Preface: Wiktionnaire's etymology supports U Texas's below, but Wiktionary's assigns to a different PIE root: *só. I am conjecturing that Wiktionary is incorrect.

[70% down the page]  conj if 
LRC [Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin]

I was reading this page on the PIE root *se- when I noticed the above; why was the 'sī' assigned to the PIE root *se (to Own, Possess)? I cannot see any semantic notions underlying the two.

1 Answer 1


The Proto-Indo-European root *se- is generally taken to have been a reflexive pronominal root meaning "self", i.e. indicating that a word refers to the same thing as some other word (De Vaan 2008, Philippa e.a. 2003-2009). The root *so- is a different pronominal/demonstrative root that was so far as I know not reflexive. So I would not trust Wiktionary here.

The Latin reflexive pronoun se is from Proto-Indo-European *se- (De Vaan). I wouldn't trust that page from the University of Texas too much: their "own, possess" seems speculative. Perhaps it was based on Pokorny, but I wouldn't depend on it either way.

According to De Vaan, Latin si and sic are from Proto-Indo-European *so-, as expected. I don't think there is any doubt about this. It is related to English so and many other reflexes.


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