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14650Sanhedrin 4b

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  • Mata Kimasitayo
    Jan 22, 2013
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      טט בכתפי שתים פת באפריקי שתים (Sanhedrin 4b)

      Akiba is engaged here in phantastic etymologizing,
      deriving טטפת (sc. טוֹטָפוֹת) from פת + טט.

      Is כתפי Coptic, as Jastrow thought ? I don’t find טט
      as Coptic for “two” (though Jastrow identifies it as
      such) – and what is אפריקי ? It does not seem to be
      Ethiopian. In what language might פת mean two ?

      אפריקי has been thought to refer to Phrygia(n) but
      there is already פרוגתייא = Phrygia(n), why not use
      that ? Do we know anything about Phrygian words
      for numerals, in particular the number two ?

      The best hypothesis I have RE טט = “two” is the
      Fulani word "didi" mentioned by Heinrich Barth
      (Sammlung und Bearbeitung centralafrikanischer
      Vokabularien. 3 Abteilungen. Gotha 1862–1866,
      p 8) who explicitly connects this word (didi = two)
      with טט. As for פת I’ve nothing better than that this
      “word” somehow derives from Coptic bêta (see
      Crum p 27, maybe bêta > bt > פת).

      What could Akiba or his source have been thinking
      when he put טט = two, פת = two, finding these words
      in כתפי & אפריקי ?

      Many thanks in advance for any help.

      Mata Kimasitayo
      Bloomington Indiana
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