Re: PK

From: richardwordingham
Message: 14958
Date: 2002-09-02

Richard Wordingham wrote:
>> *pW seems an ill-supported, but neat idea. The Germanic evidence
could simply indicate that the merger xW > f (or, if earlier, kW > p)
started but soon halted. In Germanic it could easily spread word by
word. To demonstrate it, we'd need evidence in another IE group, or
Nostratic evidence for a labial instead of a guttural in these
words. The non-Germanic parallels seem weak, and the Germanic
inconsistencies point to a sporadic change. (But then Pre-Germanic
*pW > *p may also have been sporadic.) I find it hard to believe
that the Nostratic evidence could be strong, even if the theory be
correct. So far I think *pW is not proven.

--- Miguel Carrasquer wrote:
> Nostratic evidence is hard to come by, and even if found not likely
to convince many people. PIE *ye:kWr "liver", pre-PIE **lyé:pWn.t <
**lí:punt can be compared to words for "spleen" in Cushitic (Afar
ale'fu:, pl. a'lefit); Chadic (Angas lap); Uralic (Cheremis lep(a),
Votyak lup, Zyryene lOp, Saami *dapde,Teryugan Ostyak LAp&tne, Hung.
lép, Forest nenets Laps'a) and Tungus (Orok lipc^e): Dolgopol'skij

What's the Afro-Asiatic reconstruction?

The semantics are good.

> while PIE *kWétwor- "four", pre-PIE **pWét-wa:r- < **pút- can be
compared to Afro-Asiatic *p.ut.-/*?a-p.t.- "four" (Chadic *fud.u,
Eg. ?ftaw, Beja fad.-ig, Somali ?afar, Semitic (with metathesis) *?

> Convinced? I didn't think so.

If the Afro-Asiatic labials are the same, and the ideas went from PIE
out to Nostratic, it looks convincing. (I wouldn't be convinced if
the origin of the idea were some mass comparatist matching labials
and just picking out Germanic words when the other IE words did not
match. In statistics, the way you do the sampling matters.) I'd
like to see Piotr's demolition job. Or does that offer only apply to
the dormant Nostratic list?

To demonstrate IE *pW, the words for 'four' don't even have to be
cognate! I think a loan between the ancestral languages is
plausible. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.