (< PIE *-lo-) to this u-stem, but it is hardly difficult to find parallels. For example, the Anatolian name [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], just mentioned, which (with all respect to The Wind in the Willows) probably means 'Mr. Badger', would seem to be composed of the noun tasku- plus this same (basically hypocoristic) suffix, i.e., be mutatis mutandis exactly the same form that I suggest underlies Skt. nakula- (44) (note, by the way, that Nakula is also the name of one of the Pandava brothers in the Mahabharata); compare, too, the l-suffix(es) in the Greek words for 'mole', [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], as well as in the name [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. (45) For the inner-Sanskrit (Caland) alternation between a basic u-stem and a word in -ula-, compare bahu- 'abundant' (cf. Gk. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'thick') and bahula- 'thick, dense' (cf. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'coarsely' in Aristotle, Nico machean Ethics 1094b20), both common already in the Rigveda. (46)

What remains is the curcial problem: how to reconcile the -sk- of tasku- with the plain -k- of nakula-, i.e., how to explain why the form is not *naskula-. (47) While we do not know as much about the phonology of loanwords, especially Wanderworter, as we do about regular, native, sound change, it is clear that if a given language--say, pre-Sanskrit--borrows two similar words for two similar creatures at the same time from a single source--say, for the sake of argument, Proto-Anatolian--then the two forms should develop along similar lines. I suggest that the forms asku- 'mole' and tasku- 'badger' entered pre-Indic as a pair and that the relationship in Sanskrit between the s-less akhu- (with a long a-, just as in asku-) and the s-less nakula- (with a short a, just as in tasku-) reflects exactly this historical scenario. Put in tabular form, Hitt. asku- : Skt. akhu- :: Hitt. tasku- : X, where X ~ naKu(la)- The bottom line is that Puhvel's suggestion that the Sanskrit and Hittite words for 'mole(-like creature) ' are at heart the same is supported by the fact that the same (unexpected) phonological alteration of the cluster /-sk-/ ((-)asku- [right arrow] (-)aKu-) is found in another word, 'badger/mongoose', and one that we have independent (and not merely linguistic) grounds for believing would behave in a parallel fashion. (48)

This does not, however, answer the final and particularly awkward question of why akhu- has an aspirated -kh- whereas the velar in nakula- is unaspirated. I see three possible approaches. First, we might ask ourselves whether akhu- and nakula- have different velars because the velars of their pre-Sanskrit preforms were themselves different, i.e., whether *asku- is actually something like /askbu-/ whereas *tasku is /tasku-/ or /dasku-/. This idea could most easily be tested if Greek had reflexes of both words (since the language distinguishes aspirated and unaspirated stops), but unfortunately there is no evidence for anything like [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'badger' alongside the various words for 'mole' (see above, with n. 23). As for 'mole', there is in fact some evidence for aspiration (Chantraine 1999: 1032 lists the variants and gives a convenient summary of the scholarship): alongside the forms that Puhvel cites, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Aristotle+) and the rare [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (also [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), (49) we find also [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in such writers as Strabo, Babrius, and Pausanias (see, e.g., Hiersche 1964: 192f., with 193 n. 17, and 212). The usual view is that the aspirated forms are secondary within Greek (somehow--with Hiersche 1964--the result of being immediately preceded by a sigma), and the chronology of the attestations certainly supports this (Aristotle was born more than three centuries before Strabo). Nevertheless, it probably cannot be absolutely excluded (especially given the occasional spelling of Asclepius' name as [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], from the mid to late fifth century; see, e.g., Gregoire 1949: 47 n. 3 and Hiersche 1964: 225) that the aspirates do in fact indicate something important about the form of the Wanderwort for 'mole' in languages east of Greece.

On the whole, however, I consider it more likely that the velars in the preforms of these two animal names were not qualitatively different. This brings me to the second approach, which takes into account the fact that, according to my scenario, the preform of each word has an /s/ before the velar and asks whether the sibilant in one of these forms might perhaps be covertly reflected in the aspiration (i.e., -sk- [right arrow] -kh-) rather than having been lost completely (i.e., -sk- [right arrow] -k-). It is well known that voiceless aspirates in Indic frequently follow /s/ (see especially Hiersche 1964), and one might imagine that akhu- could have developed out of asku- via an intermediate preform something like *askhu-. (50) But the assessment of voiceless aspirates in Indic and elsewhere is controversial, and given that this explanation would appear to be unable to account for aspirate-free nakula-(rather than *nakhula-), it does not seem promising.

