Questions tagged [indo-european]

The language family covering the majority of the languages of Europe and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent.

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1 answer
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Indo-European languages that have innovated a nominative-accusative distinction for neuter nouns

One ubiquitous and ancient feature of Indo-European languages is a lack of contrast between the nominative and accusative for neuter nouns. I'll restrict attention to nouns here and not independent ...
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1 vote
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Inherited kinship term that is attested only in a Scandinavian dialect out of all Germanic languages

This is again a memory refreshing question. I am looking for a specific kinship term that is considered to be inherited into a Scandinavian dialect despite the fact that no other Germanic language has ...
2 votes
1 answer
118 views

Balto-Slavic or archaic IE loanwords in Ossetian?

There are some unique Indo-European words in Ossetian that do not exist in Avestan or Persian, but do exist in Tocharian, Germanic or BS. Ossetian ӕвзист "silver", has BS cognates("star&...
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

Lingustics Problem about Breton Number System

Historical Background on Breton Breton is a language spoken in Brittany, France. It is related to both English and French. Here are some numbers and rules: Some Background on Breton number system ...
2 votes
2 answers
143 views

What are these "unexplained similarities" between Celtic languages and languages from North Africa?

In the section "The linguistic relationship of Welsh" from the book "Modern Welsh: a comprehensive grammar" by Gareth King we can find the following quote: Celtic also shows ...
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2 answers
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Is there a place which cross-references letters in European languages?

During a discussion with my son, we started to wonder how many "non-ASCII" (EDIT: roughly speaking, see below) letters there are in European languages. By "ASCII" here, I mean ...
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1 answer
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How did the usage of the word "type" to refer to a person come about?

In Spanish, you often use the word "tipo" not only to say literally the type of something, but to refer to a person (usually with some mildly negative connotations, e.g. "¡este tipo no ...
-5 votes
1 answer
76 views

Are "comma" names in IE languages somehow related with yarn?

The Russian name of "comma" is "запятая zapjatája" which is cognate to english "to spin"(a yarn) The Russian name of "full stop" is "точка tóčka" ...
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1 answer
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Could lat. circus 'circle' (< gr. κίρκος) and κύκλος 'cycle' be related?

It is well established that the Latin word circus 'circle' is a loanword from Greek κίρκος kírkos 'circle, ring'. But it seems that κίρκος is of uncertain origin. One possibility is that κίρκος would ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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analogic accusative endings on pronouns?

Do accusative ‘me’ and ‘thee’ have final /m/ (or evidence of a lost or altered /m/), by analogy with (non-neuter) nouns, in any Indo-European language?
2 votes
1 answer
209 views

Western European languages tend to have fewer genders and simpler case systems than Eastern European ones, is this due to contact?

You can draw a relatively consistent line through Europe, to the west of which, Indo-European languages mostly have one or two genders and nouns don't inflect for case, and to the east of which, ...
1 vote
1 answer
157 views

Why do Ancient Greek words have "εί" from PIE "e"?

Why do Ancient Greek words have "εί" from PIE "e"? Ancient Greek κείρω <- PIE *(s)ker-.
0 votes
2 answers
185 views

Is there a reason germanic languages are more different from other PIE languages?

I apoligize that this question is not very formalized. Maybe the assumption in the question is wrong. I am asking because looking at latin, greek and sanskrit, these languages seem quite similar to ...
4 votes
1 answer
555 views

Where did the Greek consonant cluster "ps" come from

Where did the Greek consonant cluster "ps" come from? I tried finding resources to track down this fun-sounding consonant cluster but came with no information. I was thinking about a voicing ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Why is the Croatian word "pjena" (foam) spelt with "je" as if it were from Slavic yat, rather than "i", as it is from Slavic "y"?

Why is the Croatian word "pjena" (foam) spelt with "je" as if it were from Slavic yat, rather than "i", as it is from Slavic "y"? We know it is from Slavic &...
3 votes
4 answers
209 views

In what sense are terms for "white/shining" and for "swamp/marsh" "semantically connected" in many languages?

