Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the reconstructed proto-language for the Indo-European language family

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8
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2answers
2k views

Why are the orthographies of Ancient/Proto Languages so Impractical?

For example: In the Romanization of Sumerian, /ŋ/ is written as ⟨g̃⟩ or ⟨ĝ⟩ instead of ⟨ng⟩ or even ⟨ŋ⟩. Also in Sumerian /t͡sʰ/ is written ⟨ř⟩ or ⟨dr⟩. The list goes on with Sumerian. In Proto-Indo-...
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Why does it seem that all Proto-Germanic words have PIE roots?

In Latin, there are words from Etruscan and unknown sources. In Proto-Germanic, pretty much all words are from Proto-Indo-European. Why is that? Are the Proto-Germanic peoples and language very ...
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Can we make a case for PIE-Tunguso-Ainu-Korean numerals for one and two?

There is a widespread Altaic theory that puts all these families (except PIE) into one group, the case for common numerals for one and two seems more plausible. I also add Chukchi-Kamchadal family ...
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2answers
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Proto-Indo-European words for moon?

There are two words for moon in Proto-Indo-European, *lówksneh (cognate with 'lunar'), and *méhns (cognate with 'moon' and 'month'). I think that *lówksneh means "a shining moon" and is more common, ...
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1answer
72 views

Proto-Indo-European protowriting? [closed]

The Mesopotamians had their own writing system. The Mesopotamians are said to have invented the wheel. The reconstructed vocabulary of the Proto-Indo-Europeans indicates that they had wheels. There is ...
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What's with an j/w alternation in some PIE pronouns?

There's a seeming alternation between *j (IEist notation *y) and *w in the PIE 2nd person pronoun (such as between *tewe and *toy) and in the reflexive pronoun (such as between *sewe and *soy). What's ...
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2answers
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What might've *bhes- imitated?

bhes- To breathe. Probably imitative. Zero-grade form **bhs‑*. Of what was *bhes- probably imitative? How? How would've hypothetical Proto-Indo-Europeans judged *bhes- to sound like breathing?...
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Is there credible evidence for Proto-Indo-Uralic? [duplicate]

Proto-Indo-Uralic is possibly an ancient language that was spoken around ten thousand years ago. I have heard that this has evidence but it hasn’t been proven. So, is there any real evidence (...
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Any reasons for unexplained centumization in Balto-Slavic?

Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic languages are called satem languages, because in them the Proto-Indo-European palatovelars *ḱ, *ǵ, and *ǵʰ developed into sibilants or affricats, usually into [s]/[z]- or ...
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0answers
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Some idea of PIE in the ancient world? [duplicate]

Did the ancient Greeks and Romans have the idea (at least partly) similar to the concept the Proto-Indoeuropean language? Many among the elite spoke Greek fluently or at least learnt it intensively. ...
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1answer
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The impact on the deciphering of the Carian language on proto-Anatolian

Despite written in an alphabetic script, the Carian language resisted decipherment for a long time and we can only read it for about three decades now. The Carian language turned out to be a member of ...
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2answers
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Reconstructing pre-proto languages

I have asked about reconstructing pre-PIE from PIE and possibly using daughter languages for help and got no response. What I remembered is a book about Proto-Afroasiatic that I stumbled upon. First, ...
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1answer
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Welcome and BienVenidos

In English and Spanish, the words for welcome have an uncanny relation: the translation is almost completely (if not completely) literal.Bien means well and venidos means come/came in the plural or ...
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Does knowing PIE roots help with vocab?

It is known that in theory (and in practice, but you need dedication in practice) learning Latin can help with vocabulary in English. (I know Spanish, it helped me with vocab words, and I'm learning ...
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1answer
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Why is Proto-Indo-European form for light *lewktom? [closed]

Why is Proto-Indo-European form for light *lewktom when Russian has satem лысина (lɨsʲɪnə) bald spot?
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2answers
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How did Proto-Indo-Europeans view the world? [closed]

I was watching a video about Proto-Indo-European culture by Xidnaf at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErXa5PyHj4I. It said that Proto-Indo-Europeans probably had most or all of these philosophical ...
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Do Indus texts potentially have the oldest Indo-European text that we know of?

