Resonant Variation in Proto-Indo-European by Gregory Haynes

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Resonant Variation in Proto-Indo-European

Gregory Haynes[1]


Upon close inspection, many roots in the reconstructed vocabulary of Proto-Indo-European show similarities, both phonetic and semantic, that suggest ancient genetic affiliations. In particular, cases of resonant variation within the context of a fixed consonant structure often show striking semantic uniformity. The examples provided suggest that, at a very early pre-Proto-Indo-European stage of the language, these resonant-variations were morphological variants of earlier primitive roots. Additionally, when evaluating the likelihood of distant language affiliations, these generalized primitive roots, not their derived variants, are the principal forms that can be meaningfully compared to the lexica of other proto-languages.


This work is dedicated to E. J. Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University, without whose contributions, both in encouragement and in helpful suggestions, this project would never have been realized.


The following table compares three PIE roots that share a semantic field and that are identical phonetically except for the variation seen in the resonants. The question arises: Is this resemblance accidental, or does it reflect some ancient morphological system? I will argue that this pattern of resonant variation parallels other familiar non-etymologically-significant root-variations such as changes in vowel gradation, s-mobile, and nasal infix, that are universally recognized in PIE comparative linguistics.

*gh(R)ebh     ‘Grab, take, seize, hold’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*ghebhghø bh1Grasp, seize, cause another to grasp (give)
*ghrebhghr bh2Grab, seize, snatch up, devour, take
*ghrebhghrbh3Grip, grasp, seize  

1.     *ghebh      ‘Grasp, seize, cause another to grasp, i.e. give’

Lat habeō ‘grasp, possess, have,’ Umb habe ‘have,’ OIr gaibid ‘take, take hold of, seize, catch, grasp,’ Goth gabei ‘riches, wealth,’ giban ‘give,’ Lith gebù ‘to be capable’ (capable is literally the ability to catch, take, sieze), Pol gabać ‘lay hands on, seize, hold,’ WRus habáć ‘take, grab.’ —LIV 193; IEW 407-09; EIEC 563; Mallory and Adams (2006) 271; Bomhard 349, 376.

Words for give and take often interchange in PIE (Watkins 2011: xxvii).

2.   *ghrebh     ‘Grab, seize, snatch up, devour, take’

Skt gr̥bhnā́ti ‘grabs,’ MHG grabben ‘seize,’ Latv grebju ‘seize,’ OCS grabiti ‘snatch up,’ Hit k(a)rap- ‘devour,’ Av gərəwnāiti ‘takes,’ NE grab (from MDutch). —Mallory and Adams (2006) 271; Watkins (2011) 32; IEW 455-56; EIEC 563; LIV *ghrebh2 201.

3.   *ghrebh–       ‘Grip, grasp, seize’

Goth greipan ‘grasp, seize, catch,’ Lith griebiù ‘take hold of, seize,’ ON greipa ‘commit, perpetrate,’ greip ‘grip, hand,’ OE grāp ‘fist, grip,’ NE grip, gripe, grope, OHG grīfan ‘touch, take hold of,’ greifōn ‘grope, touch,’ Latv greībi ‘seize.’ —LIV 203; IEW 457-58; EIEC 564; Mallory and Adams (2006) 272.

* * *

The semantic values of these three roots are closely aligned. Phonetically, they are identical except for the fluidity of the resonants. As will be seen in the following examples, this is no isolated instance, rather it is a common pattern seen in what appears to be the oldest strata of the language.

Some Initial Methodological Observations

1. Resonant Variants (R) may include any resonant: r, l, n, m, u̯, i̯ ø (null-grade), or a laryngeal: h1, h2, or h3. Inside the root, laryngeals function as do the other resonants. This has been noted by Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum, who write, “Given the ability of the laryngeals to vocalize between consonants, it is occasionally convenient to think of the laryngeals likewise as resonants.”[2]

2. A root may contain zero, one, or two resonants. In rare cases, roots are found with two resonants and a laryngeal.

3. The structure of the primitive root can be generalized as: *(s)-C [+/- R (R)] -C [+/-C].

4. The glosses indicating the semantic value of PIE roots included in this analysis may sometimes differ from those given in the etymological dictionaries of Rix, Pokorny, Watkins, Mallory and Adams, Wodtko, or others. For example, in the Lexikon der Indogermanischen Verben, the root, *streu̯-, is glossed streuen ‘strew.’[3] In modern English, strew means “to spread here and there, scatter, disperse, spread over a wide area.”[4]

One of the attestations given in LIV for *streu̯- is Latin struō. The primary definitions for that word, as given in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, are: “To set in position, arrange (so as to construct something), stand fast, …construct, put together, build, … build up, establish.”[5]

It would appear then that the meaning of struō in Latin is roughly the opposite of “strew.” Rather than scattering randomly or dispersing, it indicates the placing of something very precisely for the purpose of building. The form of the perfect tense of this Latin word is structum, the source of the English words structure, and construction, two very non-random concepts.

Because of its phonetic alignment (allowing for resonant variations) with other PIE roots that signify “to set in place, to stand, to build, to establish,” it appears that Latin preserves the original meaning of the root more faithfully, and therefore *streu̯- is here glossed accordingly, even though this is at variance with the general gloss given in LIV.[6]

5. The sources for the semantic values assigned to roots are always cited following the lists of attestations. Where it has been necessary to rely on glosses given in etymological dictionaries of PIE, these have often required translation from German to English. Since that translation-process could be an opportunity for personal bias to enter in, readers may wish to verify the accuracy of those translations by consulting the sources cited and reading the German or the original languages directly.

6. The grammatical significance of resonant variations within PIE roots is unclear. They appear too systematic to have been the result of a fusion of related dialects. If they represent some archaic morphological pattern of verb aspect or of noun declension, that function is no longer obvious. The question is left for future investigators.

7. The attestations cited for each root are primarily for identification purposes and are in no way exhaustive. Semantic outliers are generally excluded. The selection presented probably reflects, to some degree, the semantics of the resonant series as a whole.

8. In roots that deal with taboo subjects, one must deal with obliquities and circumlocutions at every level, both in the original documentary evidence, and at each stage of lexicography.

9. In one or two occasions, new roots have been proposed for the PIE lexicon. This occurs primarily when a word with no known etymology fits semantically and phonetically very tightly within a strong resonant series. If the reader has doubts about that inclusion, he or she is advised to disregard the proposed root, as it will rarely affect the viability or credibility of the series as a whole.

10. The s-mobile presents special challenges. When roots in a resonant-series contain forms both with and without initial *s-, those with the initial sibilant are here typically considered to be the result of the s-mobile. Where the s-mobile has been added to a root beginning with *g-, that voiced stop must have eventually become de­-voiced to *sk-. In one or two cases, this assumption has been made where the semantics and phonetics are otherwise especially compelling. In like manner, where the s-mobile has been added to a root beginning with *dh, that voiced stop must have eventually become de-voiced to *st-.

11. Occasionally one encounters a root that matches the semantics of a resonant-series so closely that there is no reasonable doubt that it belongs there, but that phonetically it differs in some minor quality. For formal reasons, such roots have generally been omitted from inclusion here, although future reconsideration is not out of the question.

12.  The resonants function like an archaic ablaut system, acting anciently as non-etymologically-significant vowel modifiers. In the later stages of PIE, these morphological variants took on the status of independent roots as their earlier genetic affiliations were gradually forgotten.

13. It is unclear which (if any) of the resonant variants was the fundamental form of the primitive root. It is tempting to posit the zero (resonant) grade as the fundamental, since it is the simplest, but that variant is often unattested.

14. The resonant *m- functions either independently or as a variation of *n- when that nasal precedes a labial consonant.

15. The following proposed root-families are based on resonant variations that have been determined solely through internal analysis of PIE, uninfluenced by considerations of possible connections to non-Indo-European languages.

But, in order to estimate the approximate time-depth of the process that created the resonant variations, it is useful to look for comparanda among external language-families that may have possible genetic connections to PIE.

Proponents of the so-called Nostratic Hypothesis have assembled large sets of data relating to such outside language families. While remaining agnostic regarding the validity of that general hypothesis, I have made use of the data that such proponents have presented, in particular, the work of Allan Bomhard. Because his documentation of sources is explicit and well organized, his work lends itself well for comparative purposes.

Roots that appear in Bomhard’s list of 676 PIE roots for which he claims to have found a Nostratic etymology have been cited when they occur in the following resonant-families. The etymologies suggested by Bomhard vary significantly in quality, some being quite convincing and others rather doubtful. For this reason an assessment has been provided that indicates their strength and applicability for the present purposes.

If two or more PIE roots within a proposed resonant series can be shown to have strong phonetic and semantic parallels to Afrasian, Uralic, Altaic, Kartvelian, Dravidian, etc., then this would suggest that the separation of these PIE resonant-variants from an earlier primitive root occurred before the separation of PIE from the other language families. This may provide an approximation of the time-depth involved, assuming, of course, that the hypothesis of an ancient super-family is valid.

The results of this comparison are as follows:

The number of PIE resonant-families identified in this investigation:         85

The number of resonant-families in which:

One PIE root in the family has credible outside connections:                        17

Two PIE roots in the family have credible outside connections:                    12

Three PIE roots in the family have credible outside connections:                   6

Four PIE roots in the family have credible outside connections:                    2

This tally indicates that 20 of the 85 resonant families identified here show two or more roots with credible connections to the outside language groups compared by Bomhard. This would indicate that at least some of the resonant-variants within those families had differentiated during the period when PIE was still in contact with the linguistic community that would later separate into Afrasian, Dravidian, Altaic, Uralic, etc. The dates assigned to this community are approximately 12,000 to 15,000 BC (Bomhard 2014: 257). The remainder of the resonant-variants would have completed the differentiation process between that time and the point at which PIE broke up into the attested daughter languages.

It should be strongly emphasized that this preliminary attempt to assign approximate dates to the differentiation of PIE resonants is secondary to the main thesis presented here, which is the system of resonant variation within a fixed consonantal root structure.

16. Abbreviations employed include the following:

Adams: A Dictionary of Tocharian B, Douglas Q. Adams, 1999

AHD:  American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, 2000

ALEW: Altlitauisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, Wolfgang Hock, et al., Berlin, 2019

Autenrieth: A Homeric Dictionary, Georg Autenrieth, 1982, Univ. of Oklahoma Press

Balg: Comparative Glossary of the Gothic Language, G. H. Balg, 1887-89

Benveniste: Dictionary of Indo-European Concepts and Society, Émile Benveniste, 1969

Bomhard: A Comprehensive Introduction to Nostratic, Allan R. Bomhard, 1st ed., 2014

Bosworth and Toller: Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1921

Buck: A Grammar of Oscan and Umbrian, 2nd edition, Carl Darling Buck, 1928

CLL: Cuneiform Luvian Lexicon, H. Craig Melchert, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1993

DELG: Dictionnaire Étymologique de la Langue Grecque, Pierre Chantraine, 2009

De Vries: Altnordisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, 2nd edition, Jan de Vries, 1977

EIEC: Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Mallory and Adams, 1996

Fitzgerald: Homer, Iliad, Robert Fitzgerald, trans., 1974

Fortson: Indo-European Language and Culture, 2nd edition, Benjamin W. Fortson, 2010

IEW: Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, Julius Pokorny, 1959

Kluge: Etymologisches Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache, 19th ed., Friedrich Kluge, 1963

LIV: Lexicon der Indogermanischen Verben, Rix, et al., 2nd ed., 2001

L&S: A Greek–English Lexicon, Liddell, Scott, and Jones, 1968

Mallory and Adams (2006): The Oxford Intro. to Proto-Indo-European and the PIE World

Mayrhofer: Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen, Manfred Mayrhofer, 1992

Monier-Williams: A Sanskrit – English Dictionary, Sir Monier Monier-Williams, 1899

Nesselmann: Thesaurus Linguae Prussicae, ed. G. H. F. Nesselmann, Berlin, 1873

NIL: Nomina im Indogermanischen Lexikon, Wodtko, Irslinger and Schneider, 2008

OLD: Oxford Latin Dictionary, P. G. W. Glare, ed., 1982

Ovid: Ovid, Metamorphoses, Allen Mandelbaum, trans., 1993

Ozoliņš: Revisiting PIE Schwebeablaut, Kaspars Ozoliņš, PhD thesis UCLA 2015

Ringe: From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic, Don Ringe, Oxford U. Press, 2006

TLG: Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, Univ. of California at Irvine, Maria Pantelia, Director

Vigfusson: Icelandic – English Dictionary, Cleasby-Vigfusson, 1874

Watkins (2000): App. I to the American Heritage Dictionary of The English Language, 4th ed.

Watkins (2011): American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 3rd edition, 2011

Whitney: Roots, Verb-forms, & Primary Derivatives of Sanskrit, W. D. Whitney, 1885

Families of Proto-Indo-European Resonant-Variants

Additional representative examples of resonant-variants are shown below. This listing is not intended to be exhaustive as these are merely some of the more obvious cases. Roots are grouped by initial consonant only; the order within these groups is random.


Table 1:   *bh(R)eg-     ‘Break’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*bheg-bhø g1Break
*bhre( ) bhr  ()    2Break

1. *bheg-     ‘Break’

Arm bekanem ‘break,’ Ved bhanákti ‘break,’ OIr boingid ‘break,’ Lith bengiù ‘to end’ (literally to break off). —LIV 66; IEW 113-14; Mallory and Adams (2006) 371; Watkins (2011) 8; EIEC 81; Bomhard 17.

2. *bhre( )  –    ‘Break’

Lat frangō ‘break,’ frāctum ‘break,’ fragilis ‘breakable,’ Goth brak ‘broken,’ OE brecan ‘break,’ OHG brocco ‘broken,’ NE break. —LIV 91; IEW 165; Mallory and Adams (2006) 376; Watkins (2011) 13; EIEC 81.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 17 cites Proto-Afrasian *bak’-, etc. ‘cleave, split, break open, scratch, tear, scrape, rake, sharpen, rip open, bore, excavate, break,’ Dravidian paku, etc. ‘split, divide, separate, apportion distribute, break, crack, go to pieces, burst, rend,’ Kartvelian *bek’-, etc. ‘trample down, press close,’ Uralic *pakka- ‘burst, rend, split, break, open, blossom,’ Proto-Altaic *baka- ‘divide, separate, break, divide bread,’ Eskimo *pakak-, etc. ‘knock into, knock against and break, jostle, parry a thrust, slap,’ and Chukchi-Kamchatkan *pako- ‘strike, knock, flick, touch or knock against, cut into.’

Conclusions: The close phonetic and semantic parallels seen in the outside language families suggest a genetic connection to this PIE root.

Table 2:   *bhe(R)d    ‘Beat, break, strike, crush’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*bheld-bh ld1Beat, break, batter
*bheu̯d-bh d2Beat, strike, push, pound
*bhed-bh d3Break, split, crush, shatter, destroy

1. *bheld-     ‘Beat, break, batter’

Lith béldžiu (bélsti) ‘beat, break, crush, pound, batter,’ Germanic *bulta(n) ‘bolt, rivet, pin, peg,’ Swed bulta ‘beat, break, batter,’ Latv beȊzt ‘give a blow,’ beȊziêns ‘a blow, a blow with the fist.’ —LIV 73; IEW 124.

2. *bheu̯d-     ‘Beat, strike, pound’

OE bēatan ‘beat, strike, push,’ OIr bibdu ‘guilty, culpable, enemy,’ MIr búalaim ‘beat, strike,’ OE beafton ‘lament, bewail,’ ON bauta ‘beat, pound, strike, push,’ OE býtel ‘hammer,’ MHG bœzel ‘mallet, club.’ —LIV 82; IEW 112; Bomhard 15.

3. *bheid-     ‘Break, split, crush, strike, shatter, destroy’

Ved bhid ‘split, break, destroy,’ bhidāpana ‘split, break, shatter, crush, destroy,’ bhedá ‘breaking, splitting, cleaving, rending,’ a-bhedya ‘not to be divided, broken or pierced,’ KeltIber biðetuð ‘chip or strike,’ Ved bhinná ‘broken, shattered, pierced, destroyed,’ Lat findō ‘split apart, cleave,’ Khot bitte ‘bore through,’ Goth beitan ‘bite.’ —LIV 70; IEW 116-17; Moiner-Williams 75,756-57,766; OLD 702.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 15 cites Proto-Afrasian *baħ-, etc. ‘cut, strike, wound, drive off, kill, trap, tear,’ and Dravidian pāy, etc. ‘butt, gore, knock against, strike, beat, shoot, kill.’

Conclusions:  Although the semantics are fairly close, neither of these proposed outside connections shows a final dental consonant, so that genetic affiliation is uncertain.

Table 3:   *bh(R)ed–     ‘Active water, water in movement’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*bhled-bhl d1Splash, boil, splutter, seethe, bubble, gush, spout, effervesce, sparkle
*bhled-bhld2Bubble, boil up, gush, spout, simmer, seethe, overflow, bloat
*bhleu̯d-h2bhld3Have an excess of moisture, become soft or flabby; blisters, sores
*bhred-bhr d4Wade in water, jump, gush, spout, burst, leap, spring
*bhrend-bhrnd5Gush forth, flow, spring from, swell, steep, soak, bubble up

1. *bhled-     ‘Splash, boil, splutter, seethe, bubble, gush, spout’

Grk παφλάζειν ‘splash, boil, splutter, seethe,’ OHG uz-ar-pulzit ‘bubble, effervesce, boil up, gush, spout, brim over, sparkle,’ OIr ind:láidi ‘boast, brag,’ Latv blāžu ‘chatter, gossip.’ —LIV 86; IEW 155; L&S 1350.

2. *bhleid-     ‘Bubble, boil, gush, seethe, overflow, bloat’

Grk φλοιδούμενος ‘bubble, boil up, gush, spout, seethe,’ φλιδάνει ‘overflow with moisture, be ready to burst, NE bloat. —LIV 88; IEW 156; L&S 1944.

3. *bhleu̯d-h2     ‘Have an excess of moisture, become soft or flabby, blisters’

Grk φλυδᾷ ‘have an excess of moisture, become soft or flabby,’ ἐκ-φλυνδάνει ‘break out’ (in sores). —LIV 90; IEW 159; L&S 1946.

4. *bhred-     ‘Wade in water, jump, gush, spout’

Lith bredù, bredžióti ‘wade, walk in water,’ OCS bredǫ ‘wade,’ OCzech brdu ‘wade,’ Alb bredh ‘leap, spring, jump, hop, gush, spout, burst.’ —LIV 91 *bhredh– or *bhred- (see note #1); IEW 164; ALEW 146.

5. *bhrend-     ‘Gush forth, flow, spring from, swell, steep, soak, bubble up’

OIr do:e-prinn ‘gush forth, flow or arise from, spring from, swell,’ MIr bruinnid ‘make to gush forth, make to swell up,’ Lith brį’stu ‘steep, soak, bubble or well up, swell.’ —LIV 95; IEW 167-68.

Table 4:   *bhe(R)g–     ‘Food: desire it, get a portion, prepare, eat, and enjoy it’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*bhag-,  *bheg-bh øg1Get a portion, share with, partake, enjoy, wish, desire, long for
*bheh3g-bh h3g2Wish for, desire, long for, want, crave, roast, toast, bake
*bheu̯g-bh g3Eat, feed, drink, enjoy, nourish, support, maintain, use, possess
*bhreu̯Hg-bhru̯Hg4Need, want, require, use, enjoy, be blessed with, delight in

1. *bhag-     ‘Get a portion, share with, partake, enjoy, wish, desire, long for’

 Grk ἔφαγον, φαγεῖν ‘eat, devour, Ved bhájati ‘divide, distribute, allot, share with, receive a portion, obtain as one’s share, partake of, enjoy, possess, have, prefer, choose,’ YAv baxšaiti ‘divide out,’ baxšaite ‘get a share,’ Ved abhakṣayam ‘enjoyed, drank,’ bhíkṣate ‘wish, desire, long for.’ —LIV 65; IEW 107; L&S 1911; Monier-Williams 743.

2. *bheh3g-     ‘Wish for, desire, long for, want, crave, roast, toast, bake’

Rus bažú ‘wish, desire, long for, want, hanker after, crave,’ Grk φώγω ‘roast, toast, parch,’ OE bacan ‘bake,’ Czech bažiti ‘to long for something.’ —LIV 70; IEW 113; L&S 1967; Bosworth and Toller 65.

3. *bheu̯g-     ‘Eat, feed, drink, enjoy, nourish, support, maintain, use, possess’

Ved bhójate ‘have eaten, have enjoyed,’ Arm bowci ‘nourish, feed,’ Ved bhunákti ‘enjoy, use, possess, enjoy a meal, eat, eat and drink, consume, take possession of,’ bhuñjáte ‘enjoy,’ Arm bowcanem ‘nourish, feed, support, maintain.’ —LIV 84; IEW 153; Monier-Williams 759.

4. *bhreu̯Hg-     ‘Need, want, require, use, enjoy, be blessed with, delight in’

Goth brūkjan ‘need, want, require, use,’ OE brūcan ‘need, want, require, use,’ Lat fruor ‘avail oneself of, enjoy, to have as one’s lot something good, to be blessed with, to derive pleasure from, delight in.’ —LIV 96; IEW 173; OLD 739-40; Bomhard 52.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

4. Bomhard 52 cites Afrasian barḳūḳ, etc. ‘plum, apricot,’ Dravidian piṛika, etc. ‘green mango, unripe mango,’ and Proto-Kartvelian *berq’en-, etc. ‘wild pear, wild plum.’

Conclusions: Semantics are dubious as they indicate specific fruits only.

Table 5:   *bhe(R)g̑h–    ‘Prepare, protect, or posture for conflict; intimidate, confront’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*bheh1hbh h1h1Vex, irritate, reproach, threaten, menace, quarrel, struggle, fight
*bhelg̑hbh lh2Puff or swell up with anger, be enraged, be inflamed with passion
*bherg̑hbh rh3Raise oneself up, prepare, store away, strengthen, entrench, fortify
*bheng̑hbh nh4Increase, strengthen, establish, secure, thick, tight, impervious

1. *bheh1g̑h-     ‘Vex, irritate, reproach, threaten, menace, struggle, fight’

OHG bāgan ‘reprimand, reproach, scold, quarrel, struggle, fight,’ Latv buôžuôs ‘bristle up of the hair, annoy, vex, irritate, put out of temper,’ OIr bágaid ‘boast, brag, swagger, threaten, menace, fight,’ bág ‘fight, battle, conflict.’ —LIV 68; IEW 115.

2. *bhelg̑h-     ‘Swell up with anger, be enraged, be inflamed with passion’

OE belgan ‘to cause oneself to swell with anger, irritate oneself, enrage oneself, swell with anger, be angry, be enraged,’ ON belgja ‘puff up, swell up,’ OHG belgan glossed in Bosworth and Toller as ‘tumere, irasci’ —tumere: ‘to swell up, to be inflamed with passion or unrest, (in undesirable situations) to be in process of coming to a head,’ to be puffed up with conceit or presumption, be proud, exultant,’ —irasci: ‘to feel resentment, to be angry, to fly into a rage.’ —LIV 73; IEW 125-26; Bosworth and Toller 82; de Vries 31-32; OLD 966, 1987.

3. *bherg̑h-     ‘Raise oneself up, prepare, store away, strengthen, fortify’

Hit parktaru ‘raise oneself up, Arm ebarj ‘raise up, seize, capture, store away, provide for,’ TochB parka, TochA pärk ‘raise oneself up,’ Grk φράσσω ‘entrench, fortify, make fast,’ Ved barhayā sám ‘strengthen,’ ni-barháyas ‘cast down,’ OIr dí-bairg ‘throw, cast,’ Ved babr̥hāṇá ‘firm, strong.’ —LIV 78; IEW 140-41; Bomhard 49; EIEC 269.

4. *bheng̑h-     ‘Increase, strengthen, establish, secure, thick, tight, impervious’

Ved baṁhayate ‘grow, increase,’ báṁhishṭha ‘strongest,’ OAv də-bązaitī ‘establish, secure, strengthen,’ Grk παχύς ‘thick, tight, impervious, stout.’ —LIV 76; IEW 127-28; Monier-Williams 719; Bomhard 69.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

3. Bomhard 49 cites Proto-Afrasian *birVg-, etc. ‘be high, rise, high, tall, height,’ Dravidian per, etc. ‘great, grow thick, large, stout, become numerous, multiply, become full, swell, increase, augment, enlarge, prosper, expand, extend’ (without final consonant), and Proto-Kartvelian *br̥g-, etc. ‘strong, high, large, firm, bold, hill.’

4. Bomhard 69 cites Proto-Afrasian b[u]n-, etc. ‘puff up, inflate, expand, swell, grow, abound, face, features, figure, beautiful, bead, pellet, have plenty, abound in food’ (without final consonant), Proto-Dravidian *poṅk-, etc. ‘increase, swell, expand, boil up, shoot up, rise, grow high, abound, flourish, spread, burst open,’ Uralic *puŋka, etc. ‘rounded protuberance, lump, bud, knob, bump, hump, swollen or expanded object, ball, gnarl, clod,’ Altaic boŋgo, etc. ‘point, apex, first, fellow, chap, lad, thick, big,’ and Eskimo pəŋuR, etc. ‘mound or hillock, hill, swell, rise in a lump, dune, pimple, wart, blister.’

Conclusions: The (for the most part) credible outside parallel forms for roots 3 and 4 suggest that a division into these resonant groups occurred prior to the separation of PIE from the other language families. Forms without final consonant are doubtful.

Table 6:   *bhe(R)H    ‘Strike, beat, break out’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*bherH-bh rH1Beat, strike, break open, pound, threaten, abuse, affront, fight
*bheH-bh H2Beat, strike, batter, destroy, beat unmercifully, wipe out, strike root
*bhreu̯H-bhrH3Break, destroy, demolish, bud, sprout, germinate, strike root
*bhleu̯H-bhlH4Beat, strike, scourge, murder, beat severely, strike a blow

1. *bherH-     ‘Beat, strike, break open, pound, threaten, abuse, affront, fight’

ON berja ‘beat, strike,’ Lat feriō ‘ to strike with the hand, deal a blow, strike with a weapon, flog, strike down, kill, break, destroy, cut open, pierce, wound,’ Alb bie ‘beat, pound, strike,’ bren ‘gnaw, eat into, erode,’ Skt bhr̥ṇāti ‘threaten, menace, insult, abuse, affront,’ OCS borjǫ ‘to fight, to battle,’ Lith barù ‘reproach, chide, upbraid.’ —LIV 80; IEW 133-35; OLD 686; Bomhard 35.

2. *bhei̯H-     ‘Beat, strike, destroy, beat unmercifully, germinate, strike root’

OLat perfines ‘batter, beat unmercifully, destroy, wipe out,’ OIr benat ‘beat, strike,’ OCS biti ‘beat, strike, deal a blow,’ bišę ‘beat, strike,’ Alb (m-)bin ‘germinate, sprout’ (i.e., the seed “breaks open, strikes root”). —LIV 72; IEW 117-18.

3. *bhreu̯H-     ‘Break, destroy, demolish, bud, sprout, germinate, strike root’

ON brjóta ‘break, destroy, annihilate, demolish, exterminate,’ OE breotan ‘break,’ MHG briezen ‘bud, sprout, germinate’ (“break open, strike root”), Lith briáujuos ‘break in,’ Ved bhrūṇá ‘embryo.’ —LIV 96; IEW 169; de Vries 58; Monier-Williams 771.

4. *bhleu̯H-     ‘Beat, strike, scourge, murder, beat severely, strike a blow’

Goth bliggwan ‘beat, strike, scourge, murder, beat severely’ (ggw < ww), ME blēwe ‘to beat, strike,’ OHG bliuwan ‘strike, beat.’ —LIV 90; IEW 125; Balg 56-57; Kluge 84.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 35 cites Proto-Afrasian *bar-, etc. ‘cut, cut down, carve, scrape, trim, shape, sharpen, scratch off,’ Proto-Kartvelian *berg-, etc. ‘to hoe,’ Proto-Uralic *parз-, etc. ‘scrape, cut, carve, whittle, hew, trim, chip, to plane, rub, dress hides, cut leather,’ and Chuk-Kamch *pare-, etc. ‘shave, plane, remove hair from.’

