Indo-Aryan migration vs Indigenous origin - scholarly debate

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv at WXS.NL
Thu Mar 26 01:44:26 UTC 1998

"Dominique.Thillaud" <thillaud at UNICE.FR> wrote:

>        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 ;)

The rapprochement with Kartvelian that I mentioned (PIE *ok^toxw ~ PK
*os'txw) was not necessarily meant in a Nostratic context.  Internal
analysis of the numbers is, as you say, difficult, and so is their
"external" analysis.  On the face of it, there seem to be a number of
indications that there may have been a fair amount of borrowing of
numerals (especially in the range 6 to 9) going on at some early
stage, presumably the Neolithic.

I personally have little doubt that Kartvelian *cxra- "9" was borrowed
from Semitic *tis3a(t)-, but I am more uncertain about Kartvelian
*arwa "8" < Semitic *?arba3a(t)- "4" as suggested by Johanna Nichols.
That Indo-European *septm "7" was borrowed from Semitic *sab3a(t)- "7"
is in my opinion a near-certainty, but I again I'm less positive about
PIE *s(w)ek^s "6" < Sem. *sidTa(t)- (Akk. s^is^s^-).  The same goes
for Proto-Kartvelian *eks^w- "6" and *s^wid- "7" (from Semitic?) and
the already mentioned *os^txw- (from IE?).  Finally there is the
interesting semantic parallel noted by Loprieno between Egyptian
<psDw> "9" (cf. <psDn.tjw> "new moon") and IE *(h1)newn "9" (cf.
*newos "new"): independent creation or calque, and if so, which way?

I had better stop now, since all of this is of course only very
indirectly relevant to the topic of the "Indo-Aryan migration".
However, it *does* seem to suggest contacts between PIE and
PKartv/PSem. at an early date, as do some other borrowed Neolithic
items such as *tawros "bull" ~ PS. *Tawr-; *woinos "wine" ~ PS.
*wajn-, etc., contacts which are incompatible with both the Southern
Russian steppe-model AND the Indi-genous model.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
mcv at

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