I found some potential evidence for reconstructing *r as root-initial in 位 OC ?*w-rəp-s 'position'. 位 appears to be phonetic in

涖 OC *rəps 'sound of dripping water'; also used to write homophones 'come', 'to command, direct', 'to treat (the people)' (with semantic element 氵 'water')

莅 OC *rəps 'go and inspect; control' (with 艹 'grass' [function unknown])

蒞 OC *rəps 'go and inspect; control' (with 艹 'grass' [function unknown])

(meanings quoted from Karlgren [1957: 141])

These words might have had a lost presyllable *wə- corresponding to the *w- of their phonetic 位 OC ?*w-rəp-s.

In any case, the initial l- of their later readings (e.g., MC *lih and Mandarin li) indicate OC *r-. Schuessler (2006: 342) defined 蒞 OC *rəps as 'arrive' and suggested a relationship with 來 OC *(mə)rə(k) 'come' and/or 戾 OC *rets 'arrive, reach, settle'. The mismatch of consonants is difficult to explain, unless

來 and 蒞 had final *-kw

and *-kw > *-k after *m- to avoid two labials in one word?

*mərəkw > *mərək

but *-kw > *-p if there was no preceding labial?

*rəkws > *rəps

(but wouldn't this imply that 立 was *rəkw, and if so, then 位 should have been *w-rəkw-s > *wrəks > *wrəh with *-kw > *-k due to the preceding *w-.)

and/or OC *-ps had already shifted to *-ts by the time the graph 蒞 was devised. Hence 蒞 *rəts would have been close to 戾 OC *rets.

If 位 had root-initial *w- (e.g., if it were read as *r-wəps), it would probably not be phonetic in graphs for root-initial *r-words (涖莅蒞).

If 位 is not phonetic in 涖 'sound of dripping water', then it would have no apparent function, since there is no obvious semantic connection between 'position' and 'sound of dripping water'.

Why wasn't *rəps 'dripping water' written as

泣 < 氵OC *hlul' 'water' (semantic) + 立 OC *rəp 'stand' (phonetic)?

Was it because that combination of elements already represented OC *khrəp 'cry'? But then why not write 'dripping water' as 立 atop 水, the bottom version of 'water'? Cf.

江 OC *krong 'river' < 氵OC *hlul' 'water' (semantic) + 工 OC *kong 'work' (phonetic)

汞 'mercury' MC Gong' (no OC attestation) < 工 'work' (phonetic) + 水 'water' (semantic)

Why arbitrarily add 亻 OC *nin 'person' to 泣 to represent a word which has nothing to do with people?

It is more straightforward to analyze 涖 'sound of dripping water' as a semantophonetic compound:

泣 < 氵OC *hlul' 'water' (semantic) + 位 OC *wrəps 'position' (phonetic)

艹 'grass' seems to be a truly arbitrary addition to 莅 and 蒞 OC *rəps 'go and inspect; control'. W-RƏP-PED IN MYSTERY

In the last three entries, I talked about words containing the Sanskrit root स्था sthaa 'stand' underlying स्थान sthaana 'place' (cognate to Persian ستان -stan).

David Boxenhorn pointed out to me that Hebrew

ישוב yishuv 'settlement'

מושב moshav 'agricultural village'

מושבה moshava 'colony, town'

have the root y-sh-v 'sit' (instead of a root meaning 'stand'). (The y- is apparently lost before the prefix mo-.)

The root of English settlement is 'sit'. Does this indicate a genetic or contact relationship between Semitic and IE? No. The English speakers who derived settlement from settle probably did not even realize that settle in turn derived from 'sit'. (According to Random House's Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, settlement dates from c. 1620-1630 and settle predates 1000. Both long postdate any potential contact between Semitic and IE.)

I would not be surprised if this development ('sit' > 'place where one sits' > 'a kind of place') occurs independently in languages throughout the world.

Sanskrit सद् sad 'sit'is the root of सदन sadana 'seat' with the same -अन -ana suffix as sthaana 'place'. Cf. English seat < 'sit'.

I couldn't think of any East Asian languages in which words for places were derived from 'sit'. However, I could think of one example involving 'stand': Old Chinese 位 *(wr/r-w)ə(p/t)s 'place of rank; position as ruler' (Karlgren 1957: 144) could be derived from Old Chinese 立 *rəp 'stand'.

There's only one problem: Although an OC suffix -s is well-attested, I know of no other cases of an OC prefix *w- (< *u-?), and I am hesitant to reconstruct a prefix to explain a single word. Affixes have to be productive: i.e., they need to occur more than once.

Karlgren did not regard 位 (his OC *gywEd) and 立 (his OC *glyəp) as cognates. Similarly, I could reconstruct 位 as *r-wəts, *r-wəps, or *wrəts (i.e., without the root *rəp) and regard it as etymologically unrelated to 立 *rəp.

(Of course, there is an undeniable graphic relationship between 位 and 立. The question is whether 立 is a semantic or a phonetic element in 位. The left-hand element of 位 is the semantic element 亻 OC *nin 'person'.)

