- Dec 2, 2013View Source
---In firstname.lastname@example.org, <josimo70@...> wrote:1) PIE *swek^s. How to explain the anomalies and different forms? Why *swek^s /*sek^s/ *wek^s/*k^swek^s/*uk^s? Why Sanskrit s.as., instead of expected *saks.- or *svaks, ? What is it relationship to Semitic shish-? *swek^s- > *sek^s after influence of *septm sounds plausible.
DGK: It is difficult to discuss PIE numerals in isolation. In order to address the anlaut-variation in 'six', I must first examine 'three' and 'four'. Please excuse the verbosity. Brevity is not my strong suit.
Special feminine forms for 'three' and 'four' are found in Indo-Iranian and Celtic. Sanskrit _tisrás_, Avestan _tisro:_, Gaulish _tiðres_, Old Irish _téoir_, Middle Welsh/Breton _teir_, and Cornish _t(e)yr_ point to a Late Proto-Indo-European *tisrés fem. 'three' (W. Cowgill, Lg. 33:341-5, 1957), unless OIr _téoir_ requires *tisóres (E.P. Hamp, Eriu 24:160-82, 1973). This *tisrés in turn can be explained by dissimilation from *tri-srés whose second element is the plural of a root-noun *so:r, *sor-, *sr- 'female'. The dissimilation must follow a Late PIE soundlaw which was not undone by analogy in this word. As to the gradation, it is merely self-serving to argue that *t(r)isóres must have been the Late PIE nominative form, with identical independent innovations in Indo-Iranian and Celtic (or P-Celtic alone). A single innovation in Late PIE (generalization of zero-grade to the nom. pl. from obl. pl. cases) is more plausible, if indeed the zero-grade here was not an archaic relic from an earlier stage of PIE. If Hamp was correct in postulating (effectively) Q-Celtic *tisores, this can be understood as analogical after *kWetwores masc. 'four'.
The root-noun *sor- cannot have begun with a laryngeal, since no vowel-lengthening is observed in these numerals or in *swe-sor- 'one's own female, sibling female, sister'. In most animal species, the females protect the young while the males go gallivanting around, so the root is probably *ser- 'to protect' (J. Pokorny, IEW 910, as 2.ser-).
Skt. _cátasras_ and Av. _c^atan,ro:_ point to a Late PIE *kWétesres fem. 'four'. However, OIr _cethéoir_, MW _pedeir_, MBr _peder_, and Co. _pedyr_ indicate a Proto-Celtic *kWetisres, which has presumably been contaminated by *tisres fem. 'three'. (Again, if Q-Celtic had *kWetisores, the ending is likely analogical after the masc. *kWetwores.) Late PIE *kWétesres can be explained from earlier *kWétwer-srés by two dissimilative soundlaws: *-r(V)sr- > *-(V)sr- observed already with *tisrés, and vowel-sensitive *-kWeCwe- > *-kWeCe-. Apparent exceptions to the latter include Ionic/Arcadian _tésseres_ masc./fem. 'four', Skt. _catvarás_ 'four-cornered place, square', Lithuanian _ketverì_ 'four each', and Old Church Slavic _c^etverU_ against _c^etvorU_ 'id.'.
Now, apart from accent, Doric/Western Greek _tétores_ masc./fem. 'four' agrees with Skt. _catvá:ras_, Av. _c^aþwa:ro:_ masc. 'id.'. The PIE protoform was evidently *kWetwóres, with retracted accent in Greek. Attic _téttares_ has substituted zero-grade (regular in the dat. _téttarsi_; cf. Skt. loc. _catúrs.u_) for inherited /o/-grade in the nom., and Ion./Arc. _tésseres_ has presumably imported /e/-grade to the nom. by analogy with other nom. pl. forms, such as /u/-stem nouns with -e(w)es.
OCS _c^etverU_, _c^etvorU_ can be explained by contamination of inherited *kWeter- with the cardinal *kWetwóres, leading to *kWetwer-, *kWetwor-. Similar contamination accounts for Lith. _ketverì_, Skt. _catvarás_ against *keterì, *catarás expected by the dissimilative soundlaw.
