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Word heritage senses - Unique words for unique places

 
Author Astraftis
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 28 Jan 2022 21:12 | Edited by: Astraftis 
So, hoping for this not to be too niche, here I'd like to open a new etymological feature! It's all about strange words (in any language) that we encounter with regard to WHSs: sometimes in their names, sometimes in the evaluations of advisory bodies... we have had some discussion about curious terms (e.g. here), sometimes I see some considerations popping up in reviews, so why not have a place to discuss or clarify them? :-D

I'll try to begin with a small list that I have been keeping lately. Of course I am beginning with...

- Klint (Danish): you find it in Stevns klint, Baltic klint (TWHS), and pCTWHS (probably coming) Møns klint. Well, as mentioned, I already tried to delve into this here. It's a geological word that denotes some kind of ridge, it is of Baltic origin and it is currently used practically only in Denmark and maybe Sweden, where it denotes cliffs. Obscure origins, but despite similarities with eng. cliff ger. Klippe it should not be related. Now, to complicate things, Danish also has another word, klit, which although it usually denotes a sand dune, is just a dialectal variation of klint in origin, and so you can have e.g. Hanklit on Mors (Moler landscapes) where you would expect Hanklint, given it+s not sand. While klitplantage are decidedly plantations done on dunes, and not on cliffs. Very confusing.

- Villa (Italian): this seems to be obvious, but might be confusing, too. It seems to be a use peculiar to Lazio and that region of Italy, in fact, to sometimes have a slight different meaning than the common one of "house/manor", rather specifying an "estate", and even further a "park" or similar. This notably happens for Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli... where there is no building at all!!! In Rome, you also have Villa Doria Pamphilj, which is an enormous park, with all its amenities. Inside you find a building, but it's not the villa, it's a casino (elegant "country house", lit. "small house"). Also here, the term villa denotes the whole former property.
"villa" actually denoted a country-house already in Roman times, and it comes from a diminutive form vicula (> vicla > villa) of vicus, a "row of houses" (hence italian vicolo "alley"), also a "hamlet". So a villa is originally "an ensemble of country houses"; in French it has even been expanded to the concept of "city" (ville). So, this meaning of "estate" in Rome and surroundings is secondary and collateral: in everyday Italian it is not present.

- Lice (French): maybe more often lices in the plural, we encounter them prominently in Carcassonne, where many a word is told to the visitor about them. They denote the empty, walkable space between the two walled enceintes... a very scenic walk, in fact. I am not so sure if this word is so rare in modern French, but this meaning, near to the original one, is very specific; I have not even heard it used for other castles.
In the beginning, lice was used just for a space for training, tournaments and similar circled by a palisade. Now, what fascinated me most is its ultimate provenance and its ramifications. To a Romance ear it does not sound so familiar, and it actually is of Germanic roots, a form listja (> lisza > lice, I suppose) related to lista which is the same as list in English. But lista originally meant "edge, hem" (and this remains e.g. in Italian as an obsolete sense), then used for a strip of fabric or paper where you can write a long... list of things. But in German today we also have Leiste (the long i > ei), so I suppose in other Germanic languages something similar, too, with the meaning of narrow piece of wood, a fillet or molding (but retains a sense of "strip of fabric", and also means "groin" = "a strip of skin"). Beyond that, its origins are lost in time, cognates in other languages are not found. To sum it up, in the beginning lice described the palisade acting as a border to a piece of terrain often placed outside of the walls, subsequently that terrain itself, and now a piece of terrain that borders fortified walls! Bonus: in Italian the corresponding word is the by now obsolete lizza, which is only used in the idion essere in lizza (con qualcuno) "to be in the lices (with someone)", i.e. to be competing for something!

* * *

Words, too, do make big journeys, and sometimes they end it in a WHS. I will come again with other words as soon as I remember them! Do you have some curious WHS-related terms to suggest/discuss? I have started with those with which I am most familiar, but would love to find some in other parts of the world too!

