Indo-Aryan migration vs Indigenous origin - scholarly debate

Dominique.Thillaud thillaud at UNICE.FR
Wed Mar 25 16:54:10 UTC 1998

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal wrote (>> are mine):
>>        Even writed *h3ekt-, *ok^t-os "4" don't fit well with *kwet- "4"
>>(the Greek tessares don't shows any prothesis in any dialect).
>Pas de problème, I don't think *kwet(wr)- and *ok^t- are related.
>That's really impossible.  But if we can have two roots for IE "4"
>(*kwetwr- and *mew- [Hittite  meu-, Luwian mawwa-]), having a third is
>no unsurmountable problem.
>>The isolated
>>Avestan aSti- don't seems sufficient to postulate such a form.
>As you say, it cannot be excluded that aSti- is a back-formation on
>aSta:, analyzed as a dual.  It also cannot be excluded that *ok^toH(w)
>*is* a dual and only Avestan has retained the original singular.
>It is interesting to compare Proto-Kartvelian *os^txw- "four".

        Sure, considering the facts, you're perhaps right. My reserves are
just methodological ones. *kwetwores "4" and *oktoH(u) "8" are broadely
attested in Eurindian languages and satisfy easily the "3-families rule".
        That's not the case for the Anatolian *mew- (how to be sure that's
an Eurindian word?) nor for the Iranian aSti- and we are in a worse case
introducing the Proto-Kartvelian.
        I don't reject definitely an *okt- "4" but I don't consider proved
his presence in the Eurindian family. May be Not- or Pre-Eurindian and we
are perhaps here in the Nostratic domain where I am uncompetant ;)
        It's a fact that the internal analysis of number's names is
difficult - even the common rapprochment between five and the fist is not
so easy - and we are probably farther than our knowledge scope ...
        On an other way, I like to dream, I'm over-curious and I find your
hypothesis very interesting and satisfying for an open spirit. I hope
sincerely you can prove it some day and, if I'm dubious, that's just my
schizoid comportment between intuition and demonstration ;)

Dominique THILLAUD
Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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