Re: nakha 'nail' in sanskrit

From: liberty@...
Message: 9615
Date: 2001-09-20

Here's a quote from a book that I have, "The Avestan Hymn to

"Perhaps some progress can be made with the help of Oss. nyx
`forehead, front, finger-nail, claw', which Miller connected
with Ved. nakhá, Gr. ónyx, etc. This is one of the few cases
where O.Ir. a is represented by (Iron) y, (Digor) i, before a
consonant other than n (see Miller, Ossetisch, 18). It is
noteworthy that Ossetic has a verb nyxyn (Dig. nixun) `to
scratch', which may be a denominative of nyx `finger-nail',
but has a past stem nyxt-, as if from O.Ir. *nixt- (or, just
possibly, *naxt-). Within Iranian nyx stands out as the only
representative of the word for `finger-nail' which, admitting
the change of a to i, coincides with Ved. nakhá. Elsewhere in
Iranian we find forms that go back to either O.Ir. *naxar-,†
or *naxaka-,‡ or *na:xan-§."

Is a Dravidian origin for nakhá- possible if the root is common
Indo-Iranian? Are there any Dravidian loan-words in East-Iranian?

--- In cybalist@..., naga_ganesan@... wrote:
> Thanks for the answer. Tamil borrowal from nakha is
> true only if nakam (tamil) isn't related to nukam/ukam 'yoke',
> and ukir 'nail' etc.
> Regards,
> N. Ganesan
> --- In cybalist@..., "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> > Strictly speaking, it's PIE *gH, not *g (*h3nogH-o-s, *h3nogH-elo-
> > etc.). One would expect Skt. *nagHa-, and <nakHa-> is indeed a
> > surprise. Taboo distortion? (phonation-type irregularities are
> > in a few other names of body parts, e.g. <hrd-> 'heart', <hanu-
> > > 'jaw'). The word can be either masculine or neuter (<nakHam>)
> > Old Indo-Aryan, and the latter form may have been borrowed into
> > Tamil. Expected <nagha-> possibly survives in some plant names:
> > <nagHa-ma:ra-> or <nagHa-ris.a-> 'crepe ginger, _Costus
> > or <nagHus.a-> 'crepe jasmine, _Tabernaemontana divaricata_',
> > I wouldn't swear to that.
> >
> > Piotr