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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Does Northern Kurdish actually have a paucal number?

For the past 10+ years, the Wikipedia article "Grammatical number" has stated: Of the Indo-European languages, Kurmanji (also known as Northern Kurdish) is one of the few known languages ...
John Fortnight's user avatar
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What is "sub-Indo-European"?

Apparently Leiden had a conference on "sub-Indo-European". Google isn't very helpful, resulting in a dead link: Sub-Indo-European Europe: Problems, Methods and Evidence - Leiden University ...
vectory's user avatar
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Was Old Church Slavonic more Greek/Thracian then actually Slavic and can Proto-Slavic be considered a languge from Indo-European family?

First of all, thank you for reading this question. While checking some proposed restorations of Indo-European words, I noticed that for Slavic words the Old Church Slavonic is used. I've searched some ...
Paul V's user avatar
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What recent (since 2014) work is there on the origin of the Indo-European 1st person singular nominative ego (etc.)?

I have an article by Hamp from 2011 and one by Blažek from 2014, but need to know if there is anything more recent, so I can cite it in an article that needs to be finished yesterday.
Attila the Pun's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
205 views

What influenced the fact in almost all European languages ​the word human "man" means a male?

Why "werman" (OldEnglish man as male) became simply Man (human) and "wifman" (OldEnglish man as female) became woman? Man in English (man, human) Homme in French (man, human) Mann ...
Orii's user avatar
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Is it reasonable to connect the Old Persian/Avestan word for "garden" with the Greek word?

The Old Persian/Avestan word for "garden/orchard" is bustan/bostan. On the surface, this word looks very similar to the Greek term botane, which means the same thing (and is clearly the ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
102 views

What is the origin of decade-unit inversion?

Some Indo-European languages (e.g. English, Spanish, French, most Slavic languages) have a big-endian pronunciation of numbers: 153 is hundred-and-fifty-and-three. Others (e.g. German, Sanskrit, ...
De117's user avatar
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What argument did Paul Kretschmer use for Illyrian being a satem language?

Kretschmer identified both Illyrian and Messapic as satem languages due to the change from IE o to a. Illyrian language - Wikipedia That sounds like complete nonsense to me. How does the argument go? ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
131 views

What happened with the centum words in Bangani?

IE K^ > K has been proposed for Bangani ( http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pehook/bangani.html ) for *g()lak^t > lOktO ‘milk’, etc. Claus Peter Zoller claimed that Bangani was related to Kashmiri,...
Sean Whalen's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
250 views

Why is Ural-Altaic controversial, but Indo-European isn't?

There is no direct record of Proto-Indo-European and there's barely any non-hypothetical evidence of Proto-Indo-Europeans. Why is Indo-European considered a language family while Ural-Altaic isn't, ...
Backstauber's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
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Stable words in the Indo-European language family

(I am not a linguist, so I don't know proper terminology) When studying Spanish and French, I quickly learned that many very common verbs have irregular forms; the reason given was that common usage ...
Arcanus's user avatar
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The relationship between Mora-timed languages, long vowels and quantitative verse, also the status of Iranian and Balto-Slavo-Germanic?

In an anthropological forum, there was once a view that because Latin, Greek, Sanskrit (also Celtic IIRC) are Mora-timed, they are divided into one subgroup. However, "syllable-timed" ...
Fatyanovo2022's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
323 views

Etymology of Kalb/Canis

Dog is in : *Indo European languages Latin/Roman Languages Latin: canis Chien in French Cane in Italian cão in Portuguese cane in corsican câine in Romanian Armenian -շուն (shun) in Armenian *...
Kemal AL GAZZAH's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
255 views

Etymology of Persian city suffix +jand

City names in Iran and Central Asia, such as "Birjand" in Iran and "Khujand" in Tajikistan end with "jand" suffix. The first idea that comes to my mind is that it might ...
anonymous's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
264 views

Is Sanskrit the origin of every language [duplicate]

I tried to search everywhere but i couldn't find anything about my question. So i wanna ask in this site because i think this site can help me. The thing i wanna ask is Is Sanskrit the origin of all ...
Profriend's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
735 views

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 ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
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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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
210 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&...
Fatyanovo2022's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
140 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 ...
MeltedStatementRecognizing's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
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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 ...
WoJ's user avatar
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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 ...
It'sNotALie.'s user avatar
-5 votes
1 answer
82 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" ...
Peter's user avatar
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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 ...
Davius's user avatar
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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?
Anton Sherwood's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
337 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, ...
asinoladro's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
217 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-.
Кузнецов Анатолий's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
423 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 ...
hmmmmmmm's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
783 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 ...
Jasperrolla's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
125 views

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 &...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
257 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 ...
cipricus's user avatar
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1 answer
449 views

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 ...
talopl's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
185 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) "...
talopl's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
287 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 ...
Artemij Keidan's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
779 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,...
Buttonwood's user avatar
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 ...
minseong's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
280 views

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 ...
MMastro1610's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
304 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 ...
Simon Korneev's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
379 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?
The Thin Whistler's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
128 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 ...
shetal's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
460 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 ...
Perry Webb's user avatar
11 votes
0 answers
338 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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
300 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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
239 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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
496 views

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/
nastenka's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
280 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, ...
theoremseeker's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
158 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 ?
mizunooto's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
647 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
771 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 ...
user avatar