Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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330 views

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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Looking up PIE roots, converting between conventions and reconstructions, e.g., h1ueld <-> gheldh

My basic goal is to look up a Greek word and be able to find cognates in other languages that will help me to memorize its meaning. A technique that often works is to look up the Greek word on English ...
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What is the specific sound law that describes the change from Proto-Indo-European "*h₂éǵros" to Latin "ager"?

Is there a rule for the movement of the "r" to the end of the word? Or is it moreso that there was some kind of intrusive "e" that separated the "-gr-" to form "-ger&...
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Paradox of PIE nomenclature

It is generally accepted that traditional Proto-Indo-European reconstructs late PIE to the exclusion of Anatolian (PS: not! see most recently Craig Melchert, "The Position of Anatolian"). We ...
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Is there a rule which accounts for a d in PIE becoming a b in Latin?

According to Wikitionary, the Latin word verb is derived from the Proto-Indo-European word *werdʰh₁om which is the etonym of the English word word and the German wort. I am familiar with Grimm's Law ...
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On the Epistemology of Comparative and Historical linguistics [closed]

I have asked a few questions before relating to PIE, proto-languages theory and the comparative method. As these are technical areas I am unfamiliar with but thanks to some previous answers I am ...
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Are PIE *yóh₁r̥ "spring, summer" and Proto-Turkic *yāŕ "spring, summer" cognates?

In Turkic it seems to be related to the word for "half" (yarım in modern Turkish). The semantic development looks more likely into the direction half->spring rather than the opposite.
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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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Was there an [a] sound in PIE?

I have come across a controversy about the [a] vowel sound in PIE. I have noticed in most reconstructed PIE words the [a] sound is not present, even when it seems to be present in most of the daughter ...
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Why was India as the homeland of PIE abandoned?

I have recently become very interested in the linguistics in the problem of the Indo-Aryan migration controversy. I understand in the early 19th century India was favored as the Proto-Indo-European ...
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Is the word for "brother-in-law" in Germanic languages related to the Aramaic/Syriac גיס?

Here is the word for "brother-in-law" in various modern Germanic languages: schwager (German), shvugger (Yiddish), swaer (Afrikaans), svoger (Norweigan/Danish), sogor (Croatian), zwager (...
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How strong was the r/l distinction in Proto-Afro-Asiatic?

The East Asian languages do not distinguish r and l. The PIE had r/l alternation in suffixes: -tlom/-trom, -dhlom/-dhrom, -ter/-tel, -ros/-los. What can be said in this context about Afro-Asiatic ...
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Does English "day" really come from PIE *dʰegʷʰ- (“to burn”)?

day From Middle English day, from Old English dæġ (“day”), from Proto-West Germanic *dag, from Proto-Germanic *dagaz (“day”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰogʷʰ-o-s, from *dʰegʷʰ- (“to burn”). Cognate ...
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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 *...
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Why does Greek "ναι" mean "yes" while it comes from a PIE root meaning "no"?

According to Wiktionary, the Greek word ναι comes from Ancient Greek ναί, which is a variation of νή, which comes from Proto-Indo-European ne, which means no. Why can a word have the opposite ...
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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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How were “bratrъ/bratъ” and “sestra” formed in PSl?

The PIE r-stem words seem to have lost the final -r in PSl: OCS mati, dъšti, and how some words which had -r (and -l) in final position preserve this consonant in the middle of words in slavic?
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Was there a tendency of Indo-European languages to avoid syntactical ambiguity by introducing more complex morphology?

In (Peškovskij, 1914, p. 246) I stumbled upon the following (Russian) assertion: Opisannoe vytesnenie predikativnogo imenitel'nogo tvoritel'nym možno rassmatrivat' kak častnyj slučaj obščego ...
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What were the pronunciations of PIE velar stops?

What might be the pronunciations of PIE "plain velar" series *k *g *gʰ, the "palatovelar" series *ḱ *ǵ *ǵʰ, and the "labiovelar" series *kʷ *gʷ *gʷʰ ? Was the *gʰ same as ...
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questions regarding satemisation in sanskrit

I have some questions regarding satemisation in sanskrit. why there are still k in sanskrit if pie k tunred into sanskrit s ? It seems to me that pie *kʷ turned into k in sanskrit. is that right ? If ...
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How did the PIE root 'dek-' evolve into the Greek 'dokein' to appear, seem, think' ?

dek- To take, accept. ... [2.] b. dogma, dogmatic; chionodoxa, Docetism, doxology, heterodox, orthodox, paradox, from Greek dokein, to appear, seem, think (< "to cause to accept or be ...
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Was so-called “early PIE” a single language without dialects or a wide continuum of dialects?

Was so-called “early PIE” a single language without dialects or a wide continuum of dialects? If it was a dialect continuum, then probably when did the “common” PIE split up into dialects?
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Etymology of latin suffix -idus

What is the (probably Indo-European) origin of the latin suffix -idus, as in "acidus"? Are there any known cognates?
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When did the vocalic allophones of the consonant phonemes in PIE become independent vowel phonemes?

