Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2 votes
1 answer
84 views

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, ...
user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
813 views

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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
654 views

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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
254 views

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, ...
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
262 views

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, ...
user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
147 views

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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
1 vote
3 answers
242 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
160 views

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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
543 views

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". ...
user avatar
  • 427
0 votes
1 answer
56 views

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 ...
user avatar
-4 votes
2 answers
201 views

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 ...
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
733 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 16.7k
1 vote
1 answer
200 views

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&...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
91 views

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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
126 views

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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
144 views

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- "...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
79 views

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, ...
user avatar
  • 1,148
2 votes
3 answers
757 views

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 ...
user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
318 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
8 votes
1 answer
427 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 261
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Spelling of laryngeals in Proto-Indo-European

Who introduced the notation e̯ a̯ o̯ (vowels with inverted breve below) for Proto-Indo-European laryngeals and when? Proto-Indo-European has been reconstructed with so-called "laryngeal" consonants, ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
653 views

Does an -es suffix for plurality have Proto-Indo-European roots?

I'm researching proto-Indo-European, and have seen a few remarks which imply that an -es suffix for plural was a likely component of the language (including here on L.SE; Wiktionary). Is this a ...
user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do neuter nominative and accusative always agree in IE languages?

The question that I have is a simple one. Of every neuter noun, pronoun, or adjective, in any IE language (as far as I know), the nominative and accusative cases agree in all numbers. Why is this? ...
user avatar
  • 251
6 votes
2 answers
330 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?
user avatar
  • 63
4 votes
2 answers
666 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,...
user avatar
  • 1,010
4 votes
1 answer
318 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 ...
user avatar
  • 41
7 votes
2 answers
593 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,010
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 341
3 votes
2 answers
338 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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
4 votes
1 answer
255 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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,534
1 vote
0 answers
353 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.
user avatar
  • 812
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

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 '...
user avatar
  • 522
5 votes
2 answers
875 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, ...
user avatar
  • 522
4 votes
1 answer
547 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, ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
10 votes
1 answer
921 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,787
3 votes
1 answer
461 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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
4 votes
1 answer
190 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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

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?...
user avatar
  • 1,787
10 votes
1 answer
441 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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
9 votes
2 answers
357 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 ...
user avatar
  • 10.6k
5 votes
2 answers
689 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) ...
user avatar
  • 335
3 votes
1 answer
164 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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
1 vote
0 answers
90 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
-4 votes
2 answers
558 views

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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
191 views

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. ...
user avatar
  • 1,787
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

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-...
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
447 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 *...
user avatar
  • 1,787
5 votes
0 answers
211 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,261
2 votes
1 answer
167 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-...
user avatar
  • 6,261