Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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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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14 votes
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Why is reconstructed PIE so typologically unusual?

I'm probably not the first to notice that a large number of features of reconstruct Proto-Indo-European are typological irregularities. The most famous of these probably being the voiceless/voiced/...
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Agglutination in Proto-Indo-European

Based on numerous sources, it seems clear that Proto-Indo-European was Productively agglutinative with non-root morphemes (and perhaps some specific roots that are also able to act like bound ...
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Is there a prohibition on stems starting with /g/ in PIE?

Is there a law that prohibits PIE stems starting with what traditionally reconstructed as non-palatal /g/? So far I encountered with only one stem that the sources consistently reconstruct with this ...
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PIE Aspect: (Im)perfective or (Non-)progressive?

According to Wikipedia Proto-Indo-European had four tense-aspects, the first being stative and the latter three being eventive: stative aspect, perfective aspect, and past and present tense of ...
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4 votes
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Loans in Indo-Aryan languages indicating possible migration routes

I am aware of only few Uralic loans into Indo-Aryan languages that show migrations from Eurasia to India, Iran etc. What are typical examples of loan words that are unquestionably a result of a ...
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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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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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Sound laws in Balto-Slavic and Slavic changes

What are the regular sound laws that explain the modern form of the words in baltic and slavic languages? I am aware of the centum/satem separation, which already helps to identify a lot of cognates ...
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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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3 votes
2 answers
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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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PIE root *trep-: 'trepidation' vs 'trope'

[Etymonline for trepidation (n.) :] ... from PIE * trep- (1) "to shake, tremble" ... , related to * trem- (see tremble (v.)). [Etymonline for trope (n.) :] ... from PIE * trep- (2) "to ...
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h₂ou̯is or h₃eu̯is

I wonder which variant of reconstruction of this word, meaning "sheep" in PIE is the correct. Beekes gives *h₃eu̯is, Fortson gives *h₂ou̯is. Both are respected scholars, Fortson's source is the later....
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2 votes
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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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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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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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The origin of "ba" particle

In French, Italian there is a particle ba(h) which is used for exclamation of contempt, excitement, surprise etc. There's pretty similar particle բա in Armenian which is used for expressing amusent as ...
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Is PIE "*wank-" the ultimate root of E "wankle"?

wankle From Middle English wankel, from Old English wancol (“unstable, unsteady, tottering, vacillating, weak”), from Proto-Germanic *wankulaz (“unsteady, wavering”), from Proto-Indo-European *...
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2 votes
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Origin of *dhvor-

Formerly as I remember I saw somewhere *dhvor- (door, gate, yard, court) connected with the root *vert- (turn) in PIE. This is quite realistic and can be supported with similar Russian words створка (...
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What are the descendants of the PIE suffix "-n̥kʷos" in the Czech language if there are any?

Me and my friend would like to know whether there is any PIE suffix "-n̥kʷos" descendats in the czech language, we feel like "-uha" in "ostruha" could be it, in other ...
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1 vote
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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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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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What's the function of the PIE suffix *-lo-?

I've seen it used sometimes, what was its purpose? Was it used to make adjectives describing relations to nouns as in Latin (where it transformed into -ālis, which works that way), or was it different?...
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1 vote
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Are these Kazakh words considered borrowings (from Russian?) or onomatopoieias?

These three words are very similar in English, Russian and Kazakh. At least the Russian set is considered inherited from PIE. English - Russian - Kazakh crush - крушить (krushitь) - қырш (qyrsh) ...
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1 vote
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Could "scratch" be derived from the same PIE source as "card" and "chart"?

I found the following entries on Wiktionary (emphasis mine): carte French noun card chart; map menu card English From Middle English carde (“playing card”), from Old French carte, from Latin charta, ...
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what evidence suggests that PIE was a tone language?

I have heard this claim stated with confidence, but it's difficult to see how it could be deduced from traditional reconstruction. Same question for ancient Greek.
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Besides Proto-Indo-European, does any language have separate words for "one alone" and "one united"?

In PIE, e̯oinos meant "one alone", "one separated", it has the same root as in the word for "goes", e̯eiti. Semantically it meant the one that went away. At the same time, som meant "one united", "...
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What did the PIE prefix *kom- signify in

cumber | Origin and meaning of cumber by Online Etymology Dictionary c. 1300, cumbren, combren, "to overthrow, destroy, probably a shortening of  acombren "obstructing progress," from Old French ...
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