©Robert F. Smith 

2011 version 2 




This is an update of my 1969, 1971, and 1977 “*Sawi-Zaa Word Comparison” papers, which were based on the 1964 Memorandum (and Master List) on Sawi-Zaa by Pierre Agrinier Bach of the BYU-New World Archaeological Foundation (NWAF), as described in SEHA Newsletter 112.1 (28 Feb 1969). That Memorandum, done under the supervision of the late Prof. Morris (Mauricio) Swadesh of INAH, compared the languages of Oaxaca, Mexico, with Semitic languages. I refined and extended those comparisons to include ancient Egyptian. 


*Sawi-Zaa was the term adopted by Prof. Swadesh to describe the related family of Oaxacan languages,1 including Zapotec, Mixtec, Mazatec, Cuicatec, Popoloca, etc., which are the Nahuatl terms used to describe those languages, but not derived from the original self-description of the members of that linguistic family. Specific dialects are occasionally listed (Isthmus Zapotec, Juchitán Zapotec, etc.) and hypothetical reconstructions are indicated with an asterisk – as in the original 1964 Agrinier Memorandum (Thomas S. Ferguson Papers). 

1 M. Swadesh, “The Oto-Manguean Hypothesis and Macro-Mixtecan,” IJAL, 26 (1960), 79-111; Swadesh, “The Phonemic Structure of Proto-Zapotec,” International Journal of American Linguistics, XIII (1947), 220-230; a list of his Sawi-Zaa words is online at http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anexo:Lista_de_Swadesh_en_lenguas_otomangues 

2 Moscati, Comparative Grammar of Semitic Languages (1964), §8.8, citing von Soden, GAG, 21-22, 31-32. 

3 Moscati, Comparative Grammar, §8.8-9; F. C. Corriente, JQR, LX/2 (1969), 158-160. 

4 Wiseman, Iraq, XXVIII (1966), 157:3. 

Otto Jesperson observed that kinship among languages can only be shown via rules of sound transition, material vocabulary in common, and corresponding structure and constitution. Within the human vocal system, sounds articulated at or on the same spot can interchange. Agrinier called attention, for example, to the bilabial shift phenomenon. He cited several shifts within Sawi-Zaa itself. Aside from b:w (Sabi – Sawi), he claimed that the “old” nasal (voiced) bilabial -m- regularly becomes plosive -b- in Zapotec, and that the old lateral dental (or liquid) -l- regularly becomes a nasal (voiced) dental -n- in Mixtec. Otherwise Agrinier hinted that, if we posit a Semitic origin for Sawi-Zaa, there are several examples of a bilabial shift from -m- to the semi-vowel -w- (sewe, so’o, šono, and uu). Sabatino Moscati has noted that the “change of intervocalic -m- to -w- is . . . attested soon after the earliest period of Akkadian.”2 The rule is generally p:b:m:w for Akkadian, Ethiopic, and several other Semitic languages.3 The classic Akkadian example is awilum > abilum > amelum “man.”4 Some interchange is also apparent in the b:f category (llibi). In other cases the bilabial appears simply to drop (sa, n-ta). 2 


Original rolled dental -r- may become a plosive dental -d- or -t- (topa, doba, with which compare Ya’udic p:b).5 The d:r interchange is apparent in Finnish as well as in ancient Meroitic script (Meroitic -d- = Egyptian hieroglyphic -r-).6 The plosive dentals themselves attest other of their own interchanges (de, ti). In other cases, particularly at word end, the plosive dentals seem to drop entirely (ale, yale, ba’ki’, be’, m’e, and ’me). Likewise, there seems to be an absence of mimation and nunation (yo’šo), the rolled dental -r- appears to drop at word end (si-gi’, sa), and the fricative voiceless pharyngeal and laryngeal -ḥ- and -h- drop or are replaced by the glottal stop or plosive laryngeal -’-, shifts attested in Akkadian – under Sumerian pressure – in archaic Hebrew, Punic, etc.7 (r-iga, kuma*, la’sa’, rua’a, and sa). 


5 Moscati, Comparative Grammar, §8.8-9. 

6 P. L. Shinnie, Meroe (1967), 142 (n. 1), 181; O. Jesperson, LND, 207 §9. 

7 Moscati, Comparative Grammar, §8.53-8. 

8 See, for example, J. M. Solá-Solé, “Semitic Elements in Ancient Hispania,” CBQ, 29/3 (July 1967), 181-188; A. Steiger, Origin and Spread of Oriental Words in European Languages (S. F. Vanni, 1963); M. S. Serjeantum, A History of Foreign Words in English (1961); K. L. Pike, Tone Languages (Univ. of Michigan, 1948). 

9 W. Lane, BASOR, 194 (1969), 40; J. Friedrich, Phönizisch-punische Grammatik, AnOr 32 (Rome, 1951), 112; Freedman & Cross, JNES, 10 (1951), 228-230; M. Dahood, Psalms 1-50, Anchor Bible (1965-66), xxi, xxiv. 

