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 Decem < Pie "two Hands"?, Interesting etymological speculation
Kodegadulo
Posted: Apr 26 2017, 11:30 AM


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I recently stumbled across this etymological note in the Wiktionary entry for *déḱm̥, the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European origin for Latin decem, Greek δέκα, Sanskrit daśa, Germanic *tehun (and thus ultimately English "ten"), and so forth:

QUOTE (Wiktionary)
Has been suggested to contain an element *ḱm̥t, possibly from *ḱomt (“hand”), in which case *de-ḱm̥t could mean originally “two hands.”


I don't recall ever seeing this idea before. Interesting...
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Double sharp
Posted: Apr 26 2017, 02:36 PM


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I'm not sure if any decimal culture arrived at that range simply, in fact: it seems obvious that ten must come from two fives, and it is interesting to see it supported here. That is why quinary is such a common sub-base in decimal or vigesimal, even if you almost never see it by itself in world languages.

I am not so sure if the same would be true for senary or septenary due to the inconvenience of using base 24 or 28, which really feel like they need to be mixed radices: they might be a little more stable and only double once instead of twice. But of course, this is mere speculation.
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GG-Doz
Posted: Apr 29 2017, 03:01 AM


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QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Apr 26 2017, 11:30 AM)
Greek δέκα

Uses Greek Alphabet
QUOTE
Sanskrit daśa
Doesn't use Indian Abugida
In all seriousness, this is an interesting theory.
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Kodegadulo
Posted: Apr 29 2017, 03:29 AM


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QUOTE (GG-Doz @ Apr 29 2017, 03:01 AM)
QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Apr 26 2017, 11:30 AM)
Greek δέκα

Uses Greek Alphabet
QUOTE
Sanskrit daśa
Doesn't use Indian Abugida

I would have used the Devanagari if I were confident anyone in this English-speaking forum could read it and see how similar the Sanskrit word is. I am more confident that English speakers would be familiar with Hellenic script, since English absorbed so many words of Greek origin, and since Greek letters are so frequently used for technical purposes in English-speaking texts, such that it's a staple part of the experience of well-educated English speaking children.
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GG-Doz
Posted: Apr 29 2017, 04:54 AM


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QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Apr 29 2017, 03:29 AM)
QUOTE (GG-Doz @ Apr 29 2017, 03:01 AM)
QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Apr 26 2017, 11:30 AM)
Greek δέκα

Uses Greek Alphabet
QUOTE
Sanskrit daśa
Doesn't use Indian Abugida

I would have used the Devanagari if I were confident anyone in this English-speaking forum could read it and see how similar the Sanskrit word is. I am more confident that English speakers would be familiar with Hellenic script, since English absorbed so many words of Greek origin, and since Greek letters are so frequently used for technical purposes in English-speaking texts, such that it's a staple part of the experience of well-educated English speaking children.

I know it was because it's easier to read. It was a joke. Cinemasins style cool.gif
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Double sharp
Posted: Apr 29 2017, 07:01 AM


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QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Apr 29 2017, 03:29 AM)
I would have used the Devanagari if I were confident anyone in this English-speaking forum could read it and see how similar the Sanskrit word is. I am more confident that English speakers would be familiar with Hellenic script, since English absorbed so many words of Greek origin, and since Greek letters are so frequently used for technical purposes in English-speaking texts, such that it's a staple part of the experience of well-educated English speaking children.

I find that Greek is the only non-Latin script which I would be comfortable giving without a transliteration, because it is so widely used in technical fields. Even Cyrillic is not at that level, though it is perhaps the closest of any of the others.
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Kodegadulo
Posted: Apr 29 2017, 11:42 AM


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QUOTE (GG-Doz @ Apr 29 2017, 04:54 AM)
I know it was because it's easier to read. It was a joke. Cinemasins style cool.gif

Dude, not everybody here is even going to know what CinemaSins is, unless you provide a link. One sin for you! wink.gif

And who is going to know whether you were joking or serious unless you use the right emoji? Another sin for you! wink.gif
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icarus
Posted: Apr 29 2017, 02:14 PM


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Kode I saw this in a book, I think it is "Number Words and Number Symbols" by Karl Menninger.
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GG-Doz
Posted: Apr 29 2017, 07:27 PM


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QUOTE (Double sharp @ Apr 29 2017, 07:01 AM)
QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Apr 29 2017, 03:29 AM)
I would have used the Devanagari if I were confident anyone in this English-speaking forum could read it and see how similar the Sanskrit word is. I am more confident that English speakers would be familiar with Hellenic script, since English absorbed so many words of Greek origin, and since Greek letters are so frequently used for technical purposes in English-speaking texts, such that it's a staple part of the experience of well-educated English speaking children.

