Greek question

Patrick C. Ryan proto-language at
Tue Feb 2 01:23:05 UTC 1999

Dear George and IEists:

-----Original Message-----
From: George Hinge <oldgh at>
Date: Monday, February 01, 1999 5:42 PM

[ moderator snip ]

>I am not satisfied with either of the explications cited in
>Chantraine (I don't have a Pokorny); Lejeune does not solve the
>problem, he just transplant it to the PIE phase. And I don't see how
>the native speaker would make a false interpretation of nyx,
>when he had -kt- in all the oblique cases (except the dative plural,
>of course).

I would like to put forward a thought based on my own comparative efforts.

I believe the base of <nu:kto/s> is IE *neugh-, and therefore contrasts with
all the other derivatives listed under Pokorny's *nekw-, which are derived
from an alternative form: *negh-; both of which having the meaning 'black'.

When the IE stem with -to was originated, the final consonants of both stems
were de-voiced to *k(h).

The entry in Pokorny that comes closest to being related to the Greek forms
is *neuk(h)-, 'dark', from earlier *neugh- + -s/t- (metathesis in Latin

The root without -u- is also attested in Egyptian nHzj, 'Nubian = black


[ Moderator's comment:
  But this violates Bartholomae's Law:  The Sanskrit evidence shows us -kt-,
  which could not arise from PIE *-ght- (which gives Sanskrit -gdh-).
  --rma ]

More information about the Indo-european mailing list