Conclusions:  Semantic parallels are only fair. Except for Kartvelian, proposed outside roots all lack the final consonant of the PIE forms, rendering any genetic connection doubtful.

Table 7:   *(s)bh(R)e-      ‘Bright, shining’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*bheh2bhøh21Bright, shining
*bher-bhør 2Shining, light brown
*bhel-h1bhøl3White, shining
*bhe-gbhø 4Pure, shining
*(s)bhen-g-(s)bhøn 5Light up, shine, glisten, ring, resound
*bhreh1-ĝ-bhrh1 6Shine, sparkle, bright, birch, ash tree
*bhro-dhnós-bhr  7White, pale
*bhle-g-bhl  8Light up, blaze, flame, shine, lightning
*bhle-g-bhl 9Gleam, glisten, light up, shine, lightning
*bhle-q-bhl 10Shining fish, to bleach, fire
*bhle-s-bhl  11Blaze
*bhlebhl 12Clear, bright, light, color, agreeable
*bhleh1bhlh1 13White flecks, lightning, ivy, scar
*bhle-(k)bhl 14Burn, flame, torch, blush, gleam, shine

1. *bheh2       ‘Bright, shining’

Ved bhā́ti ‘shine, be bright or luminous, to be splendid or beautiful,’ YAv fra-uuāiti ‘shine forth,’ Grk φάντα ‘shine, bring to light, appear,’ φάσις ‘appearance of stars above the horizon,’ Arm banam ‘open, reveal, allow to be seen.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 330; LIV 1.*bheh2  68; IEW 1.*bhā- 104-105; Monier-Williams 750; L&S 1912, 1918; NIL 7; Bomhard 13; EIEC 513.

2. *bher-     ‘Shining, light brown’

Skt bhalla-ḥ ‘bear’ (animal), OHG bero ‘bear,’ OE bera ‘bear,’ OHG brūn ‘shining, brown,’ Rus-ChSlav bronь ‘white, colored,’ Lat fiber ‘beaver,’ TochA parno, TochB perne ‘shining.’    —Mallory and Adams (2006) 333-34; IEW 5.*bher- 136; Bomhard 55.

3. *bhel-h1–      ‘White, shining’

Wels bal ‘white-faced,’ NE ball ‘horse with white blaze,’ Goth bala ‘shining, gray of body’ (of horses), Lith bālas ‘white,’ Latv bāls ‘pale,’ Grk φαλός ‘white,’ Arm bal ‘pallor,’ OE bǣl ‘fire,’ Mir Beltane ‘May Day festival,’ OCS bēlŭ ‘white,’ Skt bhālam ‘gleam, forehead,’ Lat flāvus ‘blond.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 332; EIEC 641; IEW 1.*bhel- 118; Bomhard 21.

4. *bhei-g–      ‘Pure, shining’

OPers *bigna– ‘shine? (in personal names: Bagā-bigna, Ἀρια-βιγνης), Grk φοῖβος ‘pure, shining,’ φοιβάω ‘purify.’ —IEW 118.

5. *(s)bhen-g-     ‘Light up, shine, shimmer, flicker, glisten, ring, resound’

Grk φέγγω ‘make bright, shine, gleam,’ φέγγος ‘light, splendor, luster, the gleam of the sun, moonlight or of the Milky Way,’ Lith spengiù ‘ring, resound,’ Lith spingiu ‘shimmer, flicker, sparkle, glisten.’ —LIV 512; IEW sp(h)eng- 989-90.

6. *bhreh1-ĝ-     ‘Shine, sparkle, gleam, bright, birch, ash tree’

Ved bhrā́jate ‘shine, beam, sparkle, glitter,’ bhūrjá ‘birch tree,’ YAv brāzaiti ‘shine, gleam,’ Lith brė’kšta ‘the break of day,’ Pol o-brzasknąć ‘to be bright,’ NWels berth ‘shiny,’ Goth baírhts ‘bright, shining, clear,’ OE beorht ‘shining, gleaming,’ NE bright, ON biartr ‘light, bright,’ bjǫrk ‘birch tree,’ Alb. bardhë ‘white,’ Lat frāxinus ‘ash tree.’            —Mallory and Adams (2006) 329; LIV 92; IEW *bherǝĝ-, *bhrēĝ- 139. Monier-Williams 770, 764; OLD 732; Bomhard 33; EIEC 513.

7. *bhro-dhnós-     ‘White, pale’

OCS bronŭ ‘white, variegated’ (of horses), Skt bradhná- ‘pale, red, yellowish, bay’ (of horses), Kashmiri boduru ‘tawny bull.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 332.

8. *bhle-g-     ‘Light up, blaze, flame, shine, lightning’

Grk φλέγω ‘kindle, burn up, light up, blaze, flash,’ TochA pälkäs TochB palkäm ‘light up,’ Lat fulgō ‘flash, shimmer, shine,’ flamma ‘flame,’ fulmen ‘lightning,’ OHG blecchen ‘shine, flicker,’ Skt. Bhŗgavaḥ ‘mythical priest of lightning fire.’ —LIV 86; IEW bheleg- 124-25; L&S 1944; Bomhard 21; EIEC 513.

9. *bhlei-g-     ‘Gleam, glisten, light up, shine, lightning’

OE blīcan ‘light up, gleam, shimmer,’ Lith blýškiu ‘spark, gleam, glisten,’ OCS blъštǫ ‘shine,’ OFris blēsza ‘make visible,’ OHG blic ‘Blitz, lightning.’ —LIV *bhleig- 89, IEW bhlĕig̑- 156-157.

10. *bhlei-q-     ‘Shining fish, bleach, fire’

OE bœlge ‘gudgeon’ (a small shiny fish), NHG Blecke ‘whitefish,’ Rus blëknutъ ‘bleached by the sun, fire.’ —IEW 157.

11. *bhle-s-     ‘Blaze’

MHG blas ‘bald, pale, white,’ OE blœse ‘torch, fire,’ NE blaze, OHG blas-ros ‘a horse with a white patch on its forehead.’ —IEW 158; Bomhard 21.

12. *bhlei-     ‘Clear, bright, light, color, agreeable’

Germanic *blīþia ‘light, clear, bright,’ ON blīđr ‘mild, friendly, agreeable,’ OHG blīdi ‘clear, bright, happy, friendly,’ OSax blī ‘color,’ OE blēo ‘color, appearance, form.’  —IEW*bhlei- 155; Bomhard 21.

13. *bhleh1-u̯-     ‘White flecks, lightning, ivy, scar’

Russ blju-šč ‘ivy,’ Pol błysk ‘lightning,’ Sorb b’lu-zná ‘scar,’ Lith blù-zganos ‘scurf, dandruff.’ —IEW 159.

14. *bhleu̯-(k)-     ‘Burn, flame, torch, blush, light up, gleam, shine’

Grk περιφλύω ‘to singe all around,’ ON blys ‘flame,’ OE blȳsa ‘flame, torch,’ NE blush, MHG bliehen ‘burning, lighting up,’ Czech blýštěti ‘gleam, shimmer,’ blýskati ‘shine.’ —IEW *bhleu-(k)- 159; Bomhard 21.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 13 cites Proto-Afrasian *bah-, etc. ‘shine, bright, brilliant, glitter, be beautiful, splendid, radiant, rejoice, glad, happy, white, leprosy.’

2. Bomhard 55 cites Proto-Afrasian *bor-, etc. ‘color, red, yellow, brown, gray, dull, black,’ and Proto-Altaic *boryV, etc. ‘dark-colored, gray, brown, swarthy, brown stag.’

3., 8., 11., 12., 16. Bomhard 21 cites Proto-Afrasian *bal-, etc. ‘shine, be bright, gleam, smile, dawn, be glad, clear, gay, beautiful, nice, sparkle, glitter, flash, scintillate, flash of lightning, blaze, flame, flicker,’ Dravidian paḷapaḷa, etc. ‘glitter, shine, gleam, brightness, flash, pureness, to light,’ and Altaic (Turkish) balki ‘shimmer, glitter.’

7. Bomhard 33 cites Proto-Afrasian *bar-, etc. ‘shine, be bright, sparkle, flash, lightning, scintillate, purify, clean, make white, light up, dawn,’ Dravidian par, etc. ‘become a little light before dawn, to dawn, to shine, be seen clearly,’ and Proto-Kartvelian *bar-, etc. ‘glow, burn, blaze, flame, shine, brightness, to light, illuminate, white.’

Conclusions: These roots are well represented in language families outside PIE and they are semantically close or very close. This suggests that the creation of these resonant variants occurred before the separation of the related language families.

Table 8:   *bhe(R)dh    ‘Cause or experience an inner state of mind’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*bhendhbh ndh1To bind, feel obligated, feel bound, constrained, or compelled
*bheu̯dhbh dh2To feel awake, observant, experienced, dominant, knowledgeable, flattered
*bhedhbh dh3To feel trust, confidence, obligation, obedience, coercion, patience
*bheh1dhbh h1dh4To feel threatened, beset, pressed; to feel disgust or loathing
*bhlendhbhlndh5To feel mixed up, deceived, ashamed, mistaken, dazzled, blind
*bhedhbh ødh6To feel need, pray, ask, hunger, convince, bend oneself as a suppliant, honor

1. *bhendh–     ‘To bind, feel obligated, bound, constrained’

Goth bindan ‘bind, constrain, oblige, to bind oneself, feel bound or compelled,’ Ved badhnā́ti ‘bind, tie, fasten, join, unite,’ OE bendan ‘bend, bind, fetter,’ NE bind, Lith beñdras ‘companion,’ Grk πενθερός ‘father-in-law,’ Skt bándhu ‘kinsman, connection, kinship.’ —LIV 75; IEW 127; Monier-Williams 720; Mallory and Adams 380; EIEC 64, 196; Bomhard 25.

2. *bheu̯dh–      ‘To feel awake, observant, experienced, dominant, knowledgeable, flattered’

Grk πυνθάνομαι ‘to hear or learn something,’ πεύθομαι ‘examine, experience,’ OIr ad:boind ‘announce, make known, foretell,’ Ved bódhati ‘wake up, observe, learn, understand, recognize,’ Goth ana-biudan ‘order, command, direct, put in order, arrange,’ ON bjóða ‘ask, offer, invite, prescribe, forbid,’ NE bid, Rus bljudú ‘ observe, pay attention to,’ TochB pautoy ‘coax,’ TochA poto ‘flattery.’ —LIV 82; IEW 150-52; Fortson 410; L&S 1554; Moiner-Williams 733; Mallory and Adams (2006) 326; Bomhard 39; EIEC 516.

3. *bheidh–      ‘To feel trust, confidence, obligation, obedience, coercion, patience’

Alb bind ‘convince, persuade,’ be ‘oath,’ Grk πείθομαι ‘be persuaded, yield, obey, trust, feel confidence,’ Lat fīdō ‘trust in, have confidence in,’ Goth baidjan ‘force, oblige,’ OE bædan ‘urge,’ OCS běždǫ ‘force, oblige,’ —LIV 71; IEW 117; L&S 1353-54; OLD 698-99; Mallory and Adams (2006) 355; EIEC 418; Benveniste 75, 85, 88.

4. *bheh1dh–      ‘To feel threatened, beset, pressed; to feel disgust or loathing’

Ved bā́dhate ‘press, force, drive away, harass, pain, trouble, grieve, vex, suffer, feel an aversion for, loathe,’ bādhá ‘annoyance, molestation, affliction, distress, pain, trouble,’ Lith bėdà ‘need, grief, sorrow, worry, care.’ —LIV 68; IEW 114; Monier-Williams 727-28; Bomhard 7.

5. *bhlendh    ‘To feel mixed up, deceived, ashamed, mistaken, dazzled, blind’

Lith blandýti ‘to be gloomy, dreary, cheerless, sad, melancholy, overcast, dull, dim, dead, flat, clouded, lost, wandering about trying to find the way,’ Latv bluôdîtiês ‘dawdle, loiter about, prowl around, rove about, be ashamed, be ashamed of oneself,’ OCS blędǫ ‘go astray, sin, fornicate, be mistaken,’ Rus blud ‘unchastity, lewdness,’ ON blanda ‘mix up,’ OE blenden ‘dazzle, deceive, blind,’ NE blind, blunder.’ —LIV 89; IEW 157-58; Mallory and Adams (2006) 330; ALEW 131; EIEC 147; Bomhard 66.

6. *bhedh–     ‘To feel need, to pray, to ask, to request, to hunger, to convince, to bend oneself as a suppliant, to honor’

ON biðja ‘ask, pray,’ OE biddan ‘ask,’ NE bid, OHG bitten ‘ask, request,’ Goth bidjan ‘ask, pray,’ Lith bādas ‘hunger,’ Alb bind ‘convince,’ Skt bā́dhate ‘presses,’ TochA poto ‘honor,’ TochB pauto ‘honor.’ —EIEC 62; IEW 114; Bomhard 8.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 25 cites Afrasian (Egyptian) bnd ‘wrap, put on clothing,’ Proto-Kartvelian *band-, etc. ‘plait, interweave, braid, patch up, twist or tie together, spider’s web,’ and Proto-Chukchi-Kamchatkan *(lə)pənit, etc. ‘tie, tie laces, binding, tying, bundle.’

2. Bomhard 39 cites Afrasian (Proto-Semitic) *baw-aħ ‘become known, be revealed, disclose, be seen, revealed, clear, be visible, understand, stare, remember’ (without final dental consonant).

4. Bomhard 7 cites Afrasian (Proto-Semitic) *bad-al-, etc. ‘be afflicted with pain, suffer, inflict pain, cause harm, damage, injury, disease, do wrong, commit injustice, mistreat, offend,’ and Dravidian paṭu, etc. ‘occur, happen, come into being, rise, strike against, touch, suffer, endure, affliction, experience emotion, seem good, feel, trouble, suffer, experience, enjoy.’

5. Bomhard 66 cites Proto-Afrasian *bul-, etc. ‘mix, mix up, confuse, idle, useless, spoil, ruin, disquiet, make uneasy or restless, stir up, rouse, disturb, trouble, messed up, scattered,’ and Proto-Altaic *buli-, etc. ‘stir, shake, stir up, smear, soil, mix, become turbid,’ (neither with final consonant).

6. Bomhard 8 cites Dravidian paṭṭiṉi, etc. ‘fasting, abstinence, starvation, privation of food, hunger.’

Conclusions: Three of these six roots (1, 4, 6) show credible phonetic and semantic parallels, suggesting that the creation of those resonant variants occurred before the separation of PIE from the other language groups.

Table 9:   *bh(R)eu̯-s-    ‘Swell, overflow’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*bhleu̯-bhl 1Spew, gush, overflow, boil over
*bhreu̯-sbhr 2Swell, breast, belly, bud

1. *bhleu̯-     ‘Swell, spew, gush, overflow, boil over’

Lith bliaúju ‘roar, bleat, low,’ OCS bljujǫ ‘spew, vomit,’ Grk φλέω ‘gush, teem, overflow,’ φλοίω ‘overflow with words, talk idly.’ From *bhleu̯-d: Grk φλυδάω ‘have an excess of moisture,’ TochAB plätk ‘arise, develop, swell, overflow,’ TochA plutk– ‘arise, develop, swell, overflow.’ From *bhleu̯-g: Lat fluō ‘flow,’ flūmen ‘river,’ fluvius ‘river,’ Grk φλύζω ‘boil up, boil over.’ —EIEC 561; IEW 158-59; Bomhard 19.

2. *bhreu̯-s     ‘Swell, breast, belly, bud’

OIr brū (< bhrusō(n)) ‘belly, breast,’ bruinne (*bhrusni̯o-) ‘breast,’ Wels bru (*bhreuso-) ‘belly,’ bron (< *bhrusneh2) ‘breast,’ ON brjōst ‘breast,’ OE brēost ‘breast,’ NE breast, OHG brust ‘breast,’ Goth brusts ‘breast,’ Rus brostī ‘bud,’ brjukh (< *bhreuso-) ‘belly, paunch.’ —EIEC 561; IEW 170-71; Bomhard 26.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 19 cites Afrasian *bal- ‘flow, overflow, pour over’, Kartvelian li-bēl-e ‘swell up,’ Altaic balbai- ‘to swell, to bulge,’ and Chuk-Kamch *pəlRə, etc. ‘flow.’

2. Bomhard 26 cites Afrasian *bar- ‘swell, puff up, expand,’ Dravidian paru, etc. ‘become large, bulky, plump, to swell,’ Uralic *parɜ ‘swarm, flock, shoal, troop.’ The Afrasian and Dravidian semantics are close, Uralic more distant.

Conclusions: Both these roots show credible parallels with the PIE forms, suggesting that the formation of those resonant variants occurred before the separation of PIE from the other language groups.


Table 10:   *dre(R)    ‘Sleep’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*dreh1drh1 1Sleep
*drem-drm 2Sleep

1. *dreh1     ‘Sleep’

Ved ni-drāyā́t ‘sleep,’ Av drāṇá ‘sleeping.’ —LIV 126; IEW 226; Mallory and Adams (2006) 324; EIEC 526.

2. *drem-     ‘Sleep’

Lat dormiō ‘sleep,’ OCS drěmljǫ ‘slumber.’ —LIV 128; IEW 226; Mallory and Adams (2006) 324; EIEC 526.

Table 11:   *dre(R)    ‘Run’
  PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*drem-drm 1Run, cause to run away, run around
*dreh2drh2 2Run, run away, run loose
*dreu̯-dr 3Run

1. *drem-     ‘Run, cause to run away, run around’

Grk ἔδραμον ‘ran,’  δρόμος ‘horse race, foot race, race course,’ δρομεύς ‘a runner,’ Khot dremäte ‘drive away,’ Ved dandramyamāṇa ‘run around.’ —LIV 128; IEW 204-5; L&S 450; Bomhard 272; EIEC 491.

2. *dreh2–      ‘Run, run away, run loose’

Ved drā́tu ‘shall run,’ Grk ἀπ-έδρāν ‘ran away,’ ἀπο-διδράσκω ‘run away,’ Ved dadrur ‘they are running loose.’ —LIV 127; IEW 204; EIEC 491.

3. *dreu̯-      ‘Run’

Ved drávati ‘runs,’ drāváyati ‘let run,’ ádudrot ‘has run,’ dudrāva ‘ran.’ —LIV 129; IEW 205-6.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 272 cites Afrasian ẓarā, etc. ‘flow, run, have diarrhea,’ Proto-Dravidian *cor̤- (< *cory-) ‘run, flee, run away, go away,’ Proto-Uralic *tyorз-, etc. ‘run, flow, falling drops, drip, trickle,’ and Proto-Altaic *či̯or-ka, etc. ‘swift stream, current, rapid, rapids of a river, torrent, shoal in a river, roar, run quickly, flow rapidly, roaring (as water).’   Conclusions: All of these show reflex of initial dental plus –r, with semantics mostly pertaining to run, flow. Likely root connection to PIE.

Table 12:   *de(R)–    ‘Take in, see, observe, understand, point out’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*ded ø1Take in, receive, see, understand, watch, appear, resemble, keep an eye on
*derd r2Look, see, keep the eyes open, have seen, come to know
*dei̯d 3Cause someone to see or understand, show, point out, indicate’

1. *de–     ‘Take in, see, understand, watch, appear, resemble, honor’

Arm etes ‘see,’ Grk δέκτο ‘receive, understand,’ δοκεύω ‘keep an eye on, watch narrowly,’  δοκεῖ ‘appear,’ Lat didicī ‘to have learned, hence to know,’ Hit takkanzi ‘to resemble, be like.’ —LIV 109; IEW 189-90; L&S 377, 441; EIEC 564.

2. *der–     ‘Look, see, keep the eyes open, come to know’

Ved dárśam ‘see,’ OAv darəsəm ‘see,’ Grk δρακέντ- ‘have looked,’ δέρκομαι ‘look, keep the eyes open,’ OIr ad:con-dairc ‘have seen,’ Goth ga-tarhjan ‘come to know.’ —LIV 122; IEW 213; EIEC 505.

3. *dei–     ‘Cause someone to see or understand, show, point out, indicate’

Grk δείκνυμι ‘show,’ Ved ádiṣṭa ‘have shown,’ Lat dicō ‘say,’ Goth ga-teihan ‘announce, inform, point out, make known, proclaim,’ OHG zīhan ‘make known, accuse,’ YAv daēsaiieiṇti ‘show, indicate, point out.’ —LIV 108; IEW 188-89; Benveniste 392-93; Mallory and Adams (2006) 353-54.


Table 13:   *dhe(R)bh      ‘Strike, break, injure’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*dhebhdhøbh1Strike, injure, kill
*dhrebhdhrbh2Break up, crumble
*dhembhdh mbh3Break to pieces, annihilate
*dhebhdh bh4Strike, tap, dub
*dheHbhdh Hbh5Strike, one who strikes metal/wood, smith

1. *dhebh     ‘Strike, injure, destroy’

Ved dabhāti ‘hurt, injure, destroy, deceive,’ dabhī’ti ‘injurer, enemy,’ YAv dauuaiṇtī ‘bring injury,’ Hit tepnuzzi ‘to reduce, to humble, humiliate,’ OAv dābaiieitī ‘deceive, betray,’ Lith dóbiu ‘overcome, overpower,’ Lett dâbju ‘beat, strike.’ —IEW 240; LIV 132-33; NIL 85; Monier-Williams 469; Bomhard 245.

Note: See *(s)dhe(R)bh– (below) for Baltic forms that connote “hole, grave.”

2. *dhrebh–      ‘Break up, crumble’

Grk θρύπτω ‘break in pieces, enfeeble, corrupt, crush, weaken,’ διατρυφὲν ‘shatter.’    —LIV 156; IEW *dhreubh– 275; L&S 395, 807; Iliad 3,363 Fitzgerald 80.

3. *dhembh     ‘Break to pieces, annihilate’

Ved dambháyati ‘smash, crush, break to pieces, annihilate,’ Chwar δnby ‘beat, strike,’ Ved dambhá-ḥ ‘betray.’ —LIV 3.*dhembh– 144; IEW *dhebh– 240.

4. *dhebh–      ‘Strike, beat, tap, dub’

OHG tubila ‘dowel-pin, peg, stake,’ EFris dufen, duven ‘push,’ Neth dof ‘push,’ ON dubba and OE dubbian ‘dub a knight,’ ProtoGerm *đaƀ ‘beat, strike, hit.’ —IEW *dheubh- 268.

5. *dheHbh     ‘Beat, strike; a craftsman who strikes metal/wood (to make it fit)’

Norw dial dabba ‘stamp,’ ON an(d)døfa ‘(naut.) to beat against the wind,’ NE dab ‘tap lightly,’ EFris dafen ‘beat, clap, push,’ MHG beteben ‘press,’ Germanic tappen ‘slap, smack,’ Lat faber ‘craftsman,’ Goth ga-dob ‘to fit, to be suitable, appropriate.’ —IEW 1.*dabh- and 2.*dabh- 233; LIV 135-36; Mallory and Adams (2006) 283; Bomhard 144; EIEC 139.

The fundamental meaning of this root is to beat or strike. Secondarily, it carries the semantic value of to fit, be suitable. Typically, with fabrication of any sort, in order to make a given material fit, it needs to be trimmed, cut, or hammered to the right size. All of these activities were anciently performed with pounding and cutting stones, then later with metal hammers and axes. These activities always involved beating, and were carried out by craftsmen.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 245 cites Proto-Afrasian *dyab-, etc. ‘beat, hit, strike, harm, injure, kill, slaughter, sacrifice, offering, murder, skin an animal,’ Dravidian cavaṭṭu, etc. ‘destroy, ruin, kill, beat, tread upon, trample, kick, step on,’ Uralic (Proto-Finno-Ugrian) *tyappз-, etc. ‘hit, cut, notch, strike, timbered superstructure on a tomb,’ and Proto-Chuk-Kamch *ðəpæ(ŋæ), etc. ‘hammer, pestle for crushing, stone hammer.’

5. Bomhard 144 cites Proto-Afrasian *dab-, etc. ‘stick together, join together, adhere, cling, unite, bring together, gather, plait, put together, include, add, hand, arm.’

Conclusions: These two reasonably strong parallels to outside language families suggest a likely differentiation of resonants prior to separation.

Table 14:   *(s)dhe(R)bh–      ‘Bury the dead’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*dhebhdh øbh1Pit, hole, grave
*dhelbhdhlbh2Dig, hollow out
*dhembhdhmbh3Grave, tomb, funeral; to be buried
*(s)dherbh(s)dh rbh4To be in peril, spoil, rot, perish, die

1. *dhebh    ‘Pit, hole, grave’

Latv dùobs ‘pit, hole, grave, excavation, hollow,’ Lith dúoba, duobà ‘hollow in tree-trunk,’ Lith duobė ‘pit, hole, grave,’ Latv dùobė ‘hole, grave.’ —Wodtko, et al., Nomina im Indogermanischen Lexikon (NIL), s.v. “*dhebh– ”, (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008) 85, 86n11, 122; ALEW 278; LIV*dhebh– 132-33; IEW *dhebh- 240; see also IEW 267-68 and ALEW 205-06.

Other researchers (see  the LIV and NIL citations above) have attempted to place these Baltic words with roots connoting ‘hurt, injure, deceive,’ but usually with notations to the effect that the root affiliation remains “unclear” or “very doubtful.” Although there is certainly some semantic correspondence between the concepts “injure” and “the grave,” postulating a set of homophonous roots in *dhebh and separating the two senses may be the best solution (see *dhe(R)bh– ‘Strike, break, injure’ above). Glosses for these Balt. words were taken from NIL and ALEW.

2. *dhelbh     ‘Dig, hollow out’

NE delve, OE delfan ‘dig,’ OHG telpan ‘dig,’ Lith dálba ‘crowbar (“digging tool”), SCr dúbēm ‘hollow out,’ dùbok ‘deep,’ Czech dlubu ‘hollow out, poke.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 376; LIV *dhelbh– 143; IEW *dhelbh– 246; Bomhard 147; EIEC 159.

3.   *dhembh–     ‘Grave, tomb, funeral; to be buried, be interred’

Arm damban ‘grave, tomb,’ dambaran ‘grave, vault, tomb,’ Grk θάπτω ‘to be buried, interred,’ τάφος ‘burial, funeral, grave, tomb, grave mound,’ τάφρος ‘ditch, trench.’   —LIV 2.*dhembh– 143; IEW *dhembh– 248-49; L&S 784, 1761; Bomhard 165.

4. *(s)dherbh    ‘To be in peril, spoil, rot, perish, die’

OE deorfan ‘be in peril, perish,’ OHG sterban ‘to die,’ Russ stérbnut ‘gradually die, wither away, CSlav u-strьbe ‘be old, mature.’ Modern Ger verderben ‘spoil, rot, perish.’ —LIV *(s)dherbh– 512; IEW *(s)terbh– 1024-25; Bosworth and Toller 202; Kluge 813.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 147 cites Afrasian *dalaaʕ-, etc. ‘gash, notch, shoot with arrow,’ Dravidian tallu, etc. ‘beat, crush, blow, stroke, hit the mark,’ Proto-Altaic *delphi-, etc. ‘split, burst, crack open, break, crack, explode, cleft, crevice, fissure, hole,’ and Proto-Chuk-Kamch *tala-, etc. ‘beat, pulverize, hit, pound, hammer, strike, crush.’ PIE is the only language-family cited that refers specifically to digging.

3. Bomhard 165 cites Proto-Afrasian *dim-, etc. ‘raised, elevated place, tower, fortified area, district, town, vicinity, village,’ and Dravidian dimmi, etc. ‘elevated spot, rising ground, hillock, bank of river, mound.’ Neither shows final consonant nor associations to burial sites or funeral rites.

Conclusions: Semantically and phonetically divergent with low probability of outside genetic connections.

