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Indo-European Roots

How words diverge from a common root

Similarities Between Languages


Chance/Accidental

Universal

Features of Human Language


-ex. Cuckoo and ruff

Borrowings

-ex. Tortilla -ex. Latin ad nauseum -ex. Greek agora

Comparative Method
One

fact and one hypothesis

- Fact: Similarities between certain languages are so numerous that there must be another explanation.

- Hypothesis: These languages must derive from a common ancestor.

Daughter-in-law
Sanskrit:

snusaa* Old English: snoru Old Church Slavonic: snkha Russian: snokh Latin: nurus Greek: nus Armenian: nu

The First Consonant(s)


*sn

sn
Commonly drop the s before the n

Sanskrit

Old English

Old Church

Russian

Latin

Greek

Armenian

First Vowel
*snu

No consonant

Latin

Greek

Armenian

Sanskrit

Connected to Sanskrit u

Traced to Earlier u

Drop consonant after

Slavic

Germanic

Greek

Armenian

Consonant following Vowel


*snus
Traced to an Earlier s after u Traced back to an s

kh
Rule: s is converted to r after vowel

No consonant

Drop s Between vowels

Sanskrit

Russian

Slavic

Latin

Old English

Greek

Armenian

Ending
*snusos (f)

os

Irregular fem.

Inherited irr.

Feminine

Removed irr.

Latin

Greek

Armenian

Sanskrit

Old English

Slavic

Accent
*snuss Last syllable Sanskrit Greek Slavic German

*snusos = daughter-in-law
Comparative

method explains differences in forms through reconstruction of a prototype single language in the Indo-European family preserves word intact from the ProtoIndo-European significance

No

Cultural

Steps of the Comparative Method


1)

2)
3) 4) 5)

Assemble cognate lists Establish correspondence sets Discover complements Reconstruct proto-phonemes Examine the reconstructed system

Proto-Indo-European
PIE

roots dont always resemble modern English IE root words

2,000+

Root: ar Meaning:

together Derivatives:
Army

to fit

Harmony
Inert Aristocracy Adorn

Hatred Rite Arithmetic Rhyme

Guess the PIE root


Tory

Pursuit
Rodeo Rotary Rotate Roulette Control Prune

Ret -

To 1)

run, roll

rota Latin, wheel 2) rotundus Latin, round

Can You Guess the Modern Words?

THE ROOT PERD-

To Fart
Old English: feortan Germanic: fertan Sanskrit: pard Lithuanian: perdzu Russian: perdet To break wind 2. To fool around; To fritter away
1.

Partridge
Middle English: partrich Old French: perdriz Greek: perdix Portuguese: perdiz Italian: perdice Greek: perdix
They include primarily the 40 to 45 species of the genera Perdix, Alectoris, and Francolinus (www.4to40.com).

Perdix=Genera
The taxonomical ranking OED: perh the noise made by the bird as it flies away