Author Colvin
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 29 Jan 2022 01:33 | Edited by: Colvin 
To keep this going, I might suggest the following addition:

Falaj (Arabic): Arabic name for an irrigation channel common in the arid/semi-arid climates of the Middle East, Iran, and North Africa; denoted as aflaj in the plural. These channels can be found in the United Arab Emirates at Al Ain and in Oman in the Aflaj Irrigation System. In Iran, these channels are known in Persian/Farsi as qanats, as can be found in The Persian Qanat.

Author Liam
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 29 Jan 2022 03:12 
Astraftis:
In the beginning, lice was used just for a space for training, tournaments and similar circled by a palisade.

This use of the word 'list' still survives in English, with reference to jousting. So, again, fairly archaic.

WHS are great for opening you up to new concepts that simply don't figure in your own country, from beguinages through stecci and all the way to the subah system and Tri Hita Karana philosophy!

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 29 Jan 2022 03:34 
Korea does this often . . .

Seowon - the most common educational institutions of Korea during the mid- to late Joseon Dynasty. They were private institutions, and combined the functions of a Confucian shrine and a preparatory school.
Sansa - a Buddhist mountain monastery in Korea. The word Sansa is composed of two words san and sa which mean mountain and monastery/temple.
Getbol - short definition (tidal flat deposits), are unique macrotidal flats where typical embayed tidal flats turn into open-coast tidal flats during the monsoons.

Author Astraftis
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 29 Jan 2022 06:38 
Liam:
Astraftis:
In the beginning, lice was used just for a space for training, tournaments and similar circled by a palisade.

This use of the word 'list' still survives in English, with reference to jousting. So, again, fairly archaic.

WHS are great for opening you up to new concepts that simply don't figure in your own country, from beguinages through stecci and all the way to the subah system and Tri Hita Karana philosophy!

Interesting! It seems it was part of the common chivalric culture in Medieval Europe, and now it's nearly forgotten. What would happen if I'd tell someone I'm in the lists for that place as teacher or similar? :-P

And so here we have at least 3 other entries: beguinage, stećak/stećci and subah! I'm putting them on (in?) the list...

Author Colvin
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 29 Jan 2022 11:25 | Edited by: Colvin 
Another addition:

Lavra (Greek): This is a term that originally meant an alley, lane, or passage. In the late third century, Chariton the Confessor was abducted during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; he survived, and later returned to the valley near Jerusalem where he had been abducted, Wadi Qelt, to set up a monastic community. Many of the rules and traditions of monastic life, such as solitude, praying at set times, and asceticism, started with Chariton, and he established two similar communities in remote areas of what is now Palestine. The term lavra was used to describe these communities of monks living as hermits in clusters of caves or cells, centered around a church.

Later on, lavra was used to describe not just cave monasteries, but purpose-built structures. The earliest one that appears to be inscribed on the World Heritage Site list would be the Great Lavra, the oldest monastery on Mount Athos in Greece (constructed in AD 963). The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church also use the term lavra to refer to their most important monasteries, such as Trinity Sergius Lavra in Sergeyiv Posad and Alexander Nevsky Lavra in the Historic Centre of St. Petersburg in Russia, or Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in Kiev, Ukraine.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 29 Jan 2022 12:31 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Basilica (Latin) is another interesting word which is applied to a range of buildings either inscribed in their own right or included within a larger inscription. But what actually does it mean and what does a building have to "be" (or "do") to be a "Basilica?? It is a word we (or at least "I" !!) tend to use without really understanding what it means
We have a connection for Cathedrals ...a number of which are also "Basilica" but we don't have a connection for "Basilica" per se

I am open to correction or further explanation (I am sure Astraftis can help!) but It appears that there are
"Architectural Basilicas" - "In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in the Greek East. The building gave its name to the architectural form of the basilica.". The form was adopted in early christianity so that many early churches are "basilica" because of their Architecture.... later churches (right through to the present) which follow that lay out can be called "Basilica" for their architecture. A site like Philippi has ruins of 4 "Basilica" so designated entirely because of their design
"Religious Basilicas". - so called because they have been designated as such by a religious leader for "honorific"reasons. e.g the Pope in the case of Catholic basilica. These have no "need" to be "architectural basilica" There are apparently 1853 Catholic Basilica (note the complexity of there also being "Major" and Minor" Basilica!) Orthodox Religious Basilica will have been so designated by the appropriate national Patriarch

