Latin perfects and Fluent Etruscan in 30 days!

Eduard Selleslagh edsel at
Wed Aug 11 08:28:52 UTC 1999

At 23:12 4/08/99 +0200, you wrote:
>>>From Eduard Selleslagh
>Sent : Tue, 3 Aug 1999 20:35

>>Ed wrote
>>Has it been proven that the Breton afan was  derived from an originally
>>Brythonic *ama? (I have no problem with the reconstruction itself, I even
>>mentioned it in a different way).  Brythonic languages like Welsh contain
>>large numbers of words that are most likely loans from Latin. It's all a
>>matter of timing, of course.

>It is difficult to be sure in that matters (the result would have been
>the same), but if Brythonnic had borrowed Latin Amare, it would be with
>its first meaning (to love), and would have replaced the indigenous term
>(*car) still in use in Welsh, Breton and Cornish. Moreover, the Breton
>term suggests that the original word was not a verb but the noun af
>(kiss), wich does descent from an older *av, itself from *am (albeit *ab
>is not phonetically impossible), all of this fairly regular in Breton
>(if the verb had been first, and not derivated from the noun, it would
>have been, regularly *avan). This noun cannot be a Latin loanword, as
>there is nor corresponding word in Latin (the equivalent is amor, which
>would have yielded *aver, or *avor).

>>According to M.Carrasquer's Stammbaum, which I subcribe to, IE and Etruscan
>>(and the like)are cousins.

>I definitely aggree, this the thesis of my new published book (in
>French, sorry), and the basis of the handbook I am working on.

>>The only thing I'm pretty convinced of is that the Etr. and Lat. am- and
>>the Lat. amb- (IE m.b-) roots are related, the problem is 'how?'

>There I am quite dubious. If we assume that the oldest form of Latin
>amb- and the like is H2e-mbhe or H2-mbhe, the second member of which is
>a particle meaning beside, and which is at the origin of English by and
>of the Sanskrit dative plural in -bh- (Martinet, 1986), what seems quite
>acceptable. If we suppose this root began with a prenasalized *mbh
>(Martinet too), which is still the best hypothesis to explain such
>alternations as Greek nephos (cloud), Welsh nef (from *nemos, sky) or
>Breton env (he, from Celtic *emo) and Hittite abas (this). The we could
>draw possible hypothesis.
>When stressed the prenasalized becomes am- in Etruscan at the initial :
>am(u) (to be) from *mbheu (to be, to become).
>ame (with) from *mbhe (beside) (Old English be)
>amake (wife) from *mbhendhto- (bound)
>When unstressed,at the initial it remains unchanged or become a /m/
>mulch (beautiful) from *mbhleg- (to shine) : the Etruscan word was
>written with a m but was borrowed by Latin as pulcher, hence the
>possibility of
>mutu (thyme) from *mbhent- (mint) (Breton bent).
>At the interior of a word, it seems that it become a p (which in turn
>can become a spirant, but the value of "aspirated" consonnants in
>Etruscan is not clear).
>snuiaph (probably heavenly, as it is associated with pulumchva - stars -
>in the Tablets of Pyrgi) from (s)nembh- (cloud, sky) : Greek nephos,
>Breton nenv.
>ipa (which, this) from *embho- (this) : Hittite apas, Breton env, Celtic
>In that view the reflex of *H2e-mbhe would be something like *ep or *ap.

>It is however possible that Etruscan am (which is known through the very
>Indo-European looking proper name aminth (eros)) is the result of an
>Anatolian adstrat, perhaps the famous Twrs of the Egyptian inscription.
>As we are sure that the root is present in Anatolian (c.f Lydian) that
>is even relatively likely.

>Of course, all my analysis of Etruscan does only reflect my personnal -
>an much in working - opinion an theory. c.f Geocities/Athens/Crete/4060
>for very provisionnal details.

>Damien Erwan Perrotin

[Ed Selleslagh]

Thank you for the interesting and informative contribution. Here are a few
side remarks.
1. I got confused by Breton 'afan': I had interpreted the f as /v/, like in
2. It seems that your reasoning brings Catalan 'amb' ('with', from Latin
'apud') and Latin 'apud' back into the picture.
3. Not only the Sanskrit dative plura in -bh-, but also the Latin one -ibus.
4. Note that Breton/Welsh 'aber' corresponds to the Dutch/Flemish (Belgae!)
river names 'Amel' and 'Amer' (the latter is also used to refer to the
neighboring flood plain or 'polder' ('vega' in Spanish). So the sound
change m/b works both ways exchanges among the languages we were discussing.
5. Maybe the (Etruscan, Lydian,.. later Latin) am- and the IE-Latin amb-
roots just share a common ancestry like the languages themselves (one or
two steps before PIE) , then developed more or less separately but got
exchanged among parallel branches of the Stammbaum at several moments and
in several places (Anatolia, Italy,...).


1. Are you Breton?
2. My second language is French.

Eduard Selleslagh
B-9120		Haasdonk (Beveren)
Phone & Fax: +32-3-775.69.69	E-Mail: edsel at

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