Arabic Loan Words (was Kleins Comprehensive English Etymology)

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Saida

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Oct 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/15/96
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Troy Sagrillo wrote:

> Here's a bunch of Arabic ones that I posted previously --

>admiral, albacore, alchemy, alcohol, alcove, alembic, alfalfa, algebra,
>algorism, alkali, almanac, amalgam, aniline, arsenal, artichoke,
>assassin, attar, aubergine, azimuth, azure, bard (horse armour, not the
>singer -- that's Gaelic), bedouin, benzoin, borax, burnoose, cable,
>calabash, calibre, calif, camphor, candy (from Farsi via Arabic),
>carafe, caraway, carob, carrack, cinnabar, cipher, coffee, cotton,
>crimson, crocus, cumin, damask, elixir, gauze, gazelle, genii, gerbil,
>ghoul, giraffe, guitar, halva, hareem, hashish, henna, howdah, jar,
>jasmine, julep, kismet, kohl, lacquer, lapis lazuli (only the "lazuli"
>part, and that is prob. of Farsi origin), lemon, lilac, lime, lute,
>magazine, marzipan, mattress, minaret, mohair, monsoon, mosque, mummy,
>myrrh, nadir, natron, olibanum, orange (goes back to Farsi actually),
>popinjay, racket (as in 'tennis'), ream (as in 'paper') safari,
>saffron, sap (as in "to dig/mine"), satin (Chinese via Arabic), sash,
>scallion, sequin, sesame, sherbert, sofa, spinach, sugar, sumac, syrup,
>talc, tabby, talisman, tamarind, tambourine, tarboosh, tariff, typhoon
>(Chinese via Arabic), zenith, zero......

>And every single one of them is a loan word.

>Troy

Troy, some of your "Arabic" words looked familiar!

camphor--I know the Arabic for this is "kafur", which I think perhaps
has something to do with the Egyptian word for "repel". I discussed
this in the thread "No Moths Allowed".

cummin--Egyptian "mm" or "mmy"

crimson--the Arabic "kirmiz" has to do with the cochineal insect, which,
when the females are dried and crushed, make up the red stuff used to
dye lips and cheeks. Since the ancient Egyptians used this stuff, also,
I wouldn't be surprised if there is an Egyptian word close to
"kirmiz". The Arabic "zinjafr", of course, is the cinnabar, the red
ore.

crocus-- I found the Egyptian "grugus", crocus or saffron, corresponding
with the Greek "krokos".

gazelle--There is the Egyptian "gehes" or "gehesai" of the same meaning.
Another possible Egyptian "gazelle" word is "hart", a small, fleet
animal.

genie--Arabic "djin" or "spirit". My suspicion is that this word has
something to do with the Egyptian "djenech" or "gensh", meaning "wing".
I recall reading a book where the ba-bird was called a "djin" by the
author and have seen mythical winged creatures of Israel and Mesopotamia
called genies.

jar--I know there is an Egyptian pot called a "jar". I don't recall now
how it is spelled, but the determinative is a pot with fruit in it and a
thing that looks like a flame. I'll look it up.

saffron--In the Ebers Papyrus 63, 9 is a saffron used in medicine called
"atcharan". Perhaps it was melted ("sef") by heat and we get "sef
atcharan" or saffron. Just a thought.

ream--I can't think of an Egyptian word for a ream of paper, but I'll
bet "sheet" comes from the Egyptian "shait" or scroll.

sash--Egyptian "seshit" (to tie, to bind, to tie around, to gird on)

sesame--Egyptian "shemshem-t". Troy, another Arabic word you forgot is
"khamsin" (the hot wind), which could come from the Egyptian "shemshem"
of the same meaning. The prefix "shem" often has to do with heat--such
as in the Egyptian "shemu" or "summer".

sherbit--In Egyptian "sheb-t" is a kind of drink. As you know,
"sherbet" is only eaten in western countries. In eastern it is drunk.

tambourine--From the Egyptian "teben", a drum or tambourine?

R. Gaenssmantel

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Oct 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/16/96
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Saida (sa...@PioneerPlanet.infi.net) wrote:
[...]
: gazelle--There is the Egyptian "gehes" or "gehesai" of the same meaning.

: Another possible Egyptian "gazelle" word is "hart", a small, fleet
: animal.

[...]

Hmmm, it might be interesting to find out exactly which letters were used by
the Egyptians to spell 'gehes' or 'gehesai'. This would give us some clue as to
how likely this origin is.

Ralf

Saida

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Oct 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/16/96
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The glyphs amount to "qchs", "qchsaii" or "gchs", the "ch" being the
gutteral, throat-clearing sound. In Coptic it comes out "k'chos. The
actual Arabic word is "ghazal" with the second "a" being a short one.
The ancient Egyptians did not have an "l" sound. Nor did the Persians,
come to that.

Troy Sagrillo

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Oct 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/16/96
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Saida wrote:
[snip]

> Troy, some of your "Arabic" words looked familiar!

n.b., vowel + : below indicates a long vowel.

> camphor--I know the Arabic for this is "kafur", which I think perhaps
> has something to do with the Egyptian word for "repel". I discussed
> this in the thread "No Moths Allowed".

Arabic ka:fu:r is the origin of English "camphore" (prob via French
camfre and/or mediaeval Latin camphora). The Arabic word however does
have good IE roots: Avestian Persian kapur; Prakit kappuram; Sanskrit
karpum. But the English and other European versions, are via Arabic
(came in during the Middle Ages, as did a lot of other food terms).

> cummin--Egyptian "mm" or "mmy"

Arabic kammu:n (cog. to Hebrew kammo:n); from the verbal root kamana "to
hide or conceal". Again, prop. came into English via a Romance lang.
during the Middle Ages (cf. Old French cumin; Anglo-Saxon cymen)



> crimson--the Arabic "kirmiz" has to do with the cochineal insect, which,
> when the females are dried and crushed, make up the red stuff used to
> dye lips and cheeks. Since the ancient Egyptians used this stuff, also,
> I wouldn't be surprised if there is an Egyptian word close to
> "kirmiz". The Arabic "zinjafr", of course, is the cinnabar, the red
> ore.

