Lexicon

Mead, sweet

PIE *médhu-
Gloss: ‘mead; sweet’ (item 92 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
(?)Hit. mitgaimi- ‘sweetened’, Toch. B mit ‘honey’; OIr. mid; ON mjo̜ðr; Lith. medùs ‘honey’; OCS medŭ ‘honey, wine’; Gr. mέθυ ‘wine’; Ved. mádhu– ‘honey, wine’; Av. ma𝛿u ‘berry wine’.

Notes:
With comparison to the PIE word *mélit– ‘honey’, it seems clear that already in PIE times the current item had a distinct meaning, requiring that the semantic shifts to ‘honey’ in Tocharian, Lithuanian, Old Church Slavonic, and Vedic can be explained by synecdoche (Mallory & Adams 1997: 271). The suggested Hittite cognate is used to describe bread, but is not the primary word for ‘sweet’, perhaps borrowed from an unattested Luwian formation.

External comparanda:
Semitic: *mVtḳ– ‘sweet’ (Nichols 1997: 143)
NE Caucasian: *miʒʒV ‘sweet’ > e.g. Ingush merza
Uralic: *mete ‘honey’ (Thomsen 1869: 2, Wiklund 1906: 63)

Discussion:
Orel & Stolbova connects Semitic with the almost identical Central Chadic *mVtak- ‘sweet’ (1995: 393), sufficiently removed on the other side of the Sahara to substantiate Afro-Asiatic origins, which has consequences for the reconstruction in PIE, e.g., how a received *-tḳ– is organized into the native phonological system; in this Gamkrelidze & Ivanov’s analysis seems convincing (1995: 771), despite Diakonoff’s scepticism (1985: 129). The disputed Hittite form may be a secondary entry directly from a Semitic source. The NE Caucasian forms could alternatively represent an intermediate step; the prefixed version
*hwi-miʒʒV ‘honey’ certainly qualifies the semantic connection. The internal PIE connection to *mélit– ‘honey’ is thus likely to be ascribed to chance; cf. Bomhard & Kerns for a primordially Nostratic connection to Afro-Asiatic (1994:657). The Hittite form may even be an independent and later loan from Semitic (Tischler 1990:221), separating the IE stock and possibly granting a relative chronology of the term. The Uralic connection is obvious and has been proposed as a loan by, e.g., Koivulehto (1993:184), but the exact stratum for a transfer is disputed. Although a number of IE loanwords in Uralic can be diagnosed convincingly as Indo-Iranian (§ 1.3.2.13), this cannot be extended to this stratum on linguistic grounds. Napolskikh’s invocation of a Proto-Tocharian or, alternatively, Proto-Balto-Slavic form to account for both semantics and vocalism (2001: 372) seems convincing, the former especially so when confronted with the seemingly strong cultural force it yielded, cf. thus similarly Old Chinese *mjit ‘honey’ (Lubotsky 1998). The only linguistic evidence directly against a loan from PIE proper is the lack of Samoyedic cognates to the root, which, too, may prove problematic for the Tocharian relation (cf. also items 52 and 109), although, on the other hand, it is conceivable that the term was simply lost in proto-Samoyedic (cf. Joki 1973: 283ff.). With the word seemingly also entering the NE Caucasian languages, the cultural dispersal hypothesis is attractive in light of the similarly shaped comparanda in many other languages (e.g. Japanese mitsu). The circumstances, including time and space, for such a spread need to be further interdisciplinarily investigated before conclusions can be drawn. A tentative hypothesis may be to consider PIE the recipient of a different strain of a, perhaps, ancient root parallelly passed down directly to PIE *mélit-.

Numerals

Numeral etymologies
While a couple of items have unmistakable external connections and established loan etymologies (wherefore these items also formally are included in the main part of the wordlist, § 4.1), the following treatment of the IE numerals will also take the form of an excourse discussing the strictly internal arguments for the traditionally reconstructed system in PIE.

  1. ‘One’ (item 37 and § 5.1 in Bjørn 2017)
    Two PIE roots produce the first cardinal in the attested languages, viz. *(h1)oi- and *sem- (cf. Ringe et al. 2002: 74f.), but there is some reason to assume that the former may have been the first choice, given that it by far is the most widespread base (different derivations abound, e.g. *-no- and *-ko-); that Anatolian, Tocharian, Greek, and Albanian employ the latter may thus be ascribed to semantic innovation (cf. Gamkrelidze & Ivanov 1995: 740f.). Martínez holds that, strictly speaking, the numeral ‘one’ is not really counting (1999: 211), and other language families, including Uralic, Kartvelian, and Semitic, are similarly without a single ‘one’ (Mallory & Adams 1997: 398).

    External comparanda:
    NW Caucasian: Abkhaz *ajə́ba ‘orphan’
    Discussion
    :
    Bomhard suggests the connection of PIE *(h1)oi- ‘one’ with the Northwest Caucasian item as a sign of an ancient adstrate relation (2015: 17), but for multiple obvious reasons the proposition has to be rejected, most saliently because the Abkhaz form convincingly can be connected with the Northeast Caucasian stock treated under *h3orbh– ‘to change allegiance’ (item 62).

