User:KYPark/Ordinal suffix

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Ordinal suffix[edit]

Original headline: Eurasiatic ordinal suffix *-chwoj?
Excerpts from tenth#Translations
   Afrikaans: tiende 
   Albanian: dhjetë 
   Azeri: onuncu 
   Belarusian: дзясяты (dzjasjáty)
   Bulgarian: десети (deséti) 
   Crimean Tatar: onuncı
   Czech: desátý 
   Dalmatian: dicto
   Danish: tiende 
   Dutch: tiende 
  *English: tenth, tēoþa  
   Georgian: მეათე (meat'e)
   German: zehnte 
   Hungarian: tizedik 
   Icelandic: tíundi 
   Irish: deichiú 
   Kazakh: оныншы (onınşı)
   Korean: 열째 (yeoljjae)
   Kyrgyz: онунчу (onunçu)
   Latgalian: dasmyts, dasmyta
   Latvian: desmitais
   Lithuanian: dešimtas, dešimta 
   Macedonian: десетти (desetti)
   Manchu: (juwanci)
   Norwegian: tiende 
   Polish: dziesiąty 
   Russian: десятый (desjátyj) 
   Serbo-Croatian: deseti 
   Slovak: desiaty 
   Slovene: deseti 
   Swedish: tionde 
   Tatar: унынчы (unınçı)
   Turkish: onuncu 
   Turkmen: onunjy 
   Ukrainian: десятий (desjátyj) 
   West Frisian: tsiende
   Uzbek: oʻninchi 
   Yiddish: צענט (tsent)
   Chinese: 第十 (dìshí)
   Khmer: ទីដប់ (tii dop)
   Lao: ທີ່ສິບ (tʰī̀ sip)
   Thai: ที่สิบ (têe sìp)
   Vietnamese: thứ mười 

--KYPark (talk) 23:33, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Have a look at word formation patterns. For example, Chinese 第十 (dìshí) is formed of ordinal prefix () and number (shí) -- i.e., this is completely irrelevant here, where PIE languages tend to be formed of a number and an ordinal suffix, such as English ten and -th. English ten is demonstrably related to German zehn and Latin decem, for instance, and is completely unrelated to Chinese (shí), as best anyone can tell.
I'm happy you find this so interesting, but please look deeper than mere surface accidents of similarity. Look at word formation patterns, look at morphopohnemic elements, and look at word histories -- similarities between modern forms often don't indicate anything other than pure chance. -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 03:07, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Trying to make connections for words with centuries of history in various languages on the basis of the modern forms is a bit like looking at Hebrew goyim (plural for 'non-Jew', 'foreigner') and "discovering" that the Japanese are one of the lost tribes of Israel because of how much that looks like gaijin (outsider, foreigner). -- From your "KY (part 2)"
The /-yim/ of Hebrew goyim is a plural suffix while the /-jin/ of Japanese gaijin is a full word for "man". --KYPark (talk) 05:20, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
My point exactly: surface similarities in shape and meaning may have absolutely no bearing on the origins of words. That was the express purpose of my statement quoted here.
In the same mien, I suspect that the resemblance of the Chinese () and related Asian ordinal prefixes to the modern descendants of the PIE superlative suffix are likewise nothing more than surface similarities that have absolutely no bearing on the origins of the words. -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 06:00, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Why then did you advise me to visit such a nonsensical site? Without even "surface similarities" there would be absolutely no chance of kinship. What looks like a tiger is likely to be a tiger! --KYPark (talk) 07:00, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh dear, I do apologize. I seem to have overestimated your English reading comprehension. Please understand that I don't say that to be insulting. Allow me to explain:
  1. The quotes around "discovering" were intended to convey dubiousness -- i.e., the lack of discovery, or that the discovery is mistaken. Japanese and Hebrew are not related by any far-flung stretch of the imagination. The linked Zompist website article likewise makes the point that Hebrew goyim (plural for 'non-Jew', 'foreigner') and Japanese gaijin (outsider, foreigner) are similar purely by historical accident.
  2. If you read all the way through many of the language-related posts on the Zompist website at (such as which is very relevant to this thread) and you will see that the author very clearly argues against exactly the kind of argument being made here that is based on a few chance correspondences, and argues for a rigorous and deep analysis that takes into account word formation patterns and morphophonemic shifts over time, among other things.
  3. Read further here and elsewhere and you will also find that there are numerous instances of clear and demonstrable close kinship between languages that have absolutely no readily apparent surface similarities, such as Irish cúig and German fünf and Armenian հինգ (hing) and Albanian pesë. I.e., what looks like a tiger could just as well be someone in a fur coat, whereas the goat and the whale may actually be distant cousins (true, if recent research is anything to go by).
I apologize for the apparent confusion. My point was, and remains, that similarities between any given handful of words from two or more languages, especially those that have no apparent linguistic relationship, can very probably be attributed to pure chance. Showing relatedness requires a clear and convincing pattern that goes beyond one or two terms, and that delves back as far as possible through the historical record to demonstrate sound and semantic changes over time in a way that can consistently show a likely shared origin. -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 07:31, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
KYPark, you say "Without even 'surface similarities' there would be absolutely no chance of kinship", but in fact, there are words that have no surface similarities but are nevertheless related. Armenian երկու (erku, two) [jɛɾˈku] and German zwei (two) [tsvaɪ] have no surface similarity but are still cognate. Indonesian dua (two) and Italian due (two), on the other hand, for all their similarity are unrelated. —Angr 07:34, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
(To Angr) I admit my expression "absolutely" is overdone, which should be "generally" instead. Even the low similarities could be related in reality, but likely more rarely than the high ones. My overtone was a deliberate measure for measure in response to my partners's such as "deception". Most people here are so mindful of PIE that they would admit Germanic and Slavic would likely share the "ordinal suffix" I suggested without comment just for everybody's reference. Such tough resolute objections to that so far are unexpected and perhaps unwarrantable. I wish them to be more careful.
(To Eiríkr) As you may note, I'm around En-2. Thanks a lot for your sincere aftermath. Meanwhile I wonder why you do not hesitate to suspect Slavic of sharing a similar ordinal suffix that could be a PIE stuff. You are free to doubt such suffixes of even the typical Slavic ordinal numbers for three and four. I am free to bring such a likely tiger to everybody's attention, hopefully without too early contamination. Thanks for your concern though. --KYPark (talk) 08:41, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Alternately, if you're looking purely at the ordinal element, the "prefix" languages all appear to be ones influenced by Chinese, so the similarities there are no surprise at all and may result from straight borrowings. Moreover, the eastern suffixes are almost all affricated, and many are back vowels /y/ or /u/, making a link with Chinese () seem less likely. -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 03:19, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
And in the Slavic languages such as Russian, the final -ty is a deception. The -t belongs to the number (desjat), and only a simple adjectival suffix is added to that: -y. —Stephen (Talk) 03:29, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Czech: tři 
Czech: třetí

