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zompist bboard • View topic - I have a theory

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 Post subject: I have a theory
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:01 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru
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There is an Arabic word tabl "drum", from Persian word tabir/tabil (same meaning), which would be a variation of "tanbur" (luth) ultimately from Sumerian "pantur" (long luth).

The shift from luth > drum is explained quite transparently as the sound box of many ancient lux was structurally a drum (an animal skin stretched over a wooden frame).

All these different words are borrowed by many languages to give the name of various drums or luths. We have the Indian "tabla", the Greek "pandoura", the French "tambour", the Bulgarian "tambura", the Kazakh "dombra", and so on.


Now, there is also a Latin word "tabula", of unknown origin, which means "tablet", "plank", "board", "map".

It too, has a lot of offsprings. It gives us of course "table" and its variant forms and meanings, but it's also the source of the name of two distinct games: tables (aka backgammon), and the Nordic Tafl games.

However, "table" (in both French and English) also has a very specialised and specific meaning: it can be used to designate the soundboard of a string instrument.


My theory, now, is that "tabula" came from Persian "tabil/tanbur" via an unattested Greek word.

Discuss.


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 Post subject: Re: I have a theory
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:53 am 
Smeric
Smeric

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