There are a number of other apparent shifts which we haven’t time to treat here, the r:l and s:š correlations being so universal as not to require mention anywhere. My master list (not available here) contains a basic table of variant affinities in Appendix I, along with Egyptian variants which follow the same lines. 

Serious study of this question would entail a careful look for loanwords from Spanish, which in turn may have been deeply influenced by Arabic. In other words, the investigator should have an intimate knowledge of archaic Spanish and of Arabic.8 Examples of simple borrowing from Spanish include: Mazatec kointa, miyo, and poente, from Spanish cuidar, amigo, and puente, respectively; Zapotec lapa “rabbit” from French lapin? Mixtec ’een “one” from Spanish uno (or Dutch een), etc. I know of no Sawi- Zaa words borrowed from Arabic via Spanish, though there probably are instances. Spanish adobe, for example, is actually an ancient Egyptian word, db, borrowed first by the Arabs (al-dobe, pronounced ad-dobe), and subsequently by the Spanish during the long Moorish occupation. 


The closest lexical and structural correlations may eventually have a hand in determining the most likely source (or sources) for Sawi-Zaa. Compare, for example, the Zapotec pronominal suffix -I for the 3rd person singular, masculine and feminine! Such a suffix does appear in Arabic, and in Hebrew (though rarely – it is archaic and appears only about 90 times, in poetic passages, whereas in Ugaritic it is a normal characteristic of prose). It is common usage in the Phoenician dialect of Sidon, as distinct from that of Byblos.9 One need hardly point out the significance of this for Book of Mormon studies. 

Lest there be some doubt as to the wisdom of including Egyptian and Coptic materials in this work, allow me to point out that the late Prof. H. J. Polotsky, the greatest living Hamito-Semitic (= Afro-Asiatic) linguistics expert (according to W. F. Albright), has said that the Egyptian language is related both 3 

lexically and grammatically to Semitic, and that this applies as well to the Berber dialects and to the Cushitic languages or East Africa – all three together being “Hamitic.”10 


10 Polotsky, “Egyptian,” in At the Dawn of Civilization, ed. E. A. Speiser, vol. I of The World History of the Jewish People, ed. B. Netanyahu (Tel Aviv: Massada, 1964), 122-123; cf. T. Thacker, Relationship of the Semitic and Egyptian Verbal Systems (Oxford, 1954). 

11 T. Fish, BJRL, 31/1 (Jan 1948), 8, and passim. 

12 Muss-Arnolt (1905). 


With the forgoing in mind, we might look at a single sorting factor: Causative formation. There are 4 basic formative prefixes added to verbs in the Afro-Asiatic family of languages. The h- and ’- causative prefixes may be eliminated – and with them Hebrew, Moabite, Thamudic, Classical Arabic, and Ethiopic, since they do not appear in Sawi-Zaa (Mixtec sa- is the causative prefix, undoubtedly related directly to s’i “make,” and to Zapotec sa’ “make”). We are left with the š- causative of Akkadian, Ugaritic, biblical Aramaic, and Syriac (rarely), and with the ś- causative of various Ancient South Arabic dialects – such as Minaean – and of ancient Egyptian, Coptic (rarely), and of some modern Arabic dialects. Such a process of elimination may be followed for a host of linguistic tests. By the above two tests alone (causative and pronominal), Ugaritic seems to have fared well, and we may want to search for more specific indicators among the languages to which it is most closely related, e.g., Syriac, Old Aramaic, North Canaanite, etc. Only further study along such lines may confirm or deny what are now merely suspicions. 


Philologico-cultural items might also be more closely examined: Who or what is the meaning of the obvious confusion of various terms embodied in *Sawi-Zaa itself – meaning, presumably, “Cloud-Cloud” in Mixtec and Zapotec, respectively. Sawi or Sabi is supposed to be the basic Storm-god of these people (representing thunder and lightning, etc.). Agrinier saw a mixture of cognate words all bound up in the same basic meaning: Zapotec sa, za, zaa “cloud”; Mixtec sabi, sawi “rain; cloud; rain-god”; dewi, as in a-n-dewi “heavens”; and possibly even Zapotec zawi “black.” It may well be that the Nahuatl for the Ben’-Zaa “Cloud-People,” Tsapotekatl or Zapotecatl, came from the very name of their Storm-god. 


There are several corresponding ancient Near Eastern gods. We will discuss here only the Akkadian Zû (Sum. AN.IM.DUGUD.ḪU), the great cloud, or storm-bird. He was sometimes considered to be an evil bird of prey. He was also known as “Great-Mountain” and “Wind-Mountain” = Sabu (where he nested). He even took the place of Enlil as Lord of the World on occasion. As IM.DUGUD he was generally associated with Ningirsu “Lord of the Storm of Enlil.”11 There are other items associating him with Pegasus (hence Aquarius and the 11th Babylonian month, Šabāṭu “wind, storm, rain”), and with Merodach-Marduk. Another item: Babylonian za’u “temble, shake, quake,” corresponds with Hebrew zw‛ and Arabic jw‛.12 All these tidbits of information jibe well with what we already know, but this is only and example of how we might profitably approach this question.


