E 0797 SEVEN

The word " seven " is of Germanic origin .

H 0890 ע ב ש

Concept of root : seven

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ע ב ש

shev‛

seven

Related English words

seven

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ע ב ש

shev‛

seven

sh . v . (‛)

Greek

έπτα

hept

seven

h . p t >

s . p t

Latin

septem

septem

seven

s . p t

Old Indian

sapta

sapta

seven

s . p t

Gothic

sibun

sibun

seven

s . b .

German

sieben

sben

seven

s . b

English

seven

seven

s . v

Dutch

zeven

zven

seven

z . v

Dutch dialect

sheve

shve

seven

sh . v

 

 

Proto-Semitic *SHEV‛À --- *SĒP- Indo-European

 

 

Six and seven are the two numbers that are clearly related to Hebrew. Naturally a modern Israeli will even say "shva", not pronouncing the stop of the Ayin and shifting the accent to the first syllable, as was the case in the European language he or his family spoke or speaks. This comes very near to the dialect of Amsterdam with "shve".

 

In Greek and in Latin languages , as in Old Indian we see a T after the labial P. The two things go together, that is the sharpening of the labial to P and the adding of an explosive voiceless dental T. In Modern Greek, or New Greek as it is mostly called, pronunciation in general has softened very much, and also "hept" has become "hepht".

 

 

Note:
  • Latin and Germanic. The usual thesis that the Germanic words have been derived from Latin has no basis. There is a common origin of all the words in the above table, and the dental T cannot be part of that.

     

    This means that the Indo European root did not have a T, that has been added to Old Indian, Greek and Latin. Also the final M in Latin "septem" is a later addition.

     

    Once more we see, like so frequently, Germanic nearer to Hebrew . The common origin is obvious.

 

Note:
  • Indo European and Hebrew. Upon observing the similarity between the two of the numbers six and seven, a reasoning has been invented to explain this. And naturally the conclusion was not the obvious one of common origin , but that of loanwords, this time from Semitic into Indo European.

     

    The supposition is that in an undefined very early time there were four basic numbers, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Five was the indication of any undefined greater number. Then was the jump to the double of four. Lacking six and seven, people went and loaned them from Semites.

     

    Reading this hypothesis is more interesting than convincing. The reality is that the words for these two numbers are of common origin. They are not quite the only ones. Hebrew "aghad" for "one" has its cousins in Indo European , as shown in entry number E 0279 (Hebrew 0020). And English "four" with Old English "fēower" might be related to Hebrew "‛arba", instead of having been derived from a supposed Indo-European "*kwetwer". The initial " A " in Hebrew "‛arba" is a confirming prefix, as can be seen from a number or related words.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. This root is seen in Phoenician "ש ב ע , SH B Ayin". Aramaic and Syriac have "ש ב ע , shev‛" and Ugaritic uses the same root for "seven". There are cognates with an initial S instead of SH in S. Arabic and in Arabic "sab‛" . Akkadian has the word "sibi". Probably the Hebrew root was already in use in Proto-Semitic : "*ש ב ע , SH B Ayin".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. The first consonant in older and newer Germanic tongues is "S", that in German is pronounced "Z" and in Dutch also spelled "Z". In a number of Germanic languages we find a second consonant "B", the same that is spelled with a B or Beth in Hebrew. These are: Gothic "sibun", Old High German "sibun", Middle High German "siben" and German "sieben", mostly older ones, besides modern German. But mostly the second vowel is a V".

     

    Exceptionally Old English has a consonant "F" in "seofon = seven". This is not so surprising as also in for example Dutch dialects one will hear "F", as in Amsterdam: "syfe". In some Nordic languages , such as Old Norse "sjau, sj" , Old Danish and Swedish "siū" and Swedish "sju", there is no easily recognizable second consonant. There is though in modern Danish "syv". As in many other cases, the Scandinavian languages may have abbreviated their words for "seven".

     

    Where we find a vowel in the range of "U" or "O", this may in the process of abbreviation have developed out of the consonant "W" or "V". The third consonant "N" is generally present when there is already the second consonant (B, V, W or F). This "N" presents itself as a specific Germanic development , that still might be limited to West- and East Germanic, excluding North Germanic. Revealing in that sense is Frisian that via Old Frisian "sigun" came to Frisian "sn".