Table 15:   *dhe(R)-    ‘Valley, depression in the earth, animal den’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*dhel-dh l 1Valley, hole, pit, depression, animal den, bedroom
*dhen-dh n 2Hollow place in the earth, animal den, valley, hole, bed
*dheu̯-dh  3Deep, depression, pit, valley, dip, dimple  

1. *dhel-    ‘Valley, pit, depression, animal den’

Grk θαλάμη ‘hole, animal den,’ θάλαμος ‘bedroom within a house,’ Cymr dol ‘valley,’ Bret Dol ‘valley’ (in place names), ON dalr ‘arch, vault,’ Goth dals, dal ‘valley, pit, hole, cavity, depression,’ OE dæl ‘valley,’ ON dalr ‘valley,’ OE dell ‘ravine, gully,’ MHG tüele ‘small valley, depression,’ OCS dolь ‘hole, pit, cavity, excavation.’ —IEW 245-46; Mallory and Adams (2006) 122.

2. *dhen-     ‘Hollow place in the earth, animal den, valley, hole, bed’

Skt dhánuṣ ‘dry land,’ Grk θέναρ ‘palm of the hand, hollow at top of altar, hollow bed of the sea,’ OHG tenni ‘house floor, ground,’ denn ‘animal den,’ MNG denne ‘depression, woodland valley,’ MNether denne ‘den of wild animal,’ OE denn ‘hole, animal den,’ EFris dann(e) ‘bed, garden bed.’ —IEW 249; L&S 780.

3. *dheu- (with extensions -b, -p)  ‘Deep, depression, pit, valley, dip, dimple’

Grk βυθός  ‘deep,’ OIr domain, Cymr dwfn, Corn down, Bret doun ‘deep,’ Goth diups, ON diūpr, OE dēop ‘deep,’ Norw dobbe ‘swampy land,’ dump ‘depression in the earth,’ Danish dump ‘excavation, pit, depression,’ NE dimple, OHG tobal ‘narrow valley,’ ON dūfa ‘dip down,’ deyfa ‘dip,’ NE dive. —IEW 267-68; Mallory and Adams (2006) 292.

Some commentators have analyzed this root as *dheub-, but this assumes the use of the rare PIE *b- as an integral part of the root. Others have suggested that it may be a substrate term borrowed from a non-Indo-European language.[7] But, given the strong parallels to other members of this resonant series, the solution accepted by Pokorny (seeing the *b- and *p- as root extensions) may be the most reasonable conclusion.

Table 16:   *dhe(R)g̑h      ‘Earth, earth works, and earth workers’

This group of roots denotes the earth; working the earth by kneading, shaping and building; the products of earth-works such as walls, enclosures, walled gardens and yards; and men who are employed in working the earth. These men would be “workers of earth” or “earth men.” Farmers were similarly regarded, as paralleled in Greek γεωργέω ‘to be a husbandman, farmer’ (modern name George, literally ‘earth worker’).

PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*dhég̑h-om-dhøh1Earth, ground, land, man (as earth worker), human being, dragon
*dheh, *dhíg̑hsdhh2Work clay, fashion, stroke, knead (clay, mud, dough), build, build wall; wall, earthen wall
*dherg̑hdhrh3Make firm, strong, tough, tenacious, enclosure, garden, yard
*dheu̯g̑hdhh4Make, build, produce something useful, knead, fit into place, strong; common or vulgar men

1. *dhég̑h-om-      ‘Earth, ground, man’

Hit tēkan ‘earth, ground,’ Ved kṣám– ‘earth, ground,’ Grk Χθών ‘earth, ground, land,’ Lat humus, homo ‘earth, human being,’ OE guma ‘man, (bride)groom,’ TochA tkaṃ ‘earth, ground,’ OCS zmii ‘dragon, snake.’ —IEW 414-16; EIEC 174; NIL 86; Mallory & Adams (2006) 120; Watkins (2011) 20; DELG 143; Ringe 19; Bomhard 145; EIEC 247-48.

References to ‘man’ in this root probably reflect, not man in general, but rather man as ‘earth worker, commoner, vassal, slave.’ Even modern English retains this characterization. The definition of dirt, given by AHD, is: “1. Earth or soil. 2a. A filthy or soiling substance, such as mud or dust. b. Excrement. 3. A squalid or filthy condition. 4. One that is mean, contemptible, or vile…” (emphasis added). In some cultures, later semantic development elevated the “dirt man” to a more respectable social status. See also #4 below.

2. *dheih-, *dhíg̑hs-     ‘Form, build, mold mud or clay, knead, smear, plaster; bank, wall of mud or mud bricks’

Skt dḗhmi ‘spread, fill,’ dḗhī ‘wall, rampart, dam,’ Goth digan ‘form, fashion, knead, make pottery,’ ON deig ‘dough’, digr ‘thick,’ NE dough, Lith žiedžiù ‘form from mud,’ TochB tsikale ‘to form,’ Lat fingō, finxī ‘form, shape,’ figūra ‘form, shape, figure,’ fictilis ‘fashion out of clay, made of earth or clay,’ figulus ‘potter,’ Av pairi-daēza- ‘enclosure’ (> NE paradise); Grk τεῖχος, τοῖχος ‘wall, embankment,’ possibly Grk θιγγάνω ‘touch with the hand,’ OIr digen ‘build, firm, solid, hard, strong, fixed.’ —LIV 140; IEW 244; NIL 118; de Vries 194; Mallory & Adams (2006) 223, 224, 228; Watkins (2011) 18; EIEC 649; Bomhard 166.

Mallory and Adams write, “The underlying semantics of *dhei̯g̑h indicate that it was specifically associated with the working of clay (e.g. Lat fingō ‘fashion,’ Skt dḗhmi ‘smear, anoint,’ Toch AB tsik- ‘fashion [pots, etc.],’ hence the English cognate dough; in Greek and Indo-Iranian it is also associated with building walls, e.g. Av pairi-daēza ‘build a wall around’ … but there are also cognates of more general meaning, e.g. OIr con-utainc ‘builds,’ Lith diežti ‘whip, beat,’ Arm dizanem ‘heap up’” (2006:223-4, 371).  And: “The substance from which the walls were made, [earth] came to be applied both to the finished product, e.g., Grk τοῖχος ‘wall’, Av uz-daēza– ‘wall’, and clay-like substances, e.g. Germanic dough” (EIEC 629).

3.  *dherg̑h-, *dhereh–     ‘Become hard, strong, firm; garden, yard, enclosure’

Skt dr̥hyati ‘make firm,’ Lith dir̃žmas ‘strong,’ OPrus dīrstlan ‘powerful,’ dir̃žti ‘tough, tenacious, become hard,’ Lith dar̃žas ‘garden,’ Latv dārz ‘garden, yard, enclosure.’ —IEW 254; Mallory & Adams (2006) 381.

4. *dheu̯g̑h–     ‘Make, build, make ready, prepare, produce something useful, suitable, fit, touch, knead, big, strong; common or vulgar men’

Grk τεύχω ‘make, prepare, build, produce by work or art, form, create, well made, of fields: tilled,’ Grk τυγχάνω, ἔτυχον ‘gain one’s end or purpose, succeed, attain, obtain a thing, of men: common, everyday, vulgar’ (compare *dhég̑h-om above), Goth daug ‘be useful,’ OIr dúal ‘suitable, fit,’ NIr dual (< dhugh-lo-) ‘right, proper, natural,’ ON duga ‘to suit,’ NHG taugen ‘to be useful or fit,’ Slav *dugь ‘strength,’ Pol duży ‘strong, big,’ Ved duhé ‘give milk.’ —LIV 148; IEW 271; Mallory & Adams (2006) 370; L&S 1783, 1882.

The process of building with earth requires the addition of water, then a vigorous kneading of the clay or mud. The men employed in the construction process are considered common and vulgar, predominantly slaves. The kneading, squeezing movement of the hands as it prepares the mud for building gives rise to the secondary meaning of milking an animal because it involves a similar kneading motion to coax the milk from the animal’s udder.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 145 cites Proto-Afrasian *d[a]g- ‘put in place, be stable, be firmly established, remain, abide, become tame, plant, build, join, attach,’ Proto-Dravidian *taṅk-, etc. ‘be put in place, be stable, be firmly established, stay abide, remain, stop, rest, delay, stability, be permanent,’ Proto-Kartvelian *deg-, etc. ‘to stand, put, place, set,’ and Uralic *taɣз-, etc. ‘place, site, region country, land.’

2. Bomhard 166 cites Proto-Afrasian *dik-, etc. ‘beat, crush, pound, tamp earth, mold or knead clay, mix, flatten, smooth, level, ruin, tread, clay or loam, dust,’ Dravidian tig- ‘press down hard, push,’ and Proto-Kartvelian *diq-, etc. ‘earth, clay, mud, soil, ground.’   

Conclusions: Both PIE roots appear to have phonetic and semantic parallels with outside language groups, suggesting that they differentiated into the separate resonant-variants while still in linguistic contact with those groups.

Table 17:   *dhe(R)h2    ‘Run, move rapidly, shake, run away/vanish (euph. for death)’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*dhenh2dh nh21Run, flow, move quickly, run away or vanish (as euphemism for death)
*dheu̯H-dh H2Run, run away, flow, flee, shake, move violently, rage, vex

1. *dhenh2    ‘Run, flow, move, run away or vanish (as euphemism for death)’

Ved dhánvati ‘run, flow,’ dadhanvā́ṁs ‘cause to run or move quickly,’ dhanáyan ‘cause to run,’ pra-dhanvati ‘vanish, disappear, perish, die,’ NPers dan ‘hurry, run,’ Grk θνῄσκω ‘to die, be dead’ (run away, vanish — as euphemism for death). —LIV 144; IEW 249; Monier-Williams 508-09; L&S 802; DELG 406; Bomhard 178.

2. *dheu̯H-     ‘Run, run away, flow, flee, shake, move violently, rage, vex’

Ved dhā́vati ‘run, flow, stream, move, run after, run away, flee, cause to run,’ Ved dhūnóti ‘shake, agitate, cause to tremble, shake or move violently,’ ni-dhuvati ‘throw down, shake to and fro, agitate, sexual intercourse,’ Grk θύω [ῡ] ‘rage, seethe,’ Goth af-dojan ‘tire out, vex, harass,’ OCS davljǫ ‘urge, press forward.’ —LIV 149; IEW 261-63; Monier-Williams 516-17 (1. dhāv), 549; L&S 813; Balg 72; Bomhard 249.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 178 cites Afrasian *dun-, etc. ‘leak water, pour,’ Dravidian tundnā, etc. ‘be poured out, spill, shed, throw out, be split, be shed,’ and Proto-Kartvelian *dn-, etc. ‘run, flow, melt, disappear, get lost.’

2. Bomhard 249 cites Proto-Kartvelian *ǯgw-, etc. ‘defecate.’

Conclusions: The semantic divergence between the PIE and the other language families does not strongly support the notion of genetic connections.

Table 18:   *dh(R)eh2     ‘Exhalations, vapors, breath, blow on a fire, steam, smoke’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*dhmeH-dhm H1Blow, blow away, breathe, exhale, kindle a fire by blowing
*dhu̯eh2dh h22Blow, exhale fragrance, burn an aromatic substance or sacrifice
*dhu̯enH-dhnH3To steam, to smoke, fly up, cause to steam or smoke, cloud

1. *dhmeH-     ‘Blow, blow away, breathe, exhale’

Ved dhámati ‘blow, breathe out, exhale, kindle a fire by blowing,’ Khot damäte ‘blow,’ Lith dumiù ‘breathe, blow, blow away,’ OCS dьmǫ ‘blow.’ —LIV 153; IEW 247-48; Monier-Williams 509.

2. *dhu̯eh2–     ‘Blow, exhale fragrance, burn an aromatic substance or sacrifice’

CSlav dujǫ ‘blow,’ Slov díjem ‘exhale fragrance, be fragrant, smell sweet,’ Lat suf-fiō ‘subject to aromatic fumes, fumigate, burn an aromatic substance as a fumigant,’ Grk θύω ‘offer sacrifice by burning.’ —LIV 158; IEW 262-63; OLD 1861.

3. *dhu̯enH-     ‘To steam, to smoke, fly up, cause to steam or smoke, cloud’

Ved ádhvanīt ‘to steam, to smoke,’ YAv duuąsaiti ‘fly, rush, dash,’ ádhvānayat (caus.) ‘cause to smoke, to steam,’ Av dvąnman- ‘cloud.’ —LIV 159; IEW 266.

Table 19:   *(s)dhe(R)    ‘Put, place, set, stand, fix in place, be firm, be immobile’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*dheh1  dh h1 1Put, place, set, do, build, found, establish, lay, set up
*dheh1-k-  dh h1 2Place, set up, establish, raise, produce, make
*steh2 < *(s)dheh2(s)dh h2 3Put, place, set, stand, set in, fix, set up, set firmly
*sth2e < *(s)dhh2ei̯-(s)dhh2 4  Not easily moved, stiff, fixed, hard, heavy, coagulated, frozen
*sth̥2-bh < *(s)dh2-bh(s)dh h2 5Fixed in place, standing firmly, post, staff, stone, pillar, column
*stéh2-u̯r < *(s)dheh2-u̯r(s)dh h2 6Fixed, immovable, permanent, pillar, post, column, cross
*stéh2-ti̯s < *(s)dhéh2-ti̯s(s)dh h2 7Place, position, station, site, land, standing, setting, stature
*stéh2-mōn < *(s)dhéh2mōn(s)dh h2 8Set down, stand, position, stem, tree, warp (part of weaving)
*st(h2)eu̯-g- < *(s)dh(h2)eu̯-g-(s)dh(h2) 9To stand, be stiff
*steH- < *(s)dhi̯eH-(s)dhH 10Stiff, hard, become stiff, stone
*stel- < *(s)dhel-(s)dh l 11Put, place, standing position, stall, set up, establish, stand
*stl̥-neh2 < *(s)dhel-neh2(s)dh l 12Firm support, pillar, stand
*stembh < *(s)dhem-bh(s)dh m 13To stand, be firm, be imperturbable, set, produce a stalk, support, post
*dher-  dh r 14To be solid, firm, immobile, seated, quiet, stopped, hold fast
*ster-h3 < *(s)dher-h3(s)dh r 15Lay down, place loose material for making a bed, paving a road, strew
*ster(h3)mn̥   < *(s)dher(h3)mn̥(s)dh r 16Material placed on the ground or floor for sleeping, straw, bed, couch
*(s)ter-h1 < *(s)dher-h1(s)dh r 17  Stiff, firm, hard, tight, stare (a fixed, unmoving look)
*streu̯- < *(s)dhreu̯-(s)dhr 18Set in position, construct, stand fast, build, establish, stack up, strew

1. *dheh1–     ‘Put, place, set, do, build, found, establish, lay, set up’

Grk τίθημι ‘sets,’ Av daδāiti ‘puts, brings,’ Skt dádhāti ‘puts, places, lays,’ TochB tattam ‘will put, place,’ Lat facere ‘do,’ condere ‘build, found, establish,’ OE dōn ‘do,’ NE do, OHG tuon ‘do,’ Lith déti ‘lay,’ OCS dēti ‘lay,’ Arm dnem ‘put, place,’ Hit dāi ‘puts, lays,’ tittiya- ‘establish,’ tittanu- ‘set up,’ Lycian tadi ‘puts, places.’ —LIV 136; EIEC 472, 506; IEW 235-39; Mallory and Adams (2006) 472; Bomhard 158; Benveniste 387.

2. *dheh1-k-     ‘Place, set up, establish, raise, produce, make’

OUmb face ‘place, set up, establish, raise, produce, make,’ Lat faciō ‘make,’ Ven faksto ‘set up, place, establish,’ Osc fefacid ‘make.’ —LIV 139; IEW 236; Bomhard 158.

3. *(s)teh2–     ‘Put, place, set, stand, set in, fix, set up, set firmly’

Ved tíṣṭhati ‘put, place, set down,’ Grk ἵστημι ‘put, place, set oneself, stand,’ Lat sistō ‘put, place, set,’ Umb sestu ‘put, place,’ OIr air-sissedar ‘remain standing,’ Grk Cret στανύω ‘put or set in, fix, fit, place, set up,’ Lat dē-stinō ‘set firmly,’ ON standa ‘stand,’ OE standan ‘stand,’ NE stand.’ —LIV 590; IEW 1004-8; EIEC 542; Mallory and Adams (2006) 296.

4. *sth2e--     ‘Not easily moved, stiff, fixed, hard, heavy, coagulated, frozen’

Lat stīria ‘icicle,’ Fris stīr ‘stiff,’ Lith stóras ‘stiff,’ Skt styā́yate ‘becomes fixed, coagulated, hardens,’ stíyā ‘stagnant water,’ stīmá ‘heavy,’ stimita ‘unmoving, fixed, silent,’ TochB stināsk- ‘be silent.’ An extension of *steh2.  —EIEC 547; IEW 1010-11; Mallory and Adams (2006) 347.

5. *sth̥2-bh–     ‘Fixed in place, standing firmly, post, staff, stone, pillar, column’

MIr sab (< *sth̥2bheh2) ‘post,’ ON stafr ‘staff,’ OE stæf ‘staff,’ NE staff, OHG stap ‘staff,’ OPrus stabis ‘stone,’ Lith stābas ‘post,’ Latv stabs ‘pillar,’ OCS stoborū ‘column.’ “A nominalization of *steh2. (EIEC:442)” —IEW 1012-13; Mallory and Adams (2006) 226; EIEC 442.

6. *stéh2-u̯r     ‘Fixed, immovable, permanent, pillar, post, column, cross’

ON staurr ‘post,’ Grk σταυρός ‘post, cross,’ Shughni sitan ‘pillar, post,’ Skt sthū́ṇā- ‘pillar, post, column,’ sthāvará ‘fixed, immovable, permanent,’ sthūrá ‘thick, strong, big.’ From *steh2 ‘stand.’ —EIEC 442; IEW 1009; Mallory and Adams (2006) 225.

7. *stéh2-tis     ‘Place, position, station, site, land, standing, setting, stature’

Lat statiō ‘position, station,’ ON staðr ‘place,’ OE stede ‘place,’ NE stead, OHG stat ‘place, site,’ (>NHG stadt ‘city’), Goth staþs ‘place, land,’ Lith stāčias ‘standing,’ Grk στάσις ‘place, setting, standing, stature,’ Skt sthíti ‘position,’ ON stœðr ‘firm,’ Lat status ‘standing.’ “Widespread and ancient derivatives of *steh2 ‘stand (up)’ (EIEC 431).”        —Mallory and Adams (2006) 287, 288; EIEC 430-31; IEW 1006.

8. *stéh2-mōn     ‘Set down, stand, position, stature, stem, tree, warp (the stationary part of the weaving)’

MIr samaigid ‘sets down,’ Wels sefyll ‘a stand,’ Lat stāmen ‘warp,’ OE stemn ‘stem,’ OHG stam ‘stem,’ Lith stomuō ‘stature,’ Latv stāmen ‘body, torso,’ Grk στήμον ‘warp,’ Skt sthā́man ‘position,’ TochA ṣtām ‘tree.’ —EIEC 431; IEW 1007-08; Mallory and Adams (2006) 287.

9. *st(h2)eu̯-g-     ‘To stand, be stiff’

Lith stúkti ‘stand tall,’ Rus stúgnutĭ ‘to freeze’ (< ‘become stiff’), Toch B staukk- ‘swell, bloat.’ An extension of *steh2.  —EIEC 547; IEW 1033-34; Mallory and Adams (2006) 347.

10. *steH-     ‘Stiff, hard, become stiff, stone’

Ved ní-ṣṭyāyatām ‘to become stiff,’ Grk σῶμα ‘(stiff, dead) body,’ Germ *staina- ‘stone.’ —LIV 603; IEW 1010-11.

11. *stel-     ‘Put, place, standing position, stall, set up, establish, stand’

ON stjǫlr ‘stem, stalk,’ stallr ‘stall,’ OE stela ‘stalk, support,’ steall ‘standing place, position, stall, stable,’ stellan ‘put, place,’ OHG stal ‘standing place position, stall,’ stellen ‘set up, establish,’ NE stall, OPrus stallit ‘stand,’ Alb shtjell ‘fling, toss, hurl,’ Grk στέλλω ‘make ready, fit out with, send, dispatch,’ Skt sthālam ‘eminence, tableland, ground, earth, dry land,’ OLat stlocus ‘place.’ —EIEC 442, 506; IEW 1019-20; LIV 594.

12. *st-neh2–     ‘Firm support, pillar, stand’

OHG stollo support,’ Grk στήλη ‘pillar,’ ON stallr ‘stand.’ —EIEC 442; IEW 1050.

13. *stembh–     ‘To stand, be firm, be imperturbable, set, produce a stalk, support, post’

Lith stembti ‘produce a stalk’ (of plants), Grk ἀστεμφής ‘imperturbable, firm,’ Av stəmbana ‘support,’ Skt stabhnā́ti ‘prop, support, hinder, restrain,’ stámbha ‘post,’ TochAB stäm ‘stand,’ TochB śanmäṣṣäṃ ‘to set firmly.’ —EIEC 543; IEW 1012-13; LIV 595; Mallory and Adams (2006) 296.

14. *dher-     ‘To be solid, firm, immobile, motionless, seated, quiet, stopped, hold fast’

Lat firmus (< *dher-mo-) ‘solid, firm,’ OE darian ‘lie motionless, lurk,’ Lith deréti ‘be useful, serviceable,’ Grk θρήσασθαι ‘seat oneself,’ Arm dadarem ‘become quiet, stop, be immobile,’ Av dārayat ‘holds fast, hold firm,’ Skt dhāráyati ‘holds, preserves.’ —LIV 145; IEW 252-53; EIEC 270; Mallory and Adams (2006) 271; Bomhard 248.

15. *ster-h3    ‘Lay down, place loose material for making a bed or paving a road, strew, spread out, place a saddle on a horse’

Lat Alb shtie ‘lay down, throw, miscarry,’ ON strā ‘strew,’ NE strew, SC strōvo ‘heap,’  Grk στόρνῡμι ‘to place loose materials such as straw for a bed or stones for paving a road, spread out, strew, place a saddle on a horse.’   —LIV 599; IEW 1029-30; Mallory and Adams (2006) 226; EIEC 539; Bomhard 194; L&S 1650, 1656; DELG 1023-24.

16. *ster(h3)mn̥     ‘Material placed on the ground or floor for sleeping, straw, bed, couch, something strewn’

Lat strāmen ‘straw,’ Grk στρῶμα ‘straw, bed,’ Skt stárīman ‘act of spreading out, bed, couch.’ —EIEC 57; Mallory and Adams (2006) 226; IEW 1029-30.

17. *(s)ter-h1    ‘Stiff, firm, hard, tight, stare (a fixed look)’

ON starr ‘stiff,’ OE starian ‘look at, stare,’ NE stare, OHG starēn ‘stare,’ OPrus stūrnawiskan ‘sternness,’ Lith starinù ‘tighten, stretch, make stiff,’ OCS stradá ‘hard work,’ Grk στερεός ‘stiff, firm.’ —EIEC 547; IEW 1022; Mallory and Adams (2006) 347.

18. *streu̯-     ‘Set in position, construct, stand fast, put together, build, establish, stack up, heap, strew’

Lat struō ‘set in position, arrange so as to construct something, stand fast, put in position, put together, build, establish, set, set out in place,’ struēs ‘heap,’ OIr asroither ‘strew,’ Goth straujan ‘strew.’ —LIV 605; IEW 1030-31; EIEC 539; Mallory and Adams (2006); OLD 1829-30.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. & 2. Bomhard 158 cites Proto-Afrasian *day- ‘throw, cast, put, place,’ Elamo-Dravidian da- ‘put, place, deposit,’ Etruscan te- ‘put, place,’ Chuk-Kamch tæjkə-, etc. ‘make, do, build.’

14. Bomhard 248  cites Proto-Afrasian *dyar-, etc. ‘hold firmly, hand, arm,’ Proto-Kartvelian *ǯger- ‘to make firm, strong, unshakable.’

15. Bomhard 194 cites Proto-Afrasian *tar- ‘to spread, spread out, expand, extend, stretch, stretch out,’ Dravidian tāṟṟu, etc. ‘sift, winnow, sow seed, scatter, sprinkle,’ Uralic *tara-, etc. ‘spread or stretch out, separate, open, scatter, wide, roomy,’ Proto-Altaic tharV-, etc. ‘spread, scatter, disperse,’ Proto-Eskimo *taRpaR ‘open out, flare out, enlarge, open wide.’

Conclusions: All four of these PIE roots show strong parallelism, both phonetically and semantically to the non-PIE forms. This suggests that the laryngeal and the -r resonant variants diverged from the primitive root while PIE was still in linguistic contact with the outside language groups.


Table 20:   *g̑e(R)bh    ‘Bite, chew, eat’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*g̑ebh øbh1Eat, chew, masticate, consume, feed, forage, nourishment
*g̑embh mbh2Open the jaws wide, snap at, swallow, bite, tear to pieces

1. *g̑ebh–     ‘Eat, chew, masticate, consume, feed’

OLith žėbmi ‘eat slowly, chew, masticate,’ OCS zobljǫ ‘consume, eat up,’ ORus zobь ‘food, fodder, feed, forage, nourishment, nutriment,’ zob ‘beak, snout.’ —LIV 161; IEW 382; Bomhard 570.

2. *g̑embh    ‘Open the jaws wide, snap at, swallow, bite, tear to pieces’

Ved jambháyati ‘crush, destroy,’ jabhat ‘open the jaws wide, snap at,’ jámbha ‘tooth, set of teeth, mouth, jaws, swallowing, one who crushes or swallows,’ YAv zəmbaiiaδβəm ‘let one bite hard,’ Oss zæmb ‘yawn, gape,’ OCS zębǫ ‘rip or tear to pieces,’ Alb dhemb ‘pain, hurt, distress, grieve.’ —LIV 162; IEW 369; Moiner-Williams 412; Bomhard 573.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 570 cites Dravidian kavuḷ, etc. ‘cheek, jaw, jawbone,’ and Proto-Kartvelian *q’ab-, etc. ‘jaw, chin.’

2. Bomhard 573 cites Proto-Afrasian *k’am-, etc. ‘crush, grind, chew, bite, eat, flour, wheat, meal, grain, graze, devour, swallow, bread, molar tooth, tooth in general,’ and Chuk-Kamch *qametva-, etc. ‘eat, feed, give food to a guest, treat,’ both with either missing or variant (non-labial) final consonant.

Conclusions: Both roots show semantic parallels to the outside language groups, but lack of final labial consonant in those groups leaves the connection doubtful.

Table 21:   *g̑e(R)h1    ‘Engender, impel, set in motion, sprout, germinate, be born’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*g̑eu̯H- H1Set in motion, rouse, impel, be quick, animate, inspire
*g̑eH- H2Germinate, spring up, grow, sprout, develop
*g̑enh1 nh13Beget, conceive, create, bring forth, cause the growth of, be born

1. *g̑eu̯H-     ‘Set in motion, rouse, impel, be quick, animate, inspire’

Ved junā́ti, jávati ‘press forwards, hurry on, be quick, impel, urge, rouse, drive, incite, excite, promote, animate, inspire,’ apī-jū́ ‘impelling,’ dhī-jū́ ‘inspiring the mind, rousing devotion,’ yatú-jū́ ‘incited or possessed by a yatú,’ vayo-jū́ ‘exciting or increasing strength,’ viśva-jū́ ‘all-impelling,’ sánā-jū́ ‘nimble or active from of old.’ —LIV 166; IEW 399; Monier-Williams 424.

The basic sense of this root is to set something into brisk motion, impel, animate. In the following roots of this resonant series, this notion is applied specifically to living beings, setting the development of plants or animals into motion. For the relationship between “quick” and “life,” consider the range of meanings contained within the English word, quick: “1. Moving or functioning rapidly and energetically; speedy. …6. Archaic a. Alive. b. Pregnant.”[8]

2. *g̑eiH-     ‘Germinate, spring up, grow, sprout, develop’

Goth keinan ‘germinate, spring up, grow,’ Latv ziêdu ‘blossom,’ NArm cil ‘bud, sprout, shoot, scion,’ OHG, OSax kīnan ‘germinate, sprout, arise, spring up, develop.’ —LIV 161; IEW 355-56; Balg 217; ALEW 1507.

