Internal reconstruction and PIE

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 8624
Date: 2001-08-19

Ed questions:
>i) Early preNWC loans. Do these affect your numeric system?
> Are there any loans for a similar period (or any) from
> Pre-Hurrian/Nakh/Daghestanian? If not, why not?

I propose that the brunt of preNWC influence on IndoTyrrhenian
occured around 8000-7000 BCE as part of an early Neolithic trade
with the South Caspian. Bomhard has already suggested this
to a vague extent. However, the language that affected
IndoTyrrhenian was not quite "NWC". NWC vocabulary is the result
of a drastic reduction of polysyllabic stems to monosyllabic stems
by dropping final consonants and by contracting words towards the
second syllable (due to heavy stress). Initially, this heavy
stress caused consonant clustering in the initial position until
the clusters were further simplified. I prefer to call this
preNWC stage "Proto-Abadha" since it is not only the ancestor
of NWC (Abkhaz-Adhyghe) but probably of Hattic as well.

The IndoTyrrhenian numeral *p�nkW� "five" would be borrowed from
Abadha *p��W� (� = schwa; �W = labiovelar nasal), later NWC *sxW�
(by analogy with other numerals with a misanalysed class prefix

There should be absolutely *no* direct NEC loans in IndoTyrrhenian
since these language groups were never in contact with each other.
Abadha served as intermediary between NEC to the south and
IndoTyrrhenian to the north. NEC was migrating from Eastern
Turkey at this time while Abadha and IndoTyrrhenian were coming
off the steppe lands.

It's hard to tell whether Etruscan /mech/, which relates to IE's
"big" word, is its own idiosyncracy or whether this numeral is
shared by all Tyrrhenian languages. I reconstruct Tyr *meke just
in case.

>Please explain "two" with other examples of these sound
>changes, [...]

Alright. This numeral is a real pain but the development is
fairly clear. It seems that there was more than one non-enclitic
variant of this numeral on the go at the same time. In MidIE,
the inheirited non-enclitic word for "two" was *t:Wei
complete with the artifact *-ei, a disused plural ending still
seen in pronominal stems like IE *wei-. There was also a later
variant *t:Wa-xe (IE *dwo:u), formed with the enclitic word
*t:Wa (IE *dwo-) and the collective plural *-xe. If things
weren't complicated enough, another variant *t:Wei-xe (*dwix)
existed, a hybrid of the above two variants.

BTW, just to clarify, *t:Wa has terminating *-a instead of
expected *-e because of an anological binary opposition with
*t:e "one". Thus *t:e/*t:Wa by analogy with other enclitic
animate-inanimate pairs such as *se/*ta "this" and *kWe/*ma

>also breakdown of /*k:isappi/,

Breakdown: *k:i "three" + *-se "from" and *p:i "by, at, on"
The numeral is part of a pair with *nurappi "nine". Perhaps
the words "six" and "seven" also followed the *-ppi pattern
but has since been replaced with those pesky Semitish numerals.

>and can you give any cases of semantic shift in other languages that might
>be similar to the change of meanings from "large" to "five"?

Why yes... Mega- is the prefix for a million :P Keep in mind
though that there is a bit of phonetic similarity between
*meke "big, numerous" and what would have been **penke. This
would serve as further motivation for the replacement.

>You have not explained any related numerical morphology
>here. As you know I find parallels in numerical morphology
>between Etruscan and Hurrian and Nakh.

You don't understand the concept of grammatical systems and as a
result your pseudo-parallels are all over the place. What
"related numerical morphology" do you wish explained?

>Can you persuade me that /-alch/ is IE?

Absolutely. The more I think on it, /-al-/ is probably the
plural rather than the *l-genitive (note Etruscan /zal/ "two"
and /-r/ [plural]). The terminating /-ch/ is ultimately from
Tyrrhenian *-kon "ten". Thus, perhaps Tyr *moxac-kon "fifty"
would be more appropriate a reconstruction, becoming
EL *mowarko > Etruscan /muvalch/.

gLeNny gEe
...wEbDeVEr gOne bEsErK!

email: glengordon01@...

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