     

    The first vowel varies between E-sounds and I-sounds, but the choice for Proto-Germanic becomes less difficult if we compare Gothic "sibun" with Crimean Gothic "sevene". Obviously the vowel "I" in Gothic and Old High German "sibun", Old Saxon "sivun" and German "sieben" is a later development. Proto-Germanic probably had "*S Ē B-" . It would be rather improbable that Germanic would have abolished a consonant " T " that it usually rather likes.

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. The main uncertainty is if the final " M " seen in Latin "septem" was already present in Indo-European. In reality it alternates with "N" and in many composed words there is neither " M " nor " N ". In other groups it is seldom found. See in Slavic, where it has a different origin.

     

    Slavic has a hypothesis of "*sedmj", similar to Old Church Slavonic "sedmj" and Czech "sedm", with a Russian "семь, sjemj = seven". The " M " after the " E " is a development out of an older " B ".

     

    Old Indian "saptá = seven".

     

    Avestan changing from " S " into " H ", shows "hapta = seven". As seen in the table, Greek did the same thing.

     

    Hittite shipta = seven".

     

    Baltic has a hypothesis of "septīn; septma = seven; seventh" , based on a.o. Old Prussian septmas, that may have been shaped under influence of Latin "septimus". In fact Lituanian has "septyn".

     

     

    Indo-European probably had an original form "*S È P-". Both the " T " in the groups Latin, Greek, Old Indian and Avestan" and the " M " in Latin are to be considered later developments.

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 07/02/2013 at 15.37.25
0890_shev__ a page

 

 

 

E 0797 SEVEN

The word " seven " is of Germanic origin .

H 0890 ע ב ש

Concept of root : seven

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ע ב ש

shev‛

seven

Related English words

seven

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ע ב ש

shev‛

seven

sh . v . (‛)

Greek

έπτα

hept

seven

h . p t <

s . p t

Latin

septem

septem

seven

s . p t

Old Indian

sapta

sapta

seven

s . p t

Gothic

sibun

sibun

seven

s . b .

German

sieben

sben

seven

s . b

English

seven

seven

s . v

Dutch

zeven

zven

seven

z . v

Dutch dialect

sheve

shve

seven

sh . v

 

 

Proto-Semitic *SHEV‛-, *SĪB- --- *SĒV-, "SĪB-- Indo-European

 

 

Six and seven are the two numbers that are clearly related to Hebrew. Naturally a modern Israeli will even say "shva", not pronouncing the stop of the Ayin and shifting the accent to the first syllable, as was the case in the European language he or his family spoke or speaks. This comes very near to the dialect of Amsterdam with "shve".

 

In Greek and in Latin languages , as in Old Indian we see a T after the labial P. The two things go together, that is the sharpening of the labial to P and the adding of an explosive voiceless dental T. In Modern Greek, or New Greek as it is mostly called, pronunciation in general has softened very much, and also "hept" has become "pht".

 

 

Note:
  • Latin and Germanic. The usual thesis that the Germanic words have been derived from Latin has no basis. There is a common origin of all the words in the above table, and the dental T cannot be part of that.

     

    This means that the Indo European root did not have a T, that has been added to Old Indian, Greek and Latin. Also the final M in Latin "septem" is a later addition.

     

    Once more we see, like so frequently, Germanic nearer to Hebrew . The common origin is obvious.

 

Note:
  • Indo European and Hebrew. Upon observing the similarity between the two of the numbers six and seven, a reasoning has been invented to explain this. And naturally the conclusion was not the obvious one of common origin , but that of loanwords, this time from Semitic into Indo European.

     

    The supposition is that in an undefined very early time there were four basic numbers, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Five was the indication of any undefined greater number. Then was the jump to the double of four. Lacking six and seven, people went and loaned them from Semites.

     

    Reading this hypothesis is more interesting than convincing. The reality is that the words for these two numbers are of common origin. They are not quite the only ones. Hebrew "aghad" for "one" has its cousins in Indo European , as shown in entry number E 0279 (Hebrew 0020). And English "four" with Old English "fēower" might be related to Hebrew "‛arba", instead of having been derived from a supposed Indo-European "*kwetwer". The initial " A " in Hebrew "‛arba" is a confirming prefix, as can be seen from a number or related words.

