THE "ARBITRARINESS" OF LINGUISTIC SIGN
by Ion Cârstoiu
It is understood by arbitrariness that there are no elements in the nature of the object that would require the use of a particular sound complex and not another, so that each language uses another term to express one and the same idea (Al.Graur,TLG,B.,1971,p.190), Other authors speak of the accidental form in different languages (P.Miclau). From Saussure, scientists support the arbitrary linguistic sign and cite "house, neck, tree, dog"etc. which have different forms in the languages of the world. This is a false axiom, because the words are not arbitrary, the form is not accidental, but explicable and related to something. Saussure and his descendants are victims of the Paris Linguistics Society, which has forbidden the research of the origin of language. I will demonstrate the falsity of the arbitrariness of linguistic sign even discussing the situation of words with the meaning of "house".
The primitive dwelling was a shelter of approximately round shape as is today the case of Eskimo, Zulu houses, in all African, Asian, America Indians tents… The roundness of prehistoric houses reminds us of sun form. I found more than 80 words meaning "house" and all are in relation to the sun, sky and star: 1)In Adzerma (Niger) hu means"house", just like the sun hu in Sentani language (Papua N.G.). Teribe word for"dwelling" (Panama) is u, with h eliminated. 2) The house is called so in Djoula (Mali), just as the name of the sun so in Koyukon (Alaska). It is certain that in prehistory the ancestors of these populations lived together or were in contact and this is true for all examples that will be given below. 3) PIE*kath-"house"=kath(Cath) "sun" in Etruscan,similar to kot in Melanesian, kuat in Camaiura (Brazil). 4) The Latin casa "house", with unknown etymology, is comparable with the word kasa"sun" in Koaia (west of Brazil). 5) Kad, the Iranian home reminds the shape of the sun kada in Bagirmi (Chad). 6) At the base of PIE * dom, dama "house" must stay ndama "sun" in Masai (Kenya) and hidoma ˝sun" in Nipode Witoto. 7) In Quechua wasi "house" may be cf.was "sun" in Molalla (Oregon). 8) Comparable with garri "sun" in Ngadjon (Australia) are: gar in Harari, guri, goro in Somali, ger in Mongolian, all "house". 9) The variant with k is in Gipsy ker, but cf. keri "diurnal asther" in Tariano, South America. 10) Wolof (Senegal) word for "house" is kir and we think of Iranian kir, kur, khur, all "sun". 11) In Somali, the house is also said sare, recalling "sun" in Kaipi, Toaripi (Papua N.G.), namely sare. 12) The famous Russian izba "house" makes us think of "sun" in Kirundi (Rwanda) izuba with u transformed into y and then eliminated. See also izbi "to hit" in Romanian, Slavic.
13)The house in Baltic is nams,namas, cf.nam "sun" in Dumi, Kulung (Nepal). 14) Hare is "house" in Rapanui, but in Orokolo hare means "sun" (Papua N.G.). 15) Navajo word for "house" is kin, but kin, kiin mean "sun" in Maya, Turkic. 16) In Mansi kol "house", the same word has the sense "sun" in Scythian, kolo "sun" in Watubela, and "wheel" in Russian. 17) Compare ruka in Araucan, ruq in Avar=Lezgi (Daghestan) with arka "sun" in Sanskrit. 18) "Dwelling" in Pashto is kor=kor "sun" in Iranian and Didinga (South Sudan). 19) In Tagota (P.N.G.) dari "sun" , but darimo "house" in the same language. 20) Sha is "house" in Chinese and sha "sun" in Navajo. 21) In Hausa (Nigeria) daki has the sense "house,room", cf.daka "sun" in Makah. 22) Lar "house" in Galego (Spain) take us to think of the sun lara in Aru Isl. (Indonesia). 23) Compare swa"house" in Baule with sua "sun" in Chibcha (Colombia). 24) Add ki "sun" in Siroi (P.N.G.)~ki "house" in O'odham. 25) Cf.Chinese tien "house, palace "~tien"sky". 26) Kiwai word for "house" is moto=moto "star" in Sawu (Australia).
And so up to 80 examples. The interdiction of SLP (1866) to study the origin of language led to the unfortunate conclusion of Saussure, undisputed by no one important in science, about the "arbitrary" character of the form of words, accepted as a dogma. What the modern scientist can not comprehend has seen the primitive of tens of thousands of years ago. Was it a counsel of wise men to give him the idea? Can anybody to affirm so easy that the form of the word "house" is arbitrary,accidental? After this "model" it is possible to demonstrate the motivated, nonarbitrary character of many other words and thus the arbitrariness principle should be abandoned.
THE SIGN IS NOT ARBITRARY
By D. Bolinger (1949)
One of the cardinal assumptions of linguistics is that the signs of language are, by and large, not appropriate to the meanings that they convey. I do not mean that linguists have assumed that signs are inappropriate , but only that there is no bond between the sign and its meaning which could not as well be dissolved in favor of some other sign with the same meaning: perro is a historical accident that has perpetuated itself, but has no more intrinsic right to symbolize 'perro' than has, say, becerro or alma. The assumption of the arbitrariness of the sign has had its causes and its effects. To a great extent I suspect that it was born, or at least confirmed, at the hands of the comparativists, who observed the series perro-dog-can-chien-hund etc. and concluded that since forms differing as radically as any set of forms can differ in their phonetic content are yet able to convey a meaning with equal aptitude, the question of aptitude is irrelevant and resemblances for the most part are to be studied as indications of related origin or contact, not as suggesting any kind of psychological or semantic necessity. Among its effects the most far-reaching has been the divorce between linguistics and semantics. If the sign is arbitrary, forms can be studied apart from meanings — indeed, to attempt to involve meanings in the study of forms is to invite confusión. This has bred a generation of linguists who display acute symptoms of fright and its accompanying compensations when meanin g is mentioned, who have elaborated subtle techniques for circumventing it in their analyses, and who have left the investigation of meaning adrift and at the mercy of a few competent semanticists among a legión of charlatans. It has, to be sure, restricted their field and relieved them of a burden that a young science would have found it hard to bear; but linguistics has now gone far enough no longer to be excused from assuming that burden. To convince our linguists, it is necessary to attack their fundamental assumption of the arbitrariness of die sign. If the sign is not arbitrary, there must be an intimate connexion between form and meaning — sufficiently cióse at times for form to influence meaning, and for meaning to influence form.
Tratat de lingvistica generala,Bucuresti,1971
Ion Carstoiu,Sun in world languages
Originea limbajului."Arbitrarul" semnului lingvistic.
Slava Novikov,The word sun in all languages
Dwight Bolinger,The Sign is not Arbitrary,1949("discovered" by me a week ago).
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