On Thu, 6 Mar 2014 19:59:33 -0800, Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>As a result of this thread, I've uncovered a weird inconsistency in my Kash vocab.---

>'finger (in gen'l)' is _eçuña_ < e- 'specific thing that does the base' + çuña 'grasp', lit. the thing that grasps
>but weirdly 'toe' is eçumbik (eçuña + -mik 'little') [...]
>Obviously, the toes of Kash people are not "graspers". "Toe, in genl." should probably be  _anekaran_ (ana + ekaran, parallel with andilus.)-- also to be entered in the dictionary at some point
>Oh the miseries of vocab. creation. Whatever was I thinking when I made up "eçumbik 'toe' "????

I like it; it could make plenty of sense given history.  How old and opaque is the _e-_ formation?  If by some point _eçuña_ was felt to be an underived word for 'finger' and the connection to _çuña_ overlooked, then the extension to cover 'toe' (and perhaps later update of the diminutive) seems entirely unremarkable.  

We've had in this thread plenty of discussion of the Romance _digitus_ words vs. the Germanic _finger_ and _toe_ words.  Well, _digitus_ and _toe_ are cognate; both are from PIE *deyḱ- 'indicate, point out'.  But I don't think the Germanics ever had a habit of pointing with their toes; the antecedent of Germanic _toe_ must have meant 'digit' before taking its current meaning.  
(_Finger_ etymologically is from an adjective formed on _five_; cf. the Armenian _hinger-ord_ 'fifth' which is morphologically parallel and shows amusingly close sound changes.)

>(Kash don't wear rings, so there's no special name for the 4th finger; 

Hardly "so".  There are of course other ways one might name the fourth finger, and for that matter cultures other than Earthly European ones might put their rings different places on the hand.  The macro-Asian name for the fourth finger HERE