Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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6
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2answers
307 views

Is there a PIE feminising noun suffix?

I was wondering whether anyone knows the Proto-Indo-European equivalent of the Greek suffixes -ina (-ίνα) or -issa (-ισσα), or whether PIE has any different feminising suffixes that work similarly?
4
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2answers
586 views

Were the so-called aspirates of PIE ever aspirated?

In the thread Is unvoiced & unaspirated a category of speech? it was pointed out to me, that the aspirates in Indic languages, notably Sanskrit, are from a truly phonetic perspective not aspirates,...
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1answer
278 views

Is the Proto-Indo-European “ǵenh₁-” (to produce) related to “gʷḗn” (woman)?

I noticed a possible connection between the Ancient Greek "γυνή" and "γένεσις". I think semantically a relation between the two terms is plausible. Unfortunately I don't know enough about PIE ...
7
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2answers
549 views

Why can verbal roots in PIE only contain the vowel e?

Verbal roots of PIE are generally reconstructed as (C5) (C3) C1 e C2 (C4) (C6); with certain phonetical restrictions, especially on the outmost consonants. I wonder why only "e" should be allowed as ...
12
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2answers
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Current status of the controversy on the date of Indo-European dispersion

There are two conflicting theories about the dispersion of the people speaking proto-Indo-European (by which I mean the common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, excluding Hittite and other ...
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2answers
325 views

In PIE are words for two and for hate connected?

In PIE we have du̯is twice du̯iteros second du̯oi̯os twofold du̯eiplos double etc, with the root du̯ei̯- At the same time we have: du̯eiros fearful du̯eisos hated with seemingly the same ...
4
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1answer
225 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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0answers
335 views

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.
4
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3answers
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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 '...
5
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2answers
792 views

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, ...
4
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1answer
477 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, ...
10
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1answer
793 views

Does English “day” really come from PIE *dʰegʷʰ- (“to burn”)?

day From Middle English day, from Old English dæġ (“day”), from Proto-West Germanic *dag, from Proto-Germanic *dagaz (“day”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰogʷʰ-o-s, from *dʰegʷʰ- (“to burn”). Cognate ...
3
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1answer
431 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
170 views

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 ...
7
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3answers
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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?...
10
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1answer
420 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
291 views

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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2answers
635 views

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) ...
3
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1answer
151 views

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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0answers
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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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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. ...
8
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1answer
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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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1answer
409 views

How does L. “quartus” come from L. “quattuor”, which has “quat” but “quart”?

quartus From Latin quattuor ("four"), originally from Proto-Indo-European As at July 2 2021, the Etymology at the same link for quartus Wiktionary has changed. From Proto-Indo-European *...
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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 ...
2
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1answer
161 views

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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5answers
785 views

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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4answers
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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 ...
4
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3answers
599 views

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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1answer
771 views

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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2answers
227 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
198 views

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 *...
10
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4answers
2k views

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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1answer
261 views

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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4answers
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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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3answers
694 views

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 - *...
6
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1answer
594 views

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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4answers
5k views

What language came before Proto-Indo-European?

What is the Proto-Proto-Indo-European?
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2answers
647 views

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 ...
3
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0answers
182 views

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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3answers
590 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
700 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
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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 ...
3
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1answer
274 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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1answer
327 views

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 (...
3
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1answer
689 views

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 "...
6
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1answer
518 views

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 ...
15
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5answers
4k views

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 ...
19
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1answer
858 views

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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