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Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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1 answer
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Is Sanskrit Manushya मनुष्य cognate with English "Man"?

The dictionary gives मनुष्य = a man, human being Are there multiple PIE roots related to "man" that have reflexes in the attested languages?
0 votes
1 answer
137 views

Did Proto-Indo-European use prepositions, postpositions, or both?

I’m trying to mix this protolanguage with another one by overlapping them, and none of the search results are being helpful. I doubt the many articles would either. I’d also like to know if the ...
1 vote
3 answers
948 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
392 views

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 ...
21 votes
1 answer
964 views

What are the different schools of PIE reconstruction?

I have read some works on Proto-Indo-European which mention different schools that advocate for different paradigms of reconstruction, such as the Leiden and the Erlangen schools. I'd like to know if ...
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Origin of current order pattern in English/German

It is well-known, or better said, well-accepted, that the ancestral language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) was a OV language with a very limited (or nonexistent) use of subordinate clauses. In Proto-...
6 votes
4 answers
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Is there a website where you can find cognates of certain word in other IE branches?

Just as in the title :) I wonder if there is a tool on the internet which would help in finding cognates of certain word in as much branches as possible. Say I want to find find all the cognates in ...
2 votes
3 answers
242 views

Does the pre-Laryngeal Brugmannian synthesis of PIE fully explain attested non-Anatolian data?

Was there a speech community that had lost most of the Laryngeals and spoke a language represented by Brugmann's reconstruction of PIE?
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Which PIE reconstruction is currently considered to best account for the attested data?

In particular is Pyysalo's reconstruction considered to be an improvement over older reconstructions like Brugmann's? https://helda.helsinki.fi/items/1a4d765d-2158-4ad8-8d5e-b2b32356a188
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How to pronounce Proto-Indo-European words?

I want to know how do I get to know how to pronounce proto-Indo-European words from how they are spelled currently? I do understand that the exact pronunciation is not certain for many words, but it ...
0 votes
0 answers
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Hypothetical ancestry and evolution of PGmc *auziwandliaz

This is cross-posted from r/asklinguistics, with influence from Wiktionary's Tea Room. So I'm bundling up three questions regarding the PGmc. proper noun *Auziwandilaz. First: The /w/ in the ...
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Numbers appearing in PIE transcription e.g. in *méh₂tēr "mother" [duplicate]

Can someone please explain the 2 in PIE expressions e.g. in *méh₂tēr "mother". Is it related to *ph₂tḗr "father"?
18 votes
4 answers
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What is the meaning of the number 2 in Proto-Indo European reconstructions? e.g. As in *tewtéh₂, meaning "people" or "tribe"

I am a writer doing some research into ancient languages for a story I am creating. Despite having done some formal and informal study on linguistics (I am familiar with a phonetic chart) and informal ...
2 votes
0 answers
44 views

What is the term for PIE *eu > Proto-Balto-Slavic jau?

What is the term for PIE *eu > Proto-Balto-Slavic jau? Raising? Vowel breaking?
3 votes
0 answers
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Etymology of Persian suffix 'ـش-' (-eš)?

This suffix equivalent to English '-tion' or '-ment' occurs in many Persian words such as ستایش (setâyeš, "glory"), etc. But its ultimate etymology cannot be found anywhere. Wiktionary stops ...
1 vote
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Could Proto-Slavic -ъ be from *-ós

Lithuanian has -as from PIE *-os draugas and -us from PIE *-ós draugus, Proto-Slavic has only -ъ. Could Proto-Slavic -ъ be from *-ós with analogical restitution? Lithuanian has -ias from PIE *yos and -...
0 votes
0 answers
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What is the term for PIE a, o > PGmc a merging?

PIE a, o > Proto-Slavic o has a name "Квантитативное выравнивание" ?quantity alignment? Does PIE a, o > PGmc a have a special term?
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Derivation of the Indo-European lemma *bʰréh₂tēr ‘brother’

According to Wiktionary, the word “brother” is traced back to the reconstructed Indo-European lemma *bʰréh₂tēr with the same meaning. It seems to be structurally similar to other kinship terms, such ...
38 votes
1 answer
9k views

Is there any evidence that the modern word for "bear" is an euphemism which replaced the original taboo word?

