what enjoy the most is to trace back the words right to their origin. i had little study on Mazandarani(tabari\tapuri) dialect spoken is Mazandaran province of Iran. traced back some words to their protp-indo-europian roots (i hope i did it right). one of them for example:

val /væl / (adjective) wry [neo-persian: χol=stupid middle persian: χɔhɜl=wry, mad pal: χvæhl=wry peo: *hrɑχrɑ from root *hvɑk san: vɑkrɑˈ PIE root: *suek-=to bend, to arch it, also forms old german: wanga deu: wange both mean "cheek". san: vɑkræŋɑ=goose; vakra(awry organs) + aŋɑ(creature). this PIE root is correlate with PIE: klo-dhro which forms lat: coluber forming fra: cobra forming fas: kɔbrɑ.]

now i want to progress further and do some more but i need some help on finding rich references especially on extinct Indo-European languages.

  • 3
    You will probably get some good references, but when you want to do etymology seriously, you will need to learn at least a bit of the relevant languages (In your case, Avestan, Sanskrit, and one Kentum language, e.g., Classical Greek or Latin, maybe some Russian and some Turkish, too, for identifying more recent loans). This helps you in internal analysis of word forms. Jun 3, 2019 at 8:48
  • yeah totally agree with you. I didn't find any old language teaching but some old books which are barely readable.
    – shetal
    Jun 3, 2019 at 14:49

3 Answers 3


I'd suggest Fritz's Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics. It touches on every branch of Indo-European in several different aspects, with a not-excessive-but-generally-sufficient level of detail.

Buying a hard copy will unfortunately set you back several hundred dollars: check your local library first (or, better yet, a university or research library). It's a classic in the field and copies shouldn't be too hard to find.

  • thanks.famous books and websites are easy to find what I'm after are unknown articles and blogs that sometime contain valuable information.
    – shetal
    Jun 3, 2019 at 14:53
  • @shetal As a general rule, officially-published books will be much better references than an unknown blog post.
    – Draconis
    Jun 3, 2019 at 20:10

Modern entry literature exists fourfold from Ringe, Fortson, Meyer-Brügger, Mallory, as far as I know. Ringe gives a good notion about statistical chance in another report, too.

Dictionaries exist a few, Pokorny first of all and then Rix et al's Lexicon of the Indo-european Verb (LIV). But most reconstructions are distributed over shelves full of etymological dictionaries for the daughter languages.

Even more confusing is the journal publication scene. A wide array of special interest groups publish linguistic essays, proceedings and other material in a wide array of topics. Dictionaries cite papers, and papers cite each other, so accessability is pretty good, at least if you have access to a university library with licenses.

Just looking up "proto indo european filetype:pdf" in scholar.google.com for example finds many accessible papers that can take a while to read , naturally with mainstreram topics leading the cite-count. Maybe "substrate language" would refine the search to your interest.


A very good book dealing with all branches of Indo-European is The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World

In that you will find thousands of PIE roots and their development in different branches like e.g. Iranian.

Then, as already suggested, you should start collecting etymological material on different branches of IE. Brill/Leiden has a whole series of those Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series, but they gonna hurt your pocket.

Some free resources that I personally like for tracing roots are https://www.etymonline.com/ and http://www.palaeolexicon.com.

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    I disagree with the recommendation of etymonline. It is being composed by an anonymous historian and does not give sources for the etymologies. Although it uses a lot of generally reliable sources, it is a mix up of copycat work. It tends to go overboard on giving explanations where there is no real consensus. Jun 6, 2019 at 9:37
  • 1
    @jknappen well you're right in that aspect, but for a quick lookup prior to further investigation it is not that bad. For that purpose I find it as usable as wikipedia. The reconstructions are sometimes outdated and that's what is disturbing for my part.
    – Midas
    Jun 7, 2019 at 13:37

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