>From Arabic qirmizi: via a Romance lang. (early Spanish cremesin; med.
Latin cremesinus)

> crocus-- I found the Egyptian "grugus", crocus or saffron, corresponding
> with the Greek "krokos".

The Egyptian /grgs/ is definately a loan-word from Greek krokos, and
only appears in Ptolemaic Egyptian.

I have to admit, I overstated this one. While the Arabic word is kurkum
(cog. to Hebrew karkom), it also has other Semitic cognates (such as
Akkadian kurkanu). Since the word is known in both Latin and Greek, it
was probably *not* borrowed via Arabic, but from another Semitic
language. (Camel is another word of Semitic origin that finds itself
into Europe, but not via Arabic.). In any event, not Egyptian.

> gazelle--There is the Egyptian "gehes" or "gehesai" of the same meaning.
> Another possible Egyptian "gazelle" word is "hart", a small, fleet
> animal.

Arabic ghaza:l, prob. in English via Old French gazel (and in French via
Spanish gacela). The Arabic verbal root ghazala means to "display
amorous behaviour; to court, woo".

> genie--Arabic "djin" or "spirit". My suspicion is that this word has
> something to do with the Egyptian "djenech" or "gensh", meaning "wing".
> I recall reading a book where the ba-bird was called a "djin" by the
> author and have seen mythical winged creatures of Israel and Mesopotamia
> called genies.

> jar--I know there is an Egyptian pot called a "jar". I don't recall now
> how it is spelled, but the determinative is a pot with fruit in it and a
> thing that looks like a flame. I'll look it up.

from Arabic jarrah via a Romance lang. (prob. Spanish jarra or French
jarre).

The Egyptian word you are thinking of is /Dr/, and you are right -- it
is *cognate* to the Arabic word jarrah as both come from a common
Afroasiatic root *garr- "container". However, Arabic is the origin of
the term in Eurpean languages.

> saffron--In the Ebers Papyrus 63, 9 is a saffron used in medicine called
> "atcharan". Perhaps it was melted ("sef") by heat and we get "sef
> atcharan" or saffron. Just a thought.

>From Arabic za`fra:n; again via a Romance lang. Budges' "atcharan" is
now rendered /`Drn/ ("`adjeren").

> ream--I can't think of an Egyptian word for a ream of paper, but I'll
> bet "sheet" comes from the Egyptian "shait" or scroll.

Ream is from Arabic rizmah (bail or bundle), prob. via Old French rayme
(cf. Spanish resma and mediaeval Latin risma)

> sesame--Egyptian "shemshem-t".

The Egyptian /SmSt/ (S = sh) is a very likely a loanword from a Semitic
source. However there is an Afroasiatic root *sim- "grass" (cf. Egyptian
/sm/ "lettuce") which could account for both the Egyptian and the
Semitic form, though the reduplication of the root only appears in
Semitic (and Egyptian) and not other AA languages (thus indicating a
probable loan from a Semitic language). The Arabic simsim is likely the
source of Italian sesamo and Latin sesamun rather than one of the other
Semitic cognates that use "sh" instead of "s".

> Troy, another Arabic word you forgot is
> "khamsin" (the hot wind), which could come from the Egyptian "shemshem"
> of the same meaning.

Arabic khamsi:n means 50. I believe it refers to the notion that the
khamsi:n winds would blow for 50 days.

> The prefix "shem" often has to do with heat--such
> as in the Egyptian "shemu" or "summer".

Correct. It goes to an Afroasiatic root *s^am- "burning; sun"

> sherbit--In Egyptian "sheb-t" is a kind of drink. As you know,
> "sherbet" is only eaten in western countries. In eastern it is drunk.

>From Arabic sharba(t), from the verbal root shariba "to drink". Prob.
comes into Europe via Tukish or Farsi sherbet (both of which borrowed
the Arabic). Syrup and sorbet are also derived from shariba

> tambourine--From the Egyptian "teben", a drum or tambourine?

A diminuative form of tambour, from the Arabic Tanbu:r (prob. via French
or Spanish). The Arabic word is prob. derived from Farsi tabi:r.
Egyptian /dbn; tbn/ is related to the Arabic word Tabl and has an
Afroasiatic root of *TabVl- (which is related to the root *Tab-
"container").

Troy Sagrillo

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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Saida wrote:
>
> R. Gaenssmantel wrote:
> >
> > Saida (sa...@PioneerPlanet.infi.net) wrote:
> > [...]
> > : gazelle--There is the Egyptian "gehes" or "gehesai" of the same meaning.

> > : Another possible Egyptian "gazelle" word is "hart", a small, fleet
> > : animal.
> > [...]
> >
> > Hmmm, it might be interesting to find out exactly which letters were used by
> > the Egyptians to spell 'gehes' or 'gehesai'. This would give us some clue as to
> > how likely this origin is.
> >
> > Ralf
>
> The glyphs amount to "qchs", "qchsaii" or "gchs", the "ch" being the
> gutteral, throat-clearing sound. In Coptic it comes out "k'chos. The
> actual Arabic word is "ghazal" with the second "a" being a short one.

Saida, not *one* letter of Egyptian /gHs/ corresponds to the Arabic root
/(gh)zl/.

> The ancient Egyptians did not have an "l" sound.

