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Ignida acalifex urtica idem sed gnidion dicunt greci.


Ignida | Ing'da p
acalife AC | acalifex B efjp {the ending –ife is confused with the more common ending -ifex as in artifex}
urtica | urtiga A
gnidion ABC | guidion efjp {'n' misread as 'u'}
etc. add. j


Ignida is the same a Greek acalife or Latin urtica {"stinging nettle"}, but the Greeks call it gnidion.


is a Vulgar Latin form of Greek κνíδη /knídē/ "nettle, urtica" and "sea-nettle". The initial consonant cluster /kn-/ does not occur in Latin words - except for Greek loans - and is therefore changed into /gn-/, although even this combination is rare in Latin. Initial /gn-/ even in classical times had in most cases alternative pronunciations, e.g. gnatus or natus, gnosco or nosco, whereas word-internally the combination /-gn-/ was quite common: agnus, cognomen, etc. The addition of a prosthetic vowel makes the cluster word-internal and therefore more familiar: ignida.

two variant forms exist of this word in classical Greek: ἀκαλήφη /akalḗphē/ and ἀκαλύφη /akalýphē/ "stinging-nettle" but also "sea-anemone". Both variants are affected in Simon's times by late Greek sound changes, η > ι {/ē/ > /i/} and υ > ι {/y/ > /i/} resulting in the same pronunciation /akalífi/. Simon's pronunciation is that of a medieval Latin speaker where 'y' is pronounced /i/ and long vowels are largely ignored, leading to /akalífe/.

is corrupted from κνíδιον /knídion/ the diminutive form of κνíδη /knídē/ "nettle, urtica" and "sea-nettle". LSJ also mention a form κνήδιον /knḗdion/ meaning "nettle".

As for urtiga in witness A, it reflects North Italian influenced forms, e.g. Ligurian ortiga, Emilia Romagna urtiga, in contrast to the more southern Italian dialect forms like ortica; cf. also other Romance languages, e.g. Iberian: Catalan, Spanish, Gallego: ortiga, Portuguese: urtiga.

WilfGunther 12:33, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

See also: Urtica, Acalife, Knidi

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