In all books I have read so far (Beekes, for example), it is assumed that the word for hundred in PIE cmtom came from the word for "ten", decm. They thus postulate that the oldest (non-attested) form was dcmtom.

I wonder whether another explanation is also possible. For example why it could not origin from the root com meaning "together" plus a common neuter adjectival suffix -tom? cmtom thus would mean "something put together". Is this explanation possible and if no, why?

  • Why is the downvote? – Anixx Jun 21 '13 at 18:54
  • I have no idea why it was downvoted. There's no evidence for such a derivation, which is why it seems unlikely. No hypothesis like that would be accepted without considerable extra data and considerable validation of the construction, which is rather odd as numerals go. Things like that occur occasionally as nonce forms, but never last long, let alone for thousands of years. – jlawler Jun 21 '13 at 19:33
  • Where do you get the full grade kom- from? I've only ever seen it quoted with zero grade (kmtom). A syllabic nasal in the first syllable is consistent with the vocalisation in (at least) Latin, Greek, Sanskrit and Germanic. Can you suggest any language which appear to show a reflex of kom- rather than km- ? – Colin Fine Jun 21 '13 at 23:14
  • @Colin Fine you seem to be right, but this does not affect the question. – Anixx Jun 21 '13 at 23:30
  • @Anixx: It does affect the question, unless you can show that the prefix kom- exists in zero grade. – Colin Fine Jun 22 '13 at 12:47