Although a closed question, reading THIS we find a link to Wictionary with the text: From Proto-Albanian *baltā (“marsh”), hypothetically from a Proto-Indo-European *bʰolHto- (“white > marsh”), a ...
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1 answer
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Are some numbers considered cognates between Semitic languages and Indo-European languages? [duplicate]

0 In hebrew and arabic, the number 7 is "sheva" and "sabah" respectively, and the number six is "shesh" and "sita" respectively. These numbers sound very ...
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2 votes
3 answers
147 views

The verb to have in relation to the past

In many Indo-European languages, you use the verb "to have" to describe the past. For example: "I have been", "J'ai été", (French) "He estado" (Spanish) "...
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2 votes
3 answers
248 views

Superiority of the Indo-European hypothesis

I am assuming that the hypothesis of an Indo-European phylogenetic relationship is the best of such kind, within the historical-comparative linguistics. It is the best proven, it has the richest data ...
4 votes
1 answer
632 views

Why there is a neuter gender in some Indo-European languages, and others apparently dropped it?

Since this one was shown as "hot network question", this question is a follow-up which I do not identify (yet) as answered e.g., here, raised as an observer (chemist). As stated by the title,...
20 votes
3 answers
6k views

Since when did Indo-European languages start associating noun genders with male/female sexes?

Since what point in time did noun classes in Indo-European languages become associated with the sexes? I read that greek/latin used words that translate to "kind" to describe the noun ...
1 vote
1 answer
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How likely is a close connection between Northwest Caucasian languages and Proto-Indo-European?

How likely is a "Pontic" language family linking languages from Northwestern Caucasus with Proto-Indo-European? The Yamnaya people had a lot of Caucasus ancestry, could some tribe from the ...
3 votes
1 answer
186 views

Indo-European cognate calculator

There are Indo-European cognate pairs that are phonetically exact and regular in the sense that their phonematic make-up is completely explained by systematic application of the relevant sound rules ...
1 vote
1 answer
259 views

Did Proto-Indo-European have retracted /s̠/?

Was the /s/ in PIE retracted (/s̠/) as in modern Greek, standard European Spanish and most likely ancient Greek and Latin, or was it pronounced as in modern English?
0 votes
2 answers
119 views

pronunciation of word origins [closed]

there are many sources for indo-europian languages' etymology but I don't know where to find one which shows the pronunciation of the word's origins. for example, I can't understand how the given ...
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2 votes
2 answers
578 views

Are Germanic languages closer to Italo-Celtic languages or Balto-Slavic languages?

I ask because in some recent classifications, Italo-Celtic languages (like French, Spanish, Italian, Irish, and Breton), Balto-Slavic languages (like Lithuanian, Russian, Polish, and Serbo-Croat), and ...
6 votes
2 answers
380 views

How widespread across language families is the root, krt, meaning cut/short?

How widespread across language families is the root, krt, meaning cut/short? This root is prevalent across the Indo-European and Semitic language families. It may have spread across languages like ...
10 votes
0 answers
223 views

What kind of features support the claim that Slavic languages are closer to Germanic languages than to Indo-Iranian languages?

Inspired by this answer to a different question, I ask what kind of features justify a claim that Balto-Slavic languages are closer to Germanic languages than to Indo-Iranian languages. The features ...
2 votes
1 answer
155 views

Status of Nordwestblock / Ancient Belgian hypothesis

What is the status of the Nordwestblock or Ancient Belgian hypothesis right now? This hypothesis was proposed independently by two authors in the 1960ies (Kuhn and Gysseling) and is about an ...
4 votes
2 answers
192 views

Is there any reflex of initial *h₁?

It's commonly posited that all PIE roots consist of two groups of consonants, neither of which can be empty. For example, the root *h₁ed- has the groups *h₁ and *d. However, I'm not aware of any ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Is Ruki sound law a Satem "Rhotacism"

Is Ruki sound law a Satem variant of "Rhotacism" English PIE Russian ear h₂ṓws ухо /úxo/ sear *sh₂ews- сухо /súxo/ deer *dʰéws дух /dux/ alder h₂élis- ольха /olʹxá/ their ??? тех /tex/
6 votes
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217 views

Has the development of double consonants in Latin been studied?

When one studies both Latin and Greek, one of the most prominent differences between the two is the much greater number of double consonants in Latin. While Greek does have some instances of them, ...
0 votes
1 answer
135 views

How does Bengali “choe” (ছয়, meaning “six”) derive from a root like “ṣáṣ” (Vedic Sanskrit) or “*s(w)eḱs” (PIE)?

