Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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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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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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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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Is there evidence for expletives (ie. dummy subjects) in Proto-Germanic? What can we say about the situation in IE?

I am aware that obligatory expletives did not exist in early ON and perhaps also not in early OHG, but my knowledge of the specifics is hazy. In OE at least, I believe expletives in conjunction with ...
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What can limit the plausibility of the Arabic "š-k-l"(ش ك ل) being in the same lineage as the German "gestalt" via its assumed PIE ancestor "*stel"?

They have near-fully overlapping meanings (I would be going out on a limb to say fully equivalent translations) with both the Arabic and German words having their primary use in expressing the meaning ...
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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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Popular book(s) recommendation for start learning Linguistics keeping an interest in the Indus Valley script in mind

Recently, I have gathered enough interest in the subject Linguistics. As I came to know that Indus Valley scripts are among the last remaining undeciphered scripts of the ancient world, I gained more ...
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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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Why are Proto-Germanic *taikijaną and Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ- cognate?

Why are Proto-Germanic *taikijaną and Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ- cognate? I don't understand why are PGmc k and Proto-Indo-European ḱ cognate?
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Are dative governing verbs in IE languages mainly inherited from PIE, or later developed within each IE language?

Some typical dative governing verbs in many IE case-inflecting languages are "help", "give" etc.. Are they mainly inherited from PIE or are they developed within each language? If ...
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Etymology of ぐるぐる

Since it's written in Hiragana, I presume it is likely not a recent loan word. However, its pronounciation bears resemblance to "軲轆", a Mandarin word meaning wheel--similar to ぐるぐる's meaning ...
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Swadesh list for proto indo-european and coefficient of relatedness

Given two Swadesh lists of two languages, we can calculate a "coefficient of relatedness" by counting the proportion of cognades. Given two languages, L1 and L2, let's call C(L1,L2) to this ...
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Why does PIE have form *dʰwey- / *dʰew- / dʰeubʰ- without initial (s)?

Why does Proto-Indo-European have form *dʰwey- / *dʰew- / dʰeubʰ- (I don't know which is correct) despite of the fact that Proto-Germanic has "s mobile" (compare English steam)? Is it OK that Proto-...
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Why does Proto-Balto-Slavic have form *aśís?

Why does Proto-Balto-Slavic have form *aśís (with one s in the stem)? despite of the fact that Old Prussian has word assis (compare PIE *h₂eḱs-i-s)?
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What underlying semantic notions connect 'campus' to the PIE root *kam-p- (to bend)?

Univ. Texas's page on kam-p-   'to bend' states: 'Semantic Field: to Bend'. Then I saw campus (plain, campus, open field) listed, but what semantic notions underlie it and 'to bend'? I can ...
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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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Given that so many Indo-European peoples called themselves "Veneti" or the like, can we conclude that it was the endonym of PIE people as well?

For instance: Veneti (Gaul) - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veneti_(Gaul)) Vistula Veneti - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vistula_Veneti) Adriatic Veneti - Wikipedia (https://...
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Proto-Indo-European *nepōts cognate in Old English

From Proto-Indo-European word *nepōts (Latin nepos, Sanskrit napāt) I need to determine what is its cognate in Old English. More precisely, I need to determine whether the result is nefa (Grimm's Law) ...
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Did Proto-Indo-Europeans whisper? [closed]

I saw that Proto Indo Europeans had a word for whispering *(kweys). Did they whisper to each other like people do now? And, did we learn whispering from Proto Indo Europeans?
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What's the relationship between Old English and Germanic?

I read a line in the book "The Germanic vocabulary of Old English has not survived particularly well into the current period". This really confused me a lot. Isn't English a branch of Germanic ...
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What is the relationship of Proto-Indo-European, Indo-European, Proto-Germanic and Germanic?

I know that Indo-European is the name of a family of languages that includes nearly all the major tongues of Europe and several outside Europe, such as Persian and Hindi. Germanic is a sub-category of ...
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Aura, Aurum, Aurora & *h₂ews-

Good morning, I am a scholar from a different field, trying to gain insight into the etymological connection between aura and aurum (air and gold). How do they relate? I have found a connection ...
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Etymology of some Romance languages' verbs meaning "to sleep"

Portuguese, Spanish and French dormir, Italian dormire etc. come from the Latin verb dormīo. Wiktionary's entry says that its etymology is: From Latin dormīre, present active infinitive of dormiō, ...
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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 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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Proto-Indo-European words for moon? [closed]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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