Talaz is a word that means "wave, tornado" in Turkish dialects. dalga means "wave" in Turkish. You can use the following two links to look up the word's attestations throughout history:

https://www.etimolojiturkce.com/kelime/dalga to https://www.nisanyansozluk.com/?k=dalga to

When I saw the word "thalassa" which was defined as Pre-Greek and was not given its etymology, I did not have much foreignness. Because it continues to be used in Turkish dialects. And I think this word, defined as Pre-Greek, is one of the oldest traces of Pre- Turkic.

NOTE : talaz may be loanword from Greek, in Turkish ? I am not sure. I am not a Turkish propagandist.

( sorry for English )

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    The meaning storm only came in later Greek anyway. It seems like you're trying to be objective and not a propagandist, but the methodology you have used is essentially the one that propagandists use. The senses, places and times just don't overlap, it's not possible without time travel. Aug 3, 2019 at 14:02
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    As far as isolating IE languages, well, it's useful to note the pre-IE substrate words that survive in nearly every IE language. For one, they are a clue to older civilisations and language families, and they help us understand how the family diverged. Aug 3, 2019 at 14:07
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    You need to be careful when you write "the word", and I need to read closer, because I thought for a second you meant thalassa was used in Turkish dialects, not thalassa. Given three words and an unknown root, there are 16 possible non cyclic rooted graphs, ignoring phonetic and archeologic uncertainties and other almost necessary intermediariea: G>(T1,T2); (T1,G)>(G or T1)>T2; G>T1>T2; T1>G>T2; etc. (All rooted in x>...). That's a lot. Which variant are you implying? What does @AdamBittlingmayer suppose the d- comes from? Agr th- reflects *dh-. I know nothing about Turkic :-(
    – vectory
    Aug 3, 2019 at 14:57
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    The topic of wave+storm makes a sea-near localization attractive, though rivers can flood, too. Obviously I had to look up deluge. The word wave is also significant to refuge-es, migration as well as storm is to attack, as much as Ger überschwappen "to cross a threshold" (onomatopoetic?) aligns with to swap, or überlaufen "to run over" (whereas PGem *laugo leaves me guessing; cp. lake). I will repeat that I am under the impression that l- makes for an immensly dense cluster of interleaved (see? -leaved!), cp e.g. verlassen. sl- fares no better.
    – vectory
    Aug 3, 2019 at 15:11
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    Loads of marine vocabulary passed from Greek to Turkish, not the other way around. You loan terms for things that are not originally in your environment. Proto-Greek speakers in turn loaned the word from the Aegean population(s), hence Greek has a many words/nuences for a word for sea. The languages spoken in the Aegean pre-date the arrival of Turkic speakers in the area by many millenia.
    – Midas
    Aug 4, 2019 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


The main problem with the word 'θάλασσα' is explaining the source of the geminate -σσ-. Native Greek words and PIE words don't have geminated consonants. Further, In various Greek dialects the word appears as θάλασσα, θάλαττα (Attic), θάλαθθα (Cretan), possibly even δαλαγχα ("Macedonian"? according to the source). So the original source needs to have been something that could reasonably diverge into the forms /ss/, /tt/, and /ttʰ/, (and /gkʰ~ŋkʰ~nkʰ/ for that Macedonian form). See this question on Latin Stack Exchange for a thorough discussion of the nature of this sound.

So: Any etymology for the word needs to explain not merely the first syllable θαλ- but the whole word. There is no evidence that a Turkic origin can explain the word's phonology.

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    Was Macedonian γχ actually /gkʰ/? I would have thought /ŋkʰ/ (or /nkʰ/ depending on your analysis).
    – Draconis
    Aug 3, 2019 at 21:28
  • @Draconis I was always taught that γ was /n/ when followed by γ or χ but that was Attic. Aug 3, 2019 at 23:10
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    @Mark Beadles: I would put an questionmark next to "Macedonian" for δαλαγχα. It is a pure speculation, as the word is orphan. Other than that, good answer!
    – Midas
    Aug 4, 2019 at 7:18

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