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Paul Bennett wrote:
> On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 11:22:43 -0500, R A Brown 
[snip]
>>
>> The word [pelekus] is held by some to be borrowed - cf. Babylonian: pilakku,
> 
> 
> Beekes states (about a third of the way down p 37) that:
> 
> The old connection with Akkadian |pilakku| is incorrect, because this 
> word  never meant 'axe'.
> 
> He does not, however, expand upon this point. If there are any  
> Assyriologists reading, I'd love to hear more about it. 

It's all very well saying the word never meant axe, but it would be 
helpful if he had said what it did mean.

> I have learned 
> to  trust Ray's Greek etymologies very strongly, 

Thanks  :)

Tho note that I said "is held by some", which implies doubt.

I've checked Furnée and am reminded that there are also forms in Greek 
where the kappa is doubled: to pelekkon; ho pelekkos.  Both have the 
same meaning as _pelekus_. Also the verb _pelekaein_ (to hew with an 
ax), has an alternative form _pelekkaein_. This is not the sort of 
behavior one expects with a word of IE origin.

Furnée, if I've followed his German correctly, seems to suggest that 
these Greek words, like the Assyrian _pilakku/pilaqqu_ and Sanskrit 
_paraśú_ are all borrowings from a neolithic 'Kulturwort' from the 
Caucasus and northern region of the near/mid east.

Thus Furnée does not say that _pelekus_ is borrowed from the Akkadian, 
but he suggests that both are independent borrowings of a pre-IE (and by 
implication pre-Semitic) neolithic 'Kulturwort'. I imagine that 
double-headed axes for tree felling were quite important to neolithic 
peoples   :)

Ray
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