The third and final approach, then, aims at finding a non-phonetic reason why akhu- might have gained its aspirate or, perhaps, why nakula- might have lost its. If the quality of one of these velars is indeed secondary, then it is much more likely that the aspirate in akhu- is an innovation than that the non-aspirate in nakula- reflects a loss of aspiration: the -kh- in akhu- could reasonably be thought to be analogical on (N.B.: not, as many have thought, derivationally related to) the root [square root (khan-)] 'dig'; but as for nakula-, if this had once been *nakhula (vel sim.), then it is hard to see why it would have been altered in view of the likely folk-etymological association with the common word nakha- 'nail' (mongooses have sharp, curved foreclaws). (51) All in all, I think explaining the aspirate in akhu- as an influence from [square root (khan-)] is reasonable.

So, how did the mole and mongoose get their names? North of India, once upon a time, there was a pair of Wanderworter {*asku- 'mole' & *tasku- 'badger'}, and they wandered south, turning up in the subcontinent as {akhu- 'mole-like rat' & nakula- 'mongoose'}. Building on earlier work, I have argued that there are a number of reasons--linguistic, cultural, and biological--to consider moles and badgers together and have tried to show that mongooses fit neatly into this same nexus. In brief, I have suggested that the relationship in Sanskrit between akhu- and nakula- is effectively the same as that in Galatian between Asco-drugitae 'Mole-noses' and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'Badger-noses', with the Indic words reflecting parallel borrowings of known second-millennium Wanderworter from somewhere northwest of India, perhaps almost as far to the west as Hittite territory, where the mole was known as asku- and the badger as (*)tasku-. If this is correct, then we have not only recovered two extremely early loanwords in Indic that seem not to be Dravidian, Munda, or Tibeto-Burman, but also found a striking (if still geographically murky) piece of evidence for the path of Indo-European migration into India.

Versions of this paper were presented at the Seventeenth East Coast Indo-European Conference in May 1998 and the 209th meeting of the American Oriental Society in March 1999. Stanley Insler was present on the latter occasion, and it gives me particular pleasure to dedicate this paper to my dear friend and first Sanskrit teacher, without whose brilliant and caring instruction I might never have learned the two words in my title.

(1.) Rather than including a separate entry on akhu-, Mayrhofer 1988: 158 refers the reader to [square root of (khan-)]. But at the end of this lemma (Mayrhofer 1989: 445f.), Mayrhofer writes that akha- (TS) 'Fanggrube', akhana- (TA +) 'Zielscheibe', akhara(RV +) 'Hohle, Bau eines Tieres', and also akhu- "wurden zu [KHAN.sup.I] (+ a) gestellt (s. Kui[per 1942: 74-78, esp. 77 (= 234-38)], mit. Lit.), bleiben aber wohl allesamt fern" (446). Nevertheless (see the quotation that immediately follows in the text), he still appears to consider the possibility of an etymological connection between akhu- and digging.

(2.) Mayrhofer refers to Wackernagel and Debrunner 1954: 471, the beginning of a short section ([section]287e) devoted to detailing how "[i]n einigen Fallen wird Antritt von -u- an die Tiefstufe von a- Wurzeln [...] und alt Ersatz fur -am- angenommen." With the possible exception of the difficult form [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]- 'going' (to [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'go'; see Schindler 1972: 38 and now Scarlata 1999: 404-22, esp. 415 and 421f.)--the only example quoted in anything other than fine print--none of the other instances they cite of -u- for -aN- is cogent.

(3.) The relationships, if any, between [square root of (khan-)] 'dig', kha-'source, fountain' (cf. YAv. xa-), and kha- 'cavity, hollow, cave' are famously problematic; see Mayrhofer 1989: 442, 445f., and 451, who ultimately does not favor any connections (note, however, the hapax bisa-kha- [RV 6.61.2a] 'Wurzelschosse ausgrabend', which is assigned to [square root of (khan-)]; see now Scarlata 1999: 97f., who follows J. Kellens). M. Kummel, in Rix 1998: 306f., catalogues--with a cautious question mark--a PIE root * [keh.sub.2] 'dig', noting the usual difficulties and mentioning akhu-in passing (p. 307 n. 1).

(4.) See Chantraine 1999: 1032, with further literature (there is no mention of Puhvel's view in the recent installments of the "Chronique d'etymologie grecque"). I do not have an opinion on the possible relationship of this word to Myc. qa-ra-to-ro (PY Ta 709.2) and the rare alphabetic form [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ANCII] 'fire rake' (see Aura Jorro 1993: 186f.); if there is a connection, the apparent labiovelar (note the Mycenacan q-sign) might conceivably come from something like * (a)sku-V-. Schrijver 1997: 310 now suggests in passing that the unstable [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in the Greek words for 'mole' may indicate that they originate in a specific (if still unidentifiable) substratal language, some of whose properties he attempts to elucidate. More generally on Greek moles, see Keller 1009: 20-24, Thompson 1918, and Hunemorder 1999.

