Lexicon

Chickpea

PIE *ker̂ -(ker̂ -)
Gloss: ‘chickpea’ (item 67 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations: Lat. cicer; Alb. thjer ‘lentil’; (?)Gr. κριός; Mac. κίκκεροι; Arm. sisəṙn

Notes: De Vaan rejects the Greek comparandum as a chance resemblance and tentatively posits the verbal root *kerh3– (2008: 113). The widespread reduplication points to an old phenomenon (Greppin 1981: 6f.), and the Greek form, if connected, may thus be a simplified variant. The distribution is very centralized in the circum-Pontic area, especially the Balkans, which may provide lexical evidence of an ancient Armenian presence in that particular region (cf. Solta 1960: 331f.).

External comparanda:
NE Caucasian: *qarhV

Discussion: Dolgopolsky bases his loan trajectory (PIE → NC Caucasian) on paleobotanical arguments (1989: 16), but the linguistic side certainly does not warrant a reconstruction for PIE. A similar root is visible in NW Caucasian with the meaning ‘pea’, and a pan-North Caucasian phenomenon is substantiated by similar items in all branches, of which Abkhaz and Kryts show reduplication (Mikić & Vishnyakova 2012). A further comparandum is suggested in Burushaski gərk ‘peas’ and thus shows hallmark signs of a wanderwort scenario. A reconstruction for PIE looks more like an example of biased science than a valid inference of the scattered and inconsequent IE data, unfortunately prompting an indefensible conclusion on directionality.

Lamb

Two etymologies of (P)IE lambs have external comparanda:

PIE *h1ln̥bh
Gloss: ‘lamb’ (item 36 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations: Goth. lamb ‘sheep’; (?)Gr. ἒλαφος ‘red deer’

Notes: If rightly connected by Kroonen, this root has very limited and semantically difficult IE distribution, and for both branches necessarily different Ablaut grades (2013: 325f.). The traditional etymology for the Greek item departs from a possible Aeolic origin of the alternate form ἐλλός ‘fawn’ < *el-n-os, cf. Arm. eln ‘id.’, Lith. élnis ‘id.’, OCS elenĭ ‘id.’, Welsh elain ‘id.’ (e.g. Frisk 1960: 483ff.). Adams surely connects to these forms Toch. A yäl ‘gazelle’, B yal ‘id.’ and the rather elusive Hit. aliyan(a)- ‘(?)roebuck’ (2013:523), and further, more semantically tantalizing, Toch. B āl– ‘ram’ (2013:58). The labial obstruent in the main Greek lemma has then been compared to the identical ending of ἒρι-φος ‘youngling’ that is decisively derivational in Ved. vṛṣa-bhá– ‘bull’ from vr ́ṣan– ‘manly, powerful’ (Chantraine 1968: 333,372). This PIE suffix *-bhé– may be relevant for Germanic regardless of the heritage. Lehmann hesitantly connects all of the above from a root *el- ‘brown’ (1986: 226), which may as well be fitted with the initial laryngeal *h1-, but Germanic is formally difficult to include in this bulk. The Greek branch, along with its possible cognates, would surely help establish the root as of PIE origin, but the comparison is doubtful. [NOTE: See now also Vrieland 2017]

External comparanda:
NE Caucasian: *ɫVmbagV ‘sheep’ > Avar lémag, Akhvakh lãgi; Lezghian lap:ag

Discussion: What appears to be a new comparison nonetheless suggests itself straightforwardly with almost perfect alignment of three identical radicals; moreover, the Avar gloss is a) ‘sheep’ b) ‘1yr old sheep’ (NCED s.v.), mirroring the Germanic semantics. According to Nikolayev & Starostin the NE Caucasian form is likely to have been borrowed (ibid.). It is possible that this lexeme at an early stage complimented the proper PIE *h3ewi- ‘sheep’ (item 58), either as a loan from an unidentified source but in common with NE Caucasian, or as an internal derivation; the semantic fate in Germanic and possible elsewhere in IE surely indicates a kind of specialization. The lexeme was transferred into Finnish lammas ‘sheep’ from a Germanic language spoken in the Baltic region, either Gutnish or Gothic (Kroonen 2013: 326), both of which developed (or retained) the less specialized meaning. The connection may thus be compared to PIE *h2e(i)ĝ- ‘goat’ (item 40) as a lexical isogloss unique to NE Caucasian and western IE.

