The language family covering the majority of the languages of Europe and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent.

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45 views

Potential gaps in the pIE phonological system?

The phonological system of proto-Indo-European (and of any other proto-language without written records) is reconstructed via the comparative method, which inevitably leaves some questions open. One ...
4
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2answers
155 views

How and when did some European languages acquire retroflex d and t?

It seems the retroflex d and t are present in some Germanic languages but not in most Romance, Slavic, and other IE languages. I know that it occurs in IE languages of Asia, like Sanskrit, Pashto, ...
2
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0answers
60 views

How did West Germanic languages evolve?

I'm trying to make a comprehensive phylogenetic tree of Germanic languages, with dates of divergence, and I have been unable to find details on West Germanic languages and how they diverged. I have ...
3
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2answers
101 views

What decides the language family of a language the most structure/grammar or the vocabulary?

My assumed premise: Indo-European language classification is broad. We can always find two languages of this family which are grammatically so different, and also the languages grammatically similar. ...
12
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1answer
631 views

Do the words “angst” and “anxiety” share a common root?

The English word angst, taken from German Angst, seems to ultimately originate from Proto-Germanic *angustiz. This word has descendants in many Germanic languages, including, but not limited to, ...
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1answer
81 views

Why Germanic languages are not generally as soft as other Indo-European languages? [closed]

Let me clarify what I mean by "harsh" and "soft" with an example: Suppose that you've just arrived in a strange planet and an alien is approaching you repeating just one vowel! Your feelings will ...
1
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1answer
67 views

Order of cases in Indo-European languages by morphologic similarity

Following the first Greek grammars or even older sources, there is a traditional and apparently arbitrary order used for cases in most if not all living European languages, e.g. in declension tables. ...
6
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4answers
162 views

Why is “No” more universal than “Yes”?

I apologize if this has been asked. I'm a little surprised if not. I don't have much experience with non-European languages, but regardless, I see that "No" is almost always with "N", but "Yes" is ...
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3answers
159 views

Two and Three; Four and Five; Six and Seven are paired by their first letters T, F, S

What I said in the title above seems to be roughly true in the European languages that I have checked, so my question is: Could ancient Indo-European, or a precursor of it, used a suffix that meant "...
3
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2answers
179 views

What were the westernmost and easternmost Indo-European languages in c. 1350 CE?

More specifically, what are the most historically entrenched westernmost and easternmost Indo-European languages? For my purposes, this excludes the spread of English, Spanish etc. through relatively ...
7
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2answers
182 views

Did PIE *h3 cause voicing in any other words than the “drink” word?

The Proto-Indo-European "third laryngeal", *h3, is often assumed to have been a voiced sound based on the fact that some reflexes of the "drink" root *peh3- appear to show voicing assimilation of p to ...
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0answers
62 views

Are these Kazakh words considered borrowings (from Russian?) or onomatopoieias?

These three words are very similar in English, Russian and Kazakh. At least the Russian set is considered inherited from PIE. English - Russian - Kazakh crush - крушить (krushitь) - қырш (qyrsh) ...
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2answers
221 views

How did the name for st Peter become to be rendered as “Peter” in English, and why is not rendered as “stone” or “rock”

As I understand it, in the original bible passage, Jesus says to Peter "And I tell you that you are Petros, and on this petra I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it" And ...
3
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3answers
396 views

Why do English, Italian, German, Spanish, French and Latin share a common alphabet and many words?

I wonder why English, Italian, German, Spanish, French and Latin share common alphabet and other words. Also what is the relation among them.
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0answers
36 views

Literature on the reconstruction of proto-Greek

I usually find scattered proto-Greek word reconstructions, but I never came across literature that focus on the reconstruction of that language. Do you know of any?
7
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2answers
179 views

Difference between “Leiden school” and “mainstream” Indo-Europeanists?

Recently, I've been asked what the difference between the "Leiden school" and "mainstream" Indo-Europeanists is. The asker is planning to study in Leiden and has been concerned with the many vague ...
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2answers
96 views

Origins of gender distinction in verbs in Slavic

This is a thing that I have been thinking about for a while. I know that PIE did not have gender distinction in verb forms, and its presence in modern Slavic languages must be an innovation. If I am ...
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1answer
43 views

Comprehensive diacritics normalization

I would like to construct a normalization program for text containing diacritics or special symbols. For some languages that I am familiar with, I can obtain a canonical form easily; German: ä -> ...
2
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5answers
301 views

Why does “before” mean both “in front of” and “prior to”?