In many cases, standard mutation of consonants, metathesis, elision, and the like, are explanation enough for the differences among the comparisons. The similarities may be accounted for through extensive borrowing. However, since these comparisons are random and unsystematic, it is not clear what the primary relationship should be. The Egyptian equivalents are, for example, often (but not 4 always) better than the Semitic. Whatever the case, there are some indications here that Sawi-Zaa may be related to a language of the Afro-Asiatic family. 


Word List 


abi, r-abi < *ami (Zap) “to tell, say.” Cf. Heb. ’āmar “say; command” 


ale, yale (Zap) “be born; beget.” Cf. Heb. yālad, Ug. yld, Arab. walada, Akk. (w)alādu “beget; bear”; 

Eg. ir(i), Copt. aa, r, eire “make, create; beget” 


asi, assi (Zap), usu (Mixt) “sleep” *see Zap yo’šo’ below). Heb. yāšēn, šena “sleep”; Ug. yšn; Arab. wasina 

“slumber, sleep”; Eg. ‛ḫn, ‛hn “sleep, close eyes”?? 


ba, baa, paa (Zap) “grave; dead,” as in Yu-paa “Land-of-the-Dead (Mitla)”; see also , below. Cf. Eg. bЗ 

“soul, spirit”; bbt, bЗbЗw “grave, niche; hole, cavity” 


bada-na’ (Zap), n-da’a (Mixt), tha (Pop) “hand.” Cf. Heb.-Ug.-Arab. yad “hand”; Heb. nātan; Ug. ytn; 

Akk. iddu “hand”; nadānu “give”; Eg. dt, dЗt, drt “hand” (hand-glyph is phonetic –d-); d(w), rdi, 

wdi, wd “give; put, push”; Copt. tore, to’et, tn “hand” 


ba’du’ (Zap) “child.” Cf. Gk. pedi “child”; Heb. bat “daughter”; ben “son”; Heb. yeled; Ug. yld, wld; Akk. 

lidu; Arab. walad “child”; Eg. imt, im “child; pupil”; id, iЗd “boy”; idyt “girl” 


ba’ki’ (Zap) “to dress.” Cf. Heb. bagad “to dress, cover”; begged “garment”; Eg. pЗqt, pg, pqt “garment 

of byssus, fine linen”; pqi “mourning apparel” 


bè < pè, pèe (Mitla Zap) “wind, breath, spirit, vital life force” (prefix pi-, pe-, bi-, be-, as in Pitao, which 

see below at ta, tao; see also ba, baa, paa, above). Cf. Eg. bЗ “soul, spirit” 


be’e (Mixt) “house.” Cf. Heb. bayit, bet-; Aram. be- “house (of)”’ Akk. bītu “house”; Eg. pr; Copt. pē’i 

“(the) house” 


ben’, be’ne’, benne, bini, binni, peni (Zap) “man; men, people,” as in Bini-Gulaza “People-of-the-Big- 

Rock (Giengola),” or in Benne-Zaa, Ben’ Zaa, Peni-Zaa “Zapotecas, People-of-the-Clouds.” Cf. 

Heb. ben, bne, banim, “son; sons; people-of-(tribe),” as in Bne-Ṣiyyon “People-of-Zion” (Ps 

149:2, Lam 4:2, Joel 2:23); Arab. ‘ibn, beni-; Eg. bnw “man, male”??; bnnw “sons”??; bnn “beget; 

begotten; be begotten”; bn, bnbn “copulate” 


bi- (Zap), biani (Zap J), hme-ni (Maz), ma- (Mixt) “what,” thing, place. Cf. Eg. bw “place, position,” 

quality, thing (abstract formative prefix), as in bw-nfr “beauty”; m‛, mi, m “who, what?” 

(interrogative pronouns); pn, pny “this, that”; Heb. m- (noun formative prefix); ma, me, mi 

“what, who?” (interrogative and indefinite pronouns), thing, person, place, etc. Agrinier says: 

“Old ‘m’ regularly becomes ‘b’ in Zapotec.” 


bi-guji (Zap) “son-in-law.” Heb. ḥatan, meḥatan, Arab. mḥtun “groom, son-in-law”; Eg. ḥtr, Copt. hotri 

“marry, unite”; grg-pr “marry, found-a-house” 


bija, gu-bidša, pija, piya < *miša (Zap) “sun”; bidši (Zap) “dry.” Cf. Eg. psd, pzd, bd “shine, illumine”;  bs(w) “flame, fire, blaze”; šw “sun; dry”; Heb. šemeš, Aram. šimša, Arab. šams, Akk. šamšu “sun” 


bi-ji’, bidši’ (Zap), ši (Maz) “seed”; za’a (Zap) “bean.” Cf. Eg. bi, bЗy, siЗ, šЗy kinds of “seed” and “grain”; 

bdt(y), bty “emmer”; Copt. sou, so’ou “grain”; Heb. śe‛ora “barley”; zera‛ “seed”; zara‛, zara 

sow, scatter”; zry “grain, barley”; Sum. ŠE, Akk. še’u, Hitt. še “barley; grain; wheat” 