(5.) See esp. Puhvel 1981b: 241f. and 1984: 215f. For further important remarks on moles and mole-like creatures, especially in Greek and Indic, see Puhvel 1970: 373, with notes on 381 (= 1981a: 168 and 176), 1976a (slightly expanded version of 1976b [= 1981a: 285-89 + additional notes on 415f.]), and 1987: 135; see also Mallory and Adams 1997: 363f. ("Mammals"; Adams and Mallory), 375 ("Medical God"; Mallory), and 376 ("Medicine"; Adams and Mallory). Note that Puhvel follows Gregoire 1949 in thinking of [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (and numerous other spellings, e.g., Thessalian [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] see Gregoire 1949: 47 n. 3, Furnee 1972: index s.v. "[LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Chantraine 1999: 124) as originally the 'Mole-God' ('dieu-taupe' or 'heros-taupe'). I find this idea attractive (though the further speculations of Toporov 1975: 40-44 and passim on, e.g., Lat. talpa [see also Gamkrelidze and Ivanov 1995: 449f.] strike me as far-fetched), but it is far from certai n and has not won wide acceptance (see, e.g., Chantraine 1999: 124; Francis 1992: 487f. provides the most recent negative assessment); Carlier 1981 appears to approve of connecting Asclepius and moles, but rightly stresses the disjunction between synchrony and diachrony ("si vraiment il [sc. Asklepios] fut un jour un dieutaupe, on un dieu a la taupe, les Grecs l'ont completement oublie, ou pour mieux dire, ils ont, pour des raisons qui nous echappent, refuse de s'en souvenir" [101]). I do not believe the "Hittite" etymology 'Health-Giver' of Szemerenyi 1974: 155 (= 1987: [III.]1452), though I agree with him that the name--like, in my view, the Greek words for 'mole' themselves--probably comes into Greece from Anatolia.

(6.) It is only fair to point out that the identification of Hitt. asku- as 'mole' is anything but straightforward. Puhvel 1981b: 242 (similarly, 1984: 215f.) himself refers to the earlier opinions of J. Friedrich ("a noxious insect or some kind of mouse") and H. A. Hoffner ("creepy-jerky possibilities [such as] grass-hopper, lizard, frog, and toad"); he also notes (see Puhvel 1981b: 241 and 1984: 26) that A. Kammenhuber thought that Hitt. aku(wa)kuwa- might mean 'mole', which I admit has a certain attraction, though there are plenty of other options. More recently, Stefanini 1988: 252f. has argued specifically against Puhvel's 'mole', writing that the fact that in the Hittite texts in which asku- is attested, the animal appear indoors "esclude subito la 'talpa' di Puhvel" (253); instead, Stefanini takes the word to mean 'gecko', an idea he supports with reference to the somewhat similar Greek word for this creature (noted by Puhvel, too), [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (also [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], etc.; see, e.g., Furnee 1972: index s.vv.). I grant that the picture of moles jumping from the rafters is bizarre (see now KUB LIII 50 Ro. i 10 [1983 cuneiform autograph by L. Jakob-Rost], which Puhvel 1981b does not yet cite, though he notes it [still as Bo. 2476] in 1984: 215), but overall do not think that Stefanini's case is as strong as he seems to believe. It is my hope that the comparative evidence presented in the present paper provides new support for Puhvel's 'mole'; but since there is obviously some sort of relationship between moles and geckos--to judge just from the pair [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Greek (see especially Gregoire 1949: 44-51)--I note that it should be possible to maintain the essence of my conclusions even if Stefanini's 'gecko' should in fact turn out to be (synchronically) correct.

(7.) In fact, there seems to be a second word. On the basis of the similarity between Lat. meles (which at least sometimes means 'badger') and the Slovincian word [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'badger' (previously unknown to me), Blazek 1992: 16 posits a root *mel(H)- (his authority for [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is V. Machek). (He also mentions the Hitto-Luvian hapax "malustiya- [KUB XXXVI 25 Vo. iv 11], the name of an animal that has bitten the sea [!].) Mallory and Adams, 1997: 45 ("Badger"; Adams and Mallory) refer to Blazek in reconstructing for Proto-Indo-European the single preform *meli-, writing that "it is nearly impossible to imagine that the PIE speech community did not have a word (or words)" for 'badger' (see also Mallory and Adams, 1997: 363 and 497 ["Mammals" and "Salmon"; Adams and Mallory]).

(8.) To the recent references on the Celtic material cited in Katz 1998, add de Bernardo Stempel 1991: 41f., Hamp 1994 and 1996: 88, and Lambert 1994: 147 and 199; see also Blazek 1992: 15-17, Anreiter 1998: 591, and Zimmer 1999: 109.