They very likely did, at least some dialects of it. The problem is that
it doesn't show up clearly in the writing until Coptic. /r/ was often
used for /l/, as was /3/ in Old Egyptian. In Late Egytian sometimes
/n+r/ was used for /l/. But never was /s/ used for /l/

Saida

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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I never intended to suggest that /s/ would be /l/. That can be
interchangeable with /z/. However, the /ai/ in "qechesai" could have
become an /l/ in Arabic. The reason I did not think this was a loan
word from Arabic is that I am well aware that when Semitic words
containing an /l/ were borrowed into Egyptian, the /l/ became an
/r/--such as "shalom" to "shar-m" and "shekel" to "shak-r". Perhaps the
words were cognates. I disagree most strongly that "qechesai" and
"ghazal" have nothing in common! The beginning letters, for one are
nearly identical in sound. In fact, you can take your pick as to
whether the glyph "wedge" or the glyph "oven (or stand)" are voiced
closer to the Arabic "gh" sound in "ghazal" because the Egyptian word
was spelled variously with either. Say "qechesai" a few times to
yourself and then "ghazal" and you won't hear too much difference.


Saida

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Oct 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/17/96
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Troy Sagrillo wrote:
>
> Saida wrote:
> [snip]
> > Troy, some of your "Arabic" words looked familiar!

Troy:


>
> n.b., vowel + : below indicates a long vowel.
>

Yet the Egyptians, at some point, did have a word for "camel" which
sounds pretty much the same as the English word that comes from Semitic.
The point I am trying to make, Troy, that it is allright with me if you
claim all of the words you mentioned were taken from Arabic--but just
don't forget that Egypt was there, as well, and many of the Semitic
words have Egyptian counterparts and Hebrew, too, not forgetting that
one. Sometimes it is difficult to know who had the word first. The
destinies of these three languages, as is well attested in Egyptian, did
not stay separate for long. The word "crocus" is a good example of what
I mean. The whole Mediterranean world seemed to use it, so it is hard
to determine through which culture it came into English--Arabic, Greek?
In the dictionaries, the compilers choose a couple of sources for the
etymology that they know of, but they will not always be aware of who
used comparable terms at the same time or even just where the root term
originated. That is why I tend to think there were also Egyptian words
similar to Arabic for "camphor" and "crimson". We, of course, only know
the Egyptian words we have from the texts. You have to allow that
therre were terms that existed but did not appear in any texts known to
us. For instance, there would not be much call for camphor or crimson
in funerary or laudatory writings. Here is what I wrote about camphor
previously:

Another word I found interesting is "camphor". It harks back to the
Latin "canfora or camphora", still being "canfora" in Italian. The
Arabic is "kafur". When I saw this, I knew there must be an Egyptian
connection here, as well. While I could not find anything under
"camphor" in my Egyptian dictionary, I know that, in Egyptian, "kaf" is
"to drive away" or "to repel". The "ur" part generally means "big or
great" in Egyptian, but, as it usually appears as a prefix to a word, I
am not sure it could be applied in this case. But there is also "urur"
or "to go against" or just plan "uar" prounounced WAR, which means "to
attack" to "smite". A meaning of "camphor" is "to protect fabrics from
moths".

"Camphoric ice" is described as "an ointment made of white wax, camphor,
spermaceti, and castor oil". In Egyptian there is "qeba'a" or "the
great cooler"--a kind of ointment!

Troy Sagrillo

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Oct 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/18/96
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Here's one that I had forgotten about:

Egyptian /wH3t/ --> Coptic ouaHe --> Greek oasis (and so on)

The Arabic word wa:Ha(t) is borrowed directly from Coptic


Troy

The Hab

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Oct 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/20/96
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How about Egyptian dsrt --> English desert. Just a thought.


The Hab


Troy Sagrillo

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Oct 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/20/96
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Hey Ihab!

Yeah, I have heard that one myself. I just have my doubts as there is a
perfectly good Latin root for the English (same root as "deserted"). I
just don't know if there are any other IE cognates or not (besides in
the Romance langs. of course).

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

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Oct 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/21/96
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Troy Sagrillo <t.sag...@utoronto.ca> wrote:

>The Hab wrote:
>>
>> How about Egyptian dsrt --> English desert. Just a thought.

>I just have my doubts as there is a


>perfectly good Latin root for the English (same root as "deserted"). I
>just don't know if there are any other IE cognates or not (besides in
>the Romance langs. of course).

A couple. desertus "deserted, abandoned, desert" comes from de-serere
"to abandon" < "un-link". The IE root is *ser- "to link, join
together", which gives a couple of other well-known Latin words
(series, sort- "lot, fate, luck"). There are cognates in Sanskrit,
Greek, Gothic, etc., mostly words for necklace, chain, etc. Here too
possibly some Germanic and Celtic words for "to fuck, obscene, whore,
etc.", and on a less physical level, Irish serc "love".


==
Miguel Carrasquer Vidal ~ ~
Amsterdam _____________ ~ ~
m...@pi.net |_____________|||

========================== Ce .sig n'est pas une .cig


Saida

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Oct 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/21/96
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Troy Sagrillo wrote:
>
> The Hab wrote:
> >
> > Troy Sagrillo <t.sag...@utoronto.ca> wrote:
> > >Here's one that I had forgotten about:
> > >
> > >Egyptian /wH3t/ --> Coptic ouaHe --> Greek oasis (and so on)
> > >
> > >The Arabic word wa:Ha(t) is borrowed directly from Coptic
> >
> > How about Egyptian dsrt --> English desert. Just a thought.
>
> Hey Ihab!
>
> Yeah, I have heard that one myself. I just have my doubts as there is a

> perfectly good Latin root for the English (same root as "deserted"). I
> just don't know if there are any other IE cognates or not (besides in
> the Romance langs. of course).

Troy, I think "desert" is a good candidate for a loan word into
English from the Egyptian "deshert" via Latin. I had included it
in a list of like terms some months ago. Here's the reasoning:

The Latin noun for "desert" is "desertum" and I think it is
presumptuous to conclude that this must be some form of the
Latin verb "deserere" or "to abandon". The root of "deserere" is
actually "serere" or "to join, to unite". The "de" part in Latin
has the same function as the English "un". Therefore, the
verb has nothing to do with the noun "desertum", which must be a
loan word into Latin because Italy has no desert!