Danish: tre 
Danish: tredje 

Dutch: drie
Dutch: derde

Latin: trēs, tria
Latin: tertius

Russian: три (tri)
Russian: третий (trétij) 
No deception above at all. --KYPark (talk) 05:20, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Again, look at word formation patterns. Look beyond just one or two instances to see if there is a pervasive pattern. The IE-language words for three can be traced back to forms ending in /s/ or /z/ or similar, and if memory serves there is a well-known pattern for shifts between /s/ and /t/ in certain conditions. As such, the reappearance of a /t/ or /d/ in certain forms of this word is not terribly surprising, and can probably also be attributed to the underlying ancient core morpheme -- i.e. not as the start of some oridinal suffix, but rather as the end of the root word.
With the Slavic languages such as Czech and Russian, most seem to form ordinals as the cardinal + an adjectival suffix, if I've parsed this correctly. Compare Russian:
Or Czech:
In other words, there is no pattern of either Czech or Russian forming ordinal numbers using any suffix in any way resembling Chinese (), and I rather suspect that this will hold true for the other Slavic languages as well.
There are only so many sounds the human mouth can comfortably pronounce, so there is a statistical guarantee that there will be accidental phonemic overlap between languages. To even begin any serious look at etymology, you have to look beyond one or two correspondences. -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 06:18, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Czech: čtyři 
Czech: čtvrtý 

