Tijmen (Tijmen C.)
Contributions to journals
Most Indo-European n-stem nouns are either individualizing, e.g. Avestan marətan- ‘mortal’, i.e. ‘the dead one’, or they denote body parts, e.g. Greek ōlḗn ‘elbow’. In this article, it is argued that most Indo-European n-stems denoting body parts originally had a singulative function, denoting a single instance of a body part of which the body has more than one. This analysis allows us to connect the ‘body part’ function of the Indo-European suffix *-n- to its well-established individualizing function. The following evidence in favour of a singulative suffix *-n- will be discussed: (1) the productive singulative suffix *-(e)n-i̯o- in Celtic; (2) suppletive paradigms in various Indo-European languages in which a singular is (based on) an n-stem, e.g. Armenian duṙn, pl. durk‘ ‘door, gate’, Gothic kaurno ‘single grain’, kaurn ‘corn’, Russian súdno, pl. sudá ‘vessel’; and 3) words for body parts naturally occurring in pairs or larger quantities which are attested with and without the nasal suffix, e.g. Armenian akn, Gothic augo and Old Prussian agins ‘eye’, but without a nasal Greek ósse and Old Church Slavic oči ‘eyes’.
The article offers an etymological analysis of some of the Indo-European nominal formations with a meaning ‘dense’ and similar or derived meanings such as ‘thick’, ‘tight’ or ‘frequent’. The Proto-Indo-European roots that are discussed include *temk- ‘to join, coagulate, solidify’, *tum- ‘to swell, become thick’, *(s)tegw- ‘firm, impenetrable’ and the compound *dbh-(h2)mǵh- ‘dense, frequent’. The majority of words discussed are Baltic, Slavic and Germanic, but the discussion necessarily involves the etymologies of words in the other branches of Indo-European as well.