I have a dental variety of /n/ in my own
language. It is neither more or less like /l/ than any other coronal nasal. Of
course sound changes like n > l or l > n are possible and known to
have happened here and there.
Bengali is "close" to Santali in
geographical terms, but not in terms of historical derivation. A look at the
Bengali numeral system will tell you that it is of Indo-Aryan (and
Indo-European) origin. The numerals for "nine" in all modern Indo-Aryan
languages derive regularly from Proto-IA *nava (= Skt. nava) < PIE *newn
(related to Latin novem, English nine, Welsh naw, Tocharian ñu,
Albanian nëntë etc.), and the initial /n-/ is still there throughout IA,
also in Bengali. Santali is a Munda language with a different set of
numerals. The primary word for "nine" in Munda (and in Santali) is <are>.
<lo> is a recent innovation in some Munda dialects. I would not exclude
the possibility that it is a loan from Indo-Aryan with the initial denasalised.
Some Munda languages have borrowed long series of IA numerals, e.g. Korwa has
numerals of IA origin for the numbers 4-10 (includig <nau> '9'), and I'm
fairly certain that Bihor <la:>, which is a member of a similar series, is
indeed *nava in disguise. Experts in Munda etymology should be asked first.
Maybe they know where <lo> comes from. Anyway, it is not an ancient
pan-Indian numeral but a recent borrowing from Indo-Aryan into Santali
at best. They are not _genetically_ related.
Subject: [phoNet] Re: Phonetic change lo
-- no in some languages
--- In phoNet@y..., "Piotr Gasiorowski"
<gpiotr@i...> wrote: > Old
Indo-Aryan (and common Iranian) nava and their Modern Indic and Iranian
reflexes (including Pashto n&h) are regular developments of PIE *newn.
(ending with a syllabic nasal, vocalised in Indo-Iranian). Santali lo is
But how is no~_ of Bengali explained? Is it a regular development?
Bengali is so close to Santali.
How about the l-n interchanges in some
Try saying the dental 'n' i.e. pronounced with the
tongue against the back of the upper front teeth (dental); it sounds like
an 'l' when the nose is not involved. Could this explain the nasals in
Lahn.da and Punjabi no_~ also meaning 'nine'. We don't know much about the
etymology of 'lo' in Santali to say if it is unrelated to IE; do