Monday, June 13, 2011

About Greek pithekos 'monkey'

Pithecanthropus (noun). An extinct primate postulated from bones found in Java in 1891 and originally designated as Pithecanthropus erectus because it was thought to represent a species evolutionarilybetween apes and human beings. Pithecanthropus is now classified as Homo erectus.
[Scientific Neo-Latin, genus name : Greek pithekos, ape + Greek anthropos, man.]

Greek πίθηκος 'ape, monkey' is a loanword of undetermined origin.
I propose to compare it with Berber *abidaw 'monkey', a masculine word based on a root bid, and Chadic *bidi 'monkey'. It is interesting to note that the voiced phonemes of Berber and Chadic root R=*bid have been adjusted in Greek as Pre-Greek *bhidh, that is Greek pith, instead of **bid.
This is in line with the Glottalic theory of Proto-Indo-European and this issue will be discussed in coming posts.

Greetings. A.

No comments:

Post a Comment