Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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1answer
219 views

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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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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Why do mother/father/brother/sister/daughter all end in '-er'? [duplicate]

Is it just a coincidence, or was there a reason why they ended in '-er'? I know that all of them derive from PIE, where they also ended in '-er'. Also, is this '-er' the same '-er' particle, as in '...
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Does “and” come from the PIE word for “and”?

From the etymology of and: Old English and, ond, originally meaning "thereupon, next," from Proto-Germanic *unda (cf. Old Saxon endi, Old Frisian anda, Middle Dutch ende, Old High German enti, ...
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470 views

How future tense was expressed in PIE?

It is known that PIE had no grammatical future tense. As such, I wonder how future events were expressed in PIE. Whether they used go-periphrasis, desiratives or a form of the root bheudh- (grow, ...
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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-Germanic *dagaz (“day”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰegʷʰ- (“to burn”). Cognate with West Frisian dei (“day”), Dutch dag (“day”)...
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Solution to a typological problem about PIE phonology: are there any facts that contradict this view?

Traditionally, PIE phonology postulates three voiceless velar/uvular stops to PIE: */ḱ/ (c), */k/ (q), */kʷ/ (q̆) But I made a search for a PIE dictionary with come 11-15 thousand words, and found ...
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What laryngeal should be reconstructed in PIE word for wasp?

I encountered a contradiction between two respectful monographs. Mallory gives the word as h2/3u̯obhseh2 thus excluding h1 while de Vaan gives totally opposite version, h1u̯obhseh2 thus excluding h2 ...
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How does PIE *kʷ in **wĺ̥kʷos change to PGmc. *f in *wulfaz?

wĺ̥kʷos The word *wĺ̥kʷos is a thematic accented zero-grade noun perhaps derived from the adjective *wl̥kʷós ‘dangerous’ (compare Hittite walkuwa ‘dangerous’, Old Irish olc ‘evil’, Sanskrit [script?...
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Did the PIE word for “copper” mean “imitation”?

Michiel de Vaan's Etymological Dictionary of Latin has for PIE: a̯ei̯os copper and a̯eimos imitation, substitute a̯imea̯ image, copy All three words seemingly have the same root a̯ei̯- Are these ...
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Origin of *-k- “extension” in (aorist of) some IE verbs?

In Greek, the PIE verbal roots *dheh1 'put' or 'do', *Hieh1 'throw', and *deh3 'give' show up with an unexpected -k- in some aorist forms: ἔθηκα, ἧκα, ἔδωκα. In Latin, the reflexes of the first two ...
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What is the origin of 't-' and 's-' words for second and third person possesive adjectives?

Many languages associate the t sound with the second person and the s with the third. For example Spanish (tu/tuyo, su/suyo), French (tu,ton/ta/tes,son/sa/ses), Italian (tu,tuo/tua/tuoi,suo/sua/suoi) ...
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Are the words for one and for going cognates in PIE?

We have in PIE: e̯eitr way, pedestrian road e̯imos road e̯iera̯ year e̯eiti goes e̯iteros other, another, next I wonder whether the word for "one" e̯oinos alone, separated connected to the ...
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Origin of PIE cmtom [duplicate]

In all books I have read so far (Beekes, for example), it is assumed that the word for hundred in PIE cmtom came from the word for "ten", decm. They thus postulate that the oldest (non-attested) form ...
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Caucasoid people, Common Genetic roots and Common Proto-Language? [closed]

It is so probable that all Caucasoid people have had a common ancestor. Does The fact that most of Caucasoid people speak a Semitic or Indo-European language not suggest that there has been an ...
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How does PIE *s- in *sriges- change to L. f- in frigus?

As shown in the Wiktionary: frigus From Proto-Indo-European *sriges-, *sriHges-. But I can't find the clue to this sound change on Wikipedia, which concludes that PIE*bʰ, *dʰ, *gʷʰ will become L. ...
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Origin of current order pattern in English/German

It is well-known, or better said, well-accepted, that the ancestral language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) was a OV language with a very limited (or nonexistent) use of subordinate clauses. In Proto-...
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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 quattuor From Proto-Indo-European *kʷetwóres. Cognates include Sanskrit चतुर् (catur), Old Armenian չորք (čʿork'), ...
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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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What prevents us from reconstructing PIE “u̯” by analogy with laryngeals?

