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One to three dimensions and more cow

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  • tgpedersen
    ... I located Matisoff s Universal semantics and Allofamic Identification to check his account of the connection between the reconstructed Sino-Tibetan roots
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 27, 2006
      --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...> wrote:
      > > It seems to me PIE *weh1wer- must be somehow related to
      > > PIE *gWi-wo- "alive" or *gWi-gWo- as I believe Piotr
      > > wrote it (to show it was related to PIE *gWo-gW- "cow".
      > > If that is so, then *weh1wer- is itself a substrate term,
      > > which means either that there are _two_ IE substrate
      > > layers in Danish (one each for 'væver' and 'egern'), or
      > > that the "alive" root occurred in a non-IE substrate in
      > > Germanic, which means it wasn't native in PIE.
      > On the "cow" trail:
      > Lat. vacca "cow"
      > (/a/, gemination: Mot populaire (Ernout-Meillet),
      > thus old loan?)
      > OHG wancho:n "walk; stray"

      I located Matisoff's "Universal semantics and Allofamic
      Identification" to check his account of the connection
      between the reconstructed Sino-Tibetan roots (Benedict)
      #352 *blen,-/*plen,- "straight; straighten"
      #138 *plen, "flat surface"
      #142 *blin,-/*plin,- "full"
      proposing that they are identical, inasmuch as they vary
      semantically by one spatial dimension.

      "All three of these concepts [straightness, flatness,
      fullness] refer to a **complete or ideal realization of
      a quality appropriate to a particular dimensionality in
      space.** A straight line is the ideal (simplest) one-
      dimensional figure, determined by only two points. The
      simplest 2-dimensional figures extend in a single plane
      (Lat. planus), determinable by a minimum of only three
      points. Fullness is a 3-dimensional or 'voluminous'
      concept, referring to the ideal identity in shape between
      a receptacle and its contents.
      note) Typically the surface of the contents of a full
      vessel is flat (level with the rim), thus reinforcing the
      association between 2-dimensional 'platitude' and
      3-dimensional 'plenitude'."

      He then goes on to quote Watkins on PIE:
      *pel&-(1) "flat; to spread",
      *plat- "to spread" (extended root of *pel&-(1))
      *pel(&)-(2) "to fill"
      Obviosly the first two roots involve 2 dimensions,
      the third one three.

      Now if the semantic content of these root sets in PST
      and PIE is as complicated as Matisoff suggests, then
      the concept-transfer between the speakers of these two
      language groups has involved the germ of a geometrical
      theory too, wherever the word set originated.

      End of that subject.

      Because in the same article Matisoff sets up another set
      of allofams PSt *(d)za:y <> *(t)sa:y "pecuniary asset"
      on the basis of
      [Mat 143] Kamarupan *tsa:y "elephant/cattle"
      [Mat 129] Proto-Lolo-Burmese *dzay "catttle/domestic animal"
      Old Chinese *dz`&g, Middle Chinese *dz`â.i :
      [GSR 943h] "wealth, valuables; mental resources, talent"
      [GSR 943g] "timber, wood-stuff, material; treasures;
      disposition, natural qualities, talent"
      [GSR 943 a-f] "endowment, ability, talent"
      [Mat 106] Proto-Tibeto-Burman *(t)sa:y "temperament,
      aptitude, talent"

      which, with respect to its sementic range, he compares
      with PIE *pek^u-

      It occurred to me that this *dza:y <> *tsa:y (< *dza:g ?)
      might be a co-allofam with the connection proposed by
      Piotr of PIE *gWogW-(?) <> *gWigW-.

      Now the interesting question, if that idea is true, is
      what that tells us about the relative geographical
      distance of the PIEers and the PSTers to the invention
      of the cow.

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