Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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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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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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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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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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8 votes
2 answers
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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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1 answer
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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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2 votes
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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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The Metathesis 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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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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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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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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5 answers
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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6 votes
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Noun inflection in which IE language is close to PIE noun inflection?

Which modern IE language is most conservative in noun inflection and in this aspect is most similar language to PIE?
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Are the English word "charm" and Russian word "чары" etymologically related?

Do "charm" and "чары" share a common etymological root? (NB: "чары" is a Russian plural noun meaning "magic" or "charm." Also note that the English noun "charms" has historically meant magic or ...
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Germanic Philology: "translate" a word from indoeuropean language to the germanic language

I'm having a philology test next week. One of the questions will be to "translate" an indoeuropean word into a germanic word, like: i.e. Agros -> germanic Akraz (i.e. "g" --> germ. "k" for Grimm's Law,...
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PIE *kom 'with, side by side' or PIE *ḱóm?

wiktionary: Proto-Indo-European/ḱóm - Etymology Perhaps from *ḱe. Adverb *ḱóm beside, near, by, with AHD-IER: kom Beside, near, by, with Is the initial consonant a plain k or not?
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How did Gk. ταινία "band, ribbon" come from PIE *tn̥-yā- < *ten- "to stretch"?

AHD-IER (Watkin, 2011) P93 gives PIE *tn̥-yā- for Gk. ταινία: Suffixed zero-grade form *tn̥-yā‑. taenia; polytene, from Greek tainiā, band, ribbon. while EDG (Robert Beekes, 2010) P1444: ...
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1 vote
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Gold in French, light in Hebrew

I am fascinated by questions of linguistic relation between Hebrew and the Romance Languages, but I feel here I may have stumbled on a false connection and would like to be properly put in my place. ...
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7 votes
2 answers
585 views

What is the oldest language that we know enough about to construct a plausible sentence in it?

One exciting way to track the evolution of our understanding of Proto-Indo-European is to look at the different versions of Schleicher's fable from different years. The more time we spend studying the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Did modern Farsi lose its casual word for yes?

Hobby linguistic learner here. Farsi naturally shares a lot of simple words with other Indo-European languages: German for [daughter]: "Tochter" / "doxtar" (دختر) English for [bad]: "bad"/"bad" (بد) ...
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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 ...
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Where do personal pronouns come from?

Studying some languages I noticed that many European languages have a first, second and third person. In a philosophical sense, I was wondering how it shapes reality, but that's off topic here. What ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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The origins of PIE *-nt- and *-to-

I have learned that English present participle suffix -ing and past participle suffix -ed came from PIE *-nt- and *-to- respectively. I have two questions about them. (1)Were these also used to form ...
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Why are the reconstructed forms of PIE root in Etymonline and Wiktionary different?

I found PIE roots described in Etymonline (or American Heritage Dictionary) and Wiktionary are quite different. For examples: agō: *ag- (Etymonline), *h₂eǵ- (Wiktionary) laxō: *sleg- (...
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18 votes
3 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
265 views

Can these new etymological pairs of PIE roots be true?

I find a paper containing new lists of cognates on PIE root level, and don't know such phenomena or rules are convincing or not, the list follows below: 1. The voiceless stop vs. voiced aspirated ...
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Why was the English 'so' imputed to the PIE *se-?

Etymonline states 'so' to originate: from PIE reflexive pronominal stem *swo- "so" [...], derivative of *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom). What semantic ...
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4 votes
2 answers
397 views

Etymology of the words ''Wave''

Do the words Wave(English) Welle(German) Vague(French) have the same Etymology as Val(Serbo-Croatian,Slovenian),Vlna(Czech,Slovakian),BолнаVolna. All these words mean the same thing-Wave. but I ...
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6 votes
1 answer
223 views

What is the relation of PIE *wers (“to confuse, mix up; to beat, thresh, grind”), *wert ("to turn, to rotate"), and *werb (“to bend, to turn”)?

From *wers we get English war, worse, worst. From *wert we get English versus, verse, version, vertex, vortex, vertical, revert, invert, divert,..., worth, -ward, weird. From *werb/p we get ...
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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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Is English "lake" Derived from Latin, or is it Indo-European?

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring this one out. Lake, meaning "A large, landlocked stretch of water." seems to have some confusion in the Wiktionary pages. I've looked in the American Heritage ...
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18 votes
0 answers
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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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is there "i" suffix that makes verb from noun, in latin or its ancestors? etymology of tio(n) suffix [closed]

Wiktionary says on PIE -h₃onh₂-: Descendants Italic: ... Latin: -iō (from *-i-h₃onh₂-) (e.g. legiō (“group of selected people”)) Latin: -ō (e.g. Nāsō (“having a conspicuous nose”), poss. ...
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Are the inflectional endings in English known to have evolved from separate words or do they go too far back into PIE to know?

English isn't a highly inflected language, but it did evolve from one and still has at least: -s, -es; -ed, -ing; -er, -est; for nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Do we know if these all evolved from ...
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(indo-european) *b, *d, *ǵ... vs ˀp, *ˀt, *ˀḱ

in short: Is there any discussion available online of the following reinterpretation (due to Alwin Kloekhorst) of the stops in the Indo-European phoneme inventory? classical inventory ...
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Is Japanese "subaru" related to Russian "soberu" and Latin "conferre"?

Is Japanese "subaru" related to Russian "soberu" ("I'll put together") and Latin "conferre" ("to bring together")? I think both Latin and Russian words derive from Proto-Indo-European "com bheroa̯" "...
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9 votes
2 answers
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Was language invented only once or several times?

We have over 5000 language on Earth as of now, some extant and others not. These all came from what we now call proto languages, but do scientists believe that all proto languages came from one "mono-...
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Do "wise" and "wissen" share the same root?

A cursory search shows that the English adjective "wise" and the German verb "wissen" descend from the same root: the PIE *weyd- ("to see, to know"). I found this by using Etymonline to search the ...
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7 votes
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Phonemic similarities between "mother" and "father" in different language families

The words for "mother" and "father" in at least a few language families have a phonetic similarity which I find interesting. Compare the Latin and Greek words (μήτηρ/πατήρ mater/pater) with the (...
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