(9.) The basic idea is that the badger is so closely associated with its habitual activity of "musking" that the word for the animal comes to be used, totum pro parte, for its musky nether region (and then also the equivalent body part in humans). For the close association between badgers and anuses in a very different society, I note the Kathlamet Chinook slapstick story "Coyote and Badger" (see Bright 1993: 124-30, adapting a tale told by Charles Cultee that was first translated and published a century ago by F. Boas), in which Badger kills all sorts of animals by farting at them and envious Coyote convinces Badger that they should "trade assholes" (compare also a recently republished Clackamas Chinook story about a skunk: Seaburg and Amoss, 2000: 255-59).

(10.) See, e.g., Poetto 1980: 7, with n. 28, where he refers to O. Carruba. Neumann 1999a: 17 n. 7 points also to the appearance of the (unextended) divine name (DEUS)Ta-sa-ku-/Taskus/ in the Hieroglyphic Luvian inscription ANCOZ 1, [section]3 (it is also attested, sometimes with the spelling Ta-sa-ku-, in ANCOZ 5, 1. 1, ANCOZ 7, [section][section]4 and 9, and ANCOZ 10, [section][section]1 and 4; see now J. D. Hawkins 2000: 346f., 350, 356f., and 360, plus plates 171-72, 175-76, 185-86, and 187-88).

(11.) I still believe that such names are probably based on the animal (all the more so in view of the Luvian god Taskus), though I overstated the case against the likelihood of 'Mr. Anus'/'Mr. Scrotum' rather than 'Mr. Badger' in Katz 1998: 75f. Recently, Neumann 1999b: 202-5 has plausibly interpreted the Mycenaean man's name ku-mo-no-so (KN Da 1313.B) as /Gumn-orsos/, literally 'Nacktarsch', and Watkins 1999: 542 has noted "the number of European personal names like Mentula, Couillard, Schwanz, Schmuck, perhaps Gvozdanovic and quite possibly Wacker-nagel" that have the "male organ as a[n...] onomastic etymon."

(12.) However the variation in Gaulish between Tasc- and Tasg- is to be explained (it may perhaps be merely orthographic), (O)Ir. Tad(h)g requires *tazgo- whereas the British personal name Teuchwant, which may mean 'Badger-slayer' (see especially Koch 1992), requires *tasko-.

(13.) For a recent pictorial comment on the similarity between the two animals--some three and a-half millennia after Hittite--see Susan Varley's illustrations of Badger and his friend Mole in Hiawyn Oram's lovely 1998 children's book, Badger's Bad Mood (New York: Levine). These are, of course, highly stylized depictions, but I do not believe that it is an over-interpretation to state that Varley emphasizes the friendly relationship between the two creatures by giving them very similar heads and noses and by twice portraying the large badger and the smaller mole nearly nose-to-nose (pp. [7] and [14]). In fact, a secretary in my department who saw the picture on p. 7 asked me, "Are they father and son?," and when I pointed out to her that the one was a badger and the other a mole, she said that she had been confused by the noses.

(14.) Mitchell 1993: 93 writes that the [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "should certainly be identified with the otherwise unique Ascodrobi of the manuscripts of Jerome." While Ascodrobi may be attested only there, there is abundant evidence for other variations of the name that begin Asco-, e.g., Ascodrugitac (Filastrius) and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Theodoret). The best overview of the primary sources (with details on the variae lectiones of the names) is Holder 1904: cols. 1745-48; Hort 1877 provides a brief but useful account that places these Christians in their historical context.

(15.) It is sobering that the paired words [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] make up virtually our entire knowledge of Galatian vocabulary aside from names of individuals and places (on the Galatian language, see Weisgerber 1931 and now Freeman 2001). The form [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is surely the same as W trwyn 'nose' (cf. also trogne 'drunkard's face, mug' in French, from an unattested Gaulish noun [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), though it must be admitted that Epiphanius' connection with [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (no source appears to have [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) is less obvious than one might hope. As for [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in the meaning 'peg', this would seem to be isolated in Celtic, though scholars typically follow Jud 1923: 411-16 and compare such Romance forms as Prov. tascoun 'coin qui fixe le soc de la charrue' and Catal. tasconar 'cuneis firmare, cuneos adigere' (see Evans 1967: 264, with f urther references).

(16.) There are two recent translations: Amidon 1990: 172 and Williams 1994: 20 (the latter's rendering of [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as 'nose-pickers' strikes me as unwise).