The current laws for laryngeals presume the following reconstruction rules: ē is reconstructed as eh1 ā is reconstructed as eh2 ō is reconstructed as eh3 word-initial e- is reconstructed as h1e word-...
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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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Grimm's law: what motivates stop -> fricative sound change?

I am trying to understand the sound change that brought PIE *dent- to P.Gmc. *tanth-. Grimm's law seems to be the culprit for the consonant changes: Initial voiced stop /d/ devoiced to /t/ Terminal ...
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Are “fish” and “to swim” related words?

When learning Thai, I was amazed how modern Thai word "fish" is similar to Slavic word "to swim" Thai: ปลา [plaː] "fish" Lao: ປາ [pa᷅ː]"fish" Ukrainian: ...
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Etymology of the word “sport”

I wonder what is the etymology of the word sport. Vasmer says that it is from disport "amusement", a contraction from Middle English disporten from Old French desporter "to take away", "to distract ...
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Word for road in PIE and overlaryngealism?

Lubotsky dictionary gives the word for "road" in PIE as NOM *pónt-h₁-s ACC *pont-éh₁-m GEN *pnt-h₁-ós This looks strange to me because I would expect a thematic vowel instead of the laryngeal. Can ...
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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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How does the initial consonant in “Jupiter” and “Zeus” come from the “d” in PIE “*dyew-”?

Jupiter, is from Proto-Indo-European *dyew- (“sky”) (whence also Latin diēs). Cognate with Ancient Greek Ζεύς (Zeus), Hittite 𒅆𒍑 (sius), Sanskrit द्यु (dyú). The nominative Iuppiter comes from ...
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Could the *-trom ending in PIE be a zero-grade from agent suffix *-ter-/-tor-?

Given the agent suffix -ter- (which exhibited e-grade when meaning a profession or purpose and o-grade when meaning the recent perpetrator), can -trom suffix also be a zero grade from this one plus ...
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Indo-European prepositions: why prepositions?

In a related but different question to Indo-European prepositions: whence did they come?, why do just about all modern Indo-European languages have prepositions rather than postpositions? PIE is ...
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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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Is there a known rule of correspondence between Latin and Greek *p and *kʷ - in other languages?

It seems to me that some words that have -p- in stem in Latin have clearly reconstructible -ku̯- based on other Indo-European languages. Some examples include *u̯lpes - *u̯lku̯os ("wolf") *u̯esper - *...
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Would a Proto language be easy to learn?

Since English descends from Proto-Germanic, which descends from PIE, would either of those two languages be relatively easy to learn (compared to, say, Japanese), or has the language changed too much ...
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What language came before Proto-Indo-European?

What is the Proto-Proto-Indo-European?
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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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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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PIE -enk reflexes in Modern English

I recently found out the origin of the verb 'bring' as being derived from bher- (carry) and enk- (to go to) and how they fused together and came into Germanic as *bhrengk- then coming down into ...
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What caused some IE languages to have consonant inventory sizes different from PIE?

The WALS chapter on consonant inventories shows that the distribution of inventory sizes across languages follows a normal curve, with average size inventories (22 ± 3 consonants) being the most ...
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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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271 views

What is the evidence for laryngeal in *méh₂tēr?

Wikitionary shows a PIE word *méh₂tēr but I never seen this word spelled with a laryngeal. There was a long vowel there but how is it correct to analyze it to be *-eh₂- rather than just *ā?
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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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How it happened that evolution of “mater” and “pater” is different despite their similar origin?

With an addition of PIE relatives suffix *-ter-, Eurasiatic *ama, *apa became Old PIE *mā-ter-s, *pa-ter-s (the final -s was later lost in late PIE) But there is a difference: in Old PIE *māters the "...
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What is the origin of feminine ending *-ia in PIE?

I have seen two versions: a) *-ia ending actually derived from the collective number form, which also ends in *-ia. So the collective number first started to represent abstract things (compare Latin ...
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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 is the relationship between the PIE roots *dekṃ and *kṃtóm?

It seems that there is a consensus that the PIE roots for ten and hundred are, respectively, *deḱṃ and *ḱṃtóm. There also seems to be a consensus that *ḱṃtóm is a shortened version of *deḱṃtóm. These ...

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