The word "before" means both "in front of" and "prior to". Not only in English though - in many European languages: in Dutch "voor" means both in Italian "prima" can mean both (afaik) in French "(en)...
4
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2answers
348 views

Evolution of Definite Articles in Indo-European Languages [duplicate]

I am a complete layman in linguistics, so the question I have probably has no scholarly merit whatsoever. My question concerns the definite articles in Indo-European languages. Almost all Indo-...
1
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3answers
85 views

Spelling Similarities in English and Spanish but not in Italian and Spanish

The spelling of the word 'admit' has a ⟨d⟩ in both English and the Spanish equivalent, admitir, but not in Italian ammettere. Why is the ⟨d⟩ absent in the Italian equivalent?
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1answer
109 views

connection between Castor (one of the Διόσκουροι) and the animal (beaver)?

The history of the Ancient Greek word κάστωρ (beaver) is unclear. It may be : a foreign loan-word (? Sanskrit कस्तूरी kastūrī, “musk”) a Greek word meaning "shining (animal)" from καίνυμαι (...
4
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1answer
225 views

Etymology of Greek Enualios

Enualios or Enyalius (Ἐνυάλιος) is, in Homer and other Greek authors, either an epithet of the war god Ares or else the name of a separate god, the son of Ares and brother or partner of Enyo (whose ...
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5answers
247 views

How did the same perfect-tense structure become so widespread in Europe?

In many Germanic and Romance languages, the perfect tense is formed with the verb 'to have' or 'to be' plus a past participle. It's easy to find explanations ["I have an arrow (which is) made (by me)"...
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1answer
153 views

Articles in Indo-European Languages

I study Turkic languages. Does anybody know a comparative study of Indo-European languages and Altaic languages or a study which proves that Altaic languages have articles? I compared some suffixes ...
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2answers
131 views

Would someone be able to identify this language and translate the text to english? [closed]

I just bought this bracelet at a random goodwill shop in Boston and it's beautiful, I would just like to make sure I'm not wearing something offensive or religiously significant.
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0answers
363 views

What is the origin and meaning of the word/name “Idora”? (Shortened)

I have been researching the word "Idora" for a couple years now in hopes of discovering the meaning as it applies to the defunct trolley park "Idora Park" formerly in Youngstown, Ohio. "Idora Park" ...
7
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2answers
231 views

Help me find an early Old Norse dictionary (or even a grammar)

For some time I've been looking for a dictionary of Old Norse that reflects an early situation in the language; this kind of resource has been amazingly hard to find, for some reason. Most ...
2
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0answers
58 views

Etymology of Ancient Greek deictic -ī

In Ancient Greek, a deictic particle -ī can be attached to demonstratives to strengthen the "this here" meaning: e.g. houtos "this one", houtosī "this one right here". What is the origin of this -ī? ...
9
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5answers
218 views

Has any language ever borrowed an interrogative or relative pronoun?

One of the lexical similarities between reconstructed Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Uralic is in the interrogative and relative pronouns. For the former, in PIE there's a family of interrogatives ...
7
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2answers
235 views

Did Uralic borrow basic vocabulary from PIE, and if so why?

This section of the Wikipedia article on laryngeal theory lists proposed IE-to-Uralic loanwords containing laryngeals. Several of these have quite basic meanings: "woman", "person", "do", "give", "go"....
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1answer
178 views

How is it that such varied sounds (in major European Languages) came to be represented by the same letter “j”?

The letter "j" is pronounced differently in the following major European languages: English: just (just) Spanish: justo (husto) German: junge (yunguh) French: juste (zoost) How is the ...
2
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3answers
222 views

Pro-Drop Typology in Indo-European Languages

A different question made me wonder what is the norm for Indo-European with regard to pro-drop? I know Italic languages generally do it, while Germanic languages generally don't. What about the rest ...
3
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3answers
399 views

Are Armenian գունդ (gund) and Sanskrit गिन्दुक (ginduka) related?