There are some texts left by an ancient civilization in India. They were written around 2700-1800 BCE. They have not been able to decipher them yet. Is it possible that the texts were Indo-European? ...
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How could Proto-Indo-European not get dissolved into creoles during the Indo-European expansion?

First of all, I must say that I realise that this is not exactly a linguistics question so much as it is an anthropological, sociological, or historical question, but I suspect this might be the best ...
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2answers
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Reconstructed PIE grammar? Could we be able to speak in Proto-European?

I'm interested in etymology, so I see often the root of a word shown as a reconstructed PIE root, but is it only a set of words, or could we speak this reconstructed language? (even if it's only a ...
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5answers
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Could Proto-Indo-Uralic be reconstructed?

I am interested in linguistics and how words spread from place to place. I have seen that there are two language families, and that there are signs that they might be related. Proto-Indo-Uralic is the ...
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3answers
301 views

Why did Proto-Indo-European (probably) have such little vocab?

When I looked at words in Proto-Indo-European and how the words evolved, I found that there aren't a lot of words in that proto-language and that the words appear to be somewhat shorter than those in ...
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0answers
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Did the word circle come from the PIE word *kr-kr, which was said to be the Proto-Indo-European word for circular?

When I was reading on Wiktionary, I found something interesting. The word for circle was traced back to a Greek word which was said to be "of Pre-Greek origin". However, I read about the word carcer, ...
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2answers
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What happened to “accented velars” in Anatolian?

One of the oldest splits within Indo-European was between the Centum and Satem languages; they differ in what they did to the "accented velar" phonemes (like *ḱ and *ǵ). However, if I understand ...
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Are there any Latin and (ancient) Hebrew words with common origins?

More generally, is there any compelling evidence for any common roots between early Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic languages? There are almost necessarily some words that are not too dissimilar ...
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1answer
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Derivation of Greek οὐρά (backside) from PIE *h₁ers (flow)

I'm trying to understand how the Greek word for backside/rear could be derived from the PIE word for 'to flow'. There is a Sanskrit word arsati which means 'to pierce', so the meaning of the PIE root ...
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2answers
103 views

What would the linguistic ramifications be of Proto-Indo-European texts being found? [closed]

The oldest known Indo-European texts are (in time order) the Sanskrit, Hittite, and possibly Linear A (and other) languages. Linguists have reconstructed Proto-Indo-European. However, let's say that a ...
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1answer
259 views

How might one swear in Proto-Indo-European?

Proto-Indo-European is an interesting topic. I'm fascinated by how it spread. But, I wonder how to use curse words. These words, like others, will probably be reconstructed from other languages: Latin,...
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1answer
100 views

Why are PIE C+glide clusters so rare?

I noticed that *Cj/*Cy (depending on if one uses IPA or IEist notation) and *Cw sequences are rare in PIE (with most being the result of schwebeablaut or regular ablaut). Among sequences that aren't ...
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1answer
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What was the original Germanic agent suffix before Proto-Germanic speakers borrowed -er from Latin speakers?

as you can see from the title I would like to know what was the original Germanic agent suffix before Proto-Germanic speakers borrowed -er from Latin speakers. All I know is -a in Old English and I ...
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247 views

What are known PIE stock phrases?

In the wikipedia page for Proto-Indo-European, it said that Proto-Indo-Europeans had "oral heroic poetry or song lyrics that used stock phrases such as imperishable fame and wine-dark sea". What are ...
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3answers
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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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What if Proto-Indo-European documents written in a cuneiform like script were found? [closed]

Proto indo european (aka PIE) is an unrecorded (as far as we know) language that was possibly spoken in southern Russia or Ukraine. Let’s suppose that there was a building underground sealed with ...
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Statistical tests of PIE laryngeal theory

The fashionable theory of PIE laryngeals offers plausible explanations for many phenomena, but plausibility is not proof. Are any implications of the postulated laryngeals amenable to statistical ...
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1answer
350 views

Pre-Greek θάλασσα “thalassa” and Turkish talaz

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....
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1answer
108 views

Reference Request: connection between PIE \*leg- and \*les

There's an obvious similarity between the Proto-Indo-European reconstructed roots *leg- and *les-, both "to collect, gather", reflected in logos, Latin lego and German lesen respectively. I have not ...
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What semantic notions underlie PIE *meh₂d- ('wet') and Proto-Germanic *matōną, *matjaną (“to feed, eat”)?