The English "desert" and the Egyptian "deshert" have the *exact*
same meaning and cannot be a coincidence. For us to believe that
the ancients considered the "desert" (Arabic "sahari") to
actually be "deserted" is a bit of a flight of fancy, because, in
fact, it was no such thing.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

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Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
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whi...@shore.net (Steve Whittet) wrote:

>I often see reference made to Germanic, Celtic, Norse, Old English, etc;
>as the origin of modern English words. When pressed for the root of these
>words we are refered to Indo European.

Not always. There are quite a few Germanic words that are unique to
Germanic: no IE root is known to exist. It may have been lost in all
but Germanic, but it in many cases the word will have been newly
created by the Germanic peoples after the split from IE, or borrowed
from some non-IE language with which they came in contact... If
daughter languages just preserved the total vocabulary of their parent
language "en bloc", it would be no fun. Individual words have
interesting individual histories, even if it is usually clear where
the bulk is coming from (in the case of English, from Old English,
which in turn got the bulk of its words from Germanic, which ... from
IE).

> What I would like to see pinned down
>is the actual route whereby each root diffused.

An etymological dictionary tries to do exactly that. No etymological
dictionary can be completely correct about all the words, and no two
etymological dictionaries agree everywhere. But again, there is
considerable agreement over the bulk. Not because of some secret
linguistic conspiracy, but because almost two centuries of studying IE
linguistics have filtered out most of the bad ideas and the unlikely
etymologies.

>I doubt they were all coming from the same place at the same time, but
>perhaps I am wrong about this. If they came from more than one place at
>more than one time, what is the common denominator?

>Where is the engine which acounts for their movement? Where is the
>culture which which ties them together? If they are not the artifacts
>of a common culture is their resemblence anything more than just an
>apparent similarity?

Mallory's book which you are reading (or have read) tries to find
answers to these questions. Renfrew's book too. I think they are
both right on some counts and wrong on others. Renfrews book
("Archaeology and Language") carries the subtitle: "The Puzzle of
Indo-European Origins". This is most appropriate.

The "big picture" given by archaeology is definitely not one of
intensive direct contact between, say, Continental Europe and the area
of Iran-India, one that would make the Indo-European connection
immediately obvious from the archaeological record. Far from it.
That is why Mallory and Renfrew have such a hard time fitting the
archaeological evidence to the linguistics. That is why at times the
issue has been largely ignored by archaeologists in general. It's an
issue imposed from outside, from linguistics, and does not follow from
the pots and pans themselves... But a connection there must be. The
linguistic record is crystal clear.

Steve Whittet

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Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
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In article <326A77...@utoronto.ca>, t.sag...@utoronto.ca says...

>
>The Hab wrote:
>>
>> Troy Sagrillo <t.sag...@utoronto.ca> wrote:
>> >Here's one that I had forgotten about:
>> >
>> >Egyptian /wH3t/ --> Coptic ouaHe --> Greek oasis (and so on)

With the "ou", "ah" "aqua" one can almost imagine the wetting of lips
in anticipation of the "wa" water where the aquifer rises and
the desert ends at the oasis.

Aren't all these words likely to have been formed very early?


>> >
>> >The Arabic word wa:Ha(t) is borrowed directly from Coptic
>>
>> How about Egyptian dsrt --> English desert. Just a thought.
>
>Hey Ihab!
>
>Yeah, I have heard that one myself. I just have my doubts as there is a
>perfectly good Latin root for the English (same root as "deserted"). I
>just don't know if there are any other IE cognates or not (besides in
>the Romance langs. of course).

Isn't the root part of the word "des" associated with
observations of desication such as a water table going down,
sinking or lowering?

"descend" to go down
"describe" put down in words
"desert" to abandon
"desecrate" to break down
"desire" to wish or long for
"design" to break down into simple forms
"desicate" to remove the water


steve


Saida

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Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
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Steve Whittet wrote:

>> I often see reference made to Germanic, Celtic, Norse, Old English, etc;
> as the origin of modern English words. When pressed for the root of these

> words we are refered to Indo European. What I would like to see pinned down


> is the actual route whereby each root diffused.
>

> I doubt they were all coming from the same place at the same time, but
> perhaps I am wrong about this. If they came from more than one place at
> more than one time, what is the common denominator?
>
> Where is the engine which acounts for their movement? Where is the
> culture which which ties them together?

I wish I knew the oldest languages of India (Sanskrit?) so that I could
compare them to Egyptian. I feel there is a link there. Last night I
was watching an Indian film and noticed that "ay" and "nay" (my
spellings) were used for "yes and "no", which are the same words, I
suspect, for these responses in Egyptian. I reason I say "suspect" is
that, as Gardiner says, "The number of Egyptian words which can
definitely be classed as interjections is very small". Which means that
there are not many examples in texts. Yet those we have are interesting
and rather telling.

"Hello" or "hail" is sometimes "h3" (ha) and variously "hy" (perhaps
"hai" because of the presence of two "reeds" together). There is also
"hy nk", "hail to thee". More rarely seen is "yh' (yich) which is like
"hey" or "yo!"

The term "ist" as been interpreted as "lo" and, perhaps, "behold" but
there is another word "mk" that seems to mean "behold" as well.
Therefore, perhaps "ist" has more the meaning of "verily", "truly" or,
plainly put, "yes". Gardiner says "for want of a better rubric, we may
place "tiw" (tiu) "yes" and the rare use of "nn" for "no".

Since Egyptian grammar says "No go there" (like my father used to do.
He also articulated "gerrare" for "Get out of here!") for "Don't go
there", the uses of "nn" or just plain "n" are rather confusing (at
least to me). It looks to me like sometimes we see "nn" for "don't,
aren't, etc." and sometimes "n". Also is the problem, should we think
this is "enen" or "nene", "en" or "ne". My idea is that "don't" (as an
imperative form) should likely be "ne" and "aren't or isn't" should be
"enen" rather like "ain't". This may be bad English grammar but it
comes so naturally to so many, that it may be habit of very, very long
standing.

