Questions tagged [proto-indo-european]

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

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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 ...
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Is Proto-Uralic piŋз “hand, palm” related to PIE pn̥kʷstis “fist”, pénkʷe “five”?

There was Proto-Uralic piŋз "hand, palm": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pivo#Etymology_2 I wonder whether it was related to the PIE words.
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Is there evidence for expletives (ie. dummy subjects) in Proto-Germanic? What can we say about the situation in IE?

I am aware that obligatory expletives did not exist in early ON and perhaps also not in early OHG, but my knowledge of the specifics is hazy. In OE at least, I believe expletives in conjunction with ...
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changes in sounds in Indo-European languages

Forgive me if this question is too simple/repetitive/... as I'm not familiar with technical terms. I'm looking for a good reference that's explained the changes in sounds in Indo-European daughter ...
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How do you learn what an old word might have imitated?

psyche (n.)    1640s, "animating spirit," from Latin psyche, from Greek psykhe "the soul, mind, spirit; breath; life, one's life, the invisible animating principle or entity which occupies and ...
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Is Geoffrey cognate with these words?

I have an interesting question about a name that I looked up: Geoffrey. I saw that it is from Middle English, and is a compound name derived from the Germanic words *gautaz and *frithuz. Both of these ...
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Is there credible evidence for Proto-Indo-Uralic? [duplicate]

Proto-Indo-Uralic is possibly an ancient language that was spoken around ten thousand years ago. I have heard that this has evidence but it hasn’t been proven. So, is there any real evidence (...
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How did Proto-Indo-Europeans view the world? [closed]

I was watching a video about Proto-Indo-European culture by Xidnaf at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErXa5PyHj4I. It said that Proto-Indo-Europeans probably had most or all of these philosophical ...
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Besides Proto-Indo-European, does any language have separate words for “one alone” and “one united”?

In PIE, e̯oinos meant "one alone", "one separated", it has the same root as in the word for "goes", e̯eiti. Semantically it meant the one that went away. At the same time, som meant "one united", "...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why was 'thwart' assigned to PIE *terkw- “to twist”?

thwart (adv.) [...] c. 1200, from a Scandinavian source, probably Old Norse þvert "across," originally neuter of thverr (adj.) "transverse, across," (cognate with Old English þweorh "...
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Why does it seem that all Proto-Germanic words have PIE roots?

In Latin, there are words from Etruscan and unknown sources. In Proto-Germanic, pretty much all words are from Proto-Indo-European. Why is that? Are the Proto-Germanic peoples and language very ...
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Latin “niger” from *negʷ-?

Could Latin niger "black", of uncertain origin, come from *negʷ- "bare, naked"? For an analogy, compare black, blank, Spanish blanco "white, argent", and their roots PGem *blakaz "burnt", PGem *...
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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 ...
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What is the relationship of Proto-Indo-European, Indo-European, Proto-Germanic and Germanic?

I know that Indo-European is the name of a family of languages that includes nearly all the major tongues of Europe and several outside Europe, such as Persian and Hindi. Germanic is a sub-category of ...
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Reconstructing pre-proto languages

I have asked about reconstructing pre-PIE from PIE and possibly using daughter languages for help and got no response. What I remembered is a book about Proto-Afroasiatic that I stumbled upon. First, ...
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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 ...
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Did Proto-Indo-Europeans whisper? [closed]

I saw that Proto Indo Europeans had a word for whispering *(kweys). Did they whisper to each other like people do now? And, did we learn whispering from Proto Indo Europeans?
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Proto-Indo-European words for moon? [closed]

There are two words for moon in Proto-Indo-European, *lówksneh (cognate with 'lunar'), and *méhns (cognate with 'moon' and 'month'). I think that *lówksneh means "a shining moon" and is more common, ...
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identifying unknown script from artefact [closed]

A friend found these artefacts for sale in Afghanistan, was wondering what the script is? Maybe Avestan? enter image description here
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Do Indus texts potentially have the oldest Indo-European text that we know of?

There are some texts left by an ancient civilization in India. They were written around 2700-1800 BCE. They have not been able to decipher them yet. Is it possible that the texts were Indo-European? ...
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PIE Etymology of Ger *heute* “today” vs Lt *hodie*, Sanskr *adja* etc

This question about Top of the morning got me thinking. Most west european words for today are akin, said to be influenced by Latin hodie1. But Sanskrit adja, from * PIE *h₁e-dy-és, *h₁é (“this”, and ...
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Is Japanese “subaru” related to Russian “soberu” and Latin “conferre”?

Is Japanese "subaru" related to Russian "soberu" ("I'll put together") and Latin "conferre" ("to bring together")? I think both Latin and Russian words derive from Proto-Indo-European "com bheroa̯" "...
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Was sanskrit first complex language [closed]

I believe a complex language in necessary for a religious ideology involving man, mind, awareness, material world, immaterial world and such to be passed on. Was sanskrit the first language that was ...
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An idea to phonetically relate Indo-European first-person singular personal pronouns [closed]

The chart shows what i guess about the succession using probable changes like e>ye or s>sh>ch or a>ya PS: I'm not a linguist, just a curious language learner
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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 ...
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What's the reconstruction of the word for fire in proto-Australian?

The word for fire in some modern Australian languages: Tiwi yikwani Djinang junggi Maung yungku Walmajarri yakun This is strikingly similar to that in PIE: PIE h₁...
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Why is Proto-Indo-European form for light *lewktom? [closed]

Why is Proto-Indo-European form for light *lewktom when Russian has satem лысина (lɨsʲɪnə) bald spot?
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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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What is the underlying meaning of the English 'of'? [closed]

TL;DR: What is the semantic field or the big picture behind the English 'of'? I seek an explanation like this which exposes the underlying semantic field of ‘tally’. Addendum: of (as a ...
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What underlying semantic notions connect 'campus' to the PIE root *kam-p- (to bend)?

Univ. Texas's page on kam-p-   'to bend' states: 'Semantic Field: to Bend'. Then I saw campus (plain, campus, open field) listed, but what semantic notions underlie it and 'to bend'? I can ...
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What if Proto-Indo-European documents written in a cuneiform like script were found? [closed]

Proto indo european (aka PIE) is an unrecorded (as far as we know) language that was possibly spoken in southern Russia or Ukraine. Let’s suppose that there was a building underground sealed with ...

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