Also Sprach Zarathustra, Richard Strauss




with their
principal meanings

by Patrick C. Ryan
(8/ 3 /2008)

Copyright 2008 * Patrick C. Ryan

N.B. I have alternated in various essays between notations of the aspirated affricates: e.g. KHXE and KXHE; they
are intended to be identical. At this time, I am not sure whether the aspiration was realized
phonetically before or after the fricative element of the affricate.

Since the determination of the meanings of these monosyllables relies so heavily on their
correlation with Sumerian monosyllables, by
pressing the highlighted asterisk ( * ) after each monosyllable listing, you
will be referred to the Sumerian sign which, I believe, validates
the determination; and selected other hieroglyphs from Egyptian; and PIE cognates.


N.B. Although I have stated in many essays at this website that the Proto-Language vowels written with E, A, and O, indicate front, central, and back vowels, irrespective of their height (openness), I have, up until now, been inclined to regard them as having been realized phonetically with [e], [a], and [o], patterning like the two major expressions of the Ablaut phoneme in PIE, which has the forms /*e/, /*o/ and /*Ø/, depending on the placement of the tonal and stress-accents. I have now abandoned that idea for several reasons:

    1. typologically, triangular vowel systems of /e, a, o/ are vastly less frequent than those of /i, a, u/;

    2. in two language families which I believe to be derived from the Proto-Language, Sumerian and Proto-Semitic, the vowel systems are basically i/a/u and /*i, *a, *u/;

    3. in the Pontic stage of PIE, during which the front and back vowels acquired palatal and velar glides while the vowel quality was neutralized and centralized to *[a], it is phonologically likelier that PIE developed glides from *i (Pontic *ya) and *u (Pontic *wa) than from *e and *o;

      a. this, of course, produced the Ablaut phoneme, which I write as *A (*yA, *A, and *wA), which later, through tonal and stress-accent, and after loss of glides but with palatalization of dorsals and velarization of coronals, manifested itself as PIE *e, *o, and *Ø;

    4. therefore, although the notation of the Proto-Language vowels will not be changed, it should be understood that E and O probably stand for what was phonetically realized as *[i] and *[u].

For any comments, critical or otherwise, email me at

It is crucial to understanding the theory behind the reconstruction of the Proto-Language to realize that meanings were not randomly assigned to monosyllables but developed naturally out of very simple concepts.

E.g., ?A signified 'something at rest in the immediate presence of the speaker'; as a bodily part: 'forehead'; on one hand, this is also the 'nuclear family'; and on another, the 'foliage on which one is located'; and from that: 'location'.

Verbally, this was interpreted as 'abut, be in contact with'.

Deictically, it produced 'here, this (near speaker)'; and this, in turn, became a nominal case ending indicating the locative ('at, against, across').

And grammatically, as a development from these deictics, an interrogative formant that simply creates a phrase stating 'some action or condition is here(?)', followed by a rising interrogative (non-factual) sentence intonation questioning the truth of the statement.

An inspection of the Hamito-Semitic (Afrasian) roots in Hamito-Semitic Etymological Roots: Orel and Stolbova, 1995 will reveal that one of the commonest early methods of expanding the basic monosyllables into nouns ('be something': stative) and adjectives ('be somehow': verbal adjective) was the addition of ?A, which is represented in Hamito-Semitic as ? in multitudinous CV? roots.

It is equally important to understand that the aspirated phoneme corresponding to each non-aspirated phoneme has, as its core idea, the same simple concept with the addition of animacy and movement.

In this case, HA, 'air', signifies 'that which is in motion without changing location and remains in contact'. The earliest Proto-Language speakers believed observable motion was the key definition of animacy.

Verbally, it is natural to see how 'breathe (in or out)' could develop from 'air'. An interesting further development is its application to 'goose' as 'breather/hisser'.

A further development from 'breathe' is 'breath'; and from 'breath', this monosyllable acquired the meaning of 'physical energy', i.e. 'lung-power'.

From the idea of 'air', an adjective was developed meaning 'hollow' ('filled only with air').

This morpheme, through 'hollow', was connected to the physical configuration of female genitalia, 'vagina'; and, further extended to become a formant of female names.

Verbally, it was interpreted as 'in movement between two points without changing location', and stated more simply: 'last, persist in an activity at a location', a continuitive.

From this usage, a noun was developed which designated a 'person engaged in an activity', not necessarily occupational; we might call this usage 'animate stative'.

It is my hypothesis that every monosyllable, inanimate (non-aspirated) or animate (aspirated), is an ideational development from the simple basic concept usually seen most readily in the inanimate monosyllable. The association of animals with the animate monosyllables is based on their exemplifying in some way the simple basic concept in an animate way. Thus, while the choice of the specifc animal or "animate" natural phenomenon may not be predictable by us at this time, it was not random but rather based on a connection to the simple basic concept as perceived by the earliest Proto-Language speakers.

The meanings assigned to every one of the 90 monosyllables are ideationally related to one simple basic concept, ultimately spatial in nature; and a rationale explaining their interconnections to each appropriate simple basic concept can be easily formulated.

The inanimates are:

MAN POINTING 1947 * Albert

meanings preceded by an asterisk (*) are not yet included in the New Proto-Language-English dictionary

?A , forehead, brow, face, face (verb) = be turned toward, front, give attention to; immediate presence, here, this (near speaker), on (the top of), at, against, abutting, in contact with, (plant-)top (foliage), flower, grass(land)/savanna, blade (of grass), nuclear family territory nuclear family, interrogative, inanimate stative, 'be adjective';

A , (both) eye(-socket)(s), shiny white, watch, under, stone, solidly globular, several (more than one = two), both, definite inanimate inclusive plural, 'all', verbal inanimate durative;

FA , *palm, flatly circular/round (depression), leaf, green, fragile, flaccid penis (possibly foreskin), egg, fresh; (mark) constituting a quantity, complete, not discretely countable, set (of something), formant of numerals, navel, nest, formant of bird names, formant of color and other quality adjectives, small definite inanimate plural; inanimate frequentative/iterative, 'do repeatedly'; nominal topic;

K?A , jaw, put in the mouth, clench jaw, be chewed, cup, bowl, womb, vulva(e), kneecap, shallowly depressed; speak (loudly);

K?XA , hair, hang, (be) behind;

MA , female breast, mound, full, mature, ripe, particle of asseveration, (mature) female, area, there; formant of nouns of place;

NA , nose, nasal passage, nostril, snivel, fear, snort, sniff, notice, small ball (of dried nasal mucus), knot, (water-)drop, drip, inside, interior, one (of two[?]/many) [derived from 'nose' in a body-touch counting system], definite inanimate singular ('one of two'?), inanimate factitive, 'cause to be adjective';

P?A , anal cleft (properly) then buttock(s), seat, sit, half (one of two), piece, cleft, (what is) excavate(d), take out of, partitive inanimate singular, 'some', inanimate diminutive, 'done a little';

P?FA , chin, edge, beard, be prominent, project/stand outside, be exception(al); white; bruise, welt, phallus;

QA , intestine, long, loop, tubular, fold over, bend over;

RA , spinal column (vertebrae), (crown of the) tree, post, tall, shade, dim, in back of, be flexible, be flexibly attached, nugget, knot; formant of color adjectives;

SA , sinew (unmoving), plant fiber, cord; strong (unbreakable), intensive (prefix), 'very' (PIE *s-mobile);

T?A , thumb (of the hand) hand/finger, (be at the) side, seep, drip (hang at the side), pluck, strip off (pull at the side), allot (tear off for), give for, (tree-)bark;

T?SA , body, elongated, long, self, formant of bodily parts, formant of internal psychological reactions to external objective phenomena: e.g. fire (experienced) heat, anything roughly ovoid consisting of an outer shell with differentiated solid interior content: nut, bead, roll of fecal material (turd); curved;

XA , aperture of the pharynx, soft (palate), swallow, press down/togeher, labia majora, slit, very large indefinite inanimate plural, inanimate intensive, 'done energetically';

?E , tooth, sharp (edged/bladed), thorn (from fang), tusk, hard, that (near spoken about), yonder, from across, *move across from, *send, away, *be not seen, *absent; *existential negative;

E , diaphragm, voice, breath, waist, lift up, move from under, throw, stem (of plant), sound, word, differentiator ('-like'), nominal genitive (adjectivizer); converts nouns to verbs; verbal animate/inanimate progressive/continuative, irrealis; E-E, related to;

FE , muscle, strong, adult male, agentive, vine, tendril, tubularly circular/round, unwind;

K?E , erect penis, tail, sprout, split open, male, pierce, poke, prod, nudge, point forward, call attention to verbally, be bowed forward ; formant of male names;

K?XE , face, gaping, yearn, empty out, scraped, stripped, bare, lack; shiny;

ME , tongue, stick out, call out, announce, measure, converse, agree, notable, expel, negative imperative, middle, between;

NE , nasal mucus, ooze, empty out, empty of, absent, negative, sticky, cling to;

P?E , urine, pour out, rank; possibly tree- or plant-sap;

P?FE , toe, digit, foot, root, be grooved, splay, split, clam (not -shell), track, formant of animal names, spoke, wheel, specific spot, formant of place feature names;

QE , teat (primary), milk, (yellowish) white, juice (what is pressed from something globular), sap, cool/cold, stick together, congeal, coagulate, freeze, gum, formant of (thick) liquid names;

RE , finger/toenail, claw, scratch, count,, bring down on, make, apply, any one (of many), stiffly flexible, small indefinite inanimate plural, inanimate transformative, 'cause to become';

SE , bodily excretions (excrement, flatulence, semen, sweat, urine), sap, excrete (forcefully), draw out, separate, apart, unique inanimate singular, inanimate singulative, 'done only once'; converts lexically durative verbs to punctual;

T?E , (ball of the) foot, spin around, coil, stamp, hurry (move on the balls of the feet);

T?SE , teat, finger (secondary), digit, conically pointed, fang,, suck (cause to release [milk. etal.]), inhale, release from, put, place at;

XE , body hair, fur, prick, part, extend ou;

?O , cheek(s), mouth, orifice, taste, scent, odor, that (near person addressed or listener), across to; call out to;

O , fist, squeeze, *scrotum, testicle, male, *formant of male names, hold (detain) tightly, to under, necessity, *object; force ( make/cause to do or be)

FO , ear, circular border of a depression/hole, hear, curl, wool, wilt, surround, flower(-petals), possibly foreskin; you

K?O , neck, twist, rope, shout; gulp;

K?XO , throat, (tubular) hole, passage, tunnel; fall (down) into, shade, black; empty;

MO , flesh, bulge, overall, creature, human, wood, spread over, smooth, rub, grind, feel (tactile), bleed, blood(y), red, fresh/new (as of meat), filth(y), impure, salty; secondarily, muscle; reification suffix; converts animate noun into non-agent; common superlative, 'most', common universal, 'always doing/done';

NO , stomach, store, put inside, discontinue, lie down, categorical negative, feel (emotion), inner will, basket, hanging nest, bowl, jar, container; formant of common collective plural;

P?O , anal (also buccal) cheek(s), lip(s), kiss, stretch, swell, inflate, blow, bubble, bud;

P?FO , leg, trunk (of tree), stick, club, hit, fork (from legs); walk; formant of place names;

QO , skull, head, creature, (hollowly) globular, round, ball, scrotum, sack, cloud, pot, catch, restrict, attach, sling, shoulder;

RO , lip, raise (voice)/call out, open by raising, adult, part, nomen agentis, nomen instrumenti, inanimate comparative, 'more', inanimate augmentative, 'done to a high degree';

SO , skin, surface of any three-dimensional object, frequently used as a formant of objects characterized by color, thin sheet, reddish-brown, yellowish, cloth, stretch, pull back to, fold, cart, suck up, sniff, absorb;

T?O , torso (contents of the body cavity), organ(s), lump, scat, male breast, rounded hump, put together, large definite inanimate plural, inanimate iterative, 'done repeatedly to completion';

T?SO , arm, branch, limb (plant and animal), column of smoke, two (pair), hold (retain), be given, handle, swing around as in throwing, formant of tools;

XO , anus ,blister, intestine (secondary), shaft, tunnel, blister, below, under, squirt, malodorous;

The animates are:

MAN POINTING 1947 * Albert

What is partcularly interesting is the obvious semantic connection of the animate (aspirated) monosyllables with their inanimate (glottalized) counterparts; explanatory material is listed below in parentheses and single quotes (' . . . ').

FHA , wolf ('who encircles'), predator, wail, wind, be puffing, (hunting) pack, surround, be around, do again, be assembled (in a circle), encircle, revolution, small definite animate plural; animate frequentative, 'do repeatedly';

HA , air ('who moves around in contact at (across) the top'), sky, breathe, (inhaled) air = lung-power = physical energy, exhale, goose duck, hollow, vagina, woman, formant of female names, in movement at a stationary point across from, last/persist in an activity, animate stative, 'be a noun (actional continuitive)';

HHA , water current ('what moves himself underneath'), lake, move in place, be agitated, flow, shine/y, reflective, bright, bluish-white, deep, sweet; definite animate inclusive plural, 'all', verbal animate durative;

KHA , Kashmir goat ('who chews'), mouflon sheep, rutting male, strong-smelling, (possibly) fox, desire fervently; horn; spiral, wind around; ruminant;

KXHA , bee ('who hangs [in a hive]'), pointed, prick, sting, hurt, burn(ing sensation), purify by fire; be suspended (fixed position); buzz, hum, sing; yellow

MHA , ant ('who makes a mound'), bison, (be) ceaselessly active (at), occupy, be, stay; (right) hand, wave, signal, gesticulate, warn, owl (warner), give, offer on hand, bite on/off, pinch, hold onto; formant of professions and professional tools;

NHA , wave ('who is in movement inside'), water-buffalo, possibly duiker (from Afrikaans, meaning 'diver'; they dive into shrubbery to escape pursuit), move by/under water, swim, vibrate, move back and forth (inside), be happy, lick, insect larva, glitter, give off color, be mixed, duck into, dive into, be concealed, be hidden, definite animate singular ('one of two'?), member of class, nomen agentis, nomen instrumenti, anxious (to do), fidget from impatience to commence, about to do = inceptive/ingressive, 'cause one's self to become adjective';

PHA , turtle ('who is in a burrow'), flea ('burrower'; chigger/chigoe), bite into and out of, devour, flat (from the shape of fleas and turtles {ventral}), feed on (graze) = be in movement on (vegetation), (move) over, past (what one moves on), be at the front (first to move onto and create path for those who follow by flattening the vegetation), partitive animate singular, 'some', animate diminutive, 'do a little', little;

PFHA , ibex ('who has a beard'), sheep, spongy, fat, resilient, fleece(-white), fungus, stink;

QHA , weasel ('who folds himself over'), crab, be humped over, hump up, hill, cat, high (elevated); hard(en), shell, stone; angular; manure, black, shrivel up through drying out;

RHA , bird ('who moves high above'), fly, be in motion (high above), suspend, unconnected, high, formant of (flying) insect names; mottled,, colorful; formant of color adjectives;

SHA , swine (' who is unmoving = immobile'), hippopotamus, be immobile, (immobile from paralyzing) pain, sit, satisfied, lazy, come to an end, roll in mud, slobber, salty, pinkish, female (referring primarily to lack of mobility), formant of states or conditions;

THA , rat ('who moves himself at the side like a thumb, be in stationary movement at the side, twitches, as of whiskers'), steal (burgle, break into, purse-snatch), seep into or out of, become damp, drip (on the side), dew; dampen, dip, immerse, be/tear loose (at the side), be near by, escape, tremble, twitch, warble, ejaculate;

TSHA , ass ('who makes his body long = rears, stands'), rear up, lift up, stand up, elongate, bray, thick, excessive, kick, trample, prance;

XHA , fish ('who swallows repeatedly, presses together = schools'), flat, shallow, pack/press together, quantity, exhale, swallow (intr.); very large indefinite animate plural, animate intensive, 'do energetically';

FHE , spider ('who winds/weaves threads/webs/connects'), weave; enlarge;

HE , river ('who moves himself (across) from the top'), go, leave, disappear;

HHE , smoke ('who moves himself from under'), orange(-color); otter, beaver, tick, move up from (under), come, appear, rise;

KHE , dog ('who wags/waggles'), shadow, gray, dirt(y), nearby, alter, other (of two), another; roll around; gore

KXHE , deer ('who bares himself (by rubbing off his velvet)'), run (away) fast, superior; do quickly, work, strip from one's self, shed; antler(-tine), chip off as with an antler-tine;

MHE , eel, (tape-)worm ('who sticks himself out of'), come off/out of (surface), hyrax(?), mouse, new moon; antelope/gazelle (from their habit of confronting threats to the herd by coming out toward the threat); soft, smooth, gentle;

NHE , worm ('who slips'), slide/glide (through), slack, loose; entwine, spin; come apart; little, formant of deprecatives;

PHE , mouse ('who urinates'), urinator, foul odor; quiver, nibble = cut off around; make thin, wing, fly; pale, grayish white, ashen, (saw)dust; clean by sweeping dust, squeak, peep;

PFHE , spotted hyena ('who disperses scent, sprayer'), flame, spark, spot(ted), burst, spray, spit, split apart by itself, decompose, sting;

QHE , cold-blooded animal, lizard ('who is cool'), crocodile(?), bustle, w(r)iggle (from the acute angles a lizard's body makes as it moves by twisting its lower body from side to side), flame, spurred, cool (to the touch);

RHE , panther/leopard ('who scratches'), rain, wet, sprinkle, sift, spotted, come (down), fall, drip, go, scream, small indefinite animate plural, animate transformative, 'become';

SHE , jackal (canis aureus) ('who stinks'), male (unattached) of herd animals, reddish-brown, creep, hunch, separate one's self, seed, raw, sour, acidic, solitary, one (single), alone, cold, ache, unique animate singular, animate singulative, 'do only once';

THE , star ('who spins around from'), spin, radiate;

TSHE , hedgehog ('who jabs'), spread out/open, bristle (out), pierce, civet/ferret/viverra, boring insect, frightened, spine, fuzzy;

XHE , porcupine ('whose fur/hair stands upright'), bear, curl around itself (and, as a result, bristle out), encircle, spiney, prick, puncture; specify, point at, pay attention to (be intensely alert);

FHO , hare ('who hears/[big-]eared one'); *animals living in tunnels: weasel, ferret, polecat; *make a hole; tremble, weary, flutter, assemble in a circle;

HO , lion ('who moves himself to the top of (covers)'), sun, star, yellow, heat, light, rotten odor, hot, move across to the top of, (cause to) move on top of/across to = push, approach, go onto, charge, tackle;

HHO , bear ('who curls like the fingers of a fist while hibernating'), snake, move under/slip under for concealment, dive, hibernate, sleep, die ;

KHO , animal young ('who are around the neck'), young (small), reddish, gore, cover, formant of diminutives/small animals/productions;

KXHO , mollusc(-shell) ('who makes a hole'), cut out of, scrape out of, excavate; go together, close up;

MHO , giraffe ('who rubs' - from the rubbing between two males during mating season, called 'necking'), (perhaps) oryx, horse (secondary in Northern PL-derived languages; perhaps from 'long necks'), spread out over [smoothly] (from giraffe behavior), wander, nomad, distract, dull by use; perhaps: ride (cf. Saharan petroglyph girafe lien)

NHO , fox ('who hides in a space reached by a tunnel'), ostrich, snail, strip, stripe, trick, burrow in, elude, avoid, deny;

PHO , venomous snake ('who swells'), puff, sniff, swell up, lead, protect by leading to safety, exhale; nose;

PFHO , ox (who 'stamps/tramples'), (possibly, elephant; possibly buffalo [black wildebeest]), stamp, stomp; press down on, heavy, fat, big, powerful; (cloven) hoof;

QHO , constrictor snake (' who wraps around into a ball'), wrap one's self around, throttle, catch, snare, hook into;

RHO , antelope, louse ('who jumps'), spring, jump, rise, animate comparative, 'more', animate augmentative, 'do to a high degree';

SHO , herd (of animals) ('who follow together as a unit'), herd-member (implies 'female' because majority of herd is female), same, friendly, good, well, one's own, follow after as a unit>), after, future (what comes afterward); clan, clan-member;

THO , heat (' who forms an animate lump = asseembles '), heat, warm, dry, species (of animals), tribe, (large, wild) herd, assemble into group, approach to join, press against, crouch, squat, hide one's self, move together to become a unit, complete, entire, total, be compacted, clod, large definite animate plural, inanimate plural created by human agency, 'collection/assemblage', animate iterative, 'do repeatedly until completion', future prospective;

TSHO , circling insect ('who swings around'), swarm, spin around, whirlwind, cycle, do again, stretch around, twist, twirl, drill, 'wobble' drill (designed to enlarge holes), around, around here, formant of cardinal directions;

XHO , frog ('who squats/rests on the anus'), toad, squat, rest in a squatting position.

Proto-Language Monosyllables
Correspondent Sumerian and Egyptian Signs

and selected cognates from Sumerian, Egyptian, and Proto-Indo-European


For the latest version of conversion equivalences
from the
Proto-Language consonants and vowels
to Sumerian, Egyptian, and PIE, see
the Table in
ETRUSCAN COMPARISON at this website.

It is, of course, perfectly possible to notate PIE palatals as, for example, ĝ through Unicode; however, I have opted to indicate them as, for example, g^ to facilitate search by readers for specific PIE forms.


currently under construction: January 2007


a-x, '*plant-top'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #14 [sign number in Kurt Jaritz, Schriftarchologie der altmesopotamischen Kultur: 1967]) depicts the 'pinnate leaves at the top of a date-palm, the broom of date spadices'; and means 'top'. It does not, written alone, have a transmitted reading value of *x. Preceded by the phonetic determinative (Jaritz #949, 'water'; PL HHA), however, this sign (Jaritz #14) has the recorded value/reading of a4 (for 4), which, sadly, is currently without a recognized meaning; with luck, we may, some day find this sign, written by itself, associated with a reading of *x, with a meaning derived from '(plant-top)' . Moreover, I assume this spelling convention is to differentiate a reading of * from another commoner reading: an (for *n).

Although an is associated with 'heavens' ('what is on top'; PL ?A-NA, 'top-one' = 'heavens'), the reading of an appears also to have been used for 'plant-top', the concept that the sign presumably seeks to illustrate.

This formulation with this meaning is confirmed by PIE *a(:)n(-)dh-, 'bloom', from which we have *a(:)n(-)dhos-, 'flower'; and *a(:)n(-)dhe(-)r-, 'point (of a plant), chin ('bushy part')'.

Though Egyptian does not attest this compound with the meanings 'top' or 'flower', it does preserve 'chin' as jn', which informs us to reconstruct PL ?A-NA-T?SO, 'top-hold (place where something is held at the top)'; the Egyptian determinative for jn', which follows it, makes this interpretation abundantly clear: determinative for jn', 'chin' (not in Gardiner; Old Kingdom).

The Egyptian sign for ?A is Gardiner #M17 (sign classification in Sir Alan Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar: 1973), which he characterizes as a 'flowering reed'; and is "alphabetic" j: j, 'flowering reed' (#M17). Accompanied by a single short line or stroke, usually to the side of it, which indicates a word-sign rather than a phonological syllable (/ja/), it is known to mean 'reed'; and possibly 'leaf'.

PL nominal compounds had the order attribute + noun; and verbal compounds: object + verb, with the nature of any spatial relationship supplied by the context rather than overtly by case.

?A in the meaning of 'nuclear family', was used as an initial component in many designations for members of the nuclear family: Maternal love was so integral a feature of early human society that a word for 'love' is built around this relationship: ?A-MA-(HA-)RO(-E), 'mother-part(-like)' = 'love'. This can be seen in Latin ama:re, 'love', and in Egyptian mr.j (for *jmr.j), 'love'. This is probably the basis for Sumerian amalu, 'cult prostitute (better, 'hetaera, courtesan')', i.e. 'lover/loved one'.

The word 'love' is Egyptian, *jmr.j is written with Gardiner #U8 (Old Kingdom form; also #U6 and #U7), 'hoe': *jmr, '*hoe' (#U8 ) . The analysis of 'love' seems reasonably secure but what of the analysis of 'hoe'. Firstly, we may observe that this looks like no hoe we have ever seen. It appears to terminate in a point rather than a flat blade. In fact, it looks very much like a 'digging-stick' for seeding or 'pick' for 'harrowing' or 'weeding'. Under P?FA, we will find this sign mentioned again as a determinative for Egyptian b3 (PL P?FA-RE), 'scratch apart'; and see the Sumerian sign (#118a) which was used to write it as bar (for par2, another reading of #118a): bar (for par2), 'cut open, slit, split' (#118a). This seems to be a functional description for the tool: we analyze *jmr as ?E-MHA-RO, 'tooth-bite off-part', referring to the pointed tip of the pick much the same process as behind the word 'pick' itself, which derives from PIE *(s)p(h)e(:)i(-g^), 'pointed' (PL PFHE-E-K?E, 'pointed-like-pierce' = 'pierce with something pointed'). In Egyptian, jmr(.j) from either source would have been phonetically identical: /?amar/ since all vowel qualities from Nostratic were leveled to /a/ in earliest Egyptian.

Another important derivative of ?A as 'top' is ?A-RO(-?A), 'top-raise(-stative)' = 'put on top, stacked up together'. This can be easily seen in PIE *ar6- , 'put together, fit together, put on top of'; and in Egyptian as jr.j, 'make, construct, act, apply, succeed'. In Sumerian, it is only slightly more difficult to see because of the regular change of PL RO to l(u). The Sumerian equivalent, al(*), is written with Jaritz #564, which depicts the 'body or head (version shown here) of a man with a feather in the hair', signifying successful completion of some act or challenge: al, '*be/put on top, *succeed, *complete' (#564). Sumerian al is a verbal prefix in Sumerian that indicates completeness/success of the verbal idea/activity, e.g. in: me kir5-ra-ke4 u al-du7-du7, 'the customs of the Netherworld have been completely carried out'. In one compound, it seems to demonstrate this meaning attributively: ab2-al, 'sexually mature cow', i.e. 'complete(ly grown), complete (in development)'. Sumerian al is, however, explicitly associated with the meanings 'hoe, pickax', and 'dig'. This is just another nuance of 'put on top of', namely 'turn up (earth)'. It can also be seen in PIE *ar(6)- (PL ?A-RO(-?A), 'put on top(-stative) = 'turn(ed) up'), 'plow(ed)', a more efficient way of 'turning up' earth but still basically the same process as with a pick or hoe, still used, in place of a plow, in garden plots.

ia-2, '5' (#270)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #270) depicts 'five marks', and means '5'; it reads i (for *). I am going to assume that '5' is based on 'many'; and for a discussion of #270 meaning 'both, all, many', see below.

The ultimate basal meaning is 'set of eyes'; and from it, the prototypical 'pair', which, of course, is wholly arbitrary in view of 'two hands/legs, etc.. Its use for 'many' is probably an extension of the idea of a naturally occurring 'set', regardless of the specific number: here, 'five (fingers)'. Nonetheless, we can see it used as 'pair' for inanimates in PIE -*i, the original inflection of the inanimate dual. We would expect A to become *ya in pre-PIE and *i/*y in PIE. The animate dual ('all [of a dual set]) was formed by -HHA, pre-PIE *-Ha, and PIE *-a:.

The dual inflections of PIE are a particularly aggravated example of endings losing significance and being reinforced by additional endings. Nonetheless, we can best see the earliest forms in nominatives: Old Indian -a: (masculine/feminine consonant-stems); -e, (neuter *-o-stems; *-o -a + i -e); both of these formants, with reversed polarity, were used in the plural: Old Indian -a: (neuter); Greek -oi (masculine/feminine -*o-stems).

These are also found in Egyptian, where the normal non-feminine plural is -w (PL F(H)A, 'composed 'set', 'held together in the open palm'), and the non-feminine dual adds A-A, /ya:/: -w.jj. This reduplicated form is found also in Old Indian -i: (neuter consonant-stems).

It appears quite possible shading into probable that a shift of the stress-accent by one syllable to the right even without any additional formants indicated non-singularity, in both verbs and nouns: e.g., 'CVC(V), punctual/singular; CV-'CV, durative/non-singular; and that these endings were (later) used in conjunction with this shift of stress-accent.

Furthermore, it seems quite possible again shading into probable that the original and even earlier function of the stress-accent, subsequently modified by the above described employment of the stress-accent, was to establish an attributive relationship between two successive CV's, contrasting with identity: CV1 (=) CV2 contrasting with ' CV1('s) CV2.

Where, I think, this can be seen in operation is in the PIE *(y)o-stems, which originally designated 'animate agents':

Another recorded meaning for Jaritz #270 is i (for * from *ia), 'see'; it also is recorded to mean 'speak since * is the Sumerian reflex of PL E as well.

Its meaning 'eye' is preserved in Arabic ain-un, 'eye' (PL A-E-NA, 'set/pair of eyes-like-one'). This can be easily seen in Sumerian in2 (for /ên2; but notice the Akkadian reading n(-)u2, 'eye'), a reading of Jaritz #798 that means 'eye', normally read as ig~i in this meaning. It depicts an 'eyeball with optic nerve': in2 (for */ên2), '*eye' (#798). In order to analyze ig~i, we must take note of the Emesal form: i-bi2.


Emegi, the language of males in Sumer, differs in some interesting ways from equivalent forms in Emesal, the language of females.

In this Excursus, we will principally only discuss the equivalents of Emegi g([~]2, 3) in Emesal; a fuller discussion of Emesal will be presented below:

In order to better understand this change, we need to etymologize as many of these words as possible.

Though I will not pursue this line of inquiry at length here, it appears to me that one of the defining characteristics of Emesal is to eliminate from the 'female language' those sounds which would necessitate observable lip-rounding, presumably for whatever social significance observed lip-rounding by females may have had. Emegi uEmesal i. This could be the motivation for the change listed under 1. above, in which a theoretical /gwi/ /mi/. This may be a part of or independent from an observable tendency to front (and lower/close where necessary) some sounds produced: as EG iES e.

We will begin by looking at EG sig(a)4, '(dried) brick', which is written with Jaritz #937, which depicts 'three bricks/tiles forming a zig-zag pattern': eg12 (for g~12), '*(dried) brick/tile' (#937). EG sig(a)4 also reads eg12 (for *g~12 {*g[~]412}), and, in view of the ES form e.eb(a)), we believe eg12 (for *g[~]412) is likely to be the more accurate rendition of the EG form. We believe that the semantic basis of Sumerian 'brick' is 'dried'. PIE words for 'dry' are based on the idea of previously 'releasing' moisture, which is found in PIE *sei-, 'drip', which represents PL SE-E, 'emit-like' = 'drip'; this would appear in Sumerian as . Jaritz #339 reads e6, and means 'dry (by heating)/roast, *cause to drip/emit moisture'; we will emend it to *6. We can now propose that the existence of a PL word of the form SE-E-XHA, 'drip-pack together' = 'solidify by drying'. This would be PIE *seikw-; and we find this exact form with the meaning 'dry'. It is possible that we may be able to find this word in Egyptian also with sr, 'dry, dry up', which is analyzed by Egyptologists as being composed of s, causative + wr, 'dry up, be barren, desolate'. However, even a cursory glance at an Egyptian dictionary will reveal a good dozen words composed with s-causative + words with initial w that have retained the initial w: s-w'b, 'cause to be pure, purify'. I, therefore, analyze sr as *z(j), 'dry' + r, intensive. The persistence of final a in both the EG and ES forms suggests a stative has been preserved in the final syllable or preserved the final syllable: SE-E-XHA-HA, 'solidify by drying+stative' = 'dried solid', leading to EG *g[~]412 and ES *b. In view, however, of the unvoiced fricative which occasioned these changes, a more accurate notation would probably be: EG **k312 and ES **p.

It must be mentioned that another PIE for 'dry up, seep away', existed in the form SHE-KHA, which shows up as PIE *sek-, 'sink into (better, 'drain out of'), dry up'; in Egyptian zk, 'wipe up, *dry up'; and Sumerian ig (for *k), 'dry up', written with Jaritz #965, ig (for *k), '*drain out of, dry out)' (#965) which depicts a 'sinking sun gradually becoming er'; these are PL SHE-KHA, 'separate-spiral', 'swirl around a drain hole' = 'run out'.

We cannot rule out the possibility of a semantically similar SHE-QHA, 'separate-hump up' = 'curl or distort when drying', which could correlate with PIE *senk-, a form currently listed as an *n-infixed form of *sek-.

Another word from the list that is of interest is EG igi, 'eye', which has the ES correspondent i.bi2. Since bi2 (Jaritz #339) also reads pi5, based on what we think we have learned above, we emend the ES form to i.pi5. Though igi is most frequently written with Jaritz #798, it is also written syllabically i-gi; the sign for gi, Jaritz #131, also reads ki2; and we will therefore emend igi to *iki. We will now look more closely at EG **iki and ES **ipi. The root reconstructed for 'eye' in PIE is *okw- with a variant *okw-i-, which I analyze as a dual in -*i (see above). If the ultimate basis for this word is PL A, 'eye', then our first expectation would be to see **yVkw-. This, with partial reduplication, is probably the underlying form for OI :kSate:, 'sees' (from *yy(e)kw-t(h)-o-tei; [*t(h) is PL TSHO, 'turn in a circle'); there are, among a few others, also compounds like prti:ka-, 'opposite', from *proti+ikw-, and ni:ka-, 'front', from *eni + *ikw-. But OI also has forms that suggest **HVkw[t(h)]-, with A in its secondary manifestation in PIE: OI kSi, 'eye' (for 'pair of surveyors'), PIE *kwt(h)-i-; and when dual -*yV has drawn the stress-accent, **okw-y, seen in Greek sse, 'pair of eyes'. The secondary laryngeal *H was probably phonetically realized as /?/, and perhaps did not lengthen the following vowel so that Ablute to *e and *o and *Ø (Albanian s, 'eye') are to be expected. As a result of these analyses, we can reconstruct PL A-XHA, 'eye-press together' = 'squint at/focus intensely'. Accordingly, Sumerian '(pair of) eye(s)' should be indicated as EG *g[~]4/k3ê, 'eye', with the ES correspondent *-pê5; PIE 'eye' should be reconstructed as *y/He/okw-.

4. (K?XO): EG medial and final *g = ES b.

Now we can look at EG dugud, 'heavy', which corresponds to ES Since I believe that the equation EG uES i is valid, I will emend to ES form to * In my opinion, this should contrast with EG aES e (for *ê) and EG iES . The equation which has been proposed, EG iES u, with only one example that I can see (EG i3 = ES u2, 5) is almost certainly wrong because of the injunction to avoid u (/u/) for females.

Now, let us look further at EG *dugud, which has the ES equivalent * (for *zi(~)2-p2-da), meaning 'heavy'. To begin with, I analyze *zi(~)2.p.da as containing what Sumerologists call the 'subordinate mar form' in -i-da; an example of which would be: e2-a-ni du3(for *d3)-da ma-an-dug4, 'he has ordered me to build his house.' Thus, we have 'something to dugu-/zi(~)2bi-'. The sign used to write *dugud(a) is Jaritz #791, which depicts a 'large stone': dugu-d(a) [for *tu(n)k-d(a)], 'heavy' ('to be pulled by a thong') (#791). The semantic analysis of this compound leads me to '(needing to be moved through) being pulled (by a thong since it cannot be easily lifted and carried)' as a paraphrase of 'heavy'. This, in turn, points to PIE *t(h)Ngh--, 'heavy', which I analyze as PL TSHO-NA-K?XO(-FA), 'stretch around-thing-hole' = '(looped) thong' = '(what is to be) move(d) by thong(s)' = 'heavy (thing)' / 'pull by (looped) thongs'; the final PIE -* probably represents PL FA, frequentative/iterative, which is used to form adjectives (perfective participles) from nouns in PIE; it is impossible to tell if it is a part of the Sumerian form but it is doubtful; accordingly, formally, it means something like 'thonged', interpreted as 'brought by having put thongs around' then 'moved by means of thongs'. Formally, *t(h)Ngh-- is derived from *t(h)engh-, 'pull, stretch, span'; and with this meaning, we see it in Egyptian 'nxm 'live'. This interpretation is made doubly certain by 'nx, 'sandal-strap, *thong': 'nx, 'sandal-strap, *thong, live' (#S34). Gardiner #S34 is used to write both words. We even have Egyptian 'nx.w, 'blocks of alabaster', which suggests the meaning '*heavy things'; while 'nx, 'captive', in view of its determinative, Gardiner #A13, 'standing (or kneeling) man with arms tied behind his back' (#A13): 'nx, 'captive, *trussed (up)' (#A13), and 'nx, 'garland', allows us to assume a meaning of 'truss(ed up)'.

The same root can be seen in PIE *tweng(^)h- (for **t(h)wengh-y-; Germanic *thunkhian), 'restrain, *stretch out (limbs by means of thongs)', which is the basis for English thong. These two words show the anticipatedly variable PIE response {*t(h) and *t(h)w} to PL TSHO.

A final note: I have indicated a possible nasalized vowel (i~) in *zi(~)2-p2-da by (~) to account for the possibility that Emegi -*nku may have become Emesal -*mpi, then -*~pi on its way to -pi2. The regular correspondent to PL TSHE is Sumerian zi. When Emesal modified Emegi tu from TSHO to *ti, the *ti was further modified to zi as if it had derived from TSHE. The finally emended Emegi form will then be *tu(n)k-da, with representing the result of combining u of the root with i of the 'subordinate mar form' in -i-da.

5. I am unable to analyze the components of nig~ir (, 'herald'; nu.gig (mu.gi4.ib), 'hierodule'; and ag4 (ab2), 'heart, intestine'.

The Egyptian sign for A is Gardiner #D5 (later #D6), 'eye touched up with paint' j, '*eye' (#D5 and #D6). I have identified this sign for A through the Pyramid word jj, 'wink', which I reconstruct as PL A-A. This sign is used as a determinative for actions or conditions of the eye.

u, '*shallowly round / circular'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #750) depicts a 'flat or slightly depressed circumscribed area, palm'. It reads u (for *).

Although the archaic sign is somewhat ambiguous by apparently representing an overhead view, the cuneiform sign for u (for *) clearly shows the cup/palm-like nature of the convex depression, turned 90º to the left, viewed from the side: u, '*shallowly round / circular'.

u, '*shallowly round / circular' (#750 original[?]) Accordingly, I believe that the original form of this sign must have been something similar to the depiction at the left; the red asterisk indicates its theoretical nature and non-attested status.

Perhaps this form was accompanied by other similar forms, which had a similar or identical phonetic result, and resulted in readings of e.g. 'setting sun' {u}, [*] from HHO, 'move under'; 'wane (moon)', [*] from HHO, 'move down, rest, sleep'; '(oral) cavity, shaft' [*] from ?O) if the relationship is not purely phonetic.

u-2 (for *-2), '*plant, leaf' (#593)A second sign for FA with the meaning 'leaf/grass' is seen in Jaritz #593, u2 (for *2; but also unknown dialectal * for FE). It depicts a 'section of grass/thatch'; and means, in addition to 'leaf/grass': 'food, pasture, plant(s), herb, (flat) bread, loaf (derived from [flat] bread), strong (hard to break, from 'thatch'; properly from FE)', and from the last: 'wood'.

The Egyptian sign for FA is Gardiner #G43, 'quail chick'; and is "alphabetic" w: w, '*nestling' (#G43); but we should not regard this as signifying a 'chick' but rather an 'occupier of a shallow depression': a 'nest(ling)' from a nest; but *'egg-ling' is also possible. The proper word for 'young bird' is Gardiner #G47, 'duckling', which reads T3, PL KHO-RHA, 'young-bird'.

PIE has a derived word in the form of *wa:(n)g-, 'concave cover', from PL FA-?A-QO, discussed below under K?A. In addition, we have PL FA-?A-E, 'fragile-stative-like' = 'weak, slack', corresponding to PIE *wa:i-, 'weak, suffering'; I can find no cognates in Egyptian or Sumerian for this word unless possibly in Sumerian ge17 (for **g[~]2ê17?; if 'weakness'), a reading of sign #792, discussed under K?A.

There is also the interesting case of PIE *wal- (for **wa:l-), 'be strong, rule'. The first element we can recognize is PL FA-?A, 'be around, be spread out', which we see in PIE *wa:-, 'bend outwards, turn'; and in Sumerian u (for *), 'surroundings, world' (Jaritz #715); and in Egyptian w, 'district, region'. The second element is RHO, 'rise', yielding FA-?A-RHO, 'around-rise' = 'swell around, distend'; presumably, this refers to musculature but also to girth, hence 'large' as well as 'strong'. This can be seen in Egyptian as wr (for *wjr), 'great, large, ruler'. As the phrase wr-jb, 'insolent', shows wr must have included the idea of strength ('strong of heart {better 'diaphragm'}') as well as size. This provides a rationale for why wr is written with Gardiner #G36, 'swallow' wr, 'great' (#G36); it is because of the swallow's unusually distended and forked tail ('swallow-tail').

We have the cognate in Sumerian ul4 (for *l4), 'greatly', written phonetically with Jaritz #11, which depicts a 'cocoon': ul (for *l), '*cocoon, *shell, *sheath' (#11), which represents PL FA-NHA, 'round-cause one's self to be' = 'surround'; PIE *wel-, 'turn, wind (around)' and ul (for *l()), 'swell, (be) distended' (PIE *w(o)l-), written with Jaritz #786: ul(u) (for *l(u)), 'swell up' (#786).

This sign is a combination of Jaritz #750, which reads u (for *), discussed above' and #563, which reads gu4 and gud, and means 'ox, bovine mammal, bull'. By paying attention to the rendering of the pronunciation of a sign by the Mesopotamian scribes, we can often receive valuable hints towards reconstruction. Firstly, the scribes sometimes write q rather than g for the initial part of the syllable; since PL Q became q in Proto-Afrasian, this alerts us to the possibility of a velar nasal, name /ng/. Secondly, the scribes variously write d, t, and T (dotted t) for the final element. This tells us that we may be dealing with t rather than d, and secondly that this t may be velarized or retroflexed, suggesting a derivation from PL THO, 'herd'. I propose that gu4 be emended to *(n)g[~]3 based on these circumstances, representing PL QO-FA, 'pair of testicles', a characteristic for which the bull has recognized. I further propose that gud be emended to *(n)g[~]3t/T, representing QO-FA-THO, '(large, wild) herd of bovine animals/cattle'.

Therefore, when we learn that #563 also reads alad, we can assume that a herd is also meant, and abstract ala (for *l), which we attribute to PL HHA-NHA, 'water-buffalo', 'water buffalo'. However, in view of the frequent vocalization of #786 as ulu (for *l), it is to suspected that there has been a confusion with a theoretical HHA-RHO, 'water-antelope', presumably a 'water-buck', a type of antelope that frequents marshes. On the strength of the reading *l for #786, I am going to emend alad to *alud, abstract *alu (for *l), 'waterbuck', so that the combination of #750 (*u) and #563 (*l) yields *l (written ulu) for #786, 'swell up, be distended'.

There is additional support for the existence of HHA-RHO, 'water-buck'. In Pokorny under *el-, 'color term', we find Old Indian RSa-H, 'buck antelope', for which I reconstruct the rather redundant PIE *Halk^(h)e(:)- for PL HHA-RHO-KXHE, 'water-antelope' + 'deer'. Interestingly, though other branches of IE developed *l from PL RHO, Indic retains and de-aspirates it to r.

To return to 'cattle', Sumerian gu4 (for *(n)g[~]3), representing PL QO-FA, 'pair of testicles', we have the Egyptian gw, 'class of bull'; this was, no doubt, a 'breeding bull', to judge by the terminology. The PIE cognate is *gwo/o:u- (for **(n)gou-), 'cattle'. Just as we see that PL THSO and T?SO have an outcome in PIE as *t(h)w- and *dhw-, apparently QO appears in PIE as *gwo:, with the lengthened vowel as compensation for the elided nasal element. PIE records *gwo:[u]-to-m for 'herd of cattle', thereby supporting our analysis of gud (for *(n)g[~]3t/T) as 'herd of cattle'.

One further remark: further support for our gender analysis of QO-FA as 'pair of testicles, bovine bull', is that separate , unrelated words are used for 'cow, female bovine': the apparently commonest being ab/p2 ab2, 'cow, engender, bear (child)', which has additional meanings of 'engender, bear (children)'. Contrary to Jaritz who considers this sign a 'cattle head with descending horns', it appears to be a 'bicornuate bovine uterus/womb', which complements the base meaning for 'bull': ap2 (for *p2), 'bovine uterus', from PL HHA-P?FO, 'water-place', '(bovine) uterus'.

Egyptian probably has this same word, which is Gardiner #F45, 'bicornuate uterus of heifer', written ideographically so that the correct reading is not known; we propose *jb(.t), 'bovine uterus, cow', recognized meanings for the sign. Its semantic analysis as 'water-place' is supported by the sign Gardiner #N41, 'well full of water', a cup-shaped sign with zigzag (water) lines across the interior top, used for 'vulvae, woman'.

The Egyptian sign for 'womb' shows the bicornuate form of the bovine uterus clearly: *jb.t, 'bicornuate uterus, bovine womb, cow'.

Another Egyptian sign for FA in the sense of 'leaf, fragile' is Gardiner #M42, 'flower (better, 'four leaves/petals' but also quite possibly 'garland')': w(n), '*flower (leaves)' (#M43); this sign is usually reads as wn, and we shall see it in *wn for 'food [vegetables]', discussed under QHE below. In the sense of 'treat tenderly (as if fragile)', it is seen in PIE *wen-, 'love'. In the sense of 'fragile', we can notice Egyptian wn, 'be plucked or stripped off (of eyebrows and of tree-branches)'; here, I believe we should emend the meaning to 'liable or easy to be stripped off through fragility' = 'brittle(ness)'.

Finally, we may notice Egyptian wnb, translated as 'flower'; this word has, as a determinative, #M30, a 'sweet-tasting root': determinative for sweet-tasting root (#M30). This is very probably a representation of the rhizome or underwater root of the lotus, which is still eaten with relish in many parts of Asia. Egyptian wnb is analyzable, I believe, as FA-NA-P?FE, 'flower/stem-leaf-foot/digit' = 'root'. Egypt was truly the 'Land of the Lotus-Eaters'.

A derivative from this that is important from the standpoint of early social organization is FA-NO(-KHO), 'leaf/flower-basket'/collective plural(-'little'), 'garland of leaves/flowers(-circlet=wreath)', a visible sign of societal approval and status. This is the source of PIE *wenek-s, 'king'; Sumerian un/uku3 (for *(n)(u)ku3), 'king', written with Jaritz #578, a combination of #599 ('house') and #133 ('tree, *tall') = '*royal palace, (perhaps, '*granary'), king': un/uku3 (for *n/(n)ku3, '*royal palace, *wreath, king' (#578); PIE *wen6-, 'be victorious' (FA-NO-?A with stative; 'garlanded')

If Jaritz #599 depicted a 'granary', from which the king derived his authority and power by controlling the storage and allocation of grain surplus for the community, Sumerian un might reflect PL E-FA-NO, 'plant-stem-'set'-stored', so that un would be better reconstructed as *n; this, then, would be a repository of unthreshed grain stalks stored as originally reaped. The first element of this theorized compound would correspond to PIE *yewo-, 'grain, particularly barley'.

In Egyptian, we might think of jw.y.t, 'sanctuary', as originally denoting temple grain storage facilities.

More to the point, Egyptian has a sign which is Gardiner #O28, 'column with tenon at top', which is perfectly plausible until one notices the V-shaped groove at the top of the 'column' which could serve no architectural purpose of which I am aware; nor have any such columns with grooves at the top been actually found in Egypt as far as I know: jwn,. We must confess that if the cylinders are grain storage silos as I suspect, we have no explanation for the grooves associated with that use unless it be a religious symbol. There is, of course, nothing to preclude such a 'silo' actually becoming an architectural feature: decorative or functional. An additional consideration to weigh in this question is the fact that jwn, written with #O28, is the basis for the names of, at least, five ancient Egyptian cities: Heliopolis, Thebes, Latopolis, Hermonthis, and Denderah. As 'pillared' city, this seems a bit excessive; as 'storehouse' city, to me, it does not.

We have this root in Egyptian wn(-)pw, '*it is a wreath/garland = victory, triumph'; in wn, 'wreath/garland' = 'victor/king' (on the Narmer palette); and, in the king's name Wenis (wn-js, 'victorious indeed'; wn could, however, represent FHO-NA, 'fast/fleet one'/FA-NO, 'round-stored' = 'granary' = 'palace' = 'king'); these (and probably, wn-js also) are properly written with #M42, 'flower(-wreath/garland), Gardiner #M42, 'flower(-garland/wreath)': wn,. This multiply attested usage explains the significance of a rosette in Middle Eastern art and iconography. Spelled with the 'hare', wn also is the Egyptian word for 'open'. Since the determinative is #O31, 'door(-leaf)', this word seems to be describing a 'swinging open', and, is surely related semantically to wnwn, 'sway (swing) to and fro'. And this, in turn, is almost certainly related to PIE *wel-, 'revolve'. We analyze this as FO-NHA, 'curl-cause one's self to be' = 'revolve'. It should be noted that the same sign, 'hare', here being used to render FO, is properly is FHO.

ga2, '*jaw, basket'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #458) depicts a 'tubular basket'; a variant, #458a, tapers toward the top; both have top-covers; both presumably and read ga2 (among others). Another recorded reading for it is pisan, which means 'basket' but perhaps also '*shallow tray'.

An archaic variant form for Sumerian sign above (Jaritz #458), ga2, 'jaw(?), *basket (tray)', Jaritz #458a, looks very much as if it could be the 'head' without the hair and neck we see in Jaritz #15 under K?XA; and therefore might be a sign for 'jaw'; but it also may be just another shape of 'basket'. As mentioned below under K?XA, the most promising prospect for 'jaw' in Sumerian is ga14, a reading of Jaritz #15 that is currently without an assigned meaning. I believe the the idea of 'jaw' provided the prototype and nomenclature for a 'shallow basket tray' but there is no trace of this meaning ('jaw') for this Sumerian sign.

The Egyptian sign for K?A is Gardiner #V31: k, '*jaw, basket with handle', which shows a 'wickerwork basket'; and is "alphabetic" k. Presumably, ktkt, 'quiver', is a further derivation.

PIE provides clear indications of the meanings we have assigned to K?A . In PIE *gan(dh)-, 'container'(?), which is reconstructed from Celtic and Germanic only, we have listed Dutch kaan, 'boat' (MHG Kahn). These words clearly show that the PIE source should be emended to **ga:n- for PL K?A-?A-NA/NO(T?SO), 'shallowly depress-stative-thing/bowl(-formant of tools)'. That this analysis is accurate is shown by Danish kane, 'sled (perhaps, toboggan)', another object with a shallow depression and gently curving edges. Finally, there is Icelandic kani, 'bowl, flat (shallow) dish'. When we remember that woven utensils preceded ceramic ones, this also is easily linked.

The predicted form for Sumerian, gan (for *gn), '*boat', is probably seen in zi-gan, '(boat's) rudder', since zi, by itself, means 'rudder'. As we shall see so often, the sign for gan (Jaritz #271), properly reads kan (for *kn). This we conclude from its depiction of 'reed jug over a waist with two legs', indicating a 'jug of reed being carried'; we shall see below that the 'waist with two legs' is an addition due to its secondary reading of gan. However, the 'reed jug' shows that part of the compound sign is derived from PL KXHA-NA, 'pointed-thing' = 'reed'.

Although Pokorny does not list it, American Hertitage Dictionary does list it as PIE *kanna (probably for *k(h)a:na), and derives from it Greek knna, 'reed, cane'. Though Pokorny (I: 351) suggests a loan from Germanic for Late Latin canna, 'reed, cane, type of vessel', almost certainly the reverse process took place for the meaning 'reed, cane'.

For 'boat', Germanic may be the source of canna. The word from which OHG channa, 'jug', was borrowed is based on PL KXHA-NA-T?SO, 'pointed-thing-tool' = '(pointed, carrying) jug, amphora'; seen in Greek kntharos, 'drinking cup'; and we should reconstruct PIE *k(h)a:ndh-, 'jug', seen clearly in Frankish cannada, 'jug'.

I think the reasons for this association of ideas should be obvious: reeds were hollow, and could be used for jugs by merely cutting off a section at the top, and were sealed naturally at the bottom. The Egyptian cognates, such as Hn.j, 'reed', Hn.t, 'cup', and Hn.w, 'jar', will be discussed under KXHA.

The activities we would expect to see associated with 'jaw' are 'biting, eating, chewing'. It is easy to find PIE cognates in these meanings: *geig^-, 'bite', is reduplicated K?A-E, 'jaw-like' = 'bite/biting'.

One of the important uses of E is to derive adjectives/participles from nouns which can, in turn, be used as verbs.

In the case of this word, the adjectival use is transparent in Old Irish ge:r, 'sharp, sour', which is derived from *gig^-r (from *gigy-r), with augmentative RO. A Sumerian cognate can also be found in gig (for *gêg), 'to be sick', Jaritz #792 gig (for *gêg), 'to be sick', which is composed of Jaritz #770 (ge6 for *x, PL KHE-E, 'gray-like' = 'black'), 'black', which depicts the 'the dome of the sky with marks indicating rain' + (strangely oriented: vertical perforations rather than horizontal; i.e. perforations parallel rather than in line) version of Jaritz #701 (nunuz, PL NO-NO-T?SA, '(hanging) nest-bowl-body' = 'egg'), 'ovoid bead, egg', which depicts 'two rows of two horizontally perforated beads'; this suggests an illness which causes painful ('biting') black pustules or blisters to form on the body, possibly Black Pox. A reading of z(a) for the final element of the compound is reinforced by Jaritz #957, za, 'body, seed with hull/nut, egg' (#957), which reads za, and means 'jewel, necklace(-bead), seed with hull/nut', and resembles Jaritz #701 closely.