I don't know about "tiw" because I have never seen it written in
context. It may even be another way of saying "true" or "truly", in a
formal way, but, as I said, I suspect the informal "yes" was "ay".
Calling Troy!!

Kaare Albert Lie

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Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
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whi...@shore.net (Steve Whittet) wrote:


>I often see reference made to Germanic, Celtic, Norse, Old English, etc;
>as the origin of modern English words. When pressed for the root of these
>words we are refered to Indo European. What I would like to see pinned down
>is the actual route whereby each root diffused.

>I doubt they were all coming from the same place at the same time, but
>perhaps I am wrong about this. If they came from more than one place at
>more than one time, what is the common denominator?

>Where is the engine which acounts for their movement? Where is the

>culture which which ties them together? If they are not the artifacts
>of a common culture is their resemblence anything more than just an

>apparent similarity? If they are the artifacts of a common culture
>why would they diffuse by different routes at different times?

Read at least:

J.P. Mallory: In Search of the Indo-Europeans
C. Renfrew: Archaeology & Language

These two contain essential materials in popularized form. They
have some different opinions, which helps to give a balanced view
of the problem.

Further helpful readings:

Hans Krahe: Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft (essential
grammar, should rather be studied and mastered first of all!)

Lothar Kilian: Zum Ursprung der Indogermanen (linguistics,
archaeology, anthropology - trying to form a synthesis)

Walter Porzig: Die gliederung des indogermanischen Sprachgebiets
(essential study of similarities between different indoeuropean
languages, giving clues to who were the neighbors of whom)

After you have read those basic books, let us return to your
questions.


______________________________________________________________

Kåre Albert Lie
ka...@sn.no


Satrap Szabo

unread,
Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
to

My humble standpoint is that there is a problem in that science in
general seems to abhor the logic of deductive reasoning, AKA the process
of elimination[*]. Scientists have been trained to only deal with what
*is* there, and what we can prove existed. As opposed to filtering out
all the impossibilities and seeing what your left with, then if there is
more than one option remaining, filtering these down through
probabilities and speculation, then, when a single possibilty is left,
subject it to rigorous analysis and peer-reviewed debate. If it fails
go back a step and repeat. Sounds pretty obvious doesn't it?

So why not do this with geographical suggestions for the IE homeland?

Now, I'm sure you can provide me with examples of deduction being used
in science and/or archaeology, but can you provide an example involving
subject matter as chaotic and data intensive as the IE origin?

* I don't mean to knock science. That is not my motivation or intent.
I have a profound respect for the scientific method and the accumulation
of data and knowledge, however that doesn't mean that I'm going to
assume that all you bozos are doing everything correctly all the time!
;->
And I also feel that anyone that becomes sensitive to my nudges toward
Science has *really got* something to be sensitive about.

--

zoomQuake - A nifty, concise listing of over 200 ancient history links.
Copy the linklist page if you want! (do not publish though)
----------> http://www.iceonline.com/home/peters5/

Saida

unread,
Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
to

Aayko wrote:

> PS Now we have ended up in the geografical department -
> Does anybody know why the Greeks called the Egyptian river 'Neilos'?
> I do not think this had an Egyptian basis?

I wonder if this didn't come from the Egyptian word "nairu" meaning
canals, rivers. In my dictionary it appears to be in the plural, but I
imagine the singular is just "nair".

Steve Whittet

unread,
Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
to

In article <54ef9e$i...@halley.pi.net>, m...@pi.netÁ says...

>
>Troy Sagrillo <t.sag...@utoronto.ca> wrote:
>
>>The Hab wrote:
>>>
>>> How about Egyptian dsrt --> English desert. Just a thought.
>
>>I just have my doubts as there is a
>>perfectly good Latin root for the English (same root as "deserted"). I
>>just don't know if there are any other IE cognates or not (besides in
>>the Romance langs. of course).
>
>A couple. desertus "deserted, abandoned, desert" comes from de-serere
>"to abandon" < "un-link". The IE root is *ser- "to link, join
>together", which gives a couple of other well-known Latin words
>(series, sort- "lot, fate, luck"). There are cognates in Sanskrit,
>Greek, Gothic, etc., mostly words for necklace, chain, etc. Here too
>possibly some Germanic and Celtic words for "to fuck, obscene, whore,
>etc.", and on a less physical level, Irish serc "love".

I often see reference made to Germanic, Celtic, Norse, Old English, etc;


as the origin of modern English words. When pressed for the root of these
words we are refered to Indo European. What I would like to see pinned down
is the actual route whereby each root diffused.

I doubt they were all coming from the same place at the same time, but
perhaps I am wrong about this. If they came from more than one place at
more than one time, what is the common denominator?

Where is the engine which acounts for their movement? Where is the
culture which which ties them together? If they are not the artifacts
of a common culture is their resemblence anything more than just an
apparent similarity? If they are the artifacts of a common culture
why would they diffuse by different routes at different times?

steve

ay...@tip.nl

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Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
to

Troy Sagrillo <t.sag...@utoronto.ca> wrote:

>The Hab wrote:
>>
>> Troy Sagrillo <t.sag...@utoronto.ca> wrote:
>> >Here's one that I had forgotten about:
>> >
>> >Egyptian /wH3t/ --> Coptic ouaHe --> Greek oasis (and so on)
>> >

>> >The Arabic word wa:Ha(t) is borrowed directly from Coptic
>>

>> How about Egyptian dsrt --> English desert. Just a thought.

>Hey Ihab!

>Yeah, I have heard that one myself. I just have my doubts as there is a


>perfectly good Latin root for the English (same root as "deserted"). I
>just don't know if there are any other IE cognates or not (besides in
>the Romance langs. of course).

