Afrasan qwem/kwer/bhe/dwey and PIE kwem/kwel/bha/dyeu?
When we look at Pokorny dictionnary(1)we see that proto indo-european *gwem gave birth to so divergent Latin Venire(sometimes pie gw=>Italic v and
pie m=>n but not all the times this is the rule as for example we have pie gwer=>latin gratis),Greek bainein(sometimes pie gw=>greek b,pie m=>greek
n)and old English cuman,and with so divergent semantic shift as lithuanian gemu=to be born); this pie root could be a cognate to proto semitic kwm
(2)and also proto afro-asiatic km(3) which are very stable both phonetically and semantically (4)
O.E. cuman "come" (class IV strong verb; past tense cuom, com, pp. cumen), from P.Gmc. *kwem-, from PIE base *gwem- "to go, come" (cf. Skt. gamati
"he goes," Avestan jamaiti "goes," Tocharian kakmu "come," Lith. gemu "to be born," Gk. bainein "to go, walk, step," L. venire "to come").
Substitution of -o- for -u- is scribal change before minims, cf. monk, some, worm, orig. munuc, sum, wyrm. Past tense form is probably from O.N.
kvam, replacing O.E. cuom. Amazingly productive with prepositions (NTC's "Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs" lists 198 combinations); consider the varied
senses in come to "regain consciousness," come over "possess" (as an emotion), come at "attack," and come off "occur." For slang sexual senses
Meaning: 'stand (up), rise'
Akkadian: ḳamām- 'stand up straight (of hair), stand on end' AHw (LGz)
Ugaritic: ḳm 'ponerse en pie, alzarse' DLU 367
Hebrew: ḳwm 'rise, get up, stand up' HAL 1086
Aramaic: Pal ḳwm
Biblical Aramaic: ḳwm
Syrian Aramaic: ḳwm
Mandaic Aramaic: ḳwm
Arabic: ḳwm [-u-]
Epigraphic South Arabian: ḳwm
Geʕez (Ethiopian): ḳwm 'stand, stay, remain, rise, arise'
Tigrai (Tigriñña): ḳomä
Argobba: ḳoma, oma
Gurage: Sod ḳomäm, Cha ḳʷämäm
Notes: Secondary transformation of a biconsonantal root into a *CVwVC- structure
Meaning: rise, lift
Semitic: *ḳVwVm- 'stand (up), rise'
Berber: *ḳaym 'sit'?
Western Chadic: *ḳam- 'lift'
Also please notice that besides the phonetical similarity there is a morphologic analogy:
As we have:
cuman(to come-infinitive)/come(he comes-present)/came(he cames-past)
quman(to start advancing(4)-infinitive
he cames/huwe qam
Please notice common germanic/arabic infinitive ending=en/an as well as analog ablaut (o/u<=>a)
qum(he comes-present)/qam(he came-past)
Also please read some of the works of linguist BANDER S, ALFRAIKH below
In the conclusion to the first edition to Arablexis I stated that my aim in including the Indo-European roots in the list of Arabic roots was not to
suggest "kinship". I left that remark unchanged. It remains to be my aim. Kinship is the specialty of Anthropology or Sociology. But descent is the
word of preference in Comparative Linguistics. And descent is different from borrowing. Arabic wersh(ah) is much in currency coming through borrowing
from Eng. "workshop". It has no other derivatives besides the plural werash. On the other hand, the preterits qa'da, "he sat down(on the floor)",
waqa'a ,"he fell down", naqa'a, "water formed ponds", waqqa'a "it(bird) landed", and other nouns like qa'ar, "bottom", qa'a "ground"are descended
from the root QA' which happens to be the same as Sumerian gi or ki meaning "earth or ground". Could not two languages (or more) even when they are
not in the same family share a root or a variant of it as is the case here? Could not Greek be tapping the same root in geo-, also "earth"?
Should this be the case why could not Old Eng. sweart, German Schwarz, and Latin sordere be descended from Arabic swd a root signifying "dark"
objects. This should solve a difficult problem.