  2. ‘Two’
    The PIE reconstruction of the second numeral is wholly unproblematic and all branches are securely attested. It may be noted that no convincing external comparanda has been proposed for this item.
  3. ‘Three’
    As with the preceding numeral there is no reason to question its ancient status within PIE, and there is no obvious external comparanda for this numeral either. Martínez has, however, suggested that it is transparently derived from *ter ‘beyond’ (1999:207), but this has no consequence for the present inquiry without proposed loan etymologies and with the numerical value established by the split of the Anatolian branch from the rest of PIE.
  4. ‘four’
    PIE (1) *kwetwor

    Attestations:
    Toch. A śtwar, Toch. B śtwer; Lat. quattuor; OIr. cethair; Goth. fidwor; Lith. keturì; OCS četyre; Alb. katër; Myc. qe-to-ro-pi ‘four-footed’, Gr. τέσσαρες; Arm. cՙorkՙ ; Ved. catvára-, Av. čaθvārō

    Notes:
    Entirely consistent in all branches except for Anatolian, this PIE forms may be a compound *kwe-twor, and, following Villar (1996: 158), be a missegmentation that originally belonged to the numeral ‘three’, that thus shared desinence with ‘five’, cf. the simpler attestations in Ved. turīya– ‘fourth’ (Martínez 1999: 214), YAv. tūiriia– ‘id.’, and possibly also Greek τράπεζα (Myc. to-pe-za) ‘four-leg’, the  standard explanation for which is zero grade *kwtuṛ– without realization of the initial consonant (cf. Mayrhofer 1991: 657 and Beekes 2010: 1499). The assumption, then, is that the sequence went ‘three-and-four-(and)-five-and’, viz. *tres-kwe-twor-pen-kwe (cf. also Bammesberger 1995: 218f.); the fact that ‘four’ does not have a separate *-kwe nonetheless remains suspicious. It does not amount to much of a counterargument to accept *pen(kw)-sti- ‘fist’ (item 104) as the base word for the numerical derivation, since the vital *kw is eclipsed in a consonant cluster (but note finger).

    PIE (2) *méh1-u-

    Attestations:
    Hit. miyu-, CLuw. maauua-, Lyc. mupm̃m- ‘fourfold?’; (?)Myc. mi-we-jo ‘less’

    Notes:
    This item introduces problems for the otherwise consistent IE decimal system with Anatolian discontinuation. Under the binary paradigm methodologically employed here the Anatolian forms may have a profound impact of the traditionally reconstructed numerical system of early PIE, if, indeed, the difference cannot simply be ascribed to loss and substitution, which would be unique within IE where, as far as the attestations show, all other branches retain all numerals from ‘two’ through ‘ten’ (cf. Fortson 2010: 145f.). This form may well be an innovation, likely derived from an adjective also continued in Mycenaean, as suggested by Martínez (1999: 207), but this says nothing about whether the traditionally reconstructed root (1) was discarded. Indeed, there are dozens of uninterrupted modern continuations of *kwetwor (in Danish, Spanish, Kurdish, Hindi, Welsh, etc.) and substitutions are demonstrably exceptionally rare, if not phantasmal. The point that is being driven at here is, of course, that a claim of such an exceptional substitution in the Anatolian languages of an ostensibly inherited word for ‘four’ requires solid evidence; tantalizingly, according to Kloekhorst, the common IE root may actually be continued in the legal term kutruuan ‘witness’, literally the fourth part, after defendant, plaintiff, and judge (2008a: 499ff., see also Eichner 1992: 80ff.), yet this claim is disputed and other likely cognates exist (cf. Puhvel 1997: 299f.). This dichotomy is a fundamental differentiation in the stratification of PIE and adds plausibility and urgency to the internal (or, theoretically, external, cf. the numbers 6 ‘six’ through 8 ‘eight’, § 5.6-5.8) derivation of the other root (1). Ultimately this analysis elucidates a stage of innovative morphology was disrupted by the branching of the ancestor of the
    Anatolian languages.

    PIE (3) *(h3)ok̂t

    Attestations:
    (?)PIE *(h3)ok̂tṓ- ‘eight’ (du.); Av. ašti– ‘breadth of four fingers’

    Notes:
    See § 5.8 ‘eight’ that appears to be a dual form. Widespread loss of the original form is required, only directly attested in Avestan.