**Latin desertus = 'abandoned, uninhabited' is an adjective to Latin
desero = 'to abandon', which originally meant 'to leave the lines',
de+sero, with de- as in 'depopulate' and sero as in 'series'. This
original meaning can still be found in 'to desert' = a soldier leaving
his position in the ranks and making a run for it...;)
So I fear the word desert has a very solid etymology, and has nothing
to do with the Egyptian deseret. Somewhat of a pitty, I agree.
The oasis example is very solid. The original meaning of the Egyptian
word was ' cauldron', which is very fitting as the Egyptrian oases are
large depressions in the western desert with a little pool of
soup....eh....water on the bottom.
Aayko

Loren Petrich

unread,
Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
to

In article <54imn8$r...@fridge-nf0.shore.net>,
Steve Whittet <whi...@shore.net> wrote:

>I often see reference made to Germanic, Celtic, Norse, Old English, etc;
>as the origin of modern English words. When pressed for the root of these
>words we are refered to Indo European. What I would like to see pinned down
>is the actual route whereby each root diffused.

Mr. Whittet, I suggest that you take Historical Linguistics 101
some time. That will answer many of your questions.

>I doubt they were all coming from the same place at the same time, but
>perhaps I am wrong about this. If they came from more than one place at
>more than one time, what is the common denominator?

The study of historical linguistics can answer that question. A
word root can be inherited, or it can be borrowed (think about French
linguistic nationalists complaining bitterly about "franglais", to give
one present-day example).

>Where is the engine which acounts for their movement? Where is the
>culture which which ties them together? If they are not the artifacts
>of a common culture is their resemblence anything more than just an
>apparent similarity? If they are the artifacts of a common culture
>why would they diffuse by different routes at different times?

Different words can be borrowed at different times. You really
don't get it, don't you?
--
Loren Petrich Happiness is a fast Macintosh
pet...@netcom.com And a fast train
My home page: http://www.webcom.com/petrich/home.html
Mirrored at: ftp://ftp.netcom.com/pub/pe/petrich/home.html

Loren Petrich

unread,
Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
to

In article <54ivr9$b...@fridge-nf0.shore.net>,

Steve Whittet <whi...@shore.net> wrote:
>In article <326A77...@utoronto.ca>, t.sag...@utoronto.ca says...
>>The Hab wrote:
>>> Troy Sagrillo <t.sag...@utoronto.ca> wrote:

>>> >Egyptian /wH3t/ --> Coptic ouaHe --> Greek oasis (and so on)

>With the "ou", "ah" "aqua" one can almost imagine the wetting of lips


>in anticipation of the "wa" water where the aquifer rises and
>the desert ends at the oasis.

There you go again! English "aquifer" is derived from Latin aqua
"water" and ferre "to carry, bear". Also, the consonants after the
initial (semi)vowels are unaccounted for.

[desert...]


>Isn't the root part of the word "des" associated with
>observations of desication such as a water table going down,
>sinking or lowering?

>"descend" to go down

From Latin de + scandere "to climb" < IE *skand-

>"describe" put down in words

From Latin de + scri:bere "to write" < IE *skri:bh- "to cut,
separate, sift" < IE *sker-

>"desert" to abandon

From Latin de + serere "to join" < IE *ser- "to line up"

>"desecrate" to break down

From Latin de + secra:re "to make sacred" < sacer "sacred" < IE
*sak- "to sanctify"

>"desire" to wish or long for

From Latin de- + si:dus, si:der- "star"

>"design" to break down into simple forms

Not the primary task of designers. But:

From Latin de- + signare "to mark" < signum "sign" < IE *sekw-
"to follow"

>"desicate" to remove the water

From Latin de- + siccare "to dry up" < siccus "dry"

The only thing they have in common is the Latin prefix (and
preposition) de-, "from" (it becomes the word for "of" in most of the
Romance languages); my trusty AHD says that it may come from some
demonstrative stem.

Troy Sagrillo

unread,
Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
to

ay...@tip.nl wrote:
>
> Troy Sagrillo <t.sag...@utoronto.ca> wrote:
>
> >The Hab wrote:
> >>
> >> Troy Sagrillo <t.sag...@utoronto.ca> wrote:
> >> >Here's one that I had forgotten about:
> >> >
> >> >Egyptian /wH3t/ --> Coptic ouaHe --> Greek oasis (and so on)
> >> >
> >> >The Arabic word wa:Ha(t) is borrowed directly from Coptic
> >>
> >> How about Egyptian dsrt --> English desert. Just a thought.
>
> >Hey Ihab!
>
> >Yeah, I have heard that one myself. I just have my doubts as there is a
> >perfectly good Latin root for the English (same root as "deserted"). I
> >just don't know if there are any other IE cognates or not (besides in
> >the Romance langs. of course).
>
> **Latin desertus = 'abandoned, uninhabited' is an adjective to Latin
> desero = 'to abandon', which originally meant 'to leave the lines',
> de+sero, with de- as in 'depopulate' and sero as in 'series'. This
> original meaning can still be found in 'to desert' = a soldier leaving
> his position in the ranks and making a run for it...;)
> So I fear the word desert has a very solid etymology, and has nothing
> to do with the Egyptian deseret. Somewhat of a pitty, I agree.

> The oasis example is very solid. The original meaning of the Egyptian
> word was ' cauldron', which is very fitting as the Egyptrian oases are
> large depressions in the western desert with a little pool of
> soup....eh....water on the bottom.

Just speculating here, but may I suggest it is from an unattested root
*/wHi/ "to inhabit"? We do have /wHyt/ "village" and /wHyt/ "family,
kindred" (inhabitants???). Just a thought. Most Egyptian nouns come from
a verbal root of some sort. I imagine that /wH3t/ "cauldron" is indeed
related, but I don't think that is need be the origin.

Troy

Loren Petrich

unread,
Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
to

In article <326E24...@pioneerplanet.infi.net>,
Saida <sa...@PioneerPlanet.infi.net> wrote:

>Yesterday, while looking for some Egyptian interjections, I came across
>a couple more items apropos of this thread:

>The Egyptian word "tir" (door) is like the German "Tur" (pronounced with
>an umlaut) , also "door".

The German word is cognate to the English word; German has a
sound shift lacking from other Germanic languages (d > t, t > ts or ss,
etc.), which explains the t. It is ultimately derived from IE *dhwer-.

