Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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329 views

Is there any relationship between the Hungarian long s sound and the long s in some European languages?

This History SE question (with some references), which enquires about when the f (actually an ſ) became an s and why in English specifically, prompted me to wonder if there was any relationship with ...
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253 views

Why is there no Ancient Greek noun whose stem ends in an “i”-ending diphthong (like “-ai”)?

Ancient Greek nouns are cassified into three declensions, and we can say that this is largely based on the ending of the stem of the noun. If a noun's stem ends in -ā (or -ē in Attic when not after r, ...
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401 views

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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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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Can the PIE roots with similar meaning and difference in gʷ/w and gʷʰ/w in fact be related?

For instance, I wonder whether roots *gʷʰér- "burn, heat" and *wer- "burn, heat" are related, as well as *gʷer- "mountain, height" and *wers- "mountain, height"....
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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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981 views

How different were proto Italic and proto Celtic?

The idea of mutual intelligibility is interesting, yet due to how the Urnfield culture that spoke proto Celtic just north of the Italian peninsula (and inside modern Bologna, Venice, and Milan) how ...
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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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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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172 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&...
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Given that so many Indo-European peoples called themselves “Veneti” or the like, can we conclude that it was the endonym of PIE people as well?

For instance: Veneti (Gaul) - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veneti_(Gaul)) Vistula Veneti - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vistula_Veneti) Adriatic Veneti - Wikipedia (https://...
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Proto-Indo-European *nepōts cognate in Old English

From Proto-Indo-European word *nepōts (Latin nepos, Sanskrit napāt) I need to determine what is its cognate in Old English. More precisely, I need to determine whether the result is nefa (Grimm's Law) ...
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The Methatesis in “scope” vs “to show”

I would like to hear some ideas that can explain Greek *σκέπτομαι, σκοπός "watcher, look-out, spy, mark, goal" from Proto-Indo-European *skep-ye-, from a metathesis of *speḱ-. Cognate to ...
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Is there any commentary on the etymology of the Tocharian word empreṃ?

The Tocharian word empreṃ 'truth' is often marked as being of unknown etymology. I cannot find a lot of commentary on it except from that it could be a middle Iranian word meaning 'confidence'. So, ...
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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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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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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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Why are Proto-Germanic *taikijaną and Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ- cognate?

Why are Proto-Germanic *taikijaną and Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ- cognate? I don't understand why are PGmc k and Proto-Indo-European ḱ cognate?
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Why does PIE have form *dʰwey- / *dʰew- / dʰeubʰ- without initial (s)?

Why does Proto-Indo-European have form *dʰwey- / *dʰew- / dʰeubʰ- (I don't know which is correct) despite of the fact that Proto-Germanic has "s mobile" (compare English steam)? Is it OK that Proto-...
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Aura, Aurum, Aurora & *h₂ews-

Good morning, I am a scholar from a different field, trying to gain insight into the etymological connection between aura and aurum (air and gold). How do they relate? I have found a connection ...
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Popular book(s) recommendation for start learning Linguistics keeping an interest in the Indus Valley script in mind

Recently, I have gathered enough interest in the subject Linguistics. As I came to know that Indus Valley scripts are among the last remaining undeciphered scripts of the ancient world, I gained more ...
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Does Sanskrit निस् • (nis) “out, forth, away” come from PIE *ni- “in; down?” with meaning shift from “in” to “out”?

निस्·nis "out, forth, away" > nirvana "to blow out, extinguish; out of breath?" नि·ni "down, back, in, into" < PIE *h₁én "in; down?" My question is ...
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Origin of gen./abl. “pitur” genitive of “pitā́” (“father”) in Sanskrit

How did the Sanskrit gen./abl. singular of pitr-/pitā́ ("father") came to be pitur (and the genitive of the entire noun class as well, of course)? The evolution of all other forms (even pitā́, which ...
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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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Etymology of latin suffix -idus

What is the (probably Indo-European) origin of the latin suffix -idus, as in "acidus"? Are there any known cognates?
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Are Russian words пять (five), пясть (fist), пятка (heel) related? What about English “fist”?