8.25.3:45: Schuessler (2007: 513) also doubts an etymological relationship between 位 and 立. He reconstructed 位 as *wrə(t)s, defined it as ''position, place, seat' in the center of a court or group of persons' linked it to Written Tibetan dbus 'center', and derived both from a Proto-Sino-Tibetan *d-wus.

But is 'center' really ... central to the meaning of 位?

According to Matisoff (2003: 468), WT dbus is from dbu 'head' + sa 'place'.

I am tempted to regard the -s in 位 OC ?*wrəps as ultimately coming from 'place':

*w- '?' + 立*rəp 'stand' + -s (nominalizer) < 'place'?

Perhaps 所 OC ?*ksa 'place' is cognate to WT sa 'place'.

Another example of nominalizing -s is 內 *nwəps 'inside' (Sagart 1999: 133):

?*w- (another case of prefixed *w-?) + 入 *nəp 'enter' + -s (nominalizer)

Prefixed *w- could explain relationships between pairs like

答 OC *təp 'respond' (> MC *təp) : 對 OC *w-təp-s 'to answer' (> MC *twəyh)

集 OC *dzəp 'gather' (> MC *dzip) : 萃 OC *w-dzəp-s 'gather' (> MC *dzwih)

*nəp 'enter' (> MC ñip) : 退 OC *w-hnəp-s 'withdraw, retire' (> MC thwəyh)

*dzə' 'be in, at, exist' (> MC *dzəy') : 存 OC *w-dzə-n 'be among, exist' (> MC *dzon)

in which one member has a labial element (*-w-, *-o-) in Middle Chinese and the other does not.

There are three problems with such a prefix:

1. Its function is unknown.

2. In all of the above cases, this prefix occurs only with alveolar-initial roots (*t, *th, *n, *dz, *r). One might expect it to leave no trace with labials (e.g., *w-p- > *p-), but surely it would have left a trace with velars (e.g., *w-k- > *kw-). But I don't know of any *kw-words with *k-roots.

(Sagart [1999: 235] proposes an alternate reconstruction of OC *t-gəp [rewritten in my notation] for 答 with a velar root initial matching its phonetic element 合 *gəp. However, my *w- would still attach to an alveolar *t-, not a velar *g-.)

3. In all but one of the above cases, the roots end in *-p and are followed by *-s. Was there a circumfix *w- ... -s, and if so, why was it only added to *-p roots?

Sagart (1999: 55) proposed that labialization occurred in words of the type *Təps (T = any alveolar initial) but not *Təp. I don't understand why the addition of -s would cause labialization. I would predict the opposite: adding nonlabial *-s would shift *-ps to *-ts and prevent labialization, whereas an unsuffixed -p would trigger labialization.

In fact, *-ps did shift to *-ts, and Sagart strangely wrote,

The change introducing vowel rounding [or medial *-w-] in Middle Chinese reflexes of OC *-ïps [my *-əps] after alveolar and lateral initials presumably applied after [emphasis mine -AMR] the change of *-ps to *-ts, and did not affect OC *-ïm or *-ïp [my *-əm and *əp].

I presume he meant to say that labialization applied before the change of *-ps to *-ts. Otherwise, why would *Təts, which contains no labial elements, become *Twəts with medial *-w-?

Sagart also applied this change to 存 MC *dzon, which in his words is "a word firmly reconstructible with unrounded vowel in Old Chinese". In Shijing, 存 rhymed with

OC 問 *məns : 雲 *wən : 巾 *kən : 員 *wen

But 存 should have been exempt from labialization since it ended in OC *-n instead of OC *-ps.

It's also confusing that he posits labialization "after ... lateral initials" in that quote, though he exempts lateral-initial words from labialization earlier on that same page -

... OC *-ïps [my *əps] developed into MC -wojH ~-wijH [my *-wəyh ~ *wih] after alveolar initials, and into MC -ojH ~ -ijH [my *-əyh ~ *-ih] elsewhere (including after laterals [even though they are alveolar - emphasis mine - AMR]).

- and on the previous page, where he gives examples of lateral-initial words ending in *-ps which do not labialize:

逮 OC *ləp-s > MC *dəyh 'come to, reach to' (root 遢 *ləp 'to touch, reach')

肄 OC *ləp-s > MC *yih 'to practice, exercise' (cf. 習 *s-ləp 'to practice, exercise')

There are some strange MC multiple readings which indicate the possibility of OC *w-l-: e.g.,

燁 'gleaming' (phonetic is 華 OC *wra 'flower')

MC *yiep < OC *lap

(Is there an earlier attestation of this reading than Zihui [1615] and Zhengzitong [1627] which are obviously post-MC?)