I was just looking at the words for "ball" in many languages. I noticed that Armenian has a word գունդ gund and Hindustani has a word गेंद / گیند gẽnd. I didn't spot any other language with a ...
2
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1answer
167 views

What's the relation between Germanic suffixes -ly, -lich, -lijk, … and Turkic suffixes -lik -liq

What's the relation between Germanic adjectival/adverbial suffixes -ly, -lich, -lijk, ... and Turkic suffixes -lik -liq that convert nouns/adjectives to nouns
4
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1answer
160 views

Is the Proto-Indo-European “ǵenh₁-” (to produce) related to “gʷḗn” (woman)?

I noticed a possible connection between the Ancient Greek "γυνή" and "γένεσις". I think semantically a relation between the two terms is plausible. Unfortunately I don't know enough about PIE ...
2
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0answers
96 views

Sources for etymologies of Ancient Greek proper names and placenames?

There are good etymological dictionaries for Ancient Greek: if you're searching for the origin of a word, you'll probably find information in Frisk, Chantraine, or Beekes. But if you're looking for ...
10
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2answers
434 views

Current status of the controversy on the date of Indo-European dispersion

There are two conflicting theories about the dispersion of the people speaking proto-Indo-European (by which I mean the common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, excluding Hittite and other ...
7
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2answers
579 views

Is “Kent” in Tashkent of Turkic origin or Indo-European?

In Turkish there is this word Kent which means city. Some Turkic city names have this as suffix, like Başkent and Tashkent. In Azerbaijani the same word, with the spelling of Kənd (Kand) means village ...
3
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1answer
158 views

Etymology of Latin suffix -ālis

What is the etymology of the Latin suffix "-ālis" (and related forms like "-āris") as in "nātūrālis"? Do we know any corresponding suffix in other Indo-European languages?
2
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1answer
214 views

Relics of reduplication in modern Germanic languages

I'm wondering whether some german verbs, like, for example: bibbern plappern lallen ... and as well some similar english verbs of which now only "to giggle" comes to my mind, are indeed relics of (...
4
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2answers
143 views

Germanic comparative grammars?

Can anyone recommend a good comparative grammar of the Germanic languages -- or, failing that, good historical grammars specifically for Old English and Old Norse? Ideally, what I want is a ...
0
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1answer
197 views

Why does the pronunciation of Germanic languages before vowel shift seems to have been more “Indo-European”?

I think the vowels have become "harsher" during the vowel shift and has made them sound very different from Latin, Greek, Sanskrit,... which generally use "soft" vowels. Can we deduce that the vowel ...
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2answers
668 views

What did the Greeks and Romans believe about language relationships?

The ancient Greeks and Romans had no concept of historical linguistics or of the Indo-European language family. However, it would have been noticeable to anyone who spoke even a little of both Greek ...
4
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1answer
333 views

Mine, Yours, Ours, His, Hers, Its, and Don't Forget Theirs

What exactly are the Indo-European predicative mine/yours/ours/his/hers/its/theirs forms, in terms of word class and inflection? Would they be considered the genitive (or even the dative) case of ...
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0answers
110 views

Parallels in Celtic and Slavic lexemes?

Some Russian words (including the word "барин" (gentry), the etymology of which is still unclear to most community members) derive from the common IE stock. To list a few, these are the words like ...
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1answer
137 views

What is the origin of Russian барин ['bа:rʲin]?

The word (pl. баре, ['bа:rʲe]) is roughly rendered into English as 'gentry' meaning 'a noble person without a position at imperial court'. The boyar is possibly not a cognate. What surprises me the ...
8
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3answers
625 views

Discontinuous morphemes in Indo-European languages

Indo-European is not a language family known for discontinuous morphology, but there are occasional examples. I can think of two: The German and Dutch past participle formants, ge-en and ge-t, e.g. ...
5
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4answers
215 views

Adverbial free relative clauses, in early Indo-European languages and generally

By "adverbial free relative clause" (maybe there's a better term for this) I mean a relative clause which (a) is headed by an indefinite fused relative pronoun, e.g. English whoever, whatever, and (b) ...
5
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1answer
154 views

Origin of *-k- “extension” in (aorist of) some IE verbs?

In Greek, the PIE verbal roots *dheh1 'put' or 'do', *Hieh1 'throw', and *deh3 'give' show up with an unexpected -k- in some aorist forms: ἔθηκα, ἧκα, ἔδωκα. In Latin, the reflexes of the first two ...