  5. ‘five’
    PIE *penkwe

    Attestations:
    (?)Luw. 5-w(a) /panku-/; Toch. A päñ, Toch. B piś; Lat. quīnque; OIr. cōic; Goth. fimf; Lith. penki; OCS pętĭ; Alb. pesë; Gr. πέντε; Arm. hing; Ved. páñca, Av. panča
    Notes
    :
    Italic, Celtic, and Germanic all require altogether unproblematic assimilations of the inherited stops, although Germanic does so in the opposite direction from the rest. According to Carruba an Anatolian alternative may possibly be attested in Lycian cm̃ne ‘five’ (1979: 192), but this is emphatically denied by Melchert (1994: 32), the form is not mentioned by Eichner in his treatment of Anatolian numerals (1992), and the phonetic complement in Luwian does seem to hint at the common root. Treating *-kwe as ‘and’ (cf. § 5.4) is certainly favored by the otherwise aberrant desinence *-e. The strongest hypothesis considering the numeral a complete root is Polomé’s connection to Hittite panku– ‘all, whole’ (1969: 99-101), although this is questioned by Kloekhorst (2008a: 624ff.). Sequentially it is worth noting that Anatolian here appears to agree with all other branches, rendering ‘four’ an isolated case of noncompliance. Treating this evidence with some degree of consequence, it may be surmised that the numeral ‘five’ was established at an earlier stage in PIE, which does seem intuitive glancing at the number of fingers on each authoring hand. Further, the suggested derivation of Anatolian ‘four’ is from the meaning ‘less’ which fittingly necessitates the greater number as its referent.

    External comparanda:
    Uralic: *piηз ‘palm of the hand’

    Discussion:
    Trombetti (1923 :549) suggests a connection with Uralic *piηз ‘palm of the hand’ (UEW: 384), which would constitute a lexical rather than numerical argument, and is consequently treated as such, see *pen(kw)-sti- ‘fist’ (item 104); typologically parallelled is the origin of the Semitic numeral ‘five’ ḫamš– (Lipiński 2001: 295). Regardless of the many different proposals, it seems beyond contention that the lexeme is an internal innovation that likely predates the split of Anatolian, although this cannot be securely established.

  6. ‘six’ (item 120 and § 5.6 in Bjørn 2017)
    PIE *(s)wek̂s

    Attestations:
    Toch. A ṣäk, Toch. B ṣkas; Lat. sex; Welsh chwech; Goth. saíhs; Lith. šešì, OPrus.
    us(ch)ts ‘sixth’; OCS šestĭ; Myc. we-pe-za ‘six-footed’, Gr. ἓξ; Arm. vec; Ved. ṣáṣ, Av. xšvaš.
    Notes
    :
    Formally the union of all of the IE comparanda is problematic, parts of which may be explainable with s-mobile, or, perhaps better yet, as sequential assimilation of initial *s- from ‘seven’ (§ 5.7, cf. Szemerényi 1996: 222), but this still fails to explain all of the variation in the onset. Moreover, there is no Anatolian data for this item (Eichner 1992: 83).

    External comparanda:
    Semitic: *šidt- > Akk. šiššet
    Egyptian: śrś.w
    NW Caucasian: *səx̑cə (Colarusso 1997: 144)
    NE Caucasian: Khinalug zäk
    Kartvelian: *ekws > Georg. ekws-, Ming. amšw– Laz a(n)š, Svan usgwa (Klimov 1985:206)

    Discussion:
    The Kartvelian material requires metathesis akin to the one seen in IE to make
    all forms fit (Fähnrich 2007: 151f.), making a foreign origin probable in that family. This is usually ascribed to Armenian (cf. Kaiser & Shevroshkin 1986: 369f.), but Klimov is unwavering in positing a PIE loan and rejects a later Armenian source on chronological grounds, and is thus comparable to ‘seven’ (§ 5.7). The solitary attestation in Northeast Caucasian (Blažek 1999c:83) makes an old relation highly unlikely, and is, if related, more likely a later cultural transfer. Note, however, that Nikolayev & Starostin unproblematically include this and the Northwest Caucasian comparandum (suggested by Colarusso 1997: 144) into the North Caucasian material, thus from *ʔrǟnƛ_E (NCED s.v. ‘six’) and evidently not related to the PIE form. For the IE material, Levin (1995: 402) invokes the initial sibilant in Vedic, otherwise only a consequence of the RUKI rule, i.e. minimally requiring a preceding phoneme, or in peripheral lexical items such as onomatopoetic ṣthu ‘spit’, as evidence of a foreign element; this anomaly could, however, also be explained as assimilation to the internal sibilant (cf. Sihler 1995:413 and, more elaborately, Lubotsky 2008: 357), while Martínez (1999:208-209) and Mallory & Adams (1997: 402) all accept the loan hypothesis. A question of chronology still remains, however, to explain how the original borrowed sound was retained to produce distinct outcomes in the different IE dialects; perhaps late diffusion, which perhaps may be tacitly supported by the non-evidence from Anatolian. The Semitic form is formally removed from the PIE reconstruction with a different occlusive quality and without the initial glide, and the later Akkadian form is evidently assibilated and thus difficult to posit as primary to the hard velar treatment continued in the IE centum languages. Considering the the strong case for a Semitic origin of ‘seven’, it is difficult to discard this proposition, but the connection is not as obvious and may require intermediate languages, possibly in the Caucasus, but more probably in the Balkans, to fit the picture.