As a layperson I can see how the Bengali numbers relate to those in European languages I can think of, but it has ‘choe’ where I would expect a sh- sound. What are the mechanics behind this ?
1 vote
1 answer
524 views

What's the relationship between Old English and Germanic?

I read a line in the book "The Germanic vocabulary of Old English has not survived particularly well into the current period". This really confused me a lot. Isn't English a branch of Germanic ...
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0 votes
1 answer
446 views

What is the relationship of Proto-Indo-European, Indo-European, Proto-Germanic and Germanic?

I know that Indo-European is the name of a family of languages that includes nearly all the major tongues of Europe and several outside Europe, such as Persian and Hindi. Germanic is a sub-category of ...
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33 votes
10 answers
4k views

Is the connection between 'right' in the sense of direction and concepts like 'correct' limited to Indo-European languages?

I'm now familiar with enough Indo-European languages to know in almost all of them there's an etymological connection or outright homonymy between the word(s) for 'right' in the sense of direction and ...
6 votes
1 answer
447 views

Why are there so many 'a' sounds in Sanskrit?

I noticed that in Sanskrit (as well as in many Indo-Aryan languages), the vowel /a/ appears much more frequently than any other vowel. Many words have only have /a/ as a vowel. Is there any reason ...
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2 answers
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Ukranian зозуля cuckoo

I unfortunately did not find the etymology of Ukranian word зозуля zozúlja cuckoo. May it be a satemization ?
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4 answers
633 views

Why does Latin, Turkish, and Albanian share common words?

Latin and Albanian are Indo-European languages so it makes sense that those two languages share many words with each-other. But why is it that Turkish — a non-Indo-European language — shares words ...
1 vote
1 answer
285 views

Etymology of Slovene vrtnica "rose". Can it be the Slavic reflex of PIE *wr̥dʰos “sweetbriar”?

Slovene has a word: vrtnica (wiktionary: en, sl) meaning "rose". It resembles the known Proto-Indo-European *wr̥dʰos “sweetbriar”, which gives Persian gul "rose, flower" and Old/...
2 votes
5 answers
741 views

Does Linear A potentially have the oldest Indo-European text that we know of?

I was looking at Ancient Greek history and found out about Linear B. It was a deciphered syllabic script that was used around 1000 BC. But, there was a system called Linear A that was used from 1800 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
243 views

Is it normal for only one verb class to be productive in Indo-European languages?

In another question on this site, there is some discussion on the view that the so-called "strong verb" class in English is no longer "productive" - that is, newly formed or coined words (neologisms) ...
1 vote
0 answers
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Usage of the implicit object-subordinate clause in Italian (i.e. Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English - part II)

In a sense, the following question is a sequel of this one: Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English. In that question I asked some information about the usage of the implicit ...
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3 answers
179 views

An idea to phonetically relate Indo-European first-person singular personal pronouns [closed]

The chart shows what i guess about the succession using probable changes like e>ye or s>sh>ch or a>ya PS: I'm not a linguist, just a curious language learner
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2 answers
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is english excellent and arabic galaal related?

in Arabic calāl جلال [#cll msd.] means : great and majestic greatness this word derives from Arabic calla " great"- Aramean gēl, galā " mound" When I saw this Arabic word, I compared it to the word ...
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3 answers
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In which languages could a phrase like "We went to lunch with Bob" signify an event in which exactly two people took part?

I'm sorry for the perhaps weirdly worded question, but here's my attempt to explain better what I mean: In English, if I say "We went to lunch with Bob" means that the people involved are me, Bob, ...
6 votes
2 answers
225 views

Wanderwörter between IE and Semitic

Animals have legs, and so it seems do terms for animals. Bulls in particular: Hebrew šūr (שור), Arabic θaur (ثور), Sanskrit sthūra, Greek ταυρος, Latin taurus, Russian туръ, Gothic stiur. Is there ...
24 votes
3 answers
20k views

Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

Hindus believe that "Sanskrit is the mother of all Languages". It is a fact that Sanskrit has enriched most Indian Languages including the Dravidian Languages such as Telugu, as Latin enriched some ...
6 votes
1 answer
447 views

Is there any similar verb negation in other Indo-European languages?

In the northern part of Iran, in Mazandaran, we negate like this (this is the only verb being used like this as far as I'm aware of): bɜtʊ̈ndɜ: he/she can bætʊ̈ndɜ: he/she can't is there anything ...
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Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language?

Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language? If not, and if possible, about how much can we safely say there is?