For 'chew', PIE has *g(y)eu- (also *g^(y)eu-), which is PL K?A-E-FA, 'jaw-like' = 'bite' + frequentative/iterative, 'bite repeatedly' = 'chew'. This is Sumerian gu7 (for *g7), 'eat', gu7, 'eat' (#55) Jaritz #55, written with Jaritz #15 and Jaritz #970, 'food'. Though I am very reluctant to assume combinatory changes except as an explanatory last resort, it seems relatively certain that PL K?A-E-FA can be seen in Egyptian Hw, 'food'. Though we would normally expect the Egyptian correspondent to have the form *kjw, the pronunciation of this word, /k-'jau/, would have been nearly identical to Hw, /'ka-u/; and to add further support to this argument, Hw is determined with Gardiner #F18, 'tusk of elephant', which also determines 'tooth' and 'bite'. Presumably the tusk was correctly regarded as a tooth. In line with this pattern, Sumerian zu2 . . . gu7 ('tooth-eat') means 'chew'.

Another example of the same process is found in PL K?A-E-MO, 'cup-like' = 'vulva(e)' + 'human' = 'female'. Again, we would expect Egyptian *kjm, but apparently, the pronunciation was /kja-'ma/, very close to Hm, /ka-'ma/; and so we find it as Hm.t, 'woman, wife'. Adding support to this analysis is that Hm is written with Gardiner #N41, 'well full of water', a cup-shaped sign with zigzag (water) lines across the interior top *Hm.t (*kjm.t), 'vulvae-human, woman'.

Sumerian is more explicit in Jaritz #919, which means 'woman, wife', and pictures an inverted triangle representing the vulvae; one of its readings is gimu (for *gêm) gimu (for *gêm), 'vulvae, woman'. This word can be seen in PIE *g^em(e)- (from **gyem-), 'marry' (i.e. 'take to wife').

An additional example is more problematical but, at least, somewhat probable. We start with PL K?A-E-NO(-?A), 'basket-like' = 'womb' + 'store' = 'carry (a child)'(-stative), 'bear a child' ('be pregnant'). This corresponds easily to PIE *g^no:- (from **gyen:-; listed under *g^en-), 'engender, bear (young)'. The Egyptian cognate is Hn(w).t, 'mistress, *progenitrix'. I have put the (w) in parentheses because the sign with which it is written, Gardiner #W24, 'bowl', is reads both nw and jn; and in this particular case, in my opinion, represents jn, modifying Hn to *Hjn; again, the expected *kjn, /kyn/, is very close to /kn/ (Hn). We have discussed Jaritz #271, 'a reed jug over waist with two legs', above. It exemplifies a 'reed jug being carried'. But it can also be interpreted as 'carrying/storing a basket-like/womb'; and with this interpretation reads gan (for *gn *'gnu *'gyanu 'gainu) , 'bear young'.

There is further the example of *gar-u4, 'bread, food', which reads gar. It occurs in the combination gar-u4, which means 'bread', i.e. 'food'; and corresponds to Egyptian k3w, 'food'; and to the first element of PIE *greu-s-, 'grind teeth (once), crush' (PL K?A-RE-FA, 'jaw-apply' = 'crush' + frequentative/iterative = 'grind up'); the simplex can be seen in Sumerian gar, 'crush apart, chew apart'; and PIE *(s)ker-, 'cut, bite'. Egyptian k3w is once written k3; and if this is not simply a defective spelling, it represents the simplex also.

We should not expect to find a representative of the PIE final -*s formant in Sumerian or Egyptian; and lacking comparative data, we can only speculate. But in view of the PIE association with 'groats', the final -*s may well be PL SE, 'seed'. On the other hand, it may be the singulative SHE, reducing a repeated action to one single action.

PIE *g(y)eu- provides the basis for derivatives meaning 'jaw' in several derived languages; and presumably we have a designation of the 'jaw' as 'chewer'. Sumerian gu3, which is a reading of Jaritz #15, may mean 'jaw' as 'chewer' however it is more likely to be (n)g[~]3u3, '*skull' (PL QO), since, when it is preceded by Jaritz #684, which reads ug4 (among others), the result, ugu (for *(n)g[~]3u), means 'skull, top', and more specifically 'pate of the skull'. I believe this represents PL FA-?A-QO, 'round-stative = 'rounded portion'-'(of the) skull' = 'pate'. This can be seen in PIE *wa:g- (for **wa:(n)g-), 'concave/rounded cover, lid, *skull-section-shaped cap'.

There are additional PIE derivations from K?A that may be mentioned which may or may not have cognates in both Sumerian and Egyptian. PIE *ger-, 'put together, collect' is PL K?A-RE, 'shallow-depressed' = 'designated spot' + 'bring down on' = 'put in one demarcated spot', Sumerian gar, 'heap up' (Jaritz #970), Egyptian in k3.t, 'work' (determinative is Gardiner #A9, 'man steadying a tub on head' [see below under KHE]);

PIE *gal- (for *ga:l-), 'call out, sing out' is PL K?A-?A-NHA, 'cup'-stative = 'cupped (hands)' + 'vibrate' = 'call out'; Sumerian *gala (for *gl), 'lamentation singer'; possibly Egyptian knj, 'be sullen', if *kjn; there is also Egyptian kj, 'cry out', which corresponds to Sumerian gi4 (for 4), 'answer', and PIE *ga:- (in Old Indian ga:ti, 'sings') and *ga:i- (in Old Indian ga:yati, 'sings'), 'cry out'; this is PL K?A-?A(-E), 'cup-stative(-like)', 'to make cupped hands (to sing, call out)'.

From K?A-E-P?FO, 'cup-like-formant of place names' = 'place of eating' = 'feast, mouth', we have PIE *g^ebh-, 'jaw, mouth, eat'; Egyptian Hb (for *kjb; for H from kj, see above), 'festival (feast)';

Two words we might suppose to be included here, probably should not be: PIE *g^en-u, 'chin, cheek, knee, corner, angle' (two entries in Pokorny), is probably to be derived from PL QE-NA-FA, 'pointedly-angled-thing-set' = 'pair of jaws'; the ancients believed that the jawbone consisted of two pieces. Evidently, the chin or knee was the secondary prototype for a right angle, the angle created by the slope of the female breast against the chest being the primary prototype for an acute angle in a triangle.

This is explicit in the Egyptian sign for q, Gardiner #N29, 'sandy hill slope' q, 'sandy hill-slope', alphabetic q (#N29).

Without the final element (-FA), QE-NA can be rather clearly seen in the Sumerian word gin2 (for *(n)g[~]3in2), Jaritz #968: (n)g[~]<sup>3</sup>in2, 'right angle, stand' , 'bend, carry, beat down (for this last, cf. Egyptian qnqn, 'beat out, flatten'; and PIE *gen- [for **g^en-; only Germanic], 'press together, crease together, pinch', with the extended form *gn-ebh- , 'practice pederasty, take advantage of a woman [presumably through anal intercourse]')', which suggests an interpretation for the sign as a 'bent balance-stand for scales or a pannier'. In Egyptian, we have the same word with a further extension seen in Germanic: qnb, 'bend, subjugate (beat down)', and in qnb,t, 'corner, angle'. The determinative for these words is Gardiner #O38, 'corner of wall', which is virtually identical to Jaritz #968 without the hatching on one leg in a mirror orientation. The final element here is PL P?FO, 'formant of place names'. We have this final element in PIE *g^embh-, 'set of teeth, jaw(s), bite'. Here the *-n- of *g^en- has assimilated to final *-b- by becoming *g^em-.

Finally, we have PIE *geid-, 'stick, tickle, bite', probably represents PL K?A-E-T?A, 'jaw-like' = 'bite' + 'press down' = 'bite'; this contrasts with PIE *g^eid- (for *(n)g^eid-), 'suck' ( QE-E-T?A, 'milk-like' = 'suck' + 'press down' = 'suck').

ka, 'hair'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #15) clearly depicts a 'head and neck in profile with hair around the mouth', and reads ka (among others), i.e. a '*beard (for 'hair')'. The sign has apparently expanded its meaning to 'mouth', which is recorded for it, while transferring to 'mouth' the reading of ka. A reading with a closer relevance for 'mouth', however, is still recorded for this sign: ga14 for K?A, '*jaw' = 'mouth', which reading, however, is currently without any assigned meaning.

Jaritz #594 (see QE below), which depicts a 'skin bag for churning milk into butter', and reads (among others), ka3, has the recorded meanings of 'hair, wool', though not associated together. Since the sign has no connection ideationally with 'hair' except through barely plausible 'fur' on the skin/leather of the bag, this must be attributed to a rendition of PL KHA-HHA, 'goat/strong-smelling-water' = '(probably soured) milk (for cheese)/curd/clabber', i.e. *k3.

However, this does support the idea that the reading ka for Jaritz #15 should be assigned to 'hair'. Sumerian ka is also used for 'face', which I derive from 'hair'='beard' rather than from 'jaw/mouth' though we cannot be certain. In addition, we must notice the reading of zu2, 'tooth/teeth' for this sign. This suggests, rather than an incorrect assignment of meaning per se, rather a failure to be able to differentiate among all archaic variants of this sign.

As 'hang', it is seen in ka2, meaning 'city-gate' (Jaritz #234): ka2, 'portcullis' (#234) It depicts a 'gate' (better 'portcullis'), composed of a sign meaning 'wall' (Jaritz #579) over 'fall' (Jaritz #111, which depicts a 'bent throwing stick'). In IE, it is seen as *gh6-, 'yawn, gape', a zero-grade of **gha[:]-, '*hanging' (PL K?XA + ?A, stative).

I do not indicate the reconstructed PIE 'laryngeals' (a misnomer) with H1, H2, and H3 for facilitation of search throughout this essay; and secondarily because I do not subscribe to the theory of 'coloring laryngeals'. Rather, I believe, Nostratic vowels lengthened by adjacency to glottals, laryngals, and pharyngals, were maintained with Nostratic vowel quality intact, while short vowels became subject to Ablaut: *e/*o/*Ø.

As 'hair', it can be seen in IE *ghait(h)a:- (for **gha[:]it(h)a[:]), 'lock of hair, mane' (PL K?XA?A-E-TSHA, 'hang-stative-like=hairy+elongation'); and in **ghais- (for **gha[:]is-; K?XA?A-E-SO, 'hang-stative-like=hairy+cover') in Avestan gae:sa, '(curly) locks'.

This last word is found further compounded in Egyptian nHs.y, 'Nubian' (for *njHjs.y), PL NO-E, 'stored-like' = 'no' + K?XA-?A-E-SO-E-?A, 'locks-like-cover' = 'place of no locks' = 'bare-necked', an apt description of many African populations. The initial element, *njHj is written with Gardiner #G21, the 'Sennr guinea-fowl', which was selected because it has no feathers on the top or back of its head: *n(j)H(j)(s), '*no hair/mane, Sennr guinea-fowl' (#G21). There may be a faint echo of this word in Modern English nix, 'water-spirit', since a derivation from PIE *neigw-, 'wash', seems semantically highly unlikely.

In my opinion, the definite possibility exists that the Latins may have had a related word in niger, 'black', which, however, was not preferred to the geographical term Aethiops as a designation for Africans. It might be a result of a development of PL NO-E-K?XA-RHE, 'no' + (back) hair' (see below) from a PIE *neigher-; currently, its origin is considered problematical.

The Egyptian sign for K?XA, Gardiner's #V28, 'hanging hank/wick of twisted flax/hair/rope', which is used alphabetically for H, is H, '*wick' (#V28).

A sign (Gardiner #D1) depicting a 'head in profile', H(3), '*hair (at back of head)' (#D1), is used as a determinative for H3, 'back of head' (PL K?XA-RHE, 'hair-fall' = 'mane'). An earlier form of this sign, not included in Gardiner's list, brings out even more clearly the idea of 'hair': H, '*mane' (#D1 [OK]). This word can also be found in Sumerian as gar3, 'knob, *hair-bun, hair-lock at back of head' (for *kar3), in an archaic variant (#627a) of Jaritz #627, which depicts 'hair tied at the back of the head': kar3, '*hair-bun, hair-lock at back of head, knob' (#627a); this is, presumably, K?XA-RE. PIE apparently has this word also but in a fuller form: K?XA-E-RE, seen in **g^her- (for **ghyer-; listed under *g^hers-) in Armenian jar (*g^heri-), 'horse's mane'; Germanic *he:ram, 'hair', probably derives from an s-mobile form which has lost the initial s- that is, however, still retained in North Germanic *skerza, the source of Modern English scare ('have hair stand on end'). The simpler form, K?XA-RE is seen in *ghers-, 'disgust', and *ghers-, 'prickly weeds'; and *gher-, 'stick out' (as opposed to *gher-, 'grow'). However, RA, 'tall', or RE, interpreted as 'scratch', may be better analyses for some of these above; in *g^hers-, 'bristle out', the final -*s is probably SHA, 'state/condition', but without non-PIE cognates, we cannot conclusively decide the matter one way or another.

ma, '*breast, *flatly round / circular' (#639)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #639) clearly depicts a 'full female breast in profile' though this meaning is not recorded for it; instead, we find 'land' (from 'mound'); 'call' (really **m from MHA, 'signal, warn'); 'date/fruit' (really **m from MA-?A, 'full-stative' = 'ripe (fruit)'; among others with less obvious connections. It is understandable that 'land' would be characterized as 'mound' by people living beside an annually flooding river. One variant of the sign even has the sign for water/liquid written within the breast outline ma, '*breast'. This PL morpheme, in the meaning 'breast', or the related meaning of 'nurser' or 'mother', occurs around the world in easily recognizable form since m is a consonant that has undergone relatively few phonological changes, for whatever reasons.

The idea that this is merely Kinderstubensprache must be emphatically rejected. While it is true that a baby is to be expected to eventually utter /ma/ without the slightest idea of what it might signify, adult encouragement and reinforcement teaches the baby to attach the meaning of 'mother' and 'nursing' to /ma/. It is usually seem in extended form: in PIE, *ma:- and *ma:ma:, 'mother' but also 'breast', we have the reflex of PL MA-HA, 'breast-to be a ...' = 'nurser' = 'mother'; in Egyptian, mw(.t) is PL MA-FA, 'breast-set' = 'breasts' + -.t, the Egyptian feminine suffix (PL THO, 'herd[-member]'; there was a distinct gender bias among PL speakers; while males had individuality, females were categorized as undifferentiated and interchangeable members of a 'herd'). Sumerian ama, 'mother', is PL ?A-MA, 'family-breast' = 'mother' (which is also seen in PIE *a:m(m)a:, 'mother' and '(wet-)nurse(r)').

We can probably see the basis for the Egyptian word, MA-FA in a theoretical PIE **meuma:- as the basis for OHG muoma, 'maternal aunt' (MA-FA-MA-HA, since sisters were expected to help with nursing when possible. In fact, any any derivation from this root simultaneously refers to 'motherhood' and 'breasts/nursing'.

Another common derivation is represented by PIE *ma(:)n-, 'breast' (PL MA-(HA-)NA, 'breast(nursing-)thing' = 'breast'. With the addition of PL T?SA, 'formant of bodily parts', this is found as Egyptian mnD (probably *mjnD), 'breast', which (without HA) corresponds to PIE *mend-, 'breast' (to explain PIE *d for *dh, please see Note 2.). A slightly different combination seems to mean 'suckle', PL MA-(HA-)NA-TSHO, 'breast' + 'stretch around' = 'suckle'; this is easily seen in Egyptian mn', 'nurse (vb.)'; it (PIE **ment(h)-) possibly is the basis for Albanian ment, 'suckle, suck'.

The Egyptian sign for MA is Gardiner #D27, 'breast', which is used as a determinative and ideographically but never alphabetically, is: m, '*breast' (#D27).

There is also an Egyptian sign for MA-?A in the meaning of 'mound, full/ripe (PIE *ma:-)', which is employed as a biliteral for mj: Gardiner #D38, 'forearm with hand holding a rounded loaf', mj, '*mound, full' (#D38), which is written within a word following (underneath or beside) #G17, 'owl', in some words with initial m(j). This is a graphic reminder of the early Egyptian syllable /ma?/. It occurs in words like m(j), 'take!', really 'make full the hand with!'. This is probably cognate with PIE *em-, 'take'; here, the initial *e- represents PL ?E, for which, see below.

This combination of signs is also used in Egyptian for m(j), a particle usually translated as 'behold'; instead, we should understand it as 'be full with, be aware of'.

In the meaning 'mound/place', we have Egyptian m(j), written with this same sign combination, an enclitic (or sometimes non-enclitic) meaning 'there'.

It appears that simply /ma/, 'be full with', could also occur in Egyptian. It occurs in the phrase m n.k, 'take for you(rself)!', the initial m n is written with Gardiner #T1, 'prehistoric mace with cup- or dish-shaped head' mn, '*pestle, mallet' (#T1) ; this is possible but not probable. Egyptian maces HD, 'mace' (#T2 and #T3)have very distinctive pear-shaped heads; it is far likelier that #T1 is a 'pestle for pounding or rubbing grain into flour', and, as such is cognate with PIE *mel(6)-, 'crush, grind', both derived from PL MA-NHE, 'mound(or 'bite on')-slide' = "rub apart/grind",

Another similar combination represents PL MO, '*living creature, human'; it is rendered by the 'owl' (#G17) with #D36, ', 'forearm' ','arm' (#D36). This is PL T?SO, 'arm'. It seems here to be a phonetic determinative, to remind of an earlier reading with /o/ so that the combination represents an earlier /mo(:)/. This combination is then employed to write m, 'who?', which is simply 'human?'. It appears that this became a general interrogative, and was later used also for 'what?'.

The combination is also used to write m(j), 'come!'; here we have MHO in its meaning of 'wander'. This is probably, in the form MHO-E, 'nomad-like' = 'wander', related to PIE *mei-, 'wander, go', but we really expect **mo[:]i-. We do have the further derived form *moin- in river names like Gaulish Moenus and Middle Irish Mon. I can only speculate that PIE **m[:]i- became **moyn-, with the long vowel being shortened through removal of the stress-accent; and when the stress-accent was shifted to the root syllable, *min-, from which *mi- was abstracted.

Whave another combination of 'owl' (#G17) with Gardiner's #D37, 'forearm with hand holding X8' (#X8 is a 'triangular segment of flatbread'): (j)mj, 'give' (#D37). Sign #X8 is used to write dj, 'give, allot', which is PIE *da[:]-, 'divide (better, 'allot'). This is PL T?A-?A, 'put at the side-stative' = "allot(ed)'. It is acting as a semantic reinforcement for an earlier /me/, which represents PL ME, 'push away'. The Egyptian imperative for 'give' is j(-)mj. The initial j represents PL ?E, 'then/there/that', a prefix here indicating the imperative.

This is the PIE *e-augment, which simply indicates non-concomitant time. The final element, mj, represents PL ME-E, 'push away-like' = 'give (in exchange)'. This root is present in PIE *mei-, 'change, exchange'. Interestingly, the phonetic constitution is reinforced by the addition of #Aa13, 'tongue', the earliest Egyptian reading of which would have been /?eme/, which became /?ama/.

Finally, we have Egyptian m, the negative imperative, 'do not!', with no phonetic mater lectionis, only the usual sign for the negative: #D35, 'arms in gesture of negation': n(j), negative, 'not' (#D35). This can be immediately compared to PIE *me:, 'prohibitive'. The PIE form points us to PL ME-HA, 'push away-to be a ... be a rejecter of'; Egyptian m, 'owl', alphabetic m, originally represented MHA, 'gesticulate, warn', Egyptian /ma:/, which would have been identical phonetically to /ma:/ from ME-HA.

na4, 'stone (for *pebble)' (#453)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #453) depicts a 'conical vessel in which oil is allowed to rise to the top' (#456) over a 'rising sun' (#684); and means 'something glistening and shiny' = 'pebble' or 'gem'; it reads 4. In the alluvial plain, all 'pebbles' were valuable because of their scarcity. This compound sign (#453) is used as a semantic determinative with #114 (correctly *ñ) when it (#114) is used to phonetically indicate na in the meaning of '(gem-)stone/crystal[?]'.

For the meaning 'interior', I believe it is possible to suggest na5, a reading of Jaritz #260; see below for more on this suggestion.

The Egyptian sign for NA is Gardiner #O19 (Old Kingdom form illustrated here) and #O20, which show an 'adze': *n, 'adze, *stone' (#O20).

These signs were used to complement the n of nw (see below under NO); this is a semi-alphabetic employment of #O19/#O20 for n. The resemblance to a 'nose' is even more apparent when the Old Kingdom sign is oriented vertically *n, 'adze, *stone' (#O20 vertical) but more importantly, it relates to the meaning 'stone' (probably from the acute angle formed by the end of the nose to the face, a cutting or scraping edge); and we can imagine that this tool is one of the first to be employed and named by our ancestors by attaching a handle to the stone that had been used as a 'hand-chopper'. For completeness sake, here is the later form of the 'adze': *n, 'adze, *stone' (#O19).

ba, '*buttock'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #5) depicts a 'podex with a central line demarcating the gluteal cleft of the two buttocks, with the line extending below as a tail, to make its position on the anatomy clear'; and its primary nominal meaning is 'gluteal cleft', extended to '*buttock(s) ('what is formed by excavation')' for Sumerian *ba, which is, however, not recorded in Sumerian as a reading for these concrete meanings.

Its primary recorded verbal meaning is 'allot (by removing something out of)' . And, in this meaning, it is used with the stative to produce P?A-?A, 'separate by excavation' for verbal use; and nominally, '(half) part', properly 'one of two'. This is Sumerian ba (for *b), 'part'. It can also be seen in PIE as *wa:-, 'wound (gouge out)'.

This root is the basis of English 'wan' ('pale' from loss of blood; literally, 'wound(ed)'); PL P?A-?A-NA, 'split' + 'one'). An interesting further derivation is P?A-?A-T?SO, 'part-hold' = 'guarantee, pawn'; this is seen in PIE *wa:dh-, 'guarantee', and in Egyptian p'.t (*pj'.t), 'patricians', i.e. 'those who hold securities' = 'bankers' (but also possibly, 'pawns/hostages', those held by the king as a guarantee of good conduct by his nobles or more distant potential antagonists).

PIE *b, when it did not develop into *w is seen in Modern English as p; and though these terms would be considered by most linguists as 'nursery words', English has inherited a number of words that preserve the earliest meanings of the PL monosyllables:

A constellation of semantically related meanings was developed from Jaritz #893a, discussed below under KXHO, an archaic sign, one antecedent of which simply depicts a 'pair of buttocks'; a second antecedent of the same sign, apparently, depicts 'two shells of an opened bivalve mollusc'; how these two might have been originally distinguished if, in fact, they were is not known.

It is also possible that the sign was originally only intended to represent 'two shells of an opened bivalve mollusc', with the primary meaning 'slit'; and that all meanings connected with 'gluteal cleft/anus/rectum/buttocks' and related concepts, are secondary.

This sign has the readings ku, 'hole/*anal cavity (K?XO)', and tu(-)kul, 'weapon/*slitter (KXHO) '*spear/*battle-axe'. Since tu is the Sumerian form we would expect as a reflex of PL T?SO, 'arm', and, as a PL suffix or Egyptian determinant, is a formant of tools, we propose an emended reading of *(TU)kulx (for **(TU)klx) for 'weapon', which we interpret as KXHO-NHA, 'sharp-factitive', 'cause one's self to be sharp' = 'be self-sharpening' = 'be (capable of) slitting, *sharp-edged mollusc shell'.

Now PIE KXHO-NHA, 'slit', was also the terminology used for the 'gluteal cleft' (*kl; PIE *(s)kel- [for *(s)ko:l-, cf. *skolya:, 'what is split apart {by making a slit}', seen in Latin cu:lus, 'bottom {really 'gluteal cleft'}], 'cut (by slitting)'. This value of (TU)kul for #893a complemented a reading and value for the sign as a 'gluteal cleft/pair of buttocks'; and a number of unoriginal values and meanings were naturally attracted to it connected with 'pair of buttocks/gluteal cleft/anal cavity/anus'.

Accordingly, Jaritz #893a acquired ku, 'anus/rectum' (PL K?XO), which, at least, had the justification that a 'anus/rectum' is located in the vicinity of the gluteal cleft'; from this reading:

Sumerian *(TU)kl, probably originally restricted to 'axe-blade' (it may be that tu, rather than representing T?SO) designates the spinning motion of a war-axe in flight, PL TSHO), was conflated with *kl, '*spear'.

This was from a different root: PL KXHO-RHO, 'slit(ter)-spring up' = 'sharp implement which springs (by being thrown) into the air' = 'spear', as shown by Egyptian xr, a biliteral written with Gardiner #P8, depicting an '*oar, spear')' xr, 'spear' .

This sign cannot be assigned the meaning of 'oar' only because

PL KXHO-RHO is seen in PIE *(s)kel- (for *(s)k(h)o:l-), which produced (s)ko[:]lo-, 'spear'; and *skol-ma:, 'sword' (or **skol-me: since ME, 'tongue', is a component of words for 'dagger' because of the tongue-shaped end of the blade).

The Egyptian sign for P?A is p is Gardiner #Q3. 'stool of reed matting'; and is alphabetic p: *p, 'mat, base, *reed matting stool'; alphabetic p (#Q3).

As simply 'mat', P?A is also found in Sumerian ba6, a reading of #593 which depicts 'thatch'. This employment is probably the result of a transference from 'gluteal cleft' to 'backside' in general.

ba4 for *pa-x, *chin(?)'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #458a), which we have seen under K?A as ga2, has another reading: ba4 (for *b4), 'house', which we emend to *'mat', corresponding to Egyptian p, 'mat' ('piece'; PL P?A-?A). This, I believe, is an improper assignment of meaning and phonological shape due to a *pax for *'chin' which has not been recorded. Reduplicated (*pax-pax [P?FA-P?FA, 'be prominent'-reduplicated' = 'totally prominent' = 'easily noticeable']), it is glossed as Akkadian bau, 'be present'.

Presumably, some distinction differentiated it for this reading from a reading of ga2, *'chin', but what it was has been lost.

We can see its basal meaning in Egyptian bj.t, 'character, qualities (prominent characteristics)' from P?FA-?A, 'be prominent-stative' ='outstanding'; and in *bj-Hm (for currently read bj), 'good deed', literally a phrase: 'outstanding likewise/assuredly (really outstanding)!', i.e. 'well done!'. For Hm, see below. Both these words are determined by Gardiner F#18, 'tusk of elephant', a more notable exemplar of prominence can hardly be imagined bj, *be prominent, *tusk'.

This is probably an unrecognized Egyptian biliteral for bj but representing originally P?FA-?E, 'chin-tooth' = 'tusk'.

PL P?FA is probably the basis for the well-represented PIE word *bheu-, 'be somewhere', from P?FA-FA, 'be prominent-frequentative' = 'be customarily noticed at' (I have previously reconstructed this PIE root as P?FE-FA, '(place of a) pair of feet'; and it is not certain that this may yet prove to be correct; even an, as yet, unattested Sumerian *pu in an appropriate meaning, could represent either *p or *p; and would not decide the question).

PL P?FA-?A, 'be prominent-stative' = 'shiny', is the basis for PIE *bha:-, 'shine' (but cf. Arabic bahiya [for **ba?iya{?}], 'be beautiful'). The same form P?FA-?A, 'be prominent-stative' is seen reduplicated in Egyptian bjbj, 'acclamation' but also 'symptom of disease'. What is 'noticeable' can have a negative sense, too.

In the positive sense, it is present as PIE *bha:-, 'speak (loudly)' (this may also be P?FA-HA, 'prominent-air' = 'loud'; but cf. Arabic ba?ba?a, 'he (child) speaks'); but loud speaking can be to condemn as well; and the normal Egyptian word for 'bad, evil' is bjn, i.e., 'scold, call attention to'. This same word is still present in English 'ban': PL P?FA-?A/HA-NA, 'outstanding'-stative/'air'-'cause to be'; PIE *bha:n-.

The determinative for Egyptian bjn is Gardiner #G37, 'sparrow' bjn, 'bad, evil, condemned'; this is because the sparrow like some other birds is particularly well-known for its mobbing behavior in response to a predator or perceived danger of any kind. During 'mobbing', a large number of birds will excitedly congregate, incessantly chirp, fly around and even at the animal that has aroused its fears or wrath. This is often an effective defense against and potentially lethal predators like cats.

The Egyptian sign for P?FA is Gardiner #G29, 'saddle-billed stork, jabiru', which is used alphabetically/syllabically for b(3): is b(3), '*prominent' (#G29).

The connection of P?FA, 'prominent', with this stork, is the red, stretchable pouch at the base of the neck a detail that is very clearly brought out in its hieroglyphic depiction. Egyptian b3, 'jabiru', is PL P?FA-RHA, 'prominent-bird' = 'jabiru'. In addition to the pouch, it may be that the idea of prominence was connected to the jabiru because storks will have had the widest wing-span of any bird with which the Egyptians would have frequently come into contact.

For P?FA-?A-RA, 'contrastive', see below.

Another Egyptian sign for P?FA is Gardiner #D53, 'phallus': b, '*phallus' (#D53).

In Egyptian, b33.w.t means 'virility/potency', and is determined by Gardiner #D53, 'phallus (erect penis) with liquid issuing from it', which represents seminal fluid not urine: b3(H), '*phallus' (#D53).

Another derivation from the same root is Egyptian b3H, 'phallus' (for a discussion of this word, see below under K?E); and with the addition of a determinative for abstract concepts, #Y1, 'papyrus rolled up, tied, and sealed': determinative for abstract concepts (#Y1), it means 'presence/prominent appearance' or something closely related. While it is not utterly impossible that a phrase literally meaning 'at the phallus of' was used for 'in the presence of', I find it not very likely.

But there is a PIE word that may help explain the spelling: *bhra(:)g, 'smell, be fragrant'. A phrase like 'in the fragrance of' could well be an intimate way of expressing 'in the presence of'. Based on the PIE form, I reconstruct PIE P?FA-RHA-K?XA, 'prominence-fly up-hang' = 'fragrance/aura'.

A final sign we should look at that relates to P?FA is seen in Egyptian b3, 'hack up, hoe, destroy'. This is PIE *bher-, 'work with a sharp tool, scratch'; and Sumerian bar (for par2), 'cut open, slit, split'; written with a archaic variant of Jaritz #118, #118a: bar (for par-2), 'cut open, slit, split' (#118a). It can be immediately seen that the Sumerian tool is the same as the Egyptian hieroglyph used to determine b3, namely Gardiner #U8 (Old Kingdom form; also #U6 and #U7), 'hoe': *b3, '*pick' (#U8 ). This is surely not a 'hoe' but rather a 'pick' used for harrowing, weeding, and possible seeding. This will be PL P?FA-RE, 'prominence-scratch' = 'scratch apart (clod), harrow'. An interesting ideograph for this meaning is contained is found in Pyramid texts (but not in Gardiner's list): *b3, '*pick' (#U8, '*pick' under #G29, 'jabiru').

ga5 (qa) (for *(n)g[~]a5), '*intestine, measure of capacity, approx. 60 cu. in.' (#103)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #103), reads ga5 (for (n)g[~]3a5) and qa, depicts a 'length of intestine filled with contents, showing both tied ends'; and means 'qa, measure of capacity (approximately 60 in.3)', which I assume is the capacity of a then standard length of intestine, used as a container.

The Egyptian sign for QA is Gardiner #F46, 'intestine'; we have it in our current sources only used as a determinative or word-sign: q, '*intestine, looped' (#F46). It has an unusual number of variants: q, '*intestine, looped' (#F46a, #F47, #F47a, #F48, #F49).

It is used as a determinative for q3b, 'intestine', which corresponds to PIE *grebh- (from *(n)grebh-), 'intestine' (cf. MHG krbe, 'intestine'); both corresponding to PL QA-RE-P?FE/P?FO, 'loop-cause to become-place', 'intestine/intestinal cavity', also 'coils of snake' and 'windings of waterway'.

The sign regarded as alphabetic q in Egyptian derives from QE (see below).

ra (for *r?), '*back' (#609)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #609) is a combination of Jaritz #894, which depicts 'a wheel rim with four spokes' over Jaritz #188b, which depicts a 'lateral view of a curled horn'; and reads ra (possibly for *r; PL RA-?A, 'tall'-stative = 'be tall'). Sumerian ra (or *r) means 'flood' and 'overflow', which relate well semantically to 'be tall'. Other meanings ascribed to ra seem semantically to be more easily connected with 'back', such as 'pack, haul, throw away (put to the back), roll (seal)/stamp (put on the back), beat (belabor the back)' whereas 'impress' seems to relate better to 'be tall'. 'Measure' might possibly relate to 'tallness', and 'stir' possibly to 'make tall', but even more problematical are 'stab' and 'slay', which might mean 'be/attack at/from the back'.

The more precise specification of the spatial relationship is left to the context.

Interestingly, we have PIE *re:-, 'row', which can be visualized as 'beating the water' (but possibly also RE, 'scratch(ed)[?]'). PIE *re:- is the result of *e[:]r- which has lengthened the second vowel as compensation for deletion of the first syllable which occurred after Ablaut modified the second vowel to *e because of the stress-accent placement on it. We can reconstruct PL HE-RA, 'river-beat (on the back)' = 'row'.

This is the usual mixture we see of meanings but, the very composition of the sign itself ('wheel rim over curled horn'), suggests that the primary interpretation of this sign should be 'back' rather than 'tall'.

The latter nuance seems better illustrated by Jaritz #129, which reads ra4; and is discussed in the following paragraph. The sources on which we must rely seem to indicate that rah2, another reading of #609, had the same meanings as ra, which is, of course, slightly unreasonable.

However, one of the Akkadian glosses is rahSu, which means 'flood'. It seems reasonable to assume that, for the meaning 'flood, overflow' (and probably for 'measure'; possibly related to PIE *re/e:k-, 'put in order' ), rah2 was the preferable reading. This would be cognate with Egyptian 3x.t, 'inundation season'. I analyze this as PL RA-KXHO(-THO), 'tall(ness)-cut(-collection)' = 'measuring sticks for water height'; and would further correlate with PIE *rek- (for **rek(h)-), 'stick'. The sign with which 3x.t is usually written is Gardiner #M8, 'pool with lotus flowers', which usually is read (3), but we have other early spellings of (j)3x.t with Gardiner #M15, 'clump of papyrus with buds bent down (beaten down by heavy rainfall)': 3x, '*measure (stick)' (#M15); this seems likely to have been the sign with which it was originally written.

We might also look at Egyptian 3x3x, 'spars (of a ship)'; and 3x.w, 'sunlight (better 'beams [of light])', the beams of which are clearly illustrated by the form of the determinative, Gardiner #N8, 'sunshine (better 'sunbeams')': determinative.

Finally, we should notice the compound ra-gaba, 'rider, messenger'. In this word, gab/p, Jaritz #326: gab, 'chest' (#326). It depicts 'ribs on both sides of the breastbone', means 'chest(-cavity)'.

This can presumably also be seen in Egyptian q(3)b.t (for *qjb.t; cf. Coptic ekibe; spelled also qb.t), 'chest', a late spelling which reflects a long vowel rather than the consonant 3. Therefore, we can reconstruct PL QA-?A-P?FA, 'fold over-stative-prominence' = 'chest cavity', seen again in the PIE s-mobile form *ska:b-, 'container'. This would mean an emendation of Sumerian gab to *(n)g[~]3p. We regard ra-*(n)g[~]3p(-a) as 'back-chest', the very place of a rider and his legs. This was taken over by Akkadian as r-k-b, 'climb up on, ride', but with de-nasalization of the second consonant. The Akkadian form may be due to a borrowing from Sumerian after the medial consonant was de-nasalized.

Another Sumerian sign for RA with the primary meaning 'tall' is:

ra4 (for *r4?), '*tall, *risen (water channel)' (#129) .

The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #129) depicts 'two horizontal berms of a raised channel' (as formerly used in simple desert irrigation) for irrigation water, with a vertical line, above and below, to indicate the slope of the channel-sides from the surface level; an 'aqueduct'; reads ra4 (possibly for *r4; PL RA-?A, 'tall-stative' = 'be tall'); and means, under the currently assigned reading ita3 (for *êda3, PL XA-E-T?A, 'slit-like-hand' = 'tributary of water-channel'), 'water-channel'.

This is also to be found in Egyptian with the word 33, which is currently mistranslated as 'mound of ruins' despite the fact that it is determined with Gardiner #N23, 'irrigation canal (probably, '*(two) furrow(s)')': determinative; the similarity to Jaritz #129 will not go unnoticed. This Egyptian word represents PL RA-RA, 'tall-reduplicated' = 'all tall' = 'tall throughout'.

This sign as reads rad/t/T (for *rd); and reduplicated, means 'bite apart, chew' (but presently read sud2-sud2). This is PL RA-?A-T?O, 'tall-stativelump' = 'pile'. The idea behind this formation is to 'create a pile of material through gnawing': it can be related to PIE *re:d- (for **ra:d-; cf. Latin ra:mentum, 'splinter(s), fragment(s)'; and OHG rato, 'rat'), 'gnaw'.

Here we see a notable pattern: animals are named by their most noticeable effects.

With a different final element, we have PL RA-?A-T?SO, 'tall-stative-arm', which appears to be present in PIE **r6dwo- in Old Irish ard, 'high', in Latin arduus, 'high, steep', and in Avestan 6r6dva-, 'high'. This is reconstructed by Pokorny as *er(6)dh- but I would suggest that *r6dw-, a zero-grade form of **r:dw- is more in keeping with the attested forms. That these 'raised arms' (Sumerian rT) represented raised irrigation canals in Sumer is made certain by the Akkadian gloss of rTu (for *rdu [?]; cf. the triliteral root r-d-?, 'let flow') nukari[bi], 'irrigation canal of the gardener', for Sumerian *Êx.DA.Ñ, 'water-channel-high'.

The Egyptian sign corresponding to RA is 3, '*tree' (#M1), which is Gardiner #M1, and depicts an unidentified and unidentifiable 'tree', which, by itself, strongly suggests a generic meaning of 'tree' for the hieroglyph.

Although originally 3, by the time we have actual attestations, it is always found in conjunction with m so that it should be read as 3m (or j3m). Many Egyptologists consider jm3 as the original form with (unmotivated[?]) metathesis for j3m, 'gracious, charming', based on the fact that it is often spelled with the 'sickle' (#U1).

We have seen under MHA that the 'sickle' may have the reading jmj(3), representing PL ?A-MHA-E(-RE); and I believe that it is to be read jmj3 in this word. I analyze jm3 (for *jmj3 as deriving from PL ?E-MHA-E-RA, 'tooth-bite off-like-formant of color adjectives, 'smiling, *baring teeth'.

This is PIE, in its s-mobile form, *(s)me(:)i-r- (for **(s)ma[:]i-r-), 'smile', in Old Indian sme:ra-, 'smiling'. The spellings suggesting a reading of (j)3m are to be connected with another word which has been, in Egyptian, thoroughly confused with jmj3, but found again in PIE *rem-, 'find favor, be full of love'. This is PL RA-MA , 'shade-place' = 'shady' = 'pleasing, pleased'.

This can probably be seen in Sumerian as ram(a), a reading without a presently assigned meaning for Jaritz #362, ram(a), '*be shady, *pleasing' (#362), a combination sign which, rather incongruously, depicts a ''hand-scoop' (#347) enclosing #339 (a 'burning torch with smoke rising from the top'), signifying the 'heat of passionate love'; it also reads ag2, which, in the phrase ki . . . ag2, means 'to (passionately) love'. This is glossed, however, by Akkadian rmu, 'love'. This correlates with Egyptian *3m(.w) (presently read jm(3).w), 'tent (better: 'place of shade').

This is rather similar in form to the Egyptian word for 'see': m3(3) (for *jmj3(3)), which I analyze as A-MHA-E-RE, 'eye-activity-like-cause to become' = 'become visually active' = 'see', to be found in Latin mi:rus, 'wonderful'. This root has been conflated because of its similar form with *(s)me(:)i-r-, 'smile', by Pokorny; but it should be reconstructed as *(s)ma(:)i-r-, *'look at intently', corresponding to Pokorny's second meaning of 'astonishing, wonderful'.

An interesting derivation from RA, 'tree', is probably found in PIE *re:-mo- (for *ra:-mo; RA-?A-MO, 'shade-stative-to a high degree' = 'highly shaded'), 'dark (well shaded)'; but we also have PIE *rei-, 'colorful' (PL RA-E, 'tree-like' = 'colorful'); and *rei-, 'striped' (PL RE-E, 'scratch-like'); and *re:i-, 'spotted' (PL RHE-E, 'panther/leopard-like').

Words for transportation are built on PL RA-E, 'spine-like' = 'back', as, for instance, PIE *reidh-, 'travel, be in motion, *transport' (PL RA-E-T?SO, 'back-hold').

PL RA, 'spinal column', is also the basis for words meaning 'rib' (RA-P?FO, 'spinal column-leg/bone' = 'rib'). We see it in PIE *rebh-, 'arch over, roof over, rib'. Our ancestors used the ribs of large animals as side and roof framing for hemispherical dwellings. It is also present in Egyptian as 3bd, 'month', where the sign for 3b is Gardiner #N11, a 'crescent moon' or 'rib': 3b, '*rib, (waning) crescent moon' (#N11).

Since the horns point downward, it suggests, contrary to current thinking on the subject, that the month began on the first night of no lunar visibility rather than at the appearance of the first waxing crescent moon. Supporting this idea is the Egyptian festival called psD.(n)tj.w (the 'group of nine' or 'those of the nine'), which is falsely characterized as a 'new moon festival' when the sign with which it is written, #N9, clearly depicts a 'first quarter (half-illuminated) moon': psD(n)tjw, '*first quarter moon festival' (#N9). This form of the moon, incidentally, appears approximately nine days after last lunar visibility. Egyptian psD means 'nine'. The final d of 3bd, 'month', cannot be presently analyzed since we can find no cognate in any related languages to throw light on its meaning.

Another Egyptian sign corresponding to PL RA but in the primary meaning of 'back' is (j)3(.t), '*back' (#F37), which is Gardiner #F37; and depicts 'ribs and spinal cord, with the cord designated by a loop'.

Although there are some spellings with this sign alone, presumably reading *3.t, 'back', the usual appearance of this sign is with initial j (j3.t), perhaps ?E-RA-THO, 'tooth-back-collection' = 'assemblage of vertebrae'.

It also means 'middle (deepest part) of a river or lake'; and this seems likely to refer to 'tallness/depth' rather than to 'back'.

Egyptian j3.t also means 'standard (for elevating cult objects), mound (artificial: shown by the determinative, #F30: j3.t, '(man-made) mound' (#F30)), and elevated official position (office[-holder])'. We also have j3, 'adore (probably better, 'exalt')', which has, as a determinative, Gardiner #A30, 'standing man with arms outstretched upwards': j3, '*exalt' (#A30). The basic meaning here is 'elevate'.

Perhaps to differentiate it from reflexes of RA meaning 'tree', 'back' has been recast in Egyptian as the 'elevated thing' or perhaps 'assemblage of vertebrae'.

The former is a well-distributed root: PL HE-RHA, 'come across from-be suspended' = 'be raised', a formation similar to HE-SHA. This is seen in Sumerian il2 (for l2), 'raise(d) and suspended)', written with Jaritz #595, a combination of #594, a suspended ('skin bag for churning milk into butter') over #968 ('bent balance-stand for scales or a pannier') over #194 ('head [#15 without gnu shading]'): il2 (for *l2), 'raise' (#595). It appears in PIE as *er(6)- (better **e(:)ra:- as in Hittite ara:i, 'raises himself'), '*raised and suspended/upright'.

sa, '*net, sinew, tendon, string' (#169a)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #169a) depicts a 'net made of string', reads sa; and means 'net, sinew, tendon, string'.

The Egyptian sign is Gardiner #O34, 'bolt', z, 'doorbolt, knotted cord' (#O34) , and has the value of alphabetic z; though it clearly pictures a 'cord with a knot'. Strangely, it is not recorded as meaning 'cord' by itself; however, it is recorded with the meaning 'door-bolt'. In some manner, this knotted cord was used to secure a door; or the 'knot' simply joined two pieces which could not easily be separated.

A well-represented root is PL SA-RA, 'sinew/plant fibre-knot' = 'knot' = 'fasten together'. We can see this first in PIE *ser-, 'line up, knot together'. It is also represented by one of the archaic variants that make up Jaritz #281, which reads sar, and depicts a 'knot in a cord': sar, '*line up, write' (#281); It means 'write', i.e. '*line up characters' in a fixed order; there may be a hint of something like quipu here.

In addition, this sign, read as sir3, means 'bind'; I believe this reading should be emended to sar for this meaning. The Egyptian cognate is seen in Gardiner #V16, z3, '(knotted) cattle-hobble': z3, '*knot(s), cattle hobble' (#V16).

Of course, in other roots, the meaning of 'strong' (properly, in the sense of 'unbreakable') is prominent: PL SA-RHE, 'strong-come' = '(move) determinedly', corresponds to Egyptian z3, 'betake one's self to'; to PIE *ser-, 'move one's self quickly and powerfully'; and also to Sumerian sar, 'run, hasten', written phonetically with Jaritz #281, illustrated above.

da, '*hand, (at the) side'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #629) depicts a 'right hand and arm', but most of the meanings recorded for it surely belong to T?A, 'hand, side' rather than to T?SO, 'arm': namely, 'side, with, by, adjacent to'.

An important derivation from T?A is T?A-?A, 'drip'-stative = 'dripping, liquid'. This can be seen in PIE *da:, 'liquid, flow'. With the addition of E, we have T?A-?A-E, 'flow, pour out'. This is Sumerian de2 (for 2), 'pour out', a reading of #635, which properly means 'heat, melt'.

Another important derivation, for its religious implications, is T?A-E, 'hand-like' = 'finger' = 'ray (of light)'; this word may be, in some way, connected with the -d of Egyptian 3b(-)d, 'month', discussed above under RA. This can be seen in Sumerian de3 (for 3), 'gleam, fire, flame, *beam of light', a reading of Jaritz #339, which depicts a 'burning torch with smoke rising from the top': de3 (for *dê3, 'shine' (#339).

In PIE, it appears as *dei-, 'shine, cast rays'. With the addition of FE, 'strong (one)', it is *deyu-, 'the deified heaven' and, with shift of stress-accent, *diwo-s, the 'god(s)'.

This suggests rather strongly that , at least, some of mankind's first gods were visualized as stars. As a result of Sumerian dig[~]2ir, 'god' (with Emesal dimer), written with Jaritz #14, the 'star', we conclude that the medial F was FE and that the final R was not RO, which would have become Sumerian l(u) but RA, the color formant. Therefore, the PL form underlying *dig[~]2ir is T?A-E-FE-RA, 'rayed-strong (one)'-color formant = 'haloed one (surrounded by beams of light)'. This term is probably found in PIE also but rather as 'radiance/halo' than as 'god': *d:i-ro- (from *deiw-ro-, the elided *w lengthening the preceding vowel). This is present in Egyptian also as dw3 (for *djw3), written with #N14, the 'star', 'dawn, morning', i.e. 'radiance'.

It is, however, also possible that Egyptian dw3 is related to PIE *te:ra:, 'star', list under *2. ste:/er-.

The Egyptian sign is Gardiner #D46, 'hand', d, '*hand, give, *thumb(?)' (#D46) , and has the alphabetic value of d; though it clearly pictures a 'hand with slightly upraised thumb', strangely it is not recorded as meaning 'hand' by itself.

However, with a collective or feminine -.t, the meaning of 'hand' is established (*dj.t, 'fingers[?]'). However, Egyptologists believe that what is written d.t is better read as Dr.t, a particularly contentious view in my opinion.

But there is also a D3.t, 'hand, handful', the latter of which meanings is earliest judging by the determinative, Gardiner #D47, 'hand with curved palm'*D3(?), determinative for 'handful' (#D47). For Dr.t and D3.t, see T?SE below.

One source of this confusion is that PL T?SE means 'finger'; and appears in Egyptian as D. The four fingers of the hand are not indicated on #D46 though the thumb is prominent. It is possible and the meaning of 'side' supports this somewhat that the earliest meaning of T?A was '*thumb' rather than 'hand'. In its meaning of 'at the side', T?A seems to be reflected in the PIE nominal ablative case-ending -*(o:)d.

It is interesting to look at the meanings listed under d(w) for Egyptian: 'give, place, put, implant (obstacle), strike (blow), cause to . . .'. 'Implant (obstacle)' and 'cause' suggest a meaning like 'press'. And in Sumerian, as da3, a reading of Jaritz #454, da-3, '*press down'  (#454), depicts a 'peg', or perhaps the cone-shaped decoration pressed into the walls of early Mesopotamian sanctuaries. Among other meanings, we have 'plant, fix upright, impregnate, drive in, fix', which I resolve as specialized applications of 'press (down into) '. These are all assigned the reading of du3 rather than da3 by Sumerologists.

The only meaning assigned to da3 is for the reduplicated da3-da3, 'to be hostile, fierce', which might be interpreted as 'to press hard (in battle)'.

The conclusion I draw from this data is that one of the meanings for Egyptian d is 'press'; and is the appropriate form to relate to the meanings 'implant (obstacle)' and 'cause to . . .'; while dw is properly 'place, put (in place by having pressed)'; and relates to PIE *deu-, 'make'.

But Egyptian dw (for *djw) also represents PIE *do:(u)- (for **da:[u]-), 'give', which is PL T?A-?A-FA, 'hand-stative-'do repeatedly' = 'hand over repeatedly to transfer ownership, give as a possession'; one of the meanings for Jaritz #454 is 'hand over', and du3 (for d3) will be the reading for it, phonetically but not semantically related to Jaritz #454.

Now we have PIE *deu-, 'make', listed incorrectly under 2. *deu- or *dou-, '(religiously) honor, grant, worthy, powerful'. If we assume that one of the meanings of T?A is 'press down', a not unreasonable association of object and activity, we can reconstruct *deu- as PL T?A-FA, 'press down-repeatedly', 'assemble, make'. From this, we would expect Egyptian dw and Sumerian du (for *d). We cannot see Egyptian dw associated with this meaning but when we learn that du3 has the meanings "build, make, do, perform' in addition to those listed above, it seems relatively certain that we can regard it as substantiation the reconstruction of T?A-FA.

There is also the reduplicated du3-du3, which is glossed as a 'ritual activity'. Obviously, this is a phonetic rather than a semantic association. It is immediately apparent that this quite possibly is also a result of PL T?A-FA, and cognate with PIE *deu- or *dou-, '(religiously) honor, grant, worthy, powerful'. We can also point to Egyptian dw3, 'adore', where the final 3 is, in my opinion, a transformative suffix: PL RE, 'cause to become . . .'.

However, in this case, we must probably interpret T?A-FA as 'hands-set' = 'pair of hands' = 'adore'. This may seem a far leap if we do not know the form of the Egyptian determinatives for dw3 which are determinative for dw3, 'sitting adoring man' (#A4) and determinative for dw3, 'standing adoring man' (#A30). It is obvious, I think, that the gesture associated with adoration is presenting the palms of both hands to the object of adoration.

Another important derivation from T?A is T?A-?A, 'press/tear-stative' = 'torn' = 'share'. This is the basic meaning of Egyptian dj, 'provisions', and 'give (really 'allot')'. This extended morpheme can be seen in PIE *da:- 'division, apportionment', which also has the farther extended form *da:i-, for PL T?A-?A-E, 'share-like' = 'allot'. If the Egyptian word has the same constituents, *dy (i.e. *djj) would be the better Egyptian transcription. The sign that read dj(j) is Gardiner #X8, 'conical loaf', which, in my opinion, represents a 'piece torn off flat-bread': dj(j), 'portion' (#X8); and possibly the triangle at the bottom of the sign represents a further division.

This word can be see in Sumerian as *di, Jaritz #807, frequently used in the phrase di . . . kud, 'render a judicial verdict' = 'cut portions'. The sign with which di (for *d) is written, di (for *d), 'portion' (#807), graphically portrays the activity of '(possibly unequal) division of an object into portions'. The idea behind this is making a correct and therefore normally satisfying division of goods or interests.

The idea of 'press (down)' has another application, which provides an important group of derivatives meaning 'heavy': T?A-NA, 'press(ing)-cause to be . . . = 'heavy'. Unfortunately, Sumerian dan is not recognized as meaning 'heavy' but it is a reading of a Sumerian sign, Jaritz #597, that depicts a 'heavy weight on a sledge', but also, quite possibly, a 'pestle and mortar': dan, '*heavy'  (#597), for which meanings given are 'powerful', but also 'difficult', although dan is associated with the reading kala(g) for these meanings.

For our early ancestors, the ideas of 'weight' and 'importance' and 'powerful' were closely related since they did not have the transportation options of today. With a further extension, we can see this root in Egyptian dns, 'heavy, irksome, which is written with the determinative #U32, 'pestle and mortar', showing that 'weight' was equated with consciously applied strong downward pressure: determinative for dns, 'heavy'  (#U32), at least in Egypt.

Finally, we have PIE *dens-, in two meanings, which I believe are semantically related: *dens-, listed in Pokorny as 'high mental powers, wise advice', but some of the derivatives mean 'magical power, miraculous'; I believe we are looking at the same root as discussed above. The second is defined as 'dense', and Hittite has dau, 'strong'. I believe these are all unified under the rubric of 'heavy'. Sheer bulk was equated with strength; and, with strength, power. The -*s suffix is probably PL SO, discussed below as a formant of color-adjectives and nouns; but, just as possibly, 'pull (down)'.

A root that is immediately apparent across the languages under study here is PL T?A-RA(-?A), 'hand-be loose'(-stative) = 'tremble (trembling)'. This is PIE *der- and *dra:-, 'tremble'; and Egyptian d3, 'shake, tremble'.

The Sumerian equivalent will need some additional steps to be identified. Jaritz sign #649 depicts a 'drum', probably similar to the presently still used darabukka, dar-5, '*tremble'  (#649); and reads d/tub/p2; and means 'tremble, make tremble, beat on, break apart, smash'. This is seen in a partial reduplication as Egyptian 'bb, 'knock (on door)'; and in PIE *dheubh-, 'beat, dub'; all results of PL T?SO-P?FE, 'arm-swing back and forth' = 'beat, slap'.

By the conversion and transcription conventions we have proposed, this would result in Sumerian tup2. Now, the cognates we have found in Egyptian and PIE support the notion of 'beating (lightly)' but do not suggest 'trembling'. The sign does, however, have the reading dar5, which perfectly matches *der- and d3, 'tremble' though not matched with this meaning. What I conclude from these facts is that 'vibration' of the drumhead was roughly equated with 'trembling'; and that tup2 meant 'cause to vibrate (by beating)' only by implication. For 'trembling in animals and human beings, the proper term will have been dar5.

