Re: Etruscan numerals (was: Interesting pre-Greek article)
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Friday, September 23, 2005, 20:27|
R A Brown wrote:
> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> >>>He seems to have built it around a single "cognate set", namely
> >>>PIE *kWetWor- `4': Etr. _huth_ - but the latter probably meant
> >>>`6', not `4',
> >>IMO it did mean 6. The argument for _huth_ = 4 is very weak.
> > Yes. It hinges on a place name, _Yttaria_ for a town that is named
> > _Tetrapolis_ in Greek. There are three unproven assumptions in this:
> Yes - my sources give the place name as _Hyttenia_ (YTTHNIA in Greek);
> but maybe there are textual differences.
Your form is right; I simply misremembered it.
> > 1. Both names mean the same. (There are plenty of cases of names of
> > the same place in different languages meaning entirely different
> > things.)
> Indeed there. For 22 years I lived in south Wales in a place called
> 'Newport'; its Welsh name is 'Casnewydd' = "new castle".
Yes. There are numerous other examples.
> > 2. _Yttaria_ is from a language related to Etruscan. (How do we know?)
> We don't! The town/city was in Lycia in Asia Minor - not exactly close
> to Etruria in Italy. Could the name have been, er, Lycian? AFAIK there
> is no obvious relationship or connexion between Lycian & Etruscan.
There is certainly no "obvious" relationship between Lycian and
Etruscan! Lycian is an Indo-European language of the Anatolian
branch, thus closely related to Hittite.
> > 3. _Yttaria_ contains a morpheme *yt(t)- that is cognate to _huth_.
> > (Again, how do we know?)
> We don't.
> > On the other hand, we have that pair of dice, which together with
> > some other facts almost necessitate the conclusion that _huth_
> > means `6'.
> Yep - the Etruscans, like the Romans, normally put dots (as we still do)
> on the sides of dice to show the value of the side. But a pair of ivory
> dice have been found with the numbers actually written in the Etruscan
> script. We know the Romans & Etruscans used the convention of having
> opposite sides add up to 7 (a custom we have retained till the present
> day), so we can be certain that:
> mach + zal = 7
> thu + huth = 7
> ci + sa = 7
> (It is traditional to Romanize Etruscan in the Roman manner, i.e. |c| = /k/)
> We know from other clear evidence that _ci_ means 3. We know that a
> suffix -alch was used to mean x10. The Etruscans have left us a wealth
> of grave inscriptions (but sadly, not enough other material), and by
> weighing up evidence from these and other sources, the list accepted by
> most scholars is, from 1 through to 6:
> thu, zal, ci, sa, mach, huth.
> Indeed, if it wasn't for Hyttenia, I am sure the order would not be
> questioned. Also AFAIK the "huth=4" guys merely swap around 'sa' and
> 'huth', giving: thu, zal, ci, huth, mach, sa.
> This means that two sets of opposite sides do not add up to 7, which is
> unusual, tho not of course impossible. I would think one needs slightly
> stronger evidence than the dubious (to put it mildly) connexion between
> 'huth' and 'hytt-'.
Not just slightly stronger, I'd say *much* stronger. That Hyttenia
thing IMHO is no evidence at all!
> Even two cognates is not enough. There is a language which expresses
> 'this/these' with h- plus affix giving number & gender agreement, and
> 'that/those' by an agreement prefix plus -le. Um ... h- = 'this/these',
> -le = 'that/those' ... that's like Latin 'hic', 'haec' etc and 'ille',
> isn't it? Wow - Swahili is closely related with Latin! :-D
Of course ;-)
> > Exactly. It's trivially easy to construct "sound laws" that connect
> > Greek _theos_ with Latin _deus_. Of course, thousands of other words
> > then just won't play ball. And if /ni/ can go to /A/ ...
> Quite so! I don't know why Glen Gordon felt the need to equate 'huth'
> with 4. Anyone worth their salt could easily show "sound laws" that link
> 'huth' and *sweks!
Yes. Actually, Glen Gordon gives a handful of further "cognate sets",
but those don't look much better and many of them are based on
controversial interpretations of Etruscan words.
> Whatever order Mr Gordon thinks the numbers take, he must IMO at least
> show plausible connexions for all six of them if his ideas are to be
> taken seriously.