či, chi (Zap), ši (Mixt) “ten.” Cf. Heb. ‛eśer, Akk. ešer(et), Arab. ‛ašar(at) “ten”; Eg. md(w) “ten” 

čila, chila (Zap) “alligator, crocodile.” Cf. Eg. šn “infested-with-crocodiles”; Akk. ṣēru, šīru “snake, 



de, teé (Zap) “ashes, cinders; dust.” Eg. tЗ, Copt. to, tho “land, earth, soil, ground, dust”; Heb. ‘adama 

“earth, land” 


dopa, topa, ‘toppa (Zap) “four.” Cf. Heb. ’arba‛, Akk. erbû, Arab. raba‛a, ’arba‛ “four”; Heb. roba‛, reba‛, 

Arab. ruba‛ “quarter”; Eg. ifd, fdw, Copt. fdo’ou “four” 


‘dyúži (Zap I) “God.” Cf. Arab. šys “Lord” < Copt. Djs, Djo(e)is, Tčos “Lord” 


ele (Zap) “flame” (see Zap ll’i below). Cf. Heb. & Arab. la‛-, la-, conveying a “licking, flashing” concept; 

Eg. r‛, Copt. re “sun” 


ga’ače (Zap) “cut; break up; beat.” Cf. Heb. qaṣa, qaṣaṣ “hew, cut off”; gaza‛, gazaz “cut, shear”; gada‛, 

gadad “cut, prune; break into pieces”; Eg. qЗdЗdЗ “hew, cut”; gЗwšЗ “cut down; break, smash”; 

ḫti “cut into, carve, engrave, sculpt”; ḥd “mace”; ḥdi “damage, destroy” 


bi-gana (Zap) “priest (full-time).” Cf. Heb. kohen, Arab. kahin(a) “priest” 


gappe, ape (Zap) “cloudy; drop” (day-name). Cf. Eg. gp-pt, gp, igp, Зgb, Dem. gpt, Copt. čepe “cloud” 

(note Eg. gp-n-mw “cloudburst”); Heb. gebe’, Arab. jubb, Akk. gubbu “pool, cistern”; Hindu 

Apa(s) “Water” ( a Vasu) 


gella (Zap) “for” (instrumental), faculty, quality. Cf. Heb. galal “for, account,” as in bi-glal “because, on 

account of,” circumstance, reason, cause 


gesa (Zap) “willow-tree.” Cf. Sum. GIŠ, Akk. iṣ, eṣ, Heb. ‛eṣ(a) “tree, wood”; Eg. ḫt, iḫt “tree, wood, stick” 


gidi (Zap) “skin, hide; scar tissue.” Cf. Heb. gid(dim) “sinew, skin; meat”; geled, Arab. jilṭ “skin”; Eg. gsw 

“skin, hide”?? 


gi’iči (Zap) “thorn.” Cf. Heb. qoṣ “thorn, brier, thorn-bush”; qeṣ “end, tip”; Eg. qs “spear, harpoon- 

bone; bone”; qЗdЗ “thorn, scrub, stubble”; ḫt “wood, tree; impaling pole” 


giji (Zap) “strong, hard, difficult.” Cf. Heb. qaše, qaša “hard, difficult”; Eg. qsn “pain; painful, difficult; 

dangerous”; qsnt “trouble, misfortune” 


gira’ (Zap), keen (Pop), n-kayi-he (Maz) “all, entire.” Cf. Heb. kol, Arab. koll “all, entire” 6 


gola (Zap) “big,” as in Giengola (Quiengola), “Big-Rock.” Cf. Ug. gdl, Heb. gādōl, gĕdola “big, great” 


guki, ikke (Zap) “king; chief.” Cf. Arab. ḫaqan, ḫawaqin “king(s), emperor(s)” 


h (Maz) “one.” Cf. Heb. ḥad, ’eḥād, Ug. ’aḥd, Arab. ’aḥad, waḥid “one”; Eg. ‛, w‛(yw) “one” 


hme-ni (Maz) “what” (see Zap. bi-, biani, above). Cf. Eg. m, m-ny “who, what?”; Ug. mn, Akk. mannu, 

mīnū, Syr. man(a) “who, what?” Syr., Arab. man “who?” (interrogative pronouns) 


-I (Zap) “he, she, it,” 3 sgl pronominal suffix (see Zap ni 3 sgl inanimate dependent & indep. pronoun). 

