Evolution of language

In the beginning I was trying to find if certain sounds were more predominant in words describing certain things. I was looking at ”ur” and “or”, as in urine, ordure - “or” in Latin means “out”. I found furfur, which means bran or scurf and I became interested in double syllable, which led me to purpur, which I just happen to notice. I intuitively linked this to blood as the double pur suggested a plural, a flow or a continuum. 

Another interesting thing I came across was a primitive classification of speech. The only other ur word connected with the human body was murmur (speech flows). I suddenly thought of barbar, and found that the Greeks called anyone who did not speak Greek barbarians. (they babbled) There seemed to be a classification here concerning speech production, murmur at the front of the mouth using the lips, gargar from the throat, and barbar in an area in between.

MUMUR - mumble, mummer, mum, murr

BARBAR - barbarian, babble, burble, bubble, burr, baby?

GARGAR - gargle, garble/gabble (perhaps taking a lead from babble) gargoyle (throat), gargil and probably growl.

I believe metaphoric extension was the basic and essential process that facilitated the evolution of language as a whole. In early hunting communities,when the dismemberment of animals was an everyday occurrence, the the heart beat and blood were both seen as being connected with the life force. The beating of the heart, "korkor", and he flow of blood, "purpur" I see as the possible initial utterances that giving rise to two families of words; the purpur, the blood, family and the korkor, the heart, family.  
Korekore in Maori denotes a negative (infantile, sterile) when it should mean, according to my hypothesis, lively, abundant, young . In Maori we have korkor words for both young and old, Kokori (boy), kokoro (old man); which probably denotes different states of the life force.

I believe we have similar words in Indo-European. By  the process of metathesis of the, “r” we have crone (old woman) and crock (an old ewe or broken-down horse)

The dropping of an “o” in the initial syllable is interesting as it might have give rise to the strange spelling of some English words that begin with K and sometimes G, such as knock (to BEAT). I see the development as: korkor-----> konokor-----> konok-----> knok. (you will see how this fits in with the heart beat later)

PURPUREUS (Latin) - means : blood, bloody, shining, red, beautiful (compare with CRAS words in Russian below)

Purpureus is also described as various colours, ranging from violet, through red, reddish brown to blackish.- the colours of blood in its various states.
This holistic way of looking at colours gave me a clue to why the colours black and red had similar names in different parts of the world. I believe ancient man found mutation much more meaningful than we do today. He watched “live” red blood turn to black “dead” black blood, red berries turn to black, and red live coals change to black carbon. Red and black were the two sides of the same coin. We wear black to funerals, whereas gypsies and Celts wore red, and another graphic demonstration of the kinship of red and black is to be found in old Pawnee culture, where they painted a young girl half red and half black before sacrificing her in order to invigorating crops.

Black in Turkish is kara, Bengali, kalo, Singhalise, kula. A word for red in Maori is Kura, which is the word for black in ancient Japanese. On the pacific island of Niue, Kula is red/brown, and has exactly the same meaning in Turkish, and means blood in Aboriginal. The old European word for red was purpur and the word for black in Maori is poporo/poroporo
Tongan for red, which has retained the double syllable form, is kulokula, and in the contracted P family we have Tagalog,  pula, and Finnish, puna. Interestingly, in the Polynesian world the words pula and pura mean shine/glow, a secondary meaning of purpureus in Latin and  also the meaning of one of the CRAS words in Russian below.

There is some evidence that the word colour itself evolved from corcor (in a similar way to colon - Old Cornish for heart). Red is THE colour, the king of colours, the colour of life, blood and flesh. Red is the only specific hue we refer to as colour in English, which we do in the phrase, “You have no colour in your cheeks, and again, we have another Russian CRAS word meaning colour.

CRASnij         red

CRASca          colour

CRASota         beauty

CRASovatsa    shine

It is probable that CRA is the product of the process of metathesis, where letters change positions.
(Old Saxon hros = horse and black American aks = ask) The base syllable was probably COR/CAR as in carmine (red)

CROV , is blood in Russian. CRO is  a Gaelic term applied to blood feuds.  CRUOR is Latin for blood outside the body.  I see the possibility that the words “clot” and “curdle” initially applied to blood.  

( calli and calo are prefixes in Greek meaning beautiful)

There is also a family of words I put under the heading of “oval capsules of life” such as shellfish (cockles) and seeds

English    pippin                       seed

Italian      pippolo/ pipporo       seed

Sanskrit   pippali                       peppercorn/berry

Tongan    pulopula                    seed

Maori      purapura                    seed

Some evidence that the word cockle arose from a double syllabic word such as corcor comes in a word in Sanskrit   karkar(am) (The am is a noun suffix). At one time cockle had a broader use and did not specify a single type of shellfish.(OxDic) Karkarum relates to a rough limestone found in India
In Hindi the word is kankar and in Prakrit, kakkaram. 