Finally, I believe we can see a faint trace of PL T?A, 'hand', in PIE *dek^M-, 'ten', which I suppose to be a compound consisting of **de, 'hand' + *kem-, 'be close together' = 'total' (which I would emend to **k^em-, PL KHE-MO, 'nearby-to a high degree' = 'very close together' = 'total', seen also in Egyptian km, 'total, total up by placing in close proximity').

za, 'body, bead'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #957) reads za, which means '*necklace, bead, gem', and depicts 'two beads on a strand of cord'; it also means 'man', which is the 'economic man': a (warm) 'body'. The 'strand' is equated with the 'body', something holding other things together.

The Egyptian sign corresponding to T?SA is Gardiner #I10, 'cobra in repose', D, 'cobra, *body' (#I10), which reads D, 'cobra' (also D.t, and *D, '*body', which actually has the form D.t, 'body', in the earliest spellings we have. A snake's body, without appendages, captures the idea of 'body' rather succinctly.

ha3, '*gap, *slit'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #750) depicts a number of roughly circular things ('opening to the ear canal; circular depressed area') that may or may not have been originally slightly distinguished in form; and reads, among others, ha3. The sign means 'gap, breach,' which can easily relate to 'slit, trench', though these meanings are not presently associated with this reading. .

Though we have seen this semantic province associated with KXHO ('cut a slit') and P?A, 'naturally occurring slit/groove', the fundamental meaning of XA can be, with difficulty, distinguished as 'larynx', a normally open slit/hole which is volitionally muscularly closed while swallowing, differing in that way from the anal sphincter, a slit/hole, which is normally closed and volitionally muscularly opened. The Egyptian sign corresponding to XA is Gardiner #N37, 'garden pool', , 'trench' (#N37), which reads , '(holding[?]) lake, pool, garden, basin'.

In view of the fundamental meaning of XA, we would expect that Egyptian representing it would evince a meaning like 'lock' or 'holding basin', a method of selectively preventing water from entering a certain area periodically just as the larynx prevents solid or liquid from entering the lungs, and proceeding down into the gastric tract. We can find no trace that this original meaning has been consciously retained in Egyptian.



The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #15) has a number of values and readings, all pertaining to the mouth and items connected with it. One of these is i5, the expected outcome of ?E, and corresponding to the meaning 'tooth', to which the reading zu2/su11 is presently assigned. The reading i5 has no assigned meaning but its form suggests strongly that it is the earliest Sumerian term for tooth.

The Egyptian sign for ?E, 'tooth', is Gardiner #F18, 'tusk of elephant': *j, '*tooth, tusk', which is, however, in the sources presently at our disposal, only used as a determinative.

i-5 (for *-5), '*voice, speech'(#15)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #15). i5 serves for two meanings with oral associations: 'tooth', seen above under ?E; and 'voice, speech, diaphragm', for which we propose the emended reading *5. The meaning 'diaphragm' that also properly belongs to E has been taken over by E-P?FE, 'diaphragm/voice'-formant of place feature names = 'diaphragm' (see below).

However, simple *, 'voice, speech', does occur as a phonologically inspired reading under other signs that have no semantic connection with it: as i for *, speech, speak, mind', for example, as a reading for Jaritz #270, which means '*both, *many, *all' and '5' (PL A, 'eye(s)(-socket[s]), both, all, many'); and depicts simply 'five strokes': ia, '5, *both, *many, *all' (#270); and which also reads ia (for PL A-?A, 'many'-stative = 'be many'), '5'; and, getting back to the first meaning of 'both eyes': 'awe-inspiring, grandiose ('sightly')'. This is the source of the PIE nominal dual forms in -*i: from 'both' (no 'laryngeal as is presently reconstructed); and as 'all', aberrant nominal plural forms in -*i: for Latin and Celtic; and pronominal plural forms in Balto-Slavic, Greek, Latin, and Celtic; as 'many', *-ye/o-, it serves to produce durative stems from aorist stems in PIE verbs. In Egyptian, -j- serves to form duals from masculine plurals in -w (-wj) and feminine singulars (really large definite animate plurals) in -t (-tj). The reading i2 (for *2), meaning '5', also occurs for sign #972b, which is simply another method of notation for '5'; it also reads ia2.

In Jaritz #453, we have the combination of #456, which pictures a 'conical container in which oil is allowed to rise to the top', and reads i3 (for *3; E, 'raised' = '(floating) oil') over #684, which depicts a 'rising sun', and simply serves as a determinative for the idea of 'brightness': i-4, '(gem)stone' (#453); this reads i4 (for *4; E-E, 'oil-like' = 'shiny'), '(gem)stone'; it has a number of other readings which we can recognize as related terms: za2 (PL T?SA), 'bead', seen in Jaritz #957; na4 (PL NA), ' ball, pebble', seen in Jaritz #114.

PL E-P?FE, 'diaphragm', is seen in Sumerian ib2 (for p2, 'hip, middle, *diaphragm', written with Jaritz #411, which shows the 'waist with legs': ip-2 (for *p-2), '*diaphragm, middle, hip' (#411). This is Egyptian jb, 'heart', which, according to the belief that the diaphragm was the seat of the emotions, also had the meanings: 'mind, intelligence, understanding, will, desire, mood'; and, as a verb, 'want to, desire'. Egyptian jb is written with Gardiner #F34, 'heart' according to Gardiner, but is better described as a 'jar', which was presumed to contain the air which came forth as speech expressing thought and will: jb, 'heart, *diaphragm, *middle, will' (#F34); though we are certainly this originally meant 'diaphragm', it appears, that with time, it was understood as 'physical heart' (N.B. its use as a determinative with Egyptian H3t.y, which properly is '[physical] heart').

An application of E, 'voice', is found incorrectly listed by Pokorny under *yem-, 'cause to be a pair' (A-MO , 'both-to a high degree' = 'essential pair'): *yem-, 'moan, wail'; this is PL E-ME, 'voice-emit' = 'make a sound'. We can see this in Egyptian jm, 'moan', in which the Gardiner's #Aa13, #Aa14 (Old Kingdom form of #Aa13), #Aa15, or #Aa16 (abbreviated from of #Aa15) are used as biliterals. These biliterals have two values: jm and gs. I propose that they are to be associated with two originally distinct signs that have been conflated because of their graphic resemblance. The first sign I would identify is #Aa14, which I propose represents a lateral view of a 'tongue': jm, '*tongue' (#Aa14) and reads jm. It should be noted that this sign is identified in Old Kingdom inscriptions as a part of the body; Gardiner, for once at a loss, does not propose a meaning for it. The question might remain moot but for the existence of Sumerian eme (for *m), a reading of #889 discussed under ME, meaning 'speech'; and as 'speech(-maker)', 'tongue'. This represents PL E-ME-E, 'voice-emit-like' = 'speech/tongue'. For the reading gs, see below. Both E-ME and E-ME(-E) had the same phonological outcome in Egyptian: /yam(i)/. I think it is possible that we have a single example of this word in Egyptian with jm, 'form, shape', if, instead of that, the word means 'description'.

A curious development from PL E-ME, 'voice-emit' = 'make a sound' is found in Jaritz #721, which depicts a 'sail with rigging', and reads *m(i) (for *m(i)); it means 'wind, storm-wind'; i.e. 'moaning (of the wind), pars pro toto': im(i) for *m(i), 'moaning (of the wind)' (#721). Strong support for this analysis is furnished by another meaning attached to this sign: 'fear'; this is understandable for 'moaning' but not for simply 'wind' or 'storm(-wind)'. 'Moaning' has attracted the reading ni2 (for x; PIE *na(i):-, 'be afraid'), 'fear', which represents PL NA-?A-E, 'snivel-stative-like' = 'sniveling' = 'fear'.

The Egyptian sign for E is Gardiner #A2, '(seated) man with hand to mouth': j, '*speak' (#A2); it occurs, in our sources, only as a determinative.

g[~]i(s/S], '*vine, strong' (#561)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #561) reads g[~]i (but also g[~]iS and is/iS for *s/S), and depicts a 'segment of vine'; it means '*vine, bush, rein (better '*lead/pull-cord'), tree ('strong, tough'), strength'; it depicts a 'section of vine'. We have elsewhere (under MO) described it as a 'wooden rod' but it appears that a variant sign, probably narrower, depicted a 'section of vine'. It also has the reading is and iS in an unknown dialect (for *s and *S. Emesal mu9, 'wood', suggests strongly that there must have also been a reading *g[~]2i for 'vine', and that s/S is an extension. In view of PIE *wes-, 'get tangled', we can reconstruct either FE-SA, 'vine-cord', or FE-SO, 'vine-pull', corresponding respectively to *g[~]2is/is and *g[~]2iS/iS; accordingly, we emend g[~]i to *g[~]2is/S. This is the source of *g[~]2isdin (for current g[~]etin), 'wine', Jaritz #419: g[~]etin (for *g[~]istin), '*wine, vine(grape)-leaf' (#419), which actually means and depicts a 'vine-leaf', #816 under #561 (PL FE-SA, 'vine' + THE-NA, 'radiate-thing' = '*foliage, leaf/leaves)'.

The Egyptian sign corresponding to FE is Gardiner #M13, 'stem of papyrus': w(3), '*plant(-stem/vine)' (#M13).

PL FE appears with 3 as w3 (PL FE-RA, 'stem/vine-color' = 'green') in w3D, 'green, fresh, raw, hale'. This, in turn, is FE-RA-T?SA, 'green-body' = 'something green'. This meaning is seen more clearly in w3DD.t, 'vegetation'. The PIE cognate is *werdh-, 'to grow'; and can also be seen in Latin viridis, 'green'.

*gi-x, g/g~e/i-3, 'penis, male, impregnate'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #424), like the Egyptian sign (Gardiner #D53) shown below, depicts a 'penis or phallus with scrotum, issuing a liquid'. Its main reading is u (for *), which means 'cohabit, impregnate, stud-animal', and 'penis (as 'ejaculator')', representing PL FO-SE, 'surround-excrete' = 'ejaculate while cohabiting'.

We find this in Egyptian but without a sexual reference in wz, 'urinate', which, in this instance, should be read *wz.

This is one of a group of Egyptian words that amalgamate two different words of identical or similar meaning; in this case: *wz and *w.

A more notable example is jtf for *jt and *jf, both meaning 'father'; this analysis is not acknowledged by Egyptologists nor is the former one.

The second indicated word is Egyptian *w, which represents PL FO-XA, 'foreskin-hold open' = 'urinate, sprinkle'. This word (really, both words) uses Gardiner #D53 (for better #D52) as a determinative.

The Sumerian word and its Egyptian cognate, along with the alternative expression in Egyptian, can all be found in PIE: *wes-, 'dampen, wet, male animal', and *wegw-, 'damp, sprinkle'.

The second root, with modified reference, can be found in Sumerian uh (for *h), 'spittle, slaver, sputum', Jaritz #717, which appears to depict a 'gob of sputum': *uh (for *h), 'sputum, spittle, slaver' (#717).

The Egyptian sign corresponding to K?E is properly Gardiner #D52, 'phallus': k, 'phallus (better 'penis')' (#D52); for whatever reason, #D53, 'phallus with liquid issuing from it' (b, 'phallus' (#D52)), is frequently substituted for it.

The Sumerian correspondent to PL K?E would be *gi; both we look in vain for this value for Jaritz #424 though it must have once been there, or as a reading and meaning for some related sign.

We can support this assertion in a number of ways:

In Egyptian, the traces of K?E can be seen in the first person singular independent pronoun, jnk, PL ?A-NA-K?E, 'this-one-male'; and in the first person singular ending of the stative ('Old Perfective'), -k.

In PIE, the slightest trace of K?E, 'penis, male', can be found in *eg^(h)o- (from **eg^yo-), 'I', PL ?A-K?E-O, 'this-male-male'.

The PIE *o-declension was formed by addition of a reflex of PL O, 'testicle, male'. For reasons we may never know, the resulting -*yo was reduced to -*o, possibly though an intervening stage -*o:. The best guess, and, unfortunately, it can only be a guess, is that -*yo (-'male') as a suffix was reduced to -*o[:] to differentiate it from the suffix -*ye (-'like') from E.

An interesting example of the total lack of shyness among the ancient Egyptians is their cheerful willingness to depict the male organ in realistic detail in their system of writing as did the Sumerians. An example is the writing of b3H, 'presence', which was phonologically similar to b3kj, 'erect penis, phallus' b3H (b3kj), 'erect penis, phallus' (#D53). This latter is PL P?FA-RE-K?E-E, 'prominent-cause to become . . .-penis-like' = 'erect penis, phallus'. This was, however written as b3H. For the Egyptian spelling of H for kj, see below for other examples.

An important application of K?E is in the meaning 'poke, jab'. This is seen in PL ?A-K?E, 'plant-top-poke' = 'goad, impel to motion, initiate'. This nuance can, perhaps, be best seen in Egyptian jk.w, 'quarry', and jk.y, 'quarryman'; the determinative for these words, Gardiner #A19, 'stooped man holding a (prying) bar': determinative for jk, 'quarry' (#A19), shows that the fundamental meaning is 'poking with a stick'. It is found in PIE as *ag^-, 'drive, set in motion, lead, swing, *goad by poking with a stick'.

The Sumerian correspondent is also straightforward: ag, 'do, make, act, perform', written only phonetically with Jaritz #159: aka (for *ga), '*meadow', which depicts a 'watery meadow/depression flanked by a stream on either end'; this sign is acknowledged to read aka but on the basis of a derivation from PL HHA-K?A, 'water-shallowly depressed/bowl', we emend this to *ga, and assign it the non-attested meaning of 'meadow'. We believe *ga is just a simpler form of the amply attested agar3, 'meadow', written with Jaritz #883, a combination sign of Jaritz #834, '(circular) enclosure', containing #949, 'water', *, over #970, '*bowl', gar: *gar3, 'meadow'.

As well as reading gar, Jaritz #970 also reads ga4, and both mean 'enclose'. We have seen above that gar is to be analyzed as 'shallow-depressed-bring down on' = 'heap up'. To describe a depression filled with water, a lush meadow or naturally irrigated field, obviously ga4, 'shallow-depressed', would be semantically as descriptive as gar; and a 'shallow depression which enabled the water-fill' would qualify as an 'enclosure'.

This root seems to be present in PIE as well in *ag^-ro-s, 'pasture', but in rather obscure form. Old Indian is the only satem language in which this word is attested, and its jra-H, 'field', accounts for the PIE palatalized *g^. Also, -*r most frequently takes the stress-accent with zero-grade in the root-syllable as it forms usually adjectives; no adjective and no zero-grade with stress-accented -*r.

I propose that *ag^-ro-s be emended to *a(:)g(e)r-o-s, representing PL HHA-K?A-RE, matching perfectly with Latin ager, 'field'. To explain the Old Indian form, I can only conjecture that an alternate form, HHA-K?A-E-RE, existed, leading to *a(:)gy(e)r-o-s.

The Akkadians named Jaritz #159 ak-ku-u, but for unknown reasons, *aku is not recognized by Sumerologists as a reading for the sign. The sign has, as another meaning, 'receive, possess', and we associate this with the reading *ak(u), and with the Sumerian genitive in -ak-. The Egyptian correspondent is jx.t, 'possession'; and we see it again in PIE *e:ik- (for **a:ik(h)-), 'have as own, be capable of', representing PL HHA-(E-)KXHO, 'water-(like-)shell', since (sharp-edged) molluscs were the first currency, probably because of their potential use as cutting instruments as well as for aesthetic qualities.

Finally, this word (?A-K?E) can also be seen in Etruscan ac, 'make, offer, act'.

Another important derivation of K?E in the meaning 'poke' is K?E-NA, 'poke-thing' = 'peg/pin for fastening'. It can be seen in PIE *genebh- (for **g^[e]nbh-; PL K?E-NA-P?FE, 'peg-digit'), 'plug/*dowel'. Even as late as Germanic, the early connection with 'penis' was not forgotten: *knab-, 'plug, penis, boy'. The verbal activity connected with 'plug' ('fixed in place') can most easily be seen in Sumerian gin, 'set up, set firmly, establish, be true ('acknowledged/pinned')', written with Jaritz #410. In PIE, 'firmly establish' was extended to the sphere of mental activity; and we have *g^en-, 'know, recognize, acknowledge (as true)'. The Sumerian form gi-na (for *gin), '(be) true', represents K?E-NA-?A, 'fixed', and can also be seen in PIE *g^en6-.

k2, '*face, *strip/peel, *scrape, *bare, *land, *earth, *ground, place'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #131) which depicts a 'papyrus plant being stripped of its outer covering (skin)'. The sign reads ki2 (for *k2, i.e. PL K?XE-?A, 'scraped'-stative = 'bare' or K?XE-E, 'scraped'-like = 'clear/scrape'), and means '*(cleared) land, *earth, *ground', but this reading and this meaning have not been as firmly associated as they should be. The semantic value for *k has been improperly assigned to Jaritz #812 ku, 'tunnel, passage' which depicts a 'the opening to a tunnel or passage'; and properly reads *ku11.

This sign is a gun (shaded with multiple parallel lines, horizontal or vertical) form of u, Jaritz #750 , 'shallowly round / circular'; see a discussion of this problem under K?XO, and several derivations from K?XE.

It does, however, not seem possible to find *ki per se in Sumerian, under any sign, meaning 'face' . However, one of the readings of #798 is gi8; and one of the meanings of which is 'face'. If this corresponds to PL K?XE, which would normally produce Sumerian *ki, we could emend gi8, in the meaning of 'face', to *kix.

It is present in extended form: Sumerian kiri3, 'nose'. This is, in turn, a derivation from kir4, to which we attribute the unrecorded meaning of '*face'; both are readings of Jaritz #15, which we have met under K?XA. Sumerian kir4 represents PL K?XE-RE, 'scraped-cause to become' = 'scraped, bare' = 'face', while kiri3 represents K?XE-RE-E, 'face-like' = 'nose'. PL K?XE-RE-?A, 'stripped/scraped bare-stative = 'face' can be found in PIE as *g^hre:-, listed under *g^her-, 'beam, gleam, shimmer' (cf. Czech zrak, 'face'); and, without the stative suffix, as PIE *g^her-, 'scratch, inscribe, score'. The de-palatalized PIE form can also be found under *(s)ker- (for **(s)k^(h)er-), 'cut off, shear (cause to be bare/shave)'.

The Egyptian sign for K?XE is Gardiner #M16, 'clump of papyrus': H(3), '*papyrus, strip', which is normally read H3 for PL K?XE-RE, 'strip-cause to become' = 'strip'. That this was the idea behind the hieroglyph is made certain by H3.y, 'be naked', and H3.yw, 'carrion-birds (strippers)'.

Egyptian has chosen a slightly different method for designating the 'face': Hr, Gardiner #D2, which depicts a 'face', and represents PL K?XE-RO, 'bare-part': *Hr, '*face' (#D2). The careful attention of the Egyptians to detail is seen in this sign on which a beard and head-hair are indicated to more expressively contrast with the bareness of the face.

Another interesting derivation is found in PL K?XE-T?SO-MA, 'scrape-limba' = 'flesh' + 'place = 'foraging/hunting/fishing ground' = '(our) earth'. Our preference to this day is for meat from the limbs of larger animals.

This is found in PIE *g^hðem- (for *g^h dhwem-, see below), 'earth, (foraging/hunting) ground', which, because of its odd reflexes in various languages, linguists have infelicitously reconstructed with an 'edh': *ð, which has the pronunciation of English 'th' in 'bathe'.

The simplex, PL K?XE-T?SO, 'flesh', can also be seen in PIE *g^hðu:- (for *g^hdhw:-, see below; -*u: from *-w), 'fish', the poor man's 'flesh'.

We have this root again in Egyptian H', 'flesh' (the determinative for this word, H', 'flesh', was once probably a biliteral for H'). K?XE-T?SO-FA is 'flesh-set' = 'food animal'; interestingly, Egyptian H'.w means 'body', showing that not '*pieces of flesh' but rather 'collection of flesh' is the proper interpretation.

We can see the cognate for the root in Sumerian kid/t2 (for *kit2) , 'pinch off, separate', written with Jaritz #104, kid2, 'pinch off, separate', which depicts a 'left hand in a gesture of rejection' of the offal after fleshing. This is the term used to describe the action of Enki, the creator-god, in removing (scraping off) clay with which to make the first man and woman; it equates clay with the animal flesh that sustained early man during vegetable or fruit and nut-poor seasons.

It is a general rule in some PIE-derived languages that no word-root may have two aspirates; when its occurs through compounding, the first aspirate is de-aspirated: if applied, this word would appear as **g^ðem-. But, the stress-accent has produced an unprecedented cluster that evidently was not subject to this general rule. It is inexcusable to introduce a supposed phone (*ð) that has hardly any existence outside of this word and its relatives. For *ð, *dhw should be substituted.

And even more interesting derivation from this root is PIE *g^hðys- (for *g^hdhwys-, see above), 'yesterday'. The first compound element of this word is PL K?XE-T?SO-E, 'flesh-like' = 'fleshy', is combined with SHA, 'satisfy' = 'meal with meat, supper'. 'Supper' would be the last supper a satisfaction that lasted until the next supper. Anytime during the day before the evening meal, supper would refer to an event of yesterday. This seems to be a strictly PIE development.

This is a very ancient root which hearkens back to a time when the ubiquitous stone scrapers of the Paleolithic were busily scraping (K?XE) flesh (K?XE-T?SO) from limbs (T?SO) for consumption from food-animals (K?XE-T?SO-FA) found in the tribal hunting-ground (K?XE-T?SO-MA) for evening supper (K?XE-T?SO-E-SHA).

A general term for 'pour out' seems to be based on PL K?XE-FA-SE, 'emptied out-frequentative/iterative-emit' = 'pour (out)'. It is easiest to see in PIE *g^heus-, 'break forth, bubble out of, gush'. I believe this root can be seen in Egyptian Hz (for *Hwz), 'sing', which is frequently written with Gardiner #W14, 'tall water-jar': H(w)z, '*pour out, sing' (#W14). The sign is used to write Hz.t (for *Hwz.t), 'water-jar', so the meaning is secure. It is possible that this root can be found in Sumerian as ku3 (for *k3), 'water-channel, pipe' (Jaritz #593), where the relationship is phonological and semantic even though the depiction does not support this meaning.

The sign is also used to write Hz (for *Hwz), 'favor'. Above we have seen that K?A-E-FA becomes PIE *g^(y)eu-, 'chew' but appears Egyptian Hw (for *kjw). In this case, I believe we are dealing with PIE *g^eus-, 'enjoy', from earlier **gyeus-, which would, if uncontracted, appear in Egyptian as *kjwz, but instead appears as *H(w)z. This is the result of PL K?A-E-FA-SHA, 'chewing-do repeatedly-satisfied' = 'enjoy'.

mi-3, '*tongue, between, middle'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #889) depicts a 'short vertical line abutting a longer horizontal line at its midpoint'; and reads mi3. It means 'speak, call, *tongue, *middle, *converse'.

This is a graphic convention designed to bring out the idea of 'middle', the position associated in early thinking with the placement of the tongue in the mouth. Somewhat surprisingly, this simple element has been identified for PIE as *me, 'in the middle, into the middle', used as a basis for further extensions.

In Egyptian, m, which represents ME (among others) , is a preposition meaning 'together with', i.e. 'in the middle of'; and like PIE *me, shows an affinity for combining with other elements to create more nuanced prepositional expressions: e.g. m-', 'middle-arm(s)' = 'in possession, charge of; with'. This combination is also present in PIE as *me-dhi, 'with', representing PL ME-T?SO, 'middle-arm(s)' = 'middle', with additional -E, '-like' = 'medial' or 'midpoint'.

In Sumerian, this reading, *me (better *mi3), is not regarded as meaning 'tongue'; that meaning has been taken by a derivation from it, eme (for *m), another reading of the same sign, which represents PL ?E-ME, 'teeth-middle' = 'tongue'. This compound can be found in PIE with *empi-, 'mosquito', an animal that definitely deserves to be named for its tongue: PL ?E-ME, 'tongue' + PHA-E, 'flat-like' = 'wing(ed creatures)'; cf. Egyptian py, 'flea' (PHA-E-?A, 'flat-like' - stative = 'winged' .

One of the more interesting derivations is another PIE *medhi-, 'middle', from PL ME-T?SA-E, 'middle-body-like' = 'middle (adj.)'. Without the adjectival -E, this can be seen in Egyptian mD.t, 'depth'; usually, the deepest part of some natural feature is the middle. Now, that may seem like an overly generous interpretation until we see how the Egyptians wrote it: mD, 'middle, depth, *tongue(?)'; this Gardiner #V21, 'a combination of V20 and I10'.

#V20 the Egyptian sign used for writing 'ten': mD.w, 'ten', which is mD.w.

The final -w is attached to most Egyptian numerals, and represents PL -FA, 'number(-mark)'.

If the mD- of this word means 'middle', as I suppose it does, this implies that the Egyptians originally had a vigesimal system of counting (mD.w = 'middle-number'). This hypothesis is further supported by the Egyptian word for 'twenty', which is D.wt.j, and represents '*digit-collection-like', i.e. including both fingers and toes. This would be derived from PL T?SE, 'finger, digit'.

An interesting question is what does the sign used for 'ten' (#V20) represent? Could it be a 'tongue' from an overhead view? Perhaps, but we shall see that another Egyptian sign is also in contention for this identification.

There are two Egyptian signs, similarly formed, which, I believe, have been confused: they are Gardiner #Aa13, which I believe represents the outline the 'space between the side of the torso and the inner arm', gs, 'side, half'; and Gardiner #Aa14, which I believe represents the 'profile of a tongue': jm, '*tongue' . One other Egyptian sign, Gardiner #Z11, 'two planks crossed and joined', should also be looked at in this context: (j)m, '*middle'.

Currently, Egyptologists ascribe the reading jm to all three of these signs but I believe #Aa13 (with variants #Aa15, #Aa16) properly reads gs, 'side, border, half', which I will discuss under QO-SO; and while #Aa14 properly reads jm(j), #Z11 probably reads simply m, or mj for ME-E.

I think it will be fairly obvious even to the casual observer that Gardiner #Z11 (j)m, '*middle' and Jaritz #889 mi-3, '*tongue, between, middle' are both graphically attempting to portray the idea of 'middle'. If #Z11 does not represent 'tongue' or 'speak/moan', then we must account for the initial j. Actually, I think that can be done fairly easily.

Egyptian has the word jm, 'there'; it is written with j + m; it represents PL ?A-ME, 'location-middle', 'place between (the speaker and the listener)'. It occurs in PIE in the compound *a(:)mbhi-, 'around', which is ?A-ME + P?FE-E, 'extend around-like' = 'extending around'.

Egyptian formed words indicating a relationship of some kind by E, '-like'. When added to jm producing jm.j, it meant 'the one who/which is there'; and when combined with another noun, e.g. wt, 'bandage', meant 'the one who is there of the bandage', i.e. 'the one whose location is (in) the bandage', an epithet of the Egyptian god Anubis.

However, from the Egyptian materials, it cannot be ruled out that the second formant is, rather, ?A, stative, which functioned somewhat as the suffix -ed does in Modern English: wt.j, 'bandaged (one)'.

Sign #Z11 was selected to render jmj because it represented /?ami/ rather than /jami/ as did #Aa14. Current Egyptological theory proclaims that the choice of signs with which to write jm(j) was based purely on scribal convention without inquiring as to any possible reason for the convention.

PL ?A-ME, 'location-middle', 'place between (the speaker and the listener)' = 'there', also occurs in Sumerian as am3 (written #949 + #14; spelled the same way as a4, 'top') and am6 (written #14). Thomsen (1984) considers these two morphemes as the 3rd person singular forms for the verb me (for *mi3). I believe they simply mean 'there'.

Though Thomsen terms this and me as copular, often it connects nothing, and is unquestionably existential: "min-kam ur.sag~-g~a2-am3 a2 mu-gur, 'Secondly, there was a hero, he (who) had bent his arm'; and "pi.lu5.da ud-bi-ta e-me-a, which Thomsen translates: 'these were abuses of former days' but there is nothing in the sentence to be translated as 'these'; I translate: 'There having been abuses from those days, . . . ' .

Just as Sumerian has me and am3/6, in addition to jm, 'there', Egyptian has the so-called m of predication; and Egyptologists translate it as if it were the verb 'to be': jw nDs pn m s, 'this commoner is a scribe'. But Gardiner (1973) writes: "Here the preposition m has the signification 'in the position of', 'as'; hence it may be termed the m of predication."

Therefore, the accurate translation of the sentence above is: '(now) this commoner, there is a scribe.' What we think of as a copula was not present in either Sumerian or Egyptian; and a subphrase with 'there' was necessary to convey a copular/existential meaning. I will now propose that the 'm of predication' is nothing more than a special use of m, 'there' ('middle'). Similarly, PIE had no morpheme that was an actual copula; see P?FE below.

The Egyptian sign for ME is (j)m, Gardiner #Z11, which shows a 'two planks crossed and joined': (j)m, '*middle' (#Z11).

li, *slippery, shiny, bright, clean, happy' (#100)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #100) depicts 'steam for a sauna coming from heated container', the steam indicated by the angled (for wavy) lines rising from the boiling water. The reading is li/le, and has the meanings 'shiny, bright, clean', and 'happy', which correlate with a well-salved and -oiled body. It also means 'cry, call out, sing'; and these suggest a voice sliding from one tonal level to another.

Inserted in Jaritz #15, mili2, 'swear, sing' (#18), the compound sign reads mili2, and means 'spell, incantation', almost certainly accompanied by chanting. This root is present in PIE as *meldh-, 'direct ritual words to a divinity', and represents PL ME-NE(-T?SE), 'tongue-slide' = 'chant(-release)'.

Sumerian li2, 'oil, fat, cream', derives from RHE, 'what is pressed out and falls', and refers to the object rather than the use to which it might be put. Sumerian li7, recorded as 'nose', written with Jaritz #945, which depicts a 'dog' (head and neck): li7, 'dog, *slobber, *slippery' (#945); this refers to 'canine slobber, mucus/saliva'; and we presume the earliest meaning of li7 was 'nasal mucus'.

The Egyptian sign corresponding to NE is Gardiner #P1, 'boat gliding on water':n([j]'), '*glide, travel by boat' (#P1).

Given the choice of objects in their environment, it is hard to think of a more appropriate symbol to represent 'slipping/sliding' than a boat on water. The sign occurs as a determinative for n'.j, 'travel', which, in view of n'.j, 'be lenient, *let slide', and with partial reduplication n'', 'smooth, *slippery/gliding over', almost surely means more specifically 'glide (on the water)'.

This root with metathesized n in PIE also appears with PL RO to designate the '(slippery) worm' in Latin lumbri:cus, 'worm', from *londh-ro-i:ko-s, in turn derived from *ledh-(n-). In Egyptian, we have the 'catfish', n'r, which, as any fisherman will tell you, is one of the most slippery of fish.

Obviously, this word seems to reflect a root *ledh-, 'slip(pery), slide', which seems identical to *(s)leidh-, 'slippery, glide'; it is possible that Egyptian n'.j contains a medial but unindicated j. We reconstruct PL NE(-E)-T?SO, 'slippery(-like)-hold', 'slippery (to hold)'.

bi, 'drip, pour out, *urine, liquid, * urinate' (#431)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #431) depicts a 'beer jar with straw'; it means 'drip, pour out, liquid', and reads bi. Specific readings properly associated with PL P?E have become attached to Jaritz #893a, namely bi7, which has been transmitted to us as 'excrement', which meaning, however, properly belongs to i4 for SE. Jaritz #431 also reads bis/z (which I emend to *bi), which means 'drip'.

In addition, Jaritz #646 depicts a 'bowl', means '(*chamber-)pot/bowl'; and reads, among others, bi: bi, '(chamber/piss-)pot'. I consider bi cognate with PIE *bes-, which yields English piss, from PL P?E-SE, 'urine-emit' = 'urinate' (but it is possible that a fuller form, P?E-E-SE, also existed, leading to PIE *weis- and Modern English wizz ['urinate']). We will see below that a good case can be made for finding this word in Egyptian also.

The Egyptian sign for P?E (Gardiner #W6) depicts a '*chamber-pot (Gardiner says: "sign for a particular vessel")': *pz(?), '*chamber-pot(?)' (#W6).

This sign was later replaced by #Aa2, 'pustule': *f(?), '*pustule(?)' (#Aa2), which, in turn, had replaced #F52 (earliest Old Kingdom version) and #N32 (later Old Kingdom version), both determining words meaning 'excrement': *z, '*excrement' (#F52) and *z, '*lump of clay or dung' (#N32).

All three of these signs are determinants for Egyptian Hz, 'excrement'. On the basis of bi, '(piss-)pot' above, from PL P?E-SE, we will also connect these words with Egyptian ps, 'pot (for 'water' to paint hieroglyphs)', which we emend to *pz. The reason we have for this is that this word is determined with #Aa2, described above, which we know replaced signs that determined 'excrement' and 'dung'. This suggests strongly that this particular pot was associated with 'excrement' generally and 'urine' specifically. I am unable to determine whether urine products may have been used by ancient writers in Egypt in lieu of water for any properties it might have had.

Regarding Egyptian Hz, 'excrement', we have a Sumerian cognate in Jaritz #427, which reads ki(i) (for *k(i)), 'chamber-pot/urine', written with Jaritz #424, which depicts a 'penis or phallus with scrotum' with 'water' (Jaritz #949) written inside it: kii, '*chamber-pot, *urine' (#427). This is PL K?XE-E-SE, 'emptied out-like-emit' = 'urinate'; this represents PIE *g^heis-, seen in Old High German geisini, 'poverty'. In PIE, this root seems to have taken the further step to 'be frightened', where bowel or bladder evacuation is a natural accompaniment to extreme fright. This suggests that Egyptian Hz may be properly *Hjz.

PIE *b, when it did not develop into *w is seen in Modern English as p; though these terms would be considered by most linguists as 'nursery words', English has inherited a number of words that preserve the earliest meanings of the PL monosyllables: P?E, 'urine', in Modern English pee; P?E-P?E, 'urinate', in Modern English peepee. For more examples, see below under KXHO.

pi6, '*foot' (#118b)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #118b) depicts a 'foot of a clam being severed in the shells so that bivalve comes apart (cf. KXHO, 'cut with the sharp edge of a clam/mollusc-shell')'; it reads pi6, and means 'border, twin, be pure/free of/parted from', though these meanings are usually associated with the reading ma, seen, interestingly, in ma-gi6-k, '(nocturnal) vision', i.e. 'parting of the night or darkness'.

In addition, under either or bar, the reading for #118a, are some expressions pertaining to the spirit of the dead which has been parted from a 'body', which word may be relatable through PIE **bhedh- (PL P?FE-T?SA, 'parted'-formant of bodily parts = '(lifeless) body'. Our suspicion is that some of these expressions were originally formed with pi6 but were misunderstood by the scribes over many years.

The employment of bar (for par2) in the context of the dead is understandable since separating with a pick and parting with a knife are ideationally close; in addition, par, 'shiny, white', could be associated with ghosts. With mas//S, the analysis is problematical. Without firm PIE or Egyptian cognates for guidance, any proposal is pure conjecture.

One possibility, however, that might be mentioned, is that the basis for the word is MHA, 'ceaselessly active, flit, flutter, warn (with excited gestures)', compounded with SHE, 'unique', leading to 'give a warning', Sumerian *m, '*warner/ghost *warning/vision'. This, in turn, might be linked to PIE *ma:-s-, 'signal', but there is no certainty possible at present.

The Egyptian sign for P?FE is Gardiner #D58, which shows a 'foot (with leg)': b, '*foot, place' (#D58); early examples were terminated at the ankle (#D58a): b, '*foot, place' (#D58a). This is Egyptian alphabetic b.

Egyptian b means 'place'; but the commoner word for 'place' is b.w, PL P?FE-FA, 'foot-set' = 'pair of feet' = 'place'.

This simple idea probably underlies the PIE word used for 'to be (somewhere), dwell, be placed': *bheu-. However, it is possible that P?FA is the basis for *bheu- in the sense of 'be prominent, noticed at'.

Another word utilized for other forms of what became the PIE copula, was similarly not copular in origin: PIE *e(:)s-, 'be', is simply a special usage of *e(:)s-, 'sit' (PL HE-SHA), 'come across from-be immobile' = 'be finished coming (and demonstrate it by remaining and sitting down)'; this is related to HE-E, 'come across from-like' = 'be coming', PIE *e(:)i-, 'come'; Egyptian jj, 'come'; and Sumerian e (for *), 'come'.

(n)g[~]e/i-20, '*milk' (#594)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #594), as mentioned above under K?XA, depicts a 'skin bag for churning milk into butter', and reads (among others), ka3, has the recorded meanings of 'hair, wool'. Since the sign has no connection ideationally with 'hair', this must be attributed to the reading ka3 (for *k3), '(sour) milk', which is the result of PL KHA-HHA, 'goat-water' = '(probably soured /butter-) milk', i.e. *k3.

Another reading of this sign, which we connect with the variant #594a: (n)g~, 'cheese' (#594a), which appears to possibly depicts 'curds in a basket for drainage and manufacture of cheese', is (n)g[~]3e/i-20, '*milk'.

The Egyptian sign for QE shows the 'angle created by the slope of the female breast against the chest'; and was the prototype for an acute angle in a triangle. This is apparent in the Egyptian sign for alphabetic q, Gardiner #N29, which he calls, probably incorrectly, 'sandy hill slope': q, 'sandy hill-slope'.

For PIE *g^enu, 'chin, cheek, knee, corner, angle' (two entries in Pokorny), from PL QE-NA-FA; and Sumerian word gin2 (for *(n)g~in2) from PL QE-NA as well as Egyptian qnb, 'bend, subjugate (beat down)', and qnb.t, 'corner, angle', and PIE *g^embh-, 'set of teeth, jaw(s), bite', from PL QE-NA-P?FO, see above under K?A.

For the meaning 'suck', we have PIE *g^eid-, 'suck' ( QE-E-T?A, 'milk-like' = 'suck' + 'press down' = 'suck').

An important derivation from this morpheme is Egyptian qb, 'cool'; PL QE-P?FO, 'icicle'-formant of place names/leg = 'cool (place)'. It is seen in PIE *embh-, 'damp, water, mist', an assimilation from **eng^bh- (earlier, **NG^bh-), both zero-grade stem variants with prothetic vowels. A combination with -*r or some other stress-accented final formant like -* must have been in rather common use for these zero-grade stems to be back-formed. Another back-formation was *nebh- from a de-dorsalized zero-grade **Nbh-.

Because the roots have been conflated in PIE, we will also discuss here the root QO-P?E, 'ball-pour out' = 'steam, cloud', which appears under the same heading in Pokorny as *emb-, properly 'steam, cloud'. This can probably be seen in Sumerian gub2, 'clean (by steam in a sauna)', written with Jaritz #100, which depicts 'steam for a sauna coming from heated container'.

This same root is found in Egyptian in gp n mw, 'cloud-burst'; and, with the addition of a probably optional HHA, 'water', in jgp, 'cloud', corresponding to the contaminated form *nemb(h)- found in Latin nimbus, 'cloud', and to *enebh- (for **a[:]nebh-).

A word that I was long inclined to connect to QE is PIE *me[:]lg^- (for **me[:]l(n)g^-[?]), 'milk (vb.)', for obvious reasons. There are, however, faint traces of a meaning like 'nurse' (Old Icelandic mylkja) that may be connected with Arabic malaja, 'nurse (with a single pull') if we reconstruct MA-NHE-K?XA ('hang from while biting on and sliding'). This would mean that *mel[:]g^- should be considered a reduction from **me[:]l gh-, producing **me[:]lg-, to which -*y has been, palatalizing the -*g before disappearing. A theoretical **mel[e:]gh- (with metathesis to **me[:]lgh-]) would also correlate with Egyptian mnH, 'froth (on the lips)', if, in fact it is related.

In addition, there is Sumerian malga kalam-ma, 'milk(-jar)[?] of the land', a title of the king. Sumerian malga (for *malka[?]) is written with Jaritz #527, which depicts a 'tubular basket' (#458), within which #970, which depicts a 'tub or cup with a line indicating the level of the material in it' (usually, for 'food') is written. Of course, it is also possibly a simple loan from PS *m-l-k, 'king'. A reconstruction of PL MA-NHE-K?XA also has the advantage of (almost) corresponding to the Proto-World form MALIQ'A, 'suck(le), nurse, breast', reconstructed by Bengtson and Ruhlen, though I am skeptical of their connecting it with the meaning 'throat, swallow', which implies to me a similar but unrelated root, in spite of their devoting a separate chapter (11 in On the Origin of Languages: 1994) to this root (for Amerind), which, however, contains some interesting arguments in favor of the possibility of much longer time-depth language reconstruction.

ri, 'tear out, glean, *scratch' (#132)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #132) depicts a 'scraper for fish descaling', and reads ri (for *r), seen again in PIE *rei-, 'scratch, rip, cut'. It means 'tear out, glean' though, in these meanings, the sign is more frequently read de5 (for 5) from PL T?A-?A-E; PIE *da:i-, 'rip apart'.

In addition to *r, it also reads rig/k5 (for rk5) in these meanings; and this corresponds to PIE *reik(h)-, 'scratch (a line), plow for the first time, which, in turn, corresponds to Egyptian 3H.t, 'arable land, (cultivated) field'. This is PL RE-E-KXHA, 'scratch-like-pointed' = 'ploughshare', which uses as a determinative Gardiner #N23, 'irrigation canal (probably, thought of here as a *'furrow')': determinative.

Another closely related term is PL RE-E-KXHE, 'scratch-like-work' = 'pluck', seen in PIE *reik^- (for *reik^(h)-), 'pluck'. This is Sumerian rig/k2 (for *rk2), 'comb', which is curiously written by Jaritz #920, a combination of #919 ('vulvae') and a 'comb': rig/k2 (for *rk2), 'comb, *pluck' (#920). Readers who are familiar with modern Oriental customs will realize what is being portrayed is a depilation of the female genital area.

The Egyptian sign for RE is 3, '*panther,*hippopotamus, determinative for 3.t, 'moment, instant' (#F3), Gardiner #F3, 'head of hippopotamus', which is a later version of a sign that resembles #F9, 'head of panther': 3, '*panther,*hippopotamus, determinative for 3.t, 'moment, instant' (#F9).

The employment of the hippopotamus symbolism may be due to the habit of the hippopotamus to submerge itself in water which was equated with the panther's dropping down on unsuspecting prey passing beneath any elevation on which he waited for it.

Rather than a determinative for the meaning 'panther' (for this, see RHE below, which used as a determinative the full figure of a panther), this is a determinative for the reading RE(-?A), 'scratch(ed)', 'what panthers have done'. It is used after the word 3(j).t, 'moment, instant', which, we believe, represents PL RE-?A-THO, 'scratch'-stative='scratched'+'collection' = 'number, row of items', seen in PIE *re:-to-, 'number, row'.

The choice of a sign for RHE to determine a word beginning with RE-?A (probably both resulting in /re:/, later /ra:/) is yet another indication that earliest Egyptian had maintained vocalic qualities that were subsequently merged (in this case, pre-Egyptian /a/ and /e/). I believe the abbreviated representation (head only) of the 'panther/hippopotamus' sign is meant to indicate a phonetic rather than a literal meaning. The Egyptians were not reluctant to use complete representations of animals when it served a purpose. In addition, a partial representation may have been utilized to focus on the activity of the animal rather than characteristics of its appearance or form.

The more appropriate Egyptian sign for RE is 3, '*fingernail, *scratch, *apply' (#T14), Gardiner #T14, 'throw-stick'. I think the form of the throw-stick itself indicates why it might have been called 'fingernail'; it strongly resembles a finger bent at the first joint for scratching.

In addition to its being named by its resemblance, it also reads '3, 'throw around, caused to be spinning around', PL TSHO-RE; see below under TSHO, where it was named for its mode of employment.

This sign, #T14, is used in a few words to indicate simply 3, 'apply, let fall'. A good example is Egyptian qm3, 'produce, create (by fashioning)'. This is PL QHE-MO-RE, 'bend one's self at a sharp angle-to a high degree-apply' = 'cause something to be bent (into shape)' = 'produce (by manipulation)'. This corresponds exactly to PIE *k^omor- (for **(n)k^e(:)mor), 'hammer'; we should probably think here of a maul with a wedge-shaped peen. The uncompounded root can be seen in *k^e(:)m- (for **(n)k^em-), 'become tired, *slump'. In this meaning, it probably can be seen in Egyptian qm(3), 'mourn', which is probably '*slump, be bent out of shape'. Finally, we have PIE *k^e:i- (for *(n)k^e:i-), 'sharpen' (put a wedge-shaped edge to a surface)'.

e3 (for *i4), 'excrement'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #893a) reads e3 (for i4), 'excrement' (also e10 in the same meaning, according to Jaritz); and this archaic variant presumably depicts a 'pair of buttocks'. The simplex seems to have the meaning 'excrement' while a derivation in PL E seems to be used for 'seed', which is, of course, also 'excreted'.

Since PIE never permits simple *CV roots (though *CV: occurs rarely), we find it there rather sanitized as *sei-, 'drip, run, wet'. This form, *sei-, then serves as a basis for farther extensions like *seikw-, 'pour out, strain, run, sprinkle'; and *seip-, 'pour out, strain, run, drip'.

Egyptian does not seem to have this morpheme as an initial in a root but it does have it as a second element in wz(), 'urinate'; this is PL FA-(E-)SE, 'depression-(like-)excrete' = 'urinate'.

PIE again generally prefers a basis extended by E; and we see this root in *weis-, 'flow away, flow; of animal semen; of the wetness and stench of rotting plants, of impure liquids; poison).

I believe that wz is one of a group of words in Egyptian that incorporate the spellings for two different words in one combination spelling: a notable example is Egyptian jtf, 'father', that represents, in my opinion, jt and jf, corresponding to PIE *atta- and *appa- (but possibly *awo-s).

If this is, in fact, the case, the second Egyptian verb will be *w, 'urinate'. This would, in turn, correspond to PIE *wegw-, 'damp, dampen' (FA-XA, 'around-slit' = '(female) urination(?)'); other etymologies for this word cannot be completely ruled out.

In turn, we can compare Sumerian u11, 'poison'; and uh3, 'poison'.

The Egyptian signs for SE (Gardiner #F52 and #N32) were #F52 (earliest Old Kingdom version) and #N32 (later Old Kingdom version), both determining 'excrement' (Hz): *z, '*excrement' (#F52) and *z, '*excrement' (#N32).

These signs were later replaced by Gardiner #Aa2, 'pustule', relating probably to the unpleasant aroma rather than the mode of its appearance. How it might have been read is not certainly known.

An important extension is SE-E, 'excretion-like' = 'seed'. We can see this in Sumerian e (for *), 'seed', written with Jaritz #669, which depicts 'cereal grain grass': e (for *), '*seed, barley, grain' (#669).

In addition to its proper usage, this sign means 'water'; this is almost certainly e (for *); and it corresponds to PIE *sei-,drip, run, wet', probably with a nuance like seepage'. We have the same form exactly for PIE 'send off, let fall, throw' but PIE 'seed' itself is based on *se:- with several further additions; this would be SE-?A, 'emit-stative' = 'ejected' = 'seed'.

The outcome of either of the last two PL forms would be Sumerian e (for *) so that we cannot be certain they are not there.

We can see the same radical in Egyptian z.w.t, 'wheat' (SE-FA-THO, 'seed-set-'collection' = '(harvested) wheat (grain)'. The sign, however, does not picture 'seed' but rather the bristly barley-stalk; and the value of the sign was determined by XE-E, 'body hair-like' = 'bristly'.

Not all 'excretions' are undesirable. The word for 'honey' is based on PL SE-E-MO, 'excreting-to a high degree' = 'exuding honey'. This can be seen in PIE *sei-mo-, 'honey'; and again in Sumerian im, 'pleasantly aromatic substance', written with Jaritz #436, which depicts a 'skep (human-constructed hive) with contents (honey) and honeycomb indicated at bottom': im (for *m), '*pleasantly aromatic, *honey' (#436). This is also the image utilized by the Egyptians: zm(3) (for *zjm(3)), *'skep' or *'hive' (#F36), characterized incomprehensibly by Gardiner as 'lung and windpipe'. I am hoping that a comparison of the two signs will speak for itself.

The Egyptian word (*zjm3) has no connection with bees, honey, or hives: it means: 'to unite'. In order to understand why, it is necessary to review some facts about Egyptian spelling.

At a very early date, the phonetic distinction between Egyptian s (presumably //) and z (presumably /s/) was lost; and the criterion for which sign would be utilized in any given word depended on custom and aesthetic considerations: s, the 'roll of cloth' was tall and thin; z was narrow and thin. Although z has been reconstructed for *zjm3, I believe, from a semantic standpoint, that it is properly reconstructed as *sjm3.

The final 3 is the factitive suffix developed from PL
RE ('cause to become'), so the root we need to analyze is *sjm. Egyptian j represented PL ?, H, , HH so that an Egyptian word correctly reconstructed as Cj will be represented in PIE as *CVy- or *CV:.

Though the PIE word for 'one, together in one, unitarily, with, *same' is usually reconstructed as *sem-, Pokorny lists an important variant under this heading: *so:m-; and I believe it is this alternative form with which we are dealing in Egyptian *sjm, namely PL SHO-HA-MO, 'same-stative-to a high degree' = 'unitary'. Thus, Egyptian *sjm-3 is 'to cause to become one, unite'.

Without the factitive suffix, we can find this in Sumerian sum (for *sm), another reading of #322, which we shall see below, and which means 'fit together, allot, give over to' but also 'be similar to (with this meaning, currently read se3 [for *3, PL SHA-E, 'satisfying, equal to in value though different in kind'].

I believe all of these meanings can be subsumed under the general idea of 'unite with'. The verbal idea for PIE (but for *sem- rather than for *so:m-) can be seen in OHG samano:n, 'collect'.

Another derivation is SE-?A-MO(-E), 'separate-stative-to a high degree-like' = 'divided', which is seen in PIE *se:mi-, 'half'.

Another word of interest in this context is Egyptian sm3, 'slaughter (better 'butcher')', which is not written with the signs in *zjm, *'*honey(comb)', sm(.w), 'vegetable(s), *pick' or *sjm(3), 'unite'.

The m(3) in this word is written with the 'sickle', which we learned can also represent jm(3). In this case, we are dealing with jm(3) so that '*butcher' should read *sjm(3). There is also the question of whether the initial consonant should be z or s. We have very early attestations of the spelling with z, and for semantic reasons (the basic meaning of SE as opposed to SO) as well as the use of the 'knife' determinative, I believe the word should properly be transcribed as zjm(3), providing a contrast with *sjm(3), 'unite'. Thus, *zjm(3), '*butcher', would be related to PIE *se:mi- through SE-?A-MO(-E).

Sumerian seems to have developed an equivalent term in a slightly different fashion. PL SE-FA, 'separate-do repeatedly' = 'separate into many parts'. This is the underlying form for PIE *sew6-, 'loosen(ed) up' (SE-FA-?A, +stative); and from it: *su:-m-s, 'falling off' (SE-FA-MO) + 'to a high degree' = 'loosened so as to be separate'. I believe this same form can be found in Sumerian um (for *m), 'slaughter (for *butcher)', which pictures a 'knife' as does the determinative for Egyptian *zjm(3): um (for *m), 'slaughter (for *butcher)' (#219).

A rather straightforward root is PL SE-RE, 'separate-cause to become' = 'separate', which provides Egyptian z3, 'knife ('separator')'; and PIE *ser-, 'to weed, process with a sickle'.

di6, '*whirl, hurry' (#410)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #410) depicts a 'side-view of a foot'; means 'hurry'; and reads di6.

A derivation from this simplex is T?E-E, ball of foot-like' = 'hurry', which corresponds to PIE *dey(6)-, 'hurry (after); and to Sumerian *d6 as well. Of course, di6 can represent both T?E and T?E-E (*d6).

Sumerian de2 (Jaritz #635) and de3 (Jaritz #339), readings also connected with these meanings, are purely phonetically motivated.

Another important derivation from this root is T?E-FA, 'spin-do repeatedly' = 'whirl' (also done on the 'ball of the foot'). This can be seen in Sumerian du7-du7 (for *d7-d7), written with Jaritz #786, which depicts a 'bull's head (#563) under a counting mark (#750)', meaning 'push, thrust, gore (probably, ultimately, 'toss with a twirl of the head')'.

For the meaning 'push', though, we are, perhaps better advised to look at PL T?O-FA, 'put together-do repeatedly' = 'push'; PIE *deu-, 'move one's self forward, press forward'; *(s)teu-, 'push, hit'); and du7 again (this time for *d7), still written with Jaritz #786: du-7, 'push, thrust, gore' (#786). It is also present in PIE *deu-, 'spin', in AS to:w, 'spinning'. The connection of du7-du7 with #786 is probably purely phonetic although it may correlate with the swinging toss of the bull's head after goring.

The Egyptian sign for T?E is Gardiner #D46*, 'hand dispersing liquid', reading d: *d, '*disperse' (#D46*). This sign is found in only a few words like jd.j, 'cense', which is PL HHE-T?E(-E), 'smoke-spin around(-like)'.

We have discussed PL T?E-?A-E, 'wrap around', below under THE. It was suggested there that this corresponded with Sumerian de4 (for *dx), a secondary reading of Jaritz #680, for this and other semantically related meanings like 'restrain, hold back'. This would correspond to PIE *de:(i)-, 'bind'.

The Egyptian equivalent, d3j.w, 'loincloth', is, I believe, a late spelling in which the 3 indicates no more than a foregoing long vowel. Other traditional spellings that are unambiguously dj.w exist. The Egyptian sign for *dj is Gardiner #N18, 'sandy tract, garment', which depicts a 'wraparound cloth': *dj, '*wrap around' (#N18). Finally, it must be mentioned that a Pyramid spelling of d3is in which the final s has been interpreted as a determinative. I am inclined to see this as an unrelated word deriving from T?A-RE-?A, 'strip off-cause to become' = 'flay' + stative = 'animal leather/pelt'; and related distantly to *ders- (in Greek drris, 'leather dress'), which is derived from *der-/*dre:-, 'flay'.