Proto-Semitic has one important advantage over Indo-European. In Indo-European one works from the known to get to the unknown root. The h of Eng.
horn goes to a k and this gives corn. After many gradings to the vowels and discarding with the suffixes you end up with *ker which is not a lexical
unit of speech but only a root. In Semitics, especially Arabic, we start from the root ker which was unknown in Indo-European. Ker is a lexical root
in Arabic denoting "repetitiveness and circular objects". It appears in such phrases as ker wa far "charge, retreat (warfare)". From the known we go
to the unknown to find that the plosive k was changed to a similar consonant q and n added as a suffix just like Eng. to prduce qern "horn". We can
go further into the unknown to find qarin "counterpart". This came from the pre-historic practice of yoking an inexperienced bull to a trained bull
to do plowing. We could still go to the very unknown, to the etymon of qiran "marriage, which comes from the fact that marriage is union or
'yoking'". This finally takes us to zouj or zoug "spouse". And zoug becomes, through the Comparative Method, the same as the Indo-European root
*yeug. Here we moved from the known, which is the "root", to the unknown, which is the "word".
There is also the fact in Comparative Linguistics, as it pertains to Indo-European, to grade the root and make it sometimes zero-grade. Could this be
due to an unconscious effort on the part of the corporatist to get to Proto-Semitic which is consonantal (no vowels)? Or is it merely a predetermined
effort to make the unknown fit the known? If the former, and if we are interested in language thousands of years before 3000 B.C.E., then Proto-
Semitic is a more able candidate to explain the nature of language than Indo-European. It may well lead us to find out some, if not all, of the
shortcomings of the Comparative Method. One of these shortcomings, as an example, is the fact that there is no attestation in Indo-European languages
on the word sea. If we turn to Semitic languages we find that Eng. mere and Latin mare are descended from Semitic mur "bitter, salty". Mur was used
to differentiate sea water from sweat or river water. Sea could have descended from the Semitic root seh(s, heth) signifying motion of water. The
heth of seh is hard to pronounce in Germanics and had to go to a vowel, a in this case2.
1.The problem is this: Sanskrit shveta could go to Indo-European *kweit because of sound regularity. Old Eng. sweart and its cognates in the other
Germanics do not, because sound regularity is lacking. Latin sorderes is the same. The initial s is problematic. It could not be taken as "intrusive"
because of wide attestation. I should also note that the 1st edition of the American Heritage Dictionary gave *swordo as the root for these words
above in accordance with Pokorny's Dictionary. Later, in the 4th edition of the AHD they were left without a root.
2.The Semitic heth is "fricative pharyngeal" and has no exact graphic representation. The closest representation is a. (cf. the pronunciation of the
personal name Noah).
Let us take SeH (sien, heth) as an example and see how it is developed by way of the affix to produce the three types of the preterit we talked about
SeH is a root signifying "motion of water over a surface ". Two things regarding this semantic field must be mentioned. First, the entire semantic
field, or part of it, either the "motion" or the "surface" on which the motion takes place, should appear in all derivatives. Second, the semantic
field above should be understood as representing , historically , the motion of fresh water, not sea water , although sea water shows up in some
derivatives at a later time period. The clue as to the nature of the water being fresh water spring water, cataract, rain, etc. comes from the
Northern dialects of Arabia in one word. The word is SeH (ah), plural and singular for "dates ", literally , as the root suggests " the sweet fruit "
. The standard language borrows the word internally , adds the definite article El and gives us ElSuH denoting a special type of dates , " that which
is dry and not sticky ".
Infixing the root:
The vowel infixed preterit is SAHa, "it (water) ran ". Note that the entire semantic field is represented here. This same verb also means, "he
roamed ". Here "roaming "is aimless, exactly similar to the motion of water (half of the semantic field). The long vowel moves from being an infix to
function as a suffix in SaHA' "he evened of soil ". Other infixes are B in SaBaHa , " he swam " ; D in SaDaHa " He brought something to lie
horizontally instead of being perpendicular " ; Toh in SaTeH " surface, roof " ; R in SaRaHa " he went into reverie ". Here the mind is "roaming ",
so to speak.
Prefixing the root:
F in FaSaHa signifying the movement of people from a constricted narrow space to a larger , more open space ; K in KaSaHa " he swept " ; M in MaSaHa
" he wiped off " ; N in NaSaHa " it (wind) moved sand or dust from one place to another " .
Suffixing the root:
B in SaHaBa " he dragged " ; F in SaHaFa " he shaved off(the head)" ; L in SaHaLa " he scraped off"; Q in SaHaQa, "he crushed" as in Hazim(ah) SAHiQ
(ah) "crushing defeat".
