Re: [tied] Latin 'twenty'

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 26237
Date: 2003-10-04

03-10-03 22:05, Rob wrote:

> I hope I'm not bringing up something already established, but I was
> wondering what your opinions on the etymology of Latin vi:ginti
> ("twenty") are. Personally, it seems to me that vi:ginti is the
> result of PIE *dwi(s) kmtih2 'twice ten.'

You're on the right track. The actual reconstruction is *wi-(d)k^m.tih1,
a compound in which the second element is the _dual_ of *dek^m.t- '10'
(hence the ending *-ih1). Whether *wi- is really a simplified
(dissimilated?) variant of *dwi-, opinions vary. It may be. If it is,
the assumption of the adverb 'twice' is not necessary: *dwi- is simply
the normal form of 'two' in compounds.