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Would it be at all possible for Latin lacio "pull, lure" (cf. illicio, laqueus, lacesso, lacto) to be related with Greek ἕλκω "draw, pull"? Wiktionary suggests no cognates of lacio are known, so there probably is no established relation, but I am curious whether this would be at al possible.

  • Of course a corresponding theory would be possible, only depending on how complicated you want it to be. If "related" should mean not crazy, but a tidy derivation with unbroken descent, Given Lacio as a byname of Rome, I don't think so. But who said etymology should be light? – vectory Feb 18 at 21:51
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ἕλκω is thought to be from a root *selk-, which actually has a Latin derivative in sulcus "furrow" (Gk. ὅλκος). As far as I can see there's no regular way to derive laciō from *selk-. (BTW de Vaan argues that laqueus is unrelated to the family of laciō because of the qu.)

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  • work out zero grade, aorist of *selk-, assume s-mobile, *selk- > *sl-k > *lek- + *-yo (present?) baam, lacio. I'm sure there's a problem. what's the problem, doc? – vectory Feb 23 at 23:10
  • @vectory This is why I said "no regular way" -- for that derivation to work, you need both Schwebeablaut and a hard-to-motivate vowel change to a. – TKR Feb 24 at 2:06
  • a) *(s)leh₂g- "to be slack; be limp; droop; sag" (cf. Old Saxon lakan) b) *slak- "to beat, hit, throw, strike" (cf. slay, Ger schlagen). Several semantic links are hypotheticly possible. cp slackline, Schlagschnur. – vectory Feb 24 at 7:38
  • @vectory If you ignore regularity and allow for indefinite semantic leeway the connections game becomes much easier to play, but also much less interesting, because without stricter criteria you can't get beyond lists of unproveable and mutually incompatible pseudo-cognates like the ones you are always posting here. – TKR Feb 24 at 18:08
  • The semantics are definitely reliable if attested. The leeway is not infinite, even if often highly polysemous. Comparison is much more difficult when semantic shift is not total in the sense that sound laws can be, but reasonably common analogies can help here (which I rarely submit because I'm not proficient in almost all languages). This game is interesting, because it can be played with a synchronic corpus. Indeed, it's error prone, and therefore never the last word. – vectory Feb 25 at 9:38

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