The making of a word
Etymology is very popular. Almost everyone enjoys suggesting and learning of words' origins. We know the popular etymologists, and the professional. An instance of popular etymology we find in the Hebrew Bible. The name of the Israelite leader Moses was in Hebrew 'Moshe'. The Biblical writer tied this name to the Hebrew root 'masha', meaning "take out of the water", as the story tells about the daughter of Pharaoh who found the baby Moses in the river and brought him to the Egyptian palace.
But surely, the Semitic research revealed that 'moshe', or Moses is a biblical version of the Egyptian word for 'child', or 'son'.
Are we satisfied with this resolution? and the Egyptian word, where had it come from?
When we look for a word at the etymological dictionary, there is a list of the word's preceding forms in ancient languages, as well as cognates in contemporary languages.
The word 'child' resulted out of Gothic 'kilthei', meaning 'womb'. the word 'chip' came from Old Saxon 'kip', meaning 'axle', 'stave'.
Still I have to ask, are we satisfied with such resolutions, when we look for the origin of language?
While usually linguists meet their wishes if they succeed to show the complete net of connections within the language family, one cannot be satisfied with such results, as they never go beyond a shallow depth.
The most ancient samples of written language, of 5 thousand years ago, and even the mostly doubted reconstructions of proto languages, never take us to to anything really different from nowadays spoken languages.
Do we have to accept that speech has emerged so much very similar to our own way of speaking?
Such an assumption must be rejected. Everything we know about the evolution of human beings must tell us that speech originated very differently from spoken languages.
Yet the etymology of historic languages must not be neglected, as it does hold some hints directing us to our end.
And those hints are unfortunately skipped, almost always, almost by all scholars working in this field.
Those hints are easy to be skipped, as they look obvious, very much obvious, not worthy of reminding.
That every word is a consequence of similar, preceding word, - so what? and the changing of 'k' to 'ch', again, what's the news?
But when we collect such hints in very many languages, and we identify a common pattern of regular and constant changes in all languages, namely that the changes of the phonetics of new words that result from preceding words have only one direction, like that of the 'k' to 'ch': From the back of the vocal tract to its front: From the throat to the front part of the tongue and lips - then you get something of importance.
In my book (shown below) I brought an abundant evidence showing the transformation of speech from the back of the vocal tract to its front to be a principal fact of the evolution of language, neglected so far by all scholars.