  7. ‘seven’ (item 109 and § 5.7 in Bjørn 2017)
    PIE *septm̥

    Attestations:
    Hit. sipta-; Toch. A ṣpät, Toch. B ṣukt; Lat. septem; OIr. sechtN; Goth. sibun; Lith.
    septynì; OCS sedmĭ; Gr. ἑπτά; Arm. ewtՙn; Ved. sápta, Av. hapta.
    Notes
    :
    The PIE provenance of ‘seven’ is indisputable, since a Hittite cognate has been
    demonstrated in si-ip-ta-mi-ya ‘drink of seven’ conclusively mirrored in VII-mi-ya (cf. Neu 1999). There is little internal variation, although obvious external comparanda make a loan etymology unavoidable.

    External comparanda:
    Semitic: *sb’t
    Kartvelian: *šwid- > Georg. šwid-, Ming. škwit-, Laz šk(w)it, Svan išgwid-.
    HU: Hurrian sitta

    Discussion:
    The number ‘seven’ has convincing cognates transcending most other linguistic
    divides, thus PIE *septm, Finnish seitsemän, as well as Arabic sa’ba and Georgian šwid– (Dolgopolsky 1987: 15, Katlev 2004). It was borrowed into Uralic from IE languages at up to three different stages (Dolgopolsky 1995); Janhunen suggests that Proto-Samoyedic *sejtɜwe be a loan from Proto-Tocharian (1983: 5), but the formal resemblance with Finnish seitsen leaves some internal chronology left accounted for (cf. Joki 1973: 313); these occurrences clearly are of a secondary nature and the scope of the present investigation does not allow further scrutiny. Note that, according to Napolskikh, the Tocharian form travelled even further afield, cf. Old Chinese sjɛt ‘seven’ and Turkic *jetti (2001: 373). Klimov entertains the idea that Hurro-Urartian could be a center for much of this cultural distribution (1985: 209), but its simpler structure questions this hypothesis, and the form is, indeed, considered a secondary borrowing by Diakonoff & Starostin (1986: 20); a different, and supposedly native form, is shared with the North Caucasian languages that do not attest the root presently under scrutiny. The Kartvelian forms are generally assumed to stem from Semitic, cf. Klimov (1985: 206) and even Fähnrich, who agrees that the item exhibits obvious traits of a loan character (2007: 531), most likely from a form closely related to Akkadian sibittu. The saliency of this particular numeral no doubt emanates from the measure of the important seven-day week (Nichols 1997: 127), probably associated with the spread of agricultural practices and cultic rituals. With sound quasi-Afro-Asiatic cognates in Egyptian, Semitic, and Berber, an internal genesis for the form has been proposed by Blažek as deriving from a numeral ‘three’, cf. East Chadic *sab̩u/sub̩a (1997b: 18f.). It is thus highly probable that PIE similarly received the item from Semitic, and although the PIE desinence *-m has been explained as an internal sequential phenomenon from ‘nine’ and ‘ten’ (Mallory & Adams 1997: 402), the definite form in Semitic (*šab’a-t-Vm, where V = *-u- in the nominative, and *-a- in the accusative), too, could provide the coda (Dolgopolsky 1993: 243), wrapping the whole package that all but technically proves the origin of the term. A theoretical later borrowing directly into Anatolian from the, probably, Semitic origin seems unlikely considering the close phonological affinity with the rest of the IE stock. The unvoiced PIE reflex of the voiced Semitic origin is probably due to voicing assimilation to the following *-t-, although an argument could be made as to the exact phonetic nature of the earliest PIE phoneme system. Adding the sequential correspondence for the same families also for the preceding numeral ‘six’ (§ 5.6) renders Diakonoff’s criticism (1985: 124) insufficient to reject these very convincing comparanda.

  8. ‘eight’ (item 97 and § 5.8 in Bjørn 2017)
    PIE *(h3)ok̂tṓ

    Attestations:
    (?)HLuw. (see notes); Toch. A okät, Toch. B okt; Lat. octō; OIr. ochtN; Goth. ahtau;
    Lith. aštuonì; OCS osmĭ; Alb. tetë; Gr. ὀκτώ; Phr. *o(t)tuos; Arm. utՙ; Ved. aṣṭá-, Av. ašta
    Notes
    :
    There is ample evidence to suggest that the desinence is the grammatical dual marker, perhaps most obviously with the Avestan singular ašti– ‘breadth of four (4) fingers’ (cf. § 5.4). Though hard Anatolian evidence must be considered lost, there is a slight suggestion in Hieroglyphic Luwian, 8-wa-a-ī for *(h)ak(?)-tauanzi, where the IE dual ending might be discerned (Eichner 1992:85), and the form may likely be ascribed to the oldest strata of PIE. The initial laryngeal is not attested but may be posited to meet the expectations of the PIE root structure.

