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Thread: Examples of Latin and Germanic words with common Indo-European roots

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    Post Examples of Latin and Germanic words with common Indo-European roots



    Despite belonging to the same Indo-European family of languages, it is often hard to see similarities between basic words in Romance and Germanic languages. Here are a few exception of words that were already close in classical ancient times and have changed little since then in modern languages.


    - axe : Latin ascia, Old English æces, Proto-Germanic akusjo
    - beak : Latin beccus, Old English becca, Gaulish Celtic beccus
    - car, cart, chariot : Latin carrum/carrus, Old English cræt, Old Norse kartr, Gaulish Celtic karros
    - cat : Latin cattus, Old English catt, Proto-Germanic kattuz
    - day : Latin dies, Old English dæg, Proto-Germanic dagaz
    - eye : Latin oculus, Old English ege, Proto-Germanic augon
    - father : Latin pater, Old English fæder, Proto-Germanic fader
    - fish : Latin pisces, Old English fisc, Proto-Germanic fiskaz
    - horn : Latin cornu, Old English horn, Proto-Germanic khurnaz
    - long : Latin longus, Old English lang, Proto-Germanic langgaz
    - middle : Latin medius, Old English middel, Proto-Germanic medjaz
    - month : Latin mensis, Old English monað,, Proto-Germanic mænoth
    - mouse : Latin mus, Old English mus, Proto-Germanic mus
    - new : Latin novus/neo, Old English neowe/niowe,, Proto-Germanic newjaz
    - nose : Latin nasus, Old English nosu, Proto-Germanic nusus
    - spit (verb/noun) : Latin sputare/sputum, Old English spittan/spitu, Proto-Germanic spittan/spituz
    - star : Latin stella, Old English steorra, Proto-Germanic sterron
    - swine : Latin sus, Old English swin, Proto-Germanic swinan
    - time : Latin tempus, Old English tima, Proto-Germanic timon
    - waste : Latin vastus, Old English westen, Frankish wostjan
    - way : Latin via, Old English weg, Proto-Germanic wegaz
    - wind : Latin ventus, Old English wind, Proto-Germanic wendas


    Not to be confused with early Germanic borrowing from Latin, such as :

    - belt : Latin balteus, Old English belt
    - cherry : Latin ceresia, Old English ciris
    - inch : Latin uncia, Old English ynce
    - pear : Latin pira, Old English pere/peru
    - scuttle : Latin scutella, Old English scutel
    - street : Latin strata, Old English stret
    - tower : Latin turris, Old English torr

    Or conversely, Romance languages borrowing from Germanic idioms :

    - white (blanc in French, bianco in Italian, blanco in Spanish) from Proto-Germanic blangkaz via Frankish blank
    - fresh (frais in French, fresco in Italian and Spanish) from Proto-Germanic friskaz
    - boat (bateau in French, also battello in Italian) from Proto-Germanic bait via Old English/Norse bat.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 09-12-11 at 15:53.
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    It is amazing both that the common roots are so discernable and that the words themselves changed so quickly. The pace of the changes seems to have sped up since the early middle ages.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Hello to you all!

    Some of the examples of common IE heredity in both Latin and English are obviously wrong. It is so because of the two phonological rules (commonly called „laws” which is however incorrect) – the Grimm's Rule ("Law") and the Verner's Rule ("Law"). They changed the Proto-Gernanic consonants so that e.g. Latin c (k) cannot correspond to Germanic k any longer but h (if not affected by Verner's) or g (if affected) rather. This way, eye, father, fish etc. are good examples.

    But at least the following instances are not the common Indo-European heredity but loanwords rather: beak, car, cat. Btw., all three examples are loanwords in Latin (beccus and carrum from Celtic).

    The example of long is also suspected as the original IE word began from *dl- cluster, and t- would be expected in Germanic (cf. Hittite dalugasti ‘length’ and Russian dolgij ‘long’). The simplification of *dl- > l- is normal in Latin but unexpected in Germanic, so this word may be an old Latin borrowing in Germanic, despite its wide using in various Germanic languages.

    Also day (PG dagaz) is not a counterpart of the Latin diēs because the Germanic form comes from IE *dhogh- which should have yielded **foh-, not diē- in Latin. The Germanic word has IE cognates meaning ‘warm’ while the Latin term has near-cognates e.g. in Slavic (Russian den', Polish dzień ‘day’). The name of Juppiter (Jovis pater) and deus ‘god’ also come from the same IE root. It is present in Germanic god's name Tue/Tiw (cf. Tuesday). The similar looking of day and diēs is just a qestion of chance and the hypothesis on their relationship must be rejected due to phonological rules.

    The same must be said on time / Latin tempus. It is th (þ) which is the expected counterpart of the Latin t- in Germanic. Or, the Germanic t- should correspond to Latin d-.

    And finally, via does not look like cognate, either. Instead, Latin vehere ‘to carry’ and Germanic wegaz come from the same IE root. Note -g- in Germanic and -h- in Latin, both from IE *-g'h-.

