Re: [Nostratic-L] Re: An example

From: Petr Hrubis
Message: 43368
Date: 2006-02-11

--- tgpedersen <tgpedersen@...> wrote:

> --- In, Petr Hrubis
> <hrubisp@...> wrote:
> >
> > --- tgpedersen <tgpedersen@...> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > PIE *galak(t)-"milk"
> > > Old Chinese *lak "milk"
> > >
> > > According to Piotr, the default assumption is
> that
> > > the two are not related,
> > > until someone comes up with a proof that it is
> > > unlikely that they are
> > > unrelated.
> > >
> > > Karlgren (according to Pokorny) proposed that
> Old
> > > Chinese *lak is
> > > borrowed from PIE *galak(t)-.
> > >
> > > Where did he go wrong?
> > >
> > >
> > > Torsten
> >
> > Well, there are certainly Indoeuropean loans in
> > Chinese. Several have been identified already and
> *lak
> > might be one of them. Tocharian is a good
> candidate, I
> > guess. What tone is there in *lak? Is it a
> > Proto-Sinitic reconstruction?
> >
> OC had no tones. I think I found it in (besides
> Pokorny) an article
> along with Sino-Tibetan cognates, which means the
> loan might have
> gone in the other direction, from Proto-Sino-Tibetan
> to PIE. OC is
> reconstructed with several prefixes, eg *m-, *N-,
> *k-. So deriving
> all of PIE *galakt-, *lak- and *melg- from ST loans
> should be
> possible.
> Torsten

I see. So, OC still had the consonantal clusters, from
which tones arose later. Yet still, Old Chinese was
spoken approximately from the 12th to the 3rd century
BC (approximately), wasn't it? Then, the source/target
of borrowing could have only been an Indoeuropean
language or dialect - hardly PIE itself. It could have
been an early Indo-Aryan language, for example, or a
language of the pre-Tocharian type, or sim.

Anyway, I wonder what those prefixes meant or what
their functions were (e.g. in *galakt- and *melg).

The Old Chinese -> Indoeuropean direction is possible,
of course, but I doubt it was OC -> PIE due to the
chronology (but I may well be mistaken). We might,
however, think of the predecessor of Old Chinese
(which I know little about, unfortunately).

Also, I wonder what the most common semantic source of
milk is. Since, as Miguel pointed out, the *galakt-
root is only attested in Greek and Latin, my
pre-Tocharian suggestion gets weakened a bit.

I'm not sure what semantic shifts could lead to
"milk", but let's consider the following expressions,
more or less connected to the concept of "milk", from
languages that did have linguistic contacts with
Indoeuropean languages, as well as, perhaps, PIE

Kartvelian comparanda:

PKartvelian *.qwel- "cheese"
PKartvelian *lok.- "to lick"
PKartvelian *loq.- "insipid, sweet"

Uralic comparanda:

Saam (Lapp): lak'ca^ -âvc- (N) "cream; thick sour
cream" (a loan? from where?)

I'm not claiming anything at this point. The
expressions above may well be ordinary look-alikes.



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