3. *g̑enh1–     ‘Beget, conceive, create, bring forth, cause the growth of, be born’

Lat gignō ‘bring into being, create living creatures, cause the birth of or growth of, give rise to, produce.’ gignentia ‘growing things, vegetation, things coming into being,’ OE cennan ‘beget, conceive, create, bring forth,’ Ved jánati ‘generate, beget, produce, create, cause, be born or produced,’ Grk γίγνομαι ‘to become.’ —LIV 163; IEW 373-75; OLD 764; Bosworth and Toller 150; Monier-Williams 410; Bomhard 465; EIEC 56.

In PIE, the semantic field “child” can overlap with the semantic field “seed, sprout.” Mallory and Adams (EIEC 107) write: “One originally neuter term, derived from the root *tek- ‘beget’ (Grk τικτω < τι-τκ-ω), is preserved as ‘child’ in Greek and matches Germanic terms for ‘servant’ which is semantically upgraded in many areas to mean ‘servant of the king’ > ‘nobleman’ (cf. thane in Macbeth). Indo-Iranian cognates suggest an original meaning ‘seed, sprout,’ a meaning also recorded in Greek.”

Notes on possible outside root connections:

3. Bomhard 465 cites Proto-Afrasian *k’an-, etc. ‘get acquire, possess, create, produce, buy, dominate, tame, have power over, to originate,’ and Dravidian kaṉṟu, etc. ‘calf, colt, sapling, young tree, young child, bear or bring forth children, beget, young animal or plant.’

Conclusions: Phonetically and semantically root #3 appears to parallel the Afrasian and Dravidian attested forms.

*g̑ h

  Table 22:   *g̑ he(R)d-   ‘Defecate, evacuate, pour out, emit, rump, hole, opening’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*g̑ hed-h ød1Defecate, be covered in excrement, rump, anus, hole, excretion
*g̑ heu̯d-h d2Pour, spill, to empty, to emit from the body, large intestine, hole, vulgar

1. *g̑ hed-        ‘Defecate, be covered in excrement, rump, anus, hole, excretion’

Grk χέζω ‘Defecate, ease oneself, drop dung,’ Alb dhjes ‘I defecate,’ Alb n-dot ‘dirty oneself, be covered in excrement,’ Skt hadati ‘defecate, hadana ‘excretion,’ Av zadah ‘arse,’ Arm jet ‘the tail, the end,’ ON gat ‘hole, opening.’ —LIV 172; IEW 423; L&S 1982; EIEC 187.

2. *g̑ heu̯d-     ‘Pour, spill, empty, emit from the body, large intestine, vulgar’

ON gjōta ‘throw’ (young), NIsl gjóta ‘hole,’ Lat fundō ‘pour, spill, empty (a vessel or container), drench with, emit freely from the body, pour out, shed (blood, tears, etc.), (of a woman) to give birth,’ fundulum ‘the blind gut’ (part of the large intestine), Umb hondu ‘shall pour/spill out,’ Goth giutan ‘pour out, shed, spill,’ Grk χύδην ‘poured out in floods or heaps, promiscuously, indiscriminately,’ χυδαῖος ‘poured out in streams, common, vulgar, coarse,’ χυδαιόω ‘make vulgar, debase.’ —LIV 179; IEW 448; OLD 746-47; L&S 2012-13; EIEC 448.

Table 23:   *g̑ heh1(R)-os    ‘Gaping hole, gap, empty space’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*g̑ heHu̯-oshH 1Gaping abyss, jaws, chasm, chaos
*g̑ hoh1r-oshh1r 2Gap, empty space, hollow in the mouth

1. *g̑ heHu̯-os     ‘Gaping abyss, jaws, chasm, chaos’

Grk χάος ‘chaos, the nether abyss, any vast gulf or chasm, the gaping jaws of the crocodile,’ TochA ko ‘mouth,’ MHG giel ‘jaws, throat, mouth, yawning abyss, gullet,’ NHG Gosche, Gusche ‘enormous jaws.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 222; L&S 1976; IEW 449.

2. *g̑ hoh1r-os     ‘Gap, empty space, hollow in the mouth’

Grk χῶρος ‘vast open space,’ χήρη ‘widow,’ χηραμός ‘hole, cleft, hollow, hollow on the sides of the tongue,’ TochB kāre ‘pit, hole.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 287; DELG 1224; L&S 1990; IEW 449.


Table 24:   *ge(R)-       ‘Devour, swallow, gulp’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*ger-h3g r 1Devour, swallow, gulp, throat
*gel-gl 2Devour, swallow, gulp down

1. *ger-h3     ‘Devour, swallow, gulp, throat’

OInd giráti ‘eat voraciously,’ Lat carni-vorus ‘devouring meat,’ Avest jaraiti ‘swallow, gulp,’ Lith gìrtas ‘intoxicated, drunk,’ Arm eker ‘ate,’ Ved garan ‘gulp,’ OCS po-žrětъ ‘devoured.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 256, 625; IEW 474; LIV 211; Bomhard 589.

2. *gel-     ‘Devour, swallow, gulp down’

Arm ekowl ‘swallowed, gulped,’ OIr gelid ‘consume, devour,’ OE ceole ‘gorge.’ —LIV 192; IEW 365; Bomhard 577.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 589 cites Afrasian ḳard, etc. ‘throat, voice,’ Dravidian kural, etc. ‘throat, windpipe, neck, gullet, eat greedily, drink, eat, guzzle,’ Proto-Kartvelian *q’orq’-, etc. ‘throat, gullet, larynx,’ and Uralic *k[ü]rkз, etc. ‘neck, throat.’

2. Bomhard 577 cites Kartvelian *q’el-, etc. ‘neck, throat, collar.’

Conclusions:  Both of these roots show credible parallels with non-PIE forms, suggesting that the separation of the two resonant-variants probably occurred while PIE was still in contact with the other language families.

Table 25:   *(s)g(R)ebh–     ‘To cut, scratch, engrave, cutting tool’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*(s)grebh-, *gerbhgr bh1Scratch in, cut in, engrave
*glebhglbh2Hollow out, cut off
*skebh– (< *(s)gebh-)(s)gø bh4Scratch, shave, scrape
*skrebh– (< *(s)greibh-)(s)grbh5Scratch, cut, write, mark

1. *(s)grebh-, *gerbh–     ‘Scratch in, cut in, engrave’

Grk γράφω ‘scratch,’ NE carve, OE ceorfan ‘cut off, engrave,’ OPrus gīrbin ‘number’, OCS žrěbŭ ‘lot,’ Lith gerbiù ‘honor, respect.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 377; LIV*gerbh– 187; IEW gerbh-, grebh- 392; Bomhard 487; EIEC 143.

2.*glebh–     ‘Cut out, cut off’

Grk γλύφω ‘carve out, glyph,’ Lat glūbō ‘peel,’ OHG klioban ‘split,’ NE cleave. —Mallory and Adams (2006) 377; IEW 401; LIV 190; Bomhard 463; EIEC 143.

3. *gneibh–     ‘Knife’

ON kneif ‘a type of knife-tongs,’ knīfr ‘knife,’ OE cnīf ‘knife,’ NG dial. kneif ‘cobbler’s knife,’ Lith gnýbiu ‘pinch.’ —IEW 370.

AHD provides no PIE etymology for the English word “knife.” Watkins (2011) places it with an assortment of words (“a pseudo root” EIEC 451) denoting lumps or clumps such as knob, knoll, knot, knuckle, etc., which is not likely. Mallory and Adams write, “By the earliest historical attestations of the various IE stocks knives were made of bronze or iron; however, across Eurasia there were stone equivalents at least since the Neolithic. At that time long blades fashioned of flint or some other suitable stone were fixed within a wooden haft. Despite the weak lexical evidence it is impossible to imagine that the earliest IE speakers did not possess ‘knives’ of some sort, either stone or copper (EIEC 336).”

The following two roots show initial *sk- for expected original *sg-. But unvoiced *s- would be expected to de-voice the following *g-, so these roots should belong with the above forms in *g- or *(s)g-.

4. *skebh–      ‘Scratch, shave, scrape’

Lat scabō ‘shave, scratch, scrape,’ ON skafa ‘shave,’ OE scafan ‘shave’ ( > NE shave), OHG schaben ‘shave,’ Goth skaban ‘shear,’ Lith skambùs ‘pluck,’ skabùs ‘sharp, skōbti ‘pull, pluck, gather,’ Latv skabît ‘hew off,’ skabrs ‘sharp,’ OCS skoblĭ ‘scraping knife.’      —EIEC 503; IEW 931-33; LIV 549; NIL 621.

5. *skreibh–   ‘Scratch, cut, write, mark’

Lat scrībō ‘write, mark, draw, sketch.’ —LIV 562; IEW 946-47.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 487 cites Proto-Afrasian *k’e(e)r-, etc. ‘cut, cut into, engrave, notch, sever, clip, split, pinch, nip, bite, wound,’ Proto-Kartvelian *k’r-eč-, etc. ‘cut, cut off,’ and Proto-Altaic *kiro-, etc. ‘cut, mince, break off, gnaw, scrape, shave, tear out, kill, destroy.’ All lack final labial.

2. Bomhard 463 cites Proto-Afrasian *k’al-, etc. ‘separate, remove, strip off, pluck, tear, pull off, uproot, cut off, open, peel,’ Dravidian kaḷ, etc. ‘weed, pluck, pull up, remove, exterminate, strip off, dig, gather,’ and Proto-Kartvelian *k’al-, etc. ‘threshing place, threshing floor,’ all without final consonant.

Conclusions: Although there are many semantic parallels, the lack of final consonants in the outside languages makes any further conclusions doubtful concerning possible connections with the PIE roots.


Table 26:   *ghe(R)dh    ‘Desire, seek and choose a bride, pay the bride-price’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*ghedhgh ødh1Be pleasing, await, expect, form a union
*ghedhgh dh2Desire, wish for, wait for, expect  
*ghlendhghlndh3Desire, seek out, glance at, choose, select, fix on
*ghredhghrdh4Pursue, follow, come  
*gheldhgh ldh5Requite, repay, recompense, pay for, atone for

1. *ghedh    ‘Be pleasing, await, expect, form a union’

MycGrk khekh(e)thwohes ‘form a union, or alliance,’ Latv gadu ‘meet, encounter, expect, await, find,’ Fris gadra ‘unite,’ OHG bigatōn ‘come together,’ OE togædere ‘together,’ OCS u-goždǫ ‘be pleasing,’ godū ‘appointed time,’ Ved gádhya-ḥ ‘clutch, embrace, sexual union.’ —LIV 195; IEW 423-24; Whitney 34 (‘attach’); Monier-Williams 344; Bomhard 377; EIEC 64.

2. *gheidh–     ‘Desire, wish for, wait for, expect’

OPrus gieidi ‘waits for,’ sengijdi ‘desires,’ Lith geidžiù ‘wish for, desire,’ OCS židǫ ‘expect, wait for,’ Latv gàidu ‘wait for, expect.’ —LIV 196; IEW 426-27.

3. *ghlendh–     ‘Desire, seek out, glance at, choose, select, fix on’

OIr gleinn ‘inquire, investigate, explore, learn, choose, select, single out, fix on,’ Bret gou-lenn ‘desire,’ di-lenn ‘select, choose,’ Latv glendi ‘seek out,’ Rus gljažú ‘see, look at, glance at.’ —LIV 200; IEW 431; Bomhard 356.

4. *ghreidh    ‘Pursue, follow, come’

OIr in:greinn, in:grennat ‘pursue, follow,’ OCS grędǫ ‘come,’ OIr in:gríastais ‘follow,’ Rus grjadú ‘go, stride.’ —LIV 203; IEW 456-57; Bomhard 384; EIEC 546.

5. *gheldh–     ‘Requite, repay, recompense, pay for, atone for’

Goth -gildan ‘requite, repay, recompense,’ OCS žlědǫ ‘pay for, atone for,’ ORus želedu ‘pay for, atone for,’ ON galt ‘repaid, recompensed, requited,’ OHG in-gelten ‘punish.’    —LIV 197; IEW 436.

In PIE society, after seeking and choosing a marriage partner, it was necessary to pay the bride-price.  Also, when social alliances are ruptured, the only way to re-enter the good graces of the other person is to atone for the wrong done by providing recompense to the injured party. In traditional tribal societies, brides are sometimes stolen from their parents, (most often with the consent of the woman). It is typically the custom, after a cooling-off period, to provide recompense to her father so as to avoid long-term family feuds.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 377 cites Proto-Afrasian *gid-, etc.  ‘press together, join, unite, gather, force, compel,’ Dravidian kiṭṭu, etc. ‘draw near, be on friendly terms with, approach, meet, touch, reach,’ and Altaic gida-, etc. ‘press, crush, stamp, roll flat, compel , quell, defeat, raid, plunder.’

3. Bomhard 356 cites Proto-Afrasian *gal-, etc. ‘be visible, clear, obvious, evident, to look at, be shining, clarify, disclose’ (without final consonant), Dravidian gāḷaka, etc. ‘a good, proper, clever, ingenious man’ (without final dental consonant), Proto-Kartvelian *gal-, etc. ‘to know, be acquainted with, understand’ (without final consonant), and Proto-Altaic *galV, etc. ‘clear sky, sky, shine, glitter, good weather’ (also without final consonant).

4. Bomhard 384 cites Proto-Afrasian *gir-, etc. ‘move, hasten, run, flow, rush, happen, follow’ (without final consonant), Proto-Altaic *gi̯arya-, etc. ‘walk, step, rush, go or come out, walk through’ (without final consonant).

Conclusions: Root #1 shows credible phonetic and semantic parallels to the outside roots and is therefore probably distantly cognate. Roots #3 and #4 lack final consonants, leaving possible root connections uncertain.

Table 27:   *gh(R)ebh     ‘Grab, take, seize, hold’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*ghebhghø bh1Grasp, seize, cause another to grasp (give)
*ghrebhghr bh2Grab, seize, snatch up, devour, take
*ghrebhghrbh3Grip, grasp, seize

1. *ghebh     ‘Grasp, seize, cause another to grasp, i.e. give’

Lat habeō ‘grasp, possess, have,’ Umb habe ‘have,’ OIr gaibid ‘take, take hold of, seize, catch, grasp,’ Goth gabei ‘riches, wealth,’ giban ‘give,’ Lith gebù ‘to be capable’ (capable is literally the ability to catch, take, seize), Pol gabać ‘lay hands on, seize, hold,’ WRus habáć ‘take, grab.’ —LIV 193; IEW 407-09; EIEC 563; Mallory and Adams (2006) 271; Bomhard 349.

Words for give and take often interchange in PIE (Watkins 2011:xxvii).

2. *ghrebh–      ‘Grab, seize, snatch up, devour, take’

Skt gr̥bhnā́ti ‘grabs,’ MHG grabben ‘seize,’ Latv grebju ‘seize,’ OCS grabiti ‘snatch up,’ Hit k(a)rap- ‘devour,’ Av gərəwnāiti ‘takes,’ NE grab (from MDutch). —Mallory and Adams (2006) 271; Watkins (2011) 32; IEW 455-56; EIEC 563; LIV *ghrebh2 201.

3. *ghreibh–       ‘Grip, grasp, seize’

Goth greipan ‘grasp, seize, catch,’ Lith griebiù ‘take hold of, seize,’ ON greipa ‘commit, perpetrate,’ greip ‘grip, hand,’ OE grāp ‘fist, grip,’ NE grip, gripe, grope, OHG grīfan ‘touch, take hold of,’ greifōn ‘grope, touch,’ Latv greībi ‘seize.’ —LIV 203; IEW 457-58; EIEC 564; Mallory and Adams (2006) 272.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 349  cites Afrasian gaba-, etc. ‘hand, arm,’ Dravidian kavar, etc. ‘grasp, catch, steal, receive, desire, seize, plunder.’

Conclusions: Root #1 appears to have valid genetic connections with the other outside language families.


Table 28:   *ge(R)bh–     ‘Womb, vulva, act of conception, embryo, young off-spring’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*grebh-, *gerbhg rbh1Fetus, embryo, child, new born babe, cub, nestling, foal
*gelbhg lbh2Womb, uterus, menstruation, young child or animal, new born
*g()embhg mbh3Womb, vulva, slit, deeply excited, sexual intercourse, depth, to know carnally
*gebhg bh4Dive, covet, seek, female pudenda, vibrate (Proposed root)
*geh1bh– (*gēbh) g h1bh5Something slimy, young animal, woman, wetness, vibrate, emit fluid or liquid
*geh2bh– (*gābh)g h2bh6Dive, plunge, dip, deep, become hard, dye with blood or other colorants

1. *grebh-, *gerbh–     ‘Fetus, embryo, child, foal’

Grk βρέφος ‘babe in the womb, fetus, new born babe, foal, whelp, cub, nestling,’ βρεφόω ‘form into a fetus, engender,’ OCS žrēbę (< *gerbhen-) ‘foal,’ MIr brommach ‘foal.’ —EIEC 615; IEW 485; L&S 329; Monier-Williams 349-50; DELG 186; Bomhard 539.

2. *gelbh–     ‘Womb, uterus, young animal’

OE cilfor-lamb ‘ewe lamb,’ OHG kilbur ‘ewe lamb,’ Grk δελφύς ‘uterus,’ Av gərəbuš– ‘new-born animal,’ δέλφαξ ‘young pig,’ δελφάκειος ‘female pudenda,’ δελφίς ‘dolphin (fish with womb, i.e. mammal),’ and from *golbho– ‘womb, fruit of womb,’ ON kalfr ‘calf,’ OE cealf ‘calf,’ NE calf, OHG chalb, chalp ‘calf,’ Goth kalbō ‘calf,’ Grk (Hesychius) δολφός ‘womb,’ Av garəwa– ‘uterus,’ Skt gárbha- ‘to conceive, womb, uterus, fetus, embryo, child, brood offspring, a woman’s courses.’ —EIEC 615; IEW 473; Watkins (2011) 34; L&S 377-78; DELG 250; de Vries 298; Mallory and Adams (2006) 184; Bomhard 462.

Mallory and Adams write, “The Germanic words suggest an initial *g-, the Grk *gw-. Indo-Iranian is indecisive. The pre-Greek *gw– (attested Grk d-) may owe its labialization to assimilation to the following *bhu-. Conversely the non-labialized initial in Germanic may be dissimilatory. In either case, *gwelbhus would appear to have been at least the late PIE term for ‘womb’.”  

3. *g()embh    ‘Womb, vulva, slit, deep down, sexual intercourse’    

Skt gabhīrá-, gambhīrá– ‘deep,’ gambha-, gámbhan-, gambhára– ‘depth, slit, vulva,’ gambh-vepas ‘moved deeply or inwardly, deeply excited,’ gabhi-shák ‘deeply down, down or within,’ jambh (also jabh) ‘to know carnally,’ Jambhana ‘sexual intercourse.’   —IEW 466; Monier-Williams 346, 348, 412, Mayrhofer gabhá 463.

Jan de Vries (674) places ON vǫmb ‘womb,’ with this root.

4. *geibh–      ‘Dive, covet, female pudenda, vibrate’ (Proposed root)

TochA kip ‘female pudenda,’ TochB kwīpe ‘female pudenda,’ Lat uibrō ‘vibrate,’ Grk δῑφ-άω ‘dive, covet, seek.’ —Watkins (2000) 2030; OLD 2054; Fortson 282-83, 402-3; AHD 1915; LIV 671; IEW 1132; DELG 275; Autenrieth 78; Fitzgerald 400; L&S 438; Adams, s.vv. “kwīpe, kwipe, onkipṣe.”

For the semantics of Grk δῑφάω ‘dive,’ compare *geh2bh– below. AHD defines vibrate as: “1. To move back and forth or to and fro, especially rhythmically and rapidly. 2. To feel a quiver of emotion.” OLD defines uibrō as “1b. To cause parts of one’s body to move to and fro.” It then quotes examples of this word’s usage by classical authors in the context of explicit sexual movement.

Watkins (2000) postulated a root, *ghwībh, that included the Tocharian attestations listed here along with Germanic *wībam ‘woman, wife.’ That suggestion is not accepted here (see discussion of the idea in Adams s.v. “kwipassorñe”), and in fact, it does not reappear later in Watkins (2011). PIE *g typically became k- in TochA, and kw- in TochB. PIE *bh became p- in both TochA and TochB. The root that I propose here satisfies both of those equations, along with the attested resonant, i-.

Watkins is probably correct, however, in his interpretation of TochA kip ‘shame’ and TochB kwipe ‘shame’ as denoting the female pudenda. The sexual organs are referred to as “shame” both in Latin pudenda, which derives from pudor ‘a feeling of shame,’ pudendus ‘shameful, disgraceful, scandalous, the genitals,’ and in German Scham ‘shame, modesty, chastity, genitals.’ Tocharian B makes this connection explicit in kwipe-ike ‘penis’ (literally ‘shame-place’). It would not be unreasonable to assume that this designation applied equally (or originally?) to the female genitals, since that is the case in both the Latin and German examples already mentioned. It would, however, probably be a mistake to understand the original use of the word shame in this connection with the general use of that word in modern English where it suggests a feeling of self-recrimination or guilt for some evil committed. In ancient or more tribal societies, a better translation would be something like taboo. I follow Watkins in his gloss for Toch kip and kwīpe as ‘female pudenda.’

Watkins (2000, 2011) derives Eng vibrate (Lat uibrō) from the PIE root *u̯eip. LIV does not include Lat  uibrō in its listing of verbs derived from *u̯eip, probably because of semantic differences and because PIE *p- would normally remain p- in Latin, and not become b- as in uibrō. The expected outcome of PIE *bhis Latin b-, and PIE *g became simply u̯-, precisely as attested in Lat uibrō.

Grk δῑφάω ‘dive’ is a word with unknown etymology (see DELG 275). Autenrieth, A Homeric Dictionary, translates it as ‘dive after.’ Fitzgerald, in his translation of Homer’s Iliad (16.747) gives ‘diving.’ Liddell and Scott define δῑφάω as ‘search after’, but then cite the above passage from Homer, where the meaning is clearly to dive into the sea in order to collect oysters. Hesiod uses the same word to mean something like “covet.” Evelyn-White translates this line from Hesiod with the phrase “to be after.” The passage runs, “Do not let a flaunting woman coax and cozen and deceive you: she is after your barn.”

Phonetically, the form of δῑφ-άω is parallel to Grk δελφ-ύς ‘uterus,’ with substitution of the resonant /i/ for the resonant /l/.

It should be unnecessary to spell out the common semantic link between the three attestations of this proposed root (dive, female pudenda, vibrate). Nevertheless, stated very bluntly, the action required for a man to engender a child is to dive into the female pudendum and move in a vibrating motion.

It should be noted that this proposed root, along with the following two roots, constitute a trio of parallel forms (*geibh, *gēbh, *gābh), all with identical consonantal structure. They also appear to share a common semantic value (sex organs and sex act), that, significantly, are referenced obliquely in all three cases. This is, no doubt, due to the emotional charge associated with this semantic field, and can be explained as the result of taboo deformation.  

5. *geh1bh(*gēbh-)    ‘Something slimy, young animal, woman, wetness, vibrate, emit fluid’

OSax quappa ‘eel pout,’ MHG quappe ‘tadpole, belly,’ ON kvap ‘something slimy or  gelatinous’ (IEW 466), Swed-dial (s)kvebba ‘fat woman,’ NE quab ‘bog, mire,’ NE quaver ‘shake, vibrate,’ Norw-dial kvapa ‘emit a fluid or liquid,’ Old Prussian gabawo ‘toad’ (but see below), OCS žaba ‘toad.’ —Watkins (2011) 34; IEW 466; A. Christenson, K’iche’ – English Dictionary, sv. t’ot’; Kluge s.v. “Quappe,” 572; New Cassell’s German Dictionary, s.v. “Kröte,” 280; Nesselmann, s.v. “gabawo,” 41.

6.  *geh2bh– (*gābh-)    ‘Dive, plunge, deep, become hard, dye with blood or other colorants’

ON kafa ‘dive, plunge,’ kvefja ‘dip, submerge, OSwed kvaf ‘depth,’ Grk βάπτω ‘dip, plunge, dip a sword into a liquid in order to temper the steel, become hard, to dye, to dye someone with their own blood (cutting by sword), draw water by dipping.’  —Watkins (2011) 34; IEW 465-66; LIV 205; EIEC 160; DELG 156; L&S 305-306; Mallory and Adams (2006) 403.

The Greek tragedies use the word, βάπτω, to describe a “sword tempered in blood” (DELG 156). At an early date this term was applied to the dyeing process, i.e., dipping yarn into dyeing vats. Much later, in Christian times, it was used to signify religious baptism.

Both of these last two roots have uncertain but plausible semantic relationships to “womb, vulva, embryo, sexual intercourse” as seen in the other roots of this resonant series. The root, *gābh,shares the concept deep with *g()embh, and the notion of “dive” with*geibh.  The root,*gēbh, shares the notion of “young animal” (in this case, tadpole), with*grebh and *gelbh. The variations in vowel length and vowel color can again be accounted for by taboo deformation given the obvious sexual references in this resonant series as a whole.

Vulgar slang for the female vulva in the unrelated K’iche’ Maya language is t’ot’ ‘snail’. This refers to the sticky, slimy, mucus-covered smooth tissue of both vulva and snail. It may be that the reference here to “slimy” and to “eel pouts and tadpoles” (the young of frogs and toads) fulfills a similar function in PIE.

The semantic value “toad” for the root,*gēbh, is based on Old Prussian gabawo, and Slavic  žaba, both glossed ‘Kröte’ in Nesselmann’s Thesaurus Linguae Prussicae, which was the source for the citation in Pokorny and others. While the primary meaning of German Kröte is ‘toad,’ a secondary meaning is ‘woman.’  The New Cassell’s German Dictionary defines Kröte as: “toad, malicious person; bitch; jade, wench… (vulg.) niedliche kleine Kröte, pretty wench.”

Obviously German is not Old Prussian, and in any case it is difficult to know how far back in time the association can be traced, but nevertheless this instance constitutes an additional case parallel to the vulgar slang of K’iche’ t’ot’ where the vulva is represented by a slimy animal.

“Plunge” and “deep” may also share semantic value with the concepts of “womb” and “vulva,” as the reproductive process of conception requires that the man plunge deeply. The first primitive human experience with dye and dyeing (staining) undoubtedly involved the female menses, and these are also referenced in *gelbh (“a woman’s courses”). In that connection, the concept “dye with blood” is explicit in the historic use of Grk βάπτω where it can also mean “cut with sword” (L&S 306). The root, *gēbh, carries notions of “woman,” “moist place,” “shake, vibrate,” and emitting a fluid.” These can all reasonably be taken for oblique references to the reproductive organs in the act of conceiving a child. Vibrating movement is a concept that is also shared with *geibh.

It is evident that *gābh and *gēbh share many of the semantic values that are exhibited by this resonant series as a whole, and which are concerned with “womb, uterus, young animal, engendering, conception, and menstruation.” Certainly the other four roots (*gerbh, *gelbh, *g(u̯)embh, and *geibh) function in this way.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 539  cites Afrasian k’warb, etc. ‘midst, inward part, female genitalia, intestines, interior of the body,’ Dravidian karu, etc. (without final consonant) ‘fetus, embryo, egg, germ, young of animal, womb, yolk, pregnant.’

2. Bomhard 462 cites Afrasian k’al-, etc. (without final consonant) ‘to give birth, beget, son, male child, young of animals, to be pregnant.’

Conclusions: In root #1 the phonetic and semantic parallels to the Afrasian forms are strong, suggesting an ancient genetic connection. In root #2 the phonetic divergence (lack of final consonant) leaves the possibility of root connections inconclusive.