So - from what I understand it is possible that any particular "Basilica"! might be called one solely on the basis of its architecture, or solely on the basis of having been given the Honorific ..... or for BOTH reasons!! As I understand it St Peters Basilica is not strictly a "Basilica" in architectural terms but does include a "basilical nave" ...also it replaced an earlier "genuine" architectural Basilica, is situated over the supposed tomb of St Peter and of course has the "honorific" of being a Major Basilica!!!

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 29 Jan 2022 13:24 
Colvin:
To keep this going, I might suggest the following addition:

Falaj (Arabic): Arabic name for an irrigation channel common in the arid/semi-arid climates of the Middle East, Iran, and North Africa; denoted as aflaj in the plural. These channels can be found in the United Arab Emirates at Al Ain and in Oman in the Aflaj Irrigation System. In Iran, these channels are known in Persian/Farsi as qanats, as can be found in The Persian Qanat.

We haven't finished with alternative words for these yet!!!!
They are called
Foggara in Algeria - well represented now within the M'zab valley WHS. See this
Khettara in Morocco - if Figuig ever gets inscribed it includes Khettara.
Karez in China (or at least in Xinjiang) - 0n China's T List

Author Colvin
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 29 Jan 2022 13:43 
Solivagant:
We haven't finished with alternative words for these yet!!!!

Thanks for looking those up and including other versions found on the WHS and TWHS list!

Author Astraftis
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 31 Jan 2022 19:27 | Edited by: Astraftis 
Astraftis:
- Villa (Italian): ... Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli...

Of course I forgot to mention Villa d'Este (where the garden is part of the name as much, if not more, than the buildign itself) and Villa Adriana, which again entails a huge piece of land, and was a sort of ptivate citadel, as per original meaning. Everything concentrated in Tivoli, which is so undisputably the capital of all villas (... or villae, or ville)! Sorry, Tuscany!

Solivagant:
Basilica (Latin) is another interesting word which is applied to a range of buildings either inscribed in their own right or included within a larger inscription.

Yes, another interesting term, even if very widespread. Maybe I am more used to it here in Italy, as it is a very common title for churches (the word has stayed the same); not surprisingly, as 582 out of 1853 in your list are in Italy (yes, I am also counting Vatican and San Marino). Is there a WHS with it in the name? I found the Euphrasian basilica in Poreč. Anyway, let's mention the mother of all (Western) basilicae, in Trier.

This is truly one of those words that have been "repurposed" in the passage from the Classical world to the Christian era, as it were, and that have further become more general and general. Etymologically it is very simple, as it comes from Greek βασιλική basilikè, from βασιλεύς basiléus 'king' (pronunciation in Greek has since changed and it vassilèfs nowadays, actually in modern form βασιλέας vassilèas or βασιλιάς vassilyàs) and it means the 'royal (hall)'. So yes, the primitive sense was just of a big space used by the political power as seat of public services, especially trials, and therefore was close to the heart of the city, the forum or similar. But then they were readapted as places for Christian liturgies, as they were perfect and majestic places for large assemblies. And with time, this is the meaning that has stuck, and so, for example in my conscience, it is generically a "big, imposing, rich church building". I think the architectural nuance has remained only in specialised historical/archaeological contexts, as nowadays traditional big churches are disparate sizes and forms, with domes, spires and whatever (but it's true that many modern churches have recovered the idea of a more simple "open space" with no great vertical elevation). For sure, for some time in the beginning old models have been imitated, so we get many big-hall churches of that kind, but then I think connection to a specific style was lost, at least in common speech. Since the first ones were also the more prestigious ones, now we are substantially left with a honorifical term... when and how the Church decides to denote one as such, don't ask me, but from what I understood it is not directly tied to a church being the seat of a bishop or else. It's just a prestigious church. Personally, I might just use it without much thought for any big religious edifice :-)

