(Jump to Puluqish master post)
In Sagart (2008), a modification of the phylogeny in Sagart (2004), I set up a Puluqish group of Austronesian languages including all of PMP, all of Kra-Dai, plus three southern Formosan languages: Amis, Puyuma and Paiwan. This group was defined by the innovation *puluq for ‘ten’ (note: another shared innovation of Puluqish is described here). My subgrouping is in contrast to the standard view (eg, in Blust’s phylogeny) that *puluq existed in PAN. I was not able, at the time, to explain how *puluq arose. My inability to do so was interpreted as an indication that *puluq was etymologically opaque, as befits a PAN form, just like the numerals 1-4. If, on the contrary, *puluq was an innovative form, as I claimed, it must originate in another word or expression shifting to ’10’ just before proto-Puluqish, and traces of that original expression should be found, hopefully in modern Puluqish languages, or not too far from them on my tree.
The etymology of *puluq ‘ten’ can now be given. Amis has a root /poloʔ/, orthographic polo’ < *puluq, which occurs in all Amis dictionaries. Below I discuss three forms in Namoh’s large (Central) Amis-English dictionary (Namoh 2013), where the most detailed information can be found:
- si-polo’ 因分離而獨居，或分家 ‘living alone or separated due to separation’
- ma-sipolo’. 分離，分闊，分居，單身，未婚 ‘separate, split, separation, single, unmarried’. Example sentence: Milaliw ko fafahi ni Kuraw, saka masipolo’ ciira i matini. 古饒的妻子昨天離家出走，所以他現在是單身 ‘Kuraw’s wife left home yesterday, so he is now single’
- ma-si-polo’-ay (deverbal noun out of ma-sipolo’). 寡婦，搞婦，穌夫。單身 ‘widow, widower; single person’.
The Amis affixes ma- (stative) and -ay (nominalizing) are well-known. masipolo’ is a stative verb based on sipolo’; masipolo’ay is a deverbal noun based on masipolo’. It is not entirely clear what the function of si- in sipolo’ is. There is a prefix si- in Amis with existential or possessive meaning ‘have, be’. In the English index at the end of Namoh’s dictionary, the bare stem polo’ is isolated and given the gloss ‘separated from and left alone’. Perhaps one could gloss si-polo’ as ‘for a state of separation to exist’; ma-si-polo’ as ‘in a state of separation’, and ma-si-polo’-ay as ‘a N in a state of separation’.
It is easy to see how polo’ could be put to use in counting numbers ten and above: the meaning ‘separate from and leave alone’ given by Namoh adequately describes the mental operation of separating n sets of ten objects and putting them aside before adding the remainder. To illustrate with an extremely hypothetical example, a proto-Puluqish numeral expression duSa puluq lima (two-put aside-five) would be interpretable as 25, ‘two [sets of ten] put aside, [plus] five’.
A consequence of the present etymology is that in proto-Puluqish, ‘ten’ must have been not *puluq, but *sa-puluq with *sa-, the short form of the PAN numeral *isa/*esa ‘one’, preceding *puluq: ‘one (set of ten) put aside’. Paiwan (Sagaran dialect, recorded by Hsiou-Chuan Chang) tapuluʔ ‘ten’ directly reflects proto-Puluqish *sa-puluq. *sa-puluq is also the form that can be reconstructed for PMP (Blust’s Austronesian comparative dictionary). In Kra-Dai, Ostapirat (2004) reconstructs Proto-Hlai *apu:c, where *p reflects an earlier (Proto-Kra-Dai) pl- cluster (the apparently discrepant final *c is discussed here). The vowel *a before the string *pu:c appears to reflect the *a in proto-Puluqish *sa-. As reconstructed by Ostapirat, proto-Hlai occasionally retains the first vowel of Austronesian words, but never the consonant before that vowel: proto-Hlai *ata A < *maCa ‘eye’, aka:i C < *Caqi ‘excrement’, *ura:ŋ A < *qudaŋ ‘shrimp’, utu A ‘head louse’ < *quCuH2, *ipan < *nipen or *lipen ‘tooth’ etc.
Thus proto-Puluqish *sa-puluq is an adequate source of the Paiwan, proto-Malayo-Polynesian and proto-Hlai words for ‘ten’. Lack of *sa- in Amis and Puyuma puɭuʔ and polo’ is due to a simplifying innovation: there was no need for *sa- after the meaning ‘ten’ became entrenched with *puluq and the original semantics were lost. This innovation should be added to the six shared innovations of Amis and Puyuma (a.k.a ‘northern Puluqish’) described here.
Although Puyuma shows no trace of the *sa- in *sa-puluq, indirect evidence that it once possessed the long form exists: the serial counting word for ‘nine’ in Nanwang Puyuma, siwa, can only be explain as the result of analogical alignment on the *s- at the beginning of *sa-puluq (here).
I am not aware of cognates of polo’ with semantics related to ‘separated, put aside’ outside of Amis. It is perhaps significant that the lexical source of the Puluqish word for ‘ten’ comes from a Puluqish language. If *puluq was a PAN word, that would be a coincidence.
Namoh, Rata. 2013. O Pidafo’an to Sowal Misanopangcah [dictionary of the Amis language]. Taipei: Nan t’ien.
Ostapirat, Weera. 2004. Proto-Hlai sound system and lexicons. in: Ying-ching Lin, Fang-min Hsu, Chun-chih Lee, Jackson T.S. Sun, Hsiu-fang Yang and Dah-an Ho (eds), Studies in Sino-Tibetan languages, papers in honor of Professor Hwang-cherng Gong on his seventieth birthday, 121-175. Nankang: Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica.
Sagart, L. (2004) The higher phylogeny of Austronesian and the position of Tai-Kadai. Oceanic Linguistics 43,2: 411-444.
Sagart, L. (2008) The expansion of setaria farmers in East Asia: a linguistic and archaeological model. In Sanchez-Mazas A, Blench R, Ross M, Peiros I, Lin M, eds. Past human migrations in East Asia: matching archaeology, linguistics and genetics, 133-157. Routledge Studies in the Early History of Asia, London: Routledge.