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Germanic Languages

Klaipda, 2013

Eastern and Western branches of the Indo-European family

Eastern and Western branches of the IndoEuropean family

Eastern and Western branches of the IndoEuropean family

Words used in four languages with corresponding meanings

Indo-European and Primitive Germanic

Nouns of Indo-European origin can be divided into several thematic groups: 1) Kinship terms 2) Names of animals and plants 3) Names of body parts 4) Names of geographical concepts and natural phenomenon 5) Other names

Kinship terms
The majority of nouns of this group belong to the -r- stem:

father: Sanskr. pitr-, Gr. patr, Lat. pater, Old Irish athir, Arm. hayr, Goth. fadar mother: Sanskr. mtr-, Gr. mtr, Lat. mter, Old Irish mthir, Old Slav. -, Old Icelandic mir, Old English mdor brother: Sanskr. bhrt ar-, Gr. phrt r, Lat. frter, Old Irish brthir, Old Slav. , Goth. brar sister: Sanskr. svs ar-, Lat. soror, Old Irish siur, Lith. seser-, Old Slav. , Goth. swistar

Besides the above mentioned examples, Indo-European words with the meanings of son, daughter, daughter-in law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, etc. also belong to this thematic group.

Names of animals and plants

Nouns of Indo-European origin can denote domestic and wild animals, birds, insects, etc.:

herd: Sanskr. pcuh, Lat. pecus, Goth. fahu, Old High Germ. fihu ox and cow: Sanskr. guh, Gr. bos, Lat. bs, Irish b, Avest. gu, Arm. kov, Old Slav. , Old High Germ. kuo sheep and ewe: Sanskr. vih, Gr. os, Lat. ouis, Lith. avis, Irish oi, Old Slav. , Old High German ouwi

wolf: Sanskr. vkah, Gr. lykos, Lat. lupus, Lth. vilkas, Goth. wulfs
crane: Gr. granos, Lat. grs, Lith. grv, Arm. krunk, Old Slav. , Old English cran, Middle High Germ. krane, Old Icelandic


Words with the meaning of stallion, mare, goat and she-goat, dog, bear, mouse, deer, bird, eagle, thrush, goose, duck, snake, fly, hornet, wasp, bee, worm, etc. also belong to this group.

Names of trees
The names of trees are less likely to have an IndoEuropean etymology and are usually found in fewer languages: tree (a plant and material): Hit. taru, Sanskr. dr u, Gr. dru tree, shaft, Lith. derv fir tree, Old Slav. , Old Irish daur, Goth. triu, Old English tro(w) tree beech: Gr. phgs, Lat. fgus, Old Icelandic bk, Old High Germ. Buohha

The denotations of birch, alder, willow, oak, elm, yew, and the names of some grain plants are also Indo-European.

Etymology of the word grain

A word grain Lat. grnum, Old Irish grn, Old Slav. , Old Prussian syrne, Goth. karn is found only in those languages that have a stem *s- to sow (Old Slav. , Lith.sti, Goth. saian, Old Irish sl sowing, Lat. smen a seed) and can not be found in Indo Iranian, Armenian, Greek languages.

Some isoglosses of the names of body parts include the whole IndoEuropean area, while others characterize a bigger or a smaller number of IE languages, but not all:

Names of body parts

heart: Sanskr. hd-, Gr. kardia, Lat. cord-, Lith. irds, Hit. kardi-, Arm. sirt, Old Slav. , Goth. harto tooth: Sanskr. dn, Gr. odn, Lat. dns, Lith. dants, Goth. tunus, Old English t, Old High Germ. zand foot: Sanskr. pt, Gr. pos, Lat. ps, Goth. ftus, Old English ft, Old High Germ. fuoz, Old Icelandic ftr

The words of this thematic group also include the names of such

concepts as knee, ear, liver, blood, eyes, ears, head, eyebrow,

nose, bone, nail, elbow, hip, hand, etc. In some cases isoglosses of this group have three or only two areas, for example words having the meaning of mouth or lip: Lat. mentum chin, Celt. mant jaw,

Goth. muns mouth; Lat. labia, labra lips, Pers. lab, Old English lippa
lip; Old Neth. lippe, Middle Low Germ. lippe, Old Frisian lippa, Old Icelandic lepor.

