Sunday, June 10, 2007

LARYNGEAL THEORY ( the case of h2nd) - LexiLine Journal 458

Ishinan wrote:

Thank you for drawing attention to Middle Egyptian "khnt" which has two meanings: a) in front of, and b) act of rebellion (same in Arabic)
In my opinion, if we take into account your example of Middle Egyptian "khnt" and compare it to the various Indo-European terms ("in front of // Latin: ante (before) // Greek: anti (against, in front of) //Armenien: and (in front of) // Lithuanian: ant (in front of) // Hittite: hanti (infront of)"} then, one can easily see how, in this instance, Proto-Indo-European (PIE) reconstruction is on shaky ground.
In addition, the following comparison between Indo-European (Latin, Greek & Hittite) and Afro Asian languages (Middle Egyptian & Classical Arabic) which exhibits the same cognate term shows how PIE, which tends to omit non-Indo-European cognate terms, can be at best incomplete.

FYI : The initial guttural letter `ayn in the above Arabic term h2nd, represents the eighteenth letter of the Arabic alphabet. In Arabic, `Ayn is one of the letters termed "majhuwrah" or vocal i.e. pronounced equally with the voice, and the breath (Pharyngeal Fricative) . It is one of the hardest sound for non-Arabic westerner speakers to hear in Arabic because, though a consonant in Arabic, it sounds most like the English a. It is like the softest or medium h , only humming (vocalized). It is a little like the sound a doctor asks to hear when looking down your throat. While saying "aaah" pull the back of your tongue back into your throat a bit." By contrast the corresponding sixteenth Hebrew letter `ayn (pronounced ah-yeen) is silent. In that respect it is said that the Hebrew `Ayn, unlike the Arabic one, sees but does not speak.


Andis Kaulins wrote:

Thank you for your useful and interesting postings on the topic of "the case of h2nd" = khnt.

Your presentation is clear and easy to follow.
We definitley have some points of agreement that Proto-Indo-European reconstructions often are based on shaky ground.

This all looks like a very fruitful line of inquiry which I think we should continue to follow, although I will not always agree with your conclusions, as you will see, though I have no doubt that Arabic is related to Indo-European in origin, since - from my point of view - all languages of the world are related.

I have additional observations regarding the origin of khnt:

1. The Arabic meaning of "act of rebellion" seems to me to be merely one special case of being "opposite to" or "against" something. In my opinion, it is thus a specific Arabic application of the basic term khnt which does not necessarily give us any information about word origins here.

We have similar terms in Indo-European which are surely related to the above-mentioned special application of khnt in Arabic, for example the English contra and counter, i.e. "to counter something, to being against it". In Latvian, which is much more archaic than English, we find the surely related term cīnīt- "to struggle against, to battle with". We see in this manner that the Arabic use of khnt for the concept of "rebellion" is thus not linguistically unusual from the standpoint of Indo-European language.

2. It would seem to me that to get to the actual word root in the case of h2nd we have to go back much further in time than Middle Egyptian. Rainer Hannig's Egyptian Dictionary I of the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period has numerous terms on pages 954 to 962 from the Old Kingdom involving h2nd in various meanings centered around the idea of "being in front of", also in the apparently more archaic sense of "being at the head of, leading".

For that older meaning we have the comparable Baltic dzināt viz. dzīt (to drove, to drive (e.g. a herd of animals)) as a form of Latvian dzinējs "drover, driver" which we find in Lithuanian ginejas. For the Pharaonic prefixed variant m-khnt we then find the Latvian comparable mudzināt "to urge on, to spur on".

Also in in the Old Kingdom Pharaonic hieroglyphs - as in the Baltic - we then find h2nd written without the interceding letter N as kht which the Egyptologists falsely read as khnt.

The Egyptologists also falsely read e.g. khntj-sh for a similar hieroglyph without an N whose meaning is either "wood from Lebanon" or "settler", a hieroglyph which of course is correctly to be read as dzitar, i.e. cedar in the case of the wood from Lebanon and seter in the case of the settlers (as in the Norwegian seter "settlements" or Swedish seter or Latvian seta, "fence, border".) The scribes left the N out intentionally in Pharaonic.

The reason that the sound DZ- was represented in Pharaonic language by the standing vases is perhaps - and this is speculative - because in Indo-European, e.g. Latvian dzid-ris means "clear fluid" which may be what the vases homophonically represent.

The root for the Indo-European terms in form similar to the word hand is different, as in my opinion it relates to the concept of "side", in e.g. Latvian sānite viz. sāni meaning "side, for which we have the comparable German k-form in Kante "edge, side (in this sense)". The Indo-European terms of the form hand thus do not derive from h2nd word forms.

Moreover, the notion that the shift of pronunciation is from h to k to s, as I have often stated (see e.g. ), is false. Rather the process is from the other direction: "S-forms in Sumerian and Akkadian predominate, so S is older than K, contrary to current "West-centered" satem - centum theory." The satem-centum shift never took place. Rather, S degraded to K and then to H. Neither Sumerian nor Latvian have a native H.

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