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Hittite has a verbal prefix u- that indicates motion away from something. Kloekhorst connects it to Latin au-fugiō, "to flee from", saying they both come from PIE *h₂-u-.

However, I'd always thought au- in Latin was just the form of ab- before f (cf au-ferō).

Is Kloekhorst right (or, rather, are his views commonly accepted) about this? And how much evidence is there either way?

  • Some discussion here, and an answer by Alex B quoting de Vaan: linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/3405/… – TKR Mar 30 at 22:07
  • compare German abhauen "to leave, get away" (usually quickly so). the apparent stem hauen "to hew" (beat, strike) makes close to no sense here. To split off, branch off and similar might make sense somehow, but I suggest rebracketing, in which case it might be relevant. Also see die Biege machen (idem); abbiegen ("to turn" in the sense "make a left", but wiktionary has more; trivially biegen "bend", cp "get bent"). *Hu implies *Hew, cp. *kewp "bend" (IIRC), perhaps *kaput (cp "to head of"), or the same element as in away (I want to say the same as in L e-x), or ever. – vectory Mar 31 at 17:23
  • also see en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/abuhaz supposing *Hepo, trivially – vectory Mar 31 at 17:27
  • @vectory You seem to be talking about descendants of *h₂(e)po-, cognate with Latin ab; I'm asking about Kloekhorst's view that Latin au-fugiō comes instead from *h₂-u-. – Draconis Mar 31 at 17:32
  • Kind of. It's the most obvious assumption, isn't it? But if I suppose rebracketing in abhauen (and geminated h out of the bue), then -a is left to be explained. I could even imagine another comparison, abhängen (to get away from, leave behind, literally hang off) that might show n-infix (?) and original velar; just for sake of the argument. Eitherway, an internal derivation of *h2(e)po is wanted, yes. Its stem might be the stem in au-fugio, contracted with fui and then some. – vectory Mar 31 at 17:40

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