(17.) In what is surely nothing but a convenient folk-etymology (though see Hort 1877: 175), Filastrius, Diversarum hereseon liber 75 links the name of the Ascodrugitae instead with [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'wineskin', stating that the people in question dance wildly around such an object: Alii sunt iterum Ascodrugitae in Galatia, qul utrem inflantes ponunt et cooperiunt in sua ecciesia et circumeunt eum insanientes potius et bacchantes (note that Filastrius differentiates between the Ascodrugitae and the Possalorinchitae, as he calls them in the very next section, 76). Compare also Augustine, De haeresibus 62: Ascitae oh utre appellati sunt ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] enim Graece Latine uter dicitur), quem perhibentur inflatum er opertum circuire bacchantes tamquam ipsi sint evangelici utres novi novo vino repleti (Augustine, too, discusses the Passalorynchitae in his next section, 63, writing, among other things, Cur autem per palum digitum significare maluerint a quibus hoc nomen comp ositum est nescio, cum Graece et dicatur digitus [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] possint utique Dactylorynchitae multo evidentius nuncupari).

(18.) None of this explains why the people would be called 'Badger-' or 'Mole-noses' in the first place; we may never know. (For a somewhat similar animal as the basis of a much earlier tribal name in Anatolia [basically Bithynia], note [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'Beavers' [cognate with Skt. babhruka- 'mongoose'; see below]--often taken to be Thracian, though Sergent 1988: 345-50 and passim rather daringly suggests that it is Celtic [otherwise, Strobel 1996: 41 n. 107, in his extraordinarily thorough overview of what is known about the Celtic presence in Anatolia].) One possibility is that [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] did in fact originally mean 'Peg-noses' (for it is hard to see why Epiphanius would have sald "[LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" if it was not true), but that the existence of a homophonous or very similar word for 'badger', [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (vel sim.), gave rise to the interpretation 'Badger-noses', from which a by-form 'Molenoses' might then have arise n.

(19.) I owe what little I know about Basque to Larry Trask, to whom I am indebted for generous discussion of the idea proposed in this paragraph and for providing me with numerous references. For help with Modern Greek, I am grateful to Dimitri Gondicas and Andromache Karanika.

(20.) For references to and discussion of this and other derivations, see Agud and Tovar 1989: 520f., as well as Agud and Tovar 1988: 655f. A competing etymology that has recently received undue attention as the result of being invoked in the service of "Proto-World" (see the appropriately harsh condemnation of J. D. Bengston and M. Ruhlen in Trask 1997: 409f.) starts from the oniy dialect of Basque in which the word for 'badger' begins with an h-, Zuberoan ha(r)zku, and connects this animal with the bear, the usual Basque word for which is hartz (see Trask 1997: 296 and 409f.); but Zuberoan is "known to have extended the aspiration to initial position in words which did not historically have it" (Trask 1997: 410) and, besides, no one who has supported the idea that the badger is etymologically a 'bear-X' has managed to account for the 'X'. Still another view of azkoin (see in the first place Bouda 1951: 130 and 132) connects it with Caucasian verbs that mean 'hide' (this seems unlikely, though I lack the kno wledge to judge it properly).

(21.) Trask 1997: 180-83 discusses the "very sparse and fragmentary" evidence (181) that an ancestor of pre-Basque underwent the systematic loss of certain initial consonants (for the data that involve /t-/, see p. 182). If such a dramatic change did in fact take place, then it is not absolutely impossible (as Trask points out to me) that a very early borrowing of the word for 'badger' from, say, Celtic might have lost its initial *t-. in time to become pre-Basque *azkone. I view this as less likely than my own proposal, though.

(22.) I owe the idea of such a crossing to very helpful discussions with Peter Schrijver.

(23.) As Keller 1909: 173 puts it, "Vom Dachs [...] ist weder bei den Griechen noch bei den Romern viel die Rede, obgleich er [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] nicht selten war." Keller 1909: 174f. and Bonner Bellquist 1993: 332f. note the form [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]* in (Herodorus of Heraclea apud) Aristotle, Generation of Animals 757a (Keller disputes that this word, whose usual meaning is 'racecourse', does in fact mean 'badger') and a tenth-century A.D. gloss of Lat. meles as [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (literally 'bear-mouse'). On the accusative plural [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (v.1. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Aristophanes, Acharnians 879, which some have taken to mean 'badgers', but may in fact mean something entirely different ('writing tablets'), see Morenilla-Talens 1986.

(24.) The difference in accentuation (Skt. akhu- is oxytone, whereas Hitt. asku- presupposes barytone *asku-) should not be overly troubling, especially in a Wanderwort.

