Re: Not "catching the wind " , or, what ARE we discussing?

From: dgkilday57
Message: 57275
Date: 2008-04-14

--- In, "Patrick Ryan" <proto-language@...>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "dgkilday57" <dgkilday57@...>
> >
> > [...]
> >
> <snip>
> The cat itself might come from Africa, but looking for the word
> is a dead end. None of the three Coptic words for 'cat', including
> the one used in the Coptic version of the Epistle of Jeremiah,
> resembles <catta> at all. My best guess is that Latin <catta> in
> both its senses, 'certain Pannonian bird (the wagtail?)'
> and 'domestic cat', is borrowed from Messapic (or related Illyro-
> Japygian) *katta, a hypocoristic form of a compound whose first
> element *katt- is cognate with Lat. <quassus> 'shaken', and whose
> second (unidentifiable) element means 'tail' or 'rear end', the
> compound meaning 'having a shaken tail' or 'shaking its tail', much
> like Greek <ailouros> 'waving-tailed'. It is near my bedtime, so
> details of this hypothesis will follow later.
> Douglas G. Kilday
> ***

[Patrick Ryan]
> Have you looked for the implications of Arabic qiTTu-n?

I don't know squat about Arabic philology, but Arabic
<qamiysun> 'shirt' is obviously derived from Latin <cami:s(i)a>, and
I have seen other examples of the back allophone of Latin/Romance /k/
borrowed into Arabic as /q/, as well as /t/ borrowed into Arabic as
the emphatic /T/. Therefore, my guess is that the Arabic for 'cat'
is borrowed from Latin, probably through some intermediary such as
Middle Persian. I can't explain the /i/ in <qiTTun>, but again I'm
neither a Semitist nor an Arabic philologist. I should probably go
over to sci.lang and pose this as a query, in the hope that Yusuf B.
Gursey, the resident expert on Arabic, Turkish, and Persian, will see
fit to respond amidst the current flood of spam.

Arnaud cited the Arabic word as <qaTu>, and derived it from PAA. I
have only seen <qiTT->, indef. nom. <qiTTun>, def. nom. <al-qiTTu>
quoted. I find no reason whatsoever to refer an Arabic word lacking
demonstrable ancient cognates in other Semitic languages to PAA.