The generosity of this root goes on and on. We have more derivatives if the original two consonants are replaced by other phonetically related
consonants. If S goes to Sh, for example, we have ShaLaHa "he undressed "and ShaHaTha "he sharpened, he scraped off " . An interesting derivative of
ShaHaTha is ShaHATh "beggar ", literally, "one who lives on what is being scraped off ". If S goes to Z we have ZaHaFa "he crawled ".If heth goes to
Kh we have SaLaKha "he skinned ". From ZaHaFa we derive ZaWAHiF describing all "reptiles". Three of these reptiles take their names from one of the
preterits of the root above. SuLaHF (at) "turtle and SuHLi (ah) "lizard ", from SaHala, "he scraped ff". SuLaHF (at) is also sometimes pronounced
SuHLuF (at) which is historical, coming from the preterit above SaHaLa. The third reptile is TiMSAH, from MSaHa, "it scraped off ". If you have the
semantic field in mind, you know all these creatures "scrape off "the surface they move over.
If you imagine a keg or a barrel being rolled over a surface, two things should not escape your notice: the motion of the object is circular and
periodic ; the sound of this motion is either sharp (crackling) or heavy and thudding depending on the slope of the surface. This picture is at the
heart of the semantics of the two words circle and wheel in Arabic, , other Semitic languages and English as well. Two English words should further
clarify the semantic picture we are trying to present here. These are rolling as it collocates with thunder in rolling of thunder and periodical
being synonymous with magazine. The two words stand for the "sound" and "periodicity" we talked about above.
Two roots in Arabic give us enough derivatives to help us understand the etymology of the words CIRCLE and WHEEL. These are KR (pronounced KeR ) and
Hl ( heth, lam pronounced HeL). The first, KR, signifies "repetitiveness and round objects ". Affixing this root (see example above) produces two
sub- roots important for the discussion here. The first is KaWaRa " he made something round " giving us KU:R(ah) " ball " and KOR " head (South
Arabian)". Replacing K with Q and adding N as a suffix gives us QRN "ram's or bull's horn". QRN ,by the way, is known to Western comparartists as a
root shared by Semitic languages and is thought to be (wrongly) a borrowing on the part of Semitcs.The second sub- root is KaRRaRa " he repeated, he
strained "from which TaKRI:R "refining" is descended . Now if KR is given m as a prefix to signify the implement and ah as a suffix to signify
femininity we have MaKR(ah) " wheel "cognate to Akk. MaGGaRu and Heb. GaLGaL.Compare Greek KIRKUS "wheel" which ultimately goes to IER *ker and you
shall find a match.
English circle is descended from Latin circul (us). This, too, is influenced by Semitic languages like Greek kirkos. Note here that both Greek and
Latin are in agreement on the first part of the word kir (compare Arabic KeR above). The second part, c**, of Latin circul (us) is somehow puzzling
to some dictionary makers. Some will trace descent of circle to Latin and then to Greek. Some will stop at Latin. The c** of Latin circul (us) is
also influenced by Semitic languages. Here is how. Akk. Miglu "scroll", Heb. Galgal "wheel" and Arabic JaLJaLa describing the "sound of thunder "all
show GL (pronounced GaL) to be the root. GL is a word in Heb. appearing in GaL "surfing wave (because of its circular, looping shape)". In Arabic GaL
appears in such words as AJaL(ah), " wheel " cognate to Heb. Egol also " wheel ", SiJJiL " scroll " and MaJJaLL9ah) " periodical, magazine ". Here we
can see the c** of Latin circul (us) being influenced by the Semitic root GL.
Our second root HL signifies time and repetitive time periods. The root appears in HWL "a period of one year", and the preterit HaLLa "time came to
perform a certain activity". If the root HL is prefixed and suffixed in the same way we treated KR above we have MaHHaL (ah) "wheel". Arabic heth
goes to either k or h in Germanics and ultimately IE and this is what we find in English wheel and IR *kwel.
The other period when nighttime is about to end is divided into segments. Going from darkness to brightness, we have first sahar which may be called
"pre dawn" or the "wee hours" of dawn. Hebrew coins the color shahur, "black" after this period1. About one hour later, as nighttime is receding and
daytime is taking over Arabic coins the color ablaq, "black mixed with white". Ablaq comes from an extended root,blq, which in turn comes from a
two-consonant root, bl 2. When the plosive q of blq goes to a sibilant j we then have the preterit balaja as in balaja en nahar, "day time has
Minutes before sunrise the period is known in Arabic as sufrah which is cognate to Akkadian siprati meaning "dawn". From sufrah Arabic coins the
color asfar,"yellow"because of its resemblance to the color of this period of time.
One could see why English black used to mean white by comparing it with Arabic ablaq which meant, historically speaking, that which is "black" or
"dark" but would soon become" white". The picture shall be clearer as we proceed to see other colors.
English black used to mean white. Perhaps the early speakers of Proto-Germanic, like the speakers of Porto-Semitic used the period pre dawn as a
referent for color. In fact both periods, before sunrise and after sunset, are important in Germanic culture. The word twilight speaks for that.
