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Re: Paleoasiatic (was: Favourite Language Group?)

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Saturday, September 7, 2002, 16:13
Tim May scripsit:

> |Nivkh has specific sets of numerals for the enumeration of various > |categories of objects - boats, people, animals, fishing-nets, small > |round obj.cts, etc. Panfilov (1962) lists 26 such sets. For example, > |`three' with reference to people is _t'aqr_; to animals, _t'3m_; to > |sweep-nets, _t'for_; etc. It is noteworthy that the palatalised t' > |remains stable as initial in all variants, an the same stability > |applies in other numbers. Thus, _n'_ is the initial for the 26 > |variants of _n'im_ 1, and m is the initial for all variants of _mim_ 2.
Just so, and I don't see why Campbell (or his source) doesn't see it. (I meant of course to write "numeral+classifier+noun", the Chinese-style word order.) t'for (3 nets) is simply the fused result of some original numeral now represented by the t', and for is the classifier for netlike things. Since Nivkh is an isolate, there is no hope of reconstructing the original forms, to be sure. But this is not really strange. -- Knowledge studies others / Wisdom is self-known; John Cowan Muscle masters brothers / Self-mastery is bone; Content need never borrow / Ambition wanders blind; Vitality cleaves to the marrow / Leaving death behind. --Tao 33 (Bynner)


Tim May <butsuri@...>