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Never say never: A new proposal for Armenian očʿ

Benjamin W. Fortson IV


Pages 65 - 84

DOI https://doi.org/10.13173/SPR.53.1.065




The equation of the Armenian negator očʿ with Greek οὐκ(ί), derived by Cowgill (1960) from *(ne) … Hoi u kwid ‛not ever‘, has been questioned multiple times, most recently in Kölligan 2019, and for good reason: indeed, sound laws render it impossible to derive the Armenian from the same preform as the Greek. The alternative proposal of James Clackson (1994 and 2005–2006), adopted now by Kölligan (2019, 301), that očʿ continues *(ne) …kwos kwid ‛no one‘, is reviewed and rejected. After discussion of some other suggestions that are likewise unworkable, a new etymology is proposed. In a final Excursus, some partially relevant recent revisionist work of Ron Kim (2016a and 2016b) is given brief discussion and preliminary evaluation.



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