I wonder whether the PIE word for five in fact meant "fist", in other words, when people counted, they closed their fingers and when they obtained the closed fist, it was "five"? ...
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What are the descendants of the PIE suffix “-n̥kʷos” in the Czech language if there are any?

Me and my friend would like to know whether there is any PIE suffix "-n̥kʷos" descendats in the czech language, we feel like "-uha" in "ostruha" could be it, in other ...
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What's with an j/w alternation in some PIE pronouns?

There's a seeming alternation between *j (IEist notation *y) and *w in the PIE 2nd person pronoun (such as between *tewe and *toy) and in the reflexive pronoun (such as between *sewe and *soy). What's ...
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Welcome and BienVenidos

In English and Spanish, the words for welcome have an uncanny relation: the translation is almost completely (if not completely) literal.Bien means well and venidos means come/came in the plural or ...
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How could Proto-Indo-European not get dissolved into creoles during the Indo-European expansion?

First of all, I must say that I realise that this is not exactly a linguistics question so much as it is an anthropological, sociological, or historical question, but I suspect this might be the best ...
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Etymological connection between “uncus” and “unguis”

The Latin words uncus (hook) and unguis (claw, fingernail) appear very phonologically similar to me, and semantically I can see why 'hook' and 'claw' could derive from the same source. However, ...
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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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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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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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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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Why did Proto-Indo-European (probably) have such little vocab?

When I looked at words in Proto-Indo-European and how the words evolved, I found that there aren't a lot of words in that proto-language and that the words appear to be somewhat shorter than those in ...
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Are there any Latin and (ancient) Hebrew words with common origins?

More generally, is there any compelling evidence for any common roots between early Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic languages? There are almost necessarily some words that are not too dissimilar ...
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If *h1 were a glottal stop, and virtually all German word initial vowels have an implicit glottal stop

If *h1 were a glottal stop, and virtually all German word initial vowels have implicit glottal stop then would the claim about regular laryngeal loss have to be revised? There's a rather recent ...
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What would the linguistic ramifications be of Proto-Indo-European texts being found? [closed]

The oldest known Indo-European texts are (in time order) the Sanskrit, Hittite, and possibly Linear A (and other) languages. Linguists have reconstructed Proto-Indo-European. However, let's say that a ...
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Can we make a case for Eurasiatic numerals for one and two?

There is a widespread Eurasiatic theory that puts all these families (except PIE) into one group, the case for common numerals for one and two seems more plausible. I also add Chukchi-Kamchadal family ...
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Two languages have the same homonym for two meanings but different phonetics [closed]

If they got it from the protolanguage, then why does it have different phonetics? Is it possible that they were developed separately? 'Mañana' in Spanish – means 'morning' and 'tomorrow' 'Morgen’ in ...
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Proto-Indo-European protowriting? [closed]

The Mesopotamians had their own writing system. The Mesopotamians are said to have invented the wheel. The reconstructed vocabulary of the Proto-Indo-Europeans indicates that they had wheels. There is ...
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What might've *bhes- imitated?

bhes- To breathe. Probably imitative. Zero-grade form **bhs‑*. Of what was *bhes- probably imitative? How? How would've hypothetical Proto-Indo-Europeans judged *bhes- to sound like breathing?...
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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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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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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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What can limit the plausibility of the Arabic “š-k-l”(ش ك ل) being in the same lineage as the German “gestalt” via its assumed PIE ancestor “*stel”?

They have near-fully overlapping meanings (I would be going out on a limb to say fully equivalent translations) with both the Arabic and German words having their primary use in expressing the meaning ...
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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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What semantic notions underlie PIE *meh₂d- ('wet') and Proto-Germanic *matōną, *matjaną (“to feed, eat”)?

I was reading the etymology of amadouer when I lighted on these attested morphemes: Etymology From Middle French amadouer (“to coax, lure”), from a- + *madouer (“to lure, give food to”), from ...
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Why was the English 'so' imputed to the PIE *se-?

Etymonline states 'so' to originate: from PIE reflexive pronominal stem *swo- "so" [...], derivative of *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom). What semantic ...