Re: More numbers

From: tgpedersen
Message: 15847
Date: 2002-10-01

--- In cybalist@..., Miguel Carrasquer <mcv@...> wrote:
> On Tue, 01 Oct 2002 10:34:54 -0000, "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...>
> >"Six" and "seven" are borrowed (presumably) from AfroAsiatic to
> >IndoEuropean and also to Etruscan (sa, semph), Basque
> >(sei, zazpi) and Kartvelian (ekvsi, shvidi ). They seem alway to
> >follow each other. Because of some IE reflexes of "six" that
> >don't seem to have the initial s- (Old Prussian, some Iranian
> >languages), that part of the root is sometimes left optional; this
> >also makes it easier to reconcile the root with Kartvelian
> >/ekwsi/. Which gave me this idea: Suppose s- is some kind
of "number prefix"
> >*se- in whichever was the original language of six and seven?
> >would have it double, *se-pi- > *spi-, prefix now unrecognizable,
> >it's added again: *se-spi-.) And seven, without the prefix would
> >*pitu-, which, voila!, is "seven" in nearly all Austronesian
> >(Proto-Austronesian *pitu?).
> But that completely ignores the difference between the initial
sibilants (s^- in
> "6", s- in "7") as reflected in Akkadian s^es^s^- vs. sebe-, as
well as in
> Etruscan (s'a ~ semph), Basque (sei /s'ei/ ~ zazpi /saspi/), and
arguably in PIE
> (sWek^s ~ septm.).
That is, if the -w- of IE "six" is not also "optional", which I've
seen elsewhere. Suppose prefixless "six" starts with the front
wovel /e/ and prefixless "seven" with a consonant /p/, that might
explain the palatalisation of /s/ in "six", not "seven".
> >
> >
> >This might also take care of Northwest Caucasian (eg. Kabard-
> >(x^e, bLe; both prefix-less!), Proto-Nakh (Proto-Nakh+ *jalx,
> >also both prefix-less).
> The Proto-Nakh forms are *jalX (X = uvular fricative) and *worL (L
= lateral
> afficate). Comparison with the other NE Caucasian forms reveals
that there are
> certainly prefixes prresent here (although it's hard to tell what
they are
> exactly). The numeral "7" looks the same as "8" (Proto-Nax *barL),
but with a
> different prefix (and "8" is followed by a front vowel).
Ultimately, I would
> say the *X in "6" comes from *k, and the *L in "7" and "8" from
ejective *k'
> (Xinalug 6 = zäk [*ryäk], 7 = yik', 8 = ink'^), something like 6 =
**diriku-, 7
> = **work'(a)-, 8 = **bark'i-. Cf. Proto-Tibetan 6 = *d-ruk, 8 = b-
That's out of the question then.

> >Notice also Guanche (Tenerife) cansa "five".
> Borrowed from Semitic, like arba "4".

I wish I had your conviction of mind, the direction of
loaning, I mean. /k/ (I asssume it is) vs. /h/ seems to suggest the
other direction (but Gran Canaria simus-etti might be loaned the
direction you want it to, ie. from a Semitic language to Greater
Canaria; besides Plato's story, I believe it's Proclus, who tells of
seven islands outside the pillars of Hercules, the inhabitants of
which say that their islands were once part of a much bigger island).

And BTW, on the astrologonomical significance of "seven", look here
(for Pleiades or Seven Sisters):

> =======================
> Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
> mcv@...