>I was struck by the Egyptian "n is" for "unless" and "nn ua" for "no
>one".

What is each part of each word derived from? My trusty AHD has
that for English, but not for Egyptian.

... There was also "tuan" in Egyptian for "thine". This is all very
>unSemitic stuff.

If Egyptian has *t- for the second-person-singular pronoun, then
that may be related to Indo-European *tu:, *te- -- and related by common
ancestry, not by borrowing.

Saida

unread,
Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
to

Loren Petrich wrote:
>
> In article <326E24...@pioneerplanet.infi.net>,
> Saida <sa...@PioneerPlanet.infi.net> wrote:
>
> >Yesterday, while looking for some Egyptian interjections, I came across
> >a couple more items apropos of this thread:
>
> >The Egyptian word "tir" (door) is like the German "Tur" (pronounced with
> >an umlaut) , also "door".
>
> The German word is cognate to the English word; German has a
> sound shift lacking from other Germanic languages (d > t, t > ts or ss,
> etc.), which explains the t. It is ultimately derived from IE *dhwer-.

Well, this Egyptian "tir" or I see now, more properly "tiria" or
"tiriar" may be another Semitic loanword. I see the Chaldic "t'ra'a" on
the next page.


>
> >I was struck by the Egyptian "n is" for "unless" and "nn ua" for "no
> >one".
>
> What is each part of each word derived from? My trusty AHD has
> that for English, but not for Egyptian.

The "nn" or "n" part is "not", in these two cases. The "is" or "reed,
folded cloth" has a couple of meanings, in this case I think "not this"
is the applicable one. So we have "not, not this" being interpreted as
"unless, except only". The "ua" is just Egyptian for "one".


>
> ... There was also "tuan" in Egyptian for "thine". This is all very
> >unSemitic stuff.
>
> If Egyptian has *t- for the second-person-singular pronoun, then
> that may be related to Indo-European *tu:, *te- -- and related by common
> ancestry, not by borrowing.

As we discussed some time ago, another Egyptian pronoun is "tu", such as
in "meryi tu", which is how I think one said "I love you" in Egyptian.
Again, this seems to have the same basic consonants as the Latin "amor".
The verb ending is, of course, Semitic.

Saida

unread,
Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
to

Saida wrote:

>
> Steve Whittet wrote:
>
> >> I often see reference made to Germanic, Celtic, Norse, Old English, etc;
> > as the origin of modern English words. When pressed for the root of these
> > words we are refered to Indo European. What I would like to see pinned down
> > is the actual route whereby each root diffused.
> >
> > I doubt they were all coming from the same place at the same time, but
> > perhaps I am wrong about this. If they came from more than one place at
> > more than one time, what is the common denominator?

Yesterday, while looking for some Egyptian interjections, I came across

a couple more items apropos of this thread:

The Egyptian word "tir" (door) is like the German "Tur" (pronounced with
an umlaut) , also "door".

I was struck by the Egyptian "n is" for "unless" and "nn ua" for "no
one". There was also "tuan" in Egyptian for "thine". This is all very
unSemitic stuff.

Lastly I found "Tatenen" "an ancient earth-god, one of the creators of
the world".

Greg Reeder

unread,
Oct 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/24/96
to ay...@tip.nl

ay...@tip.nl wrote:

>PS Now we have ended up in the geografical department -
>Does anybody know why the Greeks called the Egyptian river 'Neilos'?
>I do not think this had an Egyptian basis?
>

According to my encyclopedia the word Nile is probably derived from the
Semitic root word nahal, meaning river valley which latter took the forms
Neilos in Greek and Nilus in Latin.
--

_
_____

Greg Reeder
On the WWW
at Reeder's Egypt Page
---------------->http://www.sirius.com/~reeder/egypt.html
ree...@sirius.com

Saida

unread,
Oct 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/24/96
to

Saida wrote:

>
> Aayko wrote:
>
> > PS Now we have ended up in the geografical department -
> > Does anybody know why the Greeks called the Egyptian river 'Neilos'?
> > I do not think this had an Egyptian basis?
>
> I wonder if this didn't come from the Egyptian word "nairu" meaning
> canals, rivers. In my dictionary it appears to be in the plural, but I
> imagine the singular is just "nair".

Oops, my thinking got short-circuited. There would be no singular.
Just as "mayim", the Hebrew for "water" is really plural or "waters".

Steve Whittet

unread,
Nov 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/1/96
to

In article <54iqsb$3...@halley.pi.net>, m...@pi.netÁ says...
>
>whi...@shore.net (Steve Whittet) wrote:...snip...

>Mallory's book which you are reading (or have read) tries to find
>answers to these questions. Renfrew's book too. I think they are
>both right on some counts and wrong on others. Renfrews book
>("Archaeology and Language") carries the subtitle: "The Puzzle of
>Indo-European Origins". This is most appropriate.

The more I read, the more questions I have...:)

I snipped most of the previous discussion because basically
I agreed with everything you said. Perhaps I might just tack
on something more besides.

One thing which arises as a question is whether or not
there was something which caused people to be more dependent
on language. My first guess is that civilization and the
increased number of interactions with other people in urban
areas had something to do with it.

This points to an advanced development of language as we know it
after c 7000 BC

If language evolved in Urban areas, what caused it to be
widely diffused in somewhat similar forms probably had
something to do with increased mobility due to the
domestication of the horse and widespread use of boats.

This points to increased diffusion of language as we know it
after c 3000 BC

A second question is the affect of diet on language. Diet
may affect the relative levels of two nerve hormones
nor-epinepherine and serotonin.

Low levels of these nerve hormones are associated with anti
social behavior, a fear of interaction with others and a
general withdrawl from society. This is the sort of shyness
of people which wild animals often exhibit.

If animals and people without access to certain foods which
are the products of the domestication of animals and agriculture
such as lactose and cereal have low levels of nor-epinepherine and
serotonin, and people with access to them have higher levels of
these nerve hormones it may relate the rise of language to
civilization in an evolutionary way.

