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Re: Indian Salmon and Greek Ants (was Re: an axe to grind)

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Sunday, February 12, 2006, 16:05
Roger Mills wrote:
>>>>In PIE, of all places. As I understand it, the languages in question >>>>are those of Scandinavia (for "salmon") and India (for "ten thousand"). >>>>The root in question is lAek^s-, give or take the vagaries of your >>>>favorite transcription system. > > (snips) > > IIRC the usual reasoning for "salmon/10,00" has to do with quantities of > salmon going upstream to spawn, or perhaps with vast quantities of salmon > roe (but is that universally considered edible???). Personally I'm > skeptical...........
Yes, I agree - I am very skeptical. For one thing the supposed connexion in meanings seems to me _very_ strained. Also it seems odd that this claimed PIE root apparently survives only in these two very separated areas. Why no other occurrences? Just one can reconstruct the same PIE root for both Swedish _lax_ (Dan. laks, Ger. Lachs) and Sanskrit _lakṣa_ does not per_se mean that they do both share the same root. It seems far more likely to me that the Germanic word is a borrowing from some non-IE language spoken in the Scandinavian region before before being replaced by Germanic. Surely the fact that the word for thousand is so different in the IE languages (Greek: khilioi, Latin: mille, Germanic: /Tu:sund-/ ) implies that PIE had not developed specific terms above 100. Ray ================================== ================================== MAKE POVERTY HISTORY