For T?E-?A-NA, 'restrain, 'dam', see under THE below.

A very well-distributed root meaning 'fasten together'; is from PL T?E-MA(-?A), 'wind (around)-stay(-stative)' = 'cause items to stay together by wrapping material around them'. It is found in Sumerian Jaritz #785: dim-2, 'build, make' (#785), which depicts a 'fuller's club', and reads dim2.

It can also be seen in PIE *dem(6)-, 'construct, fit together'; and in PAA: *dim-, 'building, dwelling' (OS:162); Egyptian dm.j, 'be joined, cleave to; abode'; and Arabic tamma, 'be completed'. It probably also is the root (*tem-) of Etruscan tmia, 'place, (sacred) building'. Possibly, it may be the basis for Proto-Uralic *Dyim, 'glue (if 'that with which things are made to stay together').

The earliest reading of #785 will have been *km, 'antler-tool', possibly an aena, a spiked tool for raising the nap on cloth in order to shear it smooth; PL KXHE-MHA; see below under KHE).

i2 (for *zi-x), 'finger, teat'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #188b) depicts a 'lateral view of a curled horn', and reads currently se/i (and i2), 'finger, *teat' for the expected *zix, a reference to the conical ('finger/teat-like') point of the horn.

Though I am very adverse to offering this as a possible explanation for the discrepancy noted above, at the moment, I can offer no other.

It may be that the sequence *z- (PL T?SE-E) palatalized the initial z (presumably pronounced /ts/) to /t/, which was resolved into //; and the usual confusion of the scribes between s and was, in this word, decided in favor of s. Bolstering this explanation is the variation of *z and * for the meaning 'life', which we would reconstruct as T?SE-?A-E; please see below.

The Egyptian sign is for T?SE is Gardiner #D50, 'finger', D(b'), 'finger, thumb, toe, 10,000' (#D50) , and has the value of Db' according to the present reading given to it by Egyptologists.

As Db', its meaning is given as 'finger' but also 'thumb', and 'toe', i.e. '*digit'; and '10,000'. This word is problematical in a number of ways. But, a scenario that might work is as follows: D, represented by #D50, meant, at an early date, 'finger'. To it was added PL P?FA, 'prominent', Egyptian b, producing the meaning 'thumb'. This corresponds to PIE *dheb, 'stocky, wide', a terminology that also underlies the PIE word for 'thumb' (*tu:-m-, 'greatly swollen').

In time, this was also used for 'finger'; and even later, for 'toe'. Sometime after that, the additional element T?SO, 'arm', Egyptian ' was added, probably to designate a hand-counting movement or position to indicate '10,000'. This, in turn, became attached to the word for 'finger, thumb, toe', and '10,000'. It is tempting to regard the final ' as a determinative but Sahidic Coptic têêbe, 'finger', argues strongly against it.

PL T?SE-RE, 'finger-apply' = 'hold' is seen in PIE *dher-, 'hold', and Egyptian D3.t, 'hand, handful'.

T?SE-RO, 'finger-part' = 'holder', is seen in PIE *dher-, 'hold', and Egyptian Dr.t, 'hand, handle'.

For T?SE-?A-E as 'suck/inhale (air)', or For T?SE-?A(-E)[-T?SE-?A(-E]) as 'sour/bitter'.

i, '*bodily hair' (#669)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #669) reads e (for *i), 'barley', and 'grain, seed'; the proper word for 'grain, seed' (SE-?A) is discussed above under SE.

One of the meanings of XE is 'bodily hair'; and the adjective, XE-E means 'bristly'. This is the name that the Sumerians accorded to 'barley', known for its long and pointed awns. The Latin name for 'barley' is hordeum, which is derived from PIE *g^herzd(h)-, 'prickly'. The Sumerian sign for XE-E is also Jaritz #669: e (for *). Sumerian e (for *i), means 'grain, seed', and has been associated with this sign for phonetic similarity and close semantic connection. This word can also be found in PIE as *gwey(6)- (for **g^wey(6)-), 'pelt, skin'.

It occurs in Egyptian as well as w.t (for *jw.t), which is XE-E-FA, 'bristly-set' = 'feather(s)', in which Gardiner #H6, 'feather', is *jw, '*feather(s)' (#H6).

Interestingly, from the 'hollowness' of feathers, this sign also acquired the reading *jw (which reading is not acknowledged by Egyptologists), and was used to write w (for *jw), 'be empty, lacking, devoid of', and 'dry, dried', which corresponds to PIE *eu- (for *a:u-; cf. *wa:-; and Greek aos, 'dry, dried'), 'to be lacking, empty, dried out'; this is PL HA-FHA, 'air-set' = 'airy' = 'empty, hollow'. What we would expect in Sumerian is *; and we believe it can be found in u, 'hole' (for *; #750); and u2, 'horn' ('hollow one'), (for *; #593).

From XE-E-FA, 'feather(s)', we would expect * but the proximity of u has irregularly caused to become h, which is the normal reflex of X + A / O.

So, for Jaritz #122, which depicts a ''sitting, floating' or 'brooding bird', we find the reading u11, hu (for *h), and muen: hu (for *h), '*feather(s), bird' (#122). Sumerian u11 is simply FA (for *), 'egg'; hu is 'feather(s)'; and the apotropaic mu-en is 'snake-pecker' (#678 + presumably #15 [en4 {for *ên; PL ?A-E-NA, 'beak-like-thing' = 'beak'}, '*beak']). However, it is likely that hu (for *h) also represents PL XHO, 'squat', referring, probably, 'brooding'.

An additional usage of Egyptian *w can be correlated wth PIE: 'sun, sunlight'. This is seen in PIE *gwhe:y-, 'bright, illuminating'. Here, I believe, the PL form is XE-FA-E, 'bristle-do repeatedly-like' = 'radiating', from which we would normally expect PIE *g^wwei-.

It seems one source of PIE *gwh may be *gww-; and the subsumption of this *w into *gw as *h may also account for the lengthening of the stem vowel to *e:.

Also, we have Egyptian wt, 'shade', written with #S36 (Old Kingdom form; shown here) and #S35, 'sunshade': w(j)t, '*sunshade' (#S36).

In the divine name Hp(.wj), '(two) sunshade(s), Gardiner #S36 appears to be representing H(p) (p, probably PHA, 'wing'). We have seen above under K?A that *kj, standing for K?A-E, developed into Egyptian H.

I believe we have here an example of KHE-E, 'gray-like' = 'shade', Egyptian *kj, also developing into Egyptian H. With the addition of the stative affix, ?A, we have KHE-E-?A, 'shade', which corresponds to PIE *sk^iya: (for **(s)k^eya:-; this is an unrecognized s-mobile form) related to *sk^a:i-, 'shade, shimmer dully'.

PIE *sk^a:i- is from another related form, represented by PL KHE-FHA-E, 'gray-set-like', which should produce PIE **k^wa:i- but was resolved to **k^(h)a:i- as can be seen in Old Indian cha:y-, 'shadow', where the aspiration has been retained.

Thus, the Egyptian form mentioned above represents KHE-FHA-(E-)THO, 'shade-collection' = 'shade'; this would be Egyptian *kw(j)t; and *kw became , which is especially interesting, in view of the fact, that Nostratic */G/ and */x/ became PIE *gw and *kw.

Another s-mobile form of this root exists in PIE: *skot-, 'shadow'. PL SA-KHE-FHA-THO would produce **sk^wa:t- but s-mobile eliminates palatalization and velarization so the resulting form would be *ska:t-; this form can be seen in Old Irish sca:th-, 'shadow'. The unique form of this word made retention of the lengthened vowel unnecessary for semantic integrity; and after being transformed into *skat-, and *sket-, it participated in regular Ablaut variations so that we see it in Greek as sktos, 'darkness'.

The Egyptian sign for XE is Gardiner #D3, 'hair' *, '*hair', determinative for 'hair' (#D3), which, once, will have read but, at the stage of writing we see, is used only as a determinative.

The Sumerian sign for PL XE-?A-E, 'fur'-stative-'like' = '(leather) water-bag' is Jaritz #188c, which depicts a 'leather (water-)bag', a 'ghirba', probably with the fur left on the outside of the bag: i-2 (for *-2),'*leather water-bag'. Though the word is not currently associated with this meaning, it seems probable that *2 meant 'leather water-bag'. The PIE is *gwe:i- (for **g^we:i-), '*skin, *pelt'; and with additional formants: 'leather sack, bag'.

u, '*mouth, hole' (#750)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #750) reads u, and depicts and means '(oral) cavity'. It, and many other alternative signs reading uvarious + other elements refers to oral activities: 'yell, shout, consent, lament,' etal. In my opinion, this circular sign has a good probability of being the sign originally connected with oral activities but this is, by no means, certain.

h, '*mouth, entrance portal to building'  (#O27)

The Egyptian sign for ?O (Gardiner #O27) depicts a 'entrance portal of columns', and is the determinative for h.t, 'portal'. This is a metaphorical usage of the concept of 'mouth', paralleled by the usage of Sumerian ka for 'mouth' and 'entrance gate/door'.

NOTE: There are ten PL monosyllables which appear in Sumerian as u representing a pronunciation of both [u:] and [], if one does not including initial combinations of monosyllables. The scribes had a difficult task to keep them correctly associated with the meanings which originally attached to them; and there were many instances of incorrect association so the following list is only a general outline of the proper associations:

(i)u5 [5], '*hold up, support' (#123)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #123), a combination of Jaritz #122, depicting a 'sitting bird', over Jaritz #188a, which depicts a 'force-fed duck', the form, in this combination, for which has fallen together with #188b, which depicts a 'lateral view of curled horn'; and #188c, which depicts a 'leather (water-)bag, ghirba', which here is the appropriate sign; and, reads u5 (for *5). It means 'ride ('holder' = 'saddle' or 'litter', ship's cabin ('hold'), upper pivot of a door ('holder'), gain control ('get hold of'), swim or bathe ('be held = float')'.

The Sumerian response we expect from O is iu or * (written u) and we see above in u5.

We actually have a recorded reading for Jaritz #688 of ia/yi/iu. Of the meanings associated with #688, the only one we can find that might be associated with this reading is iu for O, 'retain', which may be connected with 'retention' leading to 'wisdom (memory[?])', a meaning ascribed to #688.

The Sumerian sign for #188b, i2 (for *zi-x), 'finger, teat' (#188b), somewhat resembles the Egyptian sign for Gardiner #O4, discussed immediately below. It is possible that #188b had an unrecorded reading of *, and that a 'clenched fist' symbolizing 'hold' was an alternate interpretation of the sign we have described as depicting a 'lateral view of curled horn'; equally possible, is that the hollow horn could have, in addition to 'pointed' have been interpreted as a container for 'holding' a beverage.

The Egyptian sign for O is Gardiner #O4, 'reed shelter in fields': h, 'room', alphabetic /h/ (#O4), which depicts a 'clenched fist'. It is alphabetic h.

wu, 'ear' (#688a)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #688a) reads wu (and *x[?]), depicts a 'pair of ears', and means 'ear'. Jaritz #688a, in the meaning of 'ear', is normally read g[~]i/e (Emesal mu), as in g~i/e . . . la, 'listen (literally 'raise ear')'. A replacement of Emegi g[~] by Emesal m indicates an earlier sequence of *wui, which is indicated by the Emesal retention of the *u (for *); accordingly, we reconstruct *wui, which represents PL FO-E, 'ear-like'. The ancients correctly perceived that the active organ in hearing was located within the ear canal; and so, to indicate the external ear, they added the element SO-E, 'skin-like', which we see below also occurred in PIE. These final two elements were collapsed into from *sui, producing *g~, assimilated from *g~si.

The PIE form for 'ear' is *o:us-/*6usi-s. This represents PL FO-FO-SO(-E), 'ear'-reduplicated-skin(-like)' = '(two) external ear(s)/auricles/pinnae'. The *o has been lengthened in compensation for the *w that was eliminated. The term 'pinna' is Latin for 'wing', and this enables us to make an educated guess as to the source of Sumerian pi (for *), 'ear', namely PL PHA-E, 'wing-like' = 'external ear'.

PL FO-E would be expected to appear in PIE as *wei-; and we can find it as a result of PL FO-E-T?SA, 'ear-like-elongated' = 'hear', seen in PIE *weid- (for **weidh-), 'know, see'. It will become apparent that 'verbally transmitted knowledge' was the primary meaning of words compounded with *wei- but whether that knowledge was obtained by hearing or by seeing came, in time, to be blurred. This root was used causatively in Egyptian so that wD (for *wjD) means 'command', i.e. 'cause to hear'. The sign with which *wjD is written is Gardiner #V24, 'cord wound on a stick': *wjD, '*distaff' (#V24).

The Egyptian sign for FO, 'curl', is Gardiner #V4, 'lasso': w(3), '*lasso' (#V4). This sign is usually read w3, and is used in the word w3.t, '(looped) cord'. Another w3t means 'way, road'; in those ancient days before bulldozers and dynamite, only crows flew as the crow flies; roads were forced to curl around obstacles. This is PL FO-RHE-T?O, 'curl-go-put together' = 'winding process' = 'road'. This can be seen in PIE *were[:]d- in Gothic wrato:n, 'travel'.

As FO-RE, 'curl-cause to become' = 'make a noose in a cord', we see it in PIE *wer-, 'bind, link together'; and in Sumerian ur3 (#496), 'harness'.

PL FO-RHE, 'travel', provides the basis for w3, 'distant in time or space ('that which requires going around something, travel')', and is cognate with Sumerian ul-li (#786+#100), 'distant in time'. And then we have Egyptian w3, which Egyptologists want to translate as 'fall into a condition' (and it is still possible that 'travel' is the semantic significance of this expression); but I think this is better envisioned as 'bind': e.g. snD w3 Hr H', 'fear placed a binding (traveled over) on their bodies'; or w3 r jj.t, 'bound to come'. PL FO-RHE can also be seen in PIE *wer- (for **wer6-), 'far, wide'. For a further extension of this root, see below.

One final word of interest is w3.j, 'roast', and w3m, 'bake'; I believe the idea here is that slabs of meat curl up at the edges as they are heated. This corresponds to PIE *wer-mo- in *wer-, 'burn, burn up, darken', where the main idea seems to be curling up at the edges (FO-RE-MO, 'curl up-to a high degree').

For FO-NHA, 'open', see above under FA.

gu2, 'neck' (#171)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #171) depicts an 'amphora-like vessel with the tubular neck of the vessel demarcated by a line', and reads gu2 (among others); it means'neck, shout (though this meaning has been adopted by Jaritz #15, gu3), subdue (tie up), net (rope)', among others.

For this monosyllable, a second sign was available in its primary non-bodily meaning: 'rope', Jaritz #924, gu, 'thread, cord' (#924), which depicts a 'spindle' for twisting fibers into 'thread' or 'cord'; it reads gu.

The Egyptian sign for K?O is Gardiner #V13, alphabetic T, which shows the a 'loop of rope for tethering animals' : *T, 'rope'.

The identification of this sign is made clear by Pyramidic TT.t, 'fetterer'; and compounds like Ts.t, 'knot' (PL K?O-SO, 'rope-pull').

ku-11, '*hole' (#812)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #812) depicts a 'circular area with shading, a tunnel or passage opening/hole'. The recognized word for 'hole' in Sumerian is ku; it is usually written with the sign for 'pair of buttocks', Jaritz #893a in one of its earlier incarnations; for a full discussion, see under KXHO below. Sumerian does have 11 as a reading for #812 but this is not recognized as meaning 'hole' or 'passage'.

A secondary reading of this sign, ki (for k), 'earth, cleared land', has become its primary reading; this is PL K?XE-?A, 'scrape-stative' = 'stripped, bare', for which the proper sign is Jaritz #131, ki2, which depicts a papyrus plant being stripped of its outer covering (skin): ki2, '*strip'. Here, too, we will look in vain for an assignment of the primary meaning, 'strip'; however, it is employed in a number of compounds, like KI2-UDUG, Akkadian utukku, which means 'wickerwork, wattle-and-daub architecture, woven with strips of peeled plant skin or twigs. PL K?XE-?A, 'scrape-stative' = 'bare', is found in PIE as *g^he:-, 'be empty, missing', with various derived words meaning 'cleared land'. In Egypt, the papyrus was a plant regularly stripped of its skin to obtain the pith for paper production. Therefore, a depiction of papyrus by itself (Gardiner #M16, 'clump of papyrus') suggested stripping: H3, '*papyrus, strip'.

The Egyptian sign for K?XO is Gardiner #Aa1, 'human placenta? (better: 'passage')', x: x, 'hole' (#Aa1) is almost an exact duplicate of the Sumerian.

While we can think of it as 'hole', its more closely defined meaning is 'passage, (cave-)tunnel', as is seen by Egyptian xx, 'neck, throat (the interior rather than exterior)'; and PIE *ghegh-, 'excavation'.


There are several formants that were used in the Proto-Language to form nouns, characterized by color, and color-adjectives (I will be using primarily examples from PIE so as not to impede the progress of this short digression; examples from Sumerian and Egyptian will be discussed under the primary morpheme):

There does not seem to be any real criterion for which formant could or should be employed to form a color adjective or noun characterized by color.

mu9, 'wood, *flesh = *living creature = human' (#561)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #561) depicts a 'wooden rod', and reads mu9; it means 'wood, *flesh = *living creature = human being'. This assignment of meanings is an interesting application of the Proto-Language device of taking the primary meaning of a part of an animate body and connecting it with an analogous concept in the non-animate environment. This is the earliest and original designation of a 'human being' as a 'living creature'.

For a discussion of various PL compounds which appear in Sumerian as mu, see under RO below.

The Egyptian sign for MO (Gardiner #D52), in the meaning of '*flesh', is m, '*penis, *muscle' (#D52), which depicts a 'penis'. It is used to write the word mt, which means 'muscle = *flesh' (MO-T?O, 'flesh-lump').

Another Egyptian sign for MO (Gardiner #A14), in the meaning of '*blood', is *m(wt), '*bleed out, die' (#A14), which depicts a 'man with blood streaming from his head'. It is used to write the word mwt, which means 'die = *bleed out', as a biliteral, triliteral, and as a determinative.

This is easily found in Sumerian mud (for *md), 'blood', written phonetically with Jaritz #127, which pictures a 'bird bent over laying an egg'; and means, in addition to 'blood', 'bear (young)'. Though the depiction is of a bird, *md refers to any ritually unclean liquid like birth-water or blood released during birth. It can also be seen in PIE *meu-d-, 'be foul'; and represents PL MO-FA-T?O, 'blood-set-lump' = 'release a quantity of blood clots' = 'break water' = 'deliver birth'; or, perhaps, release 'menstrual blood'.

Additionally, Jaritz #112 reads mud/t2 (for *mt2), and means 'dead'; though this reading is not associated with 'dead'. This sign depicts a 'stick being separated into two pieces', ba9, 'split', and reads, among other readings, ba9 and be (for ), 'open (pry apart into two pieces)', which we connect with PL P?A(-E), 'split(like)'. However the connection was made (probably phonetically through PHA-E, 'bite-like' = 'biting, flea'; reading pe/i3, '*flea'; cf. Egyptian py, 'flea'; PIE *pe:(i)- [for *pai-], 'hurt = '*bite'), it also came to mean 'insect'.

This attracted the reading of mut2, which I connect with PIE *moth-, 'flea'; PL MO-TSHO, 'blood/flesh-boring insect' = 'flea'; which would appear in Sumerian as mut2. This, in turn, led phonetically to mud2 (for *md2), meaning 'dead' a meaning totally unrelated semantically to the sign. This represents PL MO-FA-T?O, 'blood-set-lump/done repeatedly' = 'bleed to death'; it corresponds to PIE *meu-d-, 'be foul', also.

In PIE, the meaning 'flesh' can be seen in *me:mso-, 'meat', which is a result of the reduplication of MO-SO, 'meat-skin', the meaning of which is seen clearly in Greek mê:nigks, 'skin, muscular membrane': *msmes- *m:mes- *m:ms- *m:ms-o-.

An interesting example of the morpheme in the meaning of 'blood' is provided by Egyptian #G14. Gardiner's sign which displays a 'vulture': mw, 'vulture, *gull, mother'. This sign is the biliteral for mw(.t), which means 'mother' (PL MA-FA, 'breast-set' = 'mother') + Egyptian feminine -t. The vulture, however, is named for its habits: MO-FA, 'blood-egg' = 'blood-bird' = 'vulture'. After all vowels were reduced to /a/ in Egyptian, both these words would have been identically pronounced: /mau/.


PL MO is the second element in a compound that probably was once a self-designation for the earliest PL-speakers; for discussion of the first two elements, see below: RO-?A-MO, 'brought-up-human' = '(hu)man'.

Its most notable occurrence for us is in Latin Ro:ma: (+ HHA, 'all'), a collective expressing the totality of adult people in the city, and (+ PL NA, 'one' and O, 'male', and SHE, 'individual') *ro:ma:n-(y)o-s, Latin Ro:ma:nus, 'Roman'; and in Old Indian ra:ma-,' name of people'; as well in Armenian and r.amik (cf. Egyptian rmT), 'common people'; and Modern Persian ram(a), 'group, herd'.

It can also be seen in the Romany term for 'man, husband', rom, and 'Gypsy man': romano; and in Burushaski rm, 'clan, tribe, community'. It is also to be seen in Egyptian rmT, 'man, mankind, Egyptians', which I would segment in *r(j)m and -T, PL KHO, 'diminutive' = 'little person/people'. For this kind of a formation, we have the attested example of Old Indian marya(-)k-, 'little man'.

There was, apparently, an, as yet, unnamed dialect of Sumerian in which PL RO did not become l(u). We have a word from it in Jaritz #1, which means, among other things, 'man', and has the reading rum (for *rm). It is possible that Jaritz #935, which means, among other things, 'manliness', and reads lum, may represent this word also (for *lm).

The regular Sumerian reflex of RO-?A-MO would be *lm; Jaritz #935, which depicts the 'two banks of a watercourse', where vegetation, adequately watered, has reached full maturity; and reads lum: lum (for *lm), 'adult' (#935); and, although it is not connect specifically with 'adult human', it is recorded to mean 'be grown'. The line between the two seems rather hazy when we have compounds like e-lum (for *ê-lm), 'bison (better, 'water-buffalo')', which means something like 'canal/river-man/adult'. This brings us to another very interesting term for '(hu)man', represented by PIE *monu-s. We can easily imagine PL MO-NA meaning '*creature, (hu)man', but what we have is *monu-s not simply **mon-; to complicate matters, *manu-s (Old Indian mnus.-) has also been reconstructed.

Let us begin with PIE *manu-s. The theory under which I operate says that *a may not be reconstructed for a PIE root unless it derives from an earlier *a:, which, in this case, could be caused by either an aspirated nasal (MHA) or *maH (*ma?/h). We would expect to see the laryngeal in some form in Hamito-Semitic but Orel-Stolbova have *man-, 'man'.

This suggests that the first syllable is PL MHA, which we interpret here to mean 'occupy'. Proto-Dravidian has man.-s-, 'man'; the retroflex n. indicates that the final syllable was PL NO, a collective plural, telling us the base-word was MHA-NO, 'occupants as a group, humanity'. This, in turn, correlates with Sumerian man, 'companion, partner, *(fellow) occupant' (Jaritz #822 = 2x #750), and man2, 'female (companion)' (Jaritz #919), both for *mn; and Egyptian mn, 'someone'.

Returning to the PIE form, we can confidently reconstruct *ma(:)n- as the base form, corresponding to PL MHA-NO because, the final -*s is PL SHE, a 'singulative', which it would not have been necessary to employ for a singular unless the word was inherently collective.

Instead of Old Indian [s], we find [s.], ie. retroflex [s] in Old Indian as a result of the operation of the RUKI rule in satem-languages, which retroflexes [s] after [u].

The Proto-Dravidian form shows normal [s]. What seems to have happened in PIE is that, with the substitution of the Proto-European Ablaut-phoneme for the inherited from the Pontic stage with general if not total elimination of the glides (Pontic *ma:nWa-), the resulting PIE *ma:na could, just as easily, have derived from Pontic *ma:na, the reflex of PL MHA-NA, and a plural formant was needed to specify the collective: PL F(H)A, which produced PIE -*u-; and necessitated, in turn, -*s for a singular form.

Ugric also substantiates a root
in mañche, 'man, human', although the final n has been palatalized by further derivation processes.

The sign which is used to write Egyptian mn, 'someone, *man in general', is Gardiner #Y5, which is incredibly characterized as a 'draught(s)-board'.
It is, instead, 'a depiction of a 'piece of land set off by a palisade': m(j)n(w), '*palisade, fortress, plantation; and mn(n).w, 'fortress', and mn.w, 'plantation', support this interpretation.

This is PL ME-E-NA, 'tongue-like=conically-pointed-thing' = 'stake, pale', which is seen in Latin moenia, 'circumvallation'; and in Egyptian m(j)nj.t, 'mooring-post'. In Egyptian, ME-E-NA would have become /mayan(a)/ and probably /ma:n/, the outcome we should expect from MHA-NA also. The phonological similarity or identity explains how a 'palisade' could be used to write the word for 'someone'. I believe ME-E-NA can be seen in Sumerian men (for mn7), 'crown', an early form of which replicated the city walls as a circlet with ramparts indicated: men (for *mn7), 'crown' (#518), Jaritz #518 ('enclosure'), which is #458 with inset #889 (me) and #161 (en).

This same Egyptian sign, m(j)n, is also used to write m(j)nj.w, 'herdsman', which corresponds to Sumerian mu-nu10 (written MU.KU [Jaritz #893]), 'cattle-herder'. An early spelling of m(j)nj.w is in Pyramid Text 1533: m(j)njw, 'herdsman' (Pyramid Text 1533. It will be immediately apparent that the implement held is virtually the same as that held by the figure used to write z3.w, 'guardian' in Pyramid Text 771, which we identified above as a 'snake-hook' (see z3w, 'protect', below): z3w, 'guard'  (Pyramid Text 771).

In fact, Gardiner #A47 is used to write both; and how it is to be read is often in doubt. We have additional supporting evidence for our supposition that 'snake-catching' is being advanced as proto-typical protective behavior in Pyramid Text 936, where we have m(j)nj, 'act as a herdsman', written with Gardiner #Aa20, 'doubtful', which is a 'storage bag': Gardiner #Aa20, 'doubtful, *storage-bag', a bag for safely keeping the captured snakes: m(j)nj.w, 'herdsman' (Pyramid Text 936.

I believe that what we have here is a designation indicating the geographical provenance of the herdsmen rather than a specific activity which they perform. I would relate m(j)nj.w as an agent in -.w of m(j)nj, which I interpret as representing PL MO-?A-NO-E, 'bulge-stative-collective-like' = 'hills-like' + FE, 'male' = 'hill-man'. The base for this word shows up in PIE as *mo:niyo-, 'mountain(ous)'. This, of course, can also be related to Sumerian mu-nu10, 'cattle-herder' (for *m-n10 [NO-E, 'lie-down-like' = 'lying down'], an acknowledged meaning of Jaritz #893, with which nu10 is written). PL MO-?A-NO would also produce Egyptian /ma:n/.

These equivalencies tend to refute the present Egyptological theory that Egyptian had a three-vowel inventory ([i], [a], [u], and support the idea that Egyptian went through the Pontic phase in which all vowel qualities were reduced to or remained [a] with palatal and velar glides (y, w) for earlier [i] and [u].

It is my opinion that one of the major reasons for the introduction of biliteral signs like mn, and their substitution for the alphabetic signs (here, m-n) or supplementation of the alphabetic signs, m-mn-n, was that the vowel character of the biliteral or its interior syllable composition was different from that which would be indicated by the simple alphabetic consonants. Egyptian m-n would indicate /man(a)/; mn probably indicated /ma:n/ if not */ma?an/ or */mayan/ or */mahan/, perhaps, even */mawan/. I question whether these first two were present because Egyptian could, more simply, have written *m-j-n to indicate them as well as *m-w-n for the last.

One of the most frequent meanings associated with Egyptian mn is 'remain' (contrasting with m(j)n, 'be fixed' from ME-E-NA; see above); this represents PL MHA-NA, 'occupier', mentioned above. We would expect PIE **ma:n- but instead we find *men-, 'remain'.

Since PL MA-NA seems established with the meaning 'breast' in PIE *men-d-, 'breast, nurse (transitive and intransitive)', Egyptian mnD, PL MA-NA-T?SA (formant of bodily parts), we must assume that pre-PIE **ma:n- had become *man-, and so -*a- became the Ablaut-phoneme *A during the Pontic phase of the language, leading to PIE *me/on-/mN-.

If there is a way to predict what long vowels were shortened in pre-PIE, I have yet to find it; however, we might note that this root is frequently found as a thematic (*men-) combined with *y(e) (from E), the stress-accent of which may have contributed to the shortening of -*a:-. Since mnD is also written with the 'palisade', it tells us that m(j)n was, perhaps without justification, used for /man/.

On the other hand, we may be dealing with MA-HA, 'nurse (transitive)', as was discussed above under MA, and m(j)n may be justified as , a reduction from *. The proper sign for m(n) is probably Gardiner #D27, 'breast': m(n), Gardiner #D27, '*breast', which is used as a determinative in this word.

We may also want to notice PL MO-NA, 'flesh-stone=testicle', seen in Uralic muna, 'testicle'; and MO-NA, 'salty-stone=rock salt', seen in Sumerian mun, 'salt', which is written with Jaritz #155: mun, 'salt' (#155), which depicts Jaritz #154, 'dock piling, pillar' over #812, 'earth', rotated 90º; to an upright position, probably indicating an underground salt-pillar or salt-mound, i.e. 'rock salt, halite, common sodium chloride'.

nu(nu), 'distaff, spin' (#119)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #119) reads nu, which means '(to be) not, no'; but also 'to be stored, put away'. One of the archaic predecessors of the sign depicts a 'spinning distaff', a staff which holds the raw wool when spinning; this relates to the meaning 'to be stored, put up, put into (thread)' while spinning. Sumerian nu is acknowledged to have the meaning 'spin into thread'; this is found again in PIE *sne:u- (an unrecognized s-mobile form for **no:u- [PL NO-FHE, 'store-weave']), 'spin into thread'. However, another archaic sign, another ancestor of Jaritz #119a, illustrates the idea of negation very clearly: a 'line crossed out in the middle: nu, negative (#119a). This is the PIE negative *ne-.

The meaning of 'store' for NO has been severely pushed into the shadows by its frequent use as a negative (which derives, of course, from 'store, put away, remove from sight'); nonetheless, we can see indirect traces of it in Sumerian nu2 (for *n2), 'lie down, 'lay down, protect [='put down inside for rest or storage and later use']', written with Jaritz #774, which depicts a 'sleeping cushion': nu2, 'lay down, lie down, *store' (#774). This reflects PL NO-FA, 'store-done repeatedly'; and we can see it in PIE *sneubh-, 'marry', an s-mobile form, which is PL NO-FA-P?FE, 'store-done repeatedly-place' = 'connubial bed'. We can see another employment of NO-FA(-T?A ['give over to']) in PIE *neu-d-, 'benefit, use, valuable property ('what is given over to storage')'; interestingly, Jaritz #774 also has the reading nud (for nd) with the same meanings as *n2 above, corresponding to NO-FA-T?A .

The Egyptian sign for NO, in the meaning of 'bowl', is Gardiner #W24, 'bowl' (j)n, '(water-)bowl' (W#24), currently read as (j)n(w).

This sign also has the readings jn (HHA-NO, 'water-bowl') and nw.

The Egyptian sign for NO, in the meaning of negation, is Gardiner #D41, 'forearm with palm of hand downwards': n(j), negation (#D41).

It is possible that this sign read nj in some or even in all instances.

That the inherited vowels were preserved at the time of the formulation of Egyptian writing is suggested by the employment of this sign for Egyptian n(j)w, 'ostrich', which is based on PL NHO.

bu-7, 'buccal or anal cheek(s)' (#893a)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #893a) depicts 'buccal or anal cheeks', both raised areas around an orifice; although bu7 is currently assigned the meaning 'shine, glow', the primary source for this assignment is the Akkadian gloss naphu, which means 'blow', as well as 'shine, glow'; here, we believe, the former is the applicable interpretation so that the buccal cheek is being characterized as 'that with which we blow' even though the fundamental meaning is simply 'swollen place'. The reduplicated simplex, P?O-P?O, 'all swollen' = 'pair of buttocks/backside', is present in Modern English and German as popo and Popo, representing an as yet unrecognized and unreconstructed PIE *bobo-. This is not Kindersprache but simply an inelegant but persistent popular retention of an ancient formulation.

A basic derivative of P?O in its fundamental meaning is P?O-FA, 'cause to be swollen-do repeatedly' = 'purse(d lips)'; this is Sumerian bu3, '*purse lips, kiss, venerate', written appropriately with Jaritz #36, a combination of Jaritz #15, which depicts a 'head and neck in profile with hair around the mouth', into or beside which #651, which depicts a 'hand', has been placed: bu-3, '*purse lips, kiss, venerate' (#36). This is PIE *bu- (for **b(o)-), 'lip, kiss'.

This can be easily seen in PIE *b(o)-, 'blow up, (cause to) swell'. This same root is also reconstructed as *bh(o)-; and we may notice that initial *b in PIE is rare, its place being taken by *w or *bh; the conditioning environment for this substitution has not yet been determined.

The Egyptian sign for P?O is Gardiner #D26, 'liquid/air issuing from (pursed) lips': f, 'spit, bubble' (#D26).

The Egyptian word in which this sign occurs is fd (for *fjd), 'sweat', PL P?O-E-T?A, 'bubble-like-drip', seen in PIE *sweid- (for *(s)weid-; an unrecognized s-mobile), 'sweat'.

bu9 (for pu-x),'*tree-trunk, (boundary(-post) (#157 prototype)


The archaic prototype for this sign (Jaritz #157) has not been preserved; and the red asterisk is meant to alert the reader to the fact that the sign portrayed above is a theoretical reconstruction based on the characteristics of the attested cuneiform sign: bulug/bu9 (for pu-x),'*tree-trunk, (boundary(-post) (#157), which should read *bulug and *bu9 (for *pux) for '*tree-trunk, (boundary-)post'.

In order to explain why we feel this is justified, we will first rotate the cuneiform version of the this Sumerian sign 90̊ to the right to represent the position it would have had in archaic Sumerian cuneiform: bulug/*bu9 (for pu-x),'*tree-trunk, (boundary(-post)' (#157 cuneiform 90̊ to right).

We are proposing that Jaritz #157 is the result of a combination of Jaritz #154 and Jaritz #112; Jaritz #154 reads dim, 'dock piling, pillar', dim,'dock piling, pillar' (#154), which depicts a 'downwardly pointing stake with a loop of rope at the top', which is intended to represent a stake to which something (a boat, animal) is tied to prevent it from floating off or wandering away. Sumerian dim is a functional terminology based on PL T?E-MA(-?A), 'wind-around-stay'(-stative) = 'cause(d) to remain by tying to', corresponding to PIE *dem(6)-, 'tame, control'. The key concept to retain in mind is that concretely, dim represents a stake. We will rotate its later cuneiform version by 90̊ to the right for comparison purposes: dim,'dock piling, pillar') (#154 cuneiform 90̊ to right).

Jaritz #112 means 'split', reads ba9, and depicts a 'stick being separated into two pieces': ba9, 'split' (#112). We will rotate its later cuneiform version by 90̊ to the right for comparison purposes: ba9, 'split' (#112  cuneiform 90̊ to right).

If we put the 90̊ rotated cuneiform signs for Jaritz #154 over Jaritz #112 (combination seen at left) and compare it to the 90̊ rotated cuneiform sign for Jaritz #157 (seen at right), we can see that they are quite similar: dim over ba9 (left) and bu9 (right) (#154 over #112  cuneiform 90̊ to right : #157 cuneiform 90̊ to right). It looks as if the second diagonal wedge-stroke on the right has been transferred to the bottom while the second wedge-stroke on the left has simply been deleted, now being represented by the part of the bottom wedge-stroke which crosses the vertical wedge-stroke to the left of center. The theoretical archaic sign we have reconstructed at the beginning of this section above corresponds in its constituents with the theoretical cuneiform sign at the left; and, if the changes are actual, the actual cuneiform sign to the right as well. The attested cuneiform for Jaritz #157 is, of course, seen above at the beginning of this section; it is simply the same sign as on the right in the comparison immediately above, rotated 90̊ to the left into its normal orientation.

Sumerian bulug, '*tree-trunk, (boundary-)post', can seen again in PIE *bheleng^- in Greek phlagks, 'trunk, (cross-)beam'; and Latin fulcio:, 'hold up, support', allows us to understand the semantic significance of the usage of Jaritz #112 when we see that its reading of bad (for *pad2) means 'foot (of furniture)' and 'support'.

And to add to the argument, there is a second archaic Sumerian sign which developed into cuneiform #112: bad (for pad2), 'foot (of furniture), support' (#112a), which depicts a 'beam or pole supporting the material of a shelter tent'; this does not change the analysis of the theoretical archaic form of Jaritz #157 since it appears to have been supplanted by the 'stick being separated into two pieces' at an early date but it does explain the semantics of the sign: 'support(#112)-pillar(#157)'. Sumerian bu9 (for *px), representing P?FO, 'trunk', explains itself but bulug must be analyzed as a compound consisting of bu9, 'trunk' + lug, which is a phonetic reading of Jaritz #894, inspired by lug, 'live, dwell, *lie at', a result of PL RHO-K?XO, 'rise-hole' = '(central ceiling) smoke-exhaust', a feature of ancient houses built around a central hearth (megaron), which was Sumerian *lk (perhaps a variant of #894 depicted this central smoke-exhaust).

Jaritz #894 also has a reading of lu (for *l, i.e. RHO), 'plentiful, much'. We, therefore, consider lug an extension of lu, and emend it to *l(n)g~ in view of PIE *longho-s, 'long', and *bheleng^-, which we now know to interpret as 'trunk-long' = '(unsectioned) trunk, (cross-)beam'.

In view of the lack of palatalization in **long(h)o-s, we must emend *bheleng^- to **bhele(n)gy-. One of the commonest naturally long objects with which ancient man familiarly came into contact was the intestine of an animal or man, the last about 26 feet long.

As a consequence, the intestine, QA had the secondary meaning of 'long'; combined a RHO-QA, it meant 'excessively long', and is the basis for both **long(h)o-s and *l(n)g[~]3. Sumerian *pul(n)g[~]3, 'tree-trunk, (cross-)beam', is thus exactly parallel with *bhele(n)gy- except for the final -*y.

PIEists do not currently recognize [ng] as a phoneme in PIE, and do not realize that it had a different set of correspondences in the daughter languages than [n]+[g] as a result of composition or metathesis.

The Egyptian sign for P?FO is Gardiner #D56, 'leg', alphabetic b: *b, '*leg' (#D56).

Because of the conflation of Egyptian reflexes to PL P?FE, P?FA, and P?FO in Egyptian b, whatever use this sign may have had originally is moot since all three PL syllables become /ba/ in Egyptian. The earliest #58a ('foot') was considerably less tall than the later version: *b, '*leg' (#D58a); and it may be that it was lengthened to graphically include the idea of 'leg' as well as 'foot'.

gu-3 (for *(n)g~u-3[?]), '*skull (?)' (#15)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #15) reads gu3 (for *g3), and may designate the 'jaw' as 'chewer' however it is more likely to be (n)g[~]3u3, '*skull' (PL QO), since when it is preceded by Jaritz #684, which reads ug4 (among others), the result, ugu (for *(n)g[~]3u), means 'skull, top', and more specifically 'pate of the skull'.

I believe this represents PL FA-?A-QO, 'round-stative = 'rounded portion'-'(of the) skull' = 'pate'. This can be seen in PIE *wa:g- (for **wa:ng-), 'rounded cover, lid'. PL QO also means 'testicle'; and for a discussion of that, with reference to 'cattle', see FA above.

We find PL QO-QO, 'all globular', in PIE *go:g- (for **(n)go(n)g-), 'something round', with compensatory lengthening of the stem vowel because of the elided nasal.

For Sumerian gu4 (for *(n)g[~]34) and gud (for *(n)g[~]3t/T), written with Jaritz #563, based on PL QO-FA(-THO), 'cattle', see above.

The Egyptian sign for QO is Gardiner #W13 (Old Kingdom form for #W11), '*pot' g, '*skull, pot' (#W13); this is alphabetic g.

The newer form of this sign is #W11, '*pot': g, '*skull, pot' (#W11).

We have seen above that PL P?A was used for 'buttock' (really, 'gluteal cleft') but QO was additionally in use to mean 'buttocks' or 'posterior'. It appears in this meaning in Sumerian gu-du (for *(n)g[~]3u-tu3, both syllables purely phonetic), 'buttocks, seat'; which can be compared to Egyptian g.t ( a corrected reading of *ns.t when written g.t), 'seat, throne'.

The PIE equivalent is *no:t- (for **n(g)o:t-; unusual because stress-accented initial *(n)g is usually denasalized to *g), 'posterior'; all of which derive from QO-THO, 'balls-compacted' = 'buttocks'. PIE *n(g)o:- for QO- is possibly a dialectal variation on the standard PIE stress-accented reflex of *(n)g(w)o(:)-. When the following syllable has the stress-accent, the PIE developments from zero-grade syllabic *NG are less predictable as we shall see below.

Gardiner's sign #Aa13 (with alternate #Aa15; and abbreviated #Aa16, used only for 'side, 'half') represent PL QO-SO, 'ball-skin' = 'shoulder(-end), side'. This can, of course, first be seen in Egyptian gs, 'side'; and in derivations like gs3, 'tilt (to one side), favor'. When further affixes were added, the second syllable became stress-accented , and the root-syllable went into zero-grade: *NG. From pre-PIE *NG'set- (PL QO-'SO-THO, 'favor'), we have PIE *a(:)ns-(t-), 'be favorably inclined'. We also have PL QO-'SO-FA, 'friendly-set', with pre-PIE *NG'seu-, and PIE *a(:)nsu-, '(friendly) spirit', the basis for the Northland's Aesir, gods. Finally, from QO-'SO-E, 'shoulder-like' = '(jar-)lug', becomes pre-PIE *NG'sei-, and PIE *a(:)nsi-, 'lug'.

Three other important derivations from QO: QO-FA, 'trap'; QO-E, 'constrictor snake'; and QO-E-FA, 'narrow', are discussed under
QHO below.

*lu-x, '*lip, rim (of spoked wheel)'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #834) depicts a '(circular) enclosure', here, the 'rim of a wheel'. Though Jaritz #834 has no recorded reading of *lux, it does read lugud2, 'short person' (a combination of lu2 (Jaritz #611), 'man', and gud4 [for properly read kud, 'cut off', Jaritz #13]); this etymology, of course, parallels English 'short', which is derived from *sker-, 'cut'. I interpret this to mean that #834 had an unrecorded reading of lu(T)x (for RO), meaning 'lip, (rim of) wheel' (derived from 'enclosure'), which is seen, in combination (RO-TSHO), in Egyptian r', 'sun', the sign for which depicts a 'wheel with axle(-hole), a sun-wheel'; and, in PIE *ret(h)-, 'roll, wheel'.

The Sumerian sign for PL RO-?A, 'raise-stative' = 'raised' = 'adult', is Jaritz #611, which depicts a 'human body', reads lu2 (for l2), and means '(human) adult': *lu2 (for *l2), '(hu)man (adult)'. It also reads na6 (for ñ6; PL QHA-HA, 'high-stative' = 'tall (one)'. There was, apparently, an, as yet, unnamed dialect of Sumerian in which PL RO did not become l. We have a word from it in Jaritz #1, which means, among other things, 'man', and has the reading ru3 (for *r3). Also, we have PIE *ro:i- in Old Irish ru:(a)e, 'hero', which is listed incorrectly under *er-, 'set one's self into motion'; this is probably RO-?A-E, 'adult-like' = 'mature(ly virile)'.

This simplex or compound, PL RO(-?A), 'raise(-stative)' = 'adult', is probably the source of the PIE inanimate augmentative suffix -*r(:).

Though PIEists have yet to recognize it, there is an animate augmentative in -*l(:) (from RHO(-HA), 'rise(-stative)' = 'risen (large)'), seen clearly in Greek p:alo-s, '(grown) fat', which can be compared to pi:ar-s, 'fat(tened)'; this is seen even more distinctly in daul-s, 'thickly overgrown'.

The acknowledged PIE animate diminutive (probably, better animate deprecative) in -*l(:) is derived from PL NHE, which, after losing its length and concomitant vowel quality, appears as -*l.

I can understand the reluctance of the early PIEists to ascribe both augmentative and diminutive (deprecative) force to what appeared to them to be the same morpheme: -*l. They probably would have been scandalized to learn that the agentive in -*l is from yet a different PL morpheme: NHA, which began life as PIE -*l(:); and that a rarely employed formant RHO appears as PIE -*l is mark of animate intensity.

Sumerian has lu (for *l), '(be) abundant, heap up', written with Jaritz #894, which is the Sumerian sign for RHO. While '(be) abundant' correlates well with RHO-HA ('risen'), 'heap up' is very probably the result of RO-?A.


RO-?A is an extremely important word because it is a part of the self-appellation of many human groups. Wherever we can determine the length of the vowel in these derived forms (as, for example, in Latin Ro:ma:), it is long. This indicates that the word is RO-?A, 'raised' rather than simply RO; in the view of our ancient ancestors, an 'adult' was not simply full-grown but 'raised, brought up'. In its simplest form, we find it in Sumerian lu2 (for l2), '([hu]man) adult'; we have seen this word above written with Jaritz #611 though, for phonetic reasons, Jaritz #894, lu, is improperly substituted.

We also have Sumerian *llu, '(primeval) humanity', written phonetically as lu2-ulu3. Rather than 'primeval man', I suggest that the reduplication indicates what it normally does, and interpret 'all-adult(s), everyman', which implies an undifferentiated group of men a horde. A notable horde was called lu-lu-be2, and were the enemies of the Sumerians. I connect this group with the Urartian bia(-ini[-li]), the Urartian self-designation, probably 'mountaineer', from Hurrian bab/*ai/ni, 'mountainous'. However, the spelling with lu rather than lu2 implies that 'completely risen' might be understood, perhaps implying greater physical stature of the Caucasian Hurrians (the giants of the Hebrew Bible[?]).

In languages other than Sumerian, we frequently find RO(-?A) as a first element compounded with MO, 'flesh, living thing, human, wood ('flesh' of tree)'; for more on this, see below. This word is Sumerian mu9, 'wood, human', written with Jaritz #561, which depicts a 'wooden rod': *mu9, '*flesh, *living thing, human, wood (flesh of tree)', as discussed above under MO.

However, in Sumerian, we find the reverse order: mu-lu/lu2, 'ruler, man'. In these compounds where we should expect mu9, we find, instead, mu, written with Jaritz #102, which depicts a 'sprouting seed' (as in mu-lu/lu2, 'man'): *mu (for *m), '*sprout, semen, son, call out, name, year[-name]' (#102).

Putting aside for a moment the question of mu, the spellings with lu and lu2 originally reflected the two different meanings mentioned: lu (for *l, PL RHO(-HA)) is 'risen', and correlates with 'ruler'; lu2 (for *l2, PL RO(-?A)) is 'raised', and correlates with '(hu)man (adult)'. This is somewhat substantiated by Arabic mur?un, 'man'.

It appears that PL RO, in some unnamed dialect of Arabic, did not result in l but rather remained r; and from this dialect, mur?un originates.

I would like to apologize to those readers who are offended by my, I hope, circumspect use of the idea of unknown dialect to justify sound-change variants not predicted by the standard conversion rules proposed here or justified by identifiable combinatory modifications. One might term this an "un-environmental" crime. I assure those readers that any other possible solution for the discrepancy was investigated and scrutinized before this explanation was offered. Frankly, I do not like to use it any more than some readers will want to see it.

To return to Sumerian mu, written with Jaritz #102, the sign makes quite clear that its primary reference is unlikely to be to a 'human'; and, in fact, although associated with 'penis, male' and 'son', the meaning of 'human' is not ascribed to it. The meanings that are associated with it are 'sprout, semen, penis, male, son' 'call out, order, name, year (from the practice of naming years rather than numbering them)' 'wood, straight, scepter, weapon, destroy'; and finally, 'hero'. Several of these can be unified under the notion of 'emit': 'sprout, semen, penis, male, call out, order, name, year'. We can first find a related root in Egyptian mw, 'semen, what is emitted'. Then there is PIE *meu-, 'push away (or '*out')', which I interpret as 'cause to be emitted'. This is PL ME-FA, 'emit-repeatedly' = 'sprout, call out'. This also means that mu should be emended to *m.

None of these meanings explains why mu is used in the compound mu-lu/lu2, 'ruler, man'. The explanation, I believe, lies in Jaritz #560, which depicts 'two stems with a branch growing from each of them'; and has a basal meaning of 'bud, grow large'. It reads mu6 (for m6), 'manly, young man', and represents PL MO-E, '(hu)man-like' = 'manly', which would result in Sumerian *m.

The explanation sought is that #102 could be used for 'manly' because it had the same phonetic shape as the proper word for 'manly', namely Jaritz #560: both compounds resulted in * at some stage of the language.

Though we cannot see mu-lu2, 'man', in Egyptian, mu-lu, 'ruler', occurs as m(j)r, 'superior, administrator', which is supposed generally to be a defective spelling for *jmj-r(3), 'he who is in the mouth of'', which is, in itself, semantically a strange formulation better for a dentist than for a paladin. I believe this interpretation of the reading is erroroneus.

The determinative and sometimes word sign for m(j)r is Gardiner #F20, supposedly 'tongue of ox?': m(j)r, 'supervisor, *commander'  (#F20). It is difficult to believe that the Egyptians, who were so skilled at depiction, could have devised this sign to represent the tongue of anything (notice Gardiner's question mark). I question this interpretation of the sign in spite of its employment to write n(j)s (cf PIE *leis-, 'slip, glide'), 'tongue', which, I suspect is phonetically rather than semantically based; here the reader may judge for himself. In any case, interpretation of the sign is problematical; to me, it suggests a 'chin and throat/neck in profile'.

Akkadian amêlu, 'man', also suggests that the first element in mu-lu2, 'man', is actually *m from MO-E.

To return to the meanings that we believe have been improperly associated with #102 , we look first at 'hero'; we interpret this to be a result of PL MO-?A, 'bulge-stative' = 'bulging (muscles)', which is written mu for m. A support for this analysis is found under Jaritz #560, which, along with a reading of mu6 (for m6), includes the readings mua and muia, 'hero'. We find MO-?A in PIE as *mo:-, 'large'.

The meanings for #102, 'wood, straight, scepter, weapon,' properly belong to Jaritz #561, which reads mu9, and has the meanings of 'wood, human being, branch, tool'. In the case of #560 and #561, *m and mu have been confused with *m from #102.

Finally, in this family of words, we should include PIE *meryo-, 'young man', a derivation in -*yo (the original source of PIE masculine -*o-stems; from PL O, 'male') from a no longer separately attested **mer-, 'adult'. This represents PL MO-RO, apparently the simplest formulation of the idea of 'adulthood'. I presume that sexual maturity was the core criterion and not full physical growth.

The Sumerian word for 'turnip' is lub/p2SAR, written lu-ub/p2SAR and luSAR (SAR means 'garden', and is here merely a determinative for a garden product), which suggests strongly that lu (Jaritz #894) had an, as yet, unrecognized reading of lub/px with p corresponding to PL P?FE, 'foot/track', a frequent formant of animal names but also in limited use as 'plant-root'.

The turnip in question is brassica rapa, which is a white bulb, to a depth of 1-3 cm at the top of which has been turned a reddish color by the sun where it protrudes from the surface of the soil. It is reconstructed by Pokorny as *ra:/e:p- but OHG ruob/ppa, 'turnip', points to **ro:bh/pyo:-. Because of its basal meaning of 'lip', and the facts that lips are always somewhat red compared to the surrounding skin-color, RO has always been associated with the idea of 'redness'.

It can be seen in Latin rosa:, 'rose', which presupposes an, as yet, unreconstructed PIE **rosa: (PL RO-SHA, 'red-state' = 'redness'. Akkadian ru, 'gleaming red', and Sumerian ru (for *rus [?]; Jaritz #724), 'angry (= 'red-faced')', show that this PL word was current in the Mesopotamian area whether as a loanword from another related language or taken over from a Sumerian dialect in which PL RO did not become l[V].

In Egyptian, for example, most Coptic dialects have r for (hieroglyphic) Egyptian r while Faiyumic has l. The more widely distributed PL word is RO-FA-T?SA, 'red-frequentative-formant of bodily parts = 'redden (body part)', seen in PIE *reudh-, 'red'. Here, it seems, the reddening was originally directed to describing 'flushing' or 'ruddiness' but body- or lip-painting for aesthetic or cultural purposes is also possible.

We have the Egyptian cognate in rwD, 'prosper, hard, strong', which favors an interpretation of 'ruddy', parallel with Celtic *roudo-, 'red' and 'strong'; and with Latin ro:bustus, 'robust', ultimately from archaic ro:bus, 'red'. This Egyptian word is consistently determined with Gardiner #Aa12, 'bow-string, sinew': rwD, 'bow-string'  (#Aa12); this favors an interpretation of 'strong'.

It is also vaguely possible that Sumerian ru represents PL RO-XE, 'lip/red-body-hair'.

The Egyptian sign, Gardiner #D21, shows a 'mouth', i.e. 'lip(s)'; and is alphabetic r: r, 'mouth, *lips'; alphabetic r  (#D21) .

'su3, 'cut clear, strip, *pull (#677)'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #677) depicts a 'snake being skinned', and reads su3, 'cut clear, strip, *pull'; reduplicated su2-su2 is recorded as meaning 'pull'.

The Egyptian sign for SO is Gardiner #S29, 'folded cloth': s, 'folded cloth'; '(leather) arrow sheath'; alphabetic s  (#S29); and is alphabetic s.

Egyptian has one word which probably represents 'skin, what is pulled off', i.e. 'leather': s, '(arrow) sheath'.

