Greek question

Patrick C. Ryan proto-language at
Sun Feb 7 21:56:46 UTC 1999

Dear Alexis and IEists:

-----Original Message-----
From: manaster at <manaster at>
Date: Saturday, February 06, 1999 8:10 PM

>I am pleased and impressed.  I did not think that Mr.
>Ryan and I would ever agree on anything, but although
>I dont see as yet how we can invoke *newgh- because
>the *ew does not agree with the vocalism of *nokwt-/*nekwt-
>(the -u- in Greek is a late development explained
>by a law stated by Cowgill if memory serves, so
>we cannot posit a proto-form with *u/w),

Since I believe, as I have exlpained, that the possibility of a relationship
with *neuk- exists, I can entertain the idea that two roots <*negh- and
*neugh-> may have existed side by side.

But, as I have explained in another posting, I am now leaning towards *negh-
with an optional (based on the Egyptian evidence; or periodically
suppressed) -w- extension.

Thank you for your kind remarks. I, too, am pleased that occasionally we may
have a point or two in common.

>I myself just yesterday proposed precisely that we could
>have *neghw-/*noghw- plus -t- and I anticipated our
>moderator's objection by pointing out that there it
>is NOT clear that Bartholomae's Law was in effect
>in early PIE (or Pre-PIE).

Well, we have further agreement.

>But much needs to be done
>before we can glibly assert any of this, both with
>regard to BL and with regard to the IE vocalism
>and the original meaning of *nokwt-/*nekwt- and
>of course to any extra-IE connections.

>From nHzj and **neuk(h)- (remodeled from *negh-w- + -s, which, in my
opinion, is a formant indicating a state), I believe we can suggest
reasonably that the base meaning is 'dark, black'; the -to- would then
produce 'darkened, blackened'.


Although I am not going to belabor the point here, I believe the term
originated as an ethnic designation: NA-K[?]XA, 'no-hair', applied to native
Africans, and was transferred to the generalized meaning 'black',
supplanting the original term for 'dark/black' (K[H]E).


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