Greek question & the pre-history of *nekwt
Patrick C. Ryan
proto-language at email.msn.com
Mon Feb 8 22:51:33 UTC 1999
Dear Glen and IEists:
From: Glen Gordon <glengordon01 at hotmail.com>
To: indo-european at xkl.com <indo-european at xkl.com>
Date: Monday, February 08, 1999 1:32 PM
Subject: Greek question & the pre-history of *nekwt
>>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
I do not know what religion has to do with this question from my standpoint.
In any case, I have subsequently revised my reconstruction to *negh-w-.
>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".
This flies in the face of the Greek forms, which appear to be related,
beginning nukh-, since IE <kw> does not normally produce Greek <kh>.
Also, if Sturtevant is correct in assuming that voiceless stops are
indicated in Hittite by doubled spellings, then Hittite nek(uz) can only
represent IE *neg-, *negh-, or *negw-.
>We have Hittite nekuz, not to mention English
>"night", which show that there was no *-u- in the word.
This is neatly explained by *negh-w-, the *-w- of which apparently in
carried over into the first syllable in some cases in Greek (perhaps
through -*gw-). In any case, you have to be able to explain the -u- of the
[ Moderator's comment:
But the stem in question has a labiovelar, not a palatal+labial cluster. And
Cowgill's Law explains the development of *o > u quite nicely.
>As far as I
>understand, Greek -y-
There is no Greek <y> except in anglicized spelling of Greek words.
[ Moderator's comment:
I do not believe that Mr. Gordon was referring to orthography but to the
phonetic value of the letter in question in later Attic. It is more than
>was the result of the following labiovelar
>affecting the previous vowel (anticipatory labialisation as in Latin).
This explanation takes that into consideration.
>Without getting too entangled in a flimsy Nostratic explanation that
>ignores all IE laws as Patrick has done,
If you are trying to be offensive, you have succeeded.
>*nekwt is similar to words in
>Uralic (Finnish nukkua) that mean "to sleep". Hence, "sleep time" ->
How pathetically naif! Finnish nukkua is generally recognized to be a
loanword into Finnish from Germanic so no Uralic form can be reconstructed.
>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.
It is now obvious why you did not also notice the -u- of the Greek form.
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