Cf. archaic Heb. -i’, Phoen-Sidonian -y “he, she, it,” 3 sgl pronominal suffix (JNES 10:228-230; 

BASOR 194:40; Dahood Psalms, I:XXI, XXIV, citing Ps 2:6, etc., for 90 instances) 


iyya-lo (Zap J), u’uya’ (Zap) “see” (see Zap uiha “seer,” below). Cf. Heb. ‛ayin, Arab. ‛an, ‛ayen “eye; 

fountain”; ‛uyun “eyes”; Ug. ‛n “see; eye”; Heb. ‛oyen “see; look askance, be envious”; ra’ā, ro’e, 

Arab. roya’, ra’ā, ra’ay “see”; Eg. ir(t) “pupil; eye; see”; ‛n, ‛ynЗ “well, fountain”; nw “see, look, 

observe”; Copt. na’u “see”; alo, alo’ou’e “pupil(s)” of eye 


jiba (Zap) “rub smooth.” Cf. Heb. šĕpi “smooth, bare”; šapa, šipšup “rub, file, scrape, smooth”; Eg. 

ḫb(y), Copt. šof, šob “to shave, clip”; Eg. ḫbḫb “cut to pieces”; Copt. šobšeb “sharpen, incite”; 

Eg. ḫbЗ, ḫf, ḫfḫf, šf, šfšf, Copt. šofšf “destroy, ravage” 


ka’ni (Mixt) “kill” (see Zap utu, below). Cf. Eg. qn(w) “kill, harm; murder, violence”; Heb. qen (Job 29:18), 

Eg. qnt, qn(i) “be strong, conquer, prevail over”; qnqn “beat”; Heb. naka’, naka “kill; strike, beat” 

n-kibi’ < *kimi (Zap) “miser.” Cf. Heb. qama, gaba’, qabaṣ, Arab. qm’ “gather, collect”; Eg. kp “seize”; 

kf‛ “seize, grasp, collect taxes”; ḫb “pilfer,deceive, defraud”; ḫfḫf “heap up, collect” 


la’a (Zap) “that.” Cf. Eg. nЗ(y) “this, that” (demonstrative particle), “the” (pl definite article); Copt. nai, 

ne, nou “these; those-who-are-of-“ 


labi (Zap) “take to heart, pay attention.” Cf. Heb. śum lēb “give heed (give heart), pay attention”; Eg. 

rdi ib (ḫnt) “give attention to (give heart)”; Ug. lb, Akk. libbu “heart” 


la’sa’ (Zap) “thin, lean.” Cf. Heb. raze, raza “thin, lean”; Eg. nd(s) “little, small, thin” 


li- (Zap), participle formative prefix; ni- (Mixt), past participle formative prefix. Cf. Heb. l-, n-, participle 

& infinitive formatives; Eg. r, ir, participle & infinitive formative 


lije (Zap) “advise” (see Zap luchi, luje, below). Cf. Eg. nd “ask, inquire; advocate, defend by word; take 

counsel, seek advice; argue”; ndnd “take counsel”; Arab. naṣiḥa “advise” 


ll’i (Zap) “lick” (see Zap ele, above). Cf. Heb. & Arab. la‛-, la-, conveying a “licking, lapping” concept; 

Eg. rЗ, Copt. ro “mouth” 


llibi (Zap) “breathe.” Cf. Eg. nfw, nfy, n(y)fЗ, Copt. nif(e) “blow, breathe”; Eg. nf, Copt. nif(e) “breath, air, 

wind”; Heb. napaḥ “breathe, blow”; Arab. nafas “breath” 


loo, lao (Zap) “eye; face; flower”; lu (Zap) eye (see Zap iyya-lo, u-uya’, above). Cf. Eg. ir(t), Copt. 

alo(’ou’e) “eye(s), pupil(s)” 


luchi, luji (Zap) “tongue” (see Zap lije, above); sain (Mixt) “language.” Cf. Arab. luga, lisān, Akk. lišānu, 

Ug. lašānu, Heb. lāšōn “language; tongue”; Eg. rs, nś, ls, Copt. las, les “speech, language; 

tongue”; Eg. gЗnn “tongue” 


m-be’, na’be’ (Zap) “very” (see Zap rabe, ro’oba, below). Cf. Akk. rabū, Ug. rabbu, Heb. rab(ba), marbe 

“plenty, much”; but note also Spanish muy bien “very well” 


mani-wini’ (Zap) “bird; small-bird.” Cf. Eg. mnw(t), mnyt, mnt “pigeon; swallow”; bnw “heron; phoenix” 

mini (Mixt) “lake.” Cf. Gk. limni “lake”; Arab. mā’, ma’a, Heb. may(im), Aram. mayin, Edom. min, Saba. 

mwn “water”; Eg. mw(y), miw, nw(y), nwyt “water(s), pool, flood”; mr “canal; artificial lake; 

trough”; Copt. mo’ou “water” 


na- (Zap), n- (Mixt), adjective & participle formatives. Cf. Heb. n-, adjective & participle formative 

(< niphal-passive forms); Eg. nЗ(y), demonstrative & possessive adjectives; r, ir, participle 



na- (Zap), nya (Mixt), li (Maz) “not.” Cf. Eg. n, nn, Copt. n , , , an “not” (double negative); Heb. lo’, Arab. 

la’ “no, not” 


na, na’a, ’naa (Zap), naa (Mixt), i-nana (Ixc), ’a-n (Maz) “I, me” (independent pronoun); a’ (Zap) “I, me” 

