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Bolites grece boletus fongus sed volitis dicit.


boletus ABC f | bolitus f

fongus ABC | fungus (-us f) ef

sed BC | sʒ ef | vel A


Bolites is Greek for Latin boletus {"edible mushroom"} or fongus {"mushroom in general"}, but {a Greek speaker} pronounces volitis.


The Latin word boletus denotes edible mushroom or the best kind of mushrooms (Lewis & Short, 1879), whereas the generic Latin term is fungus, cf. Fungi. Some of Simon's witnesses have a Vulgar Latin form: fongus, cf. Spanish hongo.

Simon's Greek word bolites goes back to the late Greek forms βωλήτης, βωλίτης /bōlḗtēs, bōlítēs/. Simon's bolites reflects the pronunciation Latin speakers would use for Greek βωλίτης /bōlítēs/, more precisely */bolítes/, because long vowels had already been lost in the Romance languages and consequently in the Latin pronunciation of Romance speakers.

However, Greek native speakers at that time would have pronounced both variants /volítis/, a form Simon also mentions. In their speech several late Greek sound changes had applied: ω > ο {/ō/ > /o/}; η > ι {/ē/ > /i/} and β > /v/ {/b/ > /v/} resulting in /volítis/.

Greek βωλήτης, βωλίτης /bōlḗtēs, bōlítēs/ is probably a loan from Latin boletus.

See also: Fungi, Volitis

WilfGunther 18/05/13

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