Table 29:   *ge(R)    ‘Go, come’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*geh2g h2 1Stride, go
*gem-g m 2Go, move, go away, set out, hurry, come

1. *geh2–     ‘Stride, go’

Ved jígāti ‘strides, go quickly,’ Arm eki ‘I went,’ Grk βίβας ‘stride, cause to go,’ Av gāṯ ‘goes,’ Latv gāju ‘went.’ —LIV 205; IEW 463-64; Monier-Williams 420; L&S 315; EIEC 115.

2. *gem-     ‘Go, move, go away, set out, hurry, come’

Ved gácchati ‘go, move, go away, set out, come,’ Alb n-gah ‘go free, hurry,’ Grk βαίνω ‘go,’ Lat ueniō ‘come,’ TochB kekamu ‘has come,’ Ved gámaya ‘bring,’ Goth qiman ‘come,’ OHG queman ‘come.’ —LIV 209; IEW 464-65; Monier-Williams 346-47; EIEC 115.

EIEC calls these two roots “ancient variants”.


Table 30:   *g(u̯)he(R)s–     ‘To be delighted, glad, charmed, pleased, happy, laughing’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*g(u̯)hers-g(u̯)h rs1Rapture, delight, pleasure, happiness, joyfulness, cheerfulness
*g(u̯)hes-g(u̯)h øs2Laugh, smile, laugh at, mirth, laughter, jest, joke, fun

1.  *g(u̯)hers-     ‘Rapture, delight, pleasure, happiness, joyfulness, cheerfulness’

Ved hárṣate ‘bristling of the hair in a thrill of rapture or delight, pleasure, happiness,’ harṣin ‘joyful, rejoicing, delighting,’ harṣula ‘disposed to be cheerful or happy, delighted.’ —LIV 198; IEW 445-46; Monier-Williams 1292-93.

2. *g(u̯)hes-     ‘Laugh, smile, mirth, laughter, fun’

Ved jákṣat ‘laughing,’ Late Ved hasati ‘laugh, smile, laugh at,’ hása ‘mirth, laughter,’ hāsa ‘laughing, laughter, mirth, jest, joke, fun.’ —LIV 199; Monier-Williams 407, 1294.


Table 31:   *h1(R)es-    ‘Moisture, mist, wetness, dew, rain, urine’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h1u̯es-h1 s1Fine mist, moist ground, tree sap, libation
*h1u̯ers-h1rs2Rain, dew, urine, rainfall, rained upon
*h1res, *h1ers-h1r s3Liquid, moisture, dew, dew covered, rain

1. *h1u̯es-     ‘Fine mist, moist ground, tree sap, juice, libation’

Umb vestikatu ‘offer a libation,’ OE wōs ‘juice, broth, NDutch waas ‘layer of mist or fine drops,’ OHG wasal ‘moist ground,’ Latv vasa ‘forest with wet ground,’ ievasa ‘moisture, tree sap.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 347; EIEC 639; IEW 1171-72.

2. *h1u̯ers-     ‘Rain, dew, urine’

Grk ἐέρση ‘dew,’ οὐρέω ‘urinate,’ Hit warsa ‘rainfall,’ Skt várṣati ‘rains,’ Av aibi-varšta ‘rained upon.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 126; LIV 291 (*h2u̯ers-); IEW 80-81; EIEC 477; Bomhard 721.

3. *h1ers-, *h1res-     ‘Liquid, moisture, dew, rain’

Lat rōs ‘dew,’ Lith rasà dewy, dew covered,’ OCS rosa ‘dew,’ Alb resh ‘it rains,’ Av Raŋha (river name) ‘Volga,’ Skt rása- ‘liquid, moisture.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 346; IEW 336; EIEC 638.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 721 cites Afrasian ḥwi, etc. (without final sibilant) ‘surge up, overflow, rain, flood, moisture;’ Dravidian vaṟṟu, etc. (without final sibilant) ‘inundation, flood, torrent, deluge, torrential rain.’

Conclusions: Lack of final sibilants in Bomhard’s proposed outside connections leave the possibility of genetic afiliations uncertain.

Table 32:   *h1e(R)-    ‘To go’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h1eh1  1Go
*h1el-h1 l 2Go, drive, go out, go up
*h1er-h1 r 3Go, come, set in motion, move, go toward
*h1er-s-h1 r 4Go, move, go astray, wander about, flow

1. *h1ei-      ‘Go’

Lat ‘go,’ Goth iddja ‘went,’ Lith eimi ‘go,’ OCS iti ‘go,’ Grk εῖμι ‘will go,’ Hit yanzi ‘they go,’ Av aēiti ‘goes,’ Skt éti ‘goes,’ TochB yaṃ ‘go,’ TochA yiñc ‘to go.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 395-96; LIV 232; IEW 293-96; Bomhard 666.

2. *h1el-     ‘Go, drive, go out, go up’

MWels el ‘may go,’ Grk ελαύνω ‘drive,’ Arm eli ‘I went out, went up,’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 397; LIV *h1elh2– 235; IEW 306-07; EIEC 228.

3. *h1er-     ‘Go, come, set in motion, move, go toward, arrive’

Grk ἔρχομαι ‘go, come,’ ὁρμάω ‘to set in motion, start, go for, go after,’ Ved ṛicchati, ṛiṇoti ‘to go, move, rise, go toward,’ Hit āraskizzi ‘reach, arrive, get to.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 391, 394; LIV 238; IEW 326-29; Monier-Williams 223; L&S 1252-53; EIEC 506.

4. *h1er-s-     ‘Go, move, go astray, wander about, flow’

Lat errō ‘go astray, wander about, roam, ramble, to move in an uncertain direction, wander from the course,’ OHG irran ‘lead astray,’ Hit āraszi ‘flow,’ Ved árṣati ‘go, move, rush, push, flow, move with a quick motion.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 394; OLD 618; LIV 241; IEW 336-37; Monier-Williams 226; EIEC 206-7.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 666 cites Afrasian ii, ei, yi?, ya, etc. ‘come, go, arrive at, went;’ Dravidian iyaṅku, etc. ‘move, stir, go, proceed, walk about, break in, marching, go on foot, lead, proceed, way, path, drive cattle, approach reach;’ Chuk-Kamch. jet, etc. ‘come, arrive, appear.’

Conclusions: Connections of root #1 with outside language families is probable.

Table 33:   *h1(R)edh    ‘Come, grow, spring forth, originate’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h1ledh–    h1ldh1Grow, sprout, ascend, come, grow up
*h1nedh–    h1n dh2Come, arise, grow, spring forth
*Hu̯eRdhHRdh3Grow, strengthen, increase, thrive

1. *h1leu̯dh    ‘Grow, sprout, ascend, come, grow up’

Ved ródhati ‘sprout, shoot, grow,’ rodha ‘sprouting, growing, ascending, moving upwards,’ Goth liudan ‘grow, grow up,’ OSax lōd ‘has grown,’ TochB lac ‘surpass, exceed, go beyond,’ YAv raoδəṇti ‘grow,’ Grk ἤλυθον ‘came.’ —LIV 248; IEW 306-07, 684-85; Monier-Williams 884; EIEC 248; Benveniste 261-64.

2. *h1nedh–     ‘Come, arise, grow, spring forth’

Grk ἐνθεῖν ‘come,’ ἐνήνοθε ‘grow, arise from, originate, spring forth,’ —LIV 249; IEW 40-41; L&S 617.

3. *Hu̯eRdh–     ‘Grow, strengthen, increase, thrive’

Ved vr̥dhánt ‘increase, augment, strengthen, thrive, grow, grow up,’ OAv varədaitī ‘become stronger,’ Ved várdhate ‘grow, strengthen,’ YAv varəδaiiete ‘strengthen.’   —LIV 228; IEW 1167; Monier-Williams 1010; Bomhard 804.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

3. Bomhard 804 cites Afrasian *war-am, etc. ‘raise, elevate, grow, increase, swell,’ Dravidian varai, etc. ‘mountain, peak, slope of hill,’ Uralic vaar, etc. ‘hill or mountain, forest, provide, fortify.’

Conclusions: Except for Afrasian, the semantic parallels to PIE are tenuous at best. The lack of final consonants in the roots cited further weakens possible connections with the PIE root.

Table 34:   *h1e(R)s–     ‘To be, to be at rest, to sit’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h1eh1s-h1 h1s1Sit, stay, remain
*h1es-h1 øs2Am, is, are, was, were

1. *h1eh1s-     ‘Sit, stay, remain’

Hit ēsa ‘sit,’ āszi ‘stays, remains, is left,’ Ved ā́ste ‘sit,’ YAv ā̊ŋhāire ‘sit,’ Grk ἧσται ‘sit.’     —LIV 232; IEW 342-43; EIEC 522; Mallory and Adams (2006) 368; Bomhard 640.

Mallory and Adams (2006:296) write, “[This root] appears to be an intensive of *h1es- ‘be’ (one might note that Spanish employs both the original verbs ‘be’ and ‘sit’ in its paradigm for ‘be’).”

2. *h1es-     ‘Am, is, are, was, were’

Hit ēszi ‘is, are,’ CLuv āsta ‘was, were,’ Ved ásti ‘is, are,’ Arm em ‘am,’ Grk στί ‘is, are,’ Lat est ‘is,’ OIr is ‘is,’ Goth ist, sind ‘is, are,’ OLith esmì, ēsti ‘am, is.’ —LIV 241;  IEW 340-41; Mallory and Adams (2006) 296.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 640 cites Proto-Afrasian *ʔasy, etc. ‘put, place, set, sit, be seated, strengthen, fortify, found, establish,’ Proto-Uralic *asye-, etc. ‘place, put, set, reside, dwell, position, place, station, found, establish.’

Conclusions: Root connections to the Afrasian and Uralic forms are plausible.

Table 35:   *h1(R)ed    ‘Wish, long for, desire, love, cherish’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h1u̯eld-h1ld1Wish, long for, desire
*Hleh2d-Hlh2d2Love, cherish, wish, desire

1. *h1u̯eld-     ‘Wish, long for, desire’

Grk έλδομαι ‘wish, long for, eager to reach, desire, be welcome,’ λδωρ ‘wish, longing, desire.’ —LIV 254; IEW 1137; L&S 530.

2. *Hleh2d-     ‘Love, cherish, wish, desire’

Rus ládyj ‘dear,’ láda ‘wife,’ TochB lāre ‘dear,’ Arm alalem ‘love, caress,’ Skt lādayate ‘cherish, foster, wish, desire,’ Lyc lada ‘wife.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) (*hxlehad-) 343; Monier-Williams 895.

Table 36:   *h1e(R)k     ‘Suffer, feel terrible, be hungry, die’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h1e( )h1  ( 1To die  
*h1elkh1 lk2To hunger, to be bad, to be evil, empty stomach

1. *h1e( i)   ‘To die’

Hit āki ‘die,’ ākkis ‘has died.’ —LIV 234.

2. *h1elk-     ‘To hunger, to be bad, to be evil, to be on an empty stomach’

Lith álkstu (álkti) ‘to hunger,’ OCS lačǫ (lakati) ‘to hunger,’ OIr olc ‘bad,’ ON illr ‘evil, bad,’ OPrus alkīns ‘on an empty stomach.’ —LIV 235; IEW 307.


Table 37:   *h2(R)eg̑-    ‘Take care of (animals?), tend, to milk, gather, clean’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h2le()h2l ()1Look after, care for, give careful attention to
*h2melg̑-h2ml2Squeeze out, press out, milk animals  
*h2merg̑-h2mr3Squeeze out, gather up, wipe clean, graze animals
*h2reh1()h2rh1()4Help, aid, support, be concerned about, care for

1. *h2le()   ‘Look after, care for, give careful attention to, gather up’
Grk αλέγω ‘to mind, look after, care for,’ Lat -legō, legere ‘look after, care for,’ dīligens ‘fond of, careful, attentive, diligent,’ dīligentia ‘carefulness, attentiveness, give careful attention to,’ legō ‘gather up, count up, follow the track of.’ —LIV 276; IEW 658; L&S 61; OLD 543-44, 1014.

2. *h2melg̑-      ‘Squeeze out, press out, milk animals’

Grk ἀμέλγω ‘squeeze out, press out, to milk,’ MIr bligim ‘to milk’ (< mligim), OE melcan, OHG melchan ‘to milk,’ Lith mélžu ‘to milk,’ Alb mjel ‘to milk,’ Lat mulgeō ‘to milk,’ TochA mālk ‘milk.’ —LIV 279; IEW 722-23; Mallory and Adams (2006) 261-62; L&S 80; Bomhard 850.

3. *h2merg̑-    ‘To squeeze out, gather up, harvest, touch, wipe clean, graze animals’

Grk ἀμέργω ‘squeeze out, pluck, gather, harvest,’ ὀμόργνυμι ‘wipe off,’ ἀμοργός ‘press out,’ ἀμόργη ‘the liquid that runs out when olives are pressed’ (also Lat amurga, amurka), Ved mā́rṣṭi ‘wipe off, clean,’ YAv marəzaiti ‘touch, strip off, take off,’ Arm meržem ‘expel, drive cattle out to graze.’ —LIV 280; IEW 738; Mallory and Adams (2006) 169; L&S 81, 1227; OLD 125; EIEC 258.

4. *h2reh1()    ‘Help, aid, support, be concerned about, pay attention to, care for’

Grk άρήγω ‘help, aid, succor, be good for, ward off,’ ON røkja ‘to be concerned,’ pay attention to, take care of,’ OHG ruoh, ruohha ‘pay attention to, take trouble for, care, attention, conscientiousness,’ NE reck- (opposite of reckless ‘carelessness’). —LIV 284; IEW 857; L&S 238; de Vries 457.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 850 cites Proto-Afrasian *mal-, etc. ‘draw out, squeeze out, suck out, suckle, nurse,’ Uralic *mälke- etc. ‘breast, chest,’ Eskimo *malak, etc. ‘upper part of breast, chest, suck (breasts), nipple, milk.’

Conclusions: Despite the lack of final consonant in the Afrasian terms, credible parallels are found in the Uralic and Eskimo words compared by Bomhard, suggesting the probability of ancient root connections.

Table 38:   *h2e(R)g-    ‘To set oneself in motion, grow’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*Heg-H g1Go, move, agitate, shake
*h2u̯erg-h2rg2Turn, move downward, throw oneself
*h2eu̯g-h2 g3Grow, enlarge, increase

1. *Heig-     ‘Go, move, agitate, shake’

Ved iṅgáyati ‘to go toward, move, agitate, shake,’ éjati ‘stir, move, tremble, shake,’      —LIV 222; IEW 13-14; Monier-Williams 164, 231.

2. *h2u̯erg-     ‘Turn around, move downward, throw oneself’

Ved várk ‘to turn around,’ Lat vergō ‘to move as on a downward slope,’ Dutch werkan ‘to throw oneself,’ OCS vrěšti ‘throw.’ —LIV 290; IEW 1154; OLD 2036.

3. *h2eu̯g-     ‘Grow, enlarge, increase’

Goth aukan ‘increase, enlarge,’ Lith áugu ‘grow,’ Lat auxi ‘increased, enlarged,’ augeō ‘increase in quantity or size, enlarge, extend, swell, to grow,’ Av uxšyeiti ‘grows,’ Skt úkṣati ‘strengthens,’ TochB auk- ‘grow, increase,’ NE wax. —LIV 274; IEW 84-85; OLD 212; Balg 36; EIEC 452; Mallory and Adams (2006) 190; NIL 328; Bomhard 722.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

3. Bomhard 722 cites Proto-Kartvelian *xwaw-, etc. ‘heap, pile, flock, much, many, multitude.’

Conclusions: Possible but uncertain connection to PIE.

Table 39:   *h2e(R)k-   ‘Have, defend, protect’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h2erk-h2 rk1Have, hold, retain, control, ward off, defend
*h2elk-h2 lk2Ward off, protect, defend, help, avenge wrongs

1. *h2erk-     ‘Have hold, retain, control, ward off, defend’

Hit harzi, harkanzi ‘have, hold, keep, retain,’ Lat arceō ‘keep close, contain, hold in, control, prevent from approaching, keep away, repulse, protect,’ arca ‘box, chest,’ Grk  ἀρκέω ‘ward off, defend, keep off, assist,’ Arm argehum ‘hinder, restrain, hold back.’     —LIV 273; IEW 65-66; OLD 162; Mallory and Adams (2006) 271; DELG 105; L&S 242; EIEC 270.

2. *h2elk-     ‘Ward off, protect, defend, help, avenge wrongs’

Grk ἄλαλκε ‘ward off, keep off,’ Ἀλαλκ-ομενηῑ’ς ‘Protectress’ (epithet of Athena), ἄλκαρ ‘safeguard, defense,’ ἀλκή ‘strength, strength to avert danger, defense, help,’ ἀλκ-τήρ ‘one who wards off, protector, helping, healing,’ Lat ulcīscor ‘inflict retribution, take revenge, avenge wrongs,’ Goth alhs ‘temple,’ Lith aĨkas ‘sacred grove.’ —LIV 264; IEW 32; Mallory and Adams (2006) 281; Balg 19; L&S 67; DELG 55-56; OLD 2083.

Table 40:   *h2e(R)    ‘Take as one’s own, receive an allotment or share’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*Hei̯ḱH 1Take, seize, lay hold of, receive, accept, possess, own
*h2enh2 n2Hand over, allocate, present, portion, part, share, allotment

1. *Hei     ‘Take, seize, lay hold of, receive, accept, possess, own’

Oss īs ‘take, seize, appropriate, capture, lay hold of, receive, accept,’ TochB aiśtär ‘recognize, perceive, apprehend, know,’ Ved ī’śe ‘have at one’s disposal,’ Goth aih, aigun ‘possess, own, hold, occupy.’ —LIV 223; IEW 298-99; Mallory and Adams (2006) (*haei̯k̑) 271.

2. *h2en    ‘Hand over, allocate, present, portion, part, share, allotment’

Hit hikzi ‘assign, allot, allocate, distribute, apportion to, hand over, present,’ Ved áṁśa ‘portion, part, share, allotment,’ Grk ἀνάγκη ‘necessity.’ —LIV 268; IEW 45, 318; Mallory and Adams (2006) (*h2/3enk̑) 270.

Table 41:   *h2e(R)-s–     ‘Fire, heat, dry out, burn, altar, blaze’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h2eu̯-s-h2 -s1Kindle a fire, give fire to a neighbor, apply fire to smoke out bees
*h2eh1-s-h2 h1-s2Hearth, altar, dry up, suffer from thirst, wither, be parched
*h2eh1h2 h1 3Fire, burn, be hot, kiln, with derivatives meaning ash, fire, heat of day
*h2el-h2 l 4Burn a sacrifice, altar, blaze, flare up, firebrand, coal

1. *h2eu̯s-     ‘Kindle a fire, give fire to a neighbor, apply fire to smoke out bees’    

Grk αὔω ‘get a light, light a fire, take fire,’ Grk Att -αῦσαι ‘light a fire,’ ναύω ‘kindle a fire, light a fire, give a light (as was the duty of a neighbor), apply fire (to smoke out bees).’ —LIV 275; IEW 90; L&S 285, 557.

2. *h2eh1s-     ‘Hearth, altar, dry up, suffer from thirst, wither, be parched’

TochB asāre ‘dry up, wither, desiccate,’ Lat āreō ‘to be dry or parched, to be withered from lack of moisture, to suffer from thirst, be dry,’ TochA asatär, TochB osotär ‘dry up, wither, desiccate,’ Lat āra ‘altar,’ Hit hāssa ‘hearth.’ —LIV 257; IEW 68; OLD 166; Bomhard 717.

LIV suggests that this root is an extension of the following (see *h2eh1s-, note 1; and *h2eh1-, note 1).

3. *h2eh1–     ‘Fire, burn, kiln, with derivatives meaning ash, fire, heat of day’

Palaic hāri, hānta ‘to burn, to be hot,’ Av āt(ə)r– ‘fire,’ OIr āith ‘kiln.’ —LIV 257; Mallory and Adams (2006) 67, 124.

4. *h2el-     ‘Burn a sacrifice, altar, blaze, flare up, firebrand, coal’

Lat altar ‘altar,’ adoleō ‘burn a sacrifice,’ Swed ala ‘blaze, flare up,’ Skt alātam ‘firebrand, coal.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 124; IEW 28; Bomhard 739.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 717 cites Afrasian ḥasḥasa, etc. ‘place meat on the coals, roast,’ Uralic *äsз- ‘to heat, to ignite,’ Proto-Altaic *ase- ‘catch fire, hot, burn, ignite, warm, heat, hot wind.’

4. Bomhard 739 cites Afrasian *ʕal-aw/y- ‘burn, burnt offering, make a fire, ignite, kindle, catch fire.’

Conclusions: Both semantically and phonetically these outside roots parallel the PIE forms, suggesting that the two resonant variants here were formed while still in contact with the Afrasian, Uralic, and Altaic families.


Table 42:   *h3(R)ed     ‘Hate, be angry at, blame, abhor, detest, despise’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*h3ed-h3  d1Hate, be angry at, be terrible  
*h3ned-h3nd2Mock, blame, abhor, detest, hate, despise

1. *h3ed-     ‘Hate, be angry at, be terrible’

Lat ōdī ‘to hate,’ odium ‘hate, hatred,’ OE atol ‘atrocious,’ Grk ὀδύσσασθαι ‘be angry at, hate,’ Arm ateam ‘hate,’ Hit hatukzi ‘is terrible.’ —LIV 296; IEW 773; Mallory and Adams (2006) 344; Bomhard 719.

2. *h3nei̯d-     ‘Mock, blame, abhor, detest, hate, despise’

Ved nidāná ‘blame, criticize, reprimand,’ nid ‘mocking, ridiculing, contempt, mocker, blamer, scoffer, enemy,’ Lith níedu ‘abhor, abominate, detest,’ Latv nîdu ‘hate,’ Arm anēc ‘curse, damn, execrate,’ Goth naitjan ‘abuse, revile, despise.’ —LIV 303; IEW 760-61; Mallory and Adams (2006) 344; Monier-Williams 547-48; EIEC 313.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 719 cites Afrasian ḥaṭā ‘to shake,’ Dravidian atir, etc. ‘shake, quake, tremble, be startled, alarmed, roar of beasts, fear, shiver.’

Conclusions: The semantics are distant and genetic connections doubtful unless one can accept the semantic development from “fear” to “hate.”


Table 43:   *e(R)k-   ‘Shell, pebble, limestone pebble’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*ork-ā- rk1Gravel, grit, pebble on the sea-shore  
*onk-haos nk2Mussel shell, conch shell (commonly used as pendants)
*elk- lk3Hypothetical root to account for Latin calx ‘limestone, pebble, rubble’
*eu̯k- k4Shine, glow, mussel, pearl oyster, mother of pearl, cockle

1. *ork-ā-     ‘Gravel, grit, pebble on the sea-shore’

Skt śárkarā ‘gravel, grit, pebbles,’ Grk κροκáλη ‘pebble on the sea-shore.’ —IEW 615; Moiner-Williams 1058; L&S 997; EIEC 547-48.

2. *onk-     ‘Mussel shell, conch shell’

ON hengja ‘hang,’ Hitt kānki ‘hang, suspend.’ Extended form *k̑onk-haos ‘mussel and any related shellfish’ (presumably from conch or cowrie shells used as pendants), Grk κόγχος ‘mussel shell, conch shell,’ Skt śaṅká ‘(conch) shell.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 150, 388, 439 (indicating that *onkhaos is derived from *onk-); LIV 325; Watkins (2011) 45; IEW 566, 614; L&S 966; AHD 382; de Vries 222; Bomhard 601 (hang).

3. *elk-     ‘Proposed hypothetical root to account for Lat calx, calk-is

Lat calx, calkis ‘lime, limestone, pebble (> NE “calculate,” from the small stone, probably limestone, used in reckoning; also “calcium”), calculōsus ‘full of pebbles, pebbly,’ calculus ‘a small stone or pebble, stone or gravel in the bladder or kidney, a pebble used in making calculations or on a counting board,’ Poss. Grk χάλιξ, χάλικος ‘small stone, pebble, rubble and mortar used to make concrete.’ —L&S 1972; OLD 261-62; AHD 262, 267; DELG 1198-99; EIEC 287.

Note that Limestone is derived from the shells of crustaceans like mussels, snails, and conches that are frequently referred to in the other roots in this resonant-series.                                          

4. *eu̯k-     ‘Shine, glimmer, mussel, pearl oyster, mother of pearl, cockle shell’

Skt śócati ‘glow, shine, glimmer,’ śukti ‘mussel, pearl oyster, mother of pearl, a small shell or cockle.’ —LIV 331; IEW 597; Monier-Williams 1080; EIEC 514.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 601 cites Afrasian šankala ‘to hook up, peg, hook,’ Dravidian cuṅku, etc. ‘end of cloth left hanging out in dressing, pleat, or fold of garment, the end of a garment, cloth, dangling tatter.’

Conclusions: Semanticly and phonetically this PIE root shows credible parallels to the Afrasian and Dravidian forms, suggesting ancient genetic connections.

Table 44:   *e(R)-    ‘Cover, conceal, coat’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*el- l 1Cover, conceal, cloth garment
*em- m 2Cover, shirt, wool coat
*er- r 3Cover of hair, coat of hair

1. *el-     ‘Cover, conceal, cloth garment’

OIr ceilid ‘conceals, dissembles,’ Lat cēlō ‘conceal,’ occulō (<*ob-kelō) ‘cover, hide,’ ON hylja ‘to cover,’ OE helan ‘to conceal,’ OHG helan ‘to conceal,’ Goth huljan ‘to cover,’ OSax bi-hellian ‘cover, veil, wrap up,’ Ved śárman ‘shelter, cover, protection,’ śarmara ‘garment, cloth.’ —IEW 553-54; EIEC 134; Mallory and Adams (2006) 380; LIV 322; Monier-Williams 1058; L&S 871.

2. *em-     ‘Cover, coat’

Late Lat camīsia ‘linen shirt, nightgown,’ ON hamr ‘skin, slough,’ hams ‘snake’s slough, husk,’ OE hama ‘dress, covering,’ ham ‘undergarment, hemeð ‘shirt,’ Skt śāmūla ‘thick woolen shirt,’ śamī- ‘pod, legume,’ Bret kamps ‘a ceremonial coat warn at the mass.’ —IEW 556; EIEC 134; Mallory and Adams 379; Bomhard 567.

3. *er-     ‘Cover of hair, coat of hair’

Eng hair, Lith šr̃ys ‘bristle, animal hair,’ Rus šerstȋ ‘wool, animal hair,’ Latv sari ‘bristle,’ Rus-CSlav sьrstь ‘wool,’ Slov sȓst ‘animal hair.’ —IEW 583; Mallory and Adams (2006) 178; Bomhard 598.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 567 cites Proto-Afrasian *kam ‘to cover, hide, conceal, cloak,’ Proto-Kartvelian qaml̥, etc. ‘skin of sheep or goat, shoe,’ Proto-Uralic *kama, etc. ‘peel, skin, surface, crust, scalp, rind, fish scale,’ Eskimo *qəmtəq, etc. ‘roof, ceiling, be filled to the brim, become high tide, attic, upper floor.’

3. Bomhard 598 cites Afrasian (Hebrew) śēʕār, etc. ‘hair, fur, pelt, wool, bristle, straw, grass, comb,’ Dravidian īrppi, etc. ‘nit, to comb out nits, lice, comb for removing nits.’

Conclusions: The phonetics and semantics are close, suggesting that these two resonant variants were created while PIE was still in contact with the outside language families.

Table 45:   *e(R)s-      ‘Praise, predict, tell, teach, announce’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*eNs- Ns1Praise, predict, tell, teach, show, announce
*eHs- Hs2Praise, predict, tell, teach, announce, proclaim

1. *eNs-     ‘Praise, predict, tell, teach, show, announce’

Ved śáṁsati ‘recite, repeat an invocation, praise, extol, relate, say, tell, report, announce, predict,’ OAv səṇhaitī ‘announce, proclaim, preach, prophesy,’ MCymr dan-gos- ‘show, demonstrate,’ Lat cēnseō ‘give an opinion, recommend, decide, decree, assess.’ —LIV 326; IEW 566; Monier-Williams 1043-44; OLD 297; Benveniste 424-27.