    External comparanda:
    Kartvelian: *otχo ‘four’

    Discussion:
    The importance of the dual in PIE is essential for the comparison with the Kartvelian form that then represents the basic meaning lost in most branches of IE. Already Bopp noted the similarity (1847), and the unmistakable parallels are upheld by Klimov (1994) and Dolgopolsky (1987: 21). The Kartvelian fricative may thus relate to the palatal nature of PIE, albeit metathesized. Curiously, the Kartvelian numeral ‘eight’ *arwa is likely a borrowing directly from Semitic ‘four’, cf. Arabic arbaʔ, and the connection between eight and four appears to be typologically common (cf. Klimov 1985: 206); Kartvelian likely also got its number ‘10’ *a(š)t from Semitic, cf. Arab. ašr ‘ten’ (Nichols 1997: 142). Semantically the transfer requires the basic meaning to have been alive, but with the attestation in Avestan this can safely be posited for, at least, the Iranian branch, which blunts the imperative for a particularly old phenomenon. The conditions favorable for a transfer of the numeral ‘four’ eludes, and a borrowing in the opposite direction may justifiably be posited as an alternative, especially given the confusing state of the numeral in PIE (§ 5.4). There are clearly some interesting stratificational consequences of the numeral exchange between PIE, Kartvelian, and Semitic.

  9. ‘nine’
    PIE *(h1)néun
    With cognates attested in Anatolian this numeral may safely reconstructed for the earliest strata of PIE; unmistakable traces of the common IE root are thus found in Lycian nuñtãta ‘a number (with nine as a component)’. Internal derivation has been proposed as ‘the new one’ fra *neu– (cf. Martínez 1999: 212). Greek and Armenian requires special attention for this etymology to work, and it was suggested already by Pedersen that Graeco-Armenian represents the innovation of prefixing *en– (1893: 272), then literally ‘anew’, possibly after
    ‘eight’, which, too, helps explain the conundrum of the Greek geminate in the classical reconstruction *h1neu– (cf. e.g. Beekes 2010: 427-428). No obvious external comparanda have been proposed.
  10. ten’ (item 9 and § 5.10 in Bjørn 2017)
    PIE *dek̂m̥

    Attestations
    : Toch. A śäk; Lat. decem; Welsh deg; Goth. taíhun; Lith. dẽšimt; OCS desętĭ; Alb. dhjetë ; Gr. δέκα; Arm. tasn; Ved. dáśa, Av. dasa.Notes:
    Without Anatolian attestations (Eichner 1992: 88) this item is otherwise wellrepresented in all other branches. Mallory & Adams convincingly argue in favor of a derivation to *dek̂-s ‘right hand’ continued in Latin dexter (1997: 403).
    External comparanda
    :
    Uralic: Fenno-Volgaic *-tVksVn > e.g. Fin. –deksan

    Discussion:
    The use of the number in Finnish is of some interest as it is confined to compounds, thus kah-deksan ‘eight’ and yh-deksän ‘nine’, literally ‘two (and one, respectively) from ten’ (the standard term for ‘ten’ is kymmenen). It is tempting to assume that this expression of the numeral ‘ten’ in some western branches of Uralic is of IE origin (Hakulinen 1946: 33), but an internal collocation may also be posited (Itkonen 1973: 337ff.), and is preferred in both SKES (1978: 1856, s.v. yhdeksan) and UEW (1988: 643f.). If a transfer did occur, it must have happened earlier than that of *śata– ‘hundred’ (§ 5.12). Note that the existence of extensive trade relations between stages of PIE and Uralic is uncontroversial, and seeing that at least early middle PIE had a concrete number ten, very likely tied to a decimal system, while Uralic demonstrably did not, it is by no means inconceivable that the numeral could have transferred in certain collocations where the exact place in the native system was undetermined, allowing a different root for ten to be adopted when the system finally was established.

  11. Teens
    Seeing that the numeric sequence even through to ‘ten’ are ripe with internal
    inconsistencies, it can be no wonder that even more complex formations pick up the mantel in more or less idiosyncratic ways in the various dialects. One particular, and, from the looks of it, odd, system that spans a wide geographical as well as linguistic area is the “left-over” teens of Proto-Germanic (only eleven and twelve), Lithuanian, and the Samoyedic language Tundra Nenets (Martínes 1999: 212). The Indo-European forms are very likely to be cognate (Germ. *-lif and Lith. –lika, despite the problem of labiovelar reflexes in Germanic), but are
    formally different from Tundra Nenets yəŋk°nʹa ‘separate’ (Nikolaeva 2014: 52). The very limited geographical distribution renders this suggested correspondence highly speculative.
  12. A short note on higher order numerals
    Just like Fenno-Ugric borrowed ‘hundred’ from Indo-Iranian *śata– → FU *śata, so did Kartvelian adopt its *as1ir ‘hundred’ from Semitic, cf. Akkadian ‘esr ‘ten’ (Klimov 1985:208). A similar derivation from ‘ten’ is likely found in PIE *(d)k̂m̥tóm ‘100’ ~ *dek̂m̥ ‘10’ (Mallory & Adams 1997:404).

