krēsls

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Latvian[edit]

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 Krēsls on Latvian Wikipedia

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Krēsls (1)

Etymology[edit]

Some researchers consider this word a borrowing from Slavic, where a possible Proto-Slavic *kreslo could be related to *krosno (loom, weaving frame), the rectangular form of which is reminiscent of chairs. Other researchers, pointing out that this would not explain the number of cognate formations in Baltic (e.g., Latvian dialectal kreslis “removable sleigh backrest,” kreša “little bench,” Lithuanian dialectal krãsė, kresė̃ “chair,” krẽstas “bench”), suggest that the Slavic cognates are actually borrowings from Baltic. The latter hypothesis is supported by their distribution: there are no reflexes in Southern Slavic languages (the Bulgarian cognate is a later borrowing). If so, krēsls would come (via Proto-Baltic *krēs- with an extra l) from the same stem as the verb krest “to shake,” older meaning “to braid, to weave” (for a link between the notions of “shaking” and “weaving,” see Old Norse hrista “to shake,” Middle Low German risten “to braid, to weave”): Proto-Indo-European *kert-, *kret-, from *ker-, *sker- “to turn, to bend.” The original meaning would then have been “woven object” (folk songs suggest that earlier chairs were indeed made by weaving wickers). Cognates include Lithuanian krė́slas (chair; chair with backrest; armchair), Old Prussian creslan ([kreslan], chair with backrest), Russian кресло (kréslo, armchair), Bulgarian кресло (kresló, armchair), Czech křeslo (archair), Polish krzeslo (armchair).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

krēsls m (1st declension)

  1. chair (piece of furniture for sitting, consisting of a backrest and a single seat mounted on several, usually four, feet)
    pīts krēsls — wicker chair
    meldru krēsls — rush, reed chair
    grozāmais krēsls — swivel chair
    saliekamais krēsls — folding chair
    atpūtas krēsls — armchair (lit. resting chair)
    atzveltnes krēsls — chair with a large backrest (lit. backrest chair)
    goda krēsls — honor chair (where the honor guest will sit)
    stomatoloģiskais krēsls — dentist's chair
    elektriskais krēsls — electric chair (for executing criminals)
    bikts krēsls, biktskrēsls — confession chair, confessional
    māte atkrita krēslā un aizsedza vaigu ar priekšautu — mother fell into the chair and hid her face in (her) apron
    Andrejs un Milda lēni atlaidās mīkstajos krēslos, lai gan sēdēt nemaz negribējās — Andrejs and Milda slowly sat down on the soft (arm)chairs, though they did not feel at all like sitting
  2. (construction) a structure of beams that supports the rafters and the roof of a house; roof truss
    jumta krēsls — roof chair (= truss)

Declension[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Latviešu etimoloģijas vārdnīca indicates this term as having a level intonation. In practice, however, it is very commonly pronounced with a broken tone, this also allows to differentiate it from krēsla (dusk, twilight). Perhaps the switch in tone is by contamination with the Russian term кресло (kréslo, armchair) (although the Russian language doesn't have contrastive tones the typical way vowels are realized in Russian can be perceived by Latvian speakers as a universal broken tone.)

References[edit]

  1. ^ “krēsls” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN: 9984-700-12-7