๐—ก๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—™๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—”๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ ๐—–๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป

๐—ก

๐—ข๐—ฅ๐—œ๐—š๐—œ๐—ก๐—ฆ ๐—•๐—ฌ ๐—”๐——๐—˜๐—Ÿ ๐—•๐—œ๐—ฆ๐—›๐—ง๐—”๐—ช๐—œ

๐—ก๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—™๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—”๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ ๐—–๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป: ๐—ข๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—”๐—น๐—ฝ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜€, ๐—ก๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜€, ๐— ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐˜€, ๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐˜€, ๐—๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐˜†, ๐—”๐—œ๐—ฅ๐—ฃ.

 

 

This volume of about 700 pages contains most of the research published in the English edition of Origin of Arabic Numerals and additional research on numerics. During several months of numeral etymological research, the question we tried to answer is this: As most numerals in Ancient Arabic are triliterals (made of a bilateral root and a third letter either before or after the root) is it possible that the small numbers are formed by no more than two letters?
A breakthrough was made when Stone Age biliteral roots were identified for numbers 1, 2 and 3. Because Ancient Arabic is the combined language of the two main tribes in Southern Arabia, two different bilateral roots for number 1 are found in Ancient Arabic, the mother of Modern Arabic. The first is *โ€™N which was assigned a large semantic domain including the meanings โ€œhere, in, in here, I, being,โ€ etc. The second is *แธคD โ€œedge, one, only, a partition, border,โ€ etc.
The bilateral root for number 2 is *Tโ€™ which is used today for a feminine ending in addition to meanings such as โ€œnow, just now,โ€ etc. The bilateral root for number three is *ล L โ€œa group, several,โ€ Arabic โ€œshilla,โ€ โ€œgang, group,โ€ but the same word is corrupted in Modern Arabic to โ€˜thalโ€™ producing โ€˜thlath, thalathโ€™ โ€œthree.โ€ The higher numbers are triliteral constructions of a bilateral and a third letter probably in the first part of the Agricultural Era some 10.000-11.000 years ago.
The conclusion is that before the advent of the Agricultural Era people found no need to express numbers higher than three, which meant a great deal. Like almost all other known vocabulary used at the time, the three first numbers were two-letter words.
However, the main surprise was to find the three first numbers in many other languages including English, French, German, etc,
For example, *โ€™N is English โ€œin, inner, inside, on,โ€ etc., *Tโ€™ is English โ€œtwo, tieโ€ French โ€œtu, deux,โ€ Italian โ€œduo,โ€ etc. English โ€œthree,โ€ French โ€œtrois,โ€ Italian โ€œtre,โ€ German โ€œdrei,โ€ etc., are from the Stone Age biliteral root *TR, originally related to โ€œhogs.โ€ From the same biliteral origin is Arabic โ€œturab,โ€ โ€œearth,โ€ because it is plentiful.
The question at an advanced stage of etymology research was changed: Is it possible that dozens of languages spoken today have a common Stone Age origin?
From an original search for the origin of small numbers, the research was extended slowly. The final result was the publication of Origin of Speech for which an unfortunate choice was made โ€œOrigin of Semitic Languages.โ€
Classical Arabic lexicographers managed to produce huge lexicons without realising the triliterals they served were in fact extended biliterals. The same judgement is made in hundreds of books written in other languages. An example is this: โ€œArabic has inherited from Proto-Semitic a number of biliteral roots which retain a marginal place in the noun system, e.g. /yad/ โ€œhandโ€™, as well as traces of even briefer forms which must be padded to function at all and may have a number of variantsโ€ฆโ€
So, it is possible to produced volumes without being aware that almost all 9,000 or so triliterals of Arabic are extensions of Stone Age biliteral roots but unless the biliteral is identified the historical significance of biliterals will remain obscure. For example, /yad/ โ€˜handโ€™, is nothing less than the name of Ad or Adam. The same process of biliteral identification of triliterals mde it possible and almost easy to identify the origins of Alphabets, Numerals, Measurements, Weights, Jurisdiction, currency and much more.

About the author

Adel Bishtawi

Adel S (Said) Bishtawi was born in Nazareth, Palestine, 1945. He read English Literature at Damascus University, attended short courses of familiarisation of languages including Latin, German and Russian, and attended a course in Linguistics at the Central London Polytechnic.

Adel published more than 20 books in both English and Arabic. the last of which is Only When Desire Screams co-authored by Selvi Sado. A journalist since the late 1960s, he became Front Page Editor of Al Arab Newspaper (London), the first pan Arab Newspaper launched in Europe. In 1978, he joined Jihad Al Khazin in launching Asharq Al Awsat Newspaper (London) as Business and Supplements Editor. In 1980, he was appointed Central Managing Editor of the Emirates News Agency in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In 1988, he joined Jamil Mrowa (who later re-launched the Daily Star in Beirut in 1996) in London for the re-launch of Al Hayat Newspaper and continued under the editorship of Jihad Al Khazin until he left in April 2001 to dedicate what is left of his time to literary and historical writing. as well as investigating origins by means of historical and etymological linguistics.

Adel produced and co-produced a number of TV documentaries. He produced, directed and wrote โ€œMuslims along the Silk Roadโ€, a five part-60-minutes-each documentary tracing Muslim culture and heritage and the legacy of Muslim pioneers and merchants along the Silk Road starting from China.

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