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North Caucasian etymology :

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Proto-North Caucasian: *hī, *hī-nV
Sino-Caucasian etymology: Sino-Caucasian etymology
Meaning: interrogative pronoun
Proto-Nakh: *ħā-
Proto-Avaro-Andian: *hi-/*ʔi-
Proto-Tsezian: *hi- A
Proto-Lezghian: *hi- / *ha-
Proto-Khinalug: ja
Proto-West Caucasian: *-a
Notes: One of several interrogative stems reconstructed for PEC. It has a general interrogative meaning and is most often used in oblique cases.

    The root *hī- is frequently encountered in combination with *-nV-, probably as an oblique stem construction *hīnV- 'whose, which, what'. We have mentioned above the secondary development *hīnV- > nV- in some Lezgian languages, but the same process probably had taken place in other languages too. Cf. PA *(h)i-n- (in *(h)in-da 'when' > And. inna-l, Cham. inna, Tind. hin-da-la, God. in-da-q:i, *(h)inV-l 'where' > And. inu-l, Tind. ini-la etc.) = PTs *hɨ̃tǝ / *nitǝ ( < *hini-tǝ ) 'when' (Inkh. ito, Tsez. neti, Gin. nete, Bezht. nito, Gunz. hɨ̃dǝ), PTs *na / *nija 'where' (Inkh., Tsez. na, Gin. ni, Bezht. nā, Gunz. nijõ). It is significant that an identical combination *-a-nǝ- is also attested in WC languages: PAT *-anǝ- 'when' (a verbal infix > Abkh. -an(ǝ)-, Abaz. -an(ǝ)-), Ub. aná-(n) 'at the time, when...". We can thus safely reconstruct the morpheme combination *hīnV- for the PNC level.


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