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North Caucasian etymology :

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Proto-North Caucasian: *s_ĭHwV
Sino-Caucasian etymology: Sino-Caucasian etymology
Meaning: breath, to breathe
Proto-Nakh: *sa
Proto-Avaro-Andian: *s:uh-
Proto-Lak: s:iħ
Proto-West Caucasian: *pǝ-śʷA
Notes: Cf. also HU forms: Hurr. šeɣ-iri 'alive', šeɣ-ori 'fate' or 'life', Urart. šu/oχ-ori / šeχ-eri 'alive' (see Diakonoff-Starostin 1986, 36).

    Both phonetically and semantically the EC-WC parallel seems quite plausible. PWC has a frequent labial prefix. In a position following a labial WC labialized consonants usually are delabialized, but not in this case (PAA *ś : PAK *ś point unambiguously to *śʷ; in Ubykh, in fact, delabialisation had occurred - otherwise we would have pšʷa- - but this is a regular later Ubykh process). Lack of delabialisation can be very well explained if we assume a form like *pǝ-śǝHwV > *pǝ-śǝwV (not *pǝ-śʷV) for the early period, when the after-labial delabialisation process was active. For phonetic reasons it seems better to keep apart WC *pǝsV 'soul' (which is superficially closer to PN *sa), which has a quite different NC etymology (see under *ʡăms_a).


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