*nepo:t "nephew"

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 7783
Date: 2001-07-03


>IE *nepot = grandson (later "female's nephew", if I remember correctly)

My thoughts are that *nepo:t derives from Early IE *nepat:a (in this case, *e is pronounced as a schwa). In turn, it would derive from a compound in IndoTyrrhenian *nep-at:a, meaning "child (of the) father" (with the typical "reverse" order, sort of like French compounds), spoken around 7000 BCE. The Tyrrhenian reflex may be seen in both Etruscan and Lemnian. The medial *t: regularly becomes IE *d, however, since Mid IE loses its final vowels, the phoneme became word-final where there was no distinction between *t, *t: (*d) and *d (*dh). This lack of distinction in word-final position is much like what exists in German today (eg: "Hand" pronounced /hant/).

- gLeN


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