Latin tapiru

Damien Erwan Perrotin 114064.1241 at
Fri Aug 13 17:42:13 UTC 1999

Wolfgang Behr wrote

>if it is _tibira_ (later also_tabira_) 'metal-worker' you  are
>talking about here

yes, it is, but the distinction between voiced and voiceless consonnants
is not easy to do in Sumerian, due to the nature of the script and
(overall) its use by Akkadian speakers.

  I think that  Gernot Wilhelm has conclusively
shown that we are dealing with a loan from Hurritic, i.e. an
"agent-orientated resultative _-iri/e_ participle" (Wilhelm), or
"antipassive-participle", derived from the Hurr. root _tab/taw_ [w =
u+subscript arch) 'to cast (metal)'. In Hurr., this root has the
derivations _tabali_  'copper-founder' and _tabiri_ 'he, who has
cast' (Otten).

Possible, even if it is hard to be conclusive about such a badly known
tongue as Hurrian (whose earliest records are posterior to the death of
Sumerian, so that we do not know how it was like by 3000 B.C). Moreover,
we know that Hurrian has been submitted to Indo-Aryan influences, and
the Hurrian speaking area seems to be outside the region of the
development of Copper metalurgy, which is closer from Hattian speakings
Even if we accept the relationship, we have still to explain why three
unrelated tongues share the same word for the same relatively recent
activity. Note also that it is not the only IE looking word in Sumerian.
We have also
temen (foundations of a temple)
urudu (ore)
sah (pig), more doubtfull however

Damien Erwan Perrotin

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