12

In the beginning, there was…well, we're not really sure. The origins of language are lost to time. But at some point, there was Proto-Indo-European, the hypothetical reconstructed ancestor of all the later Indo-European languages. As the Indo-European people spread across the continent, the dialects they spoke started to diverge; one of these dialects (...


12

Well, this may obviously be outdated, but G.M. Messing banged out a 3-page treatment of "The Etymology of Lat. Mentula" for the Oct. 1956 Classical Philology (Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 247–249). His review of the scholarship to that point was Lat. mentula 'membrum virile' has never been satisfactorily etymologized. Of the various suggestions made in the ...


11

The reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form listed is *h₁wegʷʰ- "to promise, vow, praise". h₁ is a "laryngeal consonant", so-called because we don't know what else to call it. The most common theory is that there were three consonants that acted similarly, and since nobody knew what they were, they were written as h with a subscript. h₁ was most likely ...


10

*h3 is called the "o-colouring laryngeal," which means that it "colours" (i.e., changes) a neighbouring e into *o or *ō: the former from *h3o and the latter from *oh3. See *h3ewis > ovis and *deh3[r/n]m̥ > dōnum. Now, when *hx (or any other laryngeal) is not next to an *e, then they yield other vowels: *a in Latin, *i in Sanskrit, and *e, *a or *o in Greek ...


9

Weiss (Hist. Comp. Gramm. Lat. 75, note 26) says that "the first syllable of īnferus was identified with in- and the medial *dʰ was therefore given a pseudo-initial treatment". De Vaan (s.v.) agrees, citing Walde-Hoffman, Leumann, and Meiser, though he also mentions the possibility of a divergent dialectal treatment. He compares -fāriam "in n parts" (e.g. ...


8

PIE appears to have had dual verb forms, as can be seen from e.g. Greek ἐστόν "you two are", Sanskrit ithás "you two go", Gothic baírats "you two carry". (Anatolian, though, lacks dual forms, which makes it uncertain whether these existed in PIE and were lost in Anatolian, or only developed after Anatolian had branched off from the rest of the IE languages; ...


8

This etymology is based on the assumption that infestus “hostile” comes from Indo-European *n-gwhedh-to- “implacable”. There are serious semantic and phonetic problems with this theory (which are spelt out in de Vaan’s Latin etymological dictionary, s.v. “infestus”). I would recommend that you take the Texas site with a very large grain of salt. It is ...


7

A note re: evidence from IE comparanda PIE *nH > Sanskrit ā, Avestan ā, Latin nā, etc. but Greek nē/ā/ō (Beekes 2011: 151). Some of the relevant IE cognates are Greek γιγνώσκω, OPers. xšnāsāhiy, and Sanskrit jānā́ti; however, only PIE *nh3 > Greek nō. Weiss 2009/2011: PIE *R̥HiC > *RĒiC In Greek: *CR̥h3C > CRώC cf. PIE *ǵnh3-sk̂é- Greek ...


7

This is what the OED has to say on the subject: [On the analogy of forms of expression like ex exsule consul, ‘(that has become) a consul from an exile’, the phrases ex consule, ex magistro equitum, etc. were in the Latin of the empire added as titles to the names of men who had filled the offices of consul, master of the horse, etc. At a later ...


7

δίδωμι “I give” and δίδομεν “we give” can be explained either by “classic” (non-laryngeal) or “modern” (laryngeal) theory. The former derives the singular from full-grade *dō- and the plural from zero-grade *də- (with secondary ə>o by analogy). The latter posits full-grade *deh3- > dō- and zero-grade *dh3- > do; δίδωμι is then from *di-deh3-mi, and δίδομεν ...


6

The resemblance is accidental. For one thing, there's no way to relate PIE *leǵ- and *leh₂- (if the latter is really the root of λαλέω, which is doubtful). Second, the similarity in sense is secondary. The primary meaning of *leǵ-, and of λέγω, is "collect, pick out". In Greek, there was presumably a development in sense such as "pick out or enumerate (facts,...


6

De Vaan confirms your etymology. Luctor means "to wrestle". When you're wrestling with someone, you writhe and twist your bodies, so it makes sense that a word for "bend, twist" should have acquired a sense like "wrestle".


6

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. ...