2. *eHs-     ‘Praise, predict, tell, teach, announce, proclaim’

Ved śā́ssi ‘chastise, correct, censure, control, rule, direct, bid, order, teach, instruct, inform, announce, proclaim, predict, foretell, praise, commend,’ OAv sāstī ‘instruct, teach,’ Alb thom ‘say,’ rrëfen ‘tell, confess, admit, tell the truth.’ —LIV 318; IEW 533; Monier-Williams 1068.

Whitney (1885:172) states that these two roots are “apparently related.”


Table 46:   *k(R)ep-, *ke(R)p-   ‘Womb, vulva, uterus, vibrate, sexual excitement’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*kep-k p1Desire, covet, shake, tremble, vibrate, be in a passion, vulva
*kelp-klp2Womb, vagina, gulf, arched or vaulted ceiling
*krep-kr p4Body, belly, womb, uterus, midriff  
*k()emp-k(u̯)mp5Tremble, shake, quiver, vibrate  

1. *kep-     ‘Desire, covet, vibrate, be in a passion’

ON hjúfa ‘moan,’ Skt kupyati ‘shake, tremble, thrill, vibrate, to be moved, be excited, be agitated, be in a passion,’ Lat cupiō ‘wish, want, desire,’ cupiditās ‘passionate desire, longing, yearning, lust, passion, the object of one’s desire,’ cupidus ‘eager for carnal pleasure, wanton, lecherous, passionately longing,’ cupītus ‘that which one desires, beloved,’ Ved kopáyati ‘shake, quake, vibrate, be in a passion,’ Slav *kъpъ, Czech kep ‘vulva.’ —LIV 359; IEW 591, 596; Monier-Williams 291; de Vries 233; OLD 472-73; Watkins (2011) 47.

2. *kelp-     ‘Womb, vagina, gulf, arched or vaulted ceiling’

Grk κόλπος ‘bosom, lap, vagina, womb, bay, gulf, fold of garment,’ ON holf ‘the domed, arched, curved, or vaulted ceiling of a room,’ OHG be-welben ‘surround, encircle, curve or arch over.’ —LIV 375; IEW 630; L&S 974; de Vries 247; Kluge 869; Mallory and Adams (2006) 384; EIEC 62.

Use of this root to denote an arched, domed, or vaulted ceiling probably originally developed from the notion of a curved, concave, womb-like room. It is highly unlikely that the name of the womb or vagina (as in Grk κόλπος) would be derived from geographical or architectural features (bay, gulf, arched ceiling). Typically, derivatives develop from the more familiar term to the more abstract term. It is far more likely that the word for womb inspired the notion of a bay with a narrow opening, or of a room with a curved ceiling than the other way around.

There are three additional attested words that are not usually placed with this root, but that share strong semantic connections and close (or exact) phonetic form. They are included below for consideration:

  • OHG (h)wëlf, OSax, OE hwëlp, MHG wëlf, ON hwëlpr, Eng whelp ‘young offspring of a mammal, such as dog or wolf, to give birth to, to whelp,’ all from Germanic *hwelpa.      —AHD 1958; Kluge 852; EIEC 615.

Germanic *hwelpa probably dissimulated from earlier *hwelfa to distinguish this word from the very similar sounding word, wolf, which had altogether different origins and an independent history. As can be seen in *gelbh  (‘Womb, uterus, young animal’), the PIE word for womb was also commonly applied to the fruit of the womb, i.e. the embryo or young offspring of human or animal. The word whelp has no known PIE origin.

  • Lat culpa ‘guilt, blame, an offense (often of sexual misconduct), a moral defect,’ culpābilis ‘deserving of censure, reprehensible.’ —OLD 465-66.
  • Osc kulupu ‘culpa(?)’ with normal anaptyxis. —Buck 50, 51, 252, 314. 

In the ancient world, rape, adultery, and fornication were considered some of the most culpable and reprehensible offenses. These all involve unauthorized entry into a woman’s vagina, and the concept of such guilt was apparently derived from that organ. Neither Latin culpa nor Oscan kulupu has any known PIE origin.

3. *kwlep-     ‘Desire’

Av xrap- ‘desire,’ TochAB kulyp- ‘desire.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 342; EIEC 158.

The semantics of this root parallel that seen in #1 above. The instinct for procreation, and the focus on the organs of procreation, constitute some of the strongest sources of desire in the human being.

4. *krep-     ‘Body, belly, womb, uterus, midriff’

OHG (h)rëf ‘belly, womb, uterus,’ OFris href ‘belly,’ OE hrif ‘womb, uterus, belly,’ mid(h)rif ‘midriff,’ Grk πραπίς ‘diaphragm,’ Lat corpus ‘the body, the generative powers, to live by prostitution (corpore quaestum facere), the center of certain physiological needs and desires, especially as representing the grosser elements in human nature,’ Skt kr̥pá ‘form, beauty,’ Av kəhrpəm ‘form, body,’ MIr crī ‘body’ (< kr̥pes). —Mallory and Adams (2006) 178; IEW 620; OLD 448; Bomhard 526.

5. *k()emp-     ‘Tremble, shake, quiver, vibrate’

Ved sam-pra-kampante ‘tremble, shake, quiver, vibrate, to be in excited motion,’  YAv kafsąn ‘shake, tremble, quiver, vibrate,’ Ved kampáyāmi ‘let shake, tremble, vibrate.’ Possibly Lat con-cumbō ‘to lie together (for sexual intercourse).’ —LIV 351; [IEW 525; Mallory and Adams (2006) 384]; OLD 392, 464.

On semantic grounds, LIV excludes attested words with distant meanings, such as field, maimed, corner, edge, etc., (cited in IEW and Mallory and Adams) as these are probably from a different root. I follow LIV here. Latin con-cumbō ‘to lie together (for sexual intercourse)’ belongs here only if one can accept that the /p/ becomes voiced to /b/ through assimilation with the preceding voiced /m/. Otherwise, Lat (con-)cumbō has no known PIE origin. Perhaps it is a collateral form of Lat cubō, ‘to lie down, recline,’ cubīle ‘a bed regarded as the scene of sexual relations, a marriage bed,’ as suggested by OLD 392, but Lat cubō, cubīle likewise has no known PIE origin.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

4. Bomhard 526 cites Afrasian (Akkadian) karšu, etc. ‘body, belly, womb, stomach,’ Proto-Uralic *kurз ‘body, form, figure.’

Conclusions: While semantic parallels seem to be present, the lack of final consonant in the Afrasian and Uralic makes outside root connections doubtful.

Table 47:   *k(R)ep    ‘Steal, hide’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*klep-kl p1Steal, conceal, cover, hide  
*kreu̯p-krp2Hide, conceal, bury, keep secret, steal, betray

1. *klep-     ‘Steal, conceal, cover, hide’

Grk κλέπτω ‘steal, carry off, spirit away,’ κλέπτης ‘a thief, robber, cheat, knave,’ Lat clepō ‘take away secretly, steal, hide oneself away, steal away,’ Goth hilfan ‘steal,’ TochB kälypisteal,’ OPrus anklipts ‘concealed.’ Probably Grk καλύπτω ‘cover, hide, conceal’ (semantically an exact fit, but with unexplained epenthetic vowel and with altered second vowel probably by analogy with the following root). —LIV 363; IEW 553, 604; L&S 958; OLD 336; Mallory and Adams (2006) 335; EIEC 595; Bomhard 408.

2. *kreu̯p-     ‘Hide, conceal, bury, keep secret, steal, betray’

Grk κρύπτω ‘hide, conceal, cover in the earth, bury, keep secret, lie hidden, keep covered,’ TochB kraup- ‘gather,’ Latv krâpju ‘steal, betray,’ Lith krópti ‘steal.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 267; IEW 616; L&S 1000; EIEC 217.

Mallory and Adams (2006) and IEW analyze this root with final in -bh as a root extension.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 408 cites Dravidian qale, etc. ‘rob, steal, thief, theft, deceitful.’

Conclusions: While semantic parallels exist, lack of final consonant in the Dravidian makes root connections doubtful.

Table 48:   *(s)k(R)et-    ‘Shake, shudder, quake, vibrate’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*kret-krøt1Shake, agitate, rattle, strike
*kreu̯t-krt2Move, quick, shake, agitate, flutter
*(s)ku̯eh1t-(s)kh1t3Hurry, strew, sprinkle, shake, agitate,
*(s)k(n)t-(s)k(n)t4Shake, jolt, quake, convulse

1. *kret-      ‘Shake, agitate, rattle, strike’

OHG redan ‘sift,’ OE hraðe ‘quick,’ Lith krečiù ‘shake, agitate, vibrate, strew by shaking,’ Grk κροτέω ‘rattle, strike, clap,’ MIr crothaid ‘shakes.’ —LIV 370; Mallory and Adams (2006) 380; IEW 620; L&S 999; EIEC 509.

2. *kreu̯t-     ‘Move, quick, shake, agitate, flutter’

ON hraustr ‘quick,’ Lith krutù ‘move, stir,’ MHG rütten (*hrudjan) ‘shake, agitate,’ OE hrēađe-mūs ‘bat’ (literally “fluttering mouse”). —Mallory and Adams (2006) 380; IEW 623; EIEC 509.

3. *(s)ku̯eh1t-     ‘Hurry, strew, sprinkle, shake, agitate, vibrate, strike, jolt’

ON skynda ‘hasten, go quickly, anything hurried,’ OE scyndan ‘hurry, hasten, urge, incite,’ Grk πάσσω ‘strew, sprinkle,’ Lat quatiō ‘shake, rock, agitate, tremble, vibrate, hurry, strike,’ OHG scutten ‘shake, agitate, vibrate, jolt, joggle.’ —LIV 563; Mallory and Adams (2006) 380; IEW 632, 957-58; EIEC 509; Vigfusson 563; Bosworth and Toller 847; L&S 1346; OLD 1544-45; Bomhard 520.

4. *(s)ku̯(n)t-     ‘Shake, jolt, quake, convulse’

OHG scutten ‘shake violently, convulse, quake, vibrate,’ NE shake, shudder, Lith kuntù ‘recover, get better,’ OCS skytati sę ‘wander,’ Lith kutù ‘shake up, arouse.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 380; IEW 957-58; EIEC 509.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

3. Bomhard 520 cites Afrasian (Egyptian) ktkt, etc. ‘shake, quiver, make with the hands, touch, build,’ Dravidian kuti, etc. ‘jump, leap, bound, frolic, splash, boil, bubble, stamp, trot, agitation, shake violently,’ Proto-Kartvelian *kwet- ‘move, shake, swing, sway, move something.’

Conclusions: Root 3 appears to correspond semantically and phonetically with the outside non-PIE roots.

Table 49:   *ke(R)h1    ‘Sing, call, praise, extol, proclaim, chant incantations’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*kan-k n 1Sing, celebrate, extol, proclaim, sound a call, chant incantations, cry of birds, cock
*kerHk rH2Praise, celebrate, extol, announce, report, fame
*( )elh1, *kleh1  ( ) lh13Proclaim, praise, extol, call, charm by incantation and music, the cock

1. *kan-     ‘Sing, celebrate, proclaim, sound a call, chant incantations, the cock’

OIr canaid ‘sings,’ cechain ‘sang,’ Wels canu ‘sing, play an instrument,’ Lat canō ‘sing, chant incantations, celebrate (in verse), relate, tell, extol, proclaim, tell rumors, sound a call, (of birds) to cry,’ prophesy, foretell’ carmen ‘song, prophecy, form of incantation,’ Grk ηι-κανός ‘cock’ (literally ‘dawn-singer), probably TochB kene ‘song, tune,’ Umb kanetu ‘let sing,’ Goth Hahn ‘cock.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 358; LIV 342; IEW 525-26; EIEC 519; OLD 266; Bomhard 414.

2. *kerH      ‘Praise, extol, fame’

Ved akāriṣam ‘have praised, have extolled,’ carkarmi ‘to praise, celebrate, extol,’ YAv carəkərəmahī ‘we praise,’ OE hrēþ ‘fame,’ ON herma ‘announce, report,’ OHG hruom ‘fame.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) (*kar-) 337; LIV 353; IEW 530-31; deVries 224; EIEC 449.

3. *( )elh1, *kleh1    ‘Proclaim, praise, extol, call, charm by incantation, the cock’

OIr cailech ‘cock,’ Wels ceiliog ‘cock,’ Lat calō ‘announce, proclaim, summon,’ ON hjala ‘chatter, talk,’ Grk καλέω ‘call,’ καλήτωρ ‘herald,’ κηλέω ‘charm, bewitch, beguile (“especially by music”), charm by incantation,’ Hit kalless ‘call,’ Skt uā-kala ‘cock’ (literally “dawn caller”), ON høla ‘praise, extol, celebrate.’ —LIV 349, 361; IEW 548-551; EIEC 90; OLD 260; L&S 947; deVries 278; Bomhard 404.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 414 cites Afrasian (Egyptian) kny ‘to call,’ Dravidian kaṇakaṇa, etc. ‘to sound, rattle, jingle, ring, tinkling,’ Proto-Uralic *kaŋз, etc. ‘to call, to invite, ask, request, beg,’ Chuk-Kamch kəŋ(læ), etc. ‘growl, snarl.’

3. Bomhard 404 cites Proto-Afrasian *kal, etc. ‘make a noise, to sound, to call out, to shout, cry out, howl, argue, quarrel, resound,’ Dravidian kalakala, etc. rustle, tinkle, rattle, sound, clamor, roar, chatter, gurgle, noise, sound, clamor, tumult chattering of birds, shout,’ Eskimo *qaləR ‘yell, ring, whistle, growl, cry, shriek, whine, twitter, bark, make a characteristic animal sound.’

Conclusions: These two roots appear to have differentiated as resonant-variants while still in contact with the outside language groups.

Table 50:   *(s)ke(R)p-      ‘Cut, scratch, carve, take, gather, catch, seize, reap, harvest’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*(s)kep-(s)k øp1Cut, hack, hew, dig, strike
*(s)kerp-(s)k rp2Cut off, shear, shape, harvest, reap, seize
*(s)kelp-(s)k lp3Scratch, carve, engrave, split or hew
*keh2p-k h2p4Take, gather, reap, seize, catch, have, hold

1. *(s)kep-     ‘Hack, hew, cut’

Grk κόπτω ‘smite, cut off, chop off, fell trees,’ Lith kapù ‘hew, hack,’ OCS skopljǫ ‘cut away, cut off, cut down,’ Alb kep ‘hewn, hacked,’ NPers kāf ‘split,’ Grk σκέπαρνος ‘hatchet for hewing wood.’ —LIV *(s)kep- 555; IEW *(s)kep- 931-32; L&S 979.

2. *(s)kerp-    ‘Cut off, shear, shape, pluck, pull, pick, harvest, reap, seize’

Lith kerpù ‘cut, shear,’ OCS po-črьpǫ ‘to shape,’ Lat carpō ‘pluck, pull, pick, harvest, crop, seize, pull off, take away,’ Grk καρπόω ‘take as fruit or produce, reap crops from, exploit, bear fruit,’ καρπάλιμος ‘eager, ravenous,’ κάρπασος ‘cotton,’ καρπός ‘fruit, fruits of the earth, corn, harvest, crops, wool, produce,’ NE harvest, Skt karpāsa ‘cotton.’ —LIV *(s)kerp- 559; OLD 279; IEW *(s)kerp- 944-45; Moiner-Williams 258; L&S 879-80; EIEC 258.

3. *(s)kelp-     ‘Scratch, carve, engrave, hew wood’

Lat scalpō ‘scratch, carve, engrave,’ sculpō ‘carve or engrave,’ OHG scelifa, MHG dial. schelfe ‘skinned bark,’ MNG schelver ‘piece (of wood) with leaves removed,’ ON skjǫlf ‘bench,’ OE scielfe ‘story, floor, tier,’ MNG schelf ‘book-shelf, wooden framework,’ (without s-): Got halbs, ON halfr, OE healf, OSax half, OHG halb (literally ‘divided’) ‘grip, handle, shaft,’ NE helve, Lith kálpa ‘cross-beam on a sledge,’ OPrus kalpus ‘upright pole,’ Lith sklempiù ‘smoothly hew or dress timber, to polish.’ —IEW *(s)kelp- 926; OLD 1698, 1713.

4. *keh2p-     ‘Take, gather, reap, seize, catch, have, hold’

Lat capiō ‘take into the hand, take hold of, take food or drink, catch, gather, reap, capture, seize, take booty,’ Grk κάπτω ‘greedy, gulp down,’ Goth hafjan ‘lift, heave,’ OHG habēn ‘have, hold,’ Latv kàmpju ‘seize,’ Alb kap ‘catch, grab, seize,’ Skt kapaṭī (dual) ‘two handfuls.’ —Watkins (2011) 38; IEW 527; LIV 344; EIEC 563; L&S 876; OLD 269-71; Balg 148; Mallory and Adams (2006) 270-71; Bomhard 415.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

4. Bomhard 415 cites Proto-Afrasian *kap-, etc. ‘take, seize, hand, palm, paw, claw, flat of the hand, cut off the hands,’ Elamo-Dravidian kap-pi, etc. ‘catch, latch, clasp, brooch, cover or press gently with the hand, throw the hand or claws upon in order to catch, feel with the hand, touch,’ Uralic (Proto-Finno-Ugrian) *kappз-, etc. ‘take seize, grasp, captive, hand, paw,’ Proto-Altaic khaphV-, etc. ‘press, grasp, strangle, pinch, squeeze, hold, join, press together, snatch, take, bite, carry off, acquire, loot,’ Proto-Eskimo *kapət-, etc. ‘be narrow, constricted, tight-fitting, pull outer garment over inner one.’

Conclusions: This root is well-represented in the outside language families and therefore appears to be a distant cognate.

Table 51:   *ke(R)-     ‘To love, desire, be pleased, copulate; friend, pleasure, whore’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*keh2k h2 1Love, desire, gladness, friend, adulterer, whore, greedy
*kem-k m 2Love, desire, hunger, lasciviousness, charming, beautiful, copulates with
*ken-k n 3Love, be pleased, demand, request, tendency, pleasure

1. *keh2    ‘Love, desire, gladness, friend, whore’

Ved kā́yamāna ‘desire,’ OAv kaiiā ‘to be glad,’ Lat cārus ‘love,’ Goth hors ‘adulterer,’ Ved kami ‘desire, love,’ OIr caraid ‘loves,’ cara ‘friend,’ Wels caraf ‘love,’ NE whore, Latv kārs ‘greedy.’ —IEW 515; EIEC 357; LIV 343.

2. *kem-     ‘Love, desire, hunger, lasciviousness, charming, beautiful, copulates with’

Lith kamaros ‘lasciviousness,’ Latv kāmêt ‘hunger,’ Skt kāmáyati ‘desires, longs for, is in love with, copulates with,’ kamra- ‘charming, beautiful,’ kamana- ‘greedy,’ TochB kāñm ‘play.’ —EIEC 357; IEW 515.

3. *ken-     ‘Love, be pleased, demand, request, tendency, pleasure’

MIr cin ( < *kenu-) ‘love, tendency,’ Av  čakana ‘be pleased,’ čanah– ‘demand, request,’ Skt cākana ‘is pleased,’ cánas- ‘pleasure.’ —EIEC 358; IEW 515.


Table 52:   *k(u̯)se(R)bh    ‘Shake, vibrate, whirl around, swing, toss’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*k(u̯)seu̯bhk(u̯)s bh1Shake, tremble, vibrate, swing, toss
*k(u̯)su̯ebhk(u̯)sbh2Throw, toss, move hastily, turn, swing

1. *k(u̯)seu̯bh    ‘Shake, tremble, vibrate, swing, toss’

Ved kṣobhate ‘shake, tremble, be agitated or disturbed, be unsteady, stumble, stir up, excite,’ kṣubhita ‘agitated, shaken, tossed, set in motion,’ YAv xšufsąn ‘shake, tremble, vibrate,’ Pol chybać ‘swing, rock, pitch, move back and forth.’ —LIV 372; IEW 625; Monier-Williams 331.

2. *k(u̯)su̯eibh–     ‘Throw, toss, move hastily, turn, swing’

Ved kṣipáti ‘throw, cast, toss, move hastily,’ YAv xšuuaēβaiiaṯ.aštra ‘swing the whip,’ OCS o-šibati ‘turn oneself around,’ Rus šibát ‘throw.’ —LIV 373; IEW 625, 1041; Monier-Williams 328.

Table 53:   *ke(R)    ‘Make, do, gather, fabricate, spin, build’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*ker-k r 1Make, do, manufacture, cultivate, execute, build, create
*kek  2Make, do, manufacture, create, construct, gather up, arrange in order
*kel-k l 3Turn, turn the earth (plow, cultivate), spin (i.e. manufacture yarn), wheel, spindle
*ker-pH-k r 4Turn, wrist, whirlpool  

1. *ker-     ‘Make, do, manufacture, cultivate, build’

Ved kóti ‘make, do, manufacture, cultivate, execute, build’ OIr cruth ‘form,’ Lith kuriù ‘make, build, create,’ OCS kručĭjĭ ‘smith,’ Av kərənaoiti ‘does, makes,’ Lith kẽras ‘magician,’ Rus čáry ‘sorcery.’ —LIV 391; IEW 641-42; Watkins (2011) 47; Mallory and Adams (2006) 370; Monier-Williams 300-303; Mayrhofer I.307; Bomhard 525; EIEC 362.

2. *kei-     ‘Make, do, manufacture, create, gather up, construct’

Grk ποιέω ‘make, do, manufacture, create, produce, bring about, cause,’ OCS činĭ ‘order,’ Skt cinṓti ‘arrange in order, heap up, pile up, construct, gather together.’           —LIV 378; IEW 637-38; Watkins (2011) 46; Mallory and Adams (2006) 219-20; L&S 1427; Monier-Williams 394; Bomhard 523.

Probably the first manufacturing activity that human beings engaged in was the production of textiles, which was based on the spinning of yarn from raw fleece and fibers. As the early Indo-Europeans transitioned from an economy built around hunting, gathering, and herding animals to one of settled agriculture, the next most important activity would have been the cultivation of the soil, which involved turning the earth through plowing. *kel- includes both of these concepts, and these link it to the roots cited above. Since the notions “make, do, manufacture” that the above roots express, are more general than the the specific concepts expressed by *kel- , it may very well be that *kel- retains the earliest and most fundamental sense of this resonant series, as semantic development usually proceeds from the specific to the more general.

3. *kel-     ‘Turn, turn the earth (i.e. plow, cultivate), spin (i.e. manufacture yarn), wheel, spindle, lead to pasture’

Grk περι-τέλλομαι ‘move in a circle,’ OE hwēol ‘wheel,’ NE wheel, Grk κύκλος ‘circle, wheel,’ πολέω ‘turn or rotate,’ πόλος ‘the pole or axis of the celestial sphere, the center of a circular threshing floor, the vault of heaven’ (from the circular movement of the stars), αἰπόλος ‘goat herd,’ Skt cárati ‘move oneself, wander, lead or drive to pasture,’ cakrá ‘wagon wheel, disk, pulley, potters wheel,’ karṣū́ ‘furrow’ (where the earth has been turned), kárṣati ‘turn, turn over, plow,’ Av čarāna ‘field,’ TochB kokale ‘wagon’ (from the turning/spinning wheels), Lat colus ‘distaff, spindle, spinning,’ collum ‘neck’ (that which turns the head). —LIV 386; IEW 639-40; Watkins (2011) 46; Mallory and Adams (2006) 377; OLD 358; L&S 1436; Watkins 46; DELG 846; EIEC 606-7; Bomhard 510, 511, 516.

4. *ker-pH-     ‘Turn, wrist, whirlpool’

OE hweorfan ‘turn, change,’ Grk καρπός ‘wrist,’ OHG (h)werban ‘turn,’ wirbel ‘swirl, whirlpool.’ —LIV 392-93; EIEC 607; IEW 631; Mallory and Adams (2006) 379.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 525 cites Afrasian kwir-, etc. ‘twist or twine together, tie, fasten, twist a rope, woven basket, encircle, wrap, surround, turn,’ Uralic kure-, etc. ‘twist, turn, plait, tie together, twine, braid, plait, stitch together.’

2. Bomhard 523 cites Afrasian kayyafa, etc. ‘form, shape, fashion, mold, fit,’ Dravidian key-, etc. ‘do, make, create, act, work, perform,’ Altaic khi-, etc. ‘do, make, act perform.’

3. Bomhard 510 cites Afrasian kwal- ‘revolve, go around, roll, surround, encompass, encircle, circuit, turn, circle,’ Dravidian kulavu, etc. ‘bend, curve,’ Altaic khulo-, etc. ‘roll, turn, dance, walk around, turn around, bend in river, go round and round.’

Conclusions: Strong phonetic and semantic parallels to all three of these PIE forms are seen in the outside language families. A very credible example that suggests a differentiation into the attested resonant variants while still part of an ancient linguistic community that included at least PIE, Afrasian, Dravidian Uralic, and Altaic.


Table 54:   *le(R)p    ‘Remove outer peel or bark, strip off, pare’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*lep-l øp1Peel, pare, strip off skin or bark
*leu̯p-l p2Peel the skin off, strip off outer covering

1. *lep-     ‘Peel, pare, strip off bark’

Grk λέπω ‘pare, peel, remove bark, strip,’ λέψαι ‘strip, peel, pare,’ Lat lapit ‘to cause pain or grief to someone.’ —LIV 413; OLD 1001; L&S 1040; IEW 678; EIEC 568.

2. *leu̯p-     ‘Strip off skin or bark, peel, pare’

Lith lupù ‘peel, pare, strip off skin or bark,’ Lith laupýti ‘peel, pare, strip,’ Rus lupljú ‘remove skin or bark, peel.’ —LIV 420; IEW 690-91; EIEC 567-68.

Table 55:   *le(R)d-      ‘Leave, let loose, set free, set in motion’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*leh1d-l h1d1Leave, let be, set free, release, make weary, tired
*led-l d2Let loose, set free, set in motion, play

1. *leh1d-     ‘Leave, let be, set free, release, make weary, tired’

Goth letan ‘leave, let, let be, let alone, set free, release,’ Alb lodh ‘make weary, tired, exhausted, worn out,’ Goth lailot ‘left,’ Lat lassus ‘weary, tired.’ —LIV 400; IEW 666; Balg 247; OLD 1004.

2. *lei̯d-     ‘Let loose, set free, set in motion, play’

OLith léidmi ‘let loose, set free, set in motion,’ Lat lūdō ‘to play,’ Grk λίνδεσθαι ‘vie with, contend with,’ Alb lindet ‘was born,’ Lith láidyti ‘let loose, set in motion,’ Alb len ‘leave behind.’ —LIV 402; IEW 666.


Table 56:   *(s)me(R)k-       ‘Moisture, wetness, milk’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*mak-m øk1Wet, moist, skin that forms on liquid
*māk-m øk2Knead, soak, steep
*merk-m rk3Wet, moist, languid
*melk-m lk4Milk, wet, damp, moisture
*(s)mek-(s)m k5Slippery, slime, swamp, mucus, rain, moist

1. *mak-     ‘Wet, moist, puddle, pool’

Lith makonė  ‘puddle, pool,’ OBulg mokrь ‘moisture,’ Russ mόknutь ‘make wet,’ Alb makë ‘skin that forms on liquid.’  —IEW 698.

2. *māk-     ‘To make wet, soak, steep, squeeze’

Lat mācerō ‘make wet, soak, steep, bathe,’ Latv màkt ‘press,’ Czech mačkati press, squeeze.’ —EIEC 450; OLD 1057; IEW 698.