I have read and heard many times the old linguistic story about the modern word for "bear": Slavic: medvěd, niedźwiedź, ведмідь, ... "honey-eater" Germanic: bär, bear, björn, ... &...
0 votes
3 answers
698 views

If Hebrew is not related to Slavic, why are there apparent sound correspondences?

We have Hebrew: šeš; Russian: šestʹ; Ukrainian: šistʹ; Latin: six; English: six; Hebrew: yeš; Russian: yestʹ; Ukrainian: ye, isnuye; Latin: est; English: is; Hebrew: ze; Russian: se; Ukrainian: сe [...
5 votes
1 answer
964 views

Why does PIE *ǵn̥h₁tós yield Latin nātus?

I'm an undergraduate classicist doing a PIE paper! It's absolutely fascinating, but I'm still getting there with my understanding, so apologies if my questions are a bit silly! I have been looking at ...
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1 answer
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Why does PIE *sneygʷʰ- ("snow") give L. nix, Gk. νίφα (acc.)?

What happens to internal /e/ and semivowel /y/ in *snéygʷʰm̥ to yield L. nix? I have no clue how that vowel change works.
10 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Pronunciation of ‘hₐ’ in PIE

I have tried to find the sound hₐ-, for example "hₐeust(e)ro" engl. 'east', or hₐel, 'burn' , but also example hₐner, 'man' pronunciation, but I can't find it anywhere on the internet, ...
1 vote
1 answer
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What is Double Zero Grade?

The double zero grade *ǵʰi-m- is preserved in the compounds with numerals. (de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin 2013: hiems) E.g. *dwi-ǵʰim-os “two years old”, literally “of two winters” (en....
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does "and" come from the PIE word for "and"?

From the etymology of and: Old English and, ond, originally meaning "thereupon, next," from Proto-Germanic *unda (cf. Old Saxon endi, Old Frisian anda, Middle Dutch ende, Old High German enti, ...
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Is the Hungarian word "pirít" (to burn) a borrowing from Indo-European word for fire (*peh2wr)?

I am wondering, is it possible that the Hungarian word pirít ‘to burn’ is a relatively-recent borrowing from an Indo-European language, from *peh₂wr- ‘fire’? Obviously, it would have to happen after ...
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Welcome and bienvenidos

In English and Spanish, the words for “welcome” have an uncanny relation: the translation (so to speak) is almost (if not completely) literal. Bien means ‘well’ and venidos means ‘come/came’ in the ...
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2 answers
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proto-Indo-European root for the modern 'comma' and for 'hatchet'

I am told the proto-Indo-European root for the modern 'comma' is 'kop', and that is the root for 'hatchet' or 'axe' as well. True?
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List of PIE words for occupations

What are the known reconstructions of PIE words for occupations? I composed some, but want a greater list: *h₃rḗǵ-s - king *dúk-s - military leader, commander *u̯iḱ-pót-i-s - village leader *pr̥h₂-wó-...
-4 votes
1 answer
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Could it be that the pronoun *eǵh₂om ("I") in PIE is not an innovation?

I think, it is generally believed that the word for "I" in PIE was an innovation and in more ancient branches the 1st person singular pronoun was similar to the plural one, "min/men&...
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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.
1 vote
1 answer
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Does Sanskrit निस् • (nis) "out, forth, away" come from PIE *ni- "in; down?" with meaning shift from "in" to "out"?

निस्·nis "out, forth, away" > nirvana "to blow out, extinguish; out of breath?" नि·ni "down, back, in, into" < PIE *h₁én "in; down?" My question is ...
1 vote
4 answers
383 views

Have there been attempts in making artificial alphabets for the Indo-European languages?

As far as I know linguists came to conclusion that most of the modern alphabets initially derived from the Phoenician Alphabet, which belongs to the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic family of ...
2 votes
0 answers
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Phonotactic Parallels to Pyysalo's Laryngeal and Schwa

Jouna Pyysalo has a rather unique reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European, that he calls System PIE (documented here, amongst other places) and describes as a new form of monolaryngealism. This ...
1 vote
1 answer
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In PIE, what was the function of the suffix *-(ō)l?