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    Słowa wiano - Słowianie (Slavs) ---> word (słowo) transfer (wiano). Only that. Language do not belong to any nation now. If in Mozambique people speak portuguese language are they Portuguese people? If in Ireland speak (germanic) english - are this Celts English people? If in Russia they try to speak slavic language are they Slavs? Polish/Czechs mLEKo (milk) -LEK = medicine, m(a)LEKo, ma = to have, LEK = medicine, so mleko = has ability to heal, russian moloko means nothing in russian language, they learned slavic language a few centuries ago.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    A few unsystematic additions:
    Common IE roots:
    brother: Lat. frater, German Bruder
    to sit: Lat. sedere, German sitzen
    to stand: La. stare, Germ. stehen
    .. and of course the numbers from one to ten (unus ad decem)

    Some loans
    While English has maintained Low German / Danish "window" (wind opening) High German took over Latin fenestra as "Fenster"
    Lat. prunus has become engl. plum, German Pflaume

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by grzegorj View Post
    The example of long is also suspected as the original IE word began from *dl- cluster, and t- would be expected in Germanic (cf. Hittite dalugasti ‘length’ and Russian dolgij ‘long’). The simplification of *dl- > l- is normal in Latin but unexpected in Germanic, so this word may be an old Latin borrowing in Germanic, despite its wide using in various Germanic languages.
    You have picked a widely discussed case here. The problem of the "dl->l" simplification has already been mentioned by the Grimm brothers in their German dictionary. However, while a Latin borrowing of High German, and also English, might be considered, lang is also being used in Danish and in Norwegian, for both of which a borrowing from Latin would be rather unexpected. The borrowing would need to have had occurred very early - in 5 BC, Roman authors are first mentioning the Langobardii (i.e. long beards). This is the Germanic writing, a Romanised form would be Lungobarbii (with b instead of g, see barbarians). In other words - at the time of the first intensive Roman-Germanic encounter, the presumed Latin borrowing "long" was already so common in Germanic that it was used as part of a tribal name. That makes borrowing quite unlikely.
    Interestingly, Lithuanian, usually considered a vey conservative IE language, has also dropped the initial "d". "long" in a temporal sense is "ilgas" in Lithuanian. Sanskrit is dirghas. This may mean that the IE root has in fact not been "dl*g", but rather "d*lg*s", from which Germanic languages, as Latin and Lithuanian, have dropped the prefix "d*", and Germanic also the suffix "*s". The "d*" prefix may have survived in the High German "entlang" (English along).

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    Quote Originally Posted by grzegorj View Post
    Hello to you all!

    Some of the examples of common IE heredity in both Latin and English are obviously wrong. It is so because of the two phonological rules (commonly called „laws” which is however incorrect) – the Grimm's Rule ("Law") and the Verner's Rule ("Law"). They changed the Proto-Gernanic consonants so that e.g. Latin c (k) cannot correspond to Germanic k any longer but h (if not affected by Verner's) or g (if affected) rather. This way, eye, father, fish etc. are good examples.

    But at least the following instances are not the common Indo-European heredity but loanwords rather: beak, car, cat. Btw., all three examples are loanwords in Latin (beccus and carrum from Celtic).

    The example of long is also suspected as the original IE word began from *dl- cluster, and t- would be expected in Germanic (cf. Hittite dalugasti ‘length’ and Russian dolgij ‘long’). The simplification of *dl- > l- is normal in Latin but unexpected in Germanic, so this word may be an old Latin borrowing in Germanic, despite its wide using in various Germanic languages.

    Also day (PG dagaz) is not a counterpart of the Latin diēs because the Germanic form comes from IE *dhogh- which should have yielded **foh-, not diē- in Latin. The Germanic word has IE cognates meaning ‘warm’ while the Latin term has near-cognates e.g. in Slavic (Russian den', Polish dzień ‘day’). The name of Juppiter (Jovis pater) and deus ‘god’ also come from the same IE root. It is present in Germanic god's name Tue/Tiw (cf. Tuesday). The similar looking of day and diēs is just a qestion of chance and the hypothesis on their relationship must be rejected due to phonological rules.

    The same must be said on time / Latin tempus. It is th (þ) which is the expected counterpart of the Latin t- in Germanic. Or, the Germanic t- should correspond to Latin d-.

    And finally, via does not look like cognate, either. Instead, Latin vehere ‘to carry’ and Germanic wegaz come from the same IE root. Note -g- in Germanic and -h- in Latin, both from IE *-g'h-.
    good points - interesting thread but I don' know what was the MACIAMO's first purpose here because he mixed cognates with loans and a lot of cognates are common to slavic and celtic (and others maybe)

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    as a whole Grzegorz is right -
    but concerning latin t is not the first time I find irregulrar seemingly I-Ean cognates: I suspect some ligurian or akin language (pre-italic) loanwords -
    other posibility: older I-Ean loanwords from a group of language having lost aspirated consonnants

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