The sonants in PIE have consonantal and vocalic allophones, so the consonantal sonant and the vocalic sonant are regarded as one consonant phoneme. But many daughter languages of PIE (at least at some ...
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182 views

Did h2 and h3 change the phonetic reality of an adjacent *e in PIE under any circumstances?

Did h2 and h3 change the phonetic reality of an adjacent *e in PIE under any circumstances? Can we treat *a and ā as allophones of *e in PIE?
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114 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 ...
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Did Proto-Indo-European put the adjective before or behind the noun?

Did PIE put the adjective behind the noun (like Romance languages usually do) or before the noun (like Germanic languages)?
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Is Proto-Balto-Slavic zero-grade from long zero-grade i? [closed]

Is Proto-Balto-Slavic zero-grade from long zero-grade i pílˀnas wilkás źírˀna śírˀnāˀ Is Proto-Germanic zero-grade from long zero-grade u fullaz wulfaz kurną hurną
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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 ...
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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?
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What evidence supports labialized velars in PIE?

Traditional reconstruction gives the following velars in PIE: */ḱ/, */ǵ/, */ǵʰ/ */k/, */g/, */gʰ/ */kʷ/, */gʷ/, */gʷʰ/ I wonder what evidence is there to consider velars */kʷ/, */gʷ/, */gʷʰ/ ...
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Are infinitives in descendant languages and 3rd-preson singular forms of verbs in PIE related?

For example, why is it shown in Wiktionary that the etymology of such words like eat, есть (which means eat in Russian)comes from 3-rd person singular form *h₁édti in PIE? Are they really related or I ...
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What is the difference in usage of the word "root" in PIE and its daughter languages?

Now I understand that the conceptions of "root" in PIE and its descendant languages don't fully overlap. However what is the exact difference between them? What confuses me is the ...
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How is the word for "son" reconstructed in PIE?

How is son reconstructed in PIE, sou̯nus or seu̯nus? Starostin gives contradictory accounts: in Indo-European etymology page he gives the first variant, but on a page for Eurasiatic etymology he ...
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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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Reconstruction of PIE consonants

So, I have a question about the reconstruction of PIE consonants. According to the Etymological Dictionaries, the words "rape" and "raven" have the same PIE root *ker- however how ...
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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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What was Anatolian language during the Neolithic era according to Kurgan hypothesis proponents?

The Anatolian hypothesis asserts that people in Anatolia spoke Proto-Indo-European during the Neolithic era and that the language spread from there starting in 7000 BCE. On the other hand, the Kurgan ...
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Spelling of laryngeals in Proto-Indo-European

Who introduced the notation e̯ a̯ o̯ (vowels with inverted breve below) for Proto-Indo-European laryngeals and when? Proto-Indo-European has been reconstructed with so-called "laryngeal" consonants, ...
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Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Yeniseian paper

I'm an amateur linguist and recently wrote a paper called "The relationship between Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Yeniseian" which mostly comprises a short history of the Yeniseian language ...
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Can the PIE roots with similar meaning and difference in gʷ/w and gʷʰ/w in fact be related?

For instance, I wonder whether roots *gʷʰér- "burn, heat" and *wer- "burn, heat" are related, as well as *gʷer- "mountain, height" and *wers- "mountain, height"....
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Is Proto-Uralic piŋз "hand, palm" related to PIE pn̥kʷstis "fist", pénkʷe "five"?

There was Proto-Uralic piŋз "hand, palm": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pivo#Etymology_2 I wonder whether it was related to the PIE words.
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What are the reasons to count Armenian as an Indo-European language?

Often I encounter arguments that Armenian is in fact not an Indo-European language. The claims assert that the regular correspondences between Armenian and PIE are too unrealistic, too rare and too ...
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What's the reconstruction of the word for fire in proto-Australian?

The word for fire in some modern Australian languages: Tiwi yikwani Djinang junggi Maung yungku Walmajarri yakun This is strikingly similar to that in PIE: PIE h₁...
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Are proto-languages necessary to divide languages ​within a family into groups?

For example, Indo-European family is divided into groups, such as Slavic, Romance, Germanic, etc. Some of these groups can also be divided, but let`s just assume, that there is no further division. ...
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Etymology of Old French 'escorgier': How does 'bind' evolve to mean 'whip'?

scourge (n.) c. 1200, "a whip, lash," from Anglo-French escorge, back-formation from Old French escorgier "to whip," from Vulgar Latin excorrigiare, from Latin ex- "out, off&...
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Are PIE *suHnús "son" and *snusós "daughter-in-law" related?

One of the Proto-Indo-European words for "son" appears to have been *suHnús (Skt. sūnú-, Goth. sunus, etc.). The word for "daughter-in-law" is reconstructed as *snusós (Lat. nurus, ...
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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 ...
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Are Russian words пять (five), пясть (fist), пятка (heel) related? What about English "fist"?

I wonder whether the PIE word for five in fact meant "fist", in other words, when people counted, they closed their fingers and when they obtained the closed fist, it was "five"? ...
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Can we make a case for Eurasiatic numerals for one and two?

There is a widespread Eurasiatic 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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