And Arabic aswad , "black" comes from the extended root swd, a root appearing in Old Eng. Sweart (cf. swarthy) , German Schwarz and Sanskrit shveta.
According to the Comparative Method only shveta could be a descendent of the Indo-European root *kweit because of sound correspondence and
regularity. If one were to argue that shveta is "white" and should go to the root *kweit, but sweart and Schwarz mean "black" and therefore should
not be descended from the same root then one has not seen the confusing nature of color. The point is this: color was, historically, taken as a
"state of the mind" determined by the two periods of twilight. White objects after sunset (seem) swart and black before they become white at sunrise.
"Color" in Arabic is Lawn. It is also the "state of things" including the state of humans. If you are asked, wesh lawn(ak)? in spoken Arabic, do not
answer by naming a color unless you took the question to be a pun. The question is: How are you? 5.
Five roots signify fire and light in Arabic. These are: Ash and its variant Aj, BhA, BRQ, DhW or dhy, and NR. Let us take them one by one and see how
they are shared also by IE.
Ash is a Heb. word meaning "fire". In Arabic it is a root appearing in such words as AShALa "he lit, he built a fire" and AShRaQa "it (the sun)
rose". The variant AJ appears in AJJaJa "it (fire) flamed". This root also appears in English East which goes to IER *aus or *ous.
BHA is an Arabic word-root signifying "brightness ". Two adj. , BaHI:J as in " yom(un) BaHI:J(un) , "pleasant(bright) day" and BAHiR as in " najah
(un) bahir " pleasing(bright) success". Some names such as Bahjet and Baha ul Dien "brightness of the faith "are also from this root. IER *bha is an
BRQ is "lightning "cognate to Akk. BaRaGu and Heb. BaRaQ . IER*bhereg is another match.
DhW is a root signifying"fire ". DhiYA "light" appear in the personal name Dhiya ul Dien "brightness of the faith". Greek Zeusand Latin Deus are
influenced by this root and is the IER *dyeu.
NR is the root signifying "fire", but because of some taboo the root must always be infixed by a consonant or a long vowel, not a short one. This
appears in all derivatives like NAR "fire", NU:R "light" and NahAR " daytime". Even other Semitic languages are under the constraint of the
phenomena. Akk. NaWaR "fire"shows a consonant as an infix to the root. Heb. OR "fire" has the first consonant N missing. Latin oriens "East, rising
sun" and aurora are influenced by this Semitic root especially the Heb. Representation of it.
It is true Arabic has no written history. The available literature, old and current, deals with something known as Fiqh El Lugh (ah) "understanding
the language ". There is no history in this literature. It attempts to analyze the language through vocabulary at a period in the past but fails to
show how this vocabulary became what it is now. All studies of the language unfortunately are synchronic, not diachronic.
But a history of the language could be reconstructed if we apply the Comparative Method and acknowledge the existence of a two-consonant root. We
have enough records available on Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew,etc. for comparison. Arabic although it is the closest to Proto-Semitic as many linguists
believe, still needs its sister languages to see how it was in the past and how it changed to be what it is now.
It is also true the two-consonant root is controversial in its structure, especially the type we called "the middle-vowel infixed". For example, the
roots NM, to signify "sleep" received a long vowel in constructing the preterit NA'Ma "he slept ". But, historically, the same verb could have been
*NaWaMa or *NaYaMa.In other words the middle infix may have been one of three characters: A, W or Y .Only general agreement prompted perhaps by
economics or geographical location is what gave prominence to NA'Ma, and not any of the other two. The remaining two words were not lost. They
reappear as an adjective in NAYeM and as a noun in NaWM .English, to draw an analogy, at one point in history before typing was ushered used to have
three representations for the past tense of ride- rode, raid and road. Rode took prominence, and the remaining two words became famous nouns1.
Finaly, my introducing of the IER in this discussion is not show kinship. I was rather compelled to include it because of the large size of
similarities in roots. However, if the size of similarities and the regularity of correspondence is more than could be ascribed to borrowing or
chance then perhaps we should re-examine our methodology .It is not only the similarities in Semitic languages that we fail to see but also the
similarities within the so called Indo-European languages. Latin fibra which we met with earlier, for example, is not related, etymologically, to
Eng. Web (Cf.Eng. weave).Eng. folks and Latin vulgos are similarly not etymologically related. They may well be related. The Comparative Method,
however, does not permit it (see Proto-Semitic vs. Indo-European).