(25.) Note that although I shall frequently refer to the Hittite evidence throughout the rest of the paper, using asku- (and tasku-) as a convenient foil for Skt. akhu- (and nakula-), I am not arguing that the latter is a direct borrowing from (pre-)Hittite or some other Indo-European Anatolian language. (Even Gamkrelidze and Ivanov 1995: 809, who consider the Indo-European homeland to have been in greater Anatolia [though somewhat more to the east of where Renfrew would have it, roughly in modern-day Armenia], write, "It is significant that the Anatolian languages give no evidence of contact with Indo-Iranian and vice versa. This is evidence of an early break between Anatolian and Aryan dialects within Indo-European and their early movement in different directions with no subsequent contact between them.") What seems to me most likely is that the Wanderwort for 'mole' was used east of historical Hittite territory as well as west and that the pre-Indians learned it from speakers of some unidentified--and by n o means necessarily Indo-European--language in which the forms were effectively the same as in Hittite.

(26.) Mallory 1989: 35-48 provides a reasonable overview of the origins and migrations of the Indo-Aryans (including comments on the curious appearance of Indic elements in the language and culture of the Hurrian Mitanni of northern Syria); the second half of his book provides what is probably the best survey of the Indo-European "homeland problem," with strong words against Renfrew and a good presentation of the evidence in favor of the identification of "Kurgan culture" with (Ptoto-)Indo-European speakers (see Mallory 1989: 143-85 and passim). Other recent Indo-European-oriented descriptions, with maps, are Mallory and Adams 1997: 290-99 ("Indo-European Homeland"; Mallory) and 308-11 ("Indo-Iranian Languages"; Adams and Mallory), Barber 1999: 184-93 (note esp. fig. 9.6 on p. 186), and Mallory and Mair 2000: 127-31, 252-69, and passim (with a good summary of the latest views on the Andronovo and Afanasevo Cultures and the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex). Recent comments by Indologists include Parpol a 1988 (note esp. fig. 31 on p. 300), Allchin 1995: 41-53, and the papers in Erdosy 1995.

(27.) In the past decade, biologists have recognized that Southeast Asian and Indian moles do not in fact belong to the genus Talpa (see Nowak 1999: [I.]235-37, with further literature): in the most up-to-date parlance, the terms Euroscaptor micrura and Parascaptor leucura replace Talpa micrura and Talpa micrura leucura, respectively. These are the only two kinds of moles in or around India: the former (Indian short-tailed mole) is found "[i]n the extreme northeast of the Himalaya and the Assam foothills," while the latter (White-tailed mole) "has been collected from the Khasia and Naga Hills" (thus, R. E. Hawkins 1986: 329 ["Insectivora"; T. J. Roberts]; compare Prater 1965: 167f., plus plate 38). For the distribution of talpids in the world, see Nowak 1999: (I.)xxvii and 229-43 and the maps in Gorman and Stone 1990: 5 and 13f.

(28.) Prater 1965: 205f., plus plate 46, refers to Bandicota bengalensis as an 'Indian mole-rat', though zoologists normally reserve the term 'mole-rat' for different animals, ones not found in India. For the confusion between talpids and rodents in Greece, compare Thompson 1918 (also Keller 1909: 23f. and 207), who argues that [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] at least sometimes means blind (mole-)rat' (Nannospalax or Microspalax leucodon, in the latest terminology) rather than 'mole'; otherwise, now, Hunemorder 1999: col. 1047.

(29.) Rats are assumed to have spread from Southeast Asia, which explains why no Proto-Indo-European word for 'rat' can be reconstructed (compare Mallory and Adams 1997: 387 ["Mouse"; Adams and Mallory]). On Indian rats and other rodents, see Prater 1965: 188-217 (plus associated plates) and R. E. Hawkins 1986: 466 ("Rats"; G. W. Fulk) and also 472-74 ("Rodents"; T. J. Roberts); Emeneau 1993 provides the latest linguistic perspective (with an emphasis on Dravidian).

(30.) The ratel (Mellivora capensis) is often known as 'honey badger', although from a zoological point of view, it is not actually a badger.

(31.) The most comprehensive work on mongooses is Hinton and Dunn 1967 (pp. 11-20 treat their ability to kill venomous animals); see also Prater 1965: 96-105, plus plate 24, and Nowak 1999: (I.)766-86.

(32.) Kipling 1937: 7 himself wrote, "A perfectly wild mongoose used to come and sit on my shoulder in my office in India, and burn his inquisitive nose on the end of my cigar, just as Rikki did in the tale" (quoted also on p. 364 of Daniel Karlin's notes to the 1987 Penguin edition).