MC *wïep < OC ?*w-lap

MC *wïp (Jiyun) < OC ?*w-ləp

MC *zip (Leipian) < OC *s-ləp

MC *yip (Leipian) < OC *ləp

熠 'gleaming' (phonetic is 習 *s-ləp 'to practice, exercise'; some traditional dictionaries regard this as a different spelling of 燁)

MC *yip < OC *ləp

MC *wïp < OC ?*w-ləp

MC *zip (Jiyun, Leipian) < OC *s-ləp

MC *wïep (Leipian) < OC ?*w-lap

MC*'ïp (Zihui) < OC ?*'-ləp

(not sure if Zihui is a reliable source for initial glottal stop)

Schuessler thinks these words may be related to 炎 'to blaze, burn':

MC *wïem < OC ?*w-lam

MC *dam < OC *lam 'brilliant' (also wr. 惔)

phonetic in

談 MC *dam < OC *lam 'speak'

惔 MC *dam < OC *lam 'aflame; burning with grief' (cogn. to 炎)

餤 MC *dam ~ *yiem < OC *lam ~ *lam 'to bait' (cf. 啖 below)

啖 MC *dam' ~ damh < OC *lam'(s) 'eat, feed, entice' (also wr. 餤)

淡 MC *damh < OC *lams 'thin, bland, insipid'

剡 MC *yiem' < OC *lam-' 'sharp, sharpen, bright' (prob. cogn. to 炎)

燄 MC *yiemh < OC *lam-s 'flame up' (cogn. to 炎)

燅 MC *ziem < OC *s-lam 'to heat, to warm' (prob. cogn. to 炎)

裧 MC *chiem(h) < OC *tlam(s) 'carriage curtain; fringe'

菼 MC *tham' < OC *hlam' 'kind of rush'

睒 MC *shiem' < OC *hlam' 'moment' पुनरुज्जीवनम् PUNARUJJIIVANAM

Here's the last in the trilogy. I can actually write about other topics ...

The title is Apte's second equivalent of पुनरुत्थानम् punarutthaanam. It obviously has the same first element and the same final elements:

पुनर् punar 'again' + ...

... -अन -ana (noun suffix) + -म् -m (neuter nominative singular suffix)

The first element of the new middle part is familiar once the sandhi is undone:

उज्जीव् -ujjiiv- 'revive' <

उद्- ud- 'up' + जीव् jiiv 'live'

Can you guess the English cognates of जीव् jiiv 'live'? There are lots of them.

Scroll over the blank space below to see what the titles of the last three posts were supposed to mean:


Although पुनरुज्जीवन punarujjiivan (without the -am) is in use in मराठी Marathi, I don't know what it means. It's not in this Marathi-English dictionary that I just discovered. (8.24.00:03: But my name is. So is the name of this site!)

8.24.00:21: This other Marathi-English dictionary lists पुनरुस्थान punarusthaan for 'resurrection'. It looks like punar 'again' + -u- + sthaan < Skt sthaana 'place' (< sthaa 'stand' + -ana [noun suffix]). Is -u- a Marathi vowel inserted for euphony?

Too bad I can't display Marathi in the Modi script. Even if I could, there's no guarantee that you (how many of you are there? One? Two?) would have a Modi font.

(And why is the Modi script article only available in English and ... Thai? Not many - if any - Marathi speakers can read about อักษรโมดี 'aksOOn moodii.) मृतोत्थापनम् MRTOTTHAAPANAM

Answers to yesterday's questions (select the 'blank' lines below to see the text):

1. उद् ud- 'up' is cognate to English out.

2. स्था sthaa 'stand' is cognate to English stand.

Adding the noun suffix -अन -ana results in स्थान sthaana 'place', cognate with Persian ستان -stan. Wikipedia lists other cognates.

3. Instead of directly revealing what पुनरुत्थानम् punarutthaanam means, I'll list one of two equivalents from Apte's The Student's English-Sanskrit Dictionary:

मृतोत्थापनम् mRtotthaapanam <

मृत mRta 'dead' +

< मृत mR 'die' + -त -ta '-ed'

उत्थापनम् utthaapanam 'causing to rise' <

उत्था utthaap- 'cause to rise' <

उद्- ud- 'up' + स्था sthaa 'stand' + -प्- -p- (causative suffix)

-अन -ana (noun suffix) + -म् -m (neuter nominative singular suffix)

The -a of mRta and the u- of utthaapanam blend into -o-.

The cluster -dsth- simplifies to -tth-.

This word isn't in Monier-Williams' Sanskrit-English Dictionary. I wonder if Apte coined it himself. Is it attested in any Indic text? I can't find any examples in Google in romanization or in Devanagari. But I haven't tried searching for spellings in other Indic scripts.

Tomorrow: Apte's other equivalent. पुनरुत्थानम् PUNARUTTHAANAM

पुनर् punar 'again' +

उत्थानम् utthaanam 'act of standing up' <

उत्था utthaa 'stand up' <

उद्- ud- 'up' + स्था sthaa 'stand'

-अन -ana (noun suffix) + -म् -m (neuter nominative singular suffix)

1-2. Can you find two English cognates for the parts of Sanskrit punarutthaanam?

3. Can you figure out the meaning of punarutthaanam from the sum of its parts?

Answers tomorrow. Yes, I'm posting again.

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