Basque numerals

manaster at manaster at
Thu Feb 4 19:07:49 UTC 1999

I dont see why Basque numeruals are being dicussed
on teh IE list, although I applaud it, since
the numerals at issue seem to be such big
Wanderwo"rter and hence of IEnist interest,
but in any event it has long been proposed that
Basque 6 and especially 7 are connected not
with Semitic but with Egyptian/Coptic.  In the
case of 7 this is really striking since Coptic
is something like (sorry doing this is from
memory) sas^ef (Basque zazpi), which is all
thbe more cruious since the Coptic involves
a metathesis of the last two fricatives as
compared with Egyptian.  These comparisons,
at least as old as Schuchard, are briefly
and intelligently discussed by Pedersen in his Discovery of Lg
in the sec. on Basque.  So it really seems to me that
whereas PIE *septm still looks like a loanword
from Semitic, the Basque word is likely to be
borrowed from another AA source, not Semitic.

On Mon, 1 Feb 1999, Glen Gordon wrote:

[ moderator snip ]

> How would Basque acquire Semitic numbers?? It would be hard via an IE
> language - I can't think of one that would fit. Are you proposing that a
> moyl got lost in the Mediterranean? And what would he do with words like
> "six" and "seven" outside of the Middle East? Things that make you go
> hmmm....

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