English translation (word)
English translation (etymon)
Ἀμφισβητεῖν· τὸ ζητεῖν, πλεονασμῷ τοῦ β· ἔστι γὰρ ἀμφισητεῖν. ἢ παρὰ τὸ ἀμφίς καὶ τὸ βάζειν, ἵνα σημαίνῃ τὸ ἀμφιλογεῖν. πολλάκις δὲ πλεονάζει τὸ β ὡς ἐν τῷ ἄδηρον ἄβδηρον, ἄ⟦β⟧δηρος γάρ τίς ἐστι, καὶ σίδαι σίβδαι. καὶ οὕτως μὲν ὁ Μεθόδιος· ὁ δὲ Ζηνόβιος (fr. I 3 Schoemann) λέγει, ὅτι δύναται μὴ παρὰ τὴν ἀμφί συγκεῖσθαι πρόθεσιν, ἀλλὰ παρὰ τὸ ἀμφίς ἐπίρρημα, ἵνα σημαίνῃ τὸ κεχωρισμένως βαίνειν· τοιοῦτοι γὰρ οἱ διστάζοντες
Amphisbēteîn "to dispute": to search (zēteîn), through adjunction of [b], because it is *amphisēteîn. Or from amphis "apart" and bazein "to talk", so that it means "to dispute". The adjunction of [b] is frequent, as in *adēron abdēron, as it is "without fight", and *sidai sibdai. This is what Methodius says. But Zenobius says that it can be a compound, not of the prefix amphi "on both sides, around", but of the adverb amphis "apart", so that it means "to go apart", such as those being uncertain (distazontes), meaning literally "standing apart"
The explanation relies on a formal manipulation, the insertion of β, and on an interesting play between the phonetic and graphic levels: the sibilant in ζητέω was pronounced [z], voiced, and so was the σ in ἀμβισβητεῖν [amphizbētein] in Classical Greek, [amfizvitein] in Byzantine Greek, although the spelling is with the voiceless σ. Therefore the complete chain is [amfizitin] (*ἀμφιζητεῖν), hence [amfizvitin] (ἀμφισβητεῖν) in which the sibilant is spelled σ because there is no sequence ζβ in Greek, and from there the ghost form *ἀμφισητεῖν was abstracted. From the semantic point of view, dispute is defined as a form of inquiry where people seek the truth about something.
Etym. Magnum, Kallierges, p. 94 (idem)