(33.) See Jamison 1991: 59-61 and 87f. Pointing to the use of nakula-, "which seems not to be originally a color term," in a series of colors in TS (... babhrave svaha nakulaya svaha rohithaya svaha... "... Hail to the brown. Hail to the mongoose(-colored). Hail to the red ...," cited also by Mayrhofer 1992: 2), Jamison writes that "[t]his might indicate that the mongoose was often enough referred to as the 'tawny one' (harina-) that its real name could also be interpreted as a color term" (59 n. 22). In support of the idea that harina- in MS 3.9.3 could mean 'mongoose', I would add that another Vedic term for this animal is babhruka- (AVP, VS+ [MS v.1. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]]), a substantivization of the adjective babhruka- 'brownish', itself transparently derived from babhru- '(red-) brown' (dat. sg. babhrave in the above citation), which, as is well known, underlies the word for 'beaver' in many languages. On babhruka- and also babhru-, see Nenninger 1993: 167 (Meulenbeld 1974: 480f. discusses the post-Vedic use of the latter to mean 'mongoose').

(34.) See Schaefer 1994: 84 and esp. 122-25: "Nun scheinen Mungoweibchen bei der Paarung zwar nicht zu zappeln, wohl aber 'Sprodigkeitsverhalten' zu zeigen, indem sie sich zunachst ducken (bzw. auch niedergedruckt werden), um dann durch das Hochbiegen des Hinterkorpers Paarungsbereitschaft zu signalisieren. Dieser Vorgang wiederholt sich mehrfach, bevor es zur eigentlichen Begattung kommt. Nimmt man an, durch jangahe wurde eben dieses Paarungsritual bezeichnet, so konnte dem Intensivum eine Bedeutung 'krummt sich wiederholt, biegt sich immer wieder hoch' zukommen" (124, footnotes omitted). Schaefer's opinion is accepted by Jamison 1997: 51 ("an exemplary--and delightful--demonstration of the value of realia in determining the meaning of ancient texts"); Werba 1997: 186 tentatively catalogues this new root [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(35.) See Lubotsky 1997: 562f., who writes: "It is well known that ichneumons [sic; see below] are famous for their smell. When squeezed at their back, they emit a strong musk-like odor" (563).

(36.) At least a couple of other terms from the post-Vedic period can be added: angusa- and sucivadana- ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ?). On these words and the metaphors that may underlie them ('Pfeil' and 'Spitzmaul/-zahn', respectively), see Nenninger 1993: 166f. (H. Berger apud Mayrhofer 1963: 122 offers a completely different view of the former).

(37.) Jamison 1987, writing of kasika- that "it is taken as a 'weasel' by Sayana, a 'pole cat' by Fick, and an 'Ichneumonweibchen' by Geldner (and Mayrhofer)" (89), points to a remarkable example of linguistic play in RV 1.126.6: following Stanley Insler, she links this word for a musky creature with the poet of the hymn, Kaksivant, whose name seems to mean something like 'Having a (famous) musk-groin (kaksa- ~ muska-)' (see pp. 81-91, esp. 88). Blazek 1992: 58 speculates rather daringly on the relationship of kasika- to forms in not just Baltic, but also Semitic.

(38.) See Hinton and Dunn 1967: 109-23, esp. 116f., as well as Prater 1965: 96-105, esp. 101-3, Ewer 1973: 402f., R. E. Hawkins 1986: 97 ("Carnivora"; T. J. Roberts) and 377 ("Mongoose"; I. Prakash), and Nowak 1999: (I.)771-73 (for the latest word on such matters as the conspecificity of Herpestes javanicus and H. auropunctatus, see p. 772).

(39.) See Hinton and Dunn 1967: 42-45 and index s.v. "anal glands"; see also Nowak 1999: (I)768.

(40.) The best description--along with a positively adorable photograph (Tafel V, Abbildung 1)--is in Rensch & Ducker 1959: 189: "Sehr kennzeichnend fur den weiblichen Mungo ist ein 'Maulwurfsspiel'. Das Tier liebt es, unter eine Tischdecke, eine Chaiselonguedecke, einen Teppich, ein Tuch oder unter ein Bettlaken zu schlupfen, um schnell darunter hin- und herzulaufen oder zu kriechen (Abb. 1). Kommt der Kopf am Rande des Gewebes zum Vorschein, so kehrt der Mungo wieder um. Man gewinnt dabei den Eindruck, dass die Beruhrung des an der Umwelt entlanggleitenden Ruckens stark positiv gefuhlsbetont ist. Da beim Einschlupfen in engere Hohlen, vor allem auch in Wohnbauten von Beutetieren ahnliche sukzessive Beruhrungsreize auftreten, so konnte die positive Gefuhlsbetonung als phylogenetisch erworbener Anreiz fur das Beutesuchen unter der Erde angesehen werden."