I find that Greek is the only non-Latin script which I would be comfortable giving without a transliteration, because it is so widely used in technical fields. Even Cyrillic is not at that level, though it is perhaps the closest of any of the others.

Not to mention how easy it is to read for people who have never seen the symbols
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Double sharp
Posted: Apr 30 2017, 05:20 AM


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QUOTE (GG-Doz @ Apr 29 2017, 07:27 PM)
QUOTE (Double sharp @ Apr 29 2017, 07:01 AM)
QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Apr 29 2017, 03:29 AM)
I would have used the Devanagari if I were confident anyone in this English-speaking forum could read it and see how similar the Sanskrit word is. I am more confident that English speakers would be familiar with Hellenic script, since English absorbed so many words of Greek origin, and since Greek letters are so frequently used for technical purposes in English-speaking texts, such that it's a staple part of the experience of well-educated English speaking children.

I find that Greek is the only non-Latin script which I would be comfortable giving without a transliteration, because it is so widely used in technical fields. Even Cyrillic is not at that level, though it is perhaps the closest of any of the others.

Not to mention how easy it is to read for people who have never seen the symbols

It's not really all that easy to read without prior knowledge. Yes, some are obvious (e.g. alpha and beta), but some are less so (e.g. zeta, xi), and some actively mislead the monoscriptal Latin user (e.g. gamma, nu).
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GG-Doz
Posted: May 1 2017, 04:21 AM


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QUOTE (Double sharp @ Apr 30 2017, 05:20 AM)
but some are less so (e.g. zeta ... )

Sans serif ζ is actually pretty readable.
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Double sharp
Posted: May 1 2017, 12:27 PM


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It's not exactly obvious in the lowercase that it's like English z, is it? I mean, you can suspect it, but there are also other vaguely plausible possibilities, unlike for things like alpha, beta, and omicron where there is no doubt. Then you get to things like rho, where the average Latin-alphabet user has no doubt, and goes straight to the wrong answer.
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Kodegadulo
Posted: May 1 2017, 09:10 PM


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Getting back to Proto-Indo-European, I'd like to speculate on whether the PIE tribes could have gone dozenal in an alternate history, and what words they might have cooked up for it if they had. I've already commented on how population isolation and in-group effects caused them to develop an ornately complex inflected grammar. Perhaps the same conditions could have lead them to conceive of counting in a way contrary to our pentadactyl-tetrapod heritage.

I think everything up to and including *déḱm̥ would be as in our universe. "Two hands" for ten would still make sense, but it wouldn't become a grouping number. It would just be another step along the way to a "full count", which would be twelve. Perhaps as they started migrating and trading with other groups, they could have developed the idea sooner that getting only "two hands" of some commodity meant being "*déḱm̥-ed down", but that getting a dozen was "full measure".

So let's say they hit on using some form of their word *pl̥h₁nós “full” to mean twelve. In our world that word descended to Latin as plenus and English as "full". But perhaps it could have also spun off as a numeral, let's say Latin plenem, English "fullen" or perhaps "fuln". I could see the English multiples of this riffing on a -ful suffix: fullen, twenful, thirful, forful, fiveful, sixful, sevenful, eightful, nineful, tenful, ...

As for eleven, maybe a name for it could have come from being "almost full". Perhaps from the root for Latin "ultima". "Ult"? "Ull"? Perhaps softening into icarus's "ell"? So eleven dozen might be "ellful"...

Thoughts?
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Dan
Posted: May 2 2017, 03:09 AM


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Interesting speculation, but then why isn't the word for 5 (*penkwe) more similar to *komt?

And is there any other language where the word for "ten" breaks down into "two hands" or "two fives"?
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GG-Doz
Posted: May 2 2017, 03:50 AM


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QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ May 1 2017, 09:10 PM)
As for eleven, maybe a name for it could have come from being "almost full". Perhaps from the root for Latin "ultima". "Ult"? "Ull"? Perhaps softening into icarus's "ell"? So eleven dozen might be "ellful"...

