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Emicranea grece est dolor medie partis capitis.


Emicranea A f | Emictanea A {'r' misread as 't'} | Emigrãea B | Emigranea e

grece om. AC

est om. B ef

medie AB ef | medicine C {medie misinterpreted as abbreviation of medicina; cf. Cappelli p.219: medna = medicina}


Emicranea is Greek and it means having pain in one half-part of the head.


Greek ἡμικρανία /hēmikranía/, a compound consisting ἡμι- (hēmi-), "half" + κραν(ίον) /kran-(íon)/ "brain box, skull" + -ία /-ía/ {abstract noun ending} > ἡμικρανία /hēmikranía/ "pain on one side of the head, migraine". There also exists a collateral form ἡμικράνιον /hēmikránion/. Both forms were adopted into Latin as hemicrania and hemicranium.

The sound /h/ had long disappeared in the Greek and Latin of Simon's time although the ever conservative spelling did frequently still write the diacritic or the letter, but in many cases it was ignored in spelling. In original Greek words, which Simon usually transcribes as he hears them, /h/ is therefore no longer written by him > emicrania. Also Simon must have pronounced this Greek word the Latin way, because in the Greek of his time one would have expected Classic ἡμι- (hēmi-) to be pronounced */imi-/, Also the word must have been stressed by him the Latin way, i.e. –κρανία /-kranía/ changed stress to become */-kránia/, since only the unstressed word endings –ea and –ia had merged into –ia as early as late Antiquity. This explains the interchangeabilty in the spelling between –ia and –ea in many of Simon's witnesses.

In the Western Romania the sound /k/, when intervocalic or between vowel + /r/, tended to become voiced, i.e. > /g/, cf. Latin lacus > Spanish/ Portuguese lago. Emicrania suffered the same sound change, as shown by witnesses B and e, resulting in emigranea or emigrania. Thus this semi-erudite word, subjected also to aphesis, i.e. the loss of an initial unstressed vowel, became migrania. And from this basis it then entered in medieval times or later most European languages in some similar adopted form, cf. Old Italian magrana, Modern Italian emicrania is a learned reintroduction; Old French migraigne, Modern French migraine. On the Iberian Peninsula Catalan migranya; Spanish migraña have an Arabic derived rival jaqueca < Arabic ﺷﻘﻴﻘﺔ /šaqīqa/ i.a. "migraine" < ﺷﻖ /šaqqa/ "to split, cleave", which becomes the sole expression for migraine in Galego and Portuguese: enxaqueca {IPA Portuguese [ɐ̃jʃɐ'kekɐ], Bras. [ẽʃa'keka]} < ﺍﻟﺸﻘﻴﻘﺔ /aš-šaqīqa/ with assimilated Arabic article; cf. Old Spanish: axaqueca {pronounced */aša'keka/}.

For further information see Cefalargia.

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