Russian etymology question

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Russian etymology question

Postby Sparg » Wed May 10, 2006 12:40 am

I've found nothing on the net about this and none of the natives I've dealt with have a clue, so I thought I'd throw it out here.

The morphology of Russian numerals is very logical, except for the word for "forty", sorok. It is completely unique. My first Russian instructor, Mr Bockstein at DLI, told me it had to do with old magical numerals. I never bothered to press him nor any subsequent instructor further on the matter and it has haunted me since.

Any help out there? Was Doc Bok BSing me?

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Postby anders » Wed May 10, 2006 4:25 am

My Russian doesn’t even qualify for taking 1st uni semester Russian, but the way I understand it is that сорок is derived from, or can at least can be compared to, Greek σαράκοντα < Old Greek τεσσαράкоντα. So, no magic.
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Postby Spiff » Wed May 10, 2006 8:46 am

That sounds good, Anders. I vaguely remember an explanation that says that 'sorok' comes from an old Russian word that was used in the market place and referred to a package of something, but that could very well be a folk etymology. I'll see if I can dig up more details, but don't hold your breath.
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Postby frank » Wed May 10, 2006 12:17 pm

Hi,

Some further information (and an elaboration on the indeed (Byzantian) Greek origin, as Anders wrote) can be obtained from this site.

F

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Postby Sparg » Wed May 10, 2006 11:57 pm

Thanks, all, for the fine replies, especially for the one Russian page. As my Russian brethren would say, "Bolshoje spasibo!"

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Postby tcward » Thu May 11, 2006 7:23 am

Wouldn't they have said "Большое спасибо"? ;)

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Postby Spiff » Thu May 11, 2006 9:01 am

I like your accent, Tim.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu May 11, 2006 11:11 pm

No, I have an accent: Большóе спасибо".

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Postby Sparg » Fri May 12, 2006 2:16 am

How do you get the Cyrillic to come out on this web stuff? I'm used to my KOI keyboard. I wrote it and it came out as:

Большое спасибо!

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Postby Sparg » Fri May 12, 2006 2:19 am

I guess it just looked funny in the message body box. Пока!

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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri May 12, 2006 11:22 am

I wrote it and it came out as:

Большое спасибо!


Why? Wasn't it supposed to come out this way?

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Postby anders » Fri May 12, 2006 12:02 pm

Brazilian dude wrote:Why? Wasn't it supposed to come out this way?
Brazilian dude

Yes, but as you must have noticed by now, on preview, all interesting characters/letters turn up as &blabla codes.
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