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Modern Icelandic maður is from Old Icelandic maðr.

To relate the latter to the former, I would say "Old Icelandic maðr is the ___ of Modern Icelandic maður." What linguistic term goes in the blank?

Is there another term for a meaning the other way round, i.e., that fits the blank in this sentence: "Modern Icelandic maður is the ___ of maðr."

I thought about ancestor for the first blank and descendant for the second, but I am not sure if this is correct linguistic terminology.

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"Ancestor" and "descendant" are indeed the correct terms if there is a direct line of descent. Otherwise you would say that they are cognates.

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For ancestor, "reflex" is also used, i.e. Icelandic madur is the reflex of Old Norse madr. Also, derivative works: madur derives from madr.

Source or origin and the prefix proto- as in proto-form, proto-sound might work for the madr is the source of madur or the proto-form.

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  • Reflex = descendant, not ancestor (as your example correctly shows). – TKR Mar 10 '16 at 0:29

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