Re: [tied] All of creation in Six and Seven

From: Harald Hammarstrom
Message: 27701
Date: 2003-11-27

> On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 13:19:38 +0100 (MET), Harald Hammarstrom
> <haha2581@...> wrote:
> >The -at- for abstract nouns somehow sounds familiar but I can't really
> >see it as definite. In Ar. the plurals for some masc. nouns have -at-
> >and I guess those can be called collective. But those classes are very
> >limited and I don't know it ouside Arabic. Some infinitives have -at-
> >but that's clearly syllable-conditioned. What else are you referring
> >to?
> There are abstract nouns in various Semitic languages using suffixes in -t
> (-at-, -a:t-, -u:t-, -i:t-). Lipin'ski gives Akk. paha:tu "governor",
> s^arru:tu "kingship", Arab. xali:fat- "deputy, successor", Hebr. h.okmo:t
> "wisdom", malku:t "kingship", Ge'ez na'asa:t "youth". The forms with long
> vowel can be taken formally as plurals, and Lipin'ski doesn't give many
> examples with plain -at-.

I don't have Lipin'ski here and it's taken at my local library. But in any
case, the only -at- example xali:fat- does not look abstract to me
(without an intermediate).

> Still, the standard explanation for feminine -at- is that it developed out
> of a collective
> Quoting jer on pieml from a while back:
> "As for the link between the feminine and the collective, I have worked
> that out - only to find that I had been anticipated. Von Soden wrote in
> his grammar of Akkadian from 1952, on the occasion of the exact same
> semantic link between feminine and collective seen in Semitic, that herd
> animals form groups containing a multitude of females and mostly only a
> single male. I wrote the same thing in the Schindler memorial volume
> almost half a century later. This is a fact of nature that anybody can
> observe: the many are the females - visit a farm if you can still find
> one."
> [I should add that I personally don't agree with that explanation, at least
> for PIE, where I think the feminine suffix *-ih2 (thematic *-eh2) derives
> from a diminutive **-iq].

I don't know about PIE but for PSem the "standard eplanation" is
without (linguistic) evidence and contradicted by e.g Ar. baqarun
'cow/cows (collective)' vs. baqaratun 'a cow'....