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Re: [tied] A LEGITIMATE QUESTION ABOUT 'WATER' ISOGLOSS TO I.E. LINGUISTS

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  • Brian M. Scott
    At 12:26:29 AM on Thursday, September 6, 2012, The Egyptian ... [...] ... Challenged by whom? ... In what sense do they correspond? ... Of course it should
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 5, 2012
      At 12:26:29 AM on Thursday, September 6, 2012, The Egyptian
      Chronicles wrote:

      > I have a legitimate question about how and why I.E.
      > linguists determine a term to be considered strictly
      > Indo-European.

      > An example would be the following:

      > Linguists believe PIE had two root words for water:
      > *ap-and *wed-.

      [...]

      > Both terms (*ap-and *wed-.) are offered as being part of
      > the basic Indo-European vocabulary. Often, these terms are
      > offered as the core of their "show case" Indo-European
      > examples. The current post you are discussing exemplifying
      > this clearly and decisivly.

      > This assertion, often taken for granted, is now being
      > challenged by the presence of similar terms for water in
      > Arabic, a non-Indo-European language

      Challenged by whom?

      > (these terms are `dr, `dd, and `bb which correspond to PIE
      > *ap-and *wed-.

      In what sense do they correspond?

      > This points to a problem which needs to be addressed when
      > dealing with isoglosses which cut across family languages.

      > To my knowledge these terms are only found in Arabic and
      > are non-existent in other sister languages. I was often
      > asked whether or not there are any other examples in
      > Semitic languages? My answer is: should it it matter,
      > especially in the light of the extensive and comprehensive
      > definitions found in Old Arabic and Classical Arabic?

      Of course it should matter. Presence in just one branch of
      a family is evidence that something is a loan into that
      branch. It's not conclusive evidence, of course, but it's
      certainly enough to prevent projection of the word to the
      family as a whole without very good reason.

      [...]

      > Actually these definitions are so overwhelmingly detailed
      > as to pose enough of a challenge (in this particular
      > case), to all combined Indo European examples offered so
      > far.

      What on earth does the amount of detail in the definitions
      have to do with it?

      > It is my belief that there is something amiss here that
      > has never been addressed.

      > I've never heard any I.E. Linguists officially discussing
      > this anomaly.

      There doesn't seem to be anything to discuss.

      Brian
    • Francesco Brighenti
      ... At times I ask such questions to some experts (now also via Facebook), but their replies usually come late. According to Prof. Alexander Militarev, a
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 15, 2013
        Ishinan had written:

        > Linguists believe PIE had two root words for water: *ap- and *wed-:
        >
        > "water (n.1) O.E. wæter, from P.Gmc. *watar (cf. O.S. watar,
        > O.Fris. wetir, Du. water, O.H.G. wazzar, Ger. Wasser, O.N. vatn,
        > Goth. wato "water"), from PIE *wodor/*wedor/*uder-, from root *wed-
        > (cf. Hittite watar, Skt. udrah, Gk. hydor, O.C.S., Rus. voda,
        > Lith. vanduo, O.Prus. wundan, Gael. uisge "water;" L. unda "wave")."
        >
        > Both terms (*ap- and *wed-) are offered as being part of the basic
        > Indo-European vocabulary.... This assertion, often taken for
        > granted, is now being challenged by the presence of similar terms
        > for water in Arabic, a non-Indo-European language (these terms are
        > `dr, `dd, and `bb which correspond to PIE *ap- and *wed-... To my
        > knowledge these terms are only found in Arabic and are non-existent
        > in other sister languages. I was often asked whether or not there
        > are any other examples in Semitic languages?

        At times I ask such questions to some experts (now also via Facebook), but their replies usually come late.

        According to Prof. Alexander Militarev, a well-known Semitist, Arabic `dr at least has "rather reliable Afrasian cognates" -- I reproduce here my original query and his reply.

        My question:

        > > Dear Prof. Militarev,
        > >
        > > I wonder whether you can provide any clues about the Semitic
        > > etymology (admitted there is one) of the Classical Arabic word
        > > ʕdr mentioned in this link [to a site managed by Ishinan --
        > > FB]:
        > >
        > > http://www.theegyptianchronicles.com/LINKS/3DR.html
        > >
        > > Does this word have any Semitic cognates?

        Prof. Militarev's reply:

        > Dear Francesco,
        >
        > Arab. ʕdr `abound in water', ʕadar- `heavy rain, downpour' has no
        > explanation for the first radical other than a "root-extention" of
        > West Semitic (in my classification) verb *drr (Hebrew 'drip',
        > Arabic 'flow abundantly'). The Sem. root has rather reliable
        > Afrasian cognates: Egyptian dr (alternatively, d may render ṭ and
        > r - l) 'prevent water from flowing down' (medical text); West
        > Chadic: Hausa ḍū́rà, Tangale dɛrị, Polchi ḍùrə̀w 'pour', etc.,
        > Central Chadic: Gude ḍaarə 'flow', etc.; East Chadic: Bidiya
        > ḍr-ḍòr 'inundate'; East Cushitic: Saho-Afar darur 'rain-cloud'.

        See the full etymology (in some cases slightly different from Militarev's one) at

        http://tinyurl.com/ad46pz7

        How can the existence of a Proto-Afrasian root *dVr- 'flow' (or else its Proto-West Semitic derivative (through "root-extension"), *ddr- 'flow abundantly' have generated PIE *wedor- 'water'?

        Francesco
      • Richard Wordingham
        ... Well, it s tempting to posit another root extensions *wdr and back-formation from PIE *wedor- to PIE *wed, but I wouldn t give both of these processes
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 18, 2013
          --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Francesco Brighenti" wrote:

          > How can the existence of a Proto-Afrasian root *dVr- 'flow' (or else its Proto-West Semitic derivative (through "root-extension"), *ddr- 'flow abundantly' have generated PIE *wedor- 'water'?

          Well, it's tempting to posit another root extensions *wdr and back-formation from PIE *wedor- to PIE *wed, but I wouldn't give both of these processes happening much credence. This hypothetical extension is in another of the forms given by Militarev's paper 'Root Extension And Root Formation In Semitic And Afrasian', available at http://starling.rinet.ru/Texts/semroot.pdf .

          Richard.
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