__________________________________

PIE *h2egw-no-
Gloss: ‘lamb’ (item 45 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations: Lat. agnus; OIr. úan; OEng. ēanian ‘to yean’; OCS agnę; Gr. ἀμνός

Notes: Attestations reflect limited distribution, that nonetheless seems tightknit despite minor differences (Frisk 1969: 93f.). The item cannot be posited for the earlier stages of PIE, and appear to be a European regionalism.

External comparanda:
Semitic: *igl– ‘young animal’ (Gamkrelidze & Ivanov 1995: 769)

Discussion: Orel & Stolbova connect Semitic with cognates in Central Chadic, Cushitic, and Omotic to establish Afro-Asiatic *igal ‘cow, calf’ (1995: 247), and note should be made of the semantics that are consistently bovine except for the generalization that incurred very sporadically in Ge’ez to ‘young animal’ and possibly also Akkadian agalu ‘donkey’. Gamkrelidze & Ivanov choose to weigh the more general meaning (ibid.) that more readily resonates with the (P)IE reconstruction despite considerable evidence pointing to the conclusion of higher specialization (cf. also Diakonoff1985: 129f.); the Semitic comparanda should consequently be rejected. Rather, the word may be connected with *h2e(i)ĝ- ‘goat’ (item 40), which requires both semantic drift and an explanation of the formally incompatible velars, that may be ascribed to its putative foreign nature.

Star

Note: Marijn van Putten (p.c.) suggests, contrary to the conclusion in Bjørn 2017, that the connection to Semitic is of continued interest. The phonetic matchup is certainly worth entertaining, and I rely heavily on Diakonoff to dismiss the connection on semantic grounds. I hope to return to this etymology again and invite the reader to share arguments for and against in the comment section below.

PIE *h2ster
Gloss: ‘star’ (item 55 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations: Hit. ḫaster-; Toch. A śreñ (pl.), Toch. B ścirye; Lat. stēlla; OIr. ser; Goth. staírno; Gr. ἀστῆρ; Arm. astl; Ved. stár-, Av. star-.

Notes: Latin requires an *-l- derivation that seems to be resonated in Celtic (de Vaan 2008: 585). The term is widespread and retains its meaning in all branches of attestation, making a reconstruction for the earliest strata of PIE unavoidable. Bomhard suggests that the noun is internally derived from the verb *h2eh1-s– ‘to burn, dry’ (1986).

External comparanda:
Semitic: *ʕaθar(-at)– ‘Venus, deified star’

Discussion:
Apparently a religious symbol in the Proto-Semitic world, the formation is not included by Orel & Stolbova (1995), which necessarily has consequences for the evaluation of possible provenance. Since the word is attested in IE to warrant reconstruction of an old and concrete meaning ‘star’, it is significantly more attractive to posit PIE as the potential provider vis-a-vis from the specialized and culturally dependent meaning in Semitic as propounded by Dolgopolsky (1987: 15f., 1993: 244). Moreover, the connotations in Semitic conducive for the comparison are demonstrably secondary cultural attributes to the deity (Diakonov 1985: 122f.), so this comparison can safely be ascribed to chance.

Clover

PIE *semh1r-
Gloss: ‘clover’ (not in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
?Gaul. ui-sumarus, OIr. seamar; Icel. smæra

Notes: The data is taken directly from Guus Kroonen’s presentation on the agricultural substrate in Europe, available here (PDF). Not reconstructable to PIE proper, and the forms are not completely compatible either, thus Proto-Celtic *semmar and Proto-Germanic *smēr-; with extensive contact between early speakers of Celtic and Germanic the item may have entered one and passed on to the other.

