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Semitic etymology :

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Number: 76
Proto-Semitic: *pan-
Afroasiatic etymology: Afroasiatic etymology
Meaning: face
Akkadian: pānu 'Vorderseite', pl. 'Gesicht' OAkk on [AHw 818].

    One wonders on what grounds the long ā is traditionally postulated for this AKK word

Ugaritic: pn; also pl. pnm 'Antlitz' [Aist 256]
Canaanite: MOAB pny (pl.constr.) [HJ 918]
Phoenician: pn [T 265]
Hebrew: pānīm (pl.tant.) [KB 937].

    Curiously enough, the derived adverb pǝnī́mā means 'inside, inward'

Aramaic: OFF pnh, l-pnmh [HJ 918]
Jibbali: fɛ́nɛ (also 'front part') [JJ 59]
Soqotri: fáne (féne) [LS 337], [SSL LS 1455-56]
Notes: Often in the plural.

    Cf. very likely derived ARB fināʔ- 'cours devant une maison' [BK 2 640]; SAB fnw 'space outside, immediate surroundings, front of building' [SD 45], MIN fnwt 'champ, espace extérieur; environs immédiats; fac̣ade d'un édifice' [LM 33].

    Derived from 'face' are also MSA: MHR fǝnfǝnw- (redupl.) 'earlier; in front of, before', fōnǝh 'earlier' [JM 96] and HRS fēn 'before, in front of', fenōhen 'forward, earlier' [JH 33].

    Leslau [LGz 163] compares GEZ fannawa 'to send away' and related ETH terms to ARB fny 'to turn to, turn away' (in [BK 2 639] 'disparaître') and related SEM verbs with the meanings 'to turn towards, go to' [ibid.], which he, following a Semitological tradition, qualifies as denominatives from 'face, front' (for a similar semantic shift, see ARB waǯǯaha 'diriger, tourner' [BK 2 1494] < waǯh- 'face, visage' [ibid.]); AFRASIAN data, however, seems to point to two different roots.

    [Fron 44] (*panw- 'faccia' /SOQ, ARB fināʔ- 'corte esterna', SYR panǝtō 'dorso della nabi mano', HBR,UGR,AKK/); [Holma 13] (referring to HBR and SYR: "Die Verba pānā, pǝnā 'wenden' sind sicher erst davon denominiert"): AKK, HBR, SYR (pǝnītā 'Richtung'), ARB (fināʔ-) ; [KB 937]: HBR, PHO, MOAB, ARM OFF, UGR, AKK, SYR (pǝnītā), ARB (fināʔ-), SAB (pnwt 'in front of', erroneously transcribed with p-); [LS 337]: SOQ, HBR, AKK


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