(dependent personal pronoun). Cf. Heb. ’any, Arab. ’ana’; Eg. n, ni, Copt. –I, anok, ang “I, me” 

ndani’ (Zap) “belly.” Cf. Heb. beṭen “belly” 


ndi’, ’ndi’ (Zap) “this”; xi, ’nga (Zap) “that”; ’nge, dxange (Zap) “that-over-yonder.” Cf. Eg. nty “that, 

which” (relative adjective/pronoun), Copt. ent-, nt- “that” (relative convertor); Aram. dĕna, Akk. 

annita, ESA dn, Neo-Babyl. agannutu “this”; Akk. šu, ši, ša, Amorite šu, ši “which” (relative 



nesa (Zap) “pass water, micturate”; nisa, niz(a), nissa, nez (Zap) “water, liquid.” Cf. Heb. naza “spurt, 

sprinkle”; nazal, nozel “flow; liquid”; Eg. nšs “emit fluid”; nš “expel, displace”; nšt, nšš, nšnš 

emission; saliva”; nt “vase, pot; water; sprinkle”; ntt, ntnt “liquid; emission, secretion” 

neza, ne-za (Zap) “road” (see Zap za, below). Cf. Heb. sa‛, za‛, na‛, nasa‛ “travel, go, move”; Eg. (s)wdЗ 

“go, come, advance”; n‛i(y), siy, zi “walk, move, come, go” 


ngiu, n-gi’iu (Zap) “man.” Cf. Eg. ng(Зw) “bull; ox” 


ni- (Zap), subjunctive formative prefix. Cf. Eg. ir “when, if” (conditional particle) 


ñu, nya (Mixt), nhyū (Otomí) “people,” as in Nya-Sawi “Mixtekatl, Cloud-People.” Cf. Eg. nЗ “these”; 

nЗw, n(З)y, Copt. nai, ne, ni, nou “those-who-are-of-“ (demonstrative & possessive adjectives); 

Akk. nišū “people” 8 


pandaga, lag, ga, laie’ < *bal-laga (Zap) “leaf.” Cf. Arab. waraqa, Heb. ‛ale, “leaf, foliage”; Heb. yeraqot 

“greens”; Akk. wrq, arqu “be fresh, green”; Eg. iЗqt “vegetable, greens” 


piquiñi (Zap) “bird.” Cf. Eg. bik “falcon”; but see Spanish pequeño “small” 


ppappa (Zap) “to fly.” Cf. Heb. ‛p, nopep “to fly”; ‛op “bird, fowl”; Eg. ‛py “winged-disk”; pЗ, ‛pi “to fly”; 

‛ff “a fly” 


rabe (Zap) “chief”; ro’ba, ro’o-ba (Zap) “much, great, big”; r’o (Zap) “stout” (see Zap m-be’, na-be, 

above). Cf. Heb. rab(ba), rabab “great, vast, much; elder, leader, master, commander”; Eg. 

rp‛(t), rpЗy “prince, hereditary chief, noble” (Gk. Horpais); wr(w) “great one; god; prince, noble, 

elder, chief”; wr ‛З “king” 


ri- (Zap), habitual formative prefix. Cf. Heb. l-, n-, participle formatives; Eg. r, ir, a participle formative 

r-iga (Zap) “empty.” Cf. Arab. farij, rayqa, Heb. reyq(a) “empty”; Eg. gЗ(w), ngЗw. Copt. go’ou “empty, 

lack; without” 


roa, rua, rua’a (Zap) “mouth,” as in r-o’ “to drink”; r-o(-ago) “to eat”; r-abi “to tell, say”; r-o-ya’a “to bite, 

chew.” Cf. Eg. rЗ, Copt. ro “mouth; utterance; language”; Heb. ruaḥ, Arab., Ug. ruḥ, Ge’ez roh 

“wind; breath; breathe, blow” 


r-udi, ’dii, ti (Zap), tahon (Pop) “to give.” Cf. Eg. (r)di, di(t), Copt. (e)t(a)-, ti- “to give, grant; make; 

cause”; Eg. d(w), wd, wdi “give; put, place”; Heb. ten, natan, tet-, Akk. ndi, idi, nadu, nadānu, 

Ug. ytn, Arab. ’eddy, ’a‛ṭā “give” 


ru’šiji, ru’žiji (Zap) “plays, laughs.” Cf. Eg. ršwt, ršršt “joy”; rš “joyful”; ršrš; Copt. raše “rejoice”; Akk. 

rišatu “joy” 


sa (Zap), sa’an (Mixt), ši-ne (Maz), ši’ye (Pop) “grease.” Cf. Heb. šemen, Arab. smn “grease, oil, fat”; Ug. 