External comparanda:
Kartvelian: *s-m-q-r > Georg. samqura 

Discussion:
The argument is best explored through Kroonen’s slides (see link under Notes above). Most salient is the proposed Kartvelian etymology from sam ‘three’ and qur ‘ear’, and thus comparable to Latin trifolium. For geographical and distributional reasons, the transfer is highly unlikely to have been  directly from Kartvelian to Germanic/Celtic. Rather, a transfer may have occurred along with some of the goat words that also appear to have unique ties between European languages and the Caucasus. The connection seems plausible, probably in the semantic sphere of agriculture rather than a natural term.

Liver

PIE *(l)iekw -r
Gloss: ‘liver’ (item 65 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
Lat. iecur; Middle Irish i(u)chair ‘fishroe’; (?)ON lifr; Latv. aknas (pl.f.); Gr. ἧπαρ; (?)Arm. leard; Ved. yaknás (gen.), YAv. yakarə-.

Notes: Aberrant forms in Armenian and Germanic with initial *l– have been suggested as stemming from internal analogies (cf. Martirosyan 2008: 267f. and Kroonen 2013: 336). Heterocliticon points, grammatically, to the very oldest strata of PIE, although attestations are wanting for both Anatolian and Tocharian.

External comparanda:
NE Caucasian: *läHäƛwV > e.g. Andian reƛiƛ̱i

Discussion:
Otherwise formally unattractive, S. Starostin does suggest that the East Caucasian form betrays the archaic nature of the initial consonant in Germanic and Armenian (2009: 83f.), conceivably continuing a borrowed palatalized *l– that was lost in the glide elsewhere. Chronologically a reconstruction through to North Caucasian form would strengthen its case, but all things considered this connection remains meagre.

Eagle

PIE *h3or-(n-)
Gloss: ‘eagle’ (item 63 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
Hit. ḫāran-, Pal. ḫāran-, CLuw. ḫarran(i)– ‘bird’; (?)Middle Irish irar; Goth. ara; Lith. erẽlis; OCS orĭlŭ; Myc. o-ni-ti-ja-pi ‘of a bird’, Gr. ὂρνις ‘bird’; Arm. oror ‘gull’

Notes: Greek has inverted the inherited words for ‘eagle’ and ‘bird’ (*h2euei-) so that the former means ‘bird’ and the latter ‘eagle’ (Mallory & Adams 1997: 173), while the Luwian shift is without consequence thanks to semantically more conservative inner-Anatolian cognates. Different derivations are required to account for all of the branches, but especially the *-n-desinence appears widespread and old, while Balto-Slavic are alone to extend with the *-l-formant. The appurtenance of the Celtic stock is tentatively questioned by Matasović (2009: 117f.). The distribution suggests early PIE origins, but the lack of Indo-Iranian and Tocharian cognates may indicate a more regionally confined phenomenon, cf. PIE *woin– ‘wine’ (item 133).

External comparanda:
Semitic: *γVrVn > Akk. urinnu, Arab. γaran
Sumerian: erin, (ḫ)u11-rí-in ‘e., standard’

Discussion: The sporadic Semitic evidence could indicate a borrowing from an Anatolian language; Militarev & Kogan, who hesitantly propose this connection, also include Central Chadic ‘white-bellied stork’, that, however, more probably should be considered a later loan from Arabic (2005: 131); it may be added that the item is not included by Orel & Stolbova (1995), and that a connection between Akkadian and Sumerian seems solid (Sahala 2009: 6). Phonetically the value of PIE *h3 is in play and the evidence does seem to point in a direction of ancient affinities, the question, of course, is how old.

Blood

PIE *h1esh2-r/n
Gloss: ‘blood’ (item 33 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
Hit. ēsḫar-, CLuw. āsḫar-; Toch. A ysār, Toch. B yasar; Lat. aser, sanguīs; Latv. asins; Gr. ἒαρ; Ved. asnás (gen.).