A word that has some interesting aspects is PL SO-MO, 'pull-to a high degree' = 'pulled off' = 'picked' = 'vegetable'. This can be found in Egyptian sm.w, 'vegetables'. The determinative (or biliteral) for it, Gardiner #M21, very eloquently expresses the basic semantics of this word: sm, 'vegetable, 'picked thing'  (#M21); this is composed, according to Gardiner, of three 'flowering reeds': 'three flowering reeds with indication of three cut reeds' (#M20) over a '(taut from being pulled) rope with a loop for pulling': s, '*pull'  (#x). But notice the indications of 'cut reeds' in #M20 which are not present in #M21 above. Gardiner has clearly erred; the component of #M21 is clearly 'three flowering reeds' but with no indication of 'cut reeds' since what we are contemplating here is 'pulling' plants rather than 'cutting' them: 'three reeds'  (3x#M17).

This word is seen in Sumerian sum, which is Jaritz #322; and depicts 'two side-by-side vegetable bulbs or tubers with stems and leaves': 'sum, 'cut clear, strip, *pull' (#322); one of the meanings associated with this sign is 'grab' but this probably should be emended to 'pick'. Presently read um (for *sum), it means 'onion' and 'garlic'. Onions are known to be one of the oldest (bulb) vegetables utilized by humans; and, of course, they are pulled up out of the ground.

The PIE cognate is problematical. It is a well-known phenomenon that ancient peoples named their months for the principal activities seasonally performed in those months. I would like to suggest that seasons may have been similarly named. PIE *sem-, 'summer', would then be the 'time for picking vegetables'.

One of the more interesting hieroglyphs because of Gardiner's misinterpretation of it, is #V17 (and below, #V18, Old Kingdom form): s3, '*harness'  (#V17; #V18). Gardiner considered these 'rolled up herdsman's shelter(s) of papyrus', presumably worn around the neck (how very convenient that might have been tramping the hills!). We can easily see that this is, instead, very much like a medieval harness. And, on the basis of Sumerian sur5, 'harness, be suspended from' (Jaritz #832), we reconstruct PL SHO-RE, 'follow-cause to become' = 'harness, pull down on, be suspended from'. This means that #V17/18 must be reconstructed as s3 rather than z3.

This root is probably seen in PIE *ser-k-, 'loop, sling, bundle, pack, carried baggage'. This sign probably works well also for the meaning 'amulet', i.e. 'what causes something to follow, talisman'; but for 'phyle of priests', we have a rare spelling with 'cattle-hobble'; and this is most probably the earliest sign, z3 (SA-RA), meaning 'line-up' of priests, scheduled to do priestly duties one after another like knots on a cord.

We have another Egyptian sign transcribed as s3, which depicts a 'basket top with pull cord' (#Aa17; LK #Aa18): s3, '*basket-top, back'  (#Aa17; #Aa18), which is not attested in this meaning but means 'back'. This is PL SO-RA, 'pull-back' = '(removable) basket-top'; and in the second sense SO-RA, 'skin-spinal column' = '(surface of) back'. We may be able to find a faint trace of this word in PIE *so(:)[u]ra(:), 'calf??'.

This leads us to the important root found in PIE as *ser(w)-, 'give careful supervision, protect, maintain', the basis for Greek H:ra, 'protectress'. This can be seen again in Egyptian z3w, 'guard', which is written with a sign (#A47) which depicts a 'sitting man holding a curved stick with a loop of cord hanging around and from it, which I believe is a snake-hook': z3w, 'guard'  (#A47). The illustration of this word in Pyramid Text 771, z3w, 'guard'  (Pyramid Text 771), shows a 'man with stick and looped cord'; and I believe this again is a 'snake-hook': modern snake-hook. A fact to consider before making our analysis is that the determinative most frequently used with this word is #A24, 'man striking two-handedly with stick': z3w, 'guard'  (#A24); this correlates with the Pyramid Text sign. In addition to 'guard', z3w has the meanings: 'ward off, restrain from'. I conclude that the ultimate basal meaning is 'driving away those who would intrude': PL SHE-RE-FA, 'separate one's self-cause to become-do repeatedly'. This would mean that the PIE root should be emended to *se(:)rw-.


In addition to the nominal and verbal meanings of the monosyllables, occasionally an adverbial meaning can be detected even in words composed of only two monosyllables. In this section, we will detail a few of these adverbial uses which we believe we have identified. Adverbial meanings are underlined in entries listed under each monosyllable.

RE, 'down'

SE, 'apart'

du8, '*chest, *loaf, bake, brick'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #326) depicts 'ribs on both sides of the breastbone', reads du8, and means '*chest', though this meaning for this reading is not actually attested. We have already seen this sign above in its reading of gab, 'chest(-cavity)'. Read as du8, it refers to the external pectoral shapes of the chest, shallow hemispherical elevations. Accordingly, it is assigned the meanings 'heap/pile up, fill brick molds with mud' and 'bake', which is an extension of meaning from '*loaf', the primary meaning T?O has in Egyptian.

An extension of T?O meaning 'brick' and 'clay tablet' is T?O-FA-P?FO, 'lump-do repeatedly-place' = '(brick/tablet) mold'. That this is the correct analysis can be seen from Arabic Tbu-n, 'brick', which corresponds exactly to T?O-FA-P?FO. This, in turn, is seen in Sumerian dup (for *dp), a reading of Jaritz #239, dup(pa) (for *dpp), '(molded) tablet/brick/loaf' (#239), which depicts a '(brick/tablet) mold', and is recorded to mean 'clay tablet', which is simply a 'molded loaf' put to an intellectual rather than a constructional use. An additional indication that we are correct in this connection is the fact that dub is also recorded to read dubb(-)a (for *dpp), which would represent dub + stative , i.e. 'molded (thing)' = 'tablet/brick'. Sumerian *dp is also recorded for the meaning 'heap/pile up, spread out mud to make bricks'

The simplex in the above, T?O-FA may be present in du8 (as *d8); see above. This would be PIE *deu-, 'grant, reward, *pile up gifts'.

The brick itself has another common name: PL T?A-PFHO, 'hand-stamp' = 'pat, tap, tip (strike lightly)'. This has the PIE form *deph-, 'stamp, push, knead'; it is incorrectly assigned to *da:p- in Pokorny. Another reading of Jaritz #239, discussed above, is dab6 (for *dap6); this is just another term for 'brick/tablet/loaf': the 'patted thing' a finishing detail of a molded brick/tablet/loaf or an alternative shaping process.

This is the preferred term in Egyptian, where 'brick' is seen as Db.t. The initial element, Db, is almost always written with Gardiner #G22, 'hoopoe', which occurs only in this word. Although Egyptologists have agreed on Db, we do find an alphabetic spelling of d-b to compare against another of D-b; the confusion of D and d is a well-known phenomenon in Egyptian linguistics. I believe the correct rendition is *d-b because of the employment of the hoopoe to write it. The hoopoe has a notable behavior in that when it makes its call, the conclusion of the call is accompanied by a light tap of the bill against the ground unique behavior among birds as far as I know. I believe this indicates that the hoopoe was called the 'tapper'; and so was employed for *db.t, 'brick', which was the 'tapped', i.e. 'patted (into shape) thing'.

The Egyptian sign corresponding to T?O is Gardiner #1, 'bread', t, 'loaf (of bread)'; alphabetic t (#X1), which reads t, 'loaf (of bread)', and is alphabetic t.

'Loaf' is a special usage of 'male breast/chest/lump'.

tu, 'bring, sacrifice'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #99c) depicts a 'hand holding grain', and reads tu; it means 'bring, sacrifice' but the reading tu is not associated with these meanings. On the other hand, we saw with the discussion of Jaritz #629 above, that it depicts a 'right hand'. Jaritz #629 has recorded meanings like 'carry, hold', that we associate preferably with T?SO rather than T?A.

There seems to be a bit of confusion between these two morphemes in Egyptian as well. We have 'give' spelled with d, '*hand, give, *thumb(?)' (#D46) but a competing spelling, listed under rdj, is simply 'arm' (#D36). This latter spelling, in my opinion, is what the spelling says it is, phonologically simply '; and also means 'give'.

Egyptian d, I propose, means 'give' in the sense of 'allot'; ' means 'give' in the sense of 'be presented with, caused to hold, be carried to' for momentary though not necessarily continued use with no implication of the gift being allotted or an actual transferral of ownership.

This is, I think, made clear by the recognized meanings assigned to ' in ', 'warrant'; and ', 'dyke' ('what holds'). These imply a (semi-)permanent holding or transferral of ownership. Egyptian ' also means 'pair/twin', a presumably 'permanent' relationship.

This is then the basis for PIE *dwo:(u )-, 'two' (PL T?SO-FA, 'pair-number' = 'two', which seems to be strictly a PIE development.

The lengthened *o: is the same phenomenon we see in *gwo(:)u-, 'cattle'. Here, the vowel has been lengthened to compensate for the final *u/*w when it has been suppressed, or better absorbed by the *o.

A slightly different outcome is shown by PIE *d(:)us-, 'arm'. Here, we expect the intervening step to have been **dwos- for PL T?SO-SA, 'arm-sinew' = '(upper) arm'. We have a simple, unpredictable metathesis with later elimination of the length. Without a lengthened vowel at an early period, we would have seen the word as **dus- after Ablaut phenomena were introduced.

The idea of 'giving' is reconstructed for PIE as *do:- and *do:u-. While PIE *o: would normally call for the introduction of a 'laryngeal', I believe in this case, based partially on ', 'warrant (i.e. 'grant')' above, that the verb had the simple form **dwo-, which corresponds to Egyptian '; and like **dwos- above, the vowel was lengthened when *w was lost.

It would not do to leave this Egyptian entry without attempting to fully explain it. In addition to ', which represents PL T?SO (and TSHO), two signs we saw above are lumped by many Egyptologists under the reading rdj: dj(j), 'allot' dj(j), 'portion' (#X8), discussed above under T?A; and the alternative spelling, marking it as a verb: (j)mj, 'give' (#D37).

Possibly, the first is properly dj while the latter probably reads djj, corresponding to the difference between PIE *da:- and *da:i-. Unless there is scribal confusion, these should properly be read dj(j) rather than rdj. That leaves the word actually written r-dj(j) to be explained.

I would like to propose, on the basis of PIE *re:/o:/6dh-, 'bring about', that first: the only proper meaning for the combination with #D36 is for 'cause, appoint', and related meanings; and second: that the combination should properly be understood as *r' rather than *rdj(j); and third: further that it can be seen in PIE *re:/o:/6dh-, 'bring about', which represents PL RO-?A-T?SO, 'opened by raising'-stative = 'mouth- put/place' = 'bring about (by speaking/command/persuasion'; cf. OHG ra:tan, 'recommend, originate, demand').

We would normally expect PIE *ro:dh- from these components, but a word of related meaning, PL RE-?A-T?SO, 'scratch'-stative = 'counted- put/place/hold' = 'bring up calculations' = 'put forth for consideration, consider'; cf. OHG ra:t, 'consider(ation)'; this yields PIE *re:dh-; and, of course, *r6dh- is the zero-grade form of either of the two. What purport to be long-vowel Ablaut variations are, in this case, the result of two different PL verbs being combined/conflated under one heading.

I think a similar confusion exists between the readings of Jaritz #629 and #99c. Sign #629 should read *tux for the meanings 'hold, carry'; it does read du20 with no assigned meaning; and we propose this be emended to *tu20 for these meanings. On the other hand, tu, a reading for #99c, should be attached to the meanings 'present, offer, '*hold'.

The Egyptian sign for T?SO is Gardiner #D36, 'forearm', used for alphabetic ': ', 'arm'; alphabetic ' (#D36).

hu3, '*anus' (#750)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #750) means 'hole', and reads both u, '(oral) cavity', and hu3.

I propose that the reading hu3 properly means 'anus ('anal sphincter' or 'anal cavity')'. This is supported by another reading of this same sign: *u4 (for *4), 'left hand', from PL SE-FA, 'excrement-palm', the left hand being used mandatorily for the hygiene of unclean bodily functions. It is, to this day, a serious insult to offer a Mideasterner the left hand as a greeting because of the traditional use of the left hand.

We simply do not have any evidence to indicate how, if ever at all, 'mouth' was distinguished from 'anus' in Jaritz #750.

'Scrape off' is currently associated by Sumerologists with the reading hu for Jaritz #122, 'sitting/brooding bird', but has almost certainly merely a phonetic connection with hu, 'feather' (but also possibly XHO(-E)(-?A) for *h, 'squat, *brood' (but possibly 'squat' = 'defecate'[?]), seen again in PIE *kwey6-, 'rest comfortably').

But it is more likely that it properly belongs to #750 since it appears to describe the basic function of the left hand in connection with anal hygiene.

An additional derivation is XO-RE, 'pucker-cause to become' = 'shrivel'; this can be seen in PIE *(s)ker-, 'shrivel, wrinkle', with typical s-mobile changes; and in Egyptian X3.t, 'corpse'.

The Egyptian sign for XO is Gardiner #F32, 'anus with indicated upraised tail', and alphabetic X (underlined h): X, 'anus'; alphabetic X (#F32), seen in Egyptian Xt, 'belly, womb, body', PL XO-THO, 'anus-accompany' = '(lower) intestine/colon'; and in mXt.w, 'intestines'. This is PIE *gwet-, 'swelling, roundness', from which there are derivations meaning 'stomach, womb, intestines, abdomen'.

Notice that it has been reconstructed as *gwet- rather than as **gwet- as would have been regularly expected. Why there is this discrepancy in this word I cannot presently explain. I presume, until another explanation seems preferable, that the closely related reconstruction is due to dialectal differences but possibly also taboo deformation.

Egyptian Xr is PL XO-RO, 'under-part' = 'base/support'; and is written with Gardiner #T28, 'butcher's block (with runnels[?] for carrying blood and other material away from the working surface)': Xr, 'butcher's block,  (what is) under' (#T28).

Though not listed in Pokorny or AHD, PIE **gwer-, '*under/across', is probably the source for Modern German quer, 'across'; and Modern English queer ('who is under', from the assumed spatial relationship of the passive participant during homoeros'). The Sumerian cognate is seen in hul3, written with Jaritz #452, which depicts a 'stick laid across another stick': hul3, '*under/*across, inferior, evil' (#452).

Sumerian hul3 is a virtual litany of negative characteristics: 'malodorous, slight, evil, dishonest, false, criminal, visually impaired' all of which can be grouped under the general heading of 'inferior'. The same set of meanings is associated with hul, a reading of Jaritz #806, which is a combination of Jaritz #798 ('eye with optic nerve') over #945 ('dog'): hul, '*homosexual, *under/*across, inferior, evil' (#452). In keeping with its semantic composition, I suspect strongly that this choice of signs refers to the behavior of dogs who avoid a steady gaze because it constitutes a challenge to dominance; a 'dog-eye' would be an averted gaze acknowledging social inferiority.

The association with dogs may also be due to the canine practice of alpha/superior male dogs simulating coitus with inferior male dogs. Various derivatives of Egyptian Xr support this semantic analysis: Xr, 'under, base'; Xr.w, 'underlings'; Xr.wj, 'testicles ('pair of objects under [the penis]')'; Xr-', 'apprentice ('under the arm/hold of')'; Xr.t-', 'deceit ('under-armed/handed/held')'. PIE does have the corresponding s-mobile form: *(s)kert-s-, 'across'.

A seemingly phonologically identical word, hul2, 'rejoice', is written with Jaritz #915, details in an analysis for which will be found in the Excursus below.

Most of the derivatives of XO are unusually transparent: XO-NA, 'under [the skin]-thing' = 'blister', for instance, is easily seen in Egyptian X(j)n, 'blister' (PIE **gwhen-, a source for Modern English wen). The idea of 'rowing' is conveyed in Egyptian by 'making blisters = ripples in the water': Xn.j, with a determinative, Gardiner #D33, 'rowing arms (perhaps under a blister or pimple)': X(j)n.j, row'; alphabetic X (#D33); and X(j)nn.w, 'brawlers', assures us that the integral meaning is 'raise welts by striking'; this can be seen in PIE *gwhen- (for **gw(e)Hen-), 'beat (actually, 'raise welts on')'. These are based on PL XO-?A-NA, 'protrude-stative-thing' = 'welt'. This may be the source of or closely related to Modern English swain, 'country brawler[?]'.


This short exposition will, I hope, be somewhat instructive as to the stratagems devised by early Sumerian scribes to create signs for complex, less frequently referenced objects and concepts in their environment through judicious combinations of simple semantically appropriate and suggestive signs.

The semantic field at which we will be looking is the family Cucurbitaceae, which includes these items of interest for us in this context: bottle gourd; probably some variety of hard-shelled ribbed squash, topped by a knobby protuberance and/or possibly 'warty' surface, also serving a container for liquids; cucumber; and pumpkin.

We will look first at Jaritz #650: a, 'knob, space, *gourd container'  (#650) , which reads a, and means 'knob(by) (not the object being depicted per se but 'knobs' on the surface of the object [container]), space (capacity/capacious), inside (PL NA means 'interior'; and the sign reads also na5; a may be an Emesal form of na5 standing for QHA, 'high place, *knob', since Emesal is otherwise known to substitute for Emegi ñ), *gourd (hard-shelled squash) container'. Jarirz #650 is, in turn, a combination of an abbreviated version of Jaritz #646, 'shallow stone bowl', reading pur, under a heretofore unabstracted and unrecognized sign depicting a 'tall tumbler with a rounded bottom (bottle-gourd[?])', with an unknown reading; we will illustrate the sign theorized with a red asterisk to indicate its as yet independent non-appearance, which we designate as #650-unknown: hub-x[?], '*tall (bottle-gourd) tumbler, rounded bottom'  (#650-unknown).

A version of this sign, #650-unknown-2, having been modified by removing the indication of a rounded base, which we designate as #650-unknown-2: hub-x[?], ''*tall (bottle-gourd) tumbler, flat bottom'  (#650-unknown-2) , occurs as the lower element of Jaritz #915, where it now represents a 'tall (bottle-gourd) tumbler, flat bottom' , under an abbreviated Jaritz #908, ̃u2, '*cover'  (#908), shown here unabbreviated, which indicates that the 'flat-bottomed (bottle-gourd) tumbler' has a 'cover' = 'lid' or 'stopper'; and this detail probably explains why, if the reader will want to go back through the development, why #650, 'knob', here 'stopper', was the embarkation point for this semantic journey. The composite sign, Jaritz #915 is hul2, '*bottle-gourd with (knob-shaped/cork) stopper, *calabash, celebrate (drink from a gourd), cucumber pumpkin'  (#915), reads hul2, and means '*bottle-gourd with (knob-shaped/cork) stopper, *calabash, celebrate (in an informal way; drink excessively from a gourd), cucumber pumpkin'. All things being considered, it seems most likely that hul2 is derived like hul from a PL XO-RO, but with a different interpretation of the constituent elements: '() hole-part' = '(knobby) stopper'.

u-4 (for *-4), '*wind, bellow' (#684)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #684), among many other readings, reads u4 (for *4); depicts a 'dust devil, whirlwind'; and means 'storm(-wind), bellow, cry, noise'.

The Egyptian sign for FHA (Gardiner #P5) depicts a 'full sail',*w, '*wind' (#P5), and represents *w, '*wind', in several words: 1) wj3, 'sacred bark, *sailship': FHA-E-RHE, 'wind-like' = 'sail'-'come'.

The determinative (Gardiner #P3) does not clearly indicate a sail because of the necessity of indicating and focusing on the divine shrine within the sailboat: wj3, 'sacred bark, *sailing ship' (#P3).

It occurs again, apparently, in 2) wx3, 'storm-blast, throw off (earth), empty out, shake out, beat (mat)', FHA-KXHO-RE, 'wind-cut-cause to become' = 'rip off (wind)'; and, more problematically, in 3) T3w, 'breeze', KHO-RHA/RA-FHA, 'child-bird=chick/-color'='pinkish'='childlike-wind' = 'little wind'.

An interesting extension of FHA, 'wind', in Egyptian is FHA-RE, 'wind-cause to become' = 'flatulate, be malodorous'. This term was associated with various members of the Mustelidae family: badger, marten, mink, otter, polecat, skunk, weasel, and ferret all of which have, in common, an odor perceived as highly unpleasant by the vast majority of human beings. We find this term in Egyptian 4) w3, 'conspire to be evil, think bad thoughts'; w3.t, 'a bad human characteristic (malodor)'; 5) w3, 'curse (make to stink) a person's name'; 6) w3b.w, 'place between anus and genitals'; and finally, in 7) w3s, a 'scepter with the top in the stylized shape of a member of the Mustelidae family (probably 'ferret'), connected with the malodorous god Set; and the bottom with a pincer-shape', written with Gardiner #S40: w3s, 'w3s-scepter' (#S40). Even this new extension is associated with bad odor: 8) w3s.j, 'be ruined, decaying (bad smelling)'. The final -s represents PL SO, and describes the muscular action which produces flatulation. In the sources we have, only w3s is written witn #S40 but, I feel certain, at an earlier time, the sign stood for first FHA-RE, and would have been used for the others above associated with malodor.

Lest the reader think we are making this up out of whole cloth, we can immediately point to PIE *wer- (for **wa:r-)/*wa:-wer- (for **wa:-w6r-), 'squirrel (from its musk glands), polecat, marten, ferret'; and probably *weren- (for *wa[:]ren-), 'ram (the malodorous one)'. An s-mobile form also exists: *swer- (for **(s)wa:r-), 'fester, suppurate (foul-smelling liquid)'.

To fully explain why the w3s-scepter is so named would require an essay in itself. Let me just say that I suspect strongly that it was charged with static electricity by being rubbed with a piece for fine fur, perhaps from a ferret; and was magically connected with the electrical aspect of storms, particularly wind-storms, connected with Seth (st [for *swt, 'the filthy/black/excretory one'; PIE *seud-, 'filth'; PL SO-FA-T?O, 'pull-do repeatedly-lump' = 'feces'.

This (#S40) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

However, we also have w3s, written with #S40, 'dominion, have dominion', which is highly unlikely to have much to do with unpleasant aromas. Egyptian w3 can also represent 'far, wide', as we saw above in connection with FO-RHE but when combined with a further extension, -z, it was written with #S40, the sign which properly designates FHA-RE-SO. Accordingly, when the 'w3s scepter' is in a context meaning 'dominion, have dominion', it represents FO-RHE, 'far' + SHA, 'state or condition' = 'breadth of influence/control'. And the PIE root we identified above, **wer6-, has a further extension seen in *weros-, 'breadth, circumference', which represents the same word. The Egyptian interchange between z and s from an early date is a well-recognized phenomenon by Egyptologists; for the meaning 'breadth of influence/control', the original reading of #S40 will have been *w3z for FO-RHE-SHA.

But, turn around is fair play. Egyptian #V4, 'lasso', w3, the sign used to write FO-RHE, could also be, semantically totally inappropriately, used to indicate FHA-RE, 'be malodorous', which appears in the further extended Egyptian w3m, 'bake[?]', better 'smoke (food)'. This term represents PL FHA-RE-MO, 'malodorous-to a high degree' = 'smoke' (but possibly 'dry meat /fish in the sun'). It also is present in PIE *wer-, 'burn, burn up, blacken', for which the further extension *wer-mo- is attested. The Egyptian determinative, not in Gardiner, depicts, I believe, a 'smoking fire': smoking fire, determinative for w3m (not in Gardiner).

a2 (for *2), 'strength, energy' (#628)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #628) depicts a 'right hand and arm' (Jaritz #629), in which three gun marks have been placed on the arm to indicate bulk and strength; strength/energy is here associated with lung-power ('wind'); it reads a2 (for *), 'strength, energy'.

Jaritz believes that the marks inside #629, which I interpret as gun shading, represent instead #669, normally read e, depicting 'cereal grain grass': e (for *), '*seed, barley, grain' (#669). Some early examples of #628 permit this interpretation; and if correctly interpreted, they may have been read *x, a Sumerian reflection of PL SA-E, 'sinew-like' = 'sinewy' = 'strong', a formulation that, so far, would only be theoretically found in Sumerian..

j,   not yet determined (#???)

The Egyptian sign for HA (Gardiner #???) has not yet been determined. The problem is that E, 'voice', and HA, 'air', would both be written in Egyptian as j; and in possibly derived words, are too close semantically to be reasonably distinguished (is a 'sigh' the idea of air escaping or sound?). The only word of which I am aware that has some degree of probability of containing j, '*air', is jtmw, 'suffocation', which plausibly can be analyzed as 'air-cease' (tm, 'cease, complete'). There is no semantic determinative associated with this word except #P5, which we assigned above to FHA, 'wind'. Egyptian tm is PIE *tem-, 'suffocate'; and, in view of the frequently lengthened vowel, may derive from a fuller **(a[:])tem-. This is PL THO-MO, 'compact itself-to a high degree' = 'squeeze' or better 'crowd together tightly'. The only Sumerian sign that might provide a cognate is #893a, which has tum5, 'flatulate'.

a (for *, 'water') (#949)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #949) depicts 'water-ripples', and reads a (for *); virtually all meanings derive from its meaning of 'water' ('seminal fluid' = 'father' ['inseminator'; source], 'son' ['product of insemination']) except a very few like a (for *), 'cry of pain', which is due purely to phonetic resemblance; cf. PIE *a:, 'expression of pain', perhaps ultimately derived from ?A, 'here!'. See below in Excursus for additional examples.

The Egyptian sign for HHA is Gardiner #N35, 'three ripples (of water)' j, also mw,'*water' (#N35); it also developed the reading of mw (for *mjw), PL MO-HHA-FHA, 'dirty-water'-set = 'muddy/river waters'.

It is, however, readily analyzable in a number of compounds: j'.j, 'wash', is PL HHA-TSHO(-E), 'water-swirl(-like)', cognate with Sumerian a-tu5 (for *-t5), 'wash'. Sumerian tu5 is written as a combination of Jaritz #651, 'hand', over Jaritz #323, 'alkaline plant, source of alkali for saponification, plant of Nisaba, 'she of soap[?]', over Jaritz #457, 'aroma, scent, fragrance'; the sign for #323: naga, 'alkaline plant[?]' (#323), probably represents the leaching of potash from the burnt plant material.


A pattern we will see again and again is that a Proto-Language monosyllabic morpheme has always a primary concrete meaning ['water']; derived concrete meanings ['containing water' = 'steam, mist, {seminal} fluid'], concrete characteristic meanings ['containing water' = 'juicy'; 'damp'], abstract characteristic meanings ['reflective' = 'bright, pure {'cleaned'}'; 'transparent' = 'clear']; concrete verbal meanings ['provide with water' = 'irrigate, cultivate'; 'inundate'; 'provide with fluid' = 'inseminate' = 'engender', = 'anoint'] often with no additional formative.

In time, these concepts acquired alternative designations with perhaps slightly different nuances; and these show up as 'readings' for this sign (dur5, 'anoint'; duru5, 'juicy'; me5 (for *, 'water, irrigation, inundation, coating'; cf. Egyptian mj(.w), 'waters', from MO-E, 'blood-like' = 'dirt(y) = 'mud(dy water), (coating of) dirt')

although they originally had no real ideational identity (dur5 [better *Tur5; PL TSHO-RE, 'move(d) in a circle'-cause to become . . . = 'rub in a circular motion, massage'; PIE *ter- (for *t(h)er-), 'rub circularly'], 'anoint' is a result of purely phonological resemblance to duru5, 'juicy'.

The case of duru5 for 'juicy' will take us further afield but I hope will be worth the methodological trip. From PIE, we are aware of the word *ter-, *ter-u-, 'tender, weak, sprout'. If we can reconstruct a PIE ancestor, it will have the form TH/TSHR/RHF/FH. In Egyptian, one dictionary author (Budge) records tr, 'weak' but two of the prominent later dictionaries do not (Erman-Grapow and Faulkner). However, there are three Egyptian signs, Gardiner #M4, #M5, and #M6, that are of interest in this context. 'tr, 'budding, young' All three depict a 'sprout with a single bud' (in opposition to Gardiner's "palm-branch stripped of leaves and notched to serve as a tally"; a notch is not a protuberance). This is the first version from the left. It is used as a determinative for rnpj, 'be young, a yearling (the second determinative is #A17, 'rnp.j, 'infant', a 'child sitting (on lap) with hand to mouth'), a popular abbreviation of rn-pt, 'year', for which it is also used as a determinative.

Egyptian rn-pt, 'year', is 'name of the sky', since a 'sky' was the time that elapsed for an annual cycle of the movement of stars in the sky to repeat itself, e.g. the heliacal rising of Sirius; and 'name' because years were originally not counted by numbers per se but named for outstanding events that took place in them as in Sumer. The 'sprout with bud' in the middle version sits on the Egyptian 'alphabetical' sign for t; it signals the reading of the sign as a biliteral, namely tr for 'season'.

I identify this word with PIE *ter-(u-); and we now know that the PL word has the word THO-RO(-FA) since Egyptian t represents Nostratic coronal stops only before Nostratic o, and Egyptian r the Nostratic r/rh only before o. PL THO-RO(-FA) is 'compacted-very' = 'bud' which is understandable when we think how a bud opens to reveal an apparently much larger amount of material; the FA, when present, adds the idea of repeated activity so that youth is characterized as the time of budding.

The Sumerian rendition of THO-RO(-FA) would be *t/Tul;, and, in fact, *tul(*u)4, is a reading of Jaritz #273, which includes the meanings 'weak, , young'.

The Sumerian word that originally prompted the reading of duru5 for 'juicy' is, we believe, dur(u)2 (for *dr2), 'set (one's self) down (probably, also, 'squat to defecate')', a reading of one of the archaic signs, which depicted 'a pair of buttocks', underlying Jaritz #893a duru-2 for *dr-2; tu for *ds; dul-5 for *dl-5,  'squat, sit'. This is PL T?E-FA, 'heel-set' = 'squat' + RE, 'cause to be', i.e. 'cause (one's self) to be squatted, set down'.

Another reading of the same sign was du (for *dsu), 'sit'; this is PL T?E-FA, 'heel-set' = 'squat' + SHA, state or condition, i.e. 'be in a squatting position, be sitting' + FA, iterative = 'persistently be sitting'; this is presently read tu by Sumerologists, the t due, I can only speculate, to scribal error.

But it also reads dul5, 'sit down', PL T?E-FA, 'heel-set' = 'squat' + NHA, cause one's self to be become squatted, i.e. 'be sitting down to squat'. Rather surprisingly, we can find the simplex in PIE *deu-, 'sink down, dip one's self into water (presumably by squatting)'; and both extensions: the first under *deu- is *deus- in Old Indian doS: , 'evening', the 'time when the sun has sat down'; the second in Greek deiels, 'evening, 'the time when the sun is setting'. In addition, the idea of 'putting down' something to sit on, like rushes, was associated with this sign: PL TSHO-RE, 'move to a circle-factitive' = 'cause to become moved to a circle' = 'throw/strew around'. This would result in Sumerian t/Tur; and, in fact, tur7 as well as Tur2 is recorded for this sign.

The conditions for a confusion of tur7/Tur2 and dur(u)2 (for *dr2), 'set (one's self) down', had been set. An Akkadian scribe could conclude that /Tur/ and /duru/ were interchangeable if not identical; this could mean to that scribe that Tur3 of #273 could be interchanged with a duru? just as Tur2 of #273 appeared to be interchanged with duru2, especially if the purpose was to differentiate 'little' from 'young, weak, tender'; thus, an unrecorded reading of duru for tur/Tur3 was born, to live as a reading of #949, dur(u)5, meaning 'juicy'.

PL TSHO-RE, 'throw/strew around', can be found most definitively in Egyptian '3m, 'throwstick, boomerang'; TSHO-RE-MHA, 'throw' + professional tool = 'throwstick'; Egypt's traditional enemies, the '3m.w, seem, therefore, to be the 'throwstick(-people)', suggesting the idea of inferior weapons technology. It is oftenest written with Gardiner's #T14, 'throwstick': '3m, 'throwstick'(#T14).

Fairly frequently, these words are written with another sign, Gardiner's #O29, which he calls a 'wooden column' in spite of 1) the usual horizontal orientation; 2) the obvious tapered point on one end; and 3) the existence of #O28, which is vertical and not pointed: jwn.w, 'column'(#O28), which is, perhaps arguably (could it be a 'grain storage silo'[?]), a 'column with tenon at top'. In my opinion, #O29 is clearly a 'boring hand-drill' rather than a 'column'; and this is further supported by its use in '3.t, 'costly stone ('bored bead')', and '3.t, '(bored) stone vessel'. I believe anyone who has ever used a drill will understand its effect as being characterized by 'throw around', referring, of course, to the material that is released, sawdust. What drilling accomplishes is to make a hole larger, to be enlarge it; and we find '3(j) as the usual Egyptian word for 'large', usually translated rather inaccurately as 'great'. This is PL TSHO-RE, and corresponds to PIE *t(h)wer-, 'turn, whirl, swirl, *enlarge' (cf. Old Indian tur-, 'strong'). It can be seen even more clearly in *twerk^- (for *twerk^(h)-; + KXHE, 'work'), 'cut, form by cutting, bore'.

This exactly describes what the process must have been to form stone vessels. The Sumerian is seen in one of the archaic signs that compose Jaritz #99, namely #b, which pictures 'two hands side by side for twirling a stick by rolling it between them': tur5, 'turn around (door leaves)' = 'enter/entrance'; 'spin around' = 'dizziness, sickness', reads tur5, and means 'entrance ('*door-leaves which turn around')' and 'sickness ('whirl around' = 'dizzy')'. To support this interpretation of the Sumerian sign, we may mention that Egyptian '3, with Gardiner #O31, 'door(-leaf)', #O31, determinative for '3, 'door', means 'door'; this corresponds to PIE *dhwer-, 'door'; this is presumably PL T?SO-RA, 'swing-post' = 'door(-post)'. Based on Hamito-Semitic (Afrasian) root #768, *dVwVr, 'turn', in Orel and Stobova (1995), it is probable that a term for 'turn' existed, corresponding to PIE *dhewer-, 'spin': PL T?SO-FA-RE, 'swing (around)-completely-make' = 'spin'. This PL word would have had the same result in Sumerian (tur) but with an unindicated long vowel: tr.

This is a prime example of the idea that voiced and voiceless plosives merged in earliest Egyptian.

A similar example is PL TSHO-RA, 'stretch around-tree/post' = 'corral, hurdles, outside holding pen for cattle', which appears in Egyptian as '3.t.t in nr.w k3.w n '3.t.t nb.t, 'guardian of the bulls in all corrals/hurdles';
    PL roots like TSHO-RA were neutral as to singular or plural. The first .t of '3.t.t is PL THO, animate plural, transferred to inanimate plurals created by human agency: (' [enclosing] trees'); this shows up in PIE as seen in Lithuanian tvrtas, 'fenced enclosure'; it refers to the poles used to form the enclosure; the second .t is a plural of 'enclosure'.
TSHO-RA is seen in PIE as *twer-, 'enclose, enclosure'; and in Sumerian tur3, 'cattle hurdle', written with Jaritz #135, a combination of #133, which depicts a 'tree', and #458(?), which pictures an 'enclosure': tur3, 'cattle enclosure' (#135).

In another nuance of '(circular) enclosure', TSHO-RA indicates the surrounding area, 'there', seen in Egyptian '3, 'there, here, yonder'; in PIE *tor (for **t(h)or), 'there'; and in Etruscan thar, '(towards) there, thither'.

A different kind of drill, a fire-drill, is present in Egyptian D3, 'fire-drill', 'D3, 'fire-drill' (#U28, pictured here; and #U29, with rectangular piece under drill. This word, D3(j), is recorded as meaning 'pierce, transfix'; and represents PL TSHE-RE, 'spine/quill-apply' = 'pierce' = 'drill'. This association of ideas should not surprise us since quills and spines are imagined by archaeologists to have been earliest technology's drill-bits and awls. This Egyptian word is accompanied by the determinative #Z9 and #Z10, 'two sticks crossed', an almost universal symbolism for 'laying a fire': determinative for 'laying a fire' (#Z10, pictured here; and #Z9, with simple crossed lines.

PL TSHE-RE would appear in Sumerian as zir, and, as Jaritz #116, we find zir, 'tear out, remove' (#116), which reads zir, and means 'tear out, remove'. I doubt that anyone can look at this sign and not associate it with a 'drill in a conical groove' it has made, with a pin at the top to hold it in place while it is twirled. The semantics do not match up very well but I think the archaic sign tells us we are definitely 'piercing' or 'drilling' something.

We should now return to Sumerian tur, 'weak, , (very) young', a reading of Jaritz #273 tur, 'weak, <IMG SRC=, young' (#273)">, which depicts 'two female breasts with streaming mother's milk'. Although the sign clearly suggests 'suckling', I believe the readings for this sign all refer to typical very young children's behavior. One reading is ban3 (for *pa2-an-za), which has no assigned meaning; but, there is ba-an-za, 'dwarf, cripple, lame' (for *pa2-an-za). Sumerian za is PL T?SA, 'body'; and the combination, I believe, means 'bad/objectionable-body'. I would emend ban3 to *pn3. It is this element with combines with da, 'hand', as ban(da)3; and I presume the ultimate meaning is 'naughty (hand)', probably derived from the infant's behavior of handling even its own feces in its initial exploration of the world around it. While 'weak' might be *pn3, 'young' for *pnda3 is not the original significance of the compound but merely an inference from it.

The sign also reads du13, 'child', as well as dumu, 'son/daughter', which is a compound of mu, 'human'), with du13. To understand what du13 means in this combination, we must look beyond sign #273 to words like du7-du7, 'which means 'whirl, circle around'; and du9, 'rock, churn'. These are reflexes of PL T?E-FA, 'spin around-repeatedly', an attempt to describe the motions observed in a 'toddling' or 'lurching' infant learning to walk. Unfortunately for this proposal, no clear cognates can be found in Egyptian or PIE.

Finally, we have a reading for this sign that probably does actually mean '': di4 (for *4), from PIE T?A-?A-E, 'tear'-stative'-like', 'divided-like' = 'piece' = 'render into pieces, mince, make by division'; this is PIE *da:i-, 'divide, tear apart'; and Egyptian d(j)j, 'allotments' = 'provisions'. Sumerian *4 is the 'piece of the old block' rather than the 'chip'. TUR is acknowledged to mean 'reduce'; for this meaning, we suggest a better reading of *4. It will probably now be expected that when we come back to the question of Sumerian tur, we will analyze it as PL TSHO-RHE, 'move in a circle-come' = 'spin around', a basic meaning that correlates with 'weak' as 'dizzy', and ', young' as 'staggerer (toddler)'. This is PIE *twer-, 'whirl, swirl'.

Finally, according to Jaritz, we have a reading of gina, meaning 'child', for this sign with the addition of #831, which appears to be simply a phonetic complement (gi3). This is PL K?E-NA-?A, 'pierce-cause to be . . .' + stative = 'entered sexually' = 'impregnated'; this is seen in PIE *g^en6-, 'engender'. This may be the proper word to be employed when the speaker is referring to his own offpsring.

In time, formants were added to the monosyllable morpheme to produce nuances of the basic concept: HHA-XHA, 'water'-very large indefinite animate plural' resulted in PIE *a:kwa:, 'water'; HHA-E, 'water-like' = 'bright' in PIE *a:ye-r/n, 'morning'; Sumerian e4 (for *ê4), 'calm down (if 'brighten')'; HHA-E, 'fluid-like' = 'inseminate, engender' (Sumerian ê4); HHA-E-?A, 'fluid-like'-stative = 'what (is) engenders'/ed' = 'progenitor' or 'progeny' (Sumerian ea [for *êa, i.e. *ê4-a, 'son'); and in PIE *a(:)i(:)bh-, 'family (seat)', from HHA-E-?A-P?FO, 'fluid-like'-stative = 'what is engendered' = 'progeny' + 'place'.

    Additional PIE derivatives of PL HHA, 'water', are: *a(:)b-, 'water' (+ P?FA, 'chin' = 'bank'; or P?A, 'split' = 'stream, rivulet, creek'); or 'deep' (+ P?A, 'split' = 'deep water-place'; deep places in rivers were of special interest to our ancestors because the water in them tends to be clear); *a(:)d(u)-, 'water-course' (+ T?A, 'side' = 'bank' + FA, 'set' = 'two banks'); *a(:)p-, 'water' (+ PHA, 'flat' = 'water-surface'); *a(:)pero-, 'bank' (+ RO, 'part'); *a(:)i-, 'reflective, bright' (+ E, '-like'); + T?SE, 'finger' = 'flame', *a(:)idh-, 'fire' (Sumerian izi [for *êzi], 'fire'; and in ezen [for *êzin], 'festival (*torch(es)), written with Jaritz #281a, which is one of the archaic variants that depicts a 'torch': ezen [for *êzin], 'festival (*torch(es))' (#281a)); + RHE, 'come', *a(:)yer-, 'day, morning'; + SO, formant of color adjectives, *a(:)yos-, 'metal'; **a(:)-, 'white, gleaming' (+ ?A, stative = 'white, gleaming'); + NHA, 'cause one's self to be . . .'), *a(:)l-, 'burn to white ash', and 'white, gleaming'; + P?FE, 'track', formant of animal names, *a(:)lbh(o)-, 'white (animal)', cf. Greek laphos, 'deer'; + E, '-like', *a(:)lbhi-, '(wild) barley' ('food for deer[?]'); + K?XA, 'hang' = 'icicle', *a(:)lgh-, 'frost'; + FA, 'set', *a(:)lu-, 'garlic bulb, set of cloves'; FA, 'set', *a(:)lu-, 'alum, set of white crystals'; *a(:)r-, 'nut-meat' (+ RA, 'color'); + O, 'testicle, male', *a(:)ryo-, 'master'; *a(:)t(e)-r-, '(warming/camp-)fire' (+ THO, 'heat' + *r/*n declensional suffixes); *a(:)w(e)-, 'water(s in motion)' (+ FHA, 'animate set'); *a(:)wes-, 'dawn' (+ FHE-SA, 'spider-strand' = 'web'; or FHA-SHA, 'animate set-state or condition' = 'dew'; *a(:)ug-, 'gleam (better '*reflect')' (FHA-K?XA, 'animate set-hang' = 'reflection' (but perhaps 'mist'). There are additional possible PIE derivatives but more problematical so they will not be listed here. I believe the items in the list above will not strain credulity unduly.
And finally, we also find readings that are due solely to phonological resemblance: ea (for *ia, /ja:/), 'moan, grumble', corresponding to PIE *ya:-, 'be excited'; and probably to Egyptian (j)y.t, 'mishap, harm' (probably PL A-?A, 'eye'-stative, 'stare(?)').

'ka5, 'goat' (#657a)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #657a) depicts a mammal, and reads ka5. In this version of it (shown above), it has Jaritz #894 on its head, which is, a '(circular) enclosure', here a 'rim of a wheel (Jaritz #834: see RO above) with four spokes (or, if Jaritz is correct, an inset Jaritz #560, which has the value of lu9), and reads lu; and we see below, originally meant 'antelope' (RHO) but was transferred to 'goat' (as 'jumper').

Though we lack Egyptian cognates, there are several in PIE with various additional formants: *ka(:)g^-o-, '(billy-)goat' (PL KHA-?A/HA-K?E, 'desire-stative/animate stative-penis' = 'lustful/lusting male' = 'billy-goat'); *ka(:)p-ro-, 'billy-goat, buck, male of any animal' KHA-?A/HA-PFHA-RO(-?A), 'desire-stative/animate stative-goat' = 'lustful/lusting goat' + 'raise(-stative) = 'very lustful goat' = 'billy-goat, male animal in rut'); and finally, *kat-, 'kid, animal young (litter)' (PL KHA-?A-THO, 'desire-stative-tribe' = 'desired/dear litter'). This last may have an Egyptian cognate in kt.t (for *kjt.t[?]), ', girl'.

The interpretation of KHA as 'lustful' may be connected with the fact that mouflon sheep treat defeated and lower ranking males as sexual objects.

Jaritz #594 (see QE above), which depicts a 'skin bag for churning milk into butter', and reads (among others), ka3, has the recorded meanings of 'hair, wool', for which see K?XA above . Since the sign has no connection ideationally with 'hair', this must be attributed to the reading ka3, '(sour) milk', which is the result of PL KHA-HHA, 'goat-water' = '(probably soured) milk (for cheese), sour', i.e. for *k3. This compound is possibly the source of MHG here/herwer, 'sharp smelling, pungent', which is listed under *kar- (for **ka:rew-), 'belittle, mock', from PL KHA(-HHA-)RE-P?E, 'goat(-water)' = 'sour' + transformative = 'cause to become sour' + 'pour out' = 'pour out sourness', '(smell) spoil(ed)'.

Accented differently, this is the source for PIE *kreu-, 'blood, horrific', which is quite malodorous when present in spilled quantity. With a positive shift of meaning, we can see this same word in Egyptian k3p (for *k(j)3p), 'burn incense, fumigate'; and the sign with which it is written is a horizontally oriented vessel pouring something out, which appears to fall rather than rise, Gardiner R5/R6, 'censer for fumigation' '*k(j)(3)(p), '*goat, *sour/strong-smelling, censer for fumigation' (#R5/#R6). I suggest that this is a censer, a kind of a vessel used for both fumigation and libations of sour/strong-smelling liquid.

There may be a trace of a KHA-E-RE, 'cause to become strong-smelling', in Sumerian with kir4/kiri3, a reading of Jaritz #15 which means 'hyena'. Hyenas mark their territory by a secretion from their anal glands called 'hyena butter'; and it is renown for its powerful pungency. We have seen Jaritz #15 under K?XA, and there is no ideational connection. However, kiri3 is recorded as 'nose'. For the analysis of this word, see K?XE above.

For the meaning 'horn', we PIE *kes-, 'comb, scratch' for PL KHA-SO, 'horn (comb)-pull' = 'comb'. Horn must have been the earliest material from which combs were made, probably because of the strength of the teeth as opposed to wood, stone, or bone. Combs of horn are still being made today by aboriginal peoples.

The Egyptian sign for KHA is Gardiner #A2, '(seated) man with hand to mouth':k(3), 'think about, plan, say, *desire'  (#A2). This is the same determinative used for E unless there was some difference that was lost at a very early date.

For the meaning 'horn', we do have Gardiner #F16, 'horn': kr, '*horn'  (#F16), used as a determinative for Late Egyptian kr.ty, 'pair of horns'. This may have been the earliest Egyptian sign for KHA as 'horn' but we have no real evidence to substantiate this. It is possible that KHA-RO, 'goat-part' = 'horn' has been conflated with KXHE-RA, 'deer-tree' = 'antler(s)', leading to PIE *k^er- (for *k^(h)er-), 'horn', but this is only a conjecture. In view of the PIE palatal, it may even be better analyzed as 'gray-part' (KHE-RO).

These (#R5/#R6) are other examples
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

kan (for *kn), '*reed jug'


As we shall see so often, the sign for gan (Jaritz #271), properly reads kan (for *kn), and depicts a 'reed jug over a waist with two legs', indicating a 'reed jug being carried'; this is PL KXHA-NA, 'pointed-thing' = 'reed'. However, the 'reed jug' shows that part of the compound sign is derived from PL KXHA-NA, 'pointed-thing' = 'reed'.

Although Pokorny does not list it, American Heritage Dictionary does list it as PIE *kanna (probably for *k(h)a:na), and derives from it Greek knna, 'reed, cane'. Though AHD suggests a loan from Germanic for Late Latin canna, 'reed, cane, type of vessel', almost certainly the reverse process took place for the meaning 'reed, cane'; for 'boat', Germanic may be the source of canna. Words from which OHG channa, 'jug', was borrowed are based on PL KXHA-NA-T?SO), 'pointed-thing-tool' = '(pointed, carrying) jug, amphora', seen in Greek kntharos, 'drinking cup'; and we should reconstruct PIE *k(h)a:ndh-, 'jug', seen clearly in Frankish cannada, 'jug'. I think the reasons for this association of ideas should be obvious: reeds were hollow, and could be used for jugs by merely cutting off a section sealed naturally at the bottom.

The Egyptian cognates, such as Hn.j, 'reed', Hn.t, 'cup', and Hn.w, 'jar', are all clearly based on PL KXHA-NA/NO ('pointed-thing/jar'). The Egyptian biliteral/determinative for Hn #V36, Hn, 'receptacle' has the additional mnemonic device of showing a groove at the top of the 'jar' producing points on either side, showing that the originators of the sign were aware of its analyzed meaning. This is the basis for English 'can'.

Though we have no currently assignable cognates in Sumerian or Egyptian, PIE *kaito- (for **k(h)a:i-to-), 'woods, heath, moor', belongs here. This is PL KXHA-E-THO, 'pointed-like = reed' + 'tribe' = 'aggregation of reeds' = 'moor'.

The PIE usage of THO, an animate plural properly, for inanimate objects may have been prompted by compounds such as KXHA-E, where the principal element is animate even though the derived meaning is inanimate.

The simplex, KXHA-E, though not seen in PIE or Egyptian, is present in Sumerian as gi (for *2), 'reed', *kê2, 'reed' (#131) which pictures a 'reed'.

As 'bee', KXHA can be seen in Sumerian ka8 (for *k8), 'beer (for 'mead')', from KXHA-HHA, 'bee-water' = 'honey' = 'mead'. This is written with Jaritz #431, which depicts a 'beer jar with straw': *k8, '*mead, beer' (431). In PIE, it is a little more difficult to see in *kenək-, 'honey-yellow, golden yellow', which would be better reconstructed as *k(h)a[:]no-k from PL KXHA-NO-KHO, 'bee-jar' = 'hive' + 'produced' = 'mead(-colored)'. Egyptian has reworked the elements into H(n)q.t, KXHA(-NO)-QE-THO, 'bee(-jar)-juice-collection' = 'honey' = 'mead' = 'beer'.

The Egyptian sign for KXHA is Gardiner #T3, 'mace', i.e. '*hurter': H, '*hurt(er)' (#T3), designed to stun rather than kill.

This sign almost always occurs accompanied by D. This results in HD.j, 'hurt, injure, destroy'. This word can be seen in Sumerian as gaz (for *kz), 'beat, pound apart, kill, slaughter, battle', written with Jaritz #381: gaz (for *kz-x, 'hurt/kill (by beating)' (#381), which is composed of Jaritz #380, which depicts a 'mortar and pestle', into which Jaritz #669, which depicts 'cereal grain grass', has been inserted. This is a phonetic rather than a semantic indication of another word with a similar meaning: ka3, which is a rare reading for the same sign.

To substantiate this, we can look at Egyptian hzb (usually spelled hsb but determined by Gardiner #Aa2, 'pustule', which is a later substitution for #F52, 'excrement', or #N32, 'lump of clay or dung', the earlier determinatives for Hz, 'excrement', which indicates an original reading of z [for SE] in this word), 'fracture'; this represents PL KXHA-SE-P?FO, 'hurt-done only once'-formant of places = 'break'+'-place', the basis of which is seen again in Sumerian ka3 (for *k3).

The current reading for Jaritz #381 is gaz, which we emend to *kzx. Egyptian HD(.j) and Sumerian *kzx are seen in PIE *ka[:]d-, 'damage, kill'; they all represent PL KXHA-T?SA, 'hurt-body' = 'injury'. PL KXHA-SE is probably to be seen in PIE *k^a[:]s- (for **k(h)ya[:]s), '*hurt once, punish, instruct', in spite of the initial palatalized dorsal. This is probably most easily explained by supposing an equivalent form, KXHA-E-SE, leading to PIE **k(h)ya[:]s- **k^(h)a[:]s-. To support our emendation of gaz to *kzx, we can also notice Sumerian kaz8, 'grind, grate', written with Jaritz #719, a combination of Jaritz #715 over #1, which is attested only in cuneiform. Rather than speculate over semantic or phonetic relationships, we will simply reconstruct what the archaic sign will have been: kaz8 (for *kz8, '*hurt/kill (by beating), grind, grate' (#719). It seems rather obvious to me that we are looking at a theoretical (note red asterisk) Sumerian representation of a 'mace', essentially resembling Egyptian #T3, with a reading that corresponds with phonological exactitude; only the semantics are not exact but certainly understandably related: 'grind, grate' : 'hurt/kill (by beating)'.

Another closely related word in this family is built on the root KXHA-E, 'sting/hurt-like' = 'burning heat'. From this, the extended stem was form: KXHA-E-T?SA, 'burning-heat-body', which was somewhat tamed to 'blindingly bright/white'. It can be seen in Egyptian HD (for *HjD), 'bright, white'; and PIE *(s)ka[:]i-d- (for **(s)k(h)a[:]i-d-), 'bright, illuminating'.

Another root that seems to tie this all together is KXHA-FHA, 'hurt-do repeatedly' = 'beat (up/down), hew (probably also 'mace' as 'hurter'; Sumerian *k)'. This is, of course, PIE *ka[:]u- (for **k(h)a[:]u-) with the same meanings. It can be easily seen in Egyptian Hw, 'beat, strike, smite', and the determinative, Gardiner #A25, 'man striking one-handedly, with left arm hanging behind back': Hw, 'beat, strike, smite' (#A25), is, in this word, supplemented by #A24, 'man striking two-handedly with stick': determinative for Hw, 'beat, strike, smite' = force' (#A24), which, in view of its use with other words like nxt, 'strong', probably signifies 'force' rather than actual beating.

Interestingly, the sign used for the cognate, which is ku (for *k), is Jaritz #893a, which depicts a 'perforated mace-head' (also depicts, with possibly some change of detail which has been lost to us: 'two halves of an opened mollusc shell, side by side'; and 'pair of buttocks') but the meaning in which we are interested is 'hurt', which, probably can be visualized as 'beating'.

Another root is PL KXHA-QHA, 'hurt-be humped over' = '(cramped with) hunger'. This word be seen in PIE *kenk- (for *k(h)a[:]nk-), 'be hunched over from pain caused by hunger or thirst'; this is also reflected in Egyptian Hqr, 'be hungry', with the addition of RO, 'to a high degree'; the same formant is used in PIE *kNK-r, 'hunger'.

