[tied] Re: lat. nux, -cis - PIE?

From: tgpedersen
Message: 34953
Date: 2004-11-03

--- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Piotr Gasiorowski <gpiotr@...>
> On 04-11-02 13:32, tgpedersen wrote:
> > There are a number of unexplained variants with N- ~ kN- for
> > in Danish, example nibe/knibe "pinch", and even more in Old Norse
> > where the alternation is the original hN- ~ kN-
> I supopose by "unexplained" you mean phonologically unmotivated.
> However, the Kn- clusters (hn-/kn-/gn-) have acquired a
> function in Germanic, the suggested semantic range (apart from
> straightforward sound-imitation) being that of pressing, crushing
> beating, as in English <knead, gnaw, gnash, knock, OE hni:tan,
> cni:dan>, etc., or of lumpiness, compactness or roundness, as in
> <gnarl/knarl, knar, knot, knob, knoll, nut [OE hnutu], nit [OE
Danish 'gnidder'.

> The modern spelling is of course non-phonetic, but it still has
> expressive value.

Erh, OK. I think I'll rewind your argument to the observation that
the semantics of these words with Kn- are restricted to the areas you
mention. Which takes us where? I believe most of those words are
Germanic-only (or North European only?). The "expressive gemination"
explanation of some other Germanic roots didn't work for me either,
and they turned to be better explained as loans. I trust this will
the case here too.