Eleven comes from "one left". It wouldn't be a stretch for that to mean "one left from twelve" rather than "one left after ten".
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Double sharp
Posted: May 2 2017, 12:26 PM


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QUOTE (Dan @ May 2 2017, 03:09 AM)
Interesting speculation, but then why isn't the word for 5 (*penkwe) more similar to *komt?

And is there any other language where the word for "ten" breaks down into "two hands" or "two fives"?

Of course there are some, since there are some quinary languages, many of which use 5 as a sub-base in a base-10 or base-20 system. It seems that the PIE word for 5 is derived from "fist" or "finger" instead of "hand".
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Kodegadulo
Posted: May 2 2017, 03:53 PM


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QUOTE (Double sharp @ May 2 2017, 12:26 PM)
QUOTE (Dan @ May 2 2017, 03:09 AM)
Interesting speculation, but then why isn't the word for 5 (*penkwe) more similar to *komt?...

... It seems that the PIE word for 5 is derived from "fist" or "finger" instead of "hand".

Note that PIE and its daughter languages exhibit a lot of fluidity between /p/ and /kw/, and between /n/ and /m/ (and even between /e/ and /o/). Witness Greek πέντε (pente) being cognate with Latin quinque and Welsh pump, as well as having the ordinal form πέμπτος (pemptos). So *ḱomt is really not so far away from that, and since these are all words related to the hand and fingers, we can surmise some deeper common origin for all of them.
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Oschkar
Posted: May 2 2017, 05:45 PM


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QUOTE (Double sharp @ May 2 2017, 12:26 PM)
It seems that the PIE word for 5 is derived from "fist" or "finger" instead of "hand".

From the forms themselves, it looks like "finger" and "fist" were actually derived from *penkwe and not the other way around. *Penkwe is a root word found in all main IE branches, and *pnkwstis and *pnkwros are derivations of its zero-grade that are much more areal: *pnkwstis is found in Germanic and Balto-Slavic, and *pnkwros meaning "finger" only in Germanic. (It means things like "fifth" or "quintuple" in other branches.)

And out of these two, only "finger" is unambiguous; for "fist", Latin and Greek have "pugnus" and "pugmē", respectively, which can be reconciled with Germanic *funhstis and Slavic *pęstь by reconstructing a root word *pewg with a nasal infix instead, that is, *punégti, *pungénti in the present ("he punches, they punch"). The suffix -mn is a nominalizer which converts verbs into agent nouns: the Greek form can be derived from the singular oblique stem of *péwg-mn (genitive *pugmén-s "of a fist"), and the Latin form from the plural oblique stem (pl. gen. *pugmn-oh1om "of fists"). Interestingly, English has a verb that comes from this form as well. It's a class-II strong verb derived from what would have been PIE *pug-mn-eh2-yé-ti through Kluge's law, with a decidedly iterative meaning. (Of course, the only reason why I'm referring to it in such a roundabout way is because it's unprintable. It's nice to know that sexual metaphors never die out.)
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Kodegadulo
Posted: Jun 2 2017, 04:33 PM


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Picking up where we left off here, suppose an alternate-dozenal-PIE culture had come off the steppe with plenem/fullen and cognates as their word for dozen. What can we speculate about how they'd arrive at a word for "plenem squared" (i.e., a gross)?
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Oschkar
Posted: Jun 2 2017, 06:46 PM


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QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Jun 2 2017, 04:33 PM)
Picking up where we left off here, suppose an alternate-dozenal-PIE culture had come off the steppe with plenem/fullen and cognates as their word for dozen. What can we speculate about how they'd arrive at a word for "plenem squared" (i.e., a gross)?

Sorry for the ASCII, my computer broke down about a week ago, and I'm posting this on mobile.

Well, if "ple:nem" comes from *ple'h1nm(t) in the same way that "decem comes from *de'kmt, we can build a word for a gross by reducing the root to the zero grade and adding the suffix *-om, as in *dk'mto'm 'hundred': *plh1nmto'm.