Blackberry

PIE *moro
Gloss: ‘blackberry’ (item 95 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
(?)Lat. mōrum; (?)Welsh merwydden ‘mulberry’; Gr. μόρον; Arm. mor

Notes:
Welsh may, like the more secure cases of OHG mūrbeere ‘mulberry’ and Lithuanian mõras ‘id.’, be a loan from Latin, that again may have transferred from Greek (Schindler 1964: 172); Beekes even suggests that the Armenian cognate be borrowed from Greek, too (2010: 968), which would render it solitary in Greek, but this idea is rejected by Martirosyan (2010: 474ff.). Despite the resemblance of Hittite mūri(yan)– ‘grape’ (Tischler 1990: 233f.), there seems to be no reason to posit the noun for the oldest layers of PIE.

External comparanda:
NE Caucasian: *mer(ʔ)V ‘a kind of berry’
Uralic: *mura ‘cloudberry’

Discussion:
The Uralic stock is exceptionally consistent both formally and in terms of semantic scope, which suggests that the word entered (P)IE from Uralic. There is hardly a semantic gap between the cloudberry of Uralic and the black- and mulberries of IE that all resemble each other, and the fact that the cloudberry (also called arctic raspberry) is confined to very northern latitudes practically forces a shift. The item was also borrowed into Turkic and Tungusic languages, probably from Ob-Ugric, and later even Russian (UEW 287), so the directionality is certainly established. Campbell also posits the more general FU *marja ‘berry’ as related in a wider complex (1990: 165f.), but enough of a connection can be drawn from the more immediate resemblances. Nikolayev & Starostin have showed that a similar noun is of significant age in the Northern Caucasus (NCED s.v. ‘berry’), but the vowel quality seems better to have been affected by a desinential *-i– somewhere, possibly the derivation for the associated bush or plant (cf. Martirosyan 2010: 474ff.). Friedrich similarly suggests that Burushaski biranč may be connected (1970:150) and thus substantiates a widespread root. A transfer likely happened into a very late stage of PIE, if not purely dialectal; the geographic distance between the Uralic languages and the attested Greek and
Armenian is obviously insurmountable, as noted by Joki (1973:287f.).

Millstone

PIE *gwher-nu-
Gloss: ‘millstone’ (item 28 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
(?)Toch. B kärweñe ‘stone’; Welsh breuan; Goth. qaírnus ‘mill’; OPrus. girnoywis; OCS žrŭny; Arm. erkan; Ved. grávan- ‘stone for pressing soma’

Notes:
The noun is traditionally derived from *gwher– ‘heavy’, and despite some controversy to the provenance of Tocharian it seems best reflected within this bulk (Adams 2013:176); this evidence is accompanied by the question whether ‘millstone’ is a narrowing of original ‘stone’ (Winter 1998: 351) or a broadening of the inherited ‘millstone’. If, indeed, Tocharian represents the second (known) branching of ancient PIE, the former hypothesis seems natural, and consequently preferable.

External comparanda:
Semitic: *gúrn-u ‘threshing floor’ > e.g. Ugaritic grn (examples in Tyloch 1975: 57)
North Caucasian: *χIwĕrV ‘mill, m.’ > e.g. Ingush ħajra ‘mill’, aha ‘to mill’

Discussion:
The Semitic loan etymology is defended by Dolgopolsky (1987: 16 and 1989: 6) and Takács (1997: 374) for their phonetic similarity, while Mallory & Adams (1997: 474) and Diakonoff (1985: 128f.) ascribe the similarity to sheer chance. The latter addresses the semantic gap between an IE ‘millstone’ and a purported Semitic ‘threshing floor’, which may only be bridged through the dialect semantics of Arabic ‘mortar’ (Gamkrelidze & Ivanov 1995: 770f.), but without similar variation in the ancient Semitic languages, this meaning is most probably innovated and without consequence for the present inquiry. Thematically the implement, or facility, belong to the agricultural package and should, if viable, be considered within that same context. All things considered, the Semitic comparandum requires a difficult semantic drift, especially for a purported technical loan, that renders chance resemblance the favorable option. Otherwise semantically attractive is the case for a North Caucasian connection, where a native verbal root seems to constitute the derivational basis for the implement (S. Starostin 2009: 96f.), which is a point of criticism with Matasović (2012: 290). Such a connection would, however, render the PIE system folk-etymologically associated with the root for ‘heavy’ and possibly separate Tocharian from the stock, rendering a transfer into late or late middle PIE the most likely scenario.

Pear

PIE *ĝherd
Gloss: ‘pear’ (item 25 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
(?)Alb. dardhë; Gr. ἂχεδρος ‘wild p.’, ἀχράς ‘id.’; Mac. ἀγέρδα ‘id.’