This soundlaw can now be applied to the anlaut-problem of the numeral 'six'. If the PIE protoform in isolation was *swék^s, in counting the collocation *pén,kWe-swék^s would regularly be dissimilated to *pén,kWe-sék^s. From the counting sequence a rival cardinal *sék^s would be extracted. In some daughter languages this prevailed over *swék^s and was generalized; in others *swék^s prevailed and was restored to the counting sequence. Further changes then affected 'six' in some languages.
Armenian, some Greek dialects, and Old Prussian reflect *wék^s, presumably by loss of anlaut-/s/ in collocations with animate plurals (i.e. *-s-swék^s > *-s-wék^s). The peculiar anlaut of Avestan _xs^vas^_ also occurs in reflexes of PIE *sweib-, *swib- (IEW 1041-2) and *swih-d- (1043), so I would not posit a PIE by-form with *ksw-. The Avestan anlaut must be due either to collocative sandhi or to a soundlaw which was normally undone by analogy with other ablaut-grades, but not in words with no other grades surviving in Avestan. Given the proximity of Cnidus to Asia Minor, Cnidian _xéstrix_ 'six-rowed barley' (Hesychius) is probably an Iranian loanword and cannot be used as evidence for a parallel anlaut-development in Greek dialects. Sanskrit _s.át._ has regular auslaut as we see from _spát._ 'spy', which continues the PIE root-noun *spék^s (IEW 984). Probably Proto-Skt. *sát.s. 'six' underwent sibilant assimilation to *s.át.s. parallel to that in _s'vas'rú:-_ 'mother-in-law' and _s'vás'ura-_ 'father-in-law' from *svas'-, PIE *swek^-.
As a result there is no need to posit two (or more) originally distinct forms of 'six' in PIE as E.R. Luján Martínez did (Los numerales indoeuropeos 315-6, 1996). Nor is there any reason to assume that PIE borrowed this numeral from Semitic or any other source. Its primary indeclinability suggests that 'six' was originally not an adjective or noun in apposition with the units counted, but an adverbial expression. This can be formally identified with the endingless locative of a prefixed root-noun *swe-k^os- 'one's own cut, solitary separation', thus *swék^s 'in solitary separation (from a handful), with one in addition (to a handful)'. The PIE root is *k^es- 'to cut, cut off, separate'. (This in my opinion has been conflated with a different root *k^h2es- > *k^as- 'to lack, be wanting' in IEW 586. The latter also underlies *k^as-(no-) 'gray, ashen, hoary' in IEW 533, originally 'lacking pigment' when used as a chromic term.) Presumably the gesture for 'six' was like our own, one hand with all fingers outstretched, the other with only one out. Literally *swék^s would have applied only to the latter hand with one separate finger showing, but the adverb could easily have spread to cover the whole gesture, which in turn was appropriate whenever six of anything were indicated.
This production of PIE *sék^s from *swék^s within the counting sequence suggests an explanation of the behavior of 'five' in Germanic. The simple cardinal occurs with labial auslaut: Gothic _fimf_, Old Norse _fim(m)_, Old English/Saxon _fi:f_, and Old High German _fimf_, later _finf_, _funf_. Like many others, Luján Martínez (LNI 269) made the ad-hoc assumption that PIE *pén,kWe was assimilated to *pémpe prior to the Germanic Lautverschiebung.
The regular outcome of word-final PIE *-kWe is Gmc. *-x, reflected in Go. _-h_ < *-kWe (Latin _-que_) and _nih_ < *nékWe (Lat. _neque_, _nec_). In isolation, one would expect PIE *pén,kWe 'five' to yield Early Proto-Gmc. *fén,xWe and then (by apocope of unstressed *-e) *fén,xW and then (by final delabialization) *fén,x. Raising to *fín,x would have been completed separately in North, West, and East Gmc. after the breakup of Proto-Gmc. (This raising of */eNC/ to */iNC/ has traditionally been ascribed to Late PGmc, but Finnish _rengas_ 'ring' must be borrowed not from PGmc, but from Early NGmc *xrén,gaz. Similar raisings have occurred independently elsewhere.)