But it might be true that in our parallel WHS world we get nearer to a more "academic" sense of basilica than in common speech. And one of the most exceptional exemples of that is the basilica in Vicenza by Palladio: as for the villa gregoriana, one expects, something, a church, but... finds something else, a glorified town hall (I am slightly embarrassed to admit that this was what happened to me last spring)! And that's only because Palladio had the Classical models as its absolute guide and wanted to recreate one, else I think it is very unexpected. In the end, @Solivagant, it is true, there are two kinds of basilicae... what will be the one preferred by the advisory bodies?! :-P

Author Astraftis
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 31 Jan 2022 19:41 
winterkjm:
Seowon - the most common educational institutions of Korea during the mid- to late Joseon Dynasty. They were private institutions, and combined the functions of a Confucian shrine and a preparatory school.
Sansa - a Buddhist mountain monastery in Korea. The word Sansa is composed of two words san and sa which mean mountain and monastery/temple.
Getbol - short definition (tidal flat deposits), are unique macrotidal flats where typical embayed tidal flats turn into open-coast tidal flats during the monsoons.

So, from what you say, I understand that san or sa are not the common words to refer to those things? san sounds of Chinese origin to me, as I also have to think to the same Japanese word.

Author Jurre
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 31 Jan 2022 20:23 | Edited by: Jurre 
Astraftis:
And so here we have at least 3 other entries: beguinage, stećak/stećci and subah! I'm putting them on (in?) the list...

Since they are from my country, I will take on the beguinages, or "begijnhoven" in Dutch.

The Beguines ("begijnen" in Dutch) are/were "Christian lay religious orders that were active in Western Europe, particularly in the Low Countries, in the 13th–16th centuries." The women lived "in semi-monastic communities, but did not take formal religious vows". However, the vowed not to marry, but they were always free to leave. The Beguines also had a male counterpart known as "Beghards". (Beguines and Beghards)

"Begijn" comes from medieval Latin "beggina" and the Old French "beguine", but beyond that, the origin of the word is uncertain and seems to have multiple possible origins. Some of the theories are:

1. It derives from the word "beige", which is the colour of undyed wool. The Beguines wore very simple clothing. However, it is difficult to explain how the /ʒ/ in "beige" changed into a /ɡ/ of /ɣ/ sound.

2. It is derived from a Middle Dutch verb "beggen", meaning "to mumble, to recite prayers". The Old French "beguine" also seems to refer to this origin, via the Old French word "bégard" or "begart". However, no texts attest to the existence of this Dutch verb.

3. It derives from the name of a 12th century priest from Liège, Lambert le Bègue (Lambert the Stutterer). However, "the belief that he founded the beguines did not arise until the mid-thirteenth century". Plus, "beguines did not begin to appear in Liège until sometime after his death". (Lambert le Bègue)

4. It derives from saint Begga, who is also the patron saint of the beguines. However, it seems she was chosen as the patron saint at a moment when the word "beguine" already existed.

5. It derives from the Albigensians, but this seems difficult to maintain from the point of view of meaning and sound. There is "no evidence that Beguines ever formed part of the Cathar heretical groups." (Beguines and Beghards)

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 5 Feb 2022 04:06 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Astraftis:
Is there a WHS with it in the name? I found the Euphrasian basilica in Poreč. Anyway, let's mention the mother of all (Western) basilicae, in Trier.

Actually there are 5 WHS with the word "Basilica" in their offical title (with links to the Wiki entry for each Basilica to facilitate comparison of date and architectural style!)
Porec
Mafra
Assisi
Aquileia
Trebic

and 2 more on the T List
Yererouk (Armenia)
Philipoppulis (Bulgaria)

There is also Turkey's T List entry of "Basilica Therma" - i.e A Roman bath building of "Basilical" form in the town of Sarikaya - a nice reminder of the "architectural" meaning of the word!

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 Word heritage senses - Unique words for unique places

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