Notes:
Limited distribution to a very compact geographical region, the Balkan, has very weak bearings on PIE etymology, even more so if Orel’s reservations on Albanian are heeded (1998: 56). Furnée considers it a particular pre-Greek substrate word (1972 :127).

External comparanda:
NW Caucasian: *q(w)a
NE Caucasian: *qcör (Dolgopolsky 1989: 15)
Kartvelian: *msxal– (Fähnrich 2007: 296f.)

Discussion:
Nikolayev & Starostin, scrutinizing the North Caucasian connections, further compare the Kartvelian forms, although they concede the formal difficulties the inclusion entails (NCED s.v. ‘pear’). The linguistic travels of the fruit may be compared to that of the apple (item 42) that nonetheless appear to have wider distribution within IE. If connected, Dolgopolsky’s suggestion of a loan from North Caucasian *qcōrV (NCED *qHǖre, s.v.) or one of its descendants into a dialectically diversifying PIE (1989: 15) best fit the picture (cf. also S. Starostin 2009: 88f.), although the geographic discontinuity poses a serious obstacle (cf. Matasović 2012: 290). Caucasian connections for the Balkan languages are also pertinent in the discussion of *ĝhor-io- ‘pig’ (item 18).

Tortoise

PIE *ghel-u(H)-
Gloss: ‘tortoise’ (item 24 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
RusCS želvĭ; Gr. χέλυς ‘t., chest cavity’

Notes: While Vasmer considers the Slavic forms derived from a verbal root ‘to bend’ (1955: 414f.), the Greek forms are significantly more contested (cf. Frisk 1966: 1086f.), and Beekes even prefers substrate origin (2010: 1623ff.).

External comparanda:
Kartvelian: *γl-az1– ‘crocodile’

Discussion:
The scattered yet very concretely matched IE evidence does lend credibility to external origins, but the Kartvelian comparandum does not match semantically. The comparison, suggested by Smitherman (2012: 510), is unfocused and draws on a proposed common verbal root ‘twist, turn’ (cf. Fähnrich 2007: 488f.) that would render the animal derivations secondary anyhow. Further circumstantial evidence may bolster future attempts, but the connection seems quite improbable.

Pole

Two different items denote poles or beams

PIE *ĝhalgho
Gloss: ‘pole’ (item 22 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
OHG galgo; Lith. žalgà; Arm. jałk.

Notes:
Despite formal problems with the second velar, the Armenian form surely belongs to the set (Martirosyan 2010: 429f.). Such a very limited distribution of the term is hardly conducive for a reconstruction dating to the earlier strata of PIE.

External comparanda:
Uralic: FU *śalka

Discussion:
It seems strange that Koivulehto prefers ascribing this word to PIE proper (2001: 238) rather than a dialectal continuant hereof, given the limited distribution within Uralic. Regional distribution of this term within IE likewise questions the claim of a truly ancient borrowing (cf. Kroonen 2013: 165). Phonetically, this word resembles *śata- ‘hundred’ which is traditionally considered a borrowing from early Indo-Iranian on account of the palatal treatment of the initial PIE palato-velar as well as the a-vocalism. Such an origin for this case is, obviously, unattractive without Indo-Iranian cognates, but the fact remains that there is no evidence suggesting great antiquity for the relation. A substrate word from an unknown source in Northern Europe could be defended in the same stratum as *kond-u- ‘hand’ (item 77), although the connection with Armenian then requires special attention. The great resemblance between Lithuanian and Fenno-Ugric thus makes a dialectal borrowing most likely.

_________________________________________________________________________

PIE *kŝeul-
Gloss: ‘beam, post, piece of wood’ (item 71 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
Goth. sauls ‘column, post’; Lith. šùlas ‘post, jamb, doorpost’; Rus. šúla ‘garden post’; Gr. ξύλον, var. σύλον.

Notes:
Several aspects make the native status of this item highly questionable, including the atypical onset cluster, the very specific meaning in all attestations, and the distribution limited to a small handful of (nearly contiguous) European branches (cf. Beekes 2010: 1037f.).

External comparanda:
NE Caucasian: *č̣ɨwłu ‘beam’ > e.g. Chechen č̣erg ‘transversal ceiling crossbeam’

Discussion:
The phonetic shape of this reconstruction certainly seems to correspond with the reception in the IE languages, and the superimposable semantics bolster this scenario. Somewhat problematic is the geographic distance between the IE languages in Europe and the NE Caucasian family, but the fact that prehistoric migrational patterns, of people and, especially, words remain ephemeral, this cannot be elevated to a decisive counter-argument when, on linguistic evidence alone, the comparison is so attractive. Given the lack of internal explanation for the item in PIE, the item may well have emanated from NE Caucasian, as suggested by S. Starostin (2009: 97), or a language related hereto.

