the Wheel and Dating PIE

JoatSimeon at JoatSimeon at
Sat Dec 18 04:28:02 UTC 1999

>X99Lynx at writes:

>the earliest dates given to the wheel by archaeology.

-- combined with the linguistics.  The archaeologists say wheeled vehicles
are 4th-millenium BCE.  PIE has (several) words for "wheel". Therefore, the
original PIE speakers had wheels. (Ditto words for 'vehicle', 'axle', etc.)

>IE speakers could have become "acquainted" with the wheel after they
>separated and adopted the traveling wagoneer's, wheelwright's or merchant's
>word for the item.

-- flat-out wrong.

If the words had been loaned after the breakup of PIE, then the sound-shifts
would show this.  They don't.  Therefore the word is of PIE date.

>Hittite for wheel

-- PIE *hwergh, "wheel" ==> Hittite 'hurki, Tocharian A 'warkant', Tocharian
B 'yerkwanto'.

Tocharian also shows deriviatives of *kwekulo (kokale), with a meaning of
"wagon" (just as we often call a car 'my wheels'), and possible derivatives
of *roto ('ratak', 'army', as in 'those on wheels'.)

>And, BTW, how does Greek or Mycenaean jive with the statement that wheel has
>a shared form in all IE languages?

-- kuklos, from *kwekulo.

>If <kuklos> did in fact originally refer to a circle (rather than
>specifically to a wheel) then there is no surprise that the word would trace
>back to PIE long before the wheel

-- and every branch of IE used the same term for 'wheel'?  I thought you said
it was a later loan?

>change as the evidence for the wheel keeps moving backward in time?

-- you have some evidence for this?  Last time I looked, the dating of
wheeled vehicles hadn't changed in over a generation.

>It's quite another to dismiss earlier dates as "quite inacceptible."

-- it is unacceptable to put forward dates with no evidence.  When you've got
the evidence, come back and talk.

Until then, we can only proceed on the evidence we actually have.

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