Re: [tied] The "Mother" Problem

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 36074
Date: 2005-01-29

--- In, Piotr Gasiorowski <gpiotr@...>
> Sorry, I didn't express myself clearly. In the case of 'father', I
> wanted to say that we frequently find *t and *p _in_ IE, not
> Indeed, the choice of the consonant seems to be quite arbitrary,
so the
> fact that it's somewhat restricted within IE may be significant.

I thought their common occurrence spanned Eurasia until one reached
Austronesian territory. Semitic has /b/ Arabic _abu:_, Hebrew _a:b_
etc., and the Tai languages have *bOO tone class B (> Thai phOO_F).
I don't know how far into Africa the tendency goes.

I thought SE Asia was also a m/n boundary for 'mummy' words -
Austronesian languages use /n/. Again Tai is on the European side
with Proto-Tai *mEE tone class B for mother. This boundary ought to
be disconcerting to those who want to lump the East Asian languages
(Sino-Tibetan, Austronesian, Austro-Asiatic, Tai,...) together into
a macro-family.