As the level of nor-epinepherine rises people become more social
and seek consensus in norms, mores, conventions, rules and laws.
People who find security in adherence to laws and comfort in
orderly procedures tend to be more social, to engage in the
political process and to make laws.

As the level of serotonin rises people tend to become more self
actualizing. This group of people contains individuals who do
not fear to act without waiting to build consensus and who seek
freedom in a state of being without limits.

The one group would tend toward sedentism and the other toward
a more nomadic existence. The first group would probably tend
to make laws outlawing the activities of the second. The two
groups might take different approaches toward the creation of
language.

Is there a difference in the diets of sedentary and nomadic peoples?

Semitic speakers are often nomadic populations surrounded by
more urban Indo European speakers for example. The question
is does this hold true for the step nomads and what, if any
influence does a diet of fish have on this hypothesis, such
as might be the case with sea peoples?

When it comes to the roots of language there are many as
yet unexplored directions to go in. here is another one.

I have seen you elsewhere express an intrest in following this
back through Summarian and Akkadian. I would join you but I am
somewhat frustrated at the obscurity of some of the reference
material. Here, Hallorans Summerian and Akkadian pages seem to
provide much useful information. I don't understand why Piotr,
as a supposed expert in these matters, objects so strongly to
people trying to find whatever information they can on the net.

Isn't some information, whether all the i's are dotted and all
the t's are crossed, better than none at all? Isn't this precisely
the sort of academic posture of "leave it to the experts" which
caused such a furor over the dead sea scrolls?


>
>The "big picture" given by archaeology is definitely not one of
>intensive direct contact between, say, Continental Europe and the area
>of Iran-India, one that would make the Indo-European connection
>immediately obvious from the archaeological record. Far from it.
>That is why Mallory and Renfrew have such a hard time fitting the
>archaeological evidence to the linguistics. That is why at times the
>issue has been largely ignored by archaeologists in general. It's an
>issue imposed from outside, from linguistics, and does not follow from
>the pots and pans themselves... But a connection there must be. The
>linguistic record is crystal clear.


Eventually those ideas which are reasonable seem to perpetuate
themselves while those which are not so good get knocked down
and trampled on. In such a forum as this, it is interesting
to see that some issues, such as where language came from seem
yet to be completely resolved.
>
>
>==
>Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

steve


Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

unread,
Nov 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/2/96
to

whi...@shore.net (Steve Whittet) wrote:

Language did not evolve in urban areas, I don't think so. All human
populations have language, be they hunter-gatherers, pastoralists,
farmers, city-dwellers or net-citizens. In fact, it can be argued that
the immediate "evolutionary" benefit of language is much stronger in the
case of a band of a few dozen hunter-gatherers (allowing them to
communicate exactly about short and long term survival strategies) than
in a city with thousands of inhabitants, where it is possible to survive
without barely speaking a word.

The rise of kingdoms and empires associated with urbanisation did indeed
have an effect on the increased diffusion of certain languages, at the
expense of others.

>A second question is the affect of diet on language. Diet
>may affect the relative levels of two nerve hormones
>nor-epinepherine and serotonin.

Sorry, I wouldn't know much about that...

>As the level of serotonin rises people tend to become more self
>actualizing. This group of people contains individuals who do
>not fear to act without waiting to build consensus and who seek
>freedom in a state of being without limits.

Well, I suffer from high serotonin levels myself, apparently (they give
me terrible facial migraines). I didn't know there were benefits to it
as well. Thanks for the info.

>I have seen you elsewhere express an intrest in following this
>back through Summarian and Akkadian. I would join you but I am
>somewhat frustrated at the obscurity of some of the reference
>material. Here, Hallorans Summerian and Akkadian pages seem to
>provide much useful information. I don't understand why Piotr,
>as a supposed expert in these matters, objects so strongly to
>people trying to find whatever information they can on the net.

>Isn't some information, whether all the i's are dotted and all
>the t's are crossed, better than none at all?

Well, I'm torn here. I agree that some information is better than none,
even if it's not entirely correct (and as long as there is no willful
attempt to distort the known facts, which is certainly not the case with
John Halloran's list). On the other hand, when it comes to language, I
*do* get irritated if all the i's are not dotted and t's crossed. I
suppose it is because I *am* an expert (albeit outside of Academia).

Stella Nemeth

unread,
Nov 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/3/96
to

whi...@shore.net (Steve Whittet) wrote:

>I guess I am advocating the one room schoolhouse approach here.
>The teacher doesn't have time to prepare a separate lesson for
>each of here students at all their respective levels so what
>happens is the older kids teach the younger ones.

>Here on the net we have a similar situation. If we are flexible
>enough to allow that what we are able to find at this stage may
>not be exactly correct, it may still help us get a step up to
>where exactly correct is possible.

When I first started lurking on sci.archaeology there was a flamewar
going on about books for general readers. The person who started the
thread wondered why there didn't seem to be any entry level books,
written for adults (and not for 3rd graders), or any mid-level books
that don't take it for granted that the readers were already experts
in the subject. We never managed to discuss that question. I can't
remember where the flamwar actually took us, but the people who
objected to the idea never understood the original question. So, lets
try it again.

What I find really interesting is that the popular archaeology
magazines (BAR, KMT and Archaeology, for example) seem to be filling
this market for up-to-date information about archaeology for general
readers that the pros didn't even recognize was there. And, I've
noticed that the books are beginning to flow once again. I was able
to purchase an up-to-date basic book on Archaeology this year, which
was probably originally intended as a text book for an introductory
class, from an ordinary source.

I think that sci.archaeology as a one room schoolhouse for adults is
an interesting idea. Surely it has become obvious that there are more
of us here who are interested in the subject, but don't make our
living at it, than there are pros. I've certainly gotten an education
during the last (approximately) two years. So I guess we are teaching
one another.


Stella Nemeth
s.ne...@ix.netcom.com


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