šmn “oil”; šmt “fat”; Akk. šamnu “oil, fat”; Eg. hpn “fat”; smy, smi “cream; curds” 


sa’ (Zap), s’i (Mixt) “make”; ša (Mixt) “work”; sa- (Mixt), causative prefix. Cf. Heb. še-, conditional and 

causal clause prefix; Eg. & Arab. ś- causative prefix; Copt. s(a)- rare causative prefix; Eg. š‛ “form, 

fashion; build”; Heb. ‛aśa “make, do; labor, work” 


saa (Mixt), se (Maz), še (Pop) “bird.” Cf. Eg. tЗ “chick, nestling”; sЗ, zЗ, phonetic for bird-glyph (pintail 

duck) used generically 


sa’a (Zap) “music.” Cf. Eg. šm‛(i), šm‛w “sing, play; musician”; Arab. šm‛ “play music”; Heb. šar, šir(a) 

“sing, chant; song” 


sabi, sawi, dzaui, dzahui (Mixt) “cloud; rain; rain-god,” as in 19th day-name; sa, za, zaa < *saha (Zap) 

“cloud (as in Ñusabi, Ben’-Zaa). Cf. Gk. dios, zeus, Hittite siu-, šiu-, siwanna, Sanscrit dyaús “sky; 

god”; Assyr. sa’u “tempest; storm-god”; Akk. Zu, Sabu “Storm-bird-god”; Ug. zġw, zġzġ “roar, 

bellow”; Samaritan & Arab. za‛a, za‛za‛a “shake, burst open”; Syriac zau‛a, Gk. Zoue, Lihyanite 

Dy‛ “earthquake, Temblor-god”; Samaritan zuwa “trembling, terror”; Eg. d‛, D‛ “storm, storm- 

wind, Storm-god”; šЗ-pt “storm, hurricane, tempest”; śim “rainstorm”; Heb. śa‛ar, śe‛irim 9 


“storm, rain”; Akk. šamu “heaven; rain”; šiban “cloudy”; saḥaba, śihab “cloud”; śama’, Heb. 

šamaim “heaven, sky; cloud” 


sewe < *šeme (Mixt) “name.” Cf. Heb. šēm, Ug. šm, Akk. šumu, Arab. śm, ’iśm “name”; Eg. dm, dm(it), 

dmw “to name, entitle” 


si’, šui’ (Zap) “buy.” Cf. Eg. šw “haggle, trade”; šwyt “merchant; do business”; šwyty, Copt. ešot “trader, 

dealer”; Akk. šāmu “buy” 


si-gi’ (Zap) “to lie, tell falsehood.” Cf. Heb. šeqer “liar”; šaqar “to lie”; šaga(g), šug “err, go astray 

(inadvertently)”; Eg. kz “lie, deceive”?? 


so’o < *somo (Mixt) “ear; hear”; šo-ño (Maz) “ear.” Cf. Heb. ’ozen, Arab. ’wedn “ear”; Heb. šome‛a, 

šama‛, Arab. śami‛a “hear”; Eg. idn “ear”; sdm, Copt. sotm “hear” 


suba, zuba (Zap) “sit.” Cf. Heb. šub, yašab, yašob, šiba, Assyr. sib “sit” 


suka (Mixt), šuba‛ (Zap) “to swim.” Cf. Heb. śaḥa, śaḥu “swim” 


su’wi (Pop), š’wi (Ixc) “fire”; so (Maz) “hot”; ši’ (Maz), šema (Pop) “dry.” Cf. Eg. sw “day”; šw “sun; light; 

fire; heat”; šwy, šwi, Copt. šo’ou’e “be dry, hot, arid; drought, heat”; Eg. Šw “Shu, god of wind 

and light, the firstborn of Rē‛”; šm(m) “hot”; šmw “summer”; zЗ, zi(w) “flame, fire”; dЗ “fire- 

drill”; Assyr. ’isu, Akk. išatu, Sum. I.ZI, Heb. ’eš “fire” 


šaku (Zap) “rough” (see giji, above). Cf. Heb. qaše “difficult, hard” (metathesis?) 


še’ela (Zap), ši-n (Maz), šii (Pop) “husband.” Cf. Heb. ’iš “man; husband”; Ug. d, Eg. si, s “man” 


ši, xi (Zap) “that, who, which,” relative pronoun. Cf. Heb. še-, šĕ, Byblian-Phoen. š, ’š, z, relative 



šidši, xidxi (Zap) “breast, nipple.” Cf. Heb. šad, Ug. td, Arab. tady, Eg. šЗšЗt “breast, bosom” 


šo’o, šopa (Zap) “six.” Cf. Heb. šeš, šišša, Akk. šeššet, Arab. sitta, Eg. sis(w), srsw, Copt. so, so’ou, se’u 



Šoone, šono (Zap) “eight.” Cf. Heb. šmone, Arab. tamanya, Eg. ḫmn(w), Copt. šmoun “eight” 


ta-(Mixt), conditional prefix. Cf. Eg. ti, a conditional particle (non-enclitic) 


ta, to, tao (Zap & Mixt) “mount, hill; great,” and augmentative, as in Pitao “The-Great-Spirit.” Cf. Eg. 

dw(i), dw, Copt. to’ou “mountain” 


t-chuppa, topa < *t-šu (Zap) “two.” Cf. Heb. štayim, šnayim, Akk. šina, Ug. tn, Arab. ’etneyn, Eg. snw(y), 