I have used corcor and purpur as my idealized, base words, as they are the best fit for modern words. Corcor evolved into the various words for heart. It formed the prefixes co, com, cor, col, of words meaning “together” ( Of one heart) . Purpur obviously gave rise to purple, as well as blood, red and people. Initially the word people meant a distinct group of human beings.(Of the same blood, hence the word “pure“)
However the same word in various languages may have different vowels in them(as we find in Indo-European) and the P and C/CH/K are interchangeable.  Colos/polos (Gr/Rom). Piapa/kiapa   and  choropok/ koropok  (Ainu.).  Kane/pane (Maori). Kane means head, and we see a similar situation in the Irish and welsh Celtic- caene/pen (head).- where in most words in Irish the P is replaced with a C.

The changes from the idealized basic word I have suggested are;
1) Any vowel can replace any other vowel.

2) P and C/K/CH/H are interchangeable.

3) R /N/ L  are interchangeable  as in karkarum  (Sanskrit)/ kankar  (Hindi) and purapura (Maori) / pulopula (Tongan)

 4 ) In some words the C/K and the P are doubled.   Karkaram (Sanskrit),  kakkaram (Prakrit). Pulopula (Tongan)  pipporo (Italian) If ,indeed the base word was corcor then we get cockle by the doubling the C/K and changing the R to an L.

5) First syllable shortens  corcor /kokoro  Japanese for heart. Notice that some Eastern and most pacific languages have a cvcvcv structure. and end with a vowel . (The Polynesian word for the English game cricket is kilikiti.) 

6) Second syllable shortens. Irish corcur (once meaning purple but now red) is shortened to “cork” (purple dye)

7) One syllable is lost. The word for heart loses one of the identical syllables and becomes cor (Latin)

There is much more, including, family relationships, containers, names for roundness, curves, circles, life, the human body, centres and stones. Stones are particularly interesting. Rounded stones have always fascinated man as they seem to lie in between animate and inanimate things. There is a Latin word “Cochlacae” which means round stones from the river resembling snail shells. There is such a thing as a heart cockle and I believe many round compact objects have derived their names from the purpur and corcor family. The word pebble was originally popel, and was also called a pipple; only recently has it being called a pebble. Originally, the word was only found in combination with stan,  stone (English) . It was possibly named a "life stone" or “people stone“, derived from a word of the purpur family.

The group of trees that make up the poplars, especially the Aspen, tend to quiver in a slight breeze giving them the appearance of a moving crowd of people. Again, the name could have had same derivation as popel. It is claimed that the Latin name for the poplar “populus” it is not connected to the same word defined as: a people, political community, nation; as a section of the community, the people; in gen. the people, the public; hence any crowd, host, multitude. My instincts tell me otherwise.

The word “cobblestone” possibly  had a change paralleling the Pipple---> pebble words, and originally were named cockle-stones.  (heart-stones)
I also believe that the word cockle, or a word very close to cockle did in fact mean heart.

First of all there is a word very close to the word cockle which is corcle/corcule from the Latin corculum ( small heart)

Secondly there is  a game the call “hot cockles” where one boy with their eyes closed is struck by one of a number of boys in the game. There is also an old adult game found in certain parts of the world in which two men take it in turns to strike the other on the chest above the heart. Although people have interpreted the word “cockles” as knuckles (the fist of the boy who hits) it seems more likely that the words “hot cockles”  were a description of the adult game - the pounding  causing a burning feeling in the area of the heart . The phrase may originally have been “hot cockle” but acquiring a parasitic s  in modern times.

I believe the phrase, “Warm the cockles of your heart”, (with the parasitic s )arises from placing a borrowed word “cockle” in a phrase that already has a word of the same meaning in it, “heart” . This would be a borrowing of a word akin to cockle from the original British Celts, or the Romans, by the Germanic invaders.

Another example of doubling up of meanings is the naming of a bird which is called a Painted Finch.
The word “finched” refers to an old breed of cattle with a distinct white stripe along its spine. I surmised that ‘finch” came from the Latin word pingere to paint. This is supported by the Breton word for chaffinch, “Pint” which is probably a contraction of “painted bird“. So when we call a bird a painted finch we are calling it a painted, painted bird.

HEAD - the heart is not playing card heart shaped, it is head shaped. The head was probably seen as representing the heart outside the body as it expressed the emotions supposedly engendered in the heart.
Coll/poll are words for the head. Cheer is “cara” in Latin, hence, care and cure. Koko is aboriginal for head and coco is Spanish for smiling face. (Hence Coco the clown).