6

The negative prefix typically attaches to an adjective, while the prepositional prefix typically attaches to a verb. The distribution is complicated by the existence of adjectives derived from verbs (or at least, participle forms that look very similar to adjectives) and nouns derived from adjectives or from verbs. But if you're looking at a finite verb form ...


6

Latin nōscō and Greek gignōskō are cognates, but neither is directly derived from the other. They both come from the Proto-Indo-European root *ǵneh₃- "to know", plus the inchoative *-sḱ- marking the present tense. To quote Wtrmute's answer here: *h3 is called the "o-colouring laryngeal," which means that it "colours" (i.e., changes) a neighbouring e into ...


6

The question might be better suited for Linguistics.SE. However, the general information on the history of Latin is outlined in the Wikipedia article of the same name: "It is believed that the earliest surviving inscription is a seventh-century B.C. pin known as the Praenestine fibula, which reads Manios med fhefhaked Numasioi "Manius made me for Numerius"."...


5

Since posting the question, I was able to consult Peter Schrijver's "The Reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European Laryngeals in Latin" (1991) (cited by de Vaan), which, along with Alex B.'s answer, has helped me to understand better the etymological arguments in favor of long ō in Latin nōscō. Like de Vaan 2008 and Beekes 2011 (cited in Alex B.'s answer), ...


5

The words are unrelated: there's no way to connect ex-cutere with ῥύομαι. The Latin word is based on quatio "shake", which has a Greek cognate πάττω "sprinkle". The etymology of ῥύομαι is a bit messy. It's part of a family of forms which include ἔρυμαι, ἐρύομαι, εἴρυτο and others (all with the same meaning). These seem to go back to a PIE root such as *ueru-...


5

I don't think it's possible to distinguish in meaning "in" from PIE *en and in- meaning "not" from PIE *n̥ from pronunciation alone. It's well known that the /i/ in in- lengthens when followed by certain consonsant combinations such as "ns" and "nf", but as far as I know, that is purely phonetically determined and has nothing to do with the ancestral ...


5

The entry for this word in the Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic languages (2008), by Michiel de Vaan, may provide some illumination. De Vaan says that mensa has an Umbrian cognate mefa that is supposed to have the meaning "a certain sacrificial object, maybe cake". As Rafael said in a comment, the derivation from the verb meaning '...


4

Because this etymology means that paene would be related to paenitet (as, indeed, the Oxford Latin Dictionary indicates it is), I should think that the connection is something along these lines: If one thing is 'almost' another thing, it falls short of that thing in some essential quality, the full possession of which would make it wholly that thing; ...


4

The instrumental -φι suffix in Homeric Greek seems to be derived from the PIE plural instrumental case, which apparently still existed in Mycenaean Greek. From Smyth's grammar (280): -φι(ν) is often added to noun stems in Hom. to express the relations of the lost instrumental, locative, and ablative, both singular and (more commonly) plural; rarely to ...


3

Disclaimer: I'm not even close to expert in Proto-Indo-European, so maybe I'm missing something important. Apparently not. According to this database: pingo comes from PIE root *peik'- pix comes from PIE root *pik- The source, according to the site is: Walde-Pokorny's dictionary [possibly the Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch], compiled by S. ...


2

This appears to be a mostly or wholly Greek-internal analogical development. It's actually not confined to neuters. Some animates with nom. in -ς show variation between stems without and without -τ-, e.g. γέλως, Homeric acc. γέλω vs. Attic γέλωτα, and similarly for ἔρως, ἱδρώς, χρώς. These are original s-stems (cf. the Latin type honōs) that acquired a stem ...


2

The principal meaning of the preposition e / ex is just out of, as the corresponding Greek preposition ἐξ / ἐκ. The great many other different meanings that it has, when joined with words containing specific ideas, follow from a result of the matching. E.g. with the idea of "removing/taking off/empting", the preposition "ex" adds the idea of "completely", ...


2

Lewis and Short connect lex to ligo instead of lego. Either way, the word lex seems to have no visible connection to collecting or binding or anything like that. Perhaps a law was originally considered to be a collection of edicts or something that binds people? Either verb makes some sense. How a word like lex evolved to mean what it means is a good ...


2

My understanding is that strenuus means 'stiff' or 'rigid' in the sense of 'willing to stay by one's duty' or even 'stubborn in doing what one does'. This kind of stiffness implies willingness and ability to do (hard) work. From this point of view swiftness is a part of being strenuus, but 'quick' and such meanings seem secondary while the primary meaning is ...


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