Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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118 views

What were the broad meanings of the various (nominal) declination classes in proto-IE?

As everyone (who is familiar with proto-Indo-European) knows, it is an inflectional language with several cases, a few accent-ablaut patterns, and a number of (thematic/athematic) declination classes. ...
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Are the cognates of PIE roots in this paper reliable?

I came across a long paper with many cognates of PIE roots, some examples: *weid- "to see" and *sueid- "to shine" < *weid-es-weid-, *h₂ǵ- "to drive" and *sh₂ǵ- "to seek" < *h₂ǵ-es-h₂ǵ-, where *...
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Proposed binary divisions of Proto-Indo-European

One well-known division of Indo-European languages is Centum - Satem. However, my wikipedia-induced understanding is that due to the existence of Tocharian it is at best unclear whether it corresponds ...
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Balto-Slavic Infinitive and PIE 3rd p., sg, present endings

I'm curious to ask if the suffix -tī for the infinitive in Balto-Slavic is related to the PIE third person, singular, present suffix -ti? Although there is no reason (from a functional point of ...
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How many vowels and how many consonants did the Proto-Indo-European Language have?

I am interested in development paths of Russian and English sound systems. At present the situation is as follows: according to WALS, the consonant inventory of modern Russian is classed as "...
4
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197 views

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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Is there a LaTeX package for Proto-Indo-European laryngeals?

I'm including some PIE examples in my Latex-formatted thesis. What font package or predefined symbols will help me?
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Does the Slavic word rā́dъ have cognates in Indo-iranian?

I found a source which gives the PIE origin: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/ielex/X/P1589.html But it only lists Slavic reflexes. Are there related words in Persian or Sanskrit? Wikipedia ...
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History of Preverbs in Indo-European

As you may know, quite some of the IE languages know preverbs, who may modify the meaning of a verbal root. I would like to know more about the interrelation of the various preverbs found in these ...
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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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What is the underlying meaning of the English 'of'? [closed]

TL;DR: What is the semantic field or the big picture behind the English 'of'? I seek an explanation like this which exposes the underlying semantic field of ‘tally’. Addendum: of (as a ...
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Did PIE *h3 cause voicing in any other words than the “drink” word?

The Proto-Indo-European "third laryngeal", *h3, is often assumed to have been a voiced sound based on the fact that some reflexes of the "drink" root *peh3- appear to show voicing assimilation of p to ...
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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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Manifestation of negation in proto-indo-european? [closed]

Does anybody know when and how linguistic negation was manifested in proto-language (anyone, for example, proto-indo-european)? What is meant by "linguistic negation" is these patterns of language ...
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3answers
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Did the Latin '-que' mean "any, also, ever'?

ubiquity (n.) [...] + que "any, also, and, ever," as a suffix giving universal meaning to the word it is attached to, from PIE root * kwe "and." Did Etymonline err? I know that -que is an enclitic, ...
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Difference between “Leiden school” and “mainstream” Indo-Europeanists?

Recently, I've been asked what the difference between the "Leiden school" and "mainstream" Indo-Europeanists is. The asker is planning to study in Leiden and has been concerned with the many vague ...
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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 ...
4
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Possible connection between PIE Ablaut and Semitic vowel alternation

Since I started to read about language typology and then got a hint about PIE ablaut system I have been wondering if there might be any prehistorical connection between these families at least ...
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Is the prefix “proto-” reserved only for unattested languages ?

I'm not sure if there's a consensus in linguistic nomenclature about using the aforementioned prefix in naming the reconstructed languages. As we all probably know, in linguistics, there's a custom ...
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Why was 'thwart' assigned to PIE *terkw- “to twist”?

thwart (adv.) [...] c. 1200, from a Scandinavian source, probably Old Norse þvert "across," originally neuter of thverr (adj.) "transverse, across," (cognate with Old English þweorh "...
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Where are PIE phonemes transliterated as IPA?

Where can I find each PIE phoneme (which I don't know how to pronounce) transliterated and represented as IPA? Afterword: (Delightedly but fortuitously) Searching 'Grimm's Law' on Youtube directed ...
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Was sanskrit first complex language [closed]

I believe a complex language in necessary for a religious ideology involving man, mind, awareness, material world, immaterial world and such to be passed on. Was sanskrit the first language that was ...
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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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1answer
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Chart with audible sounds pronounced, for Proto-Indo-European?

Are there any counterparts like this IPA Chart with Sounds, but for PIE (at least PIE's phonemes)?
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Why is /f/ easier to pronounce than /p/?

[Source:] Assistant Professor of Linguistics Andrew McKenzie, University of Kansas In particular, there is no real reason why certain changes happen while others don't. For instance, the * p ...
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1answer
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How can a PIE root be a 'pronominal stem'?

i-   |    Pronominal stem.   |   1. This answer explains the possible difference in meaning between 'root' and 'stem', which induced my question in the title above. 2. What does it mean for a stem ...
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Parallels between h₂ and t in PIE and Nostratic, what is the explanation?