YOUTH - Pupus, Pupa (Boy, girl. Latin)   Puerile( of boy or child. Eng). Peure (young. Ainu)
Garcon (boy French)  Colcon. (boy. Aborigine)

The anointing ceremony practised by the Maori is interesting.  Koko(wai) (wai is water)  means red ochre, and this is mixed with oil and poured on the head of the recipient. The anointing is called a korae. This has a parallel in European culture where the Old English word for blessing is “bloedsian” means to consecrate with blood.

Consider the word cornucopia

The Latin cornucopia means “horn of plenty”. There are various stories concerning the horn (cornu), but to cut a long story short, it was a horn snapped off from a deity that endowed its owner with prosperity.
The cornucopia became the attribute of several Greek and Roman deities, particularly those associated with the harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance.

Did ancient writers invent the idea of the cornucopia or were they incorporating into their stories beliefs already held by the populous. I suspect the latter.

A Venus figure, the Venus of Laussel, found in a French cave in 1911, and dated 20,000 bc, was covered in red ochre and holding a bull’s horn in her right hand. As such figures are assumed to be fertility symbols, it is probable that the horn was also a symbol of fertility and vigour. (Animal horn is still viewed by some present day cultures in the same light)

What were the ideas that made horns symbols of vigour, fertility and plenty ?

On a basic, physical level, horns are the head adornments of powerful animals, stags and bulls, that fought with courage (another cor word) for dominance.

I believe that the head was once viewed as representing the heart outside the body. Now, imagine a hunter taking the organs out of a male deer, cutting the veins and  arteries to the heart and holding it in his hand.  He is not only holding a head shaped object but also a head shaped object with branching adornments, a mirror of the external stag’s head (a hart’s head in English)

There are further connections between horns and the blood system. When I was a teenager I was a witness to the dehorning of a cow, and was surprised to see that the cut end of the horn wasa deep red colour, when I had expected it to be white bone. The antlers of a stag grow under the velvet which is richly supplied with blood vessels that actually bleed as the horns reach maturity. It is easy to see how our ancestors might view horn as mutating from blood.

The quickest way to disable an animal, once it is caught, is to club it over the head. This would often lead to the wonderful sight of the life giving, beating heart when the chest cavity was opened. If the veins were cut to the heart they would bleed quite a lot, but not in comparison with the aorta, which curves like a horn over the top of the heart. The heart forces all the body’s blood through the aorta and when cut the blood gushes out. Perhaps the aorta was the original horn of plenty?

Basque is viewed as a stone age language. There is a word in Basque “purpurika” which means abundantly. I n the stone age, abundance was not found in a land flowing with the proverbial “milk and honey” but one flowing with blood.  What makes this so interesting is that two other stone age cultures have similar words to donate abundance. The first comes from the early Ainu culture which has a word purupuruge. (notice the cvcvcvcv form). Not only does this mean “to gush forth” but there is another word in Ainu “ika”, which means to overflow, that is the same as the ending of the Basque purpurika. The “uge” and “ika” endings suggest the  European word for “increase” with the base “aug”(L) and “eke” (Eng)
The second example is from an Aboriginal language where “purpur” means “a creek with plenty of turtles.”

The cornuto, corno, or cornicello is an Italian amulet of ancient origin. Corno means "horn" and cornicello means "little horn" -- these names refer to a long, gently twisted horn-shaped amulet worn in Italy to protect against the evil eye. Cornicelli are usually carved out of red coral or made of gold or silver.


The central one looks more like a blood vessel or an antler.  The word CORal initially only applied to the red coral and possibly meant “blood stone”. Things that branched, such as stag horns, held special significance for our ancestors.  The word for clan (tribe) is planta in Latin, indicating a branching family tree, and water and blood systems also branch. Horn, wood and bone are hard, durable and survive death. The Celts used to dig deep pits and place pottery, stag horns and branching pieces of trees in them, presumably as symbols of power and endurance.

The word “hard” (OHG) hart (Welsh) Hardd, means both physically hard and also strong, powerful and beautiful.

There is also some evidence that the purpur/corcor family of words gave rise to the names of plants.
Plant material that is processed is sometimes named after the process. The word  “grist” does not only mean  the process of grinding but it is used for the name of what is ground. We use the words pulse, beat and pound to describe the movement and sound of the heart. We also use the words for a continuously repeated noise or movement. The pulses are the seeds of leguminous plants which were pounded to make a flour for thick soups or bread. The word pulp, as both a verb and noun, was possibly derived from the purpur sub-family of words.

Another plant that the Greeks called “korkorus” was beaten to produce jute.