Instead the Gmc. lgs. continue *fímf raised from Late PGmc *fémf. The straightforward explanation is that following apocope of *-e, the cardinal *fén,xW in isolation maintained a final labiovelar fricative, but in the counting sequence, juxtaposition with *s- produced a bilabial fricative to which the preceding nasal was assimilated: *fén,xW-séxs > *fémf-séxs. This labialized cardinal *fémf was then extracted from the counting sequence and replaced *fén,xW much as *sék^s had replaced *swék^s in several IE lineages (including that leading to PGmc).
The soundlaw which produced *fémf-séxs operated later than the general delabialization of inherited labiovelars occluded by following consonants. It occurred after the apocope of unstressed *-e, and before the delabialization of word-final *-xW. Presumably other words with final *-xW also yielded *-f when collocated with following *s-, but isolation and other collocations later yielded *-x, and since these were in the majority, *-x eventually ousted presibilant *-f with these words. Thus Gothic preserves no presibilant by-forms *-f and *nif for _-h_ and _nih_. Only in 'five', since it was always collocated with 'six' in counting higher, did the labialized auslaut survive and thrive.
As with 'six', the indeclinability of PIE 'five' suggests that it was also an oblique case used adverbially, this time amplified by the enclitic *-kWe. Theorizing along the lines of *(s)pen- (Luján M., LNI 277-8) leads nowhere. I propose instead an endingless locative *pén,k 'in the hand, as a handful, as five'. The root-noun *pón,ks 'hand' literally meant 'grasper, seizer' and the same root underlies PGmc *fanxanaN 'to grasp, seize' (pace magnae multitudinis). Groups of five had sufficiently special significance to warrant distinct words (cf. LNI 270, n. 8), and must frequently have been counted out: "One, two, three, four, and five." As the count-closing 'and-five', *pén,k-kWe would have unambiguous numerical value, distinct from *pén,k which could still mean 'in the hand'. Thus the longer form would oust the simplex for counting and numerical usage, and by Late PIE time it would be regularly reduced to *pén,kWe by degemination after a heavy syllable (a phenomenon too widespread to require further comment).
In societies which used livestock as the principal currency, most counting operations would involve animate bodies, so the counted form of 'three' would generally end in *-s, whether the animals were counted absolutely in the nominative, or during a transaction in the accusative: "I give you one, two, three, four cows." Thus the labial anlaut *f- of Gmc. 'four', against expected *xW-, can be explained like the auslaut of 'five', by juxtaposition with *-s in the counting sequence. This *f- then spread from the cardinal to the ordinal and other forms of the numeral, replacing inherited *xW-.
Old Frisian _fial_ 'wheel' was likely extracted from a technical collocation in which it followed a word ending in *-s. This did not replace the usual word for 'wheel', as Modern Frisian dialects have the expected /w/-anlaut continuing Gmc. *xW-. Pan-Germanic 'wolf' and a few other words with root-final Gmc. *f for expected *xW can be explained by syncope of the stem-vowel juxtaposing *xW with *-s in the masc. nom. sg., thus *-xWos > *-xWs > *-fs. Details of the associated analogical processes are somewhat complex and will be presented in a separate post.2) PIE *septm . It's obviously related to Semitic *sabatum, but... where did the contact occur? Do similar vocalism in *septm *dek^mt *h1newn point to an analogous formation?
