Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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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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407 views

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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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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Are dative governing verbs in IE languages mainly inherited from PIE, or later developed within each IE language?

Some typical dative governing verbs in many IE case-inflecting languages are "help", "give" etc.. Are they mainly inherited from PIE or are they developed within each language? If ...
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(PIE) déḱm̥ vs déḱm̥t (ten)

In short : what's the final -t in déḱm̥t? Full details : The Proto-Indo-European root for ten is traditionally defined as déḱm̥/déḱm̥t(ᵃ). The final -t may be analyzed as a casual ending, e.g. as a "...
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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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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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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?
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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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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 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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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 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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Is there evidence that “proto-” languages actually existed?

I never heard about those (pre-)historical languages before hearing about them in the internet. For instance, proto-slavic would be the ancestor of all slavic languages, and proto-indo-european the ...
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What is the contribution of Tocharian to the reconstruction of Proto-Indogermanic?

Inspired by this question Which Indo European language best preserves the features of Proto Indo-European?, I want to ask the follow-up question: What did we learn for the reconstruction of Proto-...
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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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Etymology of Ancient Greek interrogative particle ἆρα

The Ancient Greek interrogative ἆρα is strikingly similar to modern Persian āyā. Both words exclusively signal yes/no questions, and almost always begin the sentence. There is an accent on the first ...
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What was Anatolian language during the Neolithic era according to Kurgan hypothesis proponents?

The Anatolian hypothesis asserts that people in Anatolia spoke Proto-Indo-European during the Neolithic era and that the language spread from there starting in 7000 BCE. On the other hand, the Kurgan ...
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Why does Proto-Balto-Slavic have form *aśís?

Why does Proto-Balto-Slavic have form *aśís (with one s in the stem)? despite of the fact that Old Prussian has word assis (compare PIE *h₂eḱs-i-s)?
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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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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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How might one swear in Proto-Indo-European?

Proto-Indo-European is an interesting topic. I'm fascinated by how it spread. But, I wonder how to use curse words. These words, like others, will probably be reconstructed from other languages: Latin,...
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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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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 *h₁l̥h₁onbʰos shift from “deer” to “lamb”?

Browsing the Wiktionary randomly, I bumped into this PIE word, *h₁l̥h₁onbʰos, meaning "deer". Interestingly enough, it evolved into words for "deer" or similar in several languages, but in PG it gave ...
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Origin of the word/root 'del'

As I was contemplating the Norwegian word "del," which means "part" or "portion," it occurred to me that there is the same root in Russian, and that it means the same thing. I looked up "del" and "...
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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 "...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Did proto-indo-european possess sounds that are not any longer present or rare in modern IE languages?

In the movie Prometheus, David, an Android tasked with maintaining the functions on the space ship while his human comrades are sleeping in cryostatic chambers, is learning PIE during his off-duty ...
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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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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 ...
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Is there any reflex of initial *h₁?

It's commonly posited that all PIE roots consist of two groups of consonants, neither of which can be empty. For example, the root *h₁ed- has the groups *h₁ and *d. However, I'm not aware of any ...
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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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what about ophis Python==ahi Budhnya?

in short : is the equation ὄφις Πύθων == अहि बुध्न्य ahi budʰnya widely accepted by scholars ? Python and Ahi Budhnya/Ahirbudhnya are both a famous serpent, the first one in the Greek mythology, the ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Yeniseian paper

I'm an amateur linguist and recently wrote a paper called "The relationship between Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Yeniseian" which mostly comprises a short history of the Yeniseian language ...
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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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What happened to “accented velars” in Anatolian?

One of the oldest splits within Indo-European was between the Centum and Satem languages; they differ in what they did to the "accented velar" phonemes (like *ḱ and *ǵ). However, if I understand ...
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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 ...