Jaw

PIE *ĝenu-
Gloss: ‘chin, jaw(-bone)’ (item 17 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
Toch. A śanwe-ṃ (du.); OIr. gin; Goth. kinnus; Gr. γένυς; Phr. α-ζήν ‘beard’; Ved. hanu-, Av. zanva (acc. du.).

Notes: The problematic velar reflexes in Indo-Iranian formally require *ĝh, which has been proposed as “Homoionymenflucht”, i.e. dissimilation from *ĝonu- ‘knee’ (item 20) with which it was colliding in the Indo-Iranian vowel collapse of *e and *o to a (Mayrhofer 1996: 801f.), although *-o- in ‘knee’ is lengthened due to the effects of Brugmann’s Law.

External comparanda:
NE Caucasian: *č̣ănV ‘chin’ (NCED s.v.)

Discussion:
S. Starostin makes no distinction as to the stage of transfer (2009: 85), but the palatal development of an inherited plain velar in front of a front vowel is a strong argument in favor of a dialectal loan from a stage of Indo-Iranian into NE  Caucasian (Dolgopolsky 1987: 19), and, if the vowel reconstructed by Nikolayev & Starostin is to be preferred to Dolgopolsky’s cover symbol, the vocalism helps substantiate a loan with the hallmark traits of Indo-Iranian (§ 1.3.2.13).

Grain

PIE *dhoHn
Gloss: ‘grain’ (item 14 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
(?)Hit. dannas ‘kind of food’, (?)Luw. tannas ‘id.’; Toch. B tāno; Lith.  dúona ‘bread’; Ved. dhāna-, Av. dāna.

Notes:
Adams considers the earlier suggestion to derive it from the verbal root *dheh1– ‘put, place’, but concedes it as semantically strained (2013: 303). The identity of the Anatolian forms with the rest of the IE stock is tentatively suggested by Watkins (1965: 121), somewhat substantiated by the meaning in Lithuanian, but other, more immediate, alternatives likely reject the comparison (cf. Tischler 1991: 99).

External comparanda:
Semitic: *dúχn– ‘millet’ (Dolgopolsky 1987: 15, 1989: 5)

Discussion:
Orel & Stolbova connects the Semitic root to Central Chadic *dwan– ‘corn’ (1995: 166), adding credibility to an Afro-Asiatic origin. Diakonoff remains sceptical pending further knowledge of the importance of ‘millet’ in the diet (1985: 127), and the comparison may further be questioned by the semantic drift required to fit the IE attestations. The connection is attractive in light of the spread of agriculture, but remains inconclusive.

Earth

PIE *dheĝh-om
Gloss: ‘earth’ (item 10 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
Hit. tēkan, HLuw. takam- (dat.-loc.sg.); Toch. A tkaṃ, Toch. B (t)keṃ; Lat. humus; OIr. ; Goth. guma ‘man’; Lith. žẽmė; OCS zemlja; Alb. dhe; Gr. χθών; Ved. kṣás, Av. zam-.

Notes:
This item harks back to the oldest layers of PIE with representation in most branches, including the decisive ancient Anatolian and Tocharian that further help establish the original sequence of the obstruents (D-G) that underwent metathesis sometime in late middle PIE (to G-D). This item has been mentioned as an argument in favor of Tocharian as the second branch to leave the PIE dialect continuum (cf. Kretschmer 1931).

External comparanda:
Kartvelian: *diɣwam- ‘fertile soil’ > Georgian diɣvam– ‘black earth, sufficiency’ and Svan diɣwam ‘damp low place with f.’.
Kartvelian (alternative): *diqa- ‘clay’ > e.g. Georgian tixa, (?)Svan gim

Discussion:
Klimov proposes the connection with ‘fertile soil’ (1998: 41), which semantically seems a viable loan item due to its specialized meaning and formal triconsonantal quasiidentity (D-G-M), although the vocalism seems somewhat discontinuous; the labial
treatment of the IE velar similarly needs to be explained. These considerations would establish PIE as the provider of the term. Alternatively, Gamkrelidze & Ivanov suggest that the meaning ‘clay’ in Kartvelian may be related to PIE ‘earth’, and that the Svan form represent a simplified stem *ĝhem– < *dhĝhem– (1995: 774) to illuminate internal PIE development as well, but note that Klimov does not include Svan in this cognate set (1998: 72), reducing the reconstruction to Georgian-Zan, while Fähnrich treats it along with Mingrelian gim-e ‘below’ (2007: 107). This Svan form is, moreover, not an exact semantic parallelism, but the connotations in PIE with inherent association with ‘human’, e.g., at least some European languages, Goth. guma and Latin homō (cf. Mallory & Adams 1997: 366), could mend the comparison somewhat. The sequence of the obstruents in either Kartvelian comparandum would surely establish the loan to an early stratum of PIE, i.e. before the metathesis sometime after the presumed split of Tocharian. Kaiser & Shevoroshkin reject the hypothesis on formal grounds (1986: 368), but, all things considered, the connection with ‘black soil’ appears most attractive if the similarity is not merely due to chance resemblance.