Copt. snau, snte “two” 


ti’ipi (Azp) “whistle.” Cf. Heb. ṣapap, ṣipṣap “whistle, twitter, chirp, pip”; ṣippōr, Arab. ‛uṣfūr “bird”; 

Eg. twtЗ “twittering, piping” 10 


ti’ši’ (Zap) “side.” Cf. Heb. ṣad “side” 


to’o (Zap & Mixt) “lord”; n-ta (Maz) “good.” Cf. Heb. ṭōb, Ug.-Akk. ṭābu, Arab. ṭayyib “good”; Eg. twЗ, 

dwЗ “to praise, worship”; dwЗ “priest”; ntr, ntr, Copt. noute “god” 


ttu (Zap) “who, which.” Cf. Heb. zu, ze, ESA d, dw, Arab. du, de, Aram. zi, di, de, demonstrative pronoun 

-tu (Zap) “you,” pl pronominal suffix; tu (Zap) “you,” pl dependent pronoun. Cf. Eg. tw, tw “you,” sgl 

dependent pronoun; but note Spanish tú “you” 


táni, tanni, dáni (Zap) “hill” (see Zap ta, tao, above). Cf. Heb. tel, Arab. tell, tall “hill, mound”; Eg. dw, 

dw(i), Copt. to’ou, (e)dn-, do- “mountain” 


uiha (Zap) “seer” (see Zap iyya-lo, u’uya, above), as in Uiha Tao “Great Seer,” High Priest & Judge 

ǁTarascan Petamut “Annunciator-High Priest.” Cf. Eg. Wr mЗ(w) “Great Seer,” High Priest of Rē‛ 

at Ōn-Heliopolis; Heb. ro’e “seer” 


uttu, -utti (Zap) “kill”; -atti (Zap), uu < *umu (Mixt), m’e (Maz), ’me (Ixc) “die, perish”; moku, mahu 

(Mixt) “death,” and 6th day-sign. Cf. Heb. met, mawet, Akk. mitu, Arab. mawt “die; death”; 

Eg. mt, mwt, mit, Copt. mou “die; death”; mu’ut, me’ut “to kill”; Eg. smЗ “kill”; mww “funeral 

dancers”; but note Spanish muerte “death” 


ya’a (Zap) “unripe.” Cf. Eg. iḥ ”green”; Heb. yaroq, yaraq “green” 


yaya (Mixt) “head; chief.” `Cf. Eg. dЗdЗ “head”; dЗdЗt “chief (priest); high official; council”; Copt. dod, 

do “head; chief” 


yela, gela’ (Zap) “night.” Cf. Heb. layil, layla, leyl- “night”; grḥ “night” 


yi-su (Mixt) “deer.” Cf. Heb. sūs, Ug. ssw, Akk. sisū, Eg. ssm(t), ss, zz “horse”; šš, šs, šsЗw “bubalis- 



yiži (Zap) “grass.” Cf. Heb. deše’, Akk. dīšu “grass”; Heb. ‛ēśeb, Arab. ‛ušb “grass” 


yo- (Mixt), declarative prefix (non-future). Cf. Eg. I, iw, Copt. e-, superordinator, affirmative, and verb 

“to be, is, are,” as in iw-wn “there is,” and with nominal subjects 


yo’šo’ (Zap) “old” (see Zap assi, usu, above). Cf. Heb. yašan “old; flabby, withered”; yašen “sleep”; Eg. 

isw “old age, infirmity”; iswt “antiquity”; is, iz, Зs “be old” 


yu (Zap) “land, earth, country.” Cf. Eg. Зḥt, iḥt, Copt. ei’ohe “land, earth” 


yu’un, ya(à), -yà, ’i’yà (Mixt), yą ’ąhą (Trique), i-há’à (Cuicatec) “god; saint, sacred personage.” Cf. Heb. 

YHWH, Yah)u), Yo, Yeho “Yahweh-god, Lord-Yahweh” 


zawi, nayàzéz, yasse’ (Zap) “black.” Cf. Heb. sody, zaham “black; foul, loathsome”; Arab. as-swad, 

sawida “black”; Eg. zwy, dЗw “darkness, night” 


ze, ’ji (Zap) “day.” Cf. Eg. sw, zw “day”; dwЗw “today” 


zu’lla’ (Zap) “throw.” Cf. Heb. zore, zara, zara‛, zaraq, zoreq “sow, toss, fan, cast, throw, scatter; 



žai’ba’ (Zap I) “sky, heaven.” Cf. Heb. šamayim “sky, heavens”; Eg. pt, Copt. pe “sky, heaven” 


žuji < *suki (Zap) “drunk.” Cf. Heb. šakar, šikor “drunk”; Eg. zwt, zwi, zwri, Copt. so “drink”; Eg. dh, tḫ(i) 

“drink to drunkenness; drunken; drunkard”; Copt. thiḫi, the “drunk” 


[2011 pdate of RFS 1969, 1971, and 1977 word comparison lists; version 2] 12 




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