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Jupiter, is from Proto-Indo-European *dyew- (“sky”) (whence also Latin diēs).

Cognate with Ancient Greek Ζεύς (Zeus), Hittite 𒅆𒍑 (sius), Sanskrit द्यु (dyú). The nominative Iuppiter comes from a vocative combined with Proto-Indo-European *ph₂tḗr (“father”) (whence also Latin pater), and as such is cognate to Umbrian 𐌓𐌄𐌕𐌀𐌐𐌖𐌈 (iupater).

Ζεύς, is from Proto-Indo-European *dyew-.

Cognate with Sanskrit द्यु (dyú), Latin Iovis, Old English Tīw, Hittite 𒅆𒍑 (sius), Old Church Slavonic дивъ (divŭ).

Compared with another two words L "Deus" and Gk "Διόνυσος"

Deus, is from dẹ̄os, from Old Latin deiuos, from Proto-Indo-European *deiwós* (cf. Welsh duw, Lithuanian diẽvas, Persian دیو (div) ‘demon’), o-stem derivative from *di̯ḗus ‘sky; sky-god’ (compare Latin diēs, Welsh dydd), from *dei- ‘to shine’. Doublet of dīvus; related to Iūpiter.

Διόνυσος, is Attested in Mycenaean Greek (13th to 12th century BC) as di-wo-nu-so-. Dialectal variants Dienusos, Deunusos, Dinnusos and others.

By popular etymology often connected with Διός (the genitive of Ζεύς, Zeus). The dio- forms are probably built by analogy from an original stem die-. The compound die-nus-os is analysed as from a verbal stem die- (from diemai "to chase, to impel"). The nus- element gave rise to a toponym Νύσα Nusa (Nysa), a mountain where the god was nursed by nymphs (the Nysiads, Nysa is also the name given to one of these nymphs). According to the testimony of Pherecydes of Syros (6th c. BC), nusa is a word for "tree". Janda (Die Musik nach dem Chaos, 2010) suggests an original meaning of "impeller of the (world-)tree" (the axis mundi), connecting the god with archaic cosmology. The close association or indeed identity of Dionysus with a tree (especially the fig tree) is well attested in the classical period.


What kind of environment can explain the divergence between L "d" and "j" or Gk "Δ" and "Ζ", though they are all from PIE "d" ?

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    I believe there is a phonological rule in Proto-Greek where d + yod => zeta. Consider that zeta was pronounced ds or sd (there are good arguments for either), nothing like our z. Similarly, labial + y => double labial. This can be seen in the (common) descendants of the yod-presentia in Greek. // I think you mean to say though they are all from PIE "dy". – Cerberus Sep 5 '12 at 16:42
  • Palatalization produces affricates -- look at It giorno from Lat diurnus -- which can undergo other changes in different environments. Here's a simplified geneological table for *dei-, as well as Greek reflexes of PIE stops, and of PEI LabioVelar stops in particular; the PIE labiovelar system was lost in Gk, and smeared across the mouth from lips to velum in the reflexes. – jlawler Sep 5 '12 at 18:31
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    Anlaut (word-initial) PIE *dy corresponds to Latin i (Sihler 2008: 189). A notorious exception is the word "dies". – Alex B. Sep 5 '12 at 20:29
  • I nearly forget this unfinished question, and thank you all for your help!!! – archenoo Oct 13 '12 at 15:30
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    The etymology of Dionysus is very uncertain and Janda's theory is just one of many; others do link it with the name of Zeus. It's far from clear that the original form was die-, although that form is attested in inscriptions. – TKR Sep 12 '13 at 3:09
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Let it be known first that the Romans called their deity Jove and Juppiter as much as they called him Deuppiter (deum + pater: gods'-father). Furthermore, Iuppiter is not an example of an affricate, which the Romans had none (and therefore is not comparable to "giorno" or "jour"), but the "d" was merely supplanted by the palatial approximate. Your quandary of Zeus can likely be explained by an origin in common with θεός (theos, god)). It's not a complete answer, but I hope it points in the right direction.

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    "deum + pater: gods'-father" this is wrong interpretation. Deuppiter originates from PIE "di̯eus pa̯tēr" "father of/from the sky", "sky father" – Anixx Mar 17 '13 at 14:19
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    And Greek Ζεύς and θεός are not related, either. Moreover, Latin certainly did have affricates, though only across morpheme boundaries (adsum, for example). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 16 '13 at 14:39
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    @archenoo This answer is wrong and should not have been selected. Ζεύς and θεός are unrelated; Ζεύς and Iuppiter are related by regular sound change, since PIE *dy- gave Greek Ζ- but Latin i-. – TKR Aug 21 '16 at 17:32
  • @TKR, yes, thanks for your reminding, I know Ζεύς and θεός are not cognates at all, however, this was the only answer under this question in 2012... – archenoo Aug 22 '16 at 14:13
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The Proto-Indo-European form behind Zeus is reconstructed as *dyēw-s, with the oblique stem *diw- used for all forms except nominative, accusative, and vocative. This sort of alternation between * and *i is common in PIE: look up "ablaut" for more information.