Though we might be inclined to think that the bee's sting and the resulting pain is its salient characteristic, for our ancestors, its distinctive high-pitched hum or buzz was equally important; and this sound was equated to musical humming and to the ritual keening done during funeral ceremonies. It is possible that the idea of 'fixed-in-place suspension (of pitch)' may have also been involved ideationally in the latter.

Though we cannot find it attested in either Egyptian (*Hn) or Sumerian (*kn), *kan- (for *k(h)a[:]n-) is the normal PIE reconstruction for 'sing' (probably, originally, 'hum'): KXHA-NO, 'bee-store/jar[?]' = 'sound of the hive'.

Another better distributed root can be reconstructed as PL KXHA-RE, 'bee-cause to be' = 'make a steady, high-pitched unpleasant sound', from the really quite irritating sound of an excited bee. This can also be seen in PIE *ker- (for **k(h)a[:]r-), 'make hoarse, rough sounds'; and this, with s-mobile and extensions, is the source of Modern English screech and scream.

In addition, we have *kar- (for **k(h)a[:]r-), 'praise', but with a few derivatives meaning 'cry out'. This entry is a conflation of KXHA-RE and QHA-RE, 'high-cause to be' (**(n)k(h)a[:]r-), seen in Egyptian q3q3-jb, 'vainglorious', with predominantly derivatives for the latter included. This later is also seen in Sumerian nar (for *ñr), 'make music, sing', written with Jaritz #657.

It is also easily discernible in Sumerian as kar2 (for *kr2), 'insult, slander (screech at)', written with Jaritz #170a, which depicts a 'wax tablet with guidelines', and means 'glue together with wax, lease'. The connection, of course, is through the bee. PIE has *ka:r- (for **k(h)a[:]r-), 'wax', which represents PL KXHA-RA, 'bee-color' = 'waxy' = 'wax'. It is probable that, as 'wax(-tablet)', the sign is read kara2 (for *kr2), for KXHA-RA-?A, 'waxed(-tablet)'.

The Egyptian sign for KXHA is a sign not listed in Gardiner, depicting a 'kneeling man with upraised arms': 'H3, 'mourn (really, keen), wail, screech' (#kneeling man with upraised arms - not in Gardiner), which is used rarely (but originally, we think) as a determinative for Egyptian H3, 'mourn (really, keen), wail, screech (of falcon)'.

This sign is very rare so rare, it is not included in Gardiner's standard list of hieroglyphic Egyptian signs. However, the sign which replaced it, #A28, which depicts a '(standing) man with upraised arms', properly belongs to QHA(-RE): *H3, ''mourn (really, keen), wail, screech'' but properly, 'high' (#A28). This is, in fact, the usual determinative we find attested in our sources for H3 in the meaning of 'screech etal.'

This (#kneeling man with upraised arms [not in Gardiner];
but later, #A28) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

ma-5 (for *m-5), 'crush, mangle, *pulverize' (#51) ma-7 (for *m-7), 'crush, mangle, *pulverize' (#18) ma-8 (for *m-8), 'crush, mangle, *pulverize' (#1000 not in Jaritz)


The Sumerian signs (Jaritz #51, #18, and #1000 [not listed in Jaritz]) read ma5 (for m5), ma6 (for m6), and ma8 (for m8). In accordance with our assignment of the meaning of 'bite off' to MHA, these three Sumerian words all mean 'crush, mangle'. They are all written with insets into ka, 'mouth' (Jaritz #15); namely zid2 (#893d, 'flat stone grinding board' millstone', Jaritz #51, ma5); li (#100, 'steam for a sauna coming from heated container' for 'slide over', Jaritz #18, ma7); and sar (#281, 'a knot in a cord', a phonetic only indication for sar in the meaning of 'run, hasten' [SA-RHE], suggesting a nuance like 'chew off', ma8, #1000 [not assigned a sign number in Jaritz]).

The Egyptian sign for MHA is the Gardiner #G17, 'owl', m, '*owl', alphabetic m (#G17). The owl's cry is the harbinger of death in beliefs around the world; the owl is 'the warner', which is the meaning of PIE *ma:-, 'signal with the hand, *warn'.

There is probably a connection with Vulgar Latin amma, 'owl', but I cannot specify it. It is possible that it represents PIE **ma:-ma:-, with metathesis, to avoid (near) homonymy with *ma[:]ma[:], 'mother', but for this there is no conclusive proof. It is also possible that it represents *ma[:]ma[:], 'always-warner', which is even more likely.

A second Egyptian sign for MHA, with a different meaning, is Gardiner #U1, 'sickle', also for alphabetic (j)m(3): m, '*bite off', alphabetic m,  jm(3) or mj or m3 (#U1).

The ancient sickle did not have a solid blade but rather had a jagged 'edge' of sharp flakes of flint (teeth) set in a wooden base; because of these triangular flakes, it was natural to characterize 'reaping' cereal grain as 'biting off'. At an early date, MHA was compounded with ?A, 'plant-top', to further specify its normal utilization. This gives us PIE *a(:)me:- (for *a(:)ma:-; cf. Greek amo:, 'mow, cut'; PIE *ma(:)i-, 'work with a sharp tool', PL MHA-E), 'mow'. A second way in which MHA was expanded with through RE, 'cause to become . . .' = 'cause to be bitten' = 'cut off'. It can be seen in m3.j, 'lion', i.e. 'biter (off)'; quite a promotion for what started out as the bite of an ant. We can see this also in PIE *mer- (for **ma(:)r-), 'consume'.

This (#U1) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

We can see the simplex in Sumerian ma5 (for *m5), 'crush, mangle (also means 'burn' in the sense of 'devour')' which is written with Jaritz #15, 'head and neck in profile with hair around the mouth (really, a gun (shading with multiple parallel lines, horizontal or vertical) form of #194)', with a superimposed #893d, which depicts a 'flat stone grinding board', which we usually call metate in view of its continued use in some North American Native cultures today: ma-5 (for *m-5), 'crush, mangle, *pulverize' (#51); the mano, the usually cylindrical 'stone grinder', is not pictured.

An additional reading for #893d is zid2, which means 'flour'; this is a result of PL T?SE-T?A, 'finger-give' = 'press'; i.e. 'flour', 'what is pulverized by pressure'. While we cannot locate this root in PIE, it can be seen in Egyptian m-Dd, 'press hard on', where the initial m- is a prefix marking a 'tool' (PL MHA). The Old Kingdom determinative for this word is: O. K. determinative for m-Dd, 'press hard on, manual wine-press' (#Aa24). Gardiner describes this as 'warp stretched between two uprights' but this is almost certainly wrong. First, the sign does not graphically portray this; and second, the meaning assigned, 'press hard on', does not correspond with such an interpretation from weaving either. I was puzzled by this for quite some time before posting the question to a discussion list, where I received

this kind reference from Juan de la Torre Surez.

I immediately remembered that I had seen something like this years ago in a travelogue about Italian peasants: it is a poor man's wine-press, suitable for extracting the juice from crushed vegetable material of any kind, operated by twisting a cloth full of crushed material, fixed stationarily between two posts at either end, which causes intense pressure on the contents of the cloth: wringing out the juice. This is only a part of what posted on the website linked above:

O. K. determinatives for m-Dd, 'press hard on, manual wine-press' - from <em></em>(#Aa23 and #Aa24)

Another example is Egyptian where the initial m- is a prefix marking a 'tool' (PL MHA), is m-DH, 'hew timber, stone; build ships'. The DH is an '*axe, build'; and we see it clearly in the Old Kingdom depiction of an 'axe': O. K. determinative for m-DH, 'hew timber/stone, build; *axe; carpenter' (#T7); and we can see it in PIE *tek^Þ- (for **t(h)e(:)k^(h)-s-), 'put together the frame of a house; carpenter; axe'. This is PL TSHA-KXHE, 'stand up-work' = 'erection, building'.

la-6, 'flooding'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #597) depicts a 'heavy weight on a sledge', but also, quite possibly as a separate sign which has been conflated, a 'pestle and mortar'; it reads la6 (for *l6), which is recorded to mean 'flooding'. If the depiction is a 'sledge', and one of its meanings is 'powerful', I think we can see how the idea of powerful transportation (perhaps not a 'sledge' but a 'raft') could easily be associated with 'water-current'.

The Egyptian sign for NHA is Gardiner #N35, n, which shows 'ripples on the surface of water (-current)': n, '*water-current' (#N35), and is alphabetic n. This can be seen in PIE *lel- (for **la[:]l-), 'swing back and forth, move rhythmically (like an ebbing and flowing current)'.

A second Egyptian sign for NHA is Gardiner #G14, n(r)(.t), which depicts a 'vulture': n(r)(.t), '*vulture' (#G14). If one looks at the various birds represented by the Egyptians in their writing system (50+), I do not believe that any bird of that group shows a clear attempt to portray 'ducking down the head' as does #G14. And a secondary sign, depicting a 'vulture's head', #H4, seems to me to be making the same graphic point to represent 'ducking down': n(r), '*be afraid, *duck down the head' (#H4).

To understand why the 'vulture' is associated with 'ducking down', we need to keep in mind that the vulture, whose neck and head are featherless, is designed by nature to be able to stick/duck his head into a crevice of an animal carcass while avoiding contaminative contact with surrounding putrefying animal material by its head and neck; and that, after dining, the vulture will seek water, and submerge its head and neck to wash off accidental bacterial contamination. Also, carrion-feeders will not be regarded as having normal courage.

As a consequence, #G14 and #H4 have taken up the reading nr, PL NHA-RO, 'duck-augmentative = 'duck down low'; and this has been interpreted as behavior accompanying 'great fear'. Egyptian nr(.j)/(.w), accordingly, is recorded to mean 'fear, dread', and 'terrible (inspiring fear and dread)'. The basal meaning of this word can be seen in PIE *la:-, 'hide, conceal'.

The vulture's hooked bill allows it to tear off large chunks of flesh; and this observation was associated with 'gluttony', 'gorging on food'. As a result, we have the PIE s-mobile form seen in *(s)ler- (for *(s)la:r-), 'feast, *eat gluttonously, swallow large, whole, pieces of meat'; without a Sumerian or Egyptian cognate, we cannot specify what PL monosyllable is represented by PIE -*r in this word though there is a good chance it may be RE.

In view of the somewhat odd absence of the sequence *n3 in Egyptian, we might toy with the idea that after n, 3 was modified to r but there is no data to suggest this in PIE or Sumerian of which I am aware.

pa9, 'wing, palm frond, branch' (#658)


The Sumerian sign is Jaritz #658, which depicts a 'palm-tree on the ground with multiple palm fronds growing from its top'; and reads pa9, 'wing, branch, frond'. Jaritz #560 also reads pa with the same meanings but its form, pa, 'palm frond' (#560), shows us quite clearly that interpreting what it depicts as 'two stems with a branch growing from each of them' is preferable.

The reading of #560 as sa6 (for *s6), 'sweet', for PL SHA, is probably secondary in meaning but originated, as sa7, 'sweet', for #658; #658 also reads sag9 (for *sk9, SHA-KHA, 'satisfy-desire' = 'sweet-tooth'), which also means 'sweet (but better: '(catering to a) sweet- tooth').

The reading sa7, 'sweet', for #648, is probably secondary since it depicts an 'eyeball with optic nerve' on which there is gun (shading with multiple parallel lines, horizontal or vertical) hatching: sa7, 'beautiful, *sweet[?]' (#648); accordingly, it suggests that 'beautiful', one of its other assigned meanings, is primary.

There are several additional words of the form sag (for *sk), all indicating desirable qualities of various kinds, the nuance specified by the sign rather than a unique word:

Sumerian sag (for *sk) itself is PIE *se:k- (for *sa[:]k-), 'ease up (as a result of satisfaction), lazy, quiet'; and Egyptian zk, 'pass time (idly, as a result of satisfaction)'. To judge by Egyptian jm3, 'date-palm', and Sumerian GIimmar, 'date-palm', an early name for the 'date-palm' itself was 'what creates a smile, pleasing': PL ?E-MHA-RA, a variant of ?E-MHA-E-RA, 'smiling'; see above.

The Egyptian sign for PHA is Gardiner #G40, the 'flying duck', alphabetic p(3): p3, 'fly'.

This (#G40) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

If the idea of flying as 'action of the wings' was not already implicit in the elements of the Egyptian word for 'fly', p3, the determinative is Gardiner #H5, 'wing': H5, determinative for flying, wing ; this sign may also have had the value of PHA; this is suggested by Sumerian pa9, 'wing'.

A word which must be mentioned is the rather unusual Sumerian ba-ra-a, 'fly'. Sumerian ba also reads pa2; and, in view of the circumstance that we believe this word mustbe related to Egyptian p3, 'fly', and PIE *per-, 'fly', we immediately emend it to pa2-ra-a.

Sumerian ra, as we have seen above under RA, means not only 'back' but operations performed on the 'back', like 'beating'. It seems likely, then, that the two syllables should be analyzed as *pa2-ra, 'beat the wing(s)' = 'fly'.

There is no meaning for a which conceivably contributes in this context; but Jaritz #1, with which it is written, also reads ru2. If it is only a phonetic indication of the intended syllable, we can look at ru, written with Jaritz #111, which depicts a 'bent throwing stick'.

One of the meanings associated with it for the reading ru is 'spread out'; and we can see this is PIE *rew6-, 'open', which, in view of the Sumerian r and the semantics, must be reconstructed as RA-FA, 'tall-do repeatedly' = 'open up at the top'; this, of course, requires the emendation of ru to *r. A confirmation of this reconstruction is Egyptian 3w, 'long (in space or time)', which is written with Gardiner #F40, 'ribs on spinal column with spinal cord extending at both ends': 3w, 'long (in space or time)' (#F40).

ba7 (for *p-x), 'ibex, *sheep' (#118a)


The Sumerian sign is Jaritz #118a, which depicts a 'pick in the shape of an ibex horn'; and means 'ibex', the male of which species is bearded. One of its readings is ba7, which I emend to *px for the meaning 'ibex' itself. The ibex is short-haired but still a source of wool through combing rather than shearing. One of the readings of this sign, bar (for par2) means 'fleece'. This presumably represents PFHA-RA, 'ibex-color' = 'white'.

The Egyptian sign for PFHA is Gardiner #E10 (and #E11, OK version), which is used alphabetically as a biliteral for b(3), 'ram': b(3), '*sheep' (#E10).

The connection of PFHA with 'sheep' is the 'spongy wool', suggesting the texture of a beard, which covers this animal's body; and the apparent beard on some varieties of sheep. Egyptian b3, '*sheep', is PL PFHA-RA, 'spongy'-formant of color adjectives = 'spongy one, fleece-white'. It is somewhat likely that we see this root again in PIE *(s)p(h)er- (for *(s)p(h)a(:)r-), 'pellets of sheep or goat dung'.

In PIE, *per- (for **p(h)a(:)r-) has been transferred to 'cattle', where it shows up as Modern German Farr(e), 'bullock' and Frse, 'heifer'. The transfer of meaning to 'cattle' was inspired by change of residence of speakers from mountains, where sheep were native, to plains, where cattle were prevalent.

These (#E10/#E11) are other examples
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

na (for *ñ), 'high'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #114) depicts a 'stone with a vertical stroke on its topside to indicate above surface placement', a 'pebble'. The idea of 'top' led to the idea of a 'stele' a stone set up on the surface, and the meaning 'high' (for 'humped up'), for which Sumerian has na (for *ñ), 'high'. As a result of the phonological similarity to na from NA, 'stone', #114 acquired this meaning also when determined by Jaritz #453, the sign that truly designates a 'stone'; see under NA above.

The Egyptian sign for QHA is Gardiner #T19 (and #T20, Old Kingdom form), 'harpoon-head of bone', which is normally read qs: q(s), 'harpoon' (#D19 and #D20).

An important derivation from this root is PL QHA-SO, which was interpreted in two different ways: as 'hard-skin', it meant 'bone'; but as 'hard-pull', it meant 'comb'. In the latter meaning, it can be found as PIE *kes- (for *(n)ka(:)s-), 'comb'.

In the former meaning (perhaps differently stress-accented as QHA-'SO, it meant 'bone'; it can be seen in PIE as *kost- (for **kost(h)-), 'bone(s)' (QHA-'SO + T?SA, formant of bodily parts', which has been devoiced to *t(h) by contact with *s.). In addition, it appears as *ost(h)-, 'bone', a simplification of **(n)ks't(h)V-, 'rib(s), bone(s). In Egyptian, it is seen as qs, 'bone, harpoon(-head')'.

A second Egyptian sign for QHA is Gardiner #A28, 'man with both arms raised', which is normally read q(3): q(3), 'tall, high' (#A28).

This (#A28) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

For additional discussion of q3, see below under QHE.

A special usage of this word is in PIE *kakka- (for **(n)ka(:)(n)ka(:)-), 'defecate'.

la-2 (for *l-2), 'fly, be high'; lal  (for *ll[]), 'carry, weigh, tie up (#832)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #832) depicts the 'arm of a hanging pan scale', reads la2 (for *l2), and means 'to fly/hover, to be high (be caused to hover), to hang (from), to carry (cause to hang from), to weigh (cause to be hung from), to pay (weigh out for), to lift (cause to be high), to lessen (cause to be lifted from), to fall back, retreat (fly from), to tie up (cause to be suspended by a rope)', and others. A variant of this sign suggests the outline of wings in flight: la-2 (for *l-2), 'fly, be high' (#833var). A reduplicated version of the sign (#833) also exists which has much the same meanings as #832: lalla/la-5 (for *l-l, 'soar') (#833), but favoring transitive interpretations.

The Egyptian sign for RHA is Gardiner #G1, 3, 3, 'bird, alphabetic 3' (#G1), 'Egyptian vulture'. Egyptian 3, 'vulture, bird', is now recognized to have originally been a type of /r/ (a view I propose in 1975 to the accompaniment of general merriment); in my opinion, a voiceless /r/, which developed easily into /h/ and finally, simple lengthening of the preceding vowel so that C + 3 was used for C alone in syllabic spellings of foreign (mostly Canaanitic) word during Middle Kingdom times.

sa (for *s), '*satisfying, equal, alike'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #807) depicts the 'division of an object into portions' , reads sa2 (for *s2), and means 'to be equal (to), alike, compare (with)'. We have already seen it above with the reading di, 'portion'. As we said above, the idea behind this is making a correct and therefore normally satisfying division of goods or interests. The basic idea of SHA is to induce immobility through satisfaction.

The Egyptian sign for SHA is Gardiner #G39, z(3), 'pintail duck' (#G39), 'pintail duck'. Though it has been assigned the value of z3, z.t, 'pintail duck', is also recorded.

This (#G39) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

Both duck and goose livers are used for pat de foie gras; and the name of this duck suggests it was so utilized, perhaps after being force-fed to artificially fatten and expand the size of its liver.

The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #188a),sa (for *s), '*satisfying, equal, alike' which depicts a 'force-fed duck', and reads se/i, 'be sated, satisfied', for the expected *s, representing PIE SHA-E, 'satisfied-like' = 'full'. This can also be seen in PIE *sa:i-, in Greek etai, 'sates himself'.

Now we will look at Sumerian sam, a reading of Jaritz #593, which depicts a 'section of thatch': sam(), '*thatch' (#593). It means 'food, pasture, plant(s), grass, herb, bread, loaf, strong'; but these meanings are usually connected with the reading u2 (for *2; PL FE). Jaritz records a combination of #593 + a, which has the Akkadian gloss êpirum, 'feeding, provision for, supply'; I believe this combination of signs should be read sama (for sm).

This, then, can be compared with Egyptian sm (for *zm), 'help, succor'. One of the biliterals used to write this word is 'thatch with a rope and loop indicating pulling, net': biliteral for sm (for *zm), help, *feed' (not in Gardiner's list). The similarity between the two signs can hardly be overlooked.

And there is a Sumerian combination, u2-du3-du3, which means 'net'. In view of the meaning 'day', we can assume that one of the readings of this sign was *ud/t(u)x (for *t(u)x). And we also have uttu, 'beam of a weaving apparatus'. This is PL FHE-T?SO, 'weave-hold' = 'web/net/seine', seen in PIE *we:dh-, 'net/seine/web'. Now the significance of the 'rope and loop' in the Egyptian biliteral becomes clear: it is to indicates a 'net' or 'seine' that is pulled.

The question then becomes, how do we get from a 'net' to the idea of 'feeding'? The use of the 'net' as a biliteral in Egyptian and as a sign for sam in Sumerian suggests strongly that one name for a 'net' was Egyptian zm and Sumerian sam. There is the faintest trace of this in PIE *sme:-, from which Latin macula, 'mesh for embroidery', is supposed to be derived.

Based on these words, I reconstruct PL SA-MHA, 'plant fiber-professional work(er)' = 'weaver/thatcher/plaiter'. This would justify the association of Sumerian *sam with this sign. I believe the basic idea behind 'help, succor' and 'feed, provision' is 'satisfy the needs of'; and to convey this idea I reconstruct SHA-MHA, 'satisfied/immobile-ceaseless activity' = 'satisfy', producing further inaction. This would be Sumerian *sm, and explains why 'thatch' (sam) could be used to write it. There is a possible trace of this root in PIE with Old Indian sa:man-, 'quiet', from PIE **sa:m-.

The reflex of SHA in PIE is simply *sa:-, 'satisfied, satisfy, *satisfying'. This word can be seen as the first element of Sumerian ar2 (for sr2), 'total, perfect, complete', which is PL SHA-RHE, 'satisfied-become'. Our ancestors unfailingly regarded the idea of immobility as an expression of satisfaction brought about by absolutely equal components on both sides of any transaction this is barter as a moral and ethical principle, the antithesis of caveat emptor. For something to be satisfying, all legitimate parts from whatever side had, therefore, to be included. This is the idea expressed by *sr, 'totality', and the legitimately included parts are set off as a group by inclusion in a 'circle': ar2 (for *sr2), '*complete, perfect, total, *satisfaction' (#715).

This is Egyptian s3 (for *z3), 'be wise, prudent, satisfied, sated'. The sign with which this word is most frequently written is #Aa17 (LK #Aa18), which depicts a 'basket top with pull cord': s3, '*basket-top, back'  (#Aa17; #Aa18), PL SO-RA, 'pull-back' = 'basket-top'. I believe this substitution was made possible by the well-known confusion of s and z from earliest Egyptian; and the more aesthetically pleasing arrangement of the constituent signs. However, we do have a rare spelling with Gardiner #G39, z(3), 'pintail duck' (#G39), 'pintail duck', employed because both duck and goose livers are used for pat de foie gras; and the name of this duck suggests it was so utilized. Semantically, *z3 makes perfect sense while s3 is uninterpretable. It is difficult to believe that such an important concept could be missing in PIE; and I believe Pokorny's entry for *k^se/e:-ro-, 'dry', contains our 'missing link' as Latin sere:nus, 'cheerful', really better **sa[:]re-n- for the Latin form; and that its additional meaning of 'dry' is due to confusion with legitimate derivatives of *k^es/e:-ro- (for **k^esa/a:-ro-[?]) like Greek kse:rs, 'dry', derived from a theoretical *KHE-SHA(-RO), 'gray-state' = '*darkened by drying out(-to a high degree)'.

ta, *drop of liquid reaching ground' (#240)


The Sumerian sign is Jaritz #240, which depicts a 'drop of liquid reaching the ground', and reads ta. This idea is not recorded in the meanings we assign to THA but we may look at the phrase ta-hab, 'drip, soak, ooze, saturate', which could reflect them. Sumerian hab means 'malodorous', and is written with Jaritz #834, which depicts, in this usage, a '(circular) enclosure', here the bounds of an 'open wound or suppurating ulcer' in addition to its other interpreted representations; again, we have no evidence of any earlier variations that would differentiate the interpretation of the depictions. If ta by itself could mean 'drip', as we would assume, #834 may be merely a determinative for the meaning, and not necessarily be intended to be read. In any case, hab (for *hp) is PL XA-?A-P?FA, 'soft(and resilient)'-stative-'prominence' = 'tadpole/toad', and is seen in PIE *gwe:b(h)-, 'tadpole, slimy, flabby, wobbly, toad'. The PIE cognate appears to be *ta:-, 'dissolve, disintegrate, melt, liquify (from decay)'; from THA, we would, without further extension or compounding, not expect a long vowel; and I reconstruct HHA-THA, 'water/liquid-drip', corresponding to Egyptian jd.t, 'censing, better 'sprinkling'; this word is determined with Gardiner #N4, 'moisture falling from the sky': *(j)d, '*dew, *dampen' (#N4).

If we attribute some sense of acuity to the Egyptian selection of determinatives, this cannot mean 'censing' (smoke, up) but rather must be 'sprinkling' (liquid, down). In the PIE form *ta:-, the disappearing initial 'laryngeal' lengthens the following vowel.

We can quite possibly, see this root in Sumerian adx (for *tx), 'corpse', written with Jaritz #112 and #611, which depicts a 'human being'. Jaritz #112 has many readings but one or more of them in the semantic range of 'liquid'. I suspect that the liquid effluvium of a decomposing body is being indicated. If it is, *tx would reflect PL HHA-THA.

The Egyptian sign for THA may very well be Gardiner #N4, 'moisture falling from the sky': *(j)d, '*dew, *dampen' (#N4).

We have already also assigned this sign to RHE but it seems possible that it had a dual employment: 'dew' and 'rain' are both 'sky-borne moisture' though dew, of course, forms from the precipitation of water from humid air through cooling, and does not fall. This was probably not understood by our ancestors; for them, dew probably was conceived as also falling.

A root formed with THA is found in Egyptian dm, 'be sharp, sharpen, pierce'; this represents PL THA-MO, 'damp(en)-smooth' = 'sharpen by whetting'. It can also be seen in Sumerian dam (for tam2), 'part of a plow, *plowshare', a reading of Jaritz #922: dam (for tam2), 'plow(*share)' (#922), which depicts Jaritz #919, 'female vulvae', from which a line has been vertically extended to indicate a 'rope (for control)'; and on this vertical rope we find either Jaritz #893c, which illustrates a 'rope' and reinforces the idea of the vertical line: e2, 'rope' (#893c), this version shown illustrated above; or the vertical rope has Jaritz #893b on it: tu9, cloth(-wrap)' (#893b) (this version not shown here), which depicts a 'cloth(-wrap)' functioning as a chastity belt, reinforcing the idea of sexual control and exclusivity.

The main reading of #922 is dam, 'spouse', representing PL T?A-MHA, 'side-be active' = 'be domesticated'; this is PIE *dem6-, 'tame, restrain, force'. The reading tam2 of #922 is based purely on phonological resemblance. PL THA-MO is also to be found in PIE *tem-, 'cut, sharpen'.

A second Egyptian sign for THA in the meaning 'ejaculate' is Gardiner #D53, which depicts a 'phallus with liquid issuing from it': t(3), 'ejaculate' (#D53). It is found as a determinative for d3(d3), 'copulate (better, ejaculate)'.

Combined with -HA, a minimally altering semantic formant (animate stative), it can be seen in PIE *ta:-, 'come apart, flow'. Combined with RE, it can also be found in PIE as *ter-, 'twitch, wriggle', correlating with the muscular spasm involved in ejaculation; and *(s)ter-, 'word for impure fluids' since seminal fluid has usually been considered magicaly hazardous, hence 'impure'. This is possibly the basis for *trep-, 'satisfy one's self, enjoy'; the additional formant may be PFHE, 'spray', if this connection is correctly made. And if that connection is correct, there may be a further connection to be made with Egyptian d3b.w, 'figs'. Fig trees produce copious amount of a white, milky, latex sap, which is irritating to the skin.

In Sumerian, the simplex can be found in the phrase ta-hab, 'ooze, drip', having ta written with Jaritz which we have seen above'.

In the fuller form, tar, 'scatter, disperse', we have THA-RE, 'ejaculate-cause to be', with a connection being made between 'dispersal' of 'vegetable seed' with that of 'human seed (seminal fluid)'. It is written with Jaritz #13a, which is an archaic variant: tar, 'scatter, disperse, *spray, *ejaculate' (#13a), and depicts a 'stream of liquid fanning out into a spray'.

This (#D53) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

za7 (for z7), '*elongate' (#456a)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #456a) is based on an archaic variant of Jaritz #456 which depicted a 'drop of liquid spreading downwards' rather than the 'conical container in which oil is allowed to rise to the top'. We associate it with the reading za7, the meanings for which appear to have been adopted by the extended form zal(i) (for *zal(); exceptionally * represented in the writing system as i); it means 'get up (early) [elongate one's self], pass time [elongate state or condition], finish [elongate completely], come to an end [elongate one's self completely]'. These are paralleled by meanings assigned to Egyptian Dr: 'end, end up as, at an end', and, as a preposition: 'until [to the end of that elongated period]'.

The Egyptian sign for TSHA is Gardiner #M37, 'flax-bundle tied off (finished) for transportation', which has been set upright: D, '*stand (upright), *elongate (completely), end' (#M37); it is normally read Dr.

Sumerian *zal(), discussed immediately above, is seen in PIE as *ta:l- (for **t(h)a:l-), 'grow'; and, less faithfully, in *stel- (for **(s)ta[:]l(y)-), 'standing, stand up'. These all represent reflexes of PL TSHA-RHO(-E), 'elongate-rise(-like)' = 'set one's self/something upright)'. A transitive use of this word is seen in Egyptian Dr.j, 'wall', the determinative for which (Gardiner #O36), leaves little doubt of the basal meaning of 'stand something up, erect': Dr.j, 'wall' (#O36)

See below under TSHE for an example of TSHA incorporating the meaning 'melt'. See above under PFHE for an example of TSHA incorporating the meaning 'elongate'.

Gardiner has the determinative, #D40, which he interprets as a 'man holding a stick': D3, '*elongate, extend' (#D40). While this could be true, it seems from the representation more accurate to interpret it as 'flexible cord being extended', i.e. 'elongated'.

This (#D40) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

ha, 'school (fish)'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #961) depicts a 'fish', and reads ha. The suffix -ha4-a (= /xa:/) is used to form a plural of mixed items in Sumerian. The association is with 'school of fish' rather than 'fish' per se, a large indefinite animate quantity. Interestingly, this shows up in PIE as the interrogative pronoun 'who?' then 'what?', *kw-; and, after removal of the stress-accent on the vowel which Ablaut changes from * to *o, as an indefinite pronoun, *kwo-, 'someone, something'.

This morpheme can also be seen in Egyptian jz.t, 'what?', literally 'quantity? (are) those' (PL ?A, 'here', sign of interrogative; XHA, 'quantity'; SHE-THO, 'individual-collection' = 'those'). This reminds us of French Est-ce que . . . ?. Adding PL MO, 'on', produced the temporal interrogative *kwom-, 'when?'; adding PL E, formant of adjectives, produced *kwi-, which became *kwi:-, 'how?', 'in association with what?'; adding FA, 'around, produced *kwu-, then with assimilation of the vowel to the semi-consonant, *kwu:-, 'where?'. PIE *kw, 'and', is simply 'packed together with'.

The Egyptian sign for XHA is Gardiner #M8, 'pool with lotus flowers', *, '*great quantity' (#M8), which reads 3, 'ordain, order, predestine, assign, settle, decide', PL XHA-RE, 'large quantity-count' = 'organize, order, assess'. The rationale for selecting a 'pool with lotus flowers' for this concept is the uncountable, hence, large indefinite quantity of the flowers. It is difficult to visualize how this idea could have been succinctly illustrated with animate items. This sign normally reads 3.

This (#M8) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

As 'fish', it can be seen in PIE *kwa(:)lo-s and *(s)kwa(:)lo-s, 'a larger species of fish' (PL XHA-RHO, 'fish-antelope/rise'/augmentative = 'surfacing/large fish' = 'whale').

dialectal *u-x (for *-x), EG g~i7, *spider, *weave, cloth(-wrap' (#893b)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #893b) depicts a 'cloth(-wrap)', which is normally read tug2 for this meaning. However, a 'princess' is also written with this sign; and, in that case reads gi7, which I emend to g]~]i7, 'the clothed one'. In addition, #893 is recorded to read up2 (for *p2), which, I believe, is an unknown dialectal form representing PL FHE-P?FE, 'spider-track/animal' = 'spider', or FHE-P?FO, 'spider'-formant of place names' = 'web', seen in PIE *webh-, '*spider, weave, web'. The main dialect (Emegi) response to this word can be found in gib (for *g[~]2ip); and gi16 (for *g[~]2i16), which mean 'wrap around, entangle, prevent, trap', written with Jaritz #110, gib (for *g[~]ib), 'entangle, spider, *weave, trap' (#110), which is a reduplication of Jaritz #131, which depicts 'papyrus plant being stripped of its outer covering (skin)', and properly represents K?XE.

We may have "unknown dialectal" form for FHE in Sumerian u13 (for *13[?]), a reading of Jaritz #717, which probably depicts a 'spider's web' as well as a 'gob of sputum', discussed above: u13 (for *13[?]), '*spider' (#717). Meanings associated with the sign are 'insect' and '(poisonous) saliva (='venom')'.

The Egyptian sign for FHE is Gardiner #P4, 'boat with fishing net': *w, '*web, *net' (#P4), which is seen in wH', 'fisherman/fowler, loosen, release', a compound of wH, '*net' + ', 'hold': PL FHE-K?XA-T?SO, 'spider/weave-hang' = 'web/net'-'hold'; the first word is PIE *weg-, 'weave, fasten, weaving, gossamer, drop-net (cf. Old Indian va:gur:-, 'net for catching animals').

A word nearly equivalent in meaning is PL FHE-T?SO, 'spider-arm/hold' = 'weaving, woven material'. It is PIE *we[:]dh-, 'woven material'; this is the basis for one of the more important names of the Sumerian sun-god: Utu (for *tu), a reading of #684, which depicts the 'setting sun'. It also reads Ug4 (for *k), probably the 'netter', a reflex of FHE-K?XA, 'drop-net', discussed above; this would be another name for the sun-god, visualized as a 'spider' rather common imagery for the sun around the world due to net-like appearance of the skies at dawn and sunset as well as the feeling of burning heat brought on by the bite of many spiders. These two Sumerian words are in the form expected from the unknown dialect which represents FHE by * (written u) rather them Emegi g[~]i.

A second Egyptian sign for FHE is Gardiner #V29, 'swab', which I prefer to think is rather 'tow', coarse broken hemp or flax fiber prepared for spinning by being loosely woven: *w(3), '*web, *net' (#V29), which is seen in w3H(w), 'wreath, garland, necklace (woven together)', and in 'stack, stow, add (weave together)' and other meanings derived from these basic concepts : PL FHE-RE(-K?XA)(-E), 'weave-cause to become([so it can]-hang)(-like)' = 'tow, interlace'. We can find this word in PIE *werg^- (for **we[:]r-gy-), 'accomplish, effect, do (as a result of coordinated motions or other actions)'; and we also have derivatives meaning specifically 'prepare for weaving': OHG wirken.

This (#V29) is another example
of an originally aspirated
(pharyngally rather than laryngally)
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

e (for *-x), 'watercourse' (#574)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #574) depicts the 'bed and two banks of a watercourse'; and reads e for *; 'irrigation ditch, canal'. In addition, it means 'to speak' (probably PL HA-E, 'air-like' = 'whisper'; PIE *a(:)i-, 'important(/*secret) speech': Sumerian . The normal word for 'speech' is based on PL E (comparable with Egyptian j, 'speak'). The meaning 'river' is also attested as *i in Sumerian (')i4 (for *4; the initial glottal stop is incorrect), 'river', a reading and meaning from Jaritz #949 (HHA), which most frequently reads *, and means simply 'water'.

The Egyptian sign for HE is Gardiner #N36, 'channel(-banks) filled with water': *j, *river (channel)' (#N36), used as a determinative for jtr.w, 'river, Nile'.

This compound means 'two banks (of a river), river-channel', and represent PL HE-T?O(-RO)(-FA), 'river-rounded hump(-raise)(-set)'. It can additionally be seen in PIE *ad(u)-/*ad-ro- (for *e[:]d(u)-/*e[:]d-ro-), 'watercourse ('[pair of] bank[s]/raised')', which has been contaminated by *a[:], 'water' (HHA).

The basic word, albeit contaminated by HHA again, is found in Sumerian addirx, '(river-)crossing, ford'; this is analyzable as *d, 'bank' (ad, Jaritz #274, gives no indication through its graphic representation of 'river', or even 'water'; it depicts a 'phallus entering vulvae'; ad2, Jaritz #11, depicts a 'cocoon'); in any case, neither sign is used to write addir, which is written in a number of ways; typical among them being (addirx): PA (#560b), which depicts graphically the idea of 'crossing'; over GISAL (#449), an 'ear-shaped oar making a ripple or rudder making a cut in water'; over SI (#188b), which portrays a 'lateral view of a curled horn'; over A (#949), which is 'water': addir-x, 'river crossing, ford' (#1003, not in Jaritz), a combination which is not in Jaritz, which I designate as #1003; the red asterisk indicates this reconstruction for the archaic combination is deduced from the extant cuneiform sign. Now #188b over #949 does exist in Jaritz as #214, which reads dir, 'cross over'; for a discussion of dir (better, *zr); see discussion above. In view of these considerations, I prefer to reconstruct #1003 as *d(-)zr, and to analyze it as 'crossing over from one bank to the other'.

Isolating j with the certain meaning 'river' will always be somewhat problematical in view of the same Egyptian sign representing HHA, 'water'. It may be that jtr.w represents HHA rather than as the PIE and Sumerian forms suggest. If we could find an Egyptian word j and with a meaning related to either 'water' or 'river', and correlate it with a PIE cognate with a clearly reconstructed *e[:]- or Sumerian one with *, we would have almost certainly identified HE in Egyptian; so far, that has not proved feasible.

However, one only possible cognate may be mentioned: Egyptian jxm.t, 'bank of river', also may mean 'moat' around a fortified place; it possibly is related to PIE *eg^hero- (for **e[:]ghyero-[?]), 'border, canal, embankment', through a common HE-K?XO(-E), 'river-cut(-like)', a diversion of a river through canals[?].

Another sign used to write 'speak' is Jaritz #270, which is simply 'five marks' to mean '5': i, '5' (#270); and reads i and ia (alone and with the addition of #949, *); this is very similar to the phonological realization that we would expect as a result of a stative form of 'to go' (HE-E-?A), namely *. Provisionally, we will emend this reading of ia to *, and compare it to PIE *ya:-, listed under *e(:)i-, 'to go'. The reading of ia (for *i) for #270 implies a PL A-?A, 'many'-stative = 'be many', as the original source of this reading.

Listed as other readings for 'to go' are e3 and i10; both are the result of a combination #684 + #410; ed2 is also a reading for #684 + #410. Sign #410, which pictures the 'side-view of a 'foot', du/tu-3, 'go, bring' (#410), has a large number of readings and meanings, all mostly concerned with movement by foot; but, in view of the reading ed2 for #684, we will regard it (#410 in this combination) as reading du although it might just be a semantic determinative to indicate 'motion' for this reading of #684. which has a large variety of other meanings not concerned with movement directly .

There is a slight method to the madness in choosing the readings ed2 and du; I knew that Thomsen (1984) had reconstructed a mar stem (durative) for e3 which, for an unknown reason, she writes e3.d rather than simply ed2. It should be noted at the outset that in many constructions like a3 . . . e3, 'bring up', the idea of 'upward motion' is associated with this word, a nuance that seems to have been completely lost in PIE *e(:)i-.

Now it is time to reveal that #410 also reads tu3; and, for reasons that will subsequently become clear, I emend #684 + #410; et2.

In Egyptian, we have the word j', 'tomb', written most anciently with a sign as a determinative or ideograph not included in Gardiner's list, which, in my opinion, depicts a 'burial mound, a tumulus': j', 'tomb' (not listed in Gardiner). I interpret this as a reflex of PL ?E-T?SO, 'sharp-branch' = 'pale'; so we conclude that, instead of 'tomb' as a building, the terminology being employed is 'palisade', an area set off for the dead by a fence of stakes. This interpretation of given support by PIE *edh-, 'fence made of pales'.

The same determinative is used for j', 'ascend'. If we reconstruct PL HHE-TSHO, 'rise-circling (i.e. 'climb in the air by circling as birds do')'= 'ascend', we have, what I think is a prototype for j' above. Both ?E-T?SO and HHE-TSHO would have the same graphic expression in Egyptian: j'. This root does not seem to have been preserved in PIE but the Sumerian reflex we would expect is *tu, and that is what we have deduced as a reading for #684 + #410: t(t)u from et2 (#684) + tu3 (#410).

As the next entry after e3, Thomsen lists e11.d, 'go up or down, bring up or down'. The word e11 is written with Jaritz sign #809 + #410 (here, just a semantic determinative of 'motion'); sign #809 pictures a 'dark areas in a hill' or better 'cuts in a hill': tul, 'underground passage' (#809); it reads, among others, tul. Before we assign a meaning to this word, it will be of interest to know that tul2 (Jaritz #867; #834 surrounding #750), tul-2, 'well, tunnel, passage' (#867), means 'well, tunnel, passage'.

I believe that 'tunnel' and 'passage' are meanings for tul as well. Both tul and tul2 can be compared to PIE *dhel-, 'excavation'; and we can better understand the symbolism of #809: the 'dark areas in a hill' or the 'cuts in a hill' are 'mining tunnels'. This word can also be found in Egyptian as 'n.w, 'the name of a place which was a source for limestone'; it means simply 'tunnels (= 'the mine')'. The PL word which is the source for these is: T?SO-NHA, 'arm-cause one's self to be' = 'tunnel'.

Another expression of a similar idea is seen in Egyptian 'r, 'ascend', which, in earliest times, had the determinative Gardiner #O41, a 'double stairway', on which, one obviously can 'go up or go down': 'r, 'ascend' (#O41). This is PL T?SO-RHO, 'arm-rise' = 'ladder-rung'. Egyptian seems to have lost the idea of the 'return descent' but the determinative forcefully brings out the idea of motion in either direction: up or down. This is found in PIE *stel- (for *(s)t(h)o(:)l-), 'set up', from which Middle English stall, 'ladder-rung', is derived. In Egyptian, ladder-rung is being substituted for stair-step. The PIE root, *stel-, is an s-mobile form for which the uncombined form has not survived. Combination with it eliminates the glide (*w) we would expect from this affricate + *o.

PL T?SO-RHO would result in Sumerian tul; and this word, tulx should be the reading for e11 in the meaning 'go up or down', i.e. 'use a ladder or stairs'.

The verb utilized for what became the PIE copula was not copular in origin: PIE *e(:)s-, 'be', is simply a special usage of *e(:)s-, 'sit' (PL HE-SHA), 'be come across from'-stative = 'be (finished) coming (and demonstrate it by not-moving/sitting down)'; this is the stative form of HE-E, 'come across from-like' = 'be coming', PIE *e(:)i-, 'come'; Egyptian jj, 'come'; and Sumerian e (for *x), 'come'.

Representing HE-SHA is the Sumerian sign for is2, '*sit', Jaritz #429, which depicts, I believe, 'buttocks on the ground': *is-2 (for *s-2), '*sit' (#429), and reads is2 (for s2). To infer an unrecorded meaning from the interpretation of the intended symbolism of an archaic sign is speculative at the very best but, in my opinion, justified here by the accepted reading and meaning of G[~]Ei-de3, 'seat'.

The reason is that i is also a recognized reading of Jaritz #429, which, in this combination we would emend to is2. We do not have enough data to identify the significance of de3 (written with Jaritz #339; also reads te4). In view of the meaning of 'fire' for #339, the combination suggests '(assigned[?]) place at the fire'. On the other hand, du14, a combination of #611 ('human') and #339 ('fire'), suggests to me an unrecognized reading for #339 of dux, whch might relate to PL T?O, 'lump', which we will see below in SO-T?O, 'skin-lump' = 'leather cushion' = 'seat'.

Comparable to the first element in *is2-de3 is Egyptian *jz in what is normally transcribed as st, '(remarkably high-backed) chair/throne', written with Gardiner #Q1, 'seat': st (for *(j)zt), 'seat' (#Q1). Without any additions but a final feminine -t, this is also the spelling for the goddess Isi(-)s; and this is normally read js.t, which we would emend to *jz.t so that Isis should be interpreted as the 'throne (but possibly, also 'furnace with smoke-stack')', in my opinion, a title for her as Mistress of the Northern Circumpolar Region and then current polestar: Thuban.

However, we believe that PL SO-T?O, 'cushion', corresponding to PIE *sed-, 'seat', exists in Egyptian as st, 'seat', a reading of Gardiner #Q2, which depicts a '(cushioned) litter': st, '(cushioned) seat' (#Q2). Directly comparable with i-de3, we have PIE *se[:]d-, 'reach a place', which I believe is a reduction from **e[:]sed-. In this combination, we propose that de3 should be interpreted as PL T?A-E, 'side-like' = 'place at the side'; and the combination means 'take one's place at the fire-side'. The comitative postposition ('with') is normally written -da; however, there are a few examples of it as de3; and in Old Babylonian times, this is a more frequent occurrence in subordinate phrases like: a.a3 a de2-a-zu-de3 . . ., 'when/while you water the field . . .' ('with your watering of the field'), where -da, 'with', would normally (and earlier, exclusively) be expected.

The Egyptian sign for HE is Gardiner #R15, the 'spear decked out as standard': *j3, 'fragrance' (#R15). There are not many 'spears' with rounded tops. Rather, this is a 'censer on a standard with two pellets of incense and two arms holding it up' (the 'pellet' is #N33; a triad of these is the determinative for snTr, 'incense', the fragrance of which 'goes across from' it).

This (#R15) is another example
of an originally aspirated
(pharyngally rather than laryngally)
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

The sign, #R15, as '*sacral censer', represents PL HE-RE, 'smoke-cause to become' = 'cense', and can be seen in Sumerian ir (for *r), 'aroma, scent, fragrance', written with Jaritz #457, a gun (shaded with multiple parallel lines, horizontal or vertical) form of Jaritz #456, which depicts a 'conical container in which oil is allowed to rise to the top'; here, 'scented oil' is being indicated: ir (for *r), 'aroma, scent, fragrance' (#457). This can also be seen in Sumerian eren (for *rin), 'cedar', which is frequently determined by IM (Jaritz #436), used for aromatics; this is probably HHE-RE-NA, 'fragrance-thing' = 'cedar'.

But Egyptian j3 could also represent PL HHE-RA, 'smoke-color' = 'orange-red', the color of sunrise. We find Egyptian #R15 employed here in combination with PL P?FO, and j3b(.t), 'place of orange-red', is the 'East'. This analysis is supported by PIE *er- (for **e[:]r-), 'red', contained in *ereb(h)-, 'dark red, brownish tones', which is HHE-RA-P?FE, 'orange-red-formant of animal names = 'fox'; and HHE-RA-P?FO, 'orange-red-trunk' = 'yew', which has scarlet arils or seed covers. The word yew contains the commoner PIE derivative from HHE for 'red': HHE-E, 'smoke-like', PIE *ei- (for **e[:]i).

ibbi (for *p), 'cook by smoking/roasting (#339)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #339) depicts a 'burning torch with smoke rising from its top'. Among its many readings is ibbix, which means 'smoke'. This is a further extension from PL HHE-PFHE, 'smoke-sparks/flame' = 'smoke/roast'; accordingly, we emend ibbix to *p. The PIE form is also easily obtainable: *eph- (for **e[:]ph-), 'cook (by roasting)'. In Egyptian, it is represented by jb, 'be thirsty (parched by heat)'. Interestingly, this word is determined by Gardiner #E8, 'standing kid': *jb, 'kid' (#E8), which seems to be here presented as the exemplar of unslakable thirst.

This word is also written as i-pi5 (Jaritz #270) and i3-pi5 (Jaritz #456). Neither initial component of the phonetically written words ('many' and 'oily/shiny') seems likely to have been the original rendition of * for 'smoke'. It seems much more likely that #339 had an unrecorded *x meaning 'smoke'.

The Egyptian sign corresponding to HHE is Gardiner #M18, 'combination of 'flowering reed' (#M17) [recapturing HE, 'sprout'] and legs walking (#D54)', *j, '*come' (#M18), which reads j(j), 'come'.

The rationale for connecting 'smoke' with 'come' is that as a person approaches, visually, they appear to rise up from below. With -w, the word becomes PL HHE-FHA, 'come across-do repeatedly' = 'arrive'; Egyptian jw. It may be that the 'pair of legs walking' (#D54) is a graphic suggestion of a reading of -w, the normal dual ending (FA).

But see above for Gardiner #R15, j3, used for 'fragrance' (HE), its proper use, as well as for 'smoke(-color)' (HHE(-RA)), 'orange-red'.

*ki<sub>x</sub>, '*gray'


The Sumerian sign, Jaritz #770, depicts 'the dome of the sky with marks indicating rain'; it means 'night, black, shadow', and is normally read gi6 and gig2, which I emend to *kix and *kikix. In its reduplicated form, it can be found in Egyptian kk, 'be dark', which has as a determinative Gardiner #N2 and #N3 (Old Kingdom). In PIE, we find a reflex of KHE-E, 'gray-like', as *k^ei-, 'dark, gray'; and reduplicated in *kek^- (for *k^ek^-; cf. Latvian sesks, 'polecat'), 'weasel'.

The Sumerian equative ('like, as'), as Thomsen (1984: 108) terms it, is most often written with kim (for *km), Jaritz #785, which depicts a 'fuller's club' (KXHE-MHA; etymologically an 'antler hammer', but it possibly depicts an aena, a spiked tool to raise the nap on cloth before shearing it smooth) like Gardiner #U36, discussed below: kim (for *km), '*fuller's club, but possibly an aena, spiked tool to raise the nap on cloth for shearing it smooth' (#785); we have already seen it above as the sign used to write dim2, 'fasten together'.

In the meaning 'like, as', Sumerologists usually transcribe it (#785) as gin7, based on syllabic spellings like -gi-in but, in a voiced/voiceless relationship we have seen so often, gi also reads ki2. Also, combined with the 3rd person singular copula am3,6, it is written #785 + nam, suggesting a reading of gin7 (but a reading of kinme (which I interpret as kin/kim) is also recorded for the sign; and #785 + ma-am3 is also found).

As an additional consideration, Thomsen (1984: 46) discusses cases of other words that show an apparently non-motivated alternation of forms in final -m and -n. Finally, we have the fact that 'like' is Akkadian kma, which I would suspect is a Sumerian loanword. Of course, the evidence can be argued in many ways but I opt for a reading of kim (for *km) in the meaning, representing PL KHE-?A-MO, 'other (of two)'-stative-'to a high degree' = '(very) similar'. Neo-Sumerian spellings of ge2 for this word will simply represent KHE-?A, 'other (of two)-like' = 'similar', seen in Egyptian ky, 'other, another' (PL KHE-?A-E, 'other (of two)'-stative = 'similar'. An alternative KHE-E, 'other (of two)-like' is probably the source of dialectal Arabic khayun, 'brother ('similar one')'. Jaritz #785 also reads ki5 (for *k5), which is PL KHE-E (or KHE-?A), 'similar'. KHE-?A can be seen in PIE *ke:no-s, 'he ('the one here')', and in Anglo-Saxon he:, 'he'.

It is possible that KHE-?A-MO may also be seen in PIE *k^em- (if for **k^e:m-; cf. Old Indian Sa:muly-, 'woolen shirt'), 'cover, mask'. We have derivations like Old Norse hamr, 'form'; and hama-sk, 'rage', which Pokorny interprets as 'to dress in an animal-skin'.

The Egyptian sign for Hm is Hm, 'fuller's club' (#U36), Gardiner #U36, which depicts a 'fuller's club' (KXHE-MHA, see above), for fulling soaking and pounding cloth. This is made certain by Hmw(w), 'washerman, fuller'.

We have had two examples above of Egyptian kj appearing as H in Hw, 'food (also 'oracular utterance')', *kjw, and in Hm.t, 'wife', *kjm.t. In fact, Egyptian Hm (for *kjm), a particle of assurance, written however with Gardiner #N41 as for Hm.t, can be translated meaningfully as 'likewise' or 'like/as (I have said)': xr Hm nfr w3H-jb nHm wj m-' mwt, 'the clemency which has saved me from the arm of death must likewise be good.'

Hm has several other important meanings: in the phrase Hm-nTr, it names the highest order of priests, whom it designates, in my opinion, as simulars of the respective gods they serve. It is also a regular title of the king, usually translated 'Majesty', but contrary to other recorded and expected usage, never as *Hm.k, '*Your Majesty", but always as Hm.f, 'His Majesty', which I think might be better translated as: 'His Image', referring to the king as the mundane embodiment of the supreme god.

The traces of KHE in PIE are quite scant as we have seen above. However, we do have *k^e, 'this'. Since a basal meaning of KHE is 'one of two, the other', it is a natural choice to designate the partner in the speech situation; and, as such, we see it used for the second person singular -k in Egyptian; rather inconveniently, I think, the first person singular independent pronoun and first person singular Old Perfective almost certainly contain K?E, 'penis/male', corresponding to the *g^ in PIE *eg^(h)om, which would not have been differentiable for the Egyptians.

The deixis of the speech situation can be oriented as 'you and I' (here) opposed to 'he, she, it' (there) or 'I' (here), 'you' (there), 'he, she, it' (over there).

The Egyptian signs for KHE are Gardiner #N2 and #N3, mentioned above: #N3 depicts a 'canopy', #N1, signifying 'sky', 'below which is a stylized lightning bolt terminating in a rain-drop' (Old Kingdom form): *k(k), 'dark' (#N3-OK);
and #N1, 'below which is a stylized lightning bolt modeled like a w3s-scepter (#S40) at the bottom: *k(k), 'dark' (#N2).

They are determinatives of kk, 'dark', but it can be reasonably assumed that, at an earlier stage, represented simply k or kj.

A further derivation of KHE is KHE-RA, 'gray-color', 'gray'. It is possible that we have this word in Sumerian gira (for *kira), 'concealment ('obscurity, in shadows[?]'), ('gray[?]') sky', the signs for which may suggest 'crouching under foliage which has been parted' and give us a hint of the core meaning (#750 over #118b over #141, which depicts a 'left lower leg up to the bent knee': 141); this combination of three signs does not have an assigned number in Jaritz.