I was reading the etymology of amadouer when I lighted on these attested morphemes: Etymology From Middle French amadouer (“to coax, lure”), from a- + *madouer (“to lure, give food to”), from ...
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1answer
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The Methatesis in “scope” vs “to show”

I would like to hear some ideas that can explain Greek *σκέπτομαι, σκοπός "watcher, look-out, spy, mark, goal" from Proto-Indo-European *skep-ye-, from a metathesis of *speḱ-. Cognate to ...
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How did vowel a in L. maneō “to remain” come from PIE *mn-eh₁- “to remain” < PIE *men- “to stay, stand still”?

AHD-IER (Watkins, 2011) P97 gives PIE *man-e- for L. maneō: Variant suffixed (stative) form *man-e-. MANOR, MANSE, MANSION, MENAGE; IMMANENT, PERMANENT, REMAIN, from Latin manere, to remain. ...
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3answers
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good references for old indo-European languages

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 ...
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1answer
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Proto-Indo-European (PIE) words with IPA

Are there any resources that can show IPA pronounciation for each PIE word? Either with laryngeals or without laryngeals? Wikitionary gives me only small list Category:Proto-Indo-European terms with ...
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If *h1 were a glottal stop, and virtually all German word initial vowels have an implicit glottal stop

If *h1 were a glottal stop, and virtually all German word initial vowels have implicit glottal stop then would the claim about regular laryngeal loss have to be revised? There's a rather recent ...
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1answer
77 views

Etymological connection between “uncus” and “unguis”

The Latin words uncus (hook) and unguis (claw, fingernail) appear very phonologically similar to me, and semantically I can see why 'hook' and 'claw' could derive from the same source. However, ...
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What's weird about Proto-Indo-European Stops?

I was reading Wikipedia, and it maintains that it's unusual for a language to have a voiceless-voiced-breathy distinction (without a voiceless aspirated), but that the Sanskrit 4-way distinction is ...
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1answer
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Is there any relationship between the Hungarian long s sound and the long s in some European languages?

This History SE question (with some references), which enquires about when the f (actually an ſ) became an s and why in English specifically, prompted me to wonder if there was any relationship with ...
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1answer
51 views

Is there any commentary on the etymology of the Tocharian word empreṃ?

The Tocharian word empreṃ 'truth' is often marked as being of unknown etymology. I cannot find a lot of commentary on it except from that it could be a middle Iranian word meaning 'confidence'. So, ...
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1answer
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PIE Etymology of Ger *heute* “today” vs Lt *hodie*, Sanskr *adja* etc

This question about Top of the morning got me thinking. Most west european words for today are akin, said to be influenced by Latin hodie1. But Sanskrit adja, from * PIE *h₁e-dy-és, *h₁é (“this”, and ...
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1answer
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Could someone illuminate for me how PGmc *suma and *sama(n) were derived?

Ie, I am assuming that they are both ultimately deriviative of PIE *sem-/*som-. So, how are they derived from this, in terms of morphemes, and their meanings? I have skimmed through both Ringe and ...
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1answer
367 views

Latin “niger” from *negʷ-?

Could Latin niger "black", of uncertain origin, come from *negʷ- "bare, naked"? For an analogy, compare black, blank, Spanish blanco "white, argent", and their roots PGem *blakaz "burnt", PGem *...
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2answers
327 views

Why does Sankr. नक्ति (nákti) not show Satemization

Did Sanskrit नक्ति (nákti) "night", PIE *nókʷts, not participate in the kentum-satem split? Why? Is it a loan? There are at least two synonyms, if that makes any difference. I have no actual reason ...
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1answer
511 views

How different were proto Italic and proto Celtic?

The idea of mutual intelligibility is interesting, yet due to how the Urnfield culture that spoke proto Celtic just north of the Italian peninsula (and inside modern Bologna, Venice, and Milan) how ...

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