Greek question & the pre-history of *nekwt

Glen Gordon glengordon01 at
Thu Feb 4 20:00:35 UTC 1999

>I believe the base of <nu:kto/s> is IE *neugh-,

You make it sound like a religion. Who else believes in the Church of
*neugh? :)

My suspicion rather is that the word is indeed old but of the form
*nekwt (which is not so contraversial at all) from an earlier verb
**nekw- "to sleep". We have Hittite nekuz, not to mention English
"night", which show that there was no *-u- in the word. As far as I
understand, Greek -y- was the result of the following labiovelar
affecting the previous vowel (anticipatory labialisation as in Latin).

Without getting too entangled in a flimsy Nostratic explanation that
ignores all IE laws as Patrick has done, *nekwt is similar to words in
Uralic (Finnish nukkua) that mean "to sleep". Hence, "sleep time" ->
"night". I recall there might be similar words in Altaic? However, no
proposals of *gh need apply in its etymology nor imaginative comparisons
to Egyptian of all things. This still begs the question of why there is
-kh- in Greek and, that part, I dunno.

Glen Gordon
glengordon01 at

Kisses and Hugs

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