For example, in the word: *H₃nóbʰ-ōl / *H₃ómbʰ-l̥ "navel" (Wiktionary: Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₃nóbʰōl)
5 votes
2 answers
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How might one swear in Proto-Indo-European? [closed]

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,...
-3 votes
1 answer
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Words for tongue in Tungusic

In Tungusic there are attested the following words for tongue: Manchu: ilenggu Nanai: siŋmu Evenki: inni, čoli Wikitionary postulates that the words ilenggu, siŋmu and inni are related and gives ...
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2 answers
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Apparent sound crespondences between Eurasian, Trans-New-Guinean, Pama-Nyungan and Burushaski

It seems to me that there can be regular sound correspondences between Eurasian, Trans-New-Guinean, Pama-Nyungan and Burushaski. I would call the hypthetical proto-language of these "proto-mitian&...
10 votes
2 answers
641 views

How does L. "quartus" come from L. "quattuor", which has "quat" but "quart"?

quartus From Latin quattuor ("four"), originally from Proto-Indo-European As at July 2 2021, the Etymology at the same link for quartus Wiktionary has changed. From Proto-Indo-European *...
-1 votes
1 answer
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How can a language-learner determine the root, prefix, and suffix of a word in English, if they know its language of origin?

Many English vocabulary-building books (for example, Merriam-Webster Vocabulary Builder, Word Power Made Easy) break the meaning of words down into three pieces: prefix + root + suffix. On the website ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Questions about clusters of two dental stops in PIE

Beekes says a sibilant was inserted between two dental stops in PIE, therefore *-tt-, *-dt- > *-tst- and *-d(h)d(h)- > *-d(h)zd(h)- and the cluster is "retained as such in Hittite." ...
0 votes
2 answers
435 views

Did Proto-Sino-Tibetan and Proto-Indo-European languages have the same origin?

Did Proto-Sino-Tibetan and Proto-Indo-European languages have the same origin? Did human develop a common language before migrated from Africa, and were most if not all the modern languages ...
3 votes
1 answer
404 views

Proto-Indo-European transcription: <u̯, i̯> vs. <w, j> & <k̑> vs. <ḱ>, etc

I’m working through a language book that uses an idiosyncratic (& confusing) transcription, so as I go I’m making my own copy with more standard symbols. I’ve just got to a section referencing PIE ...
7 votes
1 answer
352 views

Limits of historical linguistic reconstruction

It is a well-known and widely repeated fact that the linguistic reconstruction associated with the comparative method is no longer effective for large temporal depths (informally estimated to be ...
3 votes
3 answers
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Are "fish" and "to swim" related words?

When learning Thai, I was amazed how modern Thai word "fish" is similar to Slavic word "to swim" Thai: ปลา [plaː] "fish" Lao: ປາ [pa᷅ː]"fish" Ukrainian: ...
-6 votes
1 answer
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Are PIE *bal and *welH- related?

Has anyone compared eg. Bhumibol - title of Thailand's monarch, derived from Sanskrit - and oblast - a Slavic noun related to rule and governance, vb. *voldati "to rule, to reign, to govern"?...
-2 votes
2 answers
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Can these similarities between PIE and Burushaski be explained?

We have: English PIE Burushaski brown bʰerH-om baard-um tongue dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s juŋus warm gʷʰer-om gar-um pair kʷeth₂ kaat fire péh₂wr̥ pʰu ...
1 vote
2 answers
227 views

Simplicity of the verb in Germanic languages

English and German have only two tenses (the present and the past) that are formed by inflection, all the others are formed using helping verbs, as is the conditional mood. In the Romance languages ...
6 votes
2 answers
537 views

If the Armenian word for "foot", "otn", really comes from PIE *podm, why did the 'p' disappear?

If the Armenian word for "foot", "otn", really comes from PIE *podm, why did the 'p' disappear? Why didn't it change into 'h', like in "hing" (five, from *penkwe) or &...

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