     

    Regarding specifically " seven" it is interesting to see that in both Indo-European and Semitic the central consonant varies in pronunciation between " V " and " B ", which is again a certain kind of similarity between the two groups of languages. In the comparison above only the version with "V " is given for Semitic.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. This root is seen in Phoenician "ש ב ע , SH B Ayin". Aramaic and Syriac have "ש ב ע , shev‛" and Ugaritic uses the same root for "seven". There are cognates with an initial S instead of SH in O.S.Arabic and in Arabic "sab‛" . Akkadian has the word "sibi". Probably the Hebrew root was already in use in Proto-Semitic : "*ש ב ע , SH B Ayin".

     

    As remarked before, the pronunciation of the central consonant varies between " V " and " B " and it is difficult to define if one of the two came first. For Proto-Semitic two hypotheses seem valid:

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. The first consonant in older and newer Germanic tongues is "S", that in German is pronounced "Z" and in Dutch also spelled "Z". In a number of Germanic languages we find a second consonant "B", the same that is spelled with a B or Beth in Hebrew. These are: Gothic "sibun", Old High German "sibun", Middle High German "siben" and German "sieben", mostly older ones, besides modern German. But mostly the second vowel is a V".

     

    Exceptionally Old English has a consonant "F" in "seofon = seven". This is not so surprising as also in for example Dutch dialects one will hear "F", as in Amsterdam: "syfe". In some Nordic languages , such as Old Norse "sjau, sj" , Old Danish and Swedish "siū" and Swedish "sju", there is no easily recognizable second consonant. There is though in modern Danish "syv". As in many other cases, the Scandinavian languages may have abbreviated their words for "seven".

     

    Where we find a vowel in the range of "U" or "O", this may in the process of abbreviation have developed out of the consonant "W" or "V". The third consonant "N" is generally present when there is already the second consonant (B, V, W or F). This "N" presents itself as a specific Germanic development , that still might be limited to West- and East Germanic, excluding North Germanic. Revealing in that sense is Frisian that via Old Frisian "sigun" came to Frisian "sn".

     

    The first vowel varies between E-sounds and I-sounds, but the choice for Proto-Germanic becomes less difficult if we compare Gothic "sibun" with Crimean Gothic "sevene". Obviously the vowel "I" in Gothic and Old High German "sibun", Old Saxon "sivun" and German "sieben" is a parallel development. Proto-Germanic probably had "*S Ē V-", but there may have been as well the version with "" B " and " I ", as in fact also seen in Semitic : "*S Ī B-" .

     

    It would be rather improbable that Germanic would have abolished a consonant " T " that it usually rather likes.

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. The main uncertainty is if the final " M " seen in Latin "septem" was already present in Indo-European. In reality it alternates with "N" and in many composed words there is neither " M " nor " N ". In other groups it is seldom found. See in Slavic, where it has a different origin.

     

    Slavic has a hypothesis of "*sedmj", similar to Old Church Slavonic "sedmj" and Czech "sedm", with a Russian "семь, sjemj = seven". The " M " after the " E " is a development out of an older " B ".

     

    Old Indian "saptá = seven".

     

    Avestan changing from " S " into " H ", shows "hapta = seven". As seen in the table, Greek did the same thing.

     

    Hittite "shipta = seven".

     

    Baltic has a hypothesis of "septīn; septma = seven; seventh" , based on a.o. Old Prussian "septmas", that may have been shaped under influence of Latin "septimus". In fact Lituanian has "septyn".

     

     

    Indo-European probably has developed a form "*S È PT-". Both the " T " in the groups Latin, Greek, Old Indian and Avestan" and the " M " in Latin are to be considered later developments. This means that in those languages the original couple " B - V " disppeared under the influence of the added " T " The older form thus remained in Proto-Germanic. And as so often it is Germanic that is near to Proto-Semitic, with Indo-European similar : "*S Ē V-, "*S Ī B-.

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 01/12/2012 at 14.25.40