Russian: четыре (četýre)
Russian: четвёртый (četvjórtyj)
You'd better take into account the above at least. --KYPark (talk) 06:51, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and that makes two possibilities for Russian -- the ordinals for three and four. That's all I'm seeing so far. Three can be explained as above; I'm not sure about four, but the near-complete lack of any pattern leaves me wholly unconvinced and without the motivation to go digging. -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 07:31, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Russian три (tri) is from PIE *tréyes; четыре (četyre) is from PIE *kʷetwóres. —Stephen (Talk) 09:54, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Exceptionally striking that those Russians for three and third are derived from such totally different PIE sources. Do you happen to suggest that Russians are so foolish? --KYPark (talk) 10:15, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
What do you mean? Are you saying that English three and Russian три (tri) are from different PIE sources? They are not...both are from *tréyes. Or are you saying that три (tri) and третий (tretij) are from different sources? They are not, both are from *tréyes. *tréyes became Russian три (tri) through well-known sound changes. *tréyes also became Russian третий (tretij) through similar sound changes, but the final -s became a -t. Then they appended the adjectival suffix to треть in order to get третий (tretij). —Stephen (Talk) 12:05, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I just wouldn't answer. --KYPark (talk) 12:19, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Your hypothesis in this thread appears to be that Chinese ordinal prefix () (one metaphorical "tiger") is related to a purported PIE ordinal suffix that is something like /ti/ (the other metaphorical "tiger").
This presupposes that there is such a PIE ordinal suffix /ti/. Closer examination suggests that this is not the case, and that different IE languages can trace the origins of their ordinal suffixes to different PIE roots.
So instead of a tiger on one side and a tiger on the other, we have a tiger on one side and a couple of zebras on the other. Both sides of the argument are stripey mammalian quadrupeds, but the similarity seems to end there.
  • The Slavic languages, as shown above, do not employ any PIE ordinal suffix /ti/. However, the etymology given for English ordinal suffix -th does suggest a derivation from a PIE superlative suffix. It might be productive (and it would at the bare minimum be informative) to find deeper source texts (not just Wiktionary) that give the ancient PIE forms and meanings for this suffix, and then find deeper source texts that give the ancient forms and meanings of the Chinese prefix (), and see if there is any similarity there. Note too that any demonstrable similarities you might find cannot be considered conclusive unless and until you can show a clear and consistent pattern of relatedness across many different word roots.
But poking around Wiktionary, though fun and interesting, will not get you the level of detail and depth required to back up the kind of argument you are pursuing here.
-- Kind regards, Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 15:18, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
It is quite interesting that you suggest to me exactly what I would like to suggest to you all. I'm just passing by, seeing something interesting to me and perhaps to you as well, and reporting it to you. It's up to you whether you are surprised and interested or not. Do not ask me to be scientific but ask yourself if you are truly so. Unfortunately I've found this is not a place for science but for business of conservative or invested interests often in disguise of NPOV. What is science at all? It is to try to explain anyway! To this end, it should do with any daring hypothesis or POV. Is it allowed here at all? Definitely no! This is not too bad but not all said. You have to consider what you miss in turn, especially critically. Don't misunderstand me as cursing wiki. I am sure this is the last popular front since Linux in particular. This unique popular should be the last, say to replace Google and the other commercial. Why should our popular wiki be able to search better than Google and the like? Do you ever know the refined origin of Internet? I am very proud that I do know it. I dare to say it stems from H. G. Wells's World Brain! Don't try to teach me in this regard and others. I just act more than I see frankly. --KYPark (talk) 16:09, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
It's one thing to present a theory, but you have to be willing to have it truly tested. While bias and resistance to new ideas are possible reasons people might not agree with your interpretation, there's also the possibility that you're simply wrong. Some of us have taken courses at universities in the very things you're idly guessing about, and have spent decades studying them on our own- we may not want to explore where you suggest because we've been there already and know there's nothing to discover. The reason we keep going over the same things is because it's often much easier to spot fatal flaws in your theories than to explain them to you so that you understand. (forgot to sign earlier) Chuck Entz (talk) 09:48, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
While free to see and say, we cannot do in every but a certain respect, perspective, or POV, I assume to begin with. Or we just swing from prejudice to prejudice one way or another, including science, whether exact or not. Thus you are fair to require theories be toughly tested. (In the beginning, by the way, I was not really proposing a theory but presenting a mere mystery, doubt or curiosity without any comment but for everybody's reference. Some people, esp. of PIE, may take it as a disguised Eurasiatic theory they hate. Frankly I wish so, yet it is not, formally speaking. Let's stop here, coolly.) Before that, then, the louder claim the higher chance to be evil. To me, roughly such are both scientific esp. pseudo-scientific and religious esp. pseudo-religious claims.
The gray bar on the right has physically or exact-scientifically no gradient at all, but physiologically as you see! Even exact science is not exactly useful to explain human phenomena. That is, even exact science is no more than a POV. (I am so sorry that POV is so underestimated and too unacceptable here. But no view without POV; or, the "view from nowhere" is nowhere in reality!) Lastly, I wonder if any other has ever wondered exactly as I do. --KYPark (talk) 05:05, 20 April 2012 (UTC)