Names of geographical concepts and natural phenomenon

sea: Lat. mare, Lith. mrs (pl.), Lettish mare bay, Old Slav. , Old irish muir, Goth. mar-, Old English mere, Old High Germ. meri, Old Icelandic marr snow: Lat. nix (*snigwhs), Gr. npha, Old Irish snechti, Old Slav. , Old Prussian snaygis, Lith. sniegas, Goth. snaiws, Old English snw, Old High Germ. sno

Common Indo-European words that denote natural phenomenon and the characteristics of the environment are not always identical in their meanings: clay: Lat. lmus scum, silt; Old English lm glue, Old High Germ. lm lime

Other names
To this group belong the names of other objects that have been present in the Germanic, as well as in some other Indo-European languages: wheel: Lat. rota, Old Irish roth, Lith. ratas, Old High Germ. rad vessel: Sanskr. nuh, Pers. nv, Arm. naw, Gr. nas, Lat. nuis, Irish nau, Old Icelandic nr harrow: Lat. occa, Welsh oged, Lith. akios, Lettish ecas, Breton oguet, Old English eee, Old High Germ. egida

A great number of stems indicate that there were common denotations of the Indo-European area for such concepts as to live, to die, to drink, to eat, to sleep, to be awake, to lick, to bite, to take, to leave, to see, to hear, to think, to know, to go, to run, and others; certain kinds of jobs and occupations were also denoted in the same way:


to know: Sanskr. jnyate (he/she) knows, Gr. gignsk (I) know, Lat. cognsc, Hit. kaneszi, Old Slav. , Lith. inti, Goth. kunnan to sleep: Sanskr. svpiti he/she sleeps, Old Slav. , Old English swefan, Old High Germ. swefan; compare Gr. hpnos sleep/dream, Lith. spnas sleep/dream to plough: Lat. ar, Gr. r, Irish airim, Lith. arti, Old Slav. , Goth. arjan to milk: Gr. amlgein, Lat. mulge, Lith. mlzu, Irish mligim, Old English melcan, Old High Germ. melchan

to sew: Sanskr. svyati he/she sews, Lat. suere, Lith. siti to sew, Old Slav. , Goth. siujan, Old English siwan, Old High Germ. siuwen

The oldest Indo-European adjectives denote things as new, old, young, ancient, some colors: new: Gr. ne(w)os, Lat. novus, Rus. , Goth. niujis, Old English niwe, Old High Germ. niuwi, Old Icelandic nr red: Sanskr. rudhirh, Gr. er uthrs, Lat. rubber, Irish rad, Old Slav. , Ukr. , Goth. raus hot: Sanskr. gharmh heat, Gr. thermos, Lat. formus, Goth. warmjan to heat, Germ. warm, English warm

Germanic numerals belong to the oldest by its origin class of words and all have IndoEuropean parallels, for example: eight: Sanskr. at , Gr. ok t, Lat. oct, Lith. atuoni, Old Irish ocht, Old Slav. , Goth. ahtau nine: Sanskr. da, Gr. dka, Lat. decem, Lith. de imt-, Old Slav. -, Goth.



hundred: Sanskr. atm, Gr. (he)-katn, Lat. centum, Avest. satm, Lith. imtas, Old Slav. , Goth. hund

A lot of personal, demonstrative, questionrelative and reflexive pronouns stems have common IndoEuropean etymology: g(n), Lat. ego, Old I: Sanskr. ahm, Gr. e Slav. , Hit. uk, Goth. ik m, Lat. m, me (Acc.): Sanskr. mm, Gr. e Old Slav. , Hit. amuk, Goth. mik that: Sanskr. sa, Gr. , Old Slav. , Goth. sa that (Acc.): Sanskr. tam, Gr. tn, Old Slav. , Lith. to , Goth. ana,

Prepositions, conjunctions
for: Sanskr. pra-, Lat. pro, Rus. , Lith. pro, Goth. far, Old English for, Old High Germ. fora, Old Icelandic fyr of: Sanskr. pa, Gr. ap, Lat. ab, Goth. af, Old English of, Old Icelandic af at: Lat. ad, Goth. at, Old English t, Old High Germ. az, Old Icelandic at