A new etymology for PIE *mēms- 'meat, flesh'

Variant title
Nová etymologie praindoevropského *mēms- 'maso, tkáň'
Author: Cohen, Paul S.
Source document: Linguistica Brunensia. 2015, vol. 63, iss. 1, pp. 57-70
Extent
57-70
  • ISSN
    1803-7410 (print)
    2336-4440 (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
Indoeuropean (other)
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
PIE *mēms- 'meat, flesh' has no generally-accepted underlying etymological source. After a detailed analysis of earlier etymological attempts and suggestions, I propose and support an etymology as a reduplication of an s-extended form of the root *meh1- '(ab)messen' — that is, meat being conceived of as something measured out or divided up. The derivation, as I will show, is another example of the process I propounded in a previous paper, viz. a generalization of so-called e-reduplication in nouns. This etymology supplies solutions for all the well-known morphological problems associated with *mēms-, including the absence of medial m in some Old Indian reflexes.
Document
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