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27 votes

Are there languages in which "coffee" is not a cognate of a root containing k/q and f/h/w?

First of all I would like to say that these words are not cognates; they are loanwords. The coffee plant is indigenous in the highlands of Ethiopia. It was transplanted to the Yemen in the 14th ...
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18 votes
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What is the difference between a word root and a word stem?

This a metaphor. Both terms refer to plants, but words are not plants. Metaphors are rarely exact, so there's no reason to expect the difference between root and stem to be consistent for all ...
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16 votes

Why are the reconstructed forms of PIE root in Etymonline and Wiktionary different?

The main problem with these particular reconstructions is that the author of "etymonline" does not use diacritics. In fact, there is a very significant difference between *g and *ǵ (they develop ...
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14 votes

Why are the reconstructed forms of PIE root in Etymonline and Wiktionary different?

Proto-Indo-European has gone through different stages of development historically, which represent higher levels of abstraction. In particular, the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laryngeal_theory, ...
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13 votes

Are there languages in which "coffee" is not a cognate of a root containing k/q and f/h/w?

Armenian: սուրճ [surch] (Wiktionary) English: java (Wiktionary) In the 17th century, the Dutch colonized the island of Java, which is now part of Indonesia. They planted lots of coffee there and ...
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9 votes

Why are the reconstructed forms of PIE root in Etymonline and Wiktionary different?

To supplement Nick's excellent answer: The mainstream view of PIE now is that it had no /a/ vowel (in the oldest stages we can reconstruct). Instead, it had three(*) "laryngeal" sounds, which weren't ...
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9 votes

Why were there two words for love in Proto-Indo-European?

It should be noted, anything about Proto-Indo-European is purely hypothetical, based on comparing all its different descendants. That is, there are no Proto-Indo-European people we can go up to and ...
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8 votes

Are there languages in which "coffee" is not a cognate of a root containing k/q and f/h/w?

the word for "coffee" What if the language doesn't have the word for coffee, and there are several words to express it? For example, in Somali, coffee can be called both bun and qaxwe. does not ...
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8 votes

PIE *kom 'with, side by side' or PIE *ḱóm?

Unfortunately the answer is: we aren't exactly sure. The easy answer is that it had a *ḱ, as listed on Wiktionary. As sumelic points out, the AHD (and many other sources) don't mark *ḱ and *k ...
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8 votes

Does the root word mus- in Latin mean "thief"'? Mouse=thief, Moses=Extractor etc

Mūs in Latin does not mean "thief", but only "mouse". (The Latin word for "thief" is fūr.) This word comes from an Indo-European word *mūs or *muHs, which is also the ...
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7 votes
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Hebrew root אהב

Semitic languages work with consonantal roots which can be modified and conjugated using vowel patterns and affixes. See the Wikipedia article on Semitic roots. To take your root אהב or ʔhb as an ...
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7 votes
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Can Semitic (Hebrew & Arabic) roots have vowels?

This is one of the topics addressed by Mike Brame in his MIT dissertation Ch. 5, for Classical Arabic, however I have to say that I find his discussion inconclusive. The prosodic pattern of verbs and ...
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6 votes
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difference between the root, lemma and stem for a derived word

For your English example drivers The lemma is driver The stem is also driver The root is driv The whole thing is better explained in a language with more inflections, where things become interesting....
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6 votes
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Origin of the word/root 'del'

These words are related, but they do not have any known cognates outside of Germanic and Balto-Slavic. “Proto-Indo-European *dʰayl-, *dʰoyl-“ (as posited on Wikipedia) is highly uncertain. It has been ...
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6 votes

Understanding the reflexes of PIE *ǵneh3- in Sanskrit, Latin and Greek

In Indo-Iranian both *eh₃ and *n̥h₃ become *ō, which then becomes ā. In Skt jānāti there is an infix *-ne- before the last consonant of the root, in this case the laryngeal. Thus the zero-grade root *...
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6 votes
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Why can verbal roots in PIE only contain the vowel e?