Notes: An inherited heterokliticon (alternating *-r and *-n– in the casus rectus and obliquus, respectively) and thus grammatically considered part of the oldest strata of PIE, the antiquity of the item is, of course, corroborated by the distribution in all the ancient branches. Latin aser is known only from a gloss, but seems to be continued in the first element of the common form san-guis (the latter part is more obscure, cf. de Vaan 2008: 537f.). According to Mallory & Adams this term signifies the internal ‘living’ blood as opposed to external ‘dead’ *kréuh2-, but this latter form is without reflexes in Anatolian and Tocharian (1997: 71).

External comparanda:
Kartvelian: *zisxl ̥– > e.g. Georgian sisxl-, Svan zisx
Sumerian: úš- ‘b., gore’

Discussion: Although formally hardly a direct match, the Kartvelian form may inform the phonology of PIE, where *h1– should match with *z-, *e with *i, *s = *s, *h2 with *x, and, ultimately, possibly *-r with *-l ̥. But since Gamkrelidze & Ivanov connect Kartvelian by positing voiced reduplication of the root (1995: 774), the resemblance is rendered significantly less transparent. If viable, the item may then be compared semantically with ‘heart’ (item 69) as they find themselves within same technical field, and can thus conceivably have been transferred as technical or cultic epithets, cf. how Latin and Greek technical terms in medicine are used in modern English, e.g. (neo-Greek) rhinoplasty of the (inherited Germanic) nose. Weak circumstantial evidence supporting such a scenario may be found in the fact that it’s the only demonstrably inherited term in Kartvelian, whereas PIE may have distinguished two roots, but note that PIE, then, are more likely to have absorbed an additional term. The directionality proposed by Gamkrelidze & Ivanov (1995: 774) would leave Kartvelian without a native word for blood. Kaiser & Shevoroshkin reject the comparison on typological grounds since “the word for blood is among the first 25 [most stable] words” (1986: 369), but the history of the term in the IE languages attest differently with demonstrable loss in the Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic branches. The simple Sumerian comparandum brings little to the table and may be internally derived (cf. Sahala 2009: 13). This must, at best, be considered a tentative comparison pending further evidence.

Heart

PIE *ker̂ -d
Gloss: ‘heart’ (item 69 in Bjørn 2017)

Attestations:
Hit. kir, CLuw. UZU zārt-; Toch. B käryāñ (pl.); Lat. cor; OIr. cride; Goth. haírtō; Lith. širdis; OCS srŭdĭce; Gr. κῆρ; Arm. sirt; (?)Ved. hŕ̥d-, (?)Av. zərəd

Notes: The root is indisputably reconstructable for the oldest stratum that may be arrived at with internal evidence alone. Formally the Indo-Iranian initial velar is incompatible with the rest of the stock, which prompts Mayrhofer to dismiss the connection altogether, preferring instead Ved. śrád– (II:818), which, indeed, trumps the voiced option. This anomaly does not question the ultimate fate of the reconstruction. A thorough treatment of the forms is given by Szemerényi (1991:172-190).

External comparanda:
Kartvelian: *m̥-k’erd– ‘chest’ (Klimov 1998:123) or *ḳward (Fähnrich 2007:234)

Discussion:
The Svan comparandum (Klimov məč̣wed, muč̣od ‘chest’; Fähnrich ḳward-wim ‘body, hull’) is contended which brings the initial *m-, as reconstructed by Klimov, into question. Fähnrich’s reconstruction seems preferable as it dispenses of the prefix that appears productive in nominal formations (cf. also Klimov 1998: 111f.). This PIE-Kartvelian comparison may be grouped with *h1esh2-r ‘blood’ (item 33) that falls within the same semantic category, albeit with significantly less appealing formal correspondences. The comparison is altogether convincing, despite the slight semantic shift.

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.) [See further in the comment by Juho below this post]. 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

 

Note: I have expanded on the material below at a talk given at the Conference The Split at the University of Copenhagen in September 2017. Slides and handout available at the conference homepage. An article is in preparation for the proceedings.

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)ok̂tṓAttestations:
    (?)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. –deksanDiscussion:
    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).