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Indo-European Numbers

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Janissary
Janissary


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    Posted: 29 May 2017 at 09:55
I'm sure that I'm not the first person to notice something a little strange about the Indo-European counting system. Much evidence has come to light that the Indo-European languages are an offshoot of the Uralic languages; many grammatical features are similar such as personal pronouns, and most Uralic speakers are yDNA haplogroup N, the predecessor of R (most Indo-European speakers are R1a or R1b). Although numbers are usually a very constant and durable linguistic feature, the Uralic numbers and the Indo European numbers are completely dissimilar. Compare Finnish yksi, kaksi, kolme, nelja, viisi, kuusi, seitseman, kahdeksan, yhdeksan, kymmenan to English one to ten, and then look at Berber yiwen, sin, tlata, rebea, xemsa, setta, sebea, tmanya, tesea, ecra. (Proto Indo-European is oynos, duwo, treyes, kwetwores, penkwe, sweks, septm, okto, newn, dekm). Obviously, Berber is an Afro-Asiatic language, and not close to Indo-European. My Explanation is that the counting system was borrowed; Afro-Asiatic is much older than Indo-European and the ancient Semitic peoples with their sheep and goat herding were the first to develop numeracy and trade as we know it today.
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franciscosan View Drop Down
Caliph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2017 at 19:13
Finnish is a different language family from Indo-European, correct?  I guess that is the Uralic?  I thought that Uralic was different from Indo-European.
There are some languages that have counting words for one, two and many.  Ancient Greek has a dual case for pairs of things.  There is a reason why Pythagoras gets into number theory so much, it is roughly contemporary with the introduction of coinage in which he also played a role. 
I don't know about phonological leveling and how words change in the evolution of language, but Berber counting doesn't look anything like Indo-European counting to me.  I am not saying your wrong, I am saying that I don't see it.
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Janissary
Janissary


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Viewpoint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2017 at 19:47
Wouldn't you say that tlata is similar to three, and that setta and sebea like six and seven, more similar than could be accounted for by just chance? I can see other similarities, but I'll grant you they are more distant.
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Caliph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2017 at 19:10
It vaguely looks similar, but I am not a linguist and I don't really know how phonological change happens.  I do know that 't's and 'd's are closely related, and so are 'p's and 'b's and 'v's, but I don't really know how linguistic change works, I do know that there are rules to it, which are not as rigid as the laws of science, but do show how language works with some regularity.  

What I am saying is that my approval or disapproval of what you (think you) see, is not worth very much.  I am no expert, but what I think an expert would say is look at how language changes, and if after looking at how language changes, it still looks like there is a similarity, well there is more of a chance the similarity reflects a real commonality and not just chance appearance in language. 
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Janissary
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Viewpoint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2017 at 15:05
Since I posted this thread, I've learnt a little more about genetics. YDNA haplogroup R is not descended directly from N; they are both descended from yDNA haplogroup K.
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Chieftain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2017 at 03:52
hello Viewpoint you said:
Quote My Explanation is that the counting system was borrowed; Afro-Asiatic is much older than Indo-European and the ancient Semitic peoples with their sheep and goat herding were the first to develop numeracy and trade as we know it today.

I agree because the Natufians find themselves on the edge of the Euphrates Abu Hureyra (10500 – 6000 B.C.). Natufians had to leave the Jordan Valley as it became a desert. 

Do you think by 850 BC there would have existed a system for trade and keeping count? Natufians date from Gobekli Tepe 11,000 years ago. 

4. This survival strategy becomes full-fledged cultivation as climate improves. Bigger reserves and larger populations now result in true, year-long sedentism. This is the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. [List adapted with modifications from C. Maisels, Early Civilizations of the Old World, Routledge 1999)

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