Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Wolverine9, Feb 16, 2013.
What is the origin of the Persian 'kih' with the meaning "that"? Is it a loan from Arabic?
Middle Persian distinguishes between kē (Manichaean script: ky; Pahlavi script: MNW), with the meaning “who, which (pronoun)”, and kū (kw/ʼYK), in the meaning “where, that (conjunction)”. In early New Persian they are often still distinguished (كى vs. كو), but they soon fall together as ki كه . In Pahlavi manuscripts of the Muslim period there is also a general confusion between MNW and ʼYK.
Currently, ke (که) is almost only used for conjunction "that" in formal and major colloquial and regional dialects. kee کیand ku کو are still used widely for "who?" and "where?" in colloquial Persian (and sometimes formal), respectively. Anyway, does it (along with چـ ch-) have the same root with romance "qu-" interrogative words? And further Germanic "w-" ones?
Yes, Indo-European *kw becomes k or č in Indo-Iranian. The interrogative pronoun Avestan ka-, ča-, Sanskrit ka-, is thus cognate with the forms with qu- in Latin and hw- in Germanic.
^Definitely so but when you said ''Indo-Iranian'' it is not correct as I'm not aware of any č in Indic languages, including Sanskrit/Pali/Modern languages. Do you happen to know of some example in the Indic languages for č?
"Indo-Iranian" is the reconstructed (hypothetical) ancestor of the Indo-Aryan and the Iranian languages. This would have had k- before IE back vowels and č- before IE front vowels, but in the case of the interrogative pronoun Sanskrit generalised k- throughout. That is why in this particular word there are forms with č- only in Iranian, but not in Indo-Aryan. Sorry if I did not explain this clearly enough.
PS. č is the consonant sound in Skt. च .
^Thank you for clarification; Re. PS I was aware of č/ć/c in Sanskrit in general; I was referring only to its absence in pronouns - as this thread is concerned with them
What do you mean exactly by the absence of č/ć/c in pronouns? Besides the coalescing of Indo-Iranian č/k into k.
I mean that pronouns that begin with this consonant are not attested in Sanskrit.
The nominative singular of the interrogative pronoun (who? what?) is:
Old Avestan: m. kə̄, f. kā, n. kat
Young Avestan: m. kō, f. kā, n. čit, čim
Sanskrit: m. kaḥ, f. kā, n. kim (Vedic also kat)
Compare Latin: quis, quis, quid
What we see in OA. and Skt. is called “paradigmatic levelling”. YA. has the etymologically expected distribution of k/č.
Do note, however, that the expected form with č survives in the enclitic OA/YA. –čit, Skt. –cit.
I've never thought of it before, thank you.
Is there any difference between č and c?
No, c is the standard transliteration in Sanskrit and Indian studies for the voiceless palatal stop. In Iranian studies we generally prefer to represent this phoneme by č and to use c for the alveolar fricative /ts/, which is separate phoneme in some Iranian languages (Pashto, Bactrian, etc.).
Along those lines, the ś in Sanskrit and Indic studies is the same phoneme as the š in Iranian, right?
Yes, apart from the fact that Skt distinguishes between palatal ś and retroflex ṣ.
I would like to add to this that the k/č distinction also exists in Slavonic. Cp. Rus kto? 'who?' and čto? 'what'.
Separate names with a comma.