Questions tagged [indo-european]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Subtypes of Standard Average European

I was looking at a sprachbund called Standard Average European, which seems to include Germanic, Romance and Slavic languages. I will not list all the features here since they can be found on ...
3 votes
0 answers
90 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, ...
13 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is the Indo-European language family made up?

Question Which European Languages are not Indo-European? on History.SE got this peculiar comment from user mathreadler: None of them are. Indo-European is completely made-up language family by ...
2 votes
0 answers
73 views

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? ...
-2 votes
2 answers
263 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 *...
-1 votes
1 answer
70 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,...
2 votes
2 answers
423 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
148 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
135 views

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" ...
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
-2 votes
1 answer
154 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, ...
3 votes
0 answers
123 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 ...
-9 votes
1 answer
808 views

Why Germanic languages are not generally as soft as other Indo-European languages? [closed]

Let me clarify what I mean by "harsh" and "soft" with an example: Suppose that you've just arrived in a strange planet and an alien is approaching you repeating just one vowel! ...
2 votes
2 answers
453 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/
-3 votes
1 answer
133 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
235 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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
687 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 ...
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is there a general consensus on what modern language is the closest relative of Albanian?

I'm off to Albania tomorrow so starting to get more and more interested in the language. It's one of the outliers on the Indo-European family tree. It's not hard to see a relationship but it's not ...
2 votes
1 answer
163 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&...
2 votes
5 answers
864 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 ...
3 votes
4 answers
229 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
119 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
1 answer
274 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, ...
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Do the words "angst" and "anxiety" share a common root?

The English word angst, taken from German Angst, seems to ultimately originate from Proto-Germanic *angustiz. This word has descendants in many Germanic languages, including, but not limited to, ...
0 votes
2 answers
101 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
129 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
94 views

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?
-5 votes
1 answer
79 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" ...
14 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is there any agglutinative Indo-European language?

It seems like Indo-European languages are always stuck between throwing away complicated fusional grammar (like English) or retaining most of it (like Russian). Are there any Indo-European languages ...
0 votes
4 answers
798 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
109 views

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 ...
9 votes
2 answers
387 views

Origin of *-k- "extension" in (aorist of) some IE verbs?

In Greek, the PIE verbal roots *dheh1 'put' or 'do', *Hieh1 'throw', and *deh3 'give' show up with an unexpected -k- in some aorist forms: ἔθηκα, ἧκα, ἔδωκα. In Latin, the reflexes of the first two ...
6 votes
6 answers
2k views

Are Armenian գունդ (gund) and Sanskrit गिन्दुक (ginduka) related?

I was just looking at the words for "ball" in many languages. I noticed that Armenian has a word գունդ gund and Hindustani has a word गेंद / گیند gẽnd. I didn't spot any other language with a ...
16 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is "Kent" in Tashkent of Turkic origin or Indo-European?

In Turkish there is this word Kent which means city. Some Turkic city names have this as a suffix, like Başkent and Tashkent. In Azerbaijani the same word, with the spelling of Kənd (Kand) means ...
1 vote
1 answer
177 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-.
6 votes
2 answers
936 views

What are cognates of "fuck" in other Indo-European languages?

I am not asking for translations, but how the word itself is related to words in other languages and what those words have come to mean like how "shit" is related to "science". I would really ...
0 votes
2 answers
274 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
620 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
113 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 &...
0 votes
1 answer
286 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 ...
10 votes
2 answers
660 views

How is it that such varied sounds (in major European Languages) came to be represented by the same letter "j"?

The letter "j" is pronounced differently in the following major European languages: English:  just  /d͡ʒʌst/ Spanish: justo /ˈxus.to/ German: junge /ˈjʊŋə/ French:  juste  /ʒyst/ How is ...
2 votes
3 answers
161 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) "...
2 votes
3 answers
269 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
3 answers
364 views

Germanic comparative grammars?

Can anyone recommend a good comparative grammar of the Germanic languages -- or, failing that, good historical grammars specifically for Old English and Old Norse? Ideally, what I want is a ...
4 votes
1 answer
705 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 ...
35 votes
6 answers
13k views

Can Modern Hebrew be considered an Indo-European language?

According to this Wikipedia page Zuckermann argues that Israeli Hebrew, which he calls "Israeli", is genetically both Indo-European (Germanic, Slavic and Romance) and Afro-Asiatic (Semitic). He ...
1 vote
1 answer
236 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
234 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
307 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?