IE in Balkans and Semitic?
Patrick C. Ryan
proto-language at email.msn.com
Tue Feb 9 12:19:48 UTC 1999
Dear Miguel and IEists:
From: Miguel Carrasquer Vidal <mcv at wxs.nl>
Date: Thursday, February 04, 1999 12:13 AM
>Rick Mc Callister <rmccalli at sunmuw1.MUW.Edu> wrote:
>>I was thinking of the root of taurus & steer [I'll let someone else come up
>>with the exact root].
>PSem *t_awr- (or *c^awr-), PIE has *steur-, *st(H)uHr-
>(*st(h)u:r-), *stewHr- (*stew at r-), *tHwr-/*t at ur-, with the usual
>mess when laryngeal meets semivowel (is that *(s)tewH2r-,
>*(s)teH2wr- or *(s)tH2ewr- ?) Not everybody is convinced that
>the forms with s- (e.g. ON stjo:rr) are related to the forms
>without (e.g. ON thjo:rr). Not everybody is convinced that the
>IE and Semitic forms are related, and those that think so are I
>guess divided into three camps: (a) the relationship is genetic
>(from memory, please correct if I'm wrong, Alan Bomhard lists
>this as a Nostratic root),
For whatever it may be worth, I agree with Bomhard but I reconstruct the
Nostratic root as: N *t(h)awar-.
My reasons are:
1) I believe the term means 'swollen back', and refers to either the 'bison'
(cf. Old Prussian <tauris>, 'bison', or possibly a bovine like the zebu.
2) Based on N *t(h)awar-, the AA (through Semitic) reflexes are what I
predict: N <t(h)> = IE <t> = Arabic <th>.
3) In addition, I believe there is a possibility that Egyptian <tw3>, 'man
of low station', may ultimately be based on 'humpback'.
4) According to the correspondences I have developed, N *t(h)awar- would
result in Sumerian <dur>; and we have <dur-3> as 'ass-stallion'. This might
be a case of transference from '**zebu' if both were used as draft or
>(b) the word was borrowed from Sem.
I see no credible evidence of this.
>(c) the word was borrowed from IE into Sem.
The divergent Hebrew form, <sh-w-r>, might be a result of Hittite reflexes
of IE *stewer-.
>with the "copper" word, I'm not sure if the Semitic word has an
>internal etymology within Semitic. In IE, the word may be
>connected to the root *(s)teH2w- "be strong",
Obviously, I would prefer to connect it with IE *tew(H?)-. And do we need to
postulate a "laryngeal" to account for Semitic <th-w-r>?
>and again there is
>some archaeological evidence that cattle was indeed a later
>Anatolian or SE European addition to the original Near Eastern
>Neolithic inventory of livestock (sheep and goats). So I would
>lean towards the third camp.
If the term originated as a designation for 'bison', would that not put it
firmly in the steppes? But if as 'zebu', or 'gnu', ...?
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