In Afro-Asiatic we have the feminine ending -a which has the following evolution history: -a < -aha < -at < et where ha is a glottal fricative. In IE (for instance, in Russian, Greek, Latin) ...
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How do you learn what an old word might have imitated?

psyche (n.)    1640s, "animating spirit," from Latin psyche, from Greek psykhe "the soul, mind, spirit; breath; life, one's life, the invisible animating principle or entity which occupies and ...
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How does the Greek 'legein' relate to PIE *leg 'to collect'?

ENTRY: leg- DEFINITION: To collect; with derivatives meaning “to speak.” Oldest form *le-, becoming *leg- in centum languages. [...] 3. lexicon, logion, –logue, –logy; alexia, analects, ...
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How did 'litotes' evolve from 'plain, simple'?

litotes (n.) rhetorical figure in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its opposite, from Greek litotes, literally "plainness, simplicity," from litos "smooth, plain, small, ...
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How did the PIE root ghabh- mean both 'to give or receive'?

ghabh-  Also ghebh-.  [=]  To give or receive. My guess is that anything given by one must be received by another, and vice versa. But my guess doesn't explain this surprising dichotomy in ...
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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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How did the PIE root *per- (forward, through) evolve into 'para-', to mean 'contrary to'?

[Etymonline :] ... before vowels, par-, word-forming element meaning "alongside, beyond; altered; contrary; irregular, abnormal," from Greek para- from para (prep.) "beside, near, issuing from, ...
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PIE root ked- : 'To go, yield'

ked- = To go, yield. How does 'to go' relate to 'to yield'? Both verbs appear to differ in meaning. Moreover, what precisely does 'to go' mean here? Is this the right diction? I'm confused, ...
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The PIE root *per- “forward, through” : How did it evolve to mean 'private' ?

[Etymonline :] ... privus "one's own, individual," from PIE *prei-wo-, from PIE *prai-, *prei-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per). ... [AHI :] per1 ... ... from ...
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Is Austronesian the closest relative to PIE?

Austronesian is usually regarded as a separate family, not related to any other. It is never groupped into Eurasiatic or Nostratic. Yet it seems to me that it may be related to PIE. I wonder whether ...
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226 views

Recent book on PIE and older proto-languages?

Please recommend a recent book that summarizes and critiques the current state of knowledge and speculation on PIE and older proto-languages. (book, please, I will have no electronic contact with the ...
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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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How can I check whether 'question' in English, and 'xahesh' in Persian are cognates?

It seems plausible to me, and I would like to know how to verify it. Why I think xahesh might be cognate with question: xahesh (IPA: /xɑːheʃ/) in Modern Persian is a noun meaning "request, plea". ...
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How did 'forth + fasten' evolve into 'propagation'?

[Etymonline for 'propagation (n.)'] ... from propago (genitive propaginis) "that which propagates, offspring," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + * pag-, root of pangere "to ...
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How does PIE root dhē- 'to set, to put', evolve to mean 'thesis'?

[Etymonline for 'thesis (n.)':] late 14c., "unaccented syllable or note," from Latin thesis "unaccented syllable in poetry," later (and more correctly) "stressed part of a metrical foot," from Greek ...
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Why does word-initial upsilon always have a rough breathing?

How did a rough breathing develop before all words starting with an upsilon in Ancient Greek? This is a commonly noted fact about the distribution of these sounds (or rather spellings), but I’m having ...
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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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PIE root streig- : How to reconcile 'To stroke, rub, press'?

Source: streig- = To stroke, rub, press. European root I heed the Etymological Fallacy, but what are some right ways of interpreting these three opposing definitions, so that this PIE root feels ...
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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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PIE root *(s)plei-: “to split, splice”?

I was reading Etymonline's entry for splice {verb}: 1520s, originally a sailors' word, from Middle Dutch splissen "to splice" (Dutch splitsen), from Proto-Germanic spli-, from PIE root *(s)plei- "...
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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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When did PIE people split into subject-verb-object — SVO and SOV peoples?

Given that PIE people have present-day descendants in India to Europe, they have divided so starkly: in the given map, most languages from India to middle east upto east Europe are SOV, whereas most ...
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Was there s-mobile in the PIE root for dog?

I have noticed a striking similarity between the French word chien meaning dog and Russian word щенок "puppy", the both words pronounced exactly the same way except the deminutive suffix -ок in the ...
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Why do PIE verbs have suffixes -m-, -s-, -t-, while personal pronouns have m-, t-, s-?

Usually it is assumed that in PIE the verb forms for the singular first, second, and third person are respectively -m-, -s-, -t- (cfr. Latin). The personal pronouns, instead, have the second and ...