20 May 2013

A Special Question on Quechua

One of the Quechua words cited in Table 1 in my Inca Connection post is genuinely related to something Indo-European (though not to what the Eurasiatic pseudo-cognate would imply). Which one? Please post your suggestions as comments below. I shall discuss the answers (if any) about this time tomorrow.
Oops, please ignore this challenge. I thought kuchuy 'cut' was somehow back-formed from kuchillu 'knife' (Spanish cuchillo < Lat. cultellus), but it seems that I was wrong: the verb is native and the similarity is deceptive, as in the case of English cook vs. cookie.

8 comments:

  1. I think it would be more practical to omit the final -s of nominative masculine (and similarly also -m of neuter) in IE etymologies, thus I'd say cultellu- instead of cultellus.

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  2. But people don't use stems, they use words; isn't the accusative form the source of most Romance nouns? I'd say cultellum (though of course the final -m was reduced in pronunciation).

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    1. Precisely, the final -m is dropped anyway, so you've got cultellu-.

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  3. I used cultellus informally, as the corresponding Classical word, since that's what non-specialists are most familiar with. Of course in an article I'd follow the Romanists' conventions.

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  4. I thought you were talking about 'cuchuy' and then thought, naw.... that's the kind of mistake he's criticizing!

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  5. LOL, at least if I make a mistake and see it, I don't try to twist the facts to cover it up.

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    1. And looking at it again, it looks like it may have gone through the borrowing grinder to reflect all the encesary sound changes. So a mistake maybe, but very plausible.

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  6. By the way, there is no 'father' word in my table, since I wasn't able to find a match for Quechua tayta in the Nostratic database (though of course there's no shortage of (t)ata-like kinship terms in various parts of Eurasia). Interestingly enough, tayta does seem to be a Spanish loan (from Old Spanish taita 'daddy', no longer used in Spain, but lingering on in Latin America. See the discussion of Spanish borrowings in Quechua by Rendón and Adelaar (2009), in Haspelmath and Tadmor (eds.), Loanwords in the World's Languages: A Comparative Handbook, De Gruyter Mouton.

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