Now for my transliteration conventions:

Diacritics come after the letter they modify.
acute > '
grave > `
caron > ^
macron > :
tilde > ~
ogonek > (
dot above or below > .
schwa > @
front yer > 6
back yer > 7

*ple'h1nm(t) 'dozen' > Sanskrit pra:n.a, Avestan fra:na, OCS ple^ne(t, Lithuanian ple.~nimt, Greek ple:'na, Latin ple:nem, Old Irish li'n, Gothic flenun, Old English fla:non, English floan
*plh1nmto'm 'gross' > Sanskrit pu:rn.ata'm, Avestan par@nat@m, OCS pr7n7to, Lithuanian pil~nimtas, Greek ple:nato'n, Latin pla:nentum, Old Irish la'nat, Gothic fullund, Old English fullond, English fullend
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Kodegadulo
Posted: Jun 3 2017, 12:39 AM


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First things first:

QUOTE (Oschkar @ Jun 2 2017, 06:46 PM)
Sorry for the ASCII, my computer broke down about a week ago, and I'm posting this on mobile.

Whoa. Bummer. Oschkar you're a student at university, right? Undergrad? Graduate? Whatever, either way, a computer these days isn't just a luxury for you, it's a vital tool. That can be a real setback. How are you set for getting a replacement? I have no idea what your circumstances are. Could be a rich legacy kid or dirt poor for all I know. Do you need a little help? Maybe we can set up a GoFundMe for you for a new laptop and a few of us here could contribute...
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Oschkar
Posted: Jun 3 2017, 01:27 AM


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QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Jun 3 2017, 12:39 AM)
First things first:

QUOTE (Oschkar @ Jun 2 2017, 06:46 PM)
Sorry for the ASCII, my computer broke down about a week ago, and I'm posting this on mobile.

Whoa. Bummer. Oschkar you're a student at university, right? Undergrad? Graduate? Whatever, either way, a computer these days isn't just a luxury for you, it's a vital tool. That can be a real setback. How are you set for getting a replacement? I have no idea what your circumstances are. Could be a rich legacy kid or dirt poor for all I know. Do you need a little help? Maybe we can set up a GoFundMe for you for a new laptop and a few of us here could contribute...

I don't like talking about myself, but I'll make an exception here.

I'm an undergraduate student in the sixth semester of my Mechatronics Engineering career. I guess my financial situation can be considered lower-middle class, but it wasn't really a setback, mostly because my savings turned out to be just about enough to buy the necessary parts to build a budget desktop PC. It was about time, anyway; the other one was about ten years old already.
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Kodegadulo
Posted: Jun 3 2017, 01:57 AM


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QUOTE (Oschkar @ Jun 3 2017, 01:27 AM)
I'm an undergraduate student in the sixth semester of my Mechatronics Engineering career. I guess my financial situation can be considered lower-middle class, but it wasn't really a setback, mostly because my savings turned out to be just about enough to buy the necessary parts to build a budget desktop PC. It was about time, anyway; the other one was about ten years old already.

Ten years old? That is like 3 or 4 generations ago in terms of advances in computer technology. That would be like saying you've been driving around in your great-grandfather's 1957d=1171z rustbucket Ford pickup truck. That's the definition of "struggling".

Budget desktop? Dude, you need a laptop with wifi you can take with you to class and do notes on, or even video your professors' lectures so you can review them later. And if you're in mechanical/electrical engineering you probably need something with a decent graphics card and RAM so you can run heavy-duty CAD/CAM tools.

I think it's GoFundMe time, Oschkar...
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Oschkar
Posted: Jun 3 2017, 02:30 AM


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QUOTE (Kodegadulo @ Jun 3 2017, 01:57 AM)
Budget desktop?  Dude, you need a laptop with wifi you can take with you to class and do notes on, or even video your professors' lectures so you can review them later. And if you're in  mechanical/electrical engineering you probably need something with a decent graphics card and RAM so you can run heavy-duty CAD/CAM tools.

I agree about the CAD/CAM tools, but to be fair, the licence for a copy of SolidWorks costs more than possibly any engineer in my city has in disposable income at any given time. I'm struggling, if your references are the high wages common in developed countries, but here in Mexico, minimum wage is MXN 80.04 (USD 4.285) per day, with an entry-level mechanical engineer expecting to earn between MXN 1200 and MXN 3000 (USD 64.242-160.605) per day. At least tuition fees in Mexico nowhere near what they are in the US. I'm paying MXN 2800 (USD 249.898) per semester, which is actually a bit expensive for a public university.

(Would a GTX 1050 and 8 GB of RAM count as "decent" in your book?)

As for the rest, the education system is still practically stuck in the early 2000s here; while mobile devices are common in class, it's rare for professors to give assignments online.
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