3. *merk-    ‘Bog, swamp, soak, limp’

Lat marceō ‘faded, languid, limp, flaccid, slack, loose, lazy, to languish,’ Gallorom *bracu (< *mraku) ‘bog, morass,’ Slav *morky ‘bog, morass,’ Cymr brag-wellt ‘swamp grass,’ Gall mercasius ‘swamp,’  MHG murc ‘faded, limp,’ MNG meren ‘bread dunked in wine or water,’ Lith mirkstù ‘to lay in water,’ merkiù ‘soak.’ —IEW 739; OLD 1078.

4. *melk-     ‘Wet, damp, moisture, milk’

Grk μέλκιον ‘well, spring, fountain,’ Goth milhma ‘cloud,’ Russ molokó ‘milk,’ ORuss molokita ‘swamp, waters, flood,’  Serb mlâkva ‘puddle,’ Czech mlklý ‘moisture.’ —IEW 724; L&S 1098, 994.

5. *(s)mek-     ‘Slick, slippery from wetness’

OIr mocht (< muk-to) ‘soft, tender,’ Lat mungō ‘blow nose, mucus,’ ON mugga ‘drizzle,’ Grk μύσσομαι (< *muk-ie/o) ‘I blow my nose,’ Cymr mign ‘swamp, bog,’ ON mugga ‘drizzle,’ Latv mukls ‘pools of water.’  “These forms have been connected, farther from the sense central to this etymology, to forms meaning ‘to run away, slip away, flee’: Lith mùkti ‘slip away from,’ OInd muñcáti ‘looses, frees,’ [etc.] (EIEC 528).”  —EIEC 527; IEW 744; LIV 443; Mallory and Adams (2006) 400; OLD 1287.

Table 57:   *(s)me(R)d-      ‘Melt, smear, daub, anoint, remedy, bad-smelling fat’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*(s)meld-(s)m ld1Allow to melt, become soft, become liquid, dissolve, become digested
*(s)med-(s)m d2Smear, daub, anoint, filth, foul pollution, smudge, be dirty
*med-m ød3Salves, ointments, unguents, and potions; a person who prepares and administers these
*(s)merd(s)m rd4Spreading stink, foul odor, make an evil smell, bad-smelling fat

1. *(s)meld-    ‘Melt, become soft’

Ved ví mradā ‘soften,’ Grk μέλδω ‘allow to melt,’ ἀμέλδειν ‘τήκειν’ (Hsch.): “melt, bring clouds down in rain, dissolve, cause to waste or pine away, of putrefying flesh, fall away, of a corpse, of food in the digestive organs, come to naught,” OE meltan ‘melt,’ OHG smelzan ‘melt,’ ON melta ‘melt, digest,’ OHG smelzen ‘melt, dissolve,’ NE melt, smelt.    —LIV 431; IEW 718; Mallory and Adams (2006) 125; L&S 1096, 1786-87; de Vries 383; Watkins (2011) 55; Bosworth and Toller 677, 889; EIEC 378; NIL 482.

2. *(s)med-     ‘Smear, daub, anoint, filth, foul pollution’

OE smītan ‘daub, smear, anoint, smudge, defile, pollute,’ smīte ‘a foul, miry place,’ OHG be-smeizen ‘be dirty,’ MHG smitze ‘spot, filth,’ Goth smait ‘smears,’ OCS smědь ‘dark brown,’ Arm mic ‘filth,’ OBul smīta ‘smear thinly.’ —LIV 569; IEW 966; Mallory and Adams (2006) 382; EIEC 528.

Of OE smītan, Bosworth and Toller write, “Later English takes the word in the sense of strike.” The modern English spelling of this word is “smite.” The probable semantic development would be something like the following: The OE word smirels signifies unguent, ointment, unction, salve. Anciently, such unguents were prepared by melting, rendering, and clarifying solid animal products (butter, fatty tissue, fat, beeswax, etc.) until they reached a clean liquid state. Then medicinal herbs were added and thoroughly mixed. The whole concoction was then allowed to cool and re-solidify, and finally daubed, smeared, or anointed onto the skin or wound where needed.

Later, when the smelting of metals came into use in PIE society, the process involved the same steps: First, dirty metal chunks and ore were melted in a cauldron in order to separate the pure metal from the dross, which was typically skimmed off the surface (a process called smelting). Then the clarified metal was poured into molds for further elaboration. The work of the metal-smith paralleled the earlier work of the unguent-maker/apothecary.

When the work of the metal-smith assumed greater importance in social life, the sense of the OE word, smītan, changed from that of applying unguents, to that of striking metal, for that is how gold, silver, copper, bronze and iron were worked into their final form. The smith smites the metal that he has melted and smelted.

The references here to filth, foul, miry pollution, defile, be dirty, etc., are because the process of rendering animal fat creates an unbearably foul stench. In addition, if these unguents were applied to open wounds, say after a battle, the infected, gangrenous, putrid, rotting flesh would create an absolutely horrible smell. 

3. *med-     ‘Salves, ointments, unguents, potions; a person who prepares them’

Lat medeor ‘heal, cure, remedy, bring to health,’ medicus ‘doctor,’ medica ‘a female physician,’ medicābulum ‘a healing agent, restorative,’ medicāmentum ‘a substance administered to produce spec. effects upon the body, a remedy; a cosmetic, a dye,’ Grk Mηδος ‘god of medicine,’ Av vi-madaya ‘act as healer.’ —LIV 423; IEW 705-06; Watkins (2011) 53; Mallory and Adams (2006) 195, 201,317-18; OLD 1087-88; EIEC 261-62; Benveniste 406-11.

Most authorities place these attestations with a root that signifies “to measure.” This fails to satisfy on semantic grounds, since medicine in the ancient world was not the quantitative science that it is today. Typically it involved magic rituals, prayers, and herbal remedies that were prepared and administered by a shaman or other tribal healer.

Mallory and Adams write, “There are two words of Proto-Indo-European status that refer to ‘healing.’ *h1/4eis- […] finds cognates in Anatolian indicating ‘salving’ or ‘anointing’ (Hit iski(ya)-) while *med- (which gives Lat medicus ‘doctor’, Av vi-mad- ‘healer’) is probably a specialized development of PIE *med- ‘measure’.”

Mallory and Adams are very likely correct in their reasoning about the concept ‘healing’ arising from concepts for ‘salving’ or ‘anointing,’ but I would suggest that the source for *med is more likely to be found in a root connected directly with the process for producing such remedies, rather than in the abstract concepts of weighing and measuring.

4. *(s)merd-     ‘Stink, foul odor, evil smell, bad-smelling fat’

Lith smardyti ‘makes an evil smell,’ OCS o-smraždǫ ‘a spreading stink,’ Lith smìrdžiu ‘to stink,’ OCS smrьždǫ ‘a putrid smell, stink,’ Lat merda ‘ordure, excrement, dirt, dung.’ OLith smarstas ‘stink, bad-smelling fat.’ —LIV 570; IEW 970; OLD 1102.

For an explanation of the relation of this root to the overall resonant series, see the commentary to #2 above.

Table 58:   *me(R)h2     ‘Strike, crush, grind, diminish, pulverize, destroy’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*melh2m lh21Pound, crush, pulverize, rub, grind, mill
*melh2-u̯-m lh22Crush, grind, press
*merh2m rh23Crush, pulverize, beat, strike
*menH-m nH4Tread, stamp, press together, break, crush
*meH-m H5Diminish, harm, injure, damage, hurt, lessen

1. *melh2    ‘Pound, crush, pulverize, rub, grind, mill’

Arm malem ‘beat to pieces, pound, crush, pulverize,’ Lat molō ‘grind in a mill,’ Umb maletu ‘ground, milled,’ OIr melid ‘ground, crushed, milled,’ ON mylja ‘rub away, crush, pulverize,’ NE meal, OCS meljǫ ‘crush, grind, mill,’ CLuv malw, mālḫu- ‘crush, break,’ Goth malan ‘ground, crushed, milled,’ Grk μύλη ‘mill,’ Lith malù ‘grind, crush, pulverize.’ —LIV 432; IEW 716; CLL 132; OLD 1129; Buck 338; L&S 1152; Bomhard 887; EIEC 247.

2. *melh2-u̯-     ‘Crush, grind, press’

Goth ga-malwjan ‘press,’ ON mølva ‘crush, grind,’ TochA malywät ‘press.’ —LIV 433; IEW 717; Bomhard 878.

3. *merh2   ‘Crush, pulverize, beat, strike’

Ved mr̥ṇāti ‘crush, grind, mill, destroy,’  Grk μαραίνω ‘fight, pulverize, destroy,’  Alb merr ‘take, grab,’ Hit marritta ‘break up, reduce to small pieces, crush, grind, pulverize,’ ON merja ‘beat, batter, pound, strike.’ —LIV 440; IEW 735-36; Mayrhofer 2.319; L&S 1081; Bomhard 893.

4. *menH-     ‘Tread, stamp, press together, break, crush’

Lith minù ‘tread, stamp, break,’ ChSlav mьnǫ ‘tread, knead, press, squeeze,’ Skt carma-mnās ‘refine, polish, thrash,’ Cymr mathru ‘stamp with the feet,’ Bret mantra ‘stamp,’ MIr men ‘meal, dust,’ Rus mnu, mjatь ‘break, knead, stamp, crush, crumble.’ —LIV 438; IEW 726; ALEW 755.

5. *meH-     ‘Diminish, harm, injure, damage, hurt, lessen, make smaller’

Ved minā́ti ‘diminish, harm, injure, damage,’ Grk μινύθω ‘lessen, diminish, curtail, become smaller,’ Lat minuere ‘lessen, diminish, reduce,’ minus ‘smaller,’ Osc menvum ‘diminish,’ Corn minow ‘make smaller, diminish,’ TochAB mi- ‘hurt, harm.’ —LIV 427; IEW 711; Mallory and Adams (2006) 319; EIEC 351.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 887 cites Afrasian móōldó, etc. ‘grinding stone,’ Uralic *molз-, etc. ‘grind, crush, break, smash, crumb, little bit, piece, morsel, crumble away,’ Proto-Altaic *mole-, etc. ‘rub, crush, grind, wear out, weak, weary, tired, destroy, ruin,’ Eskimo *mulŋa- ‘be careful, gentle.’

2. Bomhard 878 cites Afrasian (Proto-Semitic) *mal-al-, etc. ‘be or become worn out, weak, tired, weary,’ (Ethiopic) malala, etc. ‘plane a board, smooth with a plane, rub smear,’ anoint, grease, smear,’ Dravidian (Tamil) mel, etc. ‘soft, tender, slowly, gently, woman, weak, poor, cause much suffering,’ Proto-Chuk-Kamch. *məl, etc. small, fine, supple, soften.’

3. Bomhard 893 cites Dravidian muṟi, etc. ‘break, be defeated, perish, cease to exist, cut, discontinue, wound, destroy, crushing destruction, break in pieces, crack,’ Proto-Uralic *mura-, etc. ‘break, shatter, crumb, fragment, crumble, burst, beat to pieces, split apart,’ Eskimo *muRiiq-, etc. ‘sharpen, grind, whet.’

Conclusion: PIE forms with resonants in –r and –l show probable cognates in outside language families, suggesting that these variants were formed while still in linguistic contact with them.

Table 59:   *(s)me(R)-      ‘Remember, think, worry, say’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*(s)mer-(s)m r 1Thought, remember, worry about, mourn, care
*men-m n 2Think about, feel, remember, believe, speak, rage, yearn
*mn-eh2m n 3Think about, remember, experience, chosen
*men-o-mn 4Opinion, desire, bemoan, remorse, think, say
*ml-euh2m l 5Know, say, speak, bemoan, express, utter
*mel-m l 6Think, suppose, worry about, thought, idea, speech, quarrel

1. *(s)mer-     ‘Thought, remember, worry about, mourn, care’

NE mourn, Lith merėti ‘worry about,’ Grk μέριμνα ‘thought, care, anxiety,’ Av maraiti ‘observes,’ Skt smárati ‘remembers, longs for,’ Lat memoria ‘remembrance,’ OE mimorian ‘remember,’ Arm mormok’ ‘care,’ OHG mornēn ‘worry about, mourn.’ —LIV 569; IEW 969; EIEC 483; Mallory and Adams (2006) 323.

2. *men-     ‘Think, feel, remember, believe, speak’

OAv maṇtā ‘think about,’ Ved manuté ‘think, feel, remember,’ Grk  μαίνομαι ‘rage, rave, be consumed with madness,’ μέμονα ‘yearn,’ Lat re-miniscor ‘remember,’ comminīscī ‘sense, think through,’ moneō ‘remind, warn, admonish,’ OIr -mainethar ‘to mean, to believe,’ Hit mēmai ‘speak,’ Goth man ‘to mean, to remember,’ Lith miniù ‘think, remember,’ OCS mьnjǫ ‘to believe, to mean.’ —LIV 435; IEW 726-28; EIEC 575; Mallory and Adams (2006) 322; Bomhard 856.

3. *mn-eh2    ‘Think about, remember, experience’

Grk μνάομαι ‘think about, remember, woo for a bride,’ μνήσκεται ‘thought, chosen, remembered,’ Late Ved  ā-manati ‘chosen,’ poss. CLuv manāti ‘see, experience,’ —LIV 447; IEW 726-27; CLL 135; L&S 1138.

4. *mein-o-     ‘Opinion, desire, bemoan, remorse, think, say’

OIr mīan ‘wish, desire,’ NE mean, bemoan, OCS měnjǫ ‘mention,’ TochB onmiṃ ‘remorse’ OHG meinen ‘to mean, to say,’ OE mœnan ‘think, say.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 323; IEW 714.

5. *ml-euh2–     ‘Know, say, speak, bemoan, express’

Ved brávīti ‘say, speak,’ bruve ‘is known,’ OAv mraomī ‘say, speak,’ YAv mruiiē ‘is said,’ TochB palwaṃ ‘bemoan,’ Rus mólvitĭ ‘say, express,’ Czech mluviti ‘utter.’ —LIV 446; EIEC 535-36.

The semantic pairing of “think/say” is very common throughout PIE.

6. *mel-    ‘Think, suppose, worry about, thought, idea, speech, quarrel’

CLuv mali-/malai– , ‘think, suppose,’  māli ‘thought, idea,’ Grk  μέλω ‘to be an object of care or thought, to weigh on one’s soul, to worry about, to take an interest in, to be in one’s thoughts,’ ON māl ‘speech, legal dispute,’ OE  mǣl ‘speech, quarrel.’                      —CLL mali 132; L&S 1100; DELG 658-59; IEW 720; EIEC 125; Bomhard 848.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 856 cites Proto-Afrasian *man-, etc. ‘count, reckon, consider, think, portion, share, number, allot, fortune, mind, to know, word, speech, intention.’ Dravidian maṇi, etc. ‘speak, scold, abuse, utter, petition, request, prayer, word,’ Proto-Uralic *manз-, etc. ‘consider, recount, say, speak, warn, admonish, curse, bewitch, wish evil to, ruin, slander, appoint, order, legend, saga, myth, repeat,’ Proto-Altaic *mana-, etc. ‘learn, try, strive.’

6. Bomhard 848 cites Proto-Afrasian *mal-, etc. ‘do good, be pleasant, be efficient, beneficent, excellent, potent, trusty, well-disposed, devoted, splendid, costly, lavish, famous,’ Dravidian mālimi ‘youthful friendship, familiarity, love, affection,’ Etruscan mlac ‘beautiful,’ Proto-Chuk-Kamch *mæl-, etc. ‘good, good weather, dear, easy, well, strongly, cure, treat, get better.’

Conclusion: Root 2 shares strong phonetic and semantic parallels with the outside language families. Root 6 differs slightly semantically, but still within range of the semantic field. These two resonant variants were likely formed while in contact with the outside language families.

Table 60:   *me(R)d    ‘To be happy, satisfied, drunk, joyful’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*med-m ød1Rejoice, be glad, be drunk, be satisfied
*meu̯d-m d2Merry, glad, rejoice, cheerful

1. *med-     ‘Rejoice, be glad, be drunk, be satisfied’

Ved mándati ‘rejoice, be glad, be delighted, be drunk, be intoxicated,’ mádati ‘gladden, delight, satisfy, exhilarate, intoxicate, inflame, inspire,’ YAv maðaite ‘be drunk, be intoxicated,’ ON mettr ‘satisfied,’ Lat madeō ‘be wet or sodden, be satisfied, be drunk,’ Grk μεστός ‘full,’ OE mettian ‘to satiate.’ —LIV 423; IEW 694-95, 706; NIL 463; Monier-Williams 777, 787; Bomhard 876.

2. *meu̯d-     ‘Merry, glad, rejoice, cheerful’

Ved mudīmahi ‘be merry, glad, happy, rejoice, delight,’ módate ‘rejoice,’ Lith mudrùs, Latv mudrs ‘lively, cheerful, blithe, merry.’ —LIV 443; IEW 741-42; Monier-Williams 822.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 876 cites Proto-Afrasian *mat’-, etc. ‘be or become wet, moist, rain, be soaked by rain, be rotten, dew.’

Conclusion: Latin madeō ‘be wet or sodden, satisfied, drunk’ parallels the Afrasian terms, at least with respect to the ‘wet and sodden’ elements, suggesting that these may be distant cognates.

Table 61:   *me(R)g    ‘To deceive, charm, cheat; guile, trickery, thief, dice cheat’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*meng-m ng1Deceit, guile, spell, magic charm, trickery, illusion
*meu̯g-m g2Concealed, smothered, dice cheat, thief, highwayman

1. *meng-    ‘Deceit, guile, spell, magic charm, trickery, illusion’

MIr meng ‘deceit, guile, illusion,’ Grk μάγγανον ‘spell, magic charm, philter,’ μαγγανεία ‘trickery,’ Oss mæng ‘deceit.’ —EIEC 154; IEW 731.

2. *meu̯g-     ‘Concealed, smothered, dice cheat, thief, highwayman’

OIr formūchtha, for-mūigthe ‘smothered, concealed,’ Lat muger ‘dice cheat,’ ME micher ‘thief,’ OHG mūhhari ‘highwayman.’ —EIEC 154; IEW 743-44.


Table 62:   *ne(R)    ‘Bow, bend, incline, nod, beckon’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*nem-n m 1Bow, bend, bow down
*neu̯-n  2Bend, bow the head, incline, nod, beckon

1. *nem-     ‘Bow, bend, bow down’

Ved námate ‘bend, bow,’ YAv nəmaite ‘bow down,’ TochB nmetär ‘bow oneself,’ Ved nānāma ‘bend over, bow.’ —LIV 453; IEW 764; Monier-Williams 528.

2. *neu̯-     ‘Bend, bow the head, incline, nod, beckon’

Lith niausiù ‘bend, bow, bow the head,’ Grk νεύω ‘incline, nod, beckon, bow, bend forward,’ Lat ad-nuō ‘beckon, nod, bow,’ Ved áti nāvayet ‘shall bow.’ —LIV 455; IEW 767; L&S 1171; OLD 51; EIEC 394.


Table 63:   *(s)pe(R)-       ‘Spin, twist, weave, wind, coil’

This group of roots shows variations on the concept: spun thread and its resulting woven cloth, winding thread, moving in a revolving motion, and winding up cloth in flat segments (folding).

PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*(s)pen-(s)p n1Spin, thread, weave, toil
*sper-(s)p r2Spin, spiral
*pan-p n 3Weave, wind up thread, cloth
*per-i-p r4Round, round about, all around
*pel-p l 5Woven cloth, garments, folded cloth

1. *(s)pen-      ‘Spin, weave, thread’

NE spin, OE spinnan ‘spin,’ ON spinna ‘spin,’ OE spinel ‘spindle,’ OHG spinala ‘spindle,’ spannan ‘stretch,’ OE spithra ‘spider’ (“spinner and weaver of webs”), Lith pinù ‘weave,’ OCS pĭnǫ ‘tighten, strain,’ Alb pe ‘thread,’ Grk πένομαι ‘toil (at household tasks),’ Arm hanum, henum ‘weave,’ TochB pänn ‘draw out, stretch.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 234, 237; IEW 988; LIV 578; EIEC 571; Watkins (2011) 85.

Stretching the combed raw fleece is part of the process of spinning (see photo of spinner stretching and spinning raw fiber).

2. *sper-, (s)per-   ‘Turn, twist, wrap around, band, ribbon, coil, surround’

Lith spartas ‘band ribbon,’ Grk σπεῖρα ‘winding, spiral, whirl, coil, twist,’ σπεῖρον ‘linen cloth, sail cloth, wrapper, garment,’ σπάρτον ‘rope, cable,’ Arm p’arem ‘enclose, surround.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 380; Watkins (2011) 85; IEW 991; DELG 999; AHD 1676; EIEC 644.

Traditionally, the initial *s- in this root is not seen as the s-mobile, but I would argue that *peri (see below #4) is a related form.

3. *păn-    ‘Weave, garments, wind up thread, cloth, flag’

Grk πῆνος ‘woven fabric,’ πήνη ‘thread on the bobbin in the shuttle,’ πηνίον ‘wound-up thread, bobbin, spool,’ πηνίζομαι ‘wind thread off a reel for the woof,’ Lat pannus ‘piece of cloth, rag,’ Goth fano ‘cloth,’ OE fana ‘flag, cloth.’ —IEW 788; de Vries 111; OLD 1290; L&S 1401; DELG 865; EIEC 569.

4. *peri-     ‘Around, all around, round about’

Skrt pári ‘round, around, about, round about,’ pari-karoti ‘to surround,’ pari-kṛit ‘to wind round,’ pari-kṛishati ‘to draw a circle,’ pari-kramya ‘walk around, circumambulate,’ pari-krānti ‘revolution,’ pari-kshit ‘dwelling or spreading around,’ pari-kshipya ‘to wind round, to surround, encircle, embrace,’ pari-khā ‘a moat, ditch, trench around a town,’ pari-dhi ‘an enclosure, fence, wall, any circumference or circle’ pari-bhramya ‘turn or whirl around, move in a circle, round, revolve, rotate,’ Grk  περί ‘round about, all round, extension in all directions as from a center, all round,’ περιάγω ‘completion of an orbit and return to the same point, rotate, cause to revolve, turn round, turn about,’ περιάγωγός ‘a circular canal,’ περιδρομάς ‘running around, encircling,’ περικάθημαι ‘to be seated all around, to surround and besiege a town, to blockade with ships all around,’ Lith pér-jousti ‘to gird around.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 289; IEW 810; Monier-Williams 591-598; L&S 1366-94; Bomhard 119.

Traditionally this preposition is grouped with for, pro, per, etc. as in forward, progeny, permit, but its connotations are significantly different. To go forward is quite distinct from going around something, and so this is better seen as a variation of *(s)per- ‘turn, twist, wrap around.’

5. *pel-     Woven cloth, gown, folded cloth (double/triple folded, etc.)

Grk   πέ-πλος ‘any woven cloth used for a covering; sheet, carpet, curtain, veil; a cloth laid over the face of the dead; upper garment or mantle in one piece worn by women,’ πέπλῠφος ‘weaver of πέπλοι,’  πέπλωμα ‘robe, garment,’ (“The word πέπλος would be a reduplicated form with zero grade, cf. κύκλος.” DELG 852), Alb palë ‘fold,’ ON fel ‘fold,’ faldr ‘a woman’s head covering, fold,’ feldr ‘coat,’ MHG valte ‘fold, winding, corner,’ Skt puṭati ‘to fold, to envelope,’ puṭa ‘a cloth worn to cover the private parts, fold, pocket,’ OCS pelena, Russ pelená ‘diaper, cloth, cover,’ Lat. -plex (duplex, triplex) ‘two-fold, three-fold, etc.’ Lat palla ‘a rectangular mantle, worn esp. as an outdoor garment by women or used as a curtain or covering.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 384; IEW 802; Kluge 182; OLD 1284; EIEC 63; Bomhard 93.

This root is traditionally glossed as fold, but that would seem to be a secondary meaning. The primary sense is ‘spun and woven cloth,’ which is then folded for storage or transport.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

4. Bomhard 119 cites Dravidian piri, etc. ‘twist, strand, wisp, curl, turn, cord, twine, rope, spiral, string,’ Proto-Uralic *pire, etc. ‘round, any round object, around, round about, circumference, periphery, extent, compass, circle, district, ring, wheel,’ Proto-Altaic *pherkV-, etc. ‘tie round, surround, bind, wrap, envelop, girdle, go round, turn, move around, revolve, rotate, spin a spindle,’ Proto-Eskimo *piRðaR, etc. ‘braid, weave, twisted sinew thread.’

5. Bomhard 93 cites Proto-Kartvelian *pal-, etc. ‘hide, bury, grave,’

Conclusion: Root 4 shares strong phonetic and semantic parallels with the outside language families—a very likely cognate. The Kartvelian form cited by Bomhard with respect to Root 5 would be cognate only if ON fela ‘to hide’ and other related Germanic forms belong here, which is not certain.

Table 64:   *p(R)eu̯-    ‘Breathe, breathe heavily, pant, lungs, wind, spirit’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*preu̯-th2pr 1Pant, blow, breathe heavily, snort, foam, froth
*pneu̯-pn 2Blow, breathe heavily, pant, snort, sneeze, spirit
*pleu̯-mon-pl 3Lungs, float, swim, sail  
*peu̯-pø 4Pant, gasp, puff, wheeze, lungs, breath, wind, soul, spirit

1. *preu̯-th2–      ‘Pant, blow, breathe heavily, snort, foam, froth’

Ved próthati ‘pant, blow, breathe heavily, gasp, snort,’ pra-prōthati ‘pant, blow up, inflate,’YAv fraoθaṯ.aspa- ‘with snorting horse,’ OE ā-frēoðan ‘foam, froth,’ ON frauð ‘foam.’ —LIV 494; IEW 810; Monier-Williams 711; Bosworth and Toller 27; de Vries 140.

2. *pneu̯-     ‘Blow, breathe heavily, pant, snort, sneeze, puff, spirit’

Grk πνέω ‘blow, breathe, draw breath, fragrance,’ πνέῦμα ‘blast, wind, breath, spirit, soul,’ ON fnýsa ‘pant, blow, breathe heavily, snort,’ OE fnēosan ‘sneeze,’ fnæst ‘puff, blast, breath.’ —LIV 489; IEW 838-39; L&S 1424-25; de Vries 136; Bosworth and Toller 296.

3. *pleu̯-mon-     ‘Lungs,’     *pleu̯-     ‘Float, swim’

Skt klṓman- ‘right lung,’ Grk πλεύμων ‘lung,’ Lat pulmō ‘pl. lungs,’ Lith plaũčiai ‘lungs,’ ORus pljuča ‘lungs;’ Ved plávate ‘swim, float,’ Grk  πλέω ‘to sail, to swim,’ TochB plyewsa ‘float.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 187; IEW 837; OLD 1518; EIEC 359, 561; LIV 487.

PIE *pleu̯- ‘swim, float,’ has been seen as the source for Latin pulmō ‘lungs’ etc., but this is unlikely. Names for parts of the body generally do not derive from abstract concepts, rather the contrary is much more common. We say, for example, “the mouth of the river,” “the foot of the mountain,” “the head of the department, “the heart of the artichoke.” For this reason, the concept “floating” is much more probably derived from the notion: breathe air into the lungs

4. *peu̯-     ‘Pant, lungs, breath, wind, spirit’

Skt phupphukāraka ‘pant, gasp, puff, wheeze,’ phuphusa ‘lungs,’ Arm (h)ogi ‘breath, spirit, soul,’ MIr ūan ‘foam,’ Grk φῦσα ‘breath, wind, blast, bellows,’ Latv pũga ‘squall of wind.’ —IEW 847; Mallory and Adams (2006) 386; L&S 1963; EIEC 72; Bomhard 137.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

4. Bomhard 137 cites Proto-Afrasian *fuw-, etc. ‘puff, blow, exhale, inflate, breath, wind, diffuse an aroma, fragrant emanation, catch one’s breath, smell,’ Dravidian pūcci, etc. ‘fart,’ Proto-Kartvelian *pu-, etc. ‘swell up, inflate, rise (dough), boil, seethe, blow at somebody, whiff (puff),’ Proto-Uralic *puwз-, etc. ‘blow,’ Proto-Eskimo puvə-, etc. ‘swell, inflate, lung, bubble, gas, air, be fat, ball or balloon-like thing, swim bladder, become swollen with air.’

