IE-Semitic connections

Glen Gordon glengordon01 at
Fri Jan 29 23:47:43 UTC 1999


>In particular, you receive an elegant solution for Germanic and
>Etruscan (and Basque)...

In retrospect, I forgot about Basque "zazpi". Hmm, but I wonder what the
mainstream theory is on that word. Larry Trask mentioned that Latin "s"
becomes "z" in Basque borrowings. Latin, at least Vulgar Latin, as far
as I am aware, reduced /m/ before vowel to a nasal vowel. I can't see
how "zazpi" can be related to a t-less Semitic form because of the
second -z- which has to be a soft representation of a previous /t/ (what
else could it possibly be??) Hence zazpi might actually come from a late
version of Latin septem which perhaps was pronounced /sept(s)@~/ at the
time (@~ = nasal schwa).

To be honest it probably can't be explained as a Classical Latin
borrowing (cf. Lat apta- > hauta- "choose") but couldn't this be a late
Latin borrowing? It's definitively not from a t-less Semitic form. Maybe
an _m-less_ one at most and then we have to explain why Semitic *b
becomes Basque /p/!

Glen Gordon
glengordon01 at

Kisses and Hugs

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