Just as in the title :)

I wonder if there is a tool on the internet which would help in finding cognates of certain word in as much branches as possible.

Say I want to find find all the cognates in other languages of the Latin facio, facere to compare the stem creation systems. Ideally with descriptions of changes that occurred and possible references to texts and sources.

3 Answers 3


I think you can also use the Indo-European section of the Tower of Babel database, which is also based on Pokorny, but only with caution, since they sometimes depart from the mainstream interpretations quite a bit. Anyway, this is what you get if you manage to type faciō in the Latin search field. You can also try Köbler's Indogermanisches Wörterbuch, which "is based on the IEW and including laryngeal-based reconstructions, but only as alternative lemmas with cross references to the pre-laryngeal ones" according to Wikipedia.

I also wish there was a better online tool, and if I had some time, I would be happy either to create one, or help start it, at least.

Fortunately, the body of information concerning sound laws and developments is constantly growing on both Wikipedia and Wiktionary - you might want to try these articles for starters:

By the way, there used to be a free on-line source that is now hidden behind the paywalls. If your institution has access, though, you can check it out here. Note, however, that the Leiden school of linguistics may differ from the mainstream in some points.

EDIT: Oh, and I almost forgot about the indispensable TITUS, with lots of text samples, corpora, databases, grammatical sketches and much more!

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. It is probably an offtop but can I ask you to briefly specify in what way Leiden university differs from the mainstream ? I actually have heard that from many people, and planning to continue my education there and I think that it would considerate for my to get some more information. Again, I am not sure if the comment section is the right place for such a question.
    – czypsu
    Aug 17, 2015 at 15:50
  • Well, in general, the "Leiden school" often seems much more open to novel hypotheses (such as Kortlandt's) that are later challenged, criticized or even rejected by some, maybe most, "non-Leideners" - depending on the particular topic. On the other hand, the differences are mostly in details and do not necessarily affect the result in a way, @czypsu that would make it completely incompatible with the mainstream. Some information can be found here, and I think I've seen some mentions in a few papers by Ron Kim. I'd have to dig them up though. Aug 17, 2015 at 19:15
  • @czypsu Anyway, some of the differences between the "mainstream" and Leiden appear to lie in the reconstruction of accentuation, endorsement or rejection of a form of the glottalic theory, or of some substrate theories (if I'm not mistaken), and perhaps in other respects. I've been unable to find an explicit account of the differences anywhere, only bits and pieces, such as this. But, perhaps, specifics of the differences might be a good question to ask here, don't you think? ;) Oh, I misplaced your nick in my comment! Aug 17, 2015 at 19:31
  • Thank you very much for your help, I'm glad that these differences seem to lie in tiny details. The last person I spoke to told me to beware and better have my notions firmly stated before MA there as they are very likely going to try and corrupt reasonable thinking :D Of course I am exaggerating but I was quite surprised nevertheless.
    – czypsu
    Aug 17, 2015 at 20:14

You can look up PIE roots from Walde-Pokorny here. This contains a link to a language index, which could lead you to the Latin list, although you'd have to know that facio is related to putrefacio and a number of other words (odd that facio itself isn't an entry), which would point you to * dhe, and that would list everything-ish coming from that root.


If you look for ancient languages or early stages of certain groups, you could try this: http://www.palaeolexicon.com, but you might need to do some work too. It has an experimental cognate research tool.

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