Conclusion: If not onomatopoeic, then this root would have clear parallels to the outside language families cited.

Table 65:   *pe(R)-       ‘Buy, sell’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*per-p r 1Sell, barter, exchange
*pel-p l 2Sell, profit, booty, bargains

1. *per-     ‘Sell, barter, exchange’

OIr renaid ‘sells, barters, exchanges,’ Lat inter-pres ‘go-between,’ pretium ‘price,’ Grk πέρνημι ‘sell,’  πόρνη ‘prostitute,’ Av pairyante ‘they compared,’ NE price. —Mallory and Adams (2006) 273; L&S 1394-95; DELG 856; LIV 474; IEW 817; Bomhard 98; Benveniste 98-101.

2. *pel-     ‘sell, profit, booty, bargains’

ON falr ‘to be sold,’ Lith pelnas ‘profit,’ Russ polón ‘booty,’ Grk πωλέω ‘sell,’ Skt páṇate ‘bargains, haggles.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 273-74; DELG 925-26; IEW 804; EIEC 185; Benveniste 98-101.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

4. Bomhard 98 cites Proto-Afrasian *par-, etc. ‘separate, divide, break, scatter, judge, deliver, set free, sever, distribute, rend, burst, break out or open (blister or boil), crush, crumble, cut, tear, smash,’ Dravidian pari, etc. ‘separate, sunder, break off, destroy, cut, tear, rend, piece, portion, split, cleave,’ Uralic *päre, etc. small piece, fragment, splinter, chip, crumb, bit,’ Altaic farsi, etc. ‘piece, strip, cut or make in pieces,’ Chuk-Kamch *pər-, etc. ‘pull tear, pluck, rip out, pull out by root, harvest, peel, take off.’

Conclusion: These outside forms are somewhat distant semantically.

Table 66:   *(s)pe(R)s-   ‘Breathe, blow, blast, fragrance, soul, spirit’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*(s)pes-(s)p s1Breathe, blow, soul, spirit, whistle
*pes-p øs2Blast, breathe, blow, fragrance

1. *(s)pei-s-     ‘Breathe, blow, soul, spirit, whistle’

Lat spīrō ‘breathe, blow, respire,’ spīritus ‘breath, air, spirit, soul, divine inspiration,’ OCS piskati ‘whistle,’ Skt picchorā ‘flute,’ OE fisting ‘play pan pipes, fart,’ TochA pis- ‘blow an instrument.’ —IEW 796; Mallory and Adams 385-86; OLD 708, 1805-06; Bosworth and Toller 289; EIEC 72.

2. *pe-s-     ‘Blast, breathe, blow, fragrance’

ON fǫnn ‘blast of snow,’ OCS pěchyrь ‘breathe,’ pachati ‘ventilate, fan, blow,’ Rus pachnútь ‘blowing snow,’ zápachь ‘fragrance, scent, smell,’ Pol pęchnąć ‘blow upon, drift against.’ —IEW 823-24; Mallory and Adams (2006) 184.

Table 67:   *p(R)eth2    ‘Spread out, stretch out, be wide, be open’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*peth2pø th21Spread out, stretch out the arms, be open, extend in space
*pleth2pl th22Spread, extend, become larger or wider, broaden, spread itself out

1. *peth2    ‘Spread out, stretch out the arms, be open, extend in space’

Grk πίτνημι ‘spread out, stretching out the arms, open,’ Lat pandō ‘to spread out, splay, extend the hands, open, open out,’ Osc patensíns ‘open,’ Lat pateō ‘to be open, to extend in space, cover a wide field.’ —LIV 478; IEW 824-25; L&S 1409; OLD 1289; Buck 227, 321; EIEC 539; OLD 145, 1307; Bomhard 121.

2. *pleth2–     ‘Spread, extend, become larger or wider, broaden, spread out’

Ved práthate ‘spread, extend, become larger or wider,’ YAv fraθa.sauuah- ‘the spreading power,’ Lith plečiù ‘to broaden, spread itself out,’ Grk πλατύς ‘broad, wide.’     —LIV 486; IEW 833; Monier-Williams 678; Bomhard 88; EIEC 133, 539.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 121 cites Proto-Afrasian *pit-, etc. ‘open, untie, loosen, release, free, forgive, be wide, spacious, open, broad, widen,’ Dravidian pituṅku, etc. ‘protrude, bulge, gush out, press out, squeeze out, blow up as a bladder, milk (a cow), open up, burst open, cause to burst, pinch,’ Proto-Eskimo *pitə-, etc. ‘come up, rise (sun), come into view or existence, sprout, flower, go out, grow, become, make.’

2. Bomhard 88 cites Proto-Afrasian *pal-, etc. ‘flat, level, broad, even, wide, spacious,’ Dravidian həlu, etc. ‘thinned, rare, not dense, sparse, slight, contemptible, thinness, transparent,’ Proto-Altaic *phāla, etc. ‘field, level ground, meadow, floor, threshing floor, clearing, open space, plain,’ Proto-Chuk-Kamch *pəɣər(ra)-, etc. ‘flat, flatten, bend down close to the ground, smooth out, huddle up in a ball.’

Conclusion: Root 1 shows parallels between the PIE and outside forms which suggest that they may be distant cognates. Semantically, root 2 shares concepts of “open, wide, spacious” with the PIE forms, but phonetically lack of final consonant leaves too much uncertainty to draw definite conclusions.

Table 68:   *(s)pe(R) ‘Nourish, take food or drink, suck, care for, feed, be full, thrive’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*peh2(i)-p h2 1Protect, preserve, feed, pasture animals, maintain, grow rich or fat
*pen-p n 2Feed, fatten, fodder, food, provisions, stock of a household
*peh3(i)-p h3 3Drink, suck, sip, swallow, enjoy, feast upon, partake of a meal
*(s)peh1(i)-(s)p h1 4Be satisfied, thrive, prosper, have success, be filled, get full
*(s)peh2(s)p h2 5Suck, absorb, draw in, (of a female) to be sucked, derive, enjoy
*pleh1plh1 6Have the belly full, fill, satisfy, glut, be filled, have enough

1. *peh2(i)-     ‘Protect, preserve, feed, pasture animals, grow rich or fat’

Ved pā́ti ‘to watch, keep, preserve, protect, defend,’ Lat pāscō ‘to feed, to pasture, keep, rear animals, feeding the young, provide food for, maintain, support, grow rich or fat on, nurture, gratify hunger,’ TochB paskenträ ‘protect, safeguard, care for,’ Hit pahhasmi ‘I care for, I protect,’ OCS pasǫ ‘graze, guard.’ —LIV 460; IEW 787, 839; Monier-Williams 613; OLD 1304-05; Bomhard 83.

2. *pen-     ‘Feed, fatten, fodder, food, provisions, stock of a household’

Lith penù, (penė’ti) ‘feed, fatten,’ pẽnas ‘feed, fodder,’ Lat penus ‘food, provisions, the stock of a household.’ —LIV 471; IEW 807; OLD 1326; Bomhard 116; EIEC 199.

3. *peh3()-     ‘Drink, suck, sip, swallow, enjoy, feast upon, partake of a meal’

Ved píbati ‘drink, suck, sip, swallow, enjoy, feast upon, draw in,’ pā́triya ‘worthy to partake of a meal,’ pā́ka ‘drinking, sucking,’ Grk πῶθι ‘drink,’ Arm əmpem ‘drink,’ Lat bibō ‘to drink.’ —LIV 462; IEW 839-40; Monier-Williams 612-13.

4. *(s)peh1(i)-     ‘Be satisfied, thrive, prosper, have success, be filled, get full’

Ved sphāyātai ‘become fat,’ Khot spaiye ‘be satisfied,’ OE spōwenlice ‘thriving, prosperously, abundantly,’ OCS spějǫ ‘have success,’ Hit ispā(i) ‘get full, be filled, be satiated,’ TochB spāw ‘spread out.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 275, 342; LIV 584.

5. *(s)peh2–     ‘Suck, absorb, draw in, (of a female) to be sucked, derive, enjoy’

Grk σπάω ‘draw in, suck in, suck, (of a female) to be sucked, draw breath, absorb, derive, enjoy,’ Arm hanem ‘draw, pull.’ —LIV 575; IEW 982; L&S 1625.

6. *pleh1–     ‘Have the belly full, fill, satisfy, glut, be filled, have enough’

Ved ápiprata ‘have the belly full,’ Grk πίμπλημι ‘fill, full, satisfy, glut, to be filled, satisfied, have enough of a thing,’ Arm lnowm ‘full,’ Alb m-blon ‘fill.’ —LIV 482; IEW 798-800; Mallory and Adams (2006) 319; L&S 1405; Bomhard 90.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 83 cites Proto-Afrasian *paħ-, etc. ‘take into the mouth, eat, bite, serve up portions of food.’

2. Bomhard 116 cites Dravidian pēṇu, etc. ‘treat tenderly, cherish, foster, protect, regard, esteem, honor, care for, nurture, protecting with loving care, nourish, support, rear, fatten, increase,’ Proto-Uralic *punya-, etc. ‘watch over, protect, preserve, keep, hold, value, herdsman, to pasture, to herd.’

6. Bomhard 90 cites Dravidian pala, etc. ‘many, several, assembly, be multiplied, to breed, to rear,’ Proto-Uralic *palyз-, etc. ‘much, dense, tight, thicken, swell up, fester, many,’ Proto-Altaic phŭle, etc. ‘to be left over, surplus, excess, remain, be enough, sufficient,’ Proto-Chuk-Kamch derivational affix *pəl- ‘completely, intensely, well, to swell, to increase, big.’

Conclusion: All three of these roots show quite plausible connections to outside language families, suggesting that the differentiation of the resonants occurred before the separation of the ancient language stocks.

Table 69:   *pe(R)–     ‘Pick, pluck, shear, tear off’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*pep ø1Pick, pluck, pull, shear, comb, card, and plait wool
*perp r2Pain, ache, suffering, to be painful  
*pleh1plh13To skin, to flay, peel off the skin, tear off, strip off

1. *pe    ‘Pick, pluck, pull, shear, comb or card wool; plait, braid or twist it’

Grk πέκω ‘shear, comb, or card wool,’ Lith pešù ‘pluck, pull, pick,’ Lat pectō ‘to comb, to card wool,’ OHG fehtan ‘fight, fence,’ Arm hiwsem ‘plait, braid, twist, wreathe.’ —LIV 467; IEW 797; L&S 1356; OLD 1315; EIEC 570.

2. *per–     ‘Pain, ache, suffering, to be painful’

Lith per̃šti ‘pain, ache, suffering, to be painful.’ —LIV 475; IEW 821; ALEW 875; Mallory and Adams (2006) 139.

Attempts to link this root with “furrows” or “pigs” (porcus) are dubious due to the semantic distance involved. Probably those stem from a separate root. On the other hand, pain and suffering are closely linked to plucking wool, which, long before the availability of metal shears, would have been a painful experience for the fleece-bearing animals.

3. *pleh1    ‘To skin, to flay, peel off the skin, tear off, strip off’

ON flá ‘to skin, to flay,’ OE flēan ‘pull off the skin, flay,’ Lith plė’šiu ‘tear off, peel off, strip off.’ —LIV 483; IEW 835; Bomhard 132.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

3. Bomhard 132 cites Proto-Afrasian *fil-, etc. ‘cleave, split, divide, canal, stream, hew, hollowed, ravine, cut open, break to pieces,’ Dravidian piḷ-, etc. ‘burst open, be rent or cut, break to pieces, divide, crush, tear apart, split, crack,’ Proto-Kartvelian *plet-, etc. ‘tear apart, rip apart, be worn out, tear to pieces, pluck,’ Proto-Uralic *pilyз-, etc. ‘split, cleave, cut asunder, divide, crack off, splinter, small piece of wood, little bit, fragment,’ Proto-Eskimo *pilaɣ-, etc. ‘to butcher, slit, cut into, cut or saw up, knife for butchering.’

Conclusion: This root shows close semantic parallels to the outside language families, but their lack of final consonant makes the connection uncertain.

Table 70:   *pre(R)s    ‘Spray, sprinkle’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*pres-prøs1Sprinkle, spray, squirt, spit, splatter, rain
*preu̯sprs2Spray, spit, sprinkle, wash, dewdrop, frost

1. *pres-     ‘Sprinkle, spray, squirt, splash, spit, splatter, rain’

Ved prṣant ‘sprinkle,’ TochB pärsāte ‘squirt, spray, sprinkle,’ Hit papparaszi ‘spatter, splash, spurt,’ Lith purškiù ‘spray, sprinkle, spit,’ OCS ras-prašǫ ‘burst, blast,’ Czech prším ‘spit, splatter, sprinkle, rain.’ —LIV 492; IEW 823; Monier-Williams 647.

2. *preu̯s     ‘Spray, spit, sprinkle, wash, dewdrop, frost’

Ved pruṣā ‘spray, spit, sparkle,’ ON friósa ‘to freeze,’ Lith prausiù ‘wash,’ Skr pŕskati ‘spray, sprinkle,’ Ved pruṣvā́ ‘dewdrop,’ Lat pruīna ‘frost, hoar-frost,’ Germanic *frusta- ‘frost.’ —LIV 493; IEW 809-10, 846; Bomhard 99.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 99 cites Proto-Afrasian *par-, etc. ‘spread, scatter, expand, stretch, extend, pull apart, piece, disperse,’ Dravidian para, etc. ‘spread, be diffused, be flattened, be broad, extend, large,’ Altaic fara- ‘to spread freshly harvested grain out to dry.’

Conclusion: Semantic and phonetic differences (lack of final –s) make this connection uncertain.

Table 71:   *pe(R)     ‘Adorn (oneself), to ornament, paint, draw, make ready’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*pep ø1To adorn, to ornament, to clean, to dress, satisfy, delight
*pei̯ḱp 2Adorn (oneself), ornament, paint, write, draw, decorate, make ready

1. *pe   ‘To adorn, to ornament, to clean, to dress, satisfy, delight’

Lith púošiu ‘to adorn, to ornament,’ Latv puôšu ‘to clean, to adorn,’ ON føgja ‘clean, dress, adorn,’ Goth fulla-fahjan ‘be satisfied,’ OE ge-fēon ‘make glad, delight.’ —LIV 467; IEW 796-97.

2. *pei̯    ‘Adorn (oneself), ornament, paint, write, draw, decorate, make ready’

Ved piśāná ‘make ready, adorn oneself, form, fashion,’ píś ‘ornament, decoration,’ OPers apinθa ‘adorn, ornament,’ TochB piṅkeṃ ‘paint, write,’ YAv aṇku’paēsəmna ‘adorn oneself,’ Lith piešiù ‘draw, paint, write,’ Ved pipéśa ‘has adorned.’ —LIV 465; IEW 794-95; Monier-Williams 628; EIEC 414.


Table 72:   *su̯e(R)-       ‘Stake, beam, plank, column, sacrificial post’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*su̯el-, *sel-sl 1Plank, board, shaped wood, doorsill, pillar
*su̯er-sr2Post, prop, support, stake, sacrificial post

1. *su̯el-, *sel-      ‘Plank, board, shaped wood, pillar, post, stake’

NE sill ‘sill, window sill, door sill,’ Grk σέλις, σέλμα, ἕλματα ‘plank, beam, decking,’ ON syll, svill ‘doorsill, threshold,’ svalar ‘arcade,’ OE syll ‘doorsill, threshold,’ OHG swelli, swella ‘doorsill, threshold,’ OHG sūl ‘pillar,’ Lith súolas ‘bench.’ —Mallory & Adams (2006) 227, IEW 898, L&S 1191-92, Watkins (2011) 91, EIEC 431, de Vries s.v. “súl”560, Vigfusson, “súla, syll,” 605, 614.

2.  *su̯er-     ‘Post, stake, support, sacrificial post’

Lat surus ‘post, stake,’ Grk ἕρμα ‘prop, support,’ Skt sváru ‘sacrificial post, stake.’           —Mallory & Adams (2006) 224-225; IEW 1050; OLD 1888; Monier-Williams 1282.

Table 73:   *sne(R)h1    ‘Spin, weave, sew’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*sneh1snøh11Spin, sew
*sneu̯H-snH2Spin, wind, warp, knot
*seu̯H-sH3Sew, stitch
*seu̯h1søh14Set in motion, twist, turn, spin

1. *sneh1–     ‘Spin, sew’

Grk νῇ ‘spins,’ Lat nēre ‘spin,’ OIr sní ‘bind,’ Cymr nyddu ‘spin,’ OHG nāen ‘sew, stitch.’            —LIV 571; IEW 973; Mallory and Adams (2006) 234; EIEC 571.

2. *sneu̯H-     ‘Spin, wind, warp, knot’

ON snúa ‘wind, spin,’ ChSlav snovǫ ‘warp’ (weaving), Goth sniwan ‘make haste,’ ON snúðr ‘spinning, knot, loop.’ —LIV 575; IEW 977; EIEC 571; Bomhard 320.

3. *seu̯H-      ‘Sew, stitch’

Lat suō ‘sew, stitch together, suture a wound,’ Lith siuvù ‘sew, stitch,’ Ved sīvyati ‘sew, stitch,’ NE sew, Oss xwyj ‘sew,’ Goth siujan ‘sew, stitch,’ ChSlav šijǫ ‘sew.’ —LIV 545; IEW 915-16; Mallory and Adams (2006) 234; OLD 1872; EIEC 573.

4. *seu̯h1        ‘Set in motion, twist, turn, spin’

Hit suwezzi ‘push,’ Ved suváti ‘drive on, set in motion,’ OIr im:soí ‘twist, turn, spin about,’ OAv hunāitī ‘carry across,’ Ved asāviṣur ‘set in motion,’ OIr soa ‘shall rotate.’     —LIV 538; IEW 914; Mallory and Adams (2006) 392 (*seu̯h3-).

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 320 cites Proto-Uralic *sene, etc. ‘sinew, tendon, vein.’

Conclusion: This may be a PIE-Uralic isogloss as the roots are both phonetically and semantically congruent.

Table 74:   *se(R)h2    ‘To bear a child, be blest, obtain one’s desire, be satisfied’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*seu̯H-s H1Beget, bear, bring forth a child, give birth, son, child
*selh2s lh22Well-disposed, merciful, kind, favorable, gracious, propitious
*senh2s nh23Obtain, gain, be fulfilled, have, hold, seek, accomplish
*seh2s øh24Satiate, take one’s fill, be satisfied, to have enough

1. *seu̯H-     ‘Beget, bear, bring forth a child, give birth, son, child’

Ved sū́te ‘to beget, bring forth, bear,’ sū ‘child bearing, begetting, procreating,’ sūtā ‘a woman who has given birth to a child,’ sūnú ‘son, child, offspring,’ YAv hunahi ‘you give birth,’ Ved sasū́va ‘has given birth,’ Lith sūnùs ‘son.’ —LIV 538; IEW 913-14; Monier-Williams 1239-40; ALEW 1141; Bomhard 275.

2. *selh2–     ‘Well-disposed, merciful, kind, favorable, gracious’

Grk ἵλαμαι ‘disposed or inclined to be merciful, kind, favorable, gracious, propitious,’ Arm ałač‘em ‘request, entreat,’ Grk ἵληθι (impv.) ‘Be merciful!, Be favorable!,’ —LIV 530; IEW 900; L&S 927-28.

3. *senh2    ‘Obtain, gain, be fulfilled, have, hold, seek, accomplish’

Ved saniṣat ‘have obtained,’ sánati ‘gain, acquire, obtain, possess, enjoy, be successful, be granted, be fulfilled,’ Arm ownim ‘have, hold, come into possession,’ OHG sann ‘strive after,’ OIr sennid ‘pursue, follow,’ Hit sanahzi ‘seek,’ Grk ἄνυμι ‘achieve, accomplish, bring about, fulfill, complete,’ ἤνεσα ‘have accomplished, have fulfilled, have completed.’ —LIV 532; IEW 906; Monier-Williams 1140.

4. *seh2–     ‘Be satisfied, have enough’

Grk ἄμεναι ‘satiate, take one’s fill, be satisfied,’ ωμεν ‘to have enough,’ Ved á-sinvant ‘insatiable,’ TochB sinəsk ‘satisfied, be satisfied,’ soye ‘will be satisfied.’ —LIV 520; IEW 876; L&S 299; Monier-Williams 121.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 275 cites Dravidian cēy, etc. ‘son, child, youth, child at the breast, baby, female child, boy, servant,’ Proto-Kartvelian *škew- ‘to give birth, beget,’ šv-a, etc. ‘child, son, first-born.’

Conclusion: Although few potential cognates can be shown, still the phonetics and semantics are close enough to suggest possible external connections.

Table 75:   *s(R)eg̑–     ‘Salve, apply an unguent, smear on an ointment’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*seg̑-    s  1Apply ointment, salve, unguent, oil
*sleg̑-sl2Smear, dab, apply ointment

1. *seg̑-       ‘Apply ointment, salve, unguent, oil’

Hit iskiyanzi ‘apply ointment, anoint,’ sakan ‘oil.’ —LIV 517; Mallory and Adams (2006) 195.

2. *sleg̑-     ‘Smear, dab, apply ointment’

OIr -slig, -slegar ‘to smear, to dab, smear on a substance,’ Grk λίγδην ‘touch the surface of,’ OCS slьzъkъ ‘slippery.’ —LIV 566; IEW 663-64; OLD 1033.

Table 76:   *(s)te(R)    ‘Steal, conceal, bring secretly, deprive, rob, thief’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*(s)teh2–    (s)t h2 1Steal, hide, rob, thief
*ster-st r 2Deprive, rob, thief
*stel-st l 3Steal

1. *(s)teh2–       ‘Steal, hide, rob, thief’

OCS tajǫ ‘hide,’ taj ‘secret,’ Hit tāyezzi ‘steals,’ Av tāyu- ‘thief,’ Skt (s)tāyu ‘thief,’ TochB ene-stai ‘in secret,’ OIr tāid ‘thief,’ Grk τητάομαι ‘deprive, rob.’ —EIEC 543; IEW 1010.

2. *ster-     ‘Deprive, rob, thief’

MIr serb (< *steru̯os) ‘thief,’ Grk στερέω ‘deprive, rob.’ —EIEC 543; IEW 1028; LIV *sterh1– 599; Mallory and Adams (2006) 275-76.

3. *stel-     ‘Steal’

ON stela ‘steal,’ OE stelan ‘steal,’ NE steal, Goth stilan ‘steal.’ —EIEC 543; Mallory and Adams (2006) 275-76.


Table 77:   *(s)te(R)k-       ‘Rotate: spin, twist, churn, bore, weave, thresh’

This group of roots shows variations on the concept spin, twist, rotate. Spinning yarn is fundamental; weaving reflects the fact that spinning was a major part of the overall weaving process; tormenting results from the twisting of limbs; churning milk is accomplished by turning or spinning the churning stick; boring was done with a friction-stick rotated by a bow with a string under tension like the ancient fire-drill; threshing was performed by leading oxen in a circle to stamp the grain out of the husk, or to drag a threshing sledge around the threshing floor. All these activities involve circular rotation, probably originally based on the notion of spinning wool.

PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRef.Semantic Value
*tek-tøk1Turn, twist, roll, spin, plait, weave, spindle, break flax
*terk(u̯)trk(u̯)2Spin, twist, spindle, torment (twisting the limbs), wind up, writhe, wood turner
*tenk-tnk3Twisting a churning stick, coagulate by churning, churned milk, buttermilk
*teu̯k-t k4Bore, thresh, weave, drill,  
*telk-tlk5Thresh, husks of grain, stamp, crush, pound, beat, grist
*(s)trenk-(s)trnk6String, cord, spun yarn, be twisted, strong, strangle

1. *tek-      ‘Weave, plait, twist, spin’

Arm t’ek’em ‘turn, twist, roll, plait,’ hiwsem ‘plait, weave,’ Lat texō weave, plait, spin, put together,’ MHG dehsen ‘break flax,’ OHG dehse, dehsa ‘spindle.’ —LIV 619; IEW 44, 1058-59; Bomhard 185.

2. *terk(u̯)    ‘Twist, spin, spindle, yarn (and other products of spinning)’

Lat torqueō ‘twist, turn, wind up, spin, torment,’ OE Þrǣstan ‘turn, twist, writhe,’ OHG drāhsil ‘roller, wood turner, wood spinner,’ OPrus tarkue ‘reins,’ OCS trakŭ ‘band, belt,’ Rus tȯrok ‘reins,’ Alb tjerr (<*terkne/o) ‘spin,’ (also tjerr ‘flax yarn spun with a spindle’), Grk τρακτος ‘spindle,’ Hit tarku(wa)– ‘turn oneself, dance,’ Skt. tarkú ‘spindle,’ TochB tärk– ‘twist around, work wood.’ —Monier-Williams 440; L&S 101, 272; EIEC 572; OLD 1951; Mallory and Adams (2006) *terk(w) 234; LIV *terk 635; IEW *terk- 1077.

3.  *tenk-, temk-     (By turning a butter-churn): ‘Make thick, coagulate, buttermilk, curdle, churning-stick, (twisted) seaweed’

Hit tamekzi ‘attach, cling,’ Ved tanakti ‘churned buttermilk,’ OIr téici ‘coagulated,’ ON Þēl (< tenklo) ‘buttermilk,’ Lith tánkus ‘thick, copious,’ Pashto tat (< *tahta- < *tn̥kto-) ‘thick,’ NPers talxina ‘sour milk,’ Skt a-tanákti ‘makes curdle,’ takram (< tn̥klóm) ‘buttermilk,’ takrâṭa (< tañc) ‘churning stick,’ TochB tanki ‘very full, blocked,’ ON Þang ‘seaweed’ (from the tendency of seaweed to twist itself around other seaweed strands and make a thick, strong, ropelike tangle). —LIV 625; Mallory & Adams (2006) 320; IEW 1068; EIEC 516; Monier-Williams 431; de Vries 608.

This root is typically understood to represent thickened or coagulated milk products, rather than the rotating, churning process employed to reach such coagulation. Understood in this way, however, makes sense out of the attested forms signifying ‘churning stick’ and ‘(twisted) seaweed,’ as well as all of the terms related to coagulated milk. A parallel example is the English word, grain. This term signifies a diverse range of cereal crops, but it is derived originally from a word meaning, rub, crush, grind, denoting the process involved in preparing the items for consumption.

4. *teu̯k-     ‘Thresh, bore, drill, hole made by boring, tool for boring, weave’

Grk τυκίζω ‘to work stone,’ τύκος ‘tool for working stone,’ τυκάνη ‘a kind of drag used as a threshing instrument, a threshing sledge  (This implement was drawn in a circular motion by a draft animal.), OIr toll ‘hollow, hole, aperture’ (< tukslo), Cymr twill ‘an aperture, hole or cavity (“originally one produced by boring”), perforated,’ OCS tьkati ‘weave, prick.’ —L&S 1833, 1807; OLD 1958, 1971, 1927; IEW 1032; LIV 640.

The attested OCS word tьkatiweave’ presumably refers to the spinning component of the weaving process. See also L&S s.v. “πόλος,” 1436, for a reference to the circular threshing floor.

5.   *telk-    ‘Thresh, stamp upon, grist, husks of grain

OCS sь-tlьče ‘break up, smash,’ tlьkǫ ‘beat, pound, break,’ Cymr talch ‘fragment, grist,’ OCorn talch ‘husks of grain,’ Slav tolkь ‘stamp, crush,’ Russ toloknó ‘pounded oat meal.’ —Mallory & Adams (2006) 406; LIV 623; IEW 1062; Bomhard 189.

This root denotes the process of threshing grains. Since, in the ancient world, this activity typically involved leading oxen in a circle around a central post, it implies rotational motion.

6. *(s)trenk-     ‘String, spun yarn, be twisted, strong, strangle’

OE streng ‘cord’ (> NE string), strang ‘strong,’