(41.) Rensch and Ducker 1959: 207 Write: "Nur mit den Musteliden gemeinsam haben die beiden Herpestes-Arten anscheinend den Kampfspielbeginn mit Mannchenmachen und von oben Herabfallenlassen auf den Spielpartner. Das liegt wohl daran, dass Herpestinen und Musteliden in gleicher Weise regelmassig durch Manochenmachen sichern. Ebenfalls zeigten nur [der] Iltis und unsere Mungos das 'Maulwurfsspiel', das wahrscheinlich dadurch ausgelost wird, dass fur diese beiden Tiergruppen das Einschlupfen in enge Hohlen und das Entlanggleiten des Korpers in den Gangen lustbetont ist. Es kann sein, dass diese Parallelitaten mit den Musteliden nur durch die ahnliche Proportionierung der Korper beider Tiergruppen und durch die ahnliche Nahrungsappetenz bedingt und mithin nur als Analogien aufzufassen sind. Es erscheint uns allerdings bislang wahrscheinlicher, dass hier doch phylogenetisch gemeinsame Komponenten vorliegen, weil auch so viele andere Teilhandlungen der Spiele bei Herpestiden und Musteliden gemeinsam sind wie Hochs prung, kurzes Belauern und Uberraschungsangriffe aus Deckung heraus beim Kampfspiel, die Lauf- und Fluchtspiele, das Schutteln der Beuteattrappen sowie das Purzelbaumschlagen. [Ducker] hatte zudem bereits bei anderen starreren Verhaltensweisen Ubereinstimmungen mit den Musteliden festgestellt (Spninglaufen, Fehlen einer eigentlichen Gesichtswasche, Drohschrei, Ruckwartsgang, Sexualverhalten bei Viverricula)." See further Ducker 1965: 31-37 and passim, as well as Hinton and Dunn 1967: 48-54.

(42.) For literature and comments, see Mayrhofer 1992: 2, 3, and also 7.

(43.) On initial voiced stops in Anatolia, see Katz 2001: 219f. and passim, in the context of justifying a quasi-equation for another animal-Wanderwort: Hitto-Luv. tapa(s)- (probably / daba(s)-/), Lat. lepus, and Arm. napastak, etc., all meaning 'hare'.

(44.) The accentuation of [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] exhibits onomastic retraction.

(45.) Should [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] be compared with the Hittite name mAskaliyas ("Seigneur de Hurma" in the Palace Chronicle, as recorded by Laroche 1966: 45)?

(46.) For details of this alternation in Proto-Indo-European, Sanskrit, and Greek, see Lamberterie 1990: 701-14, esp. 708-11, with earlier literature, to which add now Vine 1998: 87f.

(47.) Normally, of course, the (inherited) cluster *-sk- remains in Indic (or, when the stop is palatal rather than velar, as it much more often is, develops regularly into -(c)ch-).

(48.) Note also that the two animals appear side-by-side in Indic in the Visnu Smrti (51.46 nakulakho), as Stephanie Jamison informs me.

(49.) The form is best known from the same line of Aristophanes' Acharnians mentioned in n. 23. While it might perhaps be Boeotian (see, e.g., Keller 1909: 20), it is more likely simply a variant of [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] within Attic(-Ionic); see Furnee 1972: 153 and Colvin 1999: 250.

(50.) A number of colleagues have suggested to me that the aspirate in akhu- might indicate that the Sanskrit word for 'mole' shows Middle Indic phonology (compare the speculations of Charpentier 1932-33: 104 about Skt. akhara- [see n. 1]; see also Hiersche 1964: 89). The problem with this is that (to judge from Turner 1966, plus addenda) there seems to he no evidence for the survival of this word for 'mole' in any Middle or Modern Indo-Aryan language.

(51.) Masato Kobayashi points out to me that K. R. Norman explains the "[u]netymological aspiration" in Pali sunakha 'dog' (cf. Skt. sunaka-) as "probably" under the influence of a "folk-etymology 'with good nails'" (in Geiger 1994: 32f. 1 [[section]40.1(b), with Norman's n. 6]). To judge from Panini 6.3.75, the native interpretation of nakula- was na + kula-, i.e., something like 'one that has no family'; if the segmentation with kula- was indeed widespread, then this might have impeded the spreading of analogical aspiration. It does not seem likely that the -k- in nakula- would be analogous on the -k- in nakra- 'crocodile', though this cannot be ruled out. Note that in spite of the plausible semantics, chronology rules out explaining the velar in nakula- as based on such later Indic words for 'nose' as nakra- (see Mayrhofer 1963: 123: "Hypersanskritismen aus prakr. nakka-, nakka- dss. [nepali nak, usw.], die wohl aus *nas-ka [:nas-] stammen").


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Author:Katz, Joshua T.
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Apr 1, 2002
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