DGK: The primary indeclinability of 'seven' again suggests an adverbial expression, but the morphology is peculiar and cannot be identified with anything functioning as an oblique case in attested languages. In Greek the preposition _metá_ 'in the midst of, between, with, after' has the same phonetic shape as _heptá_ 'seven', so _metá_ could continue an archaic adverbial formation in oxytone syllabic *-m.´ corresponding to an obsolete noun *metón 'middle, midst', this being cognate with Albanian _mjet_ 'id.'. The Doric, Aeolic, and Arcadian dialects also have a preposition _pedá_ 'after, with, amidst' corresponding to a noun *pedón cognate with Sanskrit _padá-_, Avestan _paDa-_, Armenian _het_ 'footstep, track, trace'. Indeed Armenian has created analytic prepositions _y-et_, _z-het_, _zetoy_ 'in the trace (of), after'.
Thus PIE *septm.´ could continue an adverbial formation (similar to a locative, but never formalized as a paradigmatic case) corresponding to a noun *septóm, this presumably derived from *sep- 'to occupy oneself with, order, manage' vel sim. (IEW 909).
Natural groups of seven are hard to find on the ground, but ancient man (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) could look up and see the Pleiades (before the disappearance of Merope), the Little Dipper, and the Big Dipper. The stars of the latter were called in Latin _Septentrio:ne:s_, the Seven Plough-Oxen "a terenda terra". But contemporary ploughing was done with yoked oxen. It seems we have a reference to primitive ploughing, before the establishment of yoking, in which all the animals were simply tied to the plough and incited to move forward. Much more than the yoke-driver, the primitive ploughman would have had his hands full, occupying himself with managing the whole group of animals, so as to keep them moving in order to produce a tolerably straight furrow.
Thus I hypothesize that *septóm meant specifically 'managed group (of draught-animals)', with adverbial *septm.´ signifying '(moving) in a managed, orderly group'. The most striking such group in the sky would have been the Pleiades, at the time having seven stars of roughly equal brightness. This would have been designated as *septm.´ followed by the word 'stars' or 'group of stars'. Later, as primitive ploughing was replaced by yoked-draught technology, *septóm would have become obsolete. In the meantime, as the formation in *-m.´ yielded to paradigmatic oblique cases and lost its productivity, such words as *metm.´ 'in the midst', *pedm.´ 'in the trace', and *septm.´ 'in a managed group' would become morphological fossils. The name of the Pleiades, no longer recognizable as 'Stars in a Managed Group', would have been reinterpreted as 'Seven Stars', thus creating a new numeral. Despite the loss of *septóm, oral tradition would keep alive the memory of primitive ploughing for a time, allowing the Dippers to be likened to groups of plough-oxen, moving along in order.
In my view, both 'six' and 'seven' are thus analyzable within Indo-European and not borrowed from Semitic. If any borrowing has occurred, these numerals have gone from IE to Semitic, along with the words for 'horn', 'bull', and 'tower' characterizing tribes who bred large cattle, used them for draught and as currency, and built defensive towers.
I regard 'nine' and 'ten' as endingless locatives like 'six', explaining the cursory similarity. I doubt that 'nine' has anything to do with 'new'. Instead it probably means 'incomplete (set of ten)', involving *ne- 'not' plus the zero-grade of *wen- 'to complete' vel sim., thus 'not in completion'. Greek has simply added a preposition to disambiguate the locative; there is no call for laryngeal anlaut.
E.P. Hamp's objection (Word 8:136-9, 1952) to PIE 'ten' ending in *-t is still valid, so I reject the *-t. However, an internal laryngeal is necessary to explain the form of the zero-grade preserved in OHG and ON 'twenty', so the PIE form must be *dh1ék^m. in my view. The *-m. is a postfix (a.k.a. root-extension) signifying 'around', like Italo-Celtic *am-(bi-), seen also in *gWem- 'to walk around' against *gWeh2- 'to walk away', and the sense of the noun is 'double handful' like Gallo-Latin *ambosta. The literal meaning of *dh1ék^m. is 'in a double handful'. The simple root is *dh1ek^- 'to receive', not *dek^- (pace omnium), and I regard the middle syllable of Latin _didici:_ 'I learned' as reflecting the vocalized laryngeal.
Anyhow, there are serious complications regarding the decades, and even more involving the ordinals. I will probably end up writing a freaking book about the IE numerals.