In Proto-Greek, the last common ancestor of the Greek dialects, this turned into something like *dzéus: dentals before /j/ palatalized into affricates. It's not entirely clear what the affricate sounded like, but Mycenaean (the oldest attested Greek dialect) uses the sign 𐀽 for earlier *dye and the sign 𐀆 for earlier *de, so there was definitely a difference there. The oblique stem was still *diw-.

Finally, in Ancient Greek, the *dz was written with the letter zeta; different dialects pronounced it differently, but the Romans just borrowed the letter zeta to represent it, and modern transcriptions do the same: "Z". This is how we get the forms Zeus, Zēn, Zeu alongside the oblique forms Diós, Día (previously Diwós, Díwa before most dialects lost /w/).


Similarly, Latin Juppiter comes from a vocative form combined with the word for "father"; compare the Christian formula "Heavenly Father". The PIE vocative form is reconstructed as *dyew, which became Proto-Italic *djou (aka *dyow, different ways of writing the same thing).

Unlike in Ancient Greek, the *dj didn't survive as a special palatalized consonant: it simplified into /j/ by Latin times. Then *Jou-patēr became Jū-piter by sound change, and then sometimes became Juppiter due to something called the "littera rule"; the two forms were in free variation.

The oblique forms on *diw- also survived into Latin, creating the noun *djow- > Jov-is (where Classical Latin v represents /w/). This had normal third-declension (consonant-stem) forms: Jov-is, Jov-ī, Jov-em, and so on. Through suppletion, the special form Juppiter with "father" glommed on took over the nominative and vocative, while the regular Jov- was used for all other cases.

The accusative form of the root, *dyēm (cf AGrk Zēn), also survived in Latin, in the form *diēm > diem. Uniquely, the dy here didn't become *dj > j; some scholars suggest that it evolved in a different Italic language/dialect, which didn't have the palatalization rules, then got borrowed back into Latin. When it did come back to Latin, though, it was with a new meaning of "day" (instead of "sky/sky god"), and it was extrapolated into a whole paradigm on the stem di-, and forced into the fifth declension where it didn't really fit (di-ēs, di-ēī, etc).

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It's not uncommon for a sequence like /dj/ to develop to something else through palatalization of the /d/. That seems to have happened here in both Latin and Greek, but with different ultimate results.

From the comments:

  • I believe there is a phonological rule in Proto-Greek where d + yod => zeta.

    – Cerberus Sep 5 '12 at 16:42

  • Anlaut (word-initial) PIE *dy corresponds to Latin i (Sihler 2008: 189). A notorious exception is the word "dies".

    – Alex B. Sep 5 '12 at 20:29

0

In PIE there was a word meaning "sky", dius. This word gave numerous cognates, one of which a generic word for a god, deiu̯os.

Another reconstructed cognate is the PIE word for the Romans' supreme god, whom they called di̯eus pa̯tēr. The first part in this word, di̯eus is a genitive of dius, so here it means "of the sky".

This means that Latin word for a god, deus is a derivative of PIE deiu̯os and retains the meaning, i.e. "a god", while both Jupiter and Zeus derive from the personal name of the supreme deity, di̯eus pa̯tēr.

Besides this, PIE also had another set of cognates, meaning "god", derived from the root "dhee̯-", "to put, place" (compare reduplicated verb dhedhee̯ti "puts, places"). These words include dhee̯s and dhe̯sos, both epithets of gods, meaning "establisher" (compare dhee̯tēr "creator").

These words are at the origin of some other modern words, such as "theology".

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    What framework are you working within, where a zero-grade is found in the nominative, and an e-grade in the genitive? I have never seen that reconstruction before, only the other way around: di̯ēus is the nominative, and the genitive is diu̯ós. I don’t see how you could possibly fit Skr. ns. dyaus, gs. divás and Gk. ns. Ζεύς, gs. Διός (or basically any other attested forms) into such a framework. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 16 '13 at 14:48
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet Due to internal derivation, genitive of one word can be nominative of another one. In this case, genitive of "sky" became nominative for "god", which in turn developed its own genitive. This is a standard process for PIE. – Anixx Jul 16 '13 at 16:22
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    I’d like to see a source for that. I would also like to see how you explain the attested forms I quoted above from a paradigm ns. *dius, gs. *di̯eus. Vr̥ddhi formation is a standard process in PIE, and building separate paradigms from diverging core forms in originally single paradigms is a common (though not standard) process in individual branches and languages, but not in PIE itself. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 16 '13 at 16:34
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet look specifically for the term "internal derivation". – Anixx Jul 16 '13 at 16:36
  • Yes, thank you, I know what internal derivation is. That does not address the question. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 16 '13 at 16:51

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