It's not that PIE roots always contain the vowel e, it's that PIE roots don't contain vowels. This is a common misconception, unfortunately aided by the traditions of IE lexicography. Take a root ...
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6 votes
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Is it possible for two Semitic (e.g. Arabic, Hebrew) words with the same triliteral root to have different origins?

Your cited examples do not involve the same roots in Hebrew and Arabic, they involve similar roots: [t] is not the same as [ṭ] and [f] is not the same as [p]. Semitic šim- "name" appears in Arabic as ...
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6 votes

Are the English "Woe" and the German "Wo" related?

In addition to Wilson's comment: The English /oː/[oʊ̯] in indigenous words is derived from a Proto-Germanic diphthong that is reconstructed as pgm. *ai (pgm. *ai > Old English ā > modern /oː/). The ...
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6 votes
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Etymology of some Romance languages' verbs meaning "to sleep"

This seems to be quite the knotty little tangle of roots, so this is going to be rather long. LIV² gives a total (that I’ve found) of seven different roots for this rather complex mass of running and ...
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5 votes
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How can I check whether 'question' in English, and 'xahesh' in Persian are cognates?

Henning, Das Verbum des Mittelpersischen der Turfanfragmente (1933) p. 187 posited Iranian *xwaz, ‘wish, want’, represented by Middle and New Persian xwāh-, with long-grade present stem, the regular ...
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5 votes
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Semitic (Afroasiatic?) Root Constraints

The classic original study is Joseph Greenberg 1950 "The Patterning of Root Morphemes in Semitic" (Word 5, 162–181). A later study with a larger lexicon was conducted by M. Mrayati 1987 "Statistical ...
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5 votes

Why are the reconstructed forms of PIE root in Etymonline and Wiktionary different?

To add to all the other excellent answers, there is a simple practical explanation of the proximal cause (the others explain well the academic reasons). Checking the sources of the two sets, there is ...
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5 votes

PIE *kom 'with, side by side' or PIE *ḱóm?

Note that the AHD doesn't seem to use accents to mark the "palatovelars" in its head entries for PIE roots. For example, the entry for the root that is the ancestor of English he/his is given as ‌‌...
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5 votes
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Derivation of Greek οὐρά (backside) from PIE *h₁ers (flow)

The idea is that there were two homophonic IE roots: *h₁ers- "tail" and *h₁ers- "to flow". Nobody is claiming that the two are connected.
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4 votes

Understanding the reflexes of PIE *ǵneh3- in Sanskrit, Latin and Greek

@fdb's answer addresses the Indo-Iranian forms, so this one will address the Greek and Latin ones. In Greek, there are two relevant sets of sound changes: PIE *eH > Gk V̄. That is, *e followed by ...
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4 votes

Are there languages in which "coffee" is not a cognate of a root containing k/q and f/h/w?

The Oxford English Dictionary indexes a number of slang terms for 'coffee'. Two of them are clearly derived from coffee, so I'd consider them scratched for your purposes — Everton toffee (rhyming ...
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4 votes

Origin of the word/root 'del'

They definitely do go to the same common ancestor, just the first etymology you found does not go deep enough. Norwegian del is reconstructed to proto-germanic dailiz, but that originates from PIE *...
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4 votes

How many bases does a compound word have?

By definition, compounds have more than one base: mice-killer is formed from MOUSE and KILL. Unlike Noun-Verb+er compounds, most of them are opaque and the relation between the two vary. There is a ...
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4 votes
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By what means would the root "let" evolve to "ly" in a naturalistic conlang?

Since you're asking on Linguistics instead of Constructed Languages, here's a real-world example! Look at Ancient Greek (Attic/Koine dialect) τείν-ει /tiːn-iː/ "she spreads", next to Latin ten-et /...
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4 votes

Can we claim that all words derived from the same root must necessarily be related in the meaning?

First, we different words in general have different meanings, even when they are derived from the same root. The whole reason for having different words is to express different meaning, full synonyms ...
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