The Semites and their reeds

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 17466
Date: 2003-01-08

>The Latin word is actually <canna> (= Gk. kanna ~ kanne:), a loan from
>Semitic (*qanaw- 'reed'[...]

YES!!! Damn, I'm good! I _knew_ that word was Proto-Semitic but I couldn't
find the actual Semitic protoform anywhere! Now I feel empowered! That
explains Knossos then :)

Anyways from the looks of my possibly overanalytical imagination, this
Semitic word appears as though it was borrowed into Mid IE. The form it
took was *kanex though. I've never found the expected Late IE form
**konx- in isolation. Only as part of the word *konx-qo- "honey".

My little hypothesis rests on the assumption that MIE *kanex originally
meant "sugar cane", a meaning similar enough to "reed" to be credible
while explaining "honey" (something that is sweet and tasty like sugar

(Oh, and the Knossos thing is just a possible Tyrrhenian etymology of
Knossos I was playing with: *Kanuse "(City) of the reeds" with accent
on the second syllable, according to the Proto-Tyrrhenian rule of
*a-avoidance that I toyed with a while back on this List. Of course,
Tyrrhenian **kanu would also be a Semitic borrowing if the word
truely exists.)

- gLeN

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