Re: [tied] General IE *arg- vs. the Germano-Balto-Slavic solution

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8760
Date: 2001-08-27

This "silver" question has been argued before on this list.
As you will see, the oft-repeated view (which I initially shared at the beginning of that thread) that the North European *silbro- word is of Basque origin is difficult to maintain. On the other hand, the term has no IE etymology and may represent a loan from some non-IE source. A connection with the Semitic term for "iron", proposed by Miguel Carrasquer Vidal (#4309) seems far-fetched to me as it involves both a semantic difference and formal and chronological difficulties.
The distribution of the root arg- (PIE *h2arg^-) makes it is one of the best-evidenced PIE items, present even in Hittite and Tocharian, as well as the old layer of IE river-names in Europe. "Most linguists" opinion abou the direction of borrowin between IE and Basque is fully justified in this case.
----- Original Message -----
From: Che DeBarna
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2001 1:44 AM
Subject: [tied] General IE *arg- vs. the Germano-Balto-Slavic solution

First of all, hi everybody!
Here comes a little oddity:
As you know, Germano-Balto-Slavic group uses some kind of *sirabr- stem instead of general IE *arg- . I don't think it's really a loan from "Pelasgian" related to that "Sibro" river. I recently read about Basque "zilar" for "silver" and protobasque "zirar" and probaly an unattested *zirabr-. I don't know how Basque "z" must be represented, but I can tell you that it is kind of an "s" executed with the tongue tip just opposite to the frontal teeth. It is like /th/ but without separing your teeth (god! it's so difficult!). What I mean is that it's rather like an "s" than an English "z".
I also found a web-site about euskara which mentions this and other cases in which IE and euskera seem to have had ancient contacts (besides other general aspects concerning this jewel-language):
There's another odd fact about these stems: euskeric word for "light" (adjective as well as noun) is "argi-a"! (Here most linguists agree that it is an IE loan... but anyway it looks interesting, don't you think?)

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