In Egyptian, constituting a second pair of signs for KHE in the meaning 'ghost (from 'shadow'), are written with Gardiner #D28 (and, better, as #D29), '*k(3), 'ghost, *shadow' (#D28), which reads k3, 'ghost', and depicts 'arms extended so as to bring something together'; and '*k(3), 'ghost, *shadow' (#D29), which depicts 'arms extended so as to bring something together, on a stand with incense for religious objects (#R12)'.

These (#D28/#D29) are other examples
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

The sign, #D28, was originally devised for k3(.t), 'work (better 'put together, collect')', which represents PL K?A-RE, 'cup-cause to become', 'to collect (by positioning hands and arms [cupping] to bring something together)'. The determinative, Gardiner #A9, depicts a 'man steadying a tub (#W4) on his head': '*determinative for k3(.t), 'work' (#A9); my interpretation of this is that the man has collected something for transport.

This is found also in PIE *ger-, 'put together, collect'; and in Sumerian gar, 'heap up, enclose, *collect', written with Jaritz #970, which depicts a 'tub or cup with a line indicating the level of the material in it' : gar, 'heap up' (#970).

KHE-RA, 'gray', can also be found in PIE; first, in Greek K:r, 'death, decay', and Kê:res, 'fates', which I interpret as 'ghosts'; both derived from PIE *k^er-, 'decay ('turn gray/dark')'. This is also Sumerian kir5, 'underworld', written with Jaritz #112, which is associated with the dead. These correspond to Egyptian , 'ghost'; see above.

It can be seen explicitly in *k^er-, 'dark, dirty, gray colors', though there appears to be a certain amount of confusion with *ker-, 'reddish ('pink')', which represents PL KHO-RA, '(animal) young-color' = 'pink', which can be seen in PIE *ker-, 'cherry'; probably in *ker(6)-, 'burn, glow'; and in *kerem-, 'rowan' (KHO-RA-MO 'reddish-to a high degree' = 'very red'. This may be the basis for Sumerian kur2, 'strange' if 'red(haired[?])' or 'rosy-cheeked[?]' people were unusual. This reading properly belongs to Jaritz #101a, an archaic variant of the sign depicting a 'crossed-through line', conveying, I think, 'not a familiar one (of ours)': kur2, 'strange, foreign, (make) not the same/change' (#101a).

The meaning of #101, which depicts a 'branch growing from a stem', is 'grow large'; and the reading kur2 is derived from PL KXHO-RHE, 'grow, emerge', the proper sign for which is, however, Jaritz #99a (*kr9). This word can also be seen in kur4, 'thick, big ('grown')', which has been mistakenly attached to #834, '(circular) enclosure' because the sign was also interpreted as a 'circular (race) course' by way of its connection with KXHE-FHA-RO(-SO), 'fast-do repeatedly-lip/rim/wheel-(pull)' = 'animal pulled wagon/cart'. Normally, we would expect *kl but we have identified a certain dialectal variation in the Sumerian response to PL RO; #834 has additionally, for example, the readings and kir3, which represent Emegi and dialectal renditions of the same word (from *kr). This can be found in the fuller form in PIE *k^ers- [for **k^(h)wers-], 'run'; **k(^)(h)(w)Rs-s, 'wagon'; cf. Latin currus, 'wagon'; MHG hurren, 'move rapidly'; and in Egyptian p-Hr.t (for *p-Hwr.t), 'runner's course', and p-Hrr (for *p-Hwrr), 'run'.

Finally, we have PIE *ker(s)-, 'dark, dirty', for which we would expect **k^er(s)- since it is, almost certainly, a derivation of KHE-RA + SHA, 'state'. The only explanation we can offer, and it is not completely satisfying, is that this is a very old compound that had the form *keras:; and that the first syllable was reduced to *k before it could be palatalized by the *e.

Of course, the ultimate basal meaning of KHE is 'dog', our partner in our evolutionary journey for a very long time. As we might suspect from such a long and beneficial partnership, there are many words which abstract canine behavioral characteristics: for example, KHE-RE, 'dog-cause to become' = 'act like a dog' = 'roll on the ground submissively or playfully, or to pick up protective dust or a covering scent, grovel'. This idea in Sumerian is expressed by kir3, 'grovel, roll around', written with Jaritz #834, '(circular) enclosure', here simply 'circular motion'. This is PIE *(s)ker-, 'move one's self circularly'; and it is to man's best friend that we owe the term 'circle' derived from Latin circulus, 'little ring', and further from circus, 'circle' an extremely important cultural concept. It is somewhat likely that this can also be seen reduplicated in Egyptian H3H3, 'stumble, go astray (*roll around)' (from *kj3, KHE-E-RE[?]).

Only in PIE of the (proto-)languages being compared here can we see rather unambiguous reflexes of KHE in its earliest meaning of 'dog': *k^won- (for *k^wa[:]n-), 'dog', which is PL KHE-FHA, 'wag the tail like a dog' (PIE *k^e:u-/*k^u:-, 'wag') + NA, 'one'; so the 'hound' is the 'wagger(-tribe)'. KHE-FHA-NA, 'wagger', can be seen in Sumerian kun (for *kn), 'tail', depicting a 'tail' (Jaritz #121), a gun (shaded with multiple parallel lines, horizontal or vertical) form, which suggests motion, of #120, which also depicts a 'tail' but without gun. Jaritz #121 is: kun (for *kn), 'tail' (#121). This combination is also the source of Modern English howl (PL KHE-FHA-NHA, 'act like a dog-vibrate') rather than AHD's derivation from *ul- which can also be distinguished from the 'wailing' of wolves (PLFHA-E-NHA, 'wolf-like/voice-vibrate'; PIE *wa[:]ilo-s).

*k(n), '*deer, *antler, work (*fast thing)' (#900)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #900) depicts a highly schematized version of a 'deer head with antlers', or 'hair streaming behind the head from rapid forward movement', and reads kin (for *kn), 'work'. Before discussing 'fast', I would like to offer in support of this analysis the Egyptian word Hn.w.t, '(pair of tine-collections=) antler(s)', but is translated as 'horns' in both Faulkner and Wrterbuch, which uses, as a biliteral for Hn, a sign not included in Gardiner, depicting an 'antler': *Hn, '*antler' (not in Gardiner). This ancient spelling, which occurs in Pyramid Text 270, has, as a determinative, another archaic sign not cataloged by Gardiner, which appears to me to be an 'oryx-horn', with the ribbed banding schematically indicated: *???, '*oryx horn[?]' (not in Gardiner), with an unknown reading. Finally, there is PIE *k^en-to:-, 'hind', which could, just as easily, be formed from a poorly attested **k^en- (for **k^(h)e[:]n), 'deer', rather an assimilation from *k^em-, 'hornless'

The result of this is that I believe it quite possible that KXHE-NA meant 'antler' then 'deer' but that it could also mean 'fast thing' which seems to have been what characterized 'work' for our ancestors: Sumerian kin (for *kn), 'work'; PIE *k^en- (for **k^(h)e[:]), 'exert one's self'; and Egyptian Hn.t, 'occupation, craft' (but a derivation from KXHE-NO, 'fast-collective plural, is possible, perhaps even preferable for 'work'). These would all be related to the form found in PIE: *ke:i- (for **k^(h)e[:]i-, 'fast'), 'set/be in motion'; seen also in *k^e:i-bh- (KXHE-E-P?FE, 'deer-like-foot'), 'fast, energetically'; and *k^e:i-gh- (KXHE-E-K?XA, 'deer-like-hair' = 'streaming behind from speed'), 'fast, energetically'.

The Egyptian sign for KXHE is Gardiner #F4, 'forepart of lion': H(3t), 'forehead, front' (#F4), and is read H3(.t). Egyptian H3 represents KXHE-RA-?A, '*deer-rack/*antler-stative = 'topmost/foremost', a meaning developed through the wearing of antlers by leaders to indicate authority, or vice versa. Egyptian H3t represents PL KXHE-RA-?A-T?O, 'foremost-lump' = 'forehead, front'. PL KXHE-RA-?A, 'foremost', can be seen in PIE *k^ra:- (for **k^(h)ra[:]-), 'horn (for *rack of antlers)'.

This (#F4) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

With further extensions, Egyptian H3ty (PL KXHE-RA-?A-T?O-E-?A, 'foremost-organ-like-stative' = 'heart'; this is PIE *k^ra:di- (for *k^(h)ra:dia[:]-), 'heart', in Homeric Greek krade:, 'heart'. The Egyptian spelling with y (jjj simply indicates a stress-accent on that syllable ('j, /'ya:/) due to the lengthened final vowel.

'Foremost' developed into 'uppermost'; and 'deer' by itself was associated with 'superiority'.

So, the Egyptian sign for Hrw, representing PL KXHE-RO-FA, 'superior-part-set', means 'sky', and shows the 'sky (better a *'(tent-)canopy-parts')' (#N1): *Hrw, '*sky, upper part, top' (#N1). Because of it, the Egyptian sign for 'face', Gardiner #D2, *Hr, '*face' (#D2), which represented K?XE-RO, 'bare-part' = 'face', acquired the meaning of 'on, over, above' since both would have been pronounced similarly: /karu:/ and /kar/. This root is seen in PIE *k^ereu- (for *k^(h)ereu-), 'the uppermost on the body, head, top'.

This sign (#N1) also reads pt (for pt and *pj.t), which is PL P?A-THO and P?A-E-THO, 'piece-(like-)-collection' = '*tent/canopy, garment of sewn pelts, sky'. It can be seen in PIE *wet-, 'year', and *baita:-, 'goat-pelt' or 'tent'. Since the positions of the fixed stars reoccur at yearly intervals, a new 'sky' would be the repetition of a stellar configuration of a past year.

For PL KXHE-MHA, 'deer-formant of tools' = 'antler-hammer or rake' = 'aena or fuller's club',
see above.

One of the important verbal associations of KXHE is 'run (away) fast'. It can be seen in PIE *ke:i- (for **k^(h)e:i-; and *k^e:i-n- for **k^(h)e:i-n-), 'be or set in motion'; the element of speed can clearly be seen in PIE *k^e:i-bh- (for **k^(h)ei-bh-; KXHE-E-P?FE, 'fast-like-foot') and *ke:i-gh- (for **k^(h)ei-gh- KXHE-E-K?XA, 'fast-like-hair', i.e. 'hair streaming behind the head from rapid forward movement'), both meaning 'fast, vigorous'.

The work ethic was alive and well in ancient times; and the word for 'work' is built on this root: KXHE-(E-)NO, 'fast-(like-)collective plural, 'instances of fast activity' = 'work'. This idea can be seen in PIE *ken- (for **k^(h)en- or **k^(h)yen-), 'exert one's self', from which we have Greek di:konos, 'servant, attendant'; in Egyptian Hn.t (probably for *Hjn.t, based on the determinative, Gardiner #V36, which properly stands for KXHA-E-NA), 'occupation, craft', and H(j)nw.ty, 'servant ('worker'); and Sumerian kin, 'work, (quickly delivered) message', written with Jaritz #900, kin, kig2 (for *kkx[?]), 'work, *fast' (#900), which appears to depict a 'head with hair blown upward from fast movement', quite possibly, the equivalent of PIE **k^(h)ei-gh-; it also reads kig2 (for *kk2). A word for 'messenger (courier)' is LU2kig2-ga8-a (for *LU2kk2-kax-a), '(man of) streaming hair'.

The idea of vigorous activity suggested repetition; and PIE, in order to creative a punctual (aorist) form for a verb perceived as a durative, added *-s-, derived from SHE, 'single'; but then, as a back-formation, added *-k^(h)-, derived from KXHE, to make it durative again, creating the present tense (durative) formant *-sk^(h)-.

The idea of rapidly (abruptly) leaving an activity suggested completion; and, though this meaning for PIE *-k^(h)- is apparent only in the Greek perfect in -k-, we see it again in the distantly related Etruscan past tense (probably, really an aorist) in -che. This nuance can be clearly seen in PIE *ko:n-, 'complete' in Celtic languages, a derivation from *ken- (for **k^(h)en- or **k^(h)yen-).

Because the deer's antlers were natural hooks for hanging things, KXHE was the initial component of KXHE-QHA, 'hang-be humped over' = 'hang by hook', which is seen in PIE *k^enk- (for **k^(h)e[:]nk), 'hang, swing/sway from a hook-like fastening'; this can be seen in Egyptian 'crook', written with Gardiner #S38, 'shepherd's crook': Hq(.), 'shepherd's crook' (#S38). Combined with RE, 'apply, use, employ', Hq3 means 'employ the crook to protect and guide the flock', and is used for a 'prince' of Egypt as guardian and ruler: 'rule(r)'.

me3 (for m-x), 'battle, *pounce, *suppress' (#160)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #160) depicts a 'double-ax and bow', and reads me3 (for *mx). When the terminology for war first developed, the object was probably to capture rather than kill opponents ('pounce on, suppress'); this made them available for sacrifice or slavery. Maces were used not because more lethal weapons were unavailable but rather to facilitate incapacitation and capture. The sign is a composite of Jaritz #889 (me, phonetic determinative) over #10 ('labrys, double-ax') over #700 ('reflex bow').

Rather than characterizing an area as 'flat', apparently the Sumerians reserved that concept for objects; and called a flat area 'smooth'; this terminology results in Sumerian mim2 (for mm2; PL MHE-MHE, 'all-smooth'), 'flat space', written with Jaritz #165, which depicts a 'bundle of reeds or rushes rolled at the top into a loop', which is the primary symbol of In(a2-)anna, 'the eye of the (night) sky', a reference to the pivotal North Star (PL A-E-NA, 'pair-of-eyes-like-one' = '(one) eye'; ina2 (Jaritz #798); see under A). 'All-Smooth' (*M-m) is probably a cult-name for Inanna to indicate her beauty (and female absence/lack of body hair). This divine name is normally written with #165 alone.

Substantiating this line of thought is the term mi2, '*soft, *smooth, woman', a reading and meaning for Jaritz #919, which depicts 'vulvae and labia': mi2 (for m2), '*soft, *smooth, woman' (#919). This sign reads also mim (for *mm), meaning 'wide/width'; here, an area is again being delimited by containing no obstructions, even tiny ones like hairs. For other terms associated with females, see above and again above in a second entry.

The postulated meaning 'thin' is also acknowledged for Jaritz #919 but associated with the reading sal. This is almost certainly incorrect. A reading that can, however, be associated with 'thin' is the reading min2 (for *mn2), PL MHE-NA, 'thin-one', which can be seen in PIE with either *men- (for **me[:]n-), 'thin, , reduce, smooth (includes reflexes from MHA-NA, 'bite' properly **ma[:]n-)'; or, in the closely related form: *mei-n- (for **me[:]i-n-), 'diminish, skinny' (PL MHE-E-NA, 'thin-like-one'). If a difference can be perceived, it seems MHE-E-NA has a slight bias towards a transitive interpretation. This is also evidenced by the attested form *mi-n-, ' (better 'made '); this is PL FA, which marks 'repeated set of (transitive) activities'; and implies 'completion of the verbal idea (perfective aspect)'.

Even the postulated 'eel' is attested in Lithuanian mnkė, 'elver, young eel': PL MHE-NA-KHO, 'smooth-one-child'.

The Egyptian sign for MHE (Gardiner #E13) depicts a 'cat'; and is a determinative for mjw, 'cat': m(j)(.w), 'cat' (#E13). The development is MHE-E, 'cat-like' = 'act like a cat, utter cat-sounds/pounce on' + FE, agentive = 'one which utters cat-sounds/pounces' = 'cat' full circle.

The idea of 'pouncing upon', the preferred method of hunting for the cat, can be seen in PIE *smei-t-, 'throw down, suppress', and s-mobile form of a theoretical *me[:]i-.

Although MHE, '(emerging) worm', can be seen fairly easily in PIE compounds like *wer-m- (for *wo[:]r-me[:]-, 'tunnel-making-worm'), 'worm', and *ter-m- (for *t(h)e[:]r-me[:]-, 'drilling-worm'), 'termite', (and possibly in *mer-, 'dead', if 'wormy[?] (MHE-RHE, 'worm-fall (out)'), so far it has proved surpassingly difficult to locate it in Sumerian or Egyptian with any degree of confidence. To judge by Sumerian mar-gal, 'rain/earthworm', a word based on MHA-RE, 'bite-make', properly originally applied to 'ants' (mar, Jaritz #573, means, among other things, 'louse, parasite), has ousted and replaced a theoretical *m since the bite of an earthworm is not noticeably painful. Sumerian mar(-)un, Jaritz #543, means 'ant(-hill)'; it is written with Jaritz #339 inserted into the sign for 'ant (Jaritz #536), which suggests a particularly painful bite. Other words for 'ant' read kii, built on PL K?XE-SE, 'empty-excrement', because of the similarity of the smells of formic acid and urine. Of course, the PIE root for 'ant' is *morwi- (for **ma[:]r-wi-); and Modern English pismire should be considered in this context (from the urinous smell of an anthill).

For the meaning 'soft, pliable', the PL term appears to be MHE (v. Sumerian *m2 above); for 'soften', however, it appears that a common process rather than a causative use of MHE was the favored expression: (HHA=)MHA-RE, 'water=chew' = '(soak in) water'=(then) chew (to soften)'. This is a well-documented procedure actually still in use in some traditional societies. Of course, we can easily understand than a more general term, MHE-RE, 'soft-cause to become' = 'soften', would, in many applications, be virtually synonymous. Of course, 'chewing' absent 'soaking' can also 'soften'. As a result of this relationship, there seems to be a certain amount of overlap or confusion between the reflexes of these two terms. For example, we had an Akkadian gloss which suggests that mar-mar (Jaritz #573+#573) can also be read *mr-mr by juxtaposition with a plene spelling me-ir-me-ir.

We have seen above that Egyptian 'sickle' represents 'bite'; and its fuller form with j-, 'bite off plant-tops' = 'reap with a sickle'. The presumed difference in vocalization in earliest Egyptian between reflexes of ?A and HHA would have consisted principally if not solely in the length of the vowel: /a/ as opposed to /a:/; similarly, in Sumerian, /a/ as against /a:/ and in neither writing system would the vowel length have been (capable of being) graphically indicated.

This is forcefully illustrated by the Egyptian term jm3.y, 'foetus', written with #U1(!), 'sickle', but in a digraph under #G1, 'vulture (variety that resembles an 'eagle')', the result termed, by Gardiner, #G3: (j)m(3) (w)(j),'*smooth, *soft, *new' (#G3).

I believe this unusual for Egyptian procedure indicates an original slight difference of pronunciation as well as meaning since we can hardly believe that foetal extraction had much to do with a sickle. Or, for that matter, 'chewing': we expect that in this word, the impetus was j-m3, 'water-soften' (HHA-MHE-RE). In this listing, Gardiner cites a spelling of 'renew', s-m3wy, utilizing this digraph, presumably to convey the distinction between 'reaping' and 'softening'.

The Egyptian word for 'new' is written (j)m3, (j)m3w, and (j)m3wy, in our sources. We assert that 'new' is to be understood as 'smooth, soft, supple', and derives from PL (HHA-)MHA/MHE-RE.

Without any trace of the version with HHA- (PIE *a[:]), this is found in PIE *mer-yo- (for **me[:]r-y-o- [but possibly **ma[:]r-y-o-]), 'young (man)'. Similarly, we have PIE *mer- in MHG mer(e)n, 'dunk bread in milk or wine to soften it'; and, with s-mobile, in Modern German schmoren, 'braise (simmer meat in liquid to tenderize)'.

In Sumerian, we have mar2, a reading of #782, which depicts a 'calf's face', and means 'new': mar2 (for mr-x[?]), '*soft, *smooth, new' (#782). Its principal reading is amar. (for *mr) but also has the reading mar2

The specialist or alert reader will hardly be able to fail to notice a similarity of #782 to #816, which portrays a '(grape-)leaf', something that clearly is consumed (chewed) with relish in the Middle East and elsewhere to this very day. Whether #782 is simple a variety of 'leaf' or a 'calf's head' is probably unprovable. We further assert that it is somewhat likely that *mr2 had an unrecorded variant pronunciation of *mr in its meaning of 'new', properly 'soft, smooth, supple'.

As a postscript to the discussion of this word-family, we have Egyptian m3m3, 'gingerbread-palm', which can be compared to Sumerian giimmar (for G[~]Imr-()mr, 'completely soft' [?]), 'date-palm', written with Jaritz #658.

This (Gardiner #G3) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

*l-x, ll, 'fool, *slippery fingers' (#631)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #631) depicts a 'right hand (Jaritz #629) with gun' (shaded with multiple parallel lines, horizontal or vertical), means 'fool', a more general characterization of *'slippery fingers', one who lets objects and opportunities slide through his (butter-)fingers.

The word 'fool' for Sumerian is recorded as *ll in a number of forms: lil, lil2, lil3, lil5, and lil8 it is obvious, this was a frequently used word. It is, almost certainly, an emphatic reduplication of *l for NHE with some semantically appropriate meaning. As the definitions make clear, one of the principal uses of PL NHE was as a deprecative.

The fact that Jaritz #945, reading li7 for NE(-E), meaning '*slobber, *slippery', was not used to write any of these permutations of *ll nor was Jaritz #100, reading li suggests to me that *ll is based on the Sumerian response to NHE, 'what slips through as a result of its own self-originated motion'.

    1. *ll (Jaritz #631), depicts a 'right hand (Jaritz #629) with gun' (shaded with multiple parallel lines, horizontal or vertical): ll, 'fool, *slippery fingers' (#631). My supposition is that what is graphically portrayed is the 'right hand', normally clean, coated with something indicated by the gun, which has made it 'unclean', 'dirty', and 'slippery'. Based on the alternation in Jaritz #832, la2 and , with apparently identical meaning, I attribute to #629 an unrecorded reading of *lx. This can be seen in PIE *le:i-, 'drip, *slip through';

    2. *ll2 is written with Jaritz #579, lil2 (for *ll2, 'rain'  (#579), which means 'rain' (RHE-RHE), determined by (LU2), 'human'; the connection is probably primarily phonetic; it depicts a 'wall-mat' for keeping out the rain (but perhaps a 'sheet of rain' coming off the edge of an eave or lower edge of a roof);

    3. *ll3 is written with Jaritz #918, a combination of #908 ('cover', u2) over #823 ('intestine', ba3), which we would normally expect to bit quite slippery: lil3 (for *ll3), 'fool, *slippery fingers' (#918);

    4. *ll5; is written with #1001 (not in Jaritz), a combination of #908 ('cover', u2) over #339 ('a burning torch with smoke rising from the top', izi), which we would normally expect to bit quite hot; here, instead of 'butter-fingers', we have the graphic of someone picking up something too hot to hold ('hotsie-totsie'): lil5 (for *ll5), 'fool, *slippery fingers' (#1001 not in Jaritz);

    5. *ll8 is written with lu2, 'man', Jaritz #611, tilted at a 45̊ angle to the right, suggesting 'clumsy feet' or 'slippery surface' leading to a fall: lil8 (for *ll8), 'fool, *slippery surface' (#1002 not in Jaritz).
It is obvious from this analysis that 'fool' has nothing much to do with intelligence but much to do with lack of common sense leading to slippery escapes and slipping movements (with the exception of ll5) although we could think of a too hot object 'slipping through the fingers'.

The Egyptian sign for NHE is Gardiner #N22b, 'two rushes with shoots': '*nn, '*weak' (#N22b). I believe this is a digraph for n. It occurs as n(n)y, 'be weary, inert', corresponding to PIE *le:(i)-, 'slack, soft, tired'; and is PL NHE-E, 'worm-like' = 'slack'.

pi2, '*mouse'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #969) depicts the 'head of a mouse with whiskers indicated'; and a reading of this Sumerian sign is pi2 (for p2), which means 'mouse'. Though we have no Egyptian cognate, the PIE cognate is *peis-, 'squeak'; this is PL PHE-E-SE, 'mouse-like-(forcefully) excrete' = 'squeak'; so, for the Sumerians, the mouse was the 'squeaker'. Mice squeak when foraging for food or when otherwise excited.

Another important derivation from PHE is PHE-NHE, 'mouse-come apart', 'nibble, produce sawdust (as from around a mouse-hole)'. This can first be seen in Egyptian pn.w, 'mouse ('nibbler')'. PIE has *pel-, 'dust, meal'; and *pel-, 'gray', from which Old Prussian peles, 'mice', is derived. In addition, there is *ple:-, 'split off, rip off, make a thin piece, flake, splinter'. We also have Sumerian pi-il(i)5, meaning 'be thin, light'.

Some meanings associated with the reading pi from Jaritz #688 are 'diminish, remove, deduct, reduce'; this is a semantic field we associate with PHE, 'mouse'. This appears to be a purely phonetically inspired association, probably because a reading of *pix for #969 was lost. On the basis of pi-il(i)5, I would add '*make/be thin' to the other meanings associated with pi.

The Egyptian sign for PHE (Gardiner #H3) depicts the 'head of a spoonbill', a bird whose long bill flattens at the tip to become thin. It is possible that p3, represent 'thin-bird' (PL PHE-RHA) was once in use as a name for the 'spoonbill': p(3), 'thin(, *spoonbill)' (#H3).

There are several compounds written with #H3, which seems to have had the value p3, suggesting 'thin(ness)': p3q, 'flat, thin, cake'; p3q.t, 'fine (sheer) linen'; p3q.y.t, 'turtle shell, flake'. I believe a PIE root *sper- should be reconstructed to account for Germanic *sparo:jan, from which Modern Engish spare is derived, an s-mobile of a postulated **per-, 'produce a thin sheet of something', PL PHE-RE, 'thin-cause to become'.

This (#H3) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

pi, '*hyena' (#688)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #688) depicts 'the head of a pointed long-eared mammal on a pole', which, from the reading pi (for *p), we presume to be a '*spotted hyena'.

The pointed ears being especially prominent on this animal, the meaning 'pointed' was also developed. One of the meanings of this sign is 'wisdom'; and, in this meaning, is read tal2; tala (for *tl, see below), another reading, means, 'broad, extended'. This is PL TSHA-RHA-?A, 'elongate-suspend-stative' = 'extended (arm), reached out'. We can easily find this in EgyptianD3.j, 'cross, extend (arm) ['cause to cross'], reach out'. It is similarly easy to find the PIE cognate: *ter- (for **t(h)a:ra:-; cf. *tra:-), 'get over to, cross over, bring over'.

I am relatively sure that this sign was also read *p for the general meaning of 'intelligence', representing PL PFHE-E, 'hyena-like' = 'pointed' = 'sharp'. We can see it in the proper form in PIE *(s)p(h)e:i-, 'pointed'; do we not still say: 'sharp as a tack' for 'intelligent'? The association with ears suggests an idea like 'prick up one's ears' was associated with intelligence and wisdom.

The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #339) depicts a 'burning torch with smoke rising from its top': pi5 (for *p5), 'spark/flame' (#339). Among its many readings is *p5, which means 'spark/flame' in the compound *p from PL HHE-PFHE, 'smoke-sparks/flame' = 'smoke/roast'; this word is also written i-pi5 and i3-pi5. For additional details, see above under HHE.

The Egyptian sign for PFHE is Gardiner's #E24, which is used as a determinative and alphabetically for the the biliteral b3, 'leopard' but in that word only, is b3, 'leopard' (#E24); it is, originally, the sign for 'panther', Egyptian 3b.y, 'panther' (see below under RHE).

This (#E24) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

Egyptian b3 is a compound of PFHE, 'hyena/spotted' + RA, 'color'; it designates the 'leopard' as a er, sleeker, and spotted/hyena-like (panther). The leopard was considered by our ancestors to be a spotted panther, the change in fur brought about by hybridization with a lion (leo-). In PIE, **per-d- is considered to be a loanword from some Oriental language. However, the word is quite old. In Sumerian, 'leopard' is recorded as nemurx, which is probably an Akkadian loanword to judge by Akkadian namru, 'leopard'; but the sign is written PIRIG~ TUR. Sumerian tur, '', was discussed above under HHA.

It is instructive in this context that the recorded Egyptian word for 'hyena(-female/pack[?])', HT.t, uses the 'jackal'-determinative (#E17); and that HT is an administrative title in the Old Kingdom (= z3(b)[?]; or possibly, 'court jester'[?]; see below). There is, however, a sparse attestation of a specifically 'hyena' determinative/word-sign being used very early with HT(.t): *b, '*hyena' (not in Gardiner). In view of PIE *k^e[:]igh-, 'cough, hiccup', it may be that the preserved name for 'hyena', HT(.t), designates it as the 'cougher/hiccuper/laugher', to describe the peculiar vocalization of the hyena that we call its 'laugh'. As adverse as I am to onomatopoeic explanations, this may be the exception that proves the rule: HT would have been pronounced in earliest Egyptian as /kač/ (cf. PIE *ka:k-, 'laugh at').

Sumerian pirig~ is usually translated as 'lion'. It is written with several signs:

However, here we are a little luckier: sign #789 depicts what appears to be a feline: k-2, 'lion' (#789). The sign above the head of the animal is, fairly probably, #750, which reads u, and, we believe, is being used as a phonetic determinative for the reading ug2, 'lion'. We have assigned the monosyllable HO to 'lion', and this would result in Sumerian *. On the basis of PIE *o:k^-ro-, 'very fast', we reconstruct HO-KXHE, 'lion/move across-run/fast/work' = 'charge/attack violently/maul'. We, therefore, emend ug2 to *k2; and with this word, we can connect Sumerian ug2, 'be furious', in deed as well as word. We provisionally assume that the correct reading for 'lion' is *k2; and that pirig~ is probably the name for another feline.

Now another Sumerian sign, Jaritz #230, reads pirig~3 and ug/k/q; and means 'lion' as well as 'roar': pirig~-3, 'lion, *leopard' (#230). This sign does not apparently have #750 written above it as #789 does; and the later cuneiform renditions seem to be including #664 ('bent knee'; *gax) over #684 (which we read here as pir) both of which inside the simplified form of #789 (#230): *ga(m)-x, '*knee-cap' (#664); although the order of inserted elements is in reverse, they seem to be indicating *pir(i)g phonetically rather than the *pirig~ we would expect.

I am going to provisionally assume that, on the basis of Egyptian b3, 'leopard', the Sumerian element *pir should represent 'leopard', and that the meaning 'lion' attached to sign #684 should be, for the reading pir of #684, be emended to 'leopard'. Sign #684 also reads ug4, which I will emend to k4, and assign to the meaning of 'lion'.

This leaves pirik(i)3 to be assigned a meaning. The word KHE means 'dog'; and I suggest that pirik(i)3 represents PFHE-RHE-KHE, 'leopard-dog', a name for the 'hyena' 'leopard' because of the spots that appear on the coats of both. Though PIE has lost the idea of 'hyena' as a reference, we do have *prek^-, 'sprinkled with spots of color, colorful, often for the designation of color-sprinkled animals, dotted with color'.

In spite of the phonetic similarity, Sumerian pirig~2 and pirig~3, 'bright', are based on other elements. The can be referred to Egyptian b3q, 'bright, white, oily, moringa-oil'; and PIE *bhre:g^- (for **bhre:(n)g^), 'gleam, white, birch'. It is also present in PIE *(s)p(h)re:g^- (for **(s)p(h)re:(n)g^-), 'sparkle, sprinkle', the s-mobile form of **bhre:(n)g^-.

This is a rather unusual term in so far as it appears the product of a plant is being used as a color designation: I reconstruct: P?FE-RE-QE, 'extend around-cause to become' = 'gleam' + 'juice' = 'moringa-oil' = 'gleaming'. This is a further derivation of P?FE-RE, 'gleam', which is seen in PIE *bher-, 'gleaming'; Sumerian pir, a reading of #684, that should probably be read instead of pirig~2 for the meaning 'bright'. The reconstruction of a dorsal nasal rather than a plain dorsal is supported by the Sumerian rendering pirig~, where g~ is believed by most Sumerologists to be a voiced dorsal nasal (/ng/).

The word 'moringa' is derived from Tamil morungai. The sequence labial+r+ng suggests more than a coincidental connection to P?FE-RE-QE but I will not go into the nature of the connection (if it exists) at this time.

The Egyptian equivalent is not so apparently obvious at first sight. None of the meanings assigned to b3 currently are connected with 'gleam'; however, another sign used to write b3 is Gardiner #W10, '(stone) cup/bowl with wick, lamp' (and #W11, Old Kingdom form with two wicks), which will represent PL P?FO-RE: b3, '*gleaming' (#W10). This is a very suitable graphic representation of 'gleam'; and its employment with b3, 'soul', suggests that the souls of the dead 'gleam' among the stars, which conforms to what we think we know about early Egyptian religious beliefs. The name of the 'lamp' itself, however, originally meant only 'bored out' ('bone-apply'; PIE *bher-, 'work with a sharp tool' Sumerian pur, '(stone) bowl, sacrificial dinner' [Jaritz #646]).

Egyptian 'soul' is also written with the 'jabiru', discussed above, which represents P?FA-RHA, 'jabiru'. Both P?FE-RE and P?FA-RHA would have had the same phonetic outcome in Egyptian: /ba(:)r(a[:])/. The jabiru is, of course, a stork; and storks would have had the widest wing-span of any bird the Egyptians knew. The connection of storks to birth in many folk-traditions around the world may also have aided in connecting storks with souls that would presumably be brought back from the sky to be incorporated into the children new births.

Sumerian par, 'white', is another reading of #684, and represents PL PFHA-RA, 'sheep-formant of colors = 'white'; this is Egyptian b3, 'ram, white one'.

Sumerian #684 is written para-11 (for *pra-11), 'go up (really 'become noticeable')' (#684), depicts the 'rising sun' as it first becomes visible, and in this meaning, should be read as para11 (for *pra11), '*go up, *become noticeable'; this is almost exactly the same sign we see as a determinative of 'new moon' in Egyptian: determinative for first appearance of new moon, #N12, a Dynasty XVIII variant of #N11, which shows only the 'crescent moon'. We may note in this connection bara6 (for pra6) which is listed as a 'color term'; it is written with #873: para-6 (for *pra-6), 'contrastive' (#873), which depicts a 'simple circle', surrounding #889, mi3, 'stick out', and #161, n4, 'eye/watch', combining to form *min, 'that which sticks out' (PL ME-NA); in addition to the reading para6, it also reads men4 (for *min4), ''crown').

We can, in turn, see this in PIE *men-, 'stand out, mountain'; and in Egyptian mn.w, 'monument', and mnn.w, 'fortress'. This idea is also present in para6, which, in addition to meaning 'king' ('outstanding man') means 'color term', which we now interpret to mean 'outstanding, contrastive (color-wise)'. We attribute para6 (for pra6) to PL P?FA-?A-RA, 'prominent-stative = 'outstanding' + formant of colors = 'contrastive'. We can relate this to PIE *bha(:)r-, 'stick out, stand out, protrude'.

We do not find a sign that reads b3 and means 'outstanding' under b3 but under its causative, s-b3, we find 'star' and 'teach', which we interpret as 'cause to be outstanding'; the star 'stands out' against the black backdrop of the nighttime heavens; the teaching consists of 'causing information to stand out, be focused on'. This (s)b3 is written with Gardiner #N14, 'star': *b3, '*be outstanding' (#N14); we attribute this to P?FA-?A-RA, also.

nir [for *ñ(r)], 'high' (#603)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #603) reads nir (for *ñ(r)), and depicts 'two trees'. For details, see below. I feel relatively sure that this sign had unrecorded recordings of * and *ñ in addition to the recorded nir (for*ñr) and nar3 (for *ñr3). The sign also reads ir7 (for *r7), which appears to be an Emesal version of *ñr.

The Egyptian sign for QHE is Gardiner #O41, 'double stairway': q(3), 'hill, high ground' (#O41). This sign is used as a determinative for 'hill', q3(3).

This (#O41) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

It is difficult to grasp the fine points of the original distinction between QHA-RA and QHE-RA. While QHA-RA (Egyptian q3(.j)) seems to be more connected with 'being tall or high' as a result of previous unbending, something like 'uncoil and be high as a result' (this is certainly what the Egyptian sign, #A28, seems to imply), QHE-RA seems to indicate a process of 'bending over to create a tall angularity'. In any case, QHE-RA, in the form of Egyptian q3(3), is used for 'hill'. As we have seen, initial QH appears in Sumerian as n (for *ñ), a distinction not yet recognized by Sumerologists.

The Sumerians may have also had a problem with this distinction because Jaritz #603, which depicts 'two trees (#133, nun, 'large') side by side', nar3/nir (for *ñr3/ñr), 'stretch out, high/tall' (#603), reads nar3 (for *ñr3) and nir (for *ñr), which correspond respectively to the meanings 'stretch out' and 'high/tall'. The term 'tall (one)' is used for 'hero'; and is also written with nir6 (for ñr6; Jaritz #597). Sign #603 also reads ri5 (for *x), represents RA-E, '*tall-like' = '*high'.

For *QHE, we would expect *(n)k^- in PIE. To facilitate the pronunciation of the initial nasal, a prothetic *a was added. Thus, QHE-RA initially became PIE *nk^er-. In time, *nk^er- was reduced to *(:)(k^)k^er- through assimilation and compensatory vowel-lengthening. With the addition of adjectival -*y, this became *k^ri-, seen in Greek *kris, 'point, summit of a mountain', listed under *ak^ in Pokorny; this corresponding to Sumerian *ñr and Egyptian q3(3) above.

A common word for 'eat' in Egyptian is wnm; and, it is actually spelled so in many cases. But under the doctrine of 'defective spelling' (which doctrine is itself defective), Egyptologists blithely assume that the word can also be spelled jm or wn, and still represent wnm. In view of PIE *wen- (for PL FA-NA, 'leaf-thing' = 'vegetable'), 'pasturage, fodder', and Sumerian eme, 'tongue', this seems completely unjustified.

One of the spellings that is supposed to read wnm is actually written qq. Instead, this represents QE-QE, 'pointedly angled'-reduplication = 'all toothed' = 'eat'. We can see in Norwegian dialectal agge, 'tooth', this form results in PIE *a(n)k^-(n)k^. This, in turn, can be related to PIE *ak^-/*ak^o:-, 'eat'. The latter, as seen in Greek kulos, 'acorn', probably represents PL QHE-FA, 'pointedly angled-set' = 'dentition'; Egyptian qq could represent *qw as well as qq since doubled signs were anciently read as duals in -w(j) (but perhaps also in -j (PL A; *qj).

For discussion of QHE-MO-RE, 'hammer', see under RE above.

li2, '*let fall, press out (oil)'  (#456)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #456) depicts a 'conical container in which oil is allowed to rise to the top (but also possibly a 'bag containing crushed oily material, from which oil is extracted by squeezing')', and reads li2 (for l2), and means 'oil, fat, cream, press out (oil)'; this should be analyzed a 'cause to fall, press out'.

Reduplicated, it is seen in Sumerian *ll2, 'rain', written with #579, which depicts a 'wall-mat' for keeping out the rain (but perhaps a 'sheet of rain' coming off the edge of an eave or lower edge of a roof): lil2 (for *ll2, 'rain'  (#579) .

The Egyptian sign for RHE is Gardiner #E24, 'panther': 3(b)(.y), 'panther' (#E24); it is used, however, only as a determinative for 3b(.y), 'panther'. Egyptian 3b is PL RHE-P?FE, 'panther'-formant of animal names = 'panther(-track')'. This can be seen only indirectly in PIE *re(:)bh-, 'to be in powerful motion, attack, *fall upon'. The reading lib/p is attached to Jaritz #657, which we have discussed under KHA above and NHO below. Since lip is the expected response to PL RHE-P?FE, I am going to assume that it also was used for 'panther'.

Another Egyptian sign for RHE is Gardiner #N4, 'moisture falling from sky': 3, '*rain' (#N4); it is used as a determinative for j3d.t, 'dew' (HHA-RHE-T?A, 'water-fall-drip' = 'dew').

As a verb, RHE means 'to come down, go'; and transitively, 'to put down'. We can see the simplex in Egyptian 3, 'tread'.

e11 (for *-x), 'jackal' (#657)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #657) depicts a 'jackal', reads e11 (for *ix), though this reading is not currently associated with this meaning.

The Egyptian sign is for SHE Gardiner #A1, 'seated man', z, 'man ('individual')' (#A1) , and had, at one time, the value of z; it means 'individual'; but, in Egyptian, it is used primarly as a determinative for 'man' in many words, including z, 'man, someone, anyone, (no) one (with negative), man of rank'.

A second Egyptian sign for SHE is Gardiner #E17, 'jackal', already discussed above under PFHE: '*z, '*jackal', in z3b, 'jackal' (#E17).

The attested Egyptian word for 'jackal' is z3b, which can be further analyzed into z3, 'reddish brown, rust-colored, *jackal-colored' and b, formant of animal names; jackals live singly as well as in pairs; and this bachelorhood appeared notable to our ancestors. This is the black-backed jackal, the body of which is rust-colored. Egyptian z3 is PL SHE-RA, 'jackal-color' = 'reddish brown'. This word can be found in PIE *se(:)r- (cf Old Indian s:ra-, 'pith of a tree'), 'red, reddish'. This same PIE root stands for PL SO-RA, 'skin-color' = 'pinkish'. The second is found in Sumerian sur2, 'be furious, angry (i.e. 'red-faced')', Jaritz #610, which depicts a 'head with hair standing erect on it': sur2, '*reddish, furious, angry' (#610).

The first can be seen in Sumerian ir2 (for *r2), 'reddening, sunburn', a reading of #675, pu, '* (venomous) snake', from its similarity to ir2 (for *r2) for an unrecorded '*creep' (PIE in *ser-p-, 'creep'; Egyptian in z3, 'maggot', i.e. '*creeper'; in z3j, 'creep'; PL SHE-RHE, 'jackal-come' = 'creep').

PL SHE is the first element in Egyptian z(-)nHm, 'creeper-withdraw' = 'locust', which presumably refers to the long absence of the locust between infestations; it is written with the determinative (Gardiner #L4) depicting a 'creeping' rather than the 'flying' insect we might anticipate: '*z in z(-)nHm, '*locust' (#L4). This word, uncompounded, can also be seen in Sumerian si14 (for *ix), which has been tentatively assigned a meaning of 'spider, snail'. This is a reading of Jaritz #575, dug, which depicts a 'wine amphora with a pouring spout'; and means 'container with pouting spout, good': dug, '*wine amphora, good' (#575).

This choice of associations suggests the edible nature of the animal involved, which might be 'snails' or 'locusts' but more questionably 'spiders'. In view of its use for 'red wine', the reading lut (for *lt) suggests an unknown dialectal variant reading (Emegi should have *lz) for PL RO-FA-T?SA, 'pink/red', PIE *reudh-; and Egyptian rwD; see above.

As for dug itself, it may be related to PIE *dNg^h:- through a reconstructed PL T?O-NA-K?XE(-FA), 'lump-thing' = 'tongue' + 'scrape(-do repeatedly)' = '(test-)taste(d)', then 'tasty', but the evidence at hand only permits speculation (no Egyptian cognate identified; Sumerian graphic does not relate directly to bodily part); this would, of course, require and emendation of dug to *du(n)k.

This (#E17) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

dir-3 (for *tr-x), '*star, god'  (#14)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #14) has already been discussed under ?A. We cannot be certain whether or not an earlier archaic sign made a distinction between a form for ?A and a form for THE but it is likely that a simpler form of the sign existed for THE, perhaps similar to the Egyptian sign below. The normal signs for 'star, *constellation' in Sumerian are mul1, 2, 4.

The conclusions we draw from this data are that the original reading for Jaritz #680 must have been de4 and *din, for *dx and *dn, and that the meanings 'wrap up/around' and 'hold back, restrain', should be assigned to them; and that te as a reading for #680, and the association of the meaning 'star' with it, is misplaced.

The reading *tix should be assigned to Jaritz #14 in the meaning 'star'; and the reading of #14 as dir3 should be emended to *trx; and also assigned the meaning 'star'; Jaritz #14 should also be interpreted as 'star' on the basis of a sign variant that has not survived to us.

The Egyptian sign for THE is Gardiner #N14, 'star', which is used in writing d(3.t), 'netherworld', really 'night sky filled with stars that are the souls of the dead': d(3)(.t), *'star/*night sky filled with stars, *place of the souls of the dead'  (#N14).

This (#N14) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

We can see this in PIE *te(:)ra(:), 'star(s)'; this is PL THE-(HA-)RE(-HHA), 'radiate-(stative-)cause to become(-all)' = 'glimmer, twinkle'. It is, however, possible that a s-mobile form that has lost its initial *s- from T?A-RA, 'tremble', has been conflated with this PIE root as well.

Of additional interest may be that Sumerian has te-ri-ta meaning '(divine) instruction'. I think it probable that this represents *tri-ta, '*from the star(s)'.

A related sign, Gardiner #N15, 'star in circle', d3.t, 'star-collection, night sky' (#N15), means 'world of the dead', and is an expression for the night sky: PL THE-RE-THO, 'star-collection' = 'nighttime firmament'. The souls of the dead were believed to appear as stars in the night sky.

Sumerian sign Jaritz #816 depicts a '(grape-)leaf', an means specifically 'vine, tendril'; its reading, tin, has been transferred to 'wine' as the product of the vine/tendril: tin, 'vine, tendril, wine, *radiant, live, man (mortal)' (#816). This is PL THE-NA, 'radiate/stretch-thing' = 'vine'. This meaning is present in PIE as well in Anglo-Saxon thona, 'tendril', derived from PIE *ten-, 'prolong, pull, span, stretch, spread out'. Emesal has mu-tin (for *m-tin, PL MO-E, 'flesh-like' = 'bloody') for 'wine', which is 'blood(iness) of the vine'. The fuller Emegi form is g[~]e(-)tin written with Jaritz #419, g[~]e(-)tin, 'wine' (#419), a combination of #816 under #424, *g[~]23, '(over)power'. In view of the fact that this sign also means 'ejaculate', we analyze *g[~]23 as PL FE-E-(?A-)SE, 'strong-like-(stative-)emit' = 'semen, ejaculate'.

In the Sumerian culture as in many others, it appears that 'semen' was considered the source of manly strength. This is reflected in two PIE forms: *wi:s-, 'strength (this may also be FE-E-?A-SHA; with this, we would need to emend *g[~]23 to *g[~]2sx)' (listed under *wei-, 'be strong'), and *wi:so-s (listed probably incorrectly under *weis-, 'flow', PL P?E-E-SE, 'urine-like-emit' = '*urinate'), 'poison [probably better 'potent, dangerous substance']'. That the idea of 'semen' underlies these meanings is virtually assured by the existence of Old Indian viStha:-, 'animal semen'. Thus, the Emegi term for 'wine' seems to mean 'strength of the vine'.

There are some Egyptian words which seem to be derived from THE-NA: dn.j, 'share out ('cause to be spread/stretched out (to)'); and dn.w.t, '(extended) families (cf. Old Indian tna-, 'offspring'.

zi, 'stick into'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #130) depicts a 'stick with pennant stuck upright in water, used as a height-marker for its rising; the water being shown at four different levels', and reads ze/zi as well as zig/k.

It is recorded as meaning 'rise, raise, swell, muster, expand, levy, issue'. The first is PLTSHE, 'stick into, raise by sticking into'; in this simple form (**t(h)e(:); but see below), it is not found in PIE, but if we add PL K?XA, 'hang', we can see it in PIE *(s)teg-, '(upright, affixed) pole, stick, flag (attached to a pole)'; and *stegh- (here retaining aspiration; an *s-mobile form for which the uncombined form has not survived), 'stick'; or adding QA, 'plant-stem', we have it in PIE *stengh- (for **(s)teng-; an *s-mobile form for which the uncombined form has not survived), 'stick, stalk, stem'; or adding KXHA, 'pointed', we have it in PIE *stek- (for *(s)tek(h)-; an *s-mobile form for which the uncombined form has not survived), 'stake, upright standing pole'; three of these would be Sumerian *zik; **(s)teng- would be Sumerian zi(n)g~.

In the sense of 'upright' as a result of being raised by being stuck into something, the same sign, Jaritz #130, reads zid; it means 'to be right, true, loyal', and literally means 'upstanding'. It can be seen in Egyptian as Dd, 'stable, enduring', i.e.steady', which is written as Gardiner #R11, 'column imitating a bundle of stalks tied together': Dd, 'Dd-pillar, stable, enduring'.

This ceremonial object was ritually fixed upright by being inserted in the ground in an important Egyptian festival, probably connected with ensuring cosmic stability. In PIE, we see it as *(s)t(h)e:-, listed incorrectly under *sta:-, 'stand', as an Ablaut variation of *sta:- (for *(s)t(h)a:-, PL TSHA).

This is doubly incorrect because no genuinely long PIE vowel can undergo *e/o-Ablaut variation while retaining its vowel-length though it can be put in zero-grade.

Both of these forms, **(s)t(h)a:- and *(s)t(h)e:- are *s-mobile forms the two uncombined forms of which have not survived. OHG sta:ti, 'firm, lasting, steady', tells us the proper reconstruction is **(s)t(h)e:d- for PL TSHE-T?A, 'puncture-give' = 'set upright by insertion into something, fixed (upright) in place'. This is, of course, also the basis for Sumerian zid (for *zd), mentioned above.

An interesting application of TSHE-E, 'porcupine-like' = 'bristled' is in a Sumerian reading for Jaritz #818, one of the archaic signs underlying which depicts a swine's head with tusks and three lines to suggest bristles (another archaic sign depicts an 'ass'): '*z, '*bristle, *spine' (#818); it reads ah2 (for h2), 'swine'; but also zeze2 (for *zz2), 'all bristles', an apt description of swine.

We have discussed Jaritz #116 above in connection with PL TSHE-RE, where we found zir in the meanings 'tear out, remove'; the archaic sign suggests strongly that we are dealing with 'piercing' or 'drilling'.

A further derivation from TSHE-RE is seen in PIE *ter-m-, 'boring insect, termite' (+ MHE, 'worm'; *t(h)e[:]r-me[:]-).

We have an adjectival derivation, TSHE-E, 'bristle-like' = 'bristled', as a reading for Jaritz #276, which depicts 'an enclosed fireplace with chimney (furnace)', in which #684, a depiction of the 'rising sun' has been placed: z-2, 'melt'; the sign reads ze/zi2, and means (currently read by Sumerologists as zal) 'melt, purify, flow' (also reduplicated as *z2-z2); there can be little doubt that it depicts a 'kiln'.

We can relate this to PIE *ta:i- (for **t(h)a:i-), 'melt'; and Sumerian *z2 would be the predicted response. This is PL TSHA-E, 'elongate-like' = 'melt'. Because of the continual confusion in the minds of later scribes between * and *i/, the sign as also been assigned the reading zi2/z2. As zi2 (for TSHE), it was improperly used in spellings of zir, for which #116 was the proper sign, like zi2-ir. It also improperly represented PL TSHE-E, 'bristled', for which #818 was the proper sign. Having said all that, it was used in ze2-da, 'bristled-side' (PL T?A) for 'piglet' and, substantiating our assignment of meaning for TSHE, 'porcupine'. This morpheme with PL E, '-like', can also be seen in PIE *(s)tei- (for *(s)t(h)e(:)i-, 'pointed (like a bristle or spine)'.

A specialized use of z2 occurs in its use for 'gall-bladder, bile', which, as anyone knows who has had contact with it, is extremely 'bitter'. This is PL T?SE-?A(-E), 'conically pointed'-stative = 'piercing'. It can be seen, reduplicated, in PIE *dhe(:)edhn-, 'sour milk',and in Old Indian ddhi-. Bitterness/sourness is conceptualized as mild physical injury.

Jaritz #130 also associates the idea of 'life' and 'breathing' with its reading *z (but also *). This is probably simply T?SE-HHA-E, 'teat'-durative-'like' = 'suck (air)'; and in this case, inhale'. This corresponds to PIE *dhe:i-, 'suck'.

The Egyptian sign for TSHE is Gardiner #U28/#U29, '*D, '*bristle, *spine' (#U28, pictured here; and #U29, with rectangular piece under drill), which reads D(3), 'fire-drill'.

These (#U28/#U29) are other examples
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

An Egyptian word written with #U28/#U29 is D3.j, 'extend, pierce, transfix, ferry, pass/cross over, remain over'; with a further extension, D3.w(.t), compensate/compensation'; and D3.t, 'wrongdoing (excess)/remainder'. This is PL TSHE-RE(-FA)(-E)(-THO), 'puncture-cause to become(-do repeatedly)(-like)(-collection)'.

We can easily identify a potential PIE cognate: *ter-, 'reach the opposite side, press through, cross over, surpass, go past, bring over, (be) through'. Even though no long vowel is reconstructed, forms like Old Indian tir:ti-, 'set over', suggests strongly that *te[:]r- should be reconstructed since *e: (Old Indian a:) in zero-grade yields Old Indian i. In addition, PIE **t(h)e[:]r- has the further extension -*u: **t(h)e[:]r-u-, as in tarute:, 'overpowers, conquers'.

It is the Sumerian cognate that is the problem. On a semantic basis, the cognate is clearly *dir(i)(g), 'above, more than, project, surplus'; and, as we have seen above: 'cross over'. We would expect PL TSHE-RE-E to produce a final long vowel: *dr; and, of course, this form is attested as diri. In addition, since we know of Sumerian *wi *g[~]2i in the main Emegi men's language, it is reasonable to expect that *iw *ig[~]2; we, therefore, analyze dirig as *drig[~]2, reflecting TSHE-RE-FA.

The problem is that TSHE should appear in Sumerian as *z. What makes this even more interesting is that we have zir in the meanings 'tear out, remove'; and the archaic sign suggests strongly that we are dealing with 'piercing' or 'drilling'; this corresponds to a transitive employment of this verb: 'cause to pass through', or TSHE-RE as we analyzed above; even more interestingly, *dr(/ig[~]2) (Jaritz #214) is written as a combination of Jaritz #188b, currently read si but properly read *zix, see above ('lateral view of a curled horn') over #949, ('water'): 'dir(i)(g) (for *zr(/ig[~]<sup>2</sup>), 'cross over' (#214) .

This looks very much like #949 is a semantic determinative for '(crossing over) water'; and #188b might simply be an indication of the initial consonant and vowel. On the other hand, Jaritz #191, presumably a gun (shaded with multiple parallel lines, horizontal or vertical) form of #188 with some minor stylistic changes, 'dir2, unknown' (#191), reads *dir2 of unknown meaning; it normal reading is dar.

Might these simply have been confused by the scribe who passed the reading of dir along to us for Jaritz #214? This seems to be the likeliest possibility with the facts at our disposal. We might also notice that one of the meanings attributed to dir is 'become loose' (for *tirx[?]). This meaning may also originally have belonged to #214 in its reading of dir2 (not, however, recorded, with this meaning or reading: *tir2[?]) where it could be related to PL THE-RE, 'spread out-cause to become' = 'loosen up', seen in Egyptian d3, 'become loose, wobble'; and in PIE *ter-, 'wriggle, unsteady'. The upshot of all of this is that I believe dir(i)(g) should be emended to *zr(/ig[~]2 in the meaning 'cross over'.

(d)-x, '*curl up, lie down, rest, sleep' (#774)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #774) reads, according to the University of Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary e(d)x, which we emend to *(d)x, for the meanings 'lie down, rest, sleep', which, we believe, is properly 'curl one's self up'. We have seen it above under NO, meaning 'store' and 'sleep'. No other Sumerian sign I have been able to find correlates graphically 'curling up (like a hedgehog)', the basal meaning of this monosyllable, with the meanings 'rest' or 'sleep', and the reading *s (for XHE(-E)) so we must accept that this sign, which depicts a 'sleeping cushion', presumably on a raised bed-platform of some kind, represents our best possibility. We probably will never be able to know but I speculate that *s was the earliest reading of #774, and was replaced by na2 ('be inside, *be away in sleep') and nu2 ('put away, *out of sight sleeping)'.

We can easily see this word in PIE *kwey6- (for **k^wey6-), 'comfortably rest' (PL XHE-E-?A + stative).

The Egyptian sign for XHE (Gardiner #H7) depicts a 'bird's claw with tensed talons'; and reads 3, 'claw', representing XHE-RE, 'curl around one's self-fingernail' = 'curved fingernail' = 'talon': (3), 'bird's claw with tensed talons' (#H7). In one word where it is used as a biliteral, 3.t, 'Shat, a country (probably a land where necklaces of strung talons were common or obligatory)', the sign for 'fingernail', Gardiner #T14, which represents RE is also employed in this word so the analysis seems relatively certain for the second element.

Reflexes of XHE-RE can be seen in PIE s-mobile form *skwerb(h)-, '(place of) puncture (as of thorns)', probably from XHE-RE-P?FA, 'clawed-prominence'. Normally, we expect an s-mobile form of a PIE root beginning in *k^w- to give up both its palatalization and labial glide but this root/stem is attested only in Celtic and Baltic so that may somehow tip the equation in the sense of what reconstruction was possible. The normally expected s-mobile form of *k^wer- can, however, be seen in PIE *(s)ker-, 'cut', under which we find derivatives such as 'scratch, claw, mole (from its unusually proportionally large claws)'.

This (#H7) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

wu (for *w), '*hare'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #688) reads wu (*w, depicts a 'pair of ears on a neck' ; in view of the longstanding connection of hares with long ears, the animal indicated may be a 'hare', which would require the emendation of wu to *w. Perhaps another variant may have depicted a 'mouse' since one of the readings is pi, which may stand for PHE. The sign, written without a 'neck', is associated extensively with the meaning 'ear' which means that it also represented FO phonologically.

The Egyptian sign for FHO is Gardiner #E34, 'desert hare', which is normally read w(n): w(n), '*desert hare' (#E34), which is only used to write wn. It is certain that FHO-NA also designated the 'hare'; and we can see a faint trace of it in PIE *swento-, 'fast', an unrecognized s-mobile form of **wo[:]n-, '*run fast (like a hare)' (Egyptian wn.j, 'hasten, hurry'), which can be dimly seen in PIE *wen-, 'strive towards'.

Its most notable use in Egyptian is in wnn, 'to be, exist'. This is PL FHO-NO, 'disperse-put inside' = 'residence, place of occupation'. So, the basic meaning of wnn is 'reside at, occupy'. This can be seen in Sumerian un (for *n), 'people, residents, occupents', a reading of Jaritz #578 (itself a combination of #599, e2, 'house', over #133, nun, '*tree, large'): un(u) (for *<b>n(u)</b>), 'people/residents; land/residence; king/resident' (#578); another reading is kalam, 'land, Sumer', i.e. 'area of occupation'. This can be seen even more clearly in #750, which reads un2 (for *n2), '(rabbit-)hole'; and in #391, unu (for *nu), which depicts a 'large residential and/or storage structure', unu, 'domicile' (#391), and means 'domicile/*storage building'.

Though the main entry is misleading, it can be found under *wen- in Pokorny: as in OHG wone:n, 'live, reside at'. This can also be seen in Egyptian wn.t, 'sanctuary in temple (dwelling place of god)'. These ideas are all centered on going into tunnels/passages.

Though the word does not seem to exist in Sumerian or Egyptian, an interesting example of FHO-RE(-MHE)(-E), 'tunneler-cause to become(-worm)(-like)', is the basis for words designating 'worms', listed under PIE *wer- (for **wo[:]r-) in *wRmi/o-s, 'worm'.

A second Egyptian sign for FHO, in the meaning 'animals living in tunnels: weasel, ferret, polecat', is Gardiner #F12, 'head and neck of canine animal', w(sr), '*animals living in tunnels' (#F12); it looks very much like #688. Gardiner #F12 is normally read wsr, and means 'influential, powerful, strong'. Rather than being connected with meanings we associate with FHO, however, it seems to be employed, exclusively in our extant materials, for meanings associated with FO: 'aural cavity/passage', ws(r).t, 'neck'; 'ears', wsr, 'oar', a large ear-shaped tool. I suspect strongly that the sign has come to be essentially FO-SO, 'ear(-hole)-skin' = '(outer) ear'; and, in the combination with r, means '(outer)ear' + 'done to a high degree' = 'very well-informed (eared)'.

The normal PIE root reconstructed for 'ear' is *o:us-. This appears to me to be the result of a partial reduplication of *wes-, 'turn, *curled at the edges', PL FO-SO, 'ear(-cavity)-pull', in which *wows- has become *o:ws- then *:us-. It is, of course, also possible that the morpheme representing 'ear(-cavity)' has been duplicated: *wwe, and -*se, 'skin', has been added to the reduplication: *wows-. Akkadian uznu, 'ear', hints at an unrecorded Sumerian reading of *s for this sign, especially in view of PIE *6usen-, 'ear, but we have only the alternation of Emegi g~etug (for *g[~]2stug) with Emesal mutug (for *mustug), 'both 'ear', to suggest an initial FO-E(-SO), 'ear(-cavity)-like(-skin)'.

This alternative root for 'ear' is seen in PIE *weid-, 'know, *long of ear (FO-E-T?SA)'; this same formulation can be seen in a transitive sense, 'give to hear', in Egyptian wD (for *wjD), 'command', written with Gardiner #V24/#V25, 'cord wound on stick, bobbin': wjD, '*cord wound on stick' (#V24/#V25). This is seen in PIE *weid-, 'willow, *wicker'.

u4 (for *4), 'sun'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #684) depicts the 'sun at the moment it begins it passage across the sky, sunrise', and means 'sun' and associated concepts related to 'light'; in this meaning, its reading is u4 (for *4). Another reading of #684 is (D)Utu, the Sumerian sun-god; this should probably be analyzed as *u4-tu2, 'solar heat' (PL THO, 'heat').

Sumerian sign #684 also reads ul6, for which the meanings 'to be bright, shine' have been assigned. This can be associated with Egyptian hr.w, 'day, daytime, *daylight hours'; both should be derived from PL HO-RO, 'sun-raise' = 'sunrise'. This same root can be found in PIE as *o:r-yo-, '(sun)rise', in English 'Orient', 'place where the sun rises' (HO-RO-E, 'sun/light by rising'). My supposition is that Gardiner #N8, 'sunshine', was the earliest biliteral for hr: hr, '*sun(-rise)' (#N8)

The Egyptian sign for HO is the Gardiner #N5, 'sun(wheel)': h, '*sun(wheel)' (#N5), which was read as a word-sign for r(j)', 'sun-disk'.

This is used as a determinative or a word-sign for words associated with day and daylight. After our ancestors had invented the wheel, they visualized the sun as a fiery wheel rolling across the sky. This conception led to the Egyptian name for the sun-god, r', which represents PL RO-TSHO, 'lip' = 'wheel-rim' + 'whirl' = 'whirling rim' = 'wheel'. The axle-hub can be seen in the circle within the wheel. This word for 'wheel' also occurs in PIE as *ret(h)-, 'roll, wheel'. That the sun was regarded as a wheel for PIE's is shown by Old Icelandic rðull, 'sun'.

For a discussion of HO, 'lion', see PFHE.

We have, in Egyptian, the word h3.w, 'time'; and an analysis suggests strongly that the literal meaning is 'sunsets' as a measure of time (HO-RHE, 'sun-come down/fall'). It is accompanied frequently by Gardiner #N5, 'sun(wheel)' as a determinative but always over 'three short lines', supposedly the Egyptian sign for masculine 'plural', -w: h3.w, '*sunsets, time)' (#N5 + three strokes). And often, by the 'three short lines' without #N5. In this word, I believe the 'three short lines' form a determinative with #N5 to read *h3, '*sunset(s)'.

The PIE transitive equivalent is *or- (for **o[:]r-), 'attack, come down on', based on HO-RE, 'move across-cause to become' = 'charge, tackle, pin down'; it can also be seen in Egyptian h3, 'charge down on, tackle'. Pokorny has conflated quite a number of unrelated roots under the general entry *er-, which are impossibly difficult to distinguish by form (by him or anyone else working strictly from PIE data) but are differentiatable semantically. This word, HO-RHE, is also the basis for Sumerian ur, 'dog' (really 'attacker'), written with Jaritz #945.

This (#N5 + three strokes) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

u3 (for 3), 'rest, *descend' (#805)u3 (for 3), 'sleep, *descend' (#805a)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #805) depicts an 'eye' (Jaritz #798) over 'mat' (Jaritz #893a), which depicts a 'pair of buttocks', and reads u3 (for *3), 'rest, *go/move down'. A second sign, (Jaritz #805a), again depicts an 'eye' (Jaritz #798) but this time over 'cloth(-wrap)' (Jaritz #893b), also reads u3 (for *3) but means 'sleep'.

The Egyptian sign for HHO is Gardiner #A1 following, 'seated man and woman with plural stroke', and means 'progeny':h(3), 'descendant(s), progeny' (#A1, following).

It has become disassociated from (what I believe is) its original reading of h(3), 'what comes under' = 'descendant(s), progeny'. The PIE equivalent is *or- (for **o[:]-ro-), 'derive from'.

In the meaning 'rest', we have Egyptian hr(.w), 'pleasing, restful' (PL HHO-RO, 'rest-very'). This can also be seen in Sumerian ul, 'happy', written with Jaritz #786, which depicts a 'bull's head (#563) under a counting mark (#750)': ul(u) (for *l(u)), 'pleasing, happy' (#786). Here, I believe, the 'head under the mark' should be interpreted as a 'head lowered in rest'. The PIE equivalent is *or- (for **o[:]-ro-), 'pleasantly arouse, tempt, *please'.

This (#A1, following) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

ku4, *<IMG SRC=, *young, *infant, *(just) born' (#99a)">


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz 99a) reads ku4; and though the usual reading for this sign associated with '' is tu, I believe ku4 should also be assigned this meaning. The sign depicts a 'plant rising from a hole', an appropriate symbolization of ', infant, young, (just) born'. Interestingly, in the reading kur9, it means 'grow'.

The Egyptian sign for KHO is Gardiner #G47, the 'duckling', T(3), 'duckling' (#G47); it is normally read T(3). This is KHO-RHA, 'young-bird'.

We may possibly see this word again in PIE *(s)ker-dh-, '', where the additional final -*dh may represent PIE T?SA, formant of bodily parts, as in Lakonian kursnios, 'young person'.

This (#G47) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

A passingly interesting derivation is KHO-MO, 'reddish-to a high degree' = 'red'. It can probably be seen in Sumerian kum2, 'be(come) hot', if this means 'glow red' but the sign, Jaritz #456, gives no clear indication; it does also read zal, 'become bright', which suggests connections to 'fire'. This is PL T?SA-NHA, 'bead-cause one's self to become' = 'be bead-like' = 'flame'. This is seen in PIE *dhel-, 'illuminate, bright', and may also be present in Egyptian DnDn, 'be angry', if this means 'having a red face', as the determinative (#F2, 'head of infuriated bull') perhaps hints: 'head of infuriated bull'  (#F2).

In Egyptian, this root only appears with further extensions: Tms, 'ruddy, red', which is KHO-MO-SO, 'red-skin'; and TmH from KHO-MO-K?XA, 'red-hair', both of which mean 'Libyan'; the ancient Libyans were presumably Caucasians.

In a simpler form, KHO, 'red(dish)', is also seen in Egyptian THn.w, 'Libya(ns)', which represents KHO-K?XA-NA-FA, 'red-hair-one-set'. It would not be surprising to me to learn that this word might be the basis for the Hebrew term khan, 'priest'; and that the alternate term for 'priest', kmer, has, as its basis, the KHO-MO (Tm) in Tm-H and Tm-s.

As a slight additional bit of information to validate 'reddish' as a meaning for KHO, we have Greek kraphos and kra, 'fox', and poetic kirrs, 'golden orange'. These are listed by Pokorny under *k^ei-, 'gray', which derives from KHE-E, 'shadow-like'; but I propose that 'golden orange' and '(red) fox' are incompatible wth 'gray', and that they should be derived from a now not presently reconstructed **kei-, 'red(dish)', representing PL KHO-E, 'child-like'.



The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #893a) depicts 'two halves of an opened mollusc shell, side by side'.

Another sign, perhaps differentiated from it in some manner we do not now know, depicted a 'pair of buttocks'; and read e3 (for i4), 'excrement'. However, it may also be contemplated that 'buttocks' is due to a mere association of related concepts with 'gluteal cleft'; for the meaning, see below.

One of the readings for this variant is tukul, 'weapon'. See above for why this should be read (TU)kul, with TU as a determinative for tool.

The emended reading, *kl from KXHO-RHO had, what appears to us now and at least to some Akkadian scribes, an identical phonological shape to kl, 'slit, gluteal cleft', derived from KXHO-NHA, discussed above in connection with (TU)kul, 'spear'. The archaic sign was also interpreted as a 'pair of buttocks' when '*buttock' is properly Jaritz #5, ba. This led to an number of readings associated with 'buttocks'.

To understand why the mollusc shell served as an emblem of sharp edging, we must realize that in paleolithic times, while stones had points, very few objects available in quantity were naturally sharp-edged outside the shells of certain bivalves. Flint (or a suitable substitute) was, in some locales, a rare or non-existent natural quantity; and without suitable trade-goods, even unobtainable through commerce.

The Egyptian sign for KXHO is Gardiner #L6, x(3),*'mollusc shell' (#L6), which shows a 'bivalve mollusc shell', which is conventionally read x(3) rather than simply x (see below). It is present in several PIE roots; see below in the EXCURSUS.

This (#L6) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

Two mollusc shells, mounted side by side bivalve mollusc shell(s) on a handle, probably served as one of mankind's earliest weapons. It served as a prototype for later axes made of stone and eventually metal. Its sacral nature around the Mediterranean is due to its ancient origin, and associations with the divinity of the waters, symbolized by the planet Venus. It is called the labrys '<em>labrys</em>' but, to date, no one has proposed a good etymology for this name but an understanding of the prototype mollusc shell opens the opportunity for one.

We have the word from the Greek lbrus, 'double-axe'. It has no Greek etymology but it does have a PIE cognate in the form *le:p-ro-, a derivation from PIE *lep- (for *le:p-), 'peel off, flay, split apart; rind, skin, shell'. This we reconstruct as PL NHE-PHA, 'shell-flat' = 'thin, shell (cf. Greek leps, 'one-shelled mussel'); adding RO, intensive = 'very thin, shell'(cf. Greek lapars, 'fine, thin'), and FA, set = 'pair of shells' (cf. Greek lpuron (metathesis from *leparu[on]), '(bivalve) shell (mollusc), hull'. It is certainly not unreasonable to suggest a Greek or related language in which PIE p appeared as b.


I have long entertained the hypothesis that earliest Egyptian had not yet lost the voicing and vocalic contrasts that later characterize the phonology of the language. The conventional representation of x, Gardiner #Aa1, 'human placenta?', is almost certainly rather a 'hole with shading to represent its depth and consequent shade'; this is supported by Egyptian xx, 'throat', a circular passage', seen again in PIE *ghegh-, 'excavation'.

Rather than 'placenta', we should probably understand 'birth canal'. This, of course, is PL K?XO. I believe I have detected a pattern that shows formerly aspirated counterparts to unaspirated stops and affricates were assigned values of conventionally transcribed unaspirated stops and affricates + 3: here, I believe x, written #Aa1, represents PL K?XO x, 'hole' while #L6, read x3, really originally represents PL KXHObivalve mollusc shell.

Presumably, these originally differed in pronunciation as /gGo/ and /kxo/ before collapsing into /xa/ (and possibly /xa:/). The explanation I propose is that 3, though originally a variety of /R/ (probably voiceless), became /h/ (in opposition to Loprieno's proposed /?/) so that Ca + 3 was realized as /Cah/, which lengthened the vowel to /Ca:/.

I further propose that when /kxo/ lost its aspiration, it lengthened that vowel by way of compensation so that /gGoR/ and /kxo/ both resulted in /xa:/.

In late group writing, C3 is often used for simple C. Whether that is the correct phonological course of events or not, words we know from PIE cognates had voiceless aspirated stops and affricates frequently correspond to Egyptian words which employ special signs for C + 3. In this case, a proper sign for x3 (representing PL K?XO-RHE, 'hole-come' = 'protrude, grow') is also in use: Gardiner #M12, 'leaf, stalk, and rhizome of lotus'.

Egyptian x3.w means 'plants', and the causative, sx3, means 'remember'('cause to grow'). The Sumerian cognate is one of the archaic signs which collapsed in Jaritz #99, namely #99a, *kur9, 'enter', which depicts a 'plant rising from a hole', i.e., 'growing', which reads kur9, and means 'enter'. The PIE cognate is *ghre:-, 'grow' (from **ghere:-).

It is even possible that we have an Egyptian sign which represents PL KXHO-RE, 'cut-apply' = 'cut a mark, measure' as x3: it is Gardiner #U9, 'corn-measure (cask) with grain pouring out', which is used as a determinative for measures of all kinds; and for the word x3j, 'measure'.

It can be found in Sumerian, written with Jaritz #13 (see below), which reads kur5, 'cut, levy taxes'. This should, of course, appear in PIE as *ker-, and we find it in Pokorny under *(s)ker- (for **(s)k(h)o[:]r-), 'cut' (note also *skora:, 'section'). The idea of measurement by making cuts should be familiar to those who know that English 'score' is derived from *(s)ker- (for *(s)k(h)o:r-). Sumerian and PIE accentuate the idea of 'cutting notches for a tally' while Egyptian illustrates the counting process by showing grain made 'scored' into weighed quantities with Gardiner #U9 #U9, 'corn-cask'.

Egyptian also has x3.y, 'plumb-line' to compare with Pokorny's (*ker-?), 'hang (by a string)'.

Corresponding to KXHO-RE above phonologically, Sumerian has a sign (Jaritz #13) depicting a 'stick split by cutting (slitting)', which reads kur5, 'cut, slit' : *kud/kur5/ku5, 'cut off'. Its primary reading, however, is kud (also ku5 ). Virtually the same sign as Sumerian Jaritz #13 is seen in the Egyptian sign for xt xt, 'cut', in xt.j, 'cut', which corresponds to Sumerian kud, 'cut', another reading of Jaritz #13, and PIE *(s)k(h)ed- (for **(s)k(h)o:d-), '(cut) piece of wood, cut, split'); these represent PL KXHO-T?O, 'cut-torso' = 'piece of wood'. Egyptian xt means '(piece of) wood'; and in xt.j, -j (PL E) has been added to make it into a verb.

This development can be seen in many other Egyptian phonemes (3 and r [and perhaps n] seem to have been exempted):

'3 ('hand-drill'), [TSHO];
1. *j3 ('*???'), [HA];
2. *j3 ('*???'), [HE];
1. *j3 ('*???'), [HHA];
2. j3 ('smoke'), [HHE];
1. w3 ('wind, *smell badly' in w3(s)-scepter'), [FHA];
2. w3 (' tow, swab'), [FHE];
1. b3 ('ram'), [PFHA];
2. b3 (''hyena/spotted panther' = leopard'), [PFHE];
b3 ('stone oil jar'), [PFHO];
1. p3 ('pin-tail duck, wing'), [PHA];
2. p3 ('spoonbill'), [PHE];
f3 ('head and shoulders with raised stick'), [PHO];
1. m3 ('sickle'), [MHA];
2. m3 ('vulture over sickle'), [MHE];
1. *n3 ('*???'), [NHA];
2. *n3 ('*???'), [NHE];
h3 ('sunwheel with plural[?] strokes'), [HO];
h3 ('man and woman with plural signs'), [HHO];
1. H3 ('kneeling man with upraised arms'), [KXHA];
2. H3 ('lion's head and fore-paws'), [KXHE];
x3 ('mollusc shell'), [KXHO];
X3 ('oxyrhynchus, mormyrus kannune'), [XHO];
s3 ('harness'), [SHO];
1. z3 ('pintail duck'), [SHA];
2. z3 ('jackal'), [SHE];
1. 3 ('pool with lotus flowers'), [XHA];
2. 3 ('bird's claw with spread talons'), [XHE];
1. q3 ('man with raised arms'), [QHA];
2. q3 ('double stairway'), [QHE];
1. k3 ('fumigation vessel'), [KHA];
2. k3 ('ghost, departed shade'), [KHE];
g3 ('tied bag of linen/wickerwork-frail'), [QHO];
t3 ('kiln), [THO];
T3 ('fledgling'), [KHO];
1. d3 ('phallus with liquid issuing from it'), [THA];
2. d3 ('star'), [THE];
1. D3 ('*forearm holding elongated cord'), [TSHA]; and
2. D3 ('fire-drill'), [TSHE].

mu2 (for *m2, 'grow = spread out over' (#315)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #315) depicts two or three plants (#669x2; with x3=Jaritz #673) over a) water (#949); b) over a well ['(circular) enclosure'] (#834); or c) over a canal or riverside meadow (variant of #949). When one is traveling in arid regions, water ahead can always be recognized because of the plant growth around or alongside it. This seems a very appropriate way to symbolize 'grow (wildly), spread out around or beside'; and this sign reads mu2 (for m2), 'grow (profusely), *wander'.

The Egyptian sign for MHO is Gardiner #O5, 'winding wall': *m, '*wander'  (#O5).

This sign is normally a determinative for winding movement but does function as a biliteral in nm.j, 'traverse (better 'wander across')'. This idea can also be seen in its employment for nm.j, 'lowing of cattle' here, the sound wavers back and forth. The PIE cognate for nm.j is *nem-, 'let pasture', i.e. 'permit to wander freely in search of food'. This can be seen also in Egyptian nmnm, 'go to and fro'. This is PL NO-MHO, 'stomach-wander' = 'search for food, forage'.

Egyptian writes nm in this word, and in others, with a very peculiar knife: nm, '*butcher's knife'  (#O5). An alternate sign depicts, what we assume, is the 'knife' without the unusual handle: nm, '*butcher's knife'  (#O6). We conclude that the "handle" of #O5 is really a modified form of #O24, 'bowl', to indicate a reading with n for the knife. We reconstruct PL NO-MHA, 'stomach-bite off' = 'eviscerate'. In view of Egyptian nm.t, 'slaughter-house', we seem to be in the right track.

In addition, we have Egyptian nm, 'go wrong (of plans), rob, steal'. This is very close to some of the meanings ascribed to PIE *nem-: OHG na:ma, 'forcible taking, robbery'. I assume that this 'evisceration' is figurative in the cutting of a cord bearing a purse, worn around the waist.

We have the word for 'giraffe' in Egyptian as mm(.y), presumably, 'always wandering'. The giraffe feeds independently, and only loosely belongs to a herd. A giraffe territory may be as large as 250 mi.2 so he is rightly characterized as a 'wanderer'.

In more northern climes, in the absence of giraffes, MHO was re-assigned to horses, which also have a large range.

'l5, 'fox' (#657a)


In this variant version of #657 (shown above: #657a), it has Jaritz #894 on its head to phonetically suggest *l (NHO) as its does for the meaning associated with KHA (RHO). This sign reads lu9 for 'fox'. The severely pointed muzzle and long ears of some of the archaic representations all point to the identification of the sign with the fox; and with the jackal (#657, without added #894; SHE; e11 [for ix]).

The fox is folklorically associated with cleverness, 'charming', and deception. It is therefore no surprise to find Sumerian lul, 'deceive, prevaricate, tell lies'. We find this word in PIE *leud-, 'cower, lurk, flatter, betray, deceive' (PL NHO-FHA-T?A, 'deceive-frequentative-iterative-give' = 'give repeated deception'); and in *leugh-, 'lie' (PL NHO-FHA-K?XA, 'deceive-frequentative-iterative-hang' = 'attach repeated deception').

As for the reading nar(i), 'singer', the connection is probably through recitation of heroic and flattering tales rather than through musical melody. It is probably to be analyzed as PL QHA-RE, 'elevate-apply' = 'exaggerate' (for *ñr(i)); and the related meaning of 'high' seen in Jaritz #603, nar3 for ñr3 (PL QHA-RE, 'elevate-apply = elevate') and nir (for *ñêr), which is PL QHA-E-RA, 'elevate-like-tree' = 'high tree', which we can see is appropriate for 'ñr, 'high tree'; but also, possibly *ñr for QHE-RE, see above.

Additional support for this identification is provided by the reading puh for Jaritz #657, which corresponds to PIE *pu/u:k- (for **pu:k(h)-), 'bushy(-tailed)', the basis for English 'fox' (PL PHO-FHA-KXHA, 'blow up-frequentative-iterative = 'bushy' + 'pointed (reed)' = 'bushy tail').

The Egyptian sign for NHO is the Gardiner #G34, 'ostrich': n(j)w, 'ostrich'. This assignment of meaning was made due to the ostrich's habit of 'hiding its head' when faced with danger. The spellings of 'ostrich' are sometimes made with Gardiner #D41, 'forearm with palm of hand downwards' (see NO above).

pu, '*venomous snake' (#675)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #675) depicts a '(venomous) snake', and reads pu; although the meaning of 'snake' for pu is not recorded, I feel this assignment is justified ('what causes itself to swell up/blow=hiss').

A basic derivative of PHO, 'blow', is PHO-FHA, 'blow-do repeatedly' = 'blow (air) on'; this is seen in Sumerian bu5 (for *px), 'blow on', written with Jaritz #871, which depicts a '(circular) enclosure (#834)', here, probably for 'leather bag/pouch(/cheek)', into which 'three counting marks (#823; as a defective phonetic determinative since it reads ba3[?]; or possibly as an unrecognized reading of *x representing PL FHA, '(animate) set', corresponding to Gardiner #Z2, 'three strokes', reading w, and denoting 'plurality[?])' have been inserted: bu-5 (for *p-x), 'blow on' (#871).

This is PIE *pu/u: (for *p(o)[:][:]-), 'blow out'.

For Egyptian bw (for earlier *fw), 'detest', see below under PFHO.

The Egyptian sign for PHO is Gardiner #I9, 'horned viper', which is alphabetic f: f(.t), 'viper', alphabetic <em>f</em>  (#I9).

One of the more interesting roots derived from PHO in the sense of 'sniff' is PHO-NA, 'blow-thing' = 'nostril'. In its unextended form, it can be found in PAA *pon-, 'face (for 'nostril'; note Akkadian pnu, plural, for 'nostrils' = 'face'); as would be expected, Orel and Stolbova (1995) have incorrectly reconstructed it as *pa/in- and Ehret (1995) with *pand-, 'peak', comes closer to the correct PAA reconstruction for 'nose': *pondz-. So far as I can determine, Bomhard did not even try. With the extension T?SA, formant of bodily parts, we find it easily in Egyptian fnD, 'nose'. Throughout many PIE-derived languages, this extension has been lost but Ossetic has preserved it as finĵ, 'nose'; from PHO-NA-T?SA.

PL PHO-NA, 'nose, 'breathe (properly 'in/exhale')', is the basis for PIE *pneu- (for **pno--, 'sniffed/blew'), 'breathe' from 'breath' (PHO-NA-FA).

The Egyptian sign for PHO in the meaning 'blow out, hiss, snarl', is not included in Gardiner's list: f(3),*'snarl, threaten' (#not in Gardiner), which depicts a 'man's head and shoulders with raised stick', which shows the agressive threat that would accompany a 'snarl'; it is very rare, found only in Pyramid Texts, and has no recognized reading. It is used as a determinative for f3, 'threaten'.

This is also found in PIE *per- , 'hiss, snarl'; PL PHO-RE, 'blow-cause to become'.

This (' head and shoulders of man with raised stick';
not in Gardiner)
is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

pu2 (for *p2), 'beat, *stamp, cistern, well'  (#867)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #867) is composed of Jaritz #834, '(circular) enclosure', into which Jaritz #750, 'flat or slightly depressed circumscribed area/palm/shallow depression', has been inserted, reads pu2 (for p2), and means 'cistern, beat, *stamp on, *trample'.

Jaritz #867 must be and has been above interpreted in various combinations discussed on this essay as a 'tunnel (entrance), (spoked) wheel(-rim), border of an open wound or ulcer, shallow depression in the land containing a lush meadow, race-course, skin-bag, lip, ring, (perhaps) toad', and simple 'circular motion', as well as 'cistern, well'. We have seen #867 above in the meaning 'tunnel' which relates to 'well' because of the circular passage they have in common.

One of its readings (#867) is pu2; and one of the meanings ascribed to it is 'cistern'. According to Pokorny, PIE words for 'well, cistern', are derived from **p(h)o[:]/:-, 'beat, stamp, trample'; and since #867 has the assigned meaning 'beat, deepen', it is reasonable to connect these meanings with 'cistern' as 'what is deepened by beating'. In addition, the attested forms are very frequently derived from **p(h)o[:]wi-, the exact parallel to *bwj, the Egyptian word we will emend below to *bwj(3) from bj(3).

Another meaning which is ascribed to pu2 (for *p2) is 'bad smell'. It is doubtful that this can be rationally connected with 'cisterns/beating/*stamping', but, on the basis of PIE *pu/u:6- (for **p(o)wa:-), 'smell badly', we can recognize it as a reflex of PIE PHO-FHA-HA, 'blow on-do repeatedly-state' = 'be in a state in which airs of corruption are emitted, as dead and decaying animal/vegetable material' = 'bad smell'.

Amazingly, with a further extension, this occurs in Modern English and German as fooey and pfui (PHO-FHA-HA-E; plus '-like' = 'smell bad'). Had this extended root existed in Sumerian, it would have been first *p2-i then become *p2, which would have untransparently still have been written pu2. Some old words never die they just smell that way.

Without the stative formant, PHO-FHA-HA, i.e. PHO-FHA, can be seen in PIE *pu/u:- (for **p(o)-), 'blow on'; and Sumerian bu5 (for *px), 'blow on', discussed above under PHO, where in properly belongs. Egyptian bw(j), 'detest (have a bad smell in the nose)', which utilizes a determinative not in Gardiner, perhaps depicting a 'two mushrooms/toadstools growing in a storage place for human solid/liquid waste', an environment in which mushrooms thrive: bwj (for *fwj), *bad-smelling, 'detest' (not in Gardiner); which can, in turn, be further related to PIE *pu/u:6-, ' smell badly', through PHO-FHA-HA. The two mushrooms may be a graphic pun to suggest -wj, the normal masculine dual ending, in bwj.

The Egyptian sign for PFHO, meaning 'stamp, trample (like an elephant [?]), crush', is Gardiner #U16, which depicts a 'sledge with heavy weight, and a jackal's head at its front': b(w.j), *elephant [?], *stamp, *pound, *crush, nugget of ore' (#U16), which was run over the already extracted ore to pulverize it for refining; the 'crushing', termed, at the earliest time, *b, but extended to bw for PFHO-FHA, 'stamp-do repeatedly' = 'trample'; then extended by -E, '-like', to produce PFHO-FHA-E, 'pulverize'.

The significance of the jackal's head is probably that its (and that of other canids) jaws were believed powerful enough not just to shatter bone but to pulverize it; a belief reached from the powdered condition of bone found in canid droppings. If this was the spotted jackal, it is also possible that a formulation like *PFHE-FHA(-E), 'hyena/spotted-wolf' = 'jackal'[?] ('do as a jackal' = 'pulverize' [?]), was in use for it; this would have had the same outcome in Egyptian as PFHO-FHA(-E): /pwa:wa:()/.

This sign is used sporadically in spellings in several permutations of what is currently rendered as bj3, all of which have some connection with mining or ore processing. I am of the opinion that whether or not the words specifically refer to the processing phase or not, it was used for the mining process with an eye to its final phase: crushing the ore for refining. Neglecting for one moment the final -3, I believe this root should be reformulated as *bwj, reflecting PFHO-FHA-E, in all associated forms.

There is additional data to suggest that this is correct.

In addition to the many other signs used in this set of words, we frequently find Gardiner #F18, 'tusk of elephant': *j, '*tooth, tusk' (#F18). If we are correct in suspecting that PFHO originated as 'elephant', and was transferred to 'cattle' only in their environmental absence as the then current animal providing a threat of being trampled, we can regard it as a phonetic pointer towards PFH(O) as opposed to P?F(O) when b was written.

Incidentally. The Egyptians had no taboo against illustrating the 'elephant', which is Gardiner #E26: *b[?], 'elephant' (#E26). The attested name for 'elephant', 3b(.w), is, in view of Old Indian ibh-H, 'elephant', almost certain to be emended to *jjb(.w), PL ?E-E-P?FE, 'tooth-like' = 'tusk'-formant of animal names. It is written with Gardiner #U23, 'knobbed, decorative hair-pin': *jjb, 'knobbed, decorative hair-pin' (#U23); the first element is seen in PIE *a[:]i-, 'pointed', PL ?A-E(-P?FE), 'plant-top-like' = 'pointed(-digit)'.

The words I have been emending to *bwj are also more frequently written with the Egyptian sign for 'well, cistern' (#N41/#N42 - scarcely discernible difference, not illustrated; the difference may be between a 'well' and a 'cistern'): *bw, 'well, cistern, *smell badly[?]/pounded out[?]' (N#41).

I believe #N41 is a phonetic determinative that reads *bwj, indicating that the words for 'mining' should be read *bwj(3) rather that bj(3); and that bwj(j) represents, in this word, either PHO-FHA-(HA-)E, 'smelling bad', or PFHO-FHA-E, 'pulverize'.

If #N41/#N42 represents PFHO-FHA-E for a shallow depression created by pulverizing the surface rock, then the only problem is that we have no attestation of bwj with this meaning existent in Egyptian. But this would be the explanation for its use in these related words.

Wells and cisterns in desert environments are not unusually unpleasantly fragrant so there is nothing per se that rules out a connection between them and a word meaning 'bad smell' or 'smelling bad'.

But the words connected with this concept are based on PHO, Egyptian f, rather than PFHO, Egyptian b. To see why this could yet be true, we will need to take a look at another Egyptian word that is, almost certainly, derived from PHO.

We have mentioned the Egyptian word bw, 'detest', above. If it derives from PIE PHO-FHA-HA as we have suggested above, it should be seen in Egyptian as *fwj rather than *bw(j).

Theoretically, at least, Egyptian should have been able to maintain a difference since voiceless affricates and stops did not merge as they did in Sumerian and PIE. PL PHO-FHA should appear in Egyptian as *fw while PFHO-FHA should appear in Egyptian as bw, the latter of which, apparently is the case. The problem is that Egyptian during the Nostratic Pontic phase would have had /pwawa:/ for PHO-FHA and /pfwawa:/ for PFHO-FHA, which could not be maintained, and was simplified to /pw[a:]wa:/, thus merging with /pwawa:/ from PHO-FHA; yet, the result being interpreted as deriving from bw so fw was lost.

So whether a cistern or well was pounded out of bedrock (bwj) or was bad smelling (fwj), they both woud have been seen in Egyptian as bwj. I assert then that Egyptian bw(j), 'detest', derives from a lost *fw(.j). Although the sequence C + w occurs with every Egyptian consonant except w and X (the last, probably unmotivated; the first, probably phonological), it does not appear it any word following f.

The sign designating the nugget of ore to be crushed is not listed in Gardiner's list, and depicts a stylized 'nugget of ore':3(.j), *nugget of ore' (not in Gardiner), which we read as RA(-E), 'vertebra(-like)' = 'nugget'. At an early date, this specific sign was replaced by Gardiner #N33, 'grain of sand' ( but here: 'pulverized/powdered ore'): bw3j, *stamped, *pounded, *crushed, powder(ed ore)' (#N33).

Thus, the complete word was bwj-3, 'ore', *nugget for pulverization', as in bj3.w (for *bwj3.w), 'produce of a mine'.

Other words in which PFHO may be presumed to be the initial component are PIE *per- (for **p(h)o[:]r-), 'beat (if for 'stamp apart'; PFHO-RE, 'stamp-cause to become' [?])'; and, a more complicated situation is found with *p(e)is- (for **p(h)o[:]i-sa[:]-), 'stamp apart' (PFHO-E-SHA, 'stamp-like-state-condition' = 'stamped apart' ='pounded grain, pressed grapes' [?]).

The former is also found in Sumerian pur (for *pr), 'stone jar', a reading and meaning ascribed to Jaritz #646, which depicts a 'stone jar': pur (for *pr),'stone jar' (#646.

The Egyptian sign for PFHO in the meaning 'beat out, pulverize', is Gardiner #W2: b(3)(z),*'beat out, stone oil jar' (#W2), which depicts a '(stone) oil-jar', produced by pulverizing the interior to hollow it out; in the form we have, it is written b3s but as a word sign for the goddess Bastet. If b3s can be emended to *b3z, it would represent PFHO-RE-SHA, '(hollowed out by) pulverization'.

This (Gardiner #W2) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

*(n)k2, '*sack' (#62)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #62) depicts a 'sack/bag', possibly under circumstances used as a 'trap'. It bears a noticeable similarity to two Egyptian signs used in the Middle and Old Kingdoms (Gardiner #T26 and #T27) for bird-traps 'birdtraps' (#T26 & #T27). Though Jaritz #62 does not have a recorded reading of *(n)k, when it is inserted with #99a, which depicts a 'plant rising from a hole' , it is Jaritz #63, eq5 (for ê(n)k2-5), 'be silent' (#63), and reads eq5 (for *ê(n)k25), 'be silent', which represents PL SE-?A-QHO, 'emit-stative-catch' = 'be silent'. Also note Akkadian aqummatu, 'hush', which appears to indicate a dorsal nasal in second (or third) position in this root. 'Being silent' is conceptualized as 'being unable to speak through constriction of the vocal apparatus' not 'making no noise whatsoever'.

Jaritz #99a also reads gur8, which I believe is a phonetic pointer to a reading of *(n)g[~]3urx, an unknown dialectal form for an expected *(n)g[~]3ulx, for Jaritz #63, which would correspond to PL QO-RO, 'catch-to a high degree' = 'be silent', found in Egyptian gr, 'be silent'.

The Egyptian sign for QHO (Gardiner #V33), g, '*bag/sack' (#V33), depicts a 'bag of linen', normally read *g(3).

This (#V33) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

This syllable originally designated an animate being, a constrictor snake, an explicit sign for which was avoided for apotropaic reasons; and, for which, at the earliest date, a 'white-fronted goose', g, 'white-fronted goose, *sack, *cough/strangle' (#G38), Gardiner #G38, was substituted prophylactically.

Another sign was sporadically in use to graphically portray the actual deprivation of air rather than the associated choking, Gardiner #F10 and #F11 (Old Kingdom form; illustrated at right), 'head and stretched neck of a cervine or bovine'; and frequently, the bottom of the neck is furnished with an open hook with a short bar running through the middle of the open hook laterally (also, a bar without the open hook; illustrated here), to indicate stoppage (of air): g3, 'be choked' (#F10/#F11 [Old Kingdom]), which is used as a determinative for g3, 'be choked'.

The reason for the gooset being substituted for a depiction of the dangerous constrictor snake is its coughing honk, which suggested choking through constriction. So the 'being strangled one' was substituted for the 'strangler'. The original meaning can still be seen in the name of the earth-god, Geb: PL QHO-P?FE, 'strangle-track/animal' = 'constrictor snake'; but, of course, QHO-P?FE could also be interpreted as the 'one being strangled-track/animal'; and so we also have gb, 'goose'.

This meaning can be seen in derivatives like g3g3, 'cackle' (QHO-RE, 'strangle-cause to become'), gw3 (QHO-FHA-RE, 'strangle-do repeatedly-cause to become'), 'be choked', and gw3w3, 'strangle-hold'.

This can be seen in its simplest form again in PIE *kwak- (for *(n)kwo[:](n)kw-), 'croak (of frogs), cackle (of geese)', which is PL QHO-QHO; this may very well be the basis for English 'honk' if it is not purely imitative.

So great was the fear of the Egyptians of constrictor snakes that Geb is never accompanied by such a depiction even though, as earth-god, that was his avatar or earthly manifestation.

Egyptian has another sign reading g3, which is Gardiner #V32, depicting a 'wickerwork frail': g3 (but probably better *gw), 'wickerwork frail' (#V32).

It correlates with meanings like g3.w (for *gw[3]), 'be narrow, constricted', and is a result of QO-FA(-RE), 'catch-do repeatedly(-cause to become)' = 'restrict movements' = 'trap'. This is shown even more clearly by an Old Kingdom sign which #V32 replaced, depicting a 'basket with tie-rope', not found in Gardiner: gw(3), 'basket-trap' (#?).

I propose *gw as an emended reading for this sign and for #V32 (but possibly also *gjw) because of PIE *ang^h-s, 'narrow', which I believe is a result of *angw- + -*i + -*u (QO-E-FA); cf. OHG angi, 'narrow'.

Another important derivation of QO is QO-E, 'narrow-like' = 'constricting', which appears in PIE as *angw(h)i-, '(constrictor-)snake', from *angw- + -*i.

The unextended monosyllable can be found in PIE *ank-, 'compulsion' (QHO).

*l, '*antelope'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #894) depicts a '(circular) enclosure', here a 'wheel rim (Jaritz #834: see RO above) with four spokes (or, if Jaritz is correct, an inset Jaritz #560, which has the value of lu9 [for l9])'; in my opinion, Jaritz #834 has, itself, a value of *lux, which is a substantial reinforcement for #894's reading of lu.

It appears that 'antelope' has become 'goat' because the sign points to the use of a brace of goats for a wheeled goat-cart, the preferred transportation of Thor it might be remembered. This sign also means 'human being', an improper assignment of meaning to lu (for *l) which properly belongs to Jaritz #611, lu2, which actually depicts a person lu2 (for *l2), '*adult person', and represents PL RO-?A, 'raise-stative' = 'adult'. For the proper word for 'goat', see KHA above.

In the meaning 'jump', we have Sumerian lu9 (for l9), 'flare up', written with Jaritz #560: (*l, '*antelope', a reduplication of Jaritz #101 *bulug3, 'grow', which depicts a 'branch growing from a stem', and means 'grow (large), swell up, bud'; it reads bulug[~]3 (for *bul(n)g[~]33; PL P?O-NHA-FA-QO, 'swell-cause itself to be'-frequentative-iterative-ball' = 'swelling bud'; PIE **b(h)leu(n)g-, 'swell up, bud').

The Egyptian sign for RHO (Gardiner #G38) depicts the 'white-fronted goose, anser albifrons': r, 'white-fronted goose' (#G38). The reason for the application of the term 'jumper' to these geese may be that they have been observed to achieve flight with a single jump.

su5 (for *s5), '*follow' (#893a)


The Sumerian sign is quite possibly Jaritz #893a, which depicts a 'pair of buttocks', and graphically portrays 'the behind (back side) of someone or something that is being followed'. It presumably reads, for this meaning: su5 (for *s5). For more detail about its use for this monosyllable, see below under the Egyptian sign proposed here for SHO.

s(3), '*(cause to) follow, *harness' (#V18 - OK)
The Egyptian sign for SHO is Gardiner #V17 and #V18 - Old Kingdom, illustrated here, which depicts a 'harness', perhaps also used as a 'halter' before bits came into use.

The word SHO, 'follower', is found in the phrase beloved of Egyptologists: ms(.)w Hrw, 'follower(s) of Horus', written with Gardiner #T18, which is analyzable into m, 'tight-wrapped bundle containing provisions and a knife', a 'military expeditionary field pack' (#T18): m, '*field pack' (#T18) + s(.)w, 'follower (clan-member)'.

Egyptian m is PL XHA-MO, 'pack together-to a high degree' = 'tightly pack'; and we can see it again in PIE *(s)kamb- (for *(s)ka[:]m-b-), 'tie up'. While I have no doubt that a military expedition utilized field-packs for personal supplies, I think the application here refers rather to a 'tightly packed' group of men, a column in military order: rank and file = 'disciplined expeditionary army'. Sumerian records haman for Jaritz #560; and though this sign has connections with both 'bundles' and 'warfare', we simply do not have any more information to enable us to make even an educated guess.

This leaves -s(.w) as the human component of the expedition: PL SHO, 'clan-member, follower'. We have seen the example of SHO + RE above, in the meaning 'harness', 'what causes something to follow', written with #V18, Old Kingdom form.

Among the many meanings and readings associated with Jaritz #893a, 'pair of buttocks', is su5 (for *s5) . Though it is not currently connected by Sumerologists with the meanings 'hunt, pursue' (rather, this is tuku7), I think there is a good possibility that here the sign is designating '*be at the back side of/behind, *follow', and may also be read as *s5.

In addition, another orphan reading of #893(a[?]) is su (for *s), which corresponds formally to PIE *sekw-, the normal root meaning 'follow' if the underlying PL form is SHO-XHE. What makes the connection among these slightly more of interest is that *sekw- (for **so[:]k^w-) is a technical term of hunters, really more 'track' than simply 'follow'. Formally, we can analyze it as 'follow-pay attention' = 'follow (by signs/scents/tracks)'.

It remains to be determined if we can find an Egyptian cognate of Sumerian *s and PIE **so[:]k^w-. I believe it can be but the way will be circuitous. The Egyptian equivalent we would expect would have the form s. There is, in fact, a recorded Egyptian word usually transcribed as sm, 'lead, guide'. Anyone's first inclination would be to regard this as a simple causative of m, 'go'; but it is not written with s preceding the sign for m, which would be the normal practice.

Rather, it is written s + Gardiner #T31, hesitantly identified by Gardiner as 'knife-sharpener(?)', which makes little sense in this semantic context; and accompanied about 50% of the time by m. Unless one subscribes to the itself defective 'defective writing' theory, at least part of the time, the reading should have been simply *s. If this word can be abstracted from the attestations of s(m), it would correspond to the predicted Egyptian form from SHO-XHE, 'follow (by signs/scents/tracks)'.

The 'knife-sharpener(?)' is written with the sign to the top left: s(m), '*dousing rod, *follow signs/scents/tracks, lead'  (#T31, #T32, over #T33), while the top right sign, a combination of #T31 and Gardiner #D54, 'legs walking', which is also used, presumably to indicate motion. At the bottom right is Gardiner #T33, another 'knife-sharpener(?)', which Gardiner believes, I think, rightly is the early prototype for #T31. Can this be a 'knife-sharpener'? In my opinion, highly unlikely. Firstly, what is the functional significance of the obvious loop at the right side of all depictions? While I do not doubt that a 'knife-sharpener' could have had such a loop for simple carrying, the Egyptians portrayed no inessential details and did portray all essential ones.

I believe #T33 represents a 'dousing rod', used to magically locate water or game. The transmitted meaning, 'lead, guide', suggests game rather than water as the stimulus for this magical rod when suspended by the loop on which, would indicate by its motion the location or direction to be followed to find the game.

Thus, I suggest that the meaning 'lead, guide', be emended to 'detect the desired objective'; and that the nuance is 'take the lead'. I realize that this may be one of the more complex arguments made in this paper; and I would not bother to make it if we did not have 100+ pages of regular correspondences in form and meaning.

These (#V17/#V18) are other examples
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

For PL SHO-HA-MO, 'unitary', see above under SE.

tu2, '*heat'


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #684) depicts the 'rising sun', and means 'sun' and associated concepts related to 'light'; in this meaning, its reading is u4, which represents PL HO, 'sun'. It also means 'heat' and 'dry', and in these meanings, it should be read as tu2 even though this reading and that meaning are not presently connected. Another reading is (D)U(-)tu, the Sumerian sun-god; this should probably be analyzed as *u4-tu2, 'solar heat'.

The Egyptian sign for THO is Gardiner #U30, t(3), 'potter's kiln, heat'  (#U30), which reads t(3), and depicts a 'potter's kiln; it also means 'heat'.

This (#U30) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

The normal reading of this sign (#U30) is t3, '(highly) hot, kiln', PL THO-RE, 'heat-cause to become' = 'heat up', which is seen in PIE *ter-s-, 'dry, dry out, heat, roast, singe, sear, scorch'. The final *-s- is PL SHA, formant of states or conditions.

The kiln depicted in #U30 is seen in Sumerian Jaritz #635, which means 'melt; it reads du19 (for tux): du19 (for *tu-x), '*metal worker's kiln, heat' (#635).

Another meaning for PL THO-RE, 'compact-cause to become', is 'land raised up from the river by silting and subsequent drying and compaction' = 'earth', which is seen in Egyptian t3, 'land': t3, 'land'  (#N16), which depicts 'flat alluvial land with grains of sand'; and is seen again in PIE *ters-, 'land'. This last is a result of the addition of SHA, formant of states or conditions: THO-RE-SHA, 'earth-state of' = 'solid earth', a useful distinction for river dwellers.

In the meaning 'compact', we have the formation THO-FHA, 'compact-do repeatedly' = 'compact itself'. Here, we can point to Sumerian tu10 (for t10), 'be weighty, massive', which is written with Jaritz #141 (probably, with the same meaning: *t11), which depicts a 'left lower leg up to the bent knee', inside which is written, as a phonetic determinative, Jaritz #684, which reads tu2: tu10, 'be weighty, massive, compact' (#146); this sign (Jaritz #141) is probably meant to symbolize 'stamping earth with the foot to compress and compact it'.

This word is seen in Egyptian tw.t, 'full, entire, complete'; and in PIE *teu- (for **to:u-), 'swell'; and also in *stew6- (for **(s)to:w6-), 'be(come) compact, gather (intransitive)'. It is also present in Etruscan tuthi (for *thth), 'community'.

The Egyptian sign for tj is Gardiner #U33, tj, 'pestle'  (#U33), which depicts a 'pestle'.

t, '(wjirl-)wind, cardinal direction' (#721)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #721) depicts a 'sail with rigging', and reads tu15; it means '(whirl-)wind' and 'cardinal direction'.

The Egyptian sign for TSHO is Gardiner #O29, which depicts a 'hand-drill': '(3), '*whirl' (#O29), which is normally read '(3), representing principally TSHO-RE. For a discussion of a number of the associated meanings, please see above.

This (#O29) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

hu (for h), '*squat, *brood' (#122)


The Sumerian sign (Jaritz #122) depicts a 'sitting bird', which is here equated with 'squatting'.

The Egyptian sign for XHO is Gardiner #K4, 'oxyrhynchus, mormyrus kannune', which reads X(3): X(3), 'oxyrhynchus' (#K4).

This (#K4) is another example
of an originally aspirated
Proto-Afrasian consonant
the Egyptian sign for which
has come to be read as
the consonant + 3.

As can readily be observed, some morphemes like XHO have a very representation in the vocabulary whether for semantic or phonological reasons.

Above, we have seen XHO as 'squat', one of the more easily recognizable and straightforward extensions of this root but one which so far has not provided an identifiable Egyptian cognate. There are, however, a couple of outside possibilities.

Egyptian has, 'storm', which, if it represents PL XHO-RHA, 'spiral-fly' = 'swirl into an apparent spiral', might reflect 'XHO; but unfortunately with no Sumerian or PIE cognate. This is somewhat supported by X3b(.t), 'curl (spiral)', as on the red crown of Lower Egyptian, which was presumably a curling (spiraling) bird feather. The determinative is Gardiner #V1, 'coil of rope (wound into a spiral)': X3(b)(.t), 'coil (wound into a spiral) of rope' (#V1). In addition, there is the Egyptian word X'q, 'shave'. The determinative used with it is Gardiner #U37, which is supposed to depict a 'razor' with a handle (which, I interpret as a lock of hair and an apparatus for rolling it into a spiral curl while somehow it is set) but I think may represent an apparatus for curling hair: X'(q)[?], 'razor[?] or hair-curler' (#U37). Let the reader be the judge.

The PIE root *kwel-, in some of its meanings, probably incorporates XHO because of the spiraling appearance of a wheel in motion; but, beyond that, little can be stated with any assurance; the principal possibilities for the second element are NHA and RHO but others, like NHE are not inconceivable.

PL XHO should appear as PIE *kw; and it does so in 'squat, relax'. Of course, there are some s-mobile forms which begin *(s)k- which might represent XHO but because of the phonological modifications caused by it, these are inherently less reliable and convincing. So for additional cognates of Egyptian reflections to XHO, we shall have to look to Sumerian, where it should appear as *h, bearing in mind that, principally, hu also represents XO. But I can presently find only those in Sumerian I would prefer to associate with XO.

Unsatisfactory , I know, but I cannot invent what is not there.

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Patrick C. Ryan * 9115 West 34th Street - Little Rock, AR 72204-4441 * (501)227-9947


A, /a/; E, /e/; O, /o/;

P?F, /bw/; PFH, /pf/; F, /w/; FH, /hw/; M, /m/; MH, /m/ + lengthened following vowel;

T?S, /dz/; TSH, /ts/; S, /z/; SH, /s/; N, /n/; NH, /n/ + lengthened following vowel;

K?X, /gy/; KXH, /ky/; X, /zh/; XH, /sh/; Q, /ng/; QH, /nk/;

R, /r/; RH, /l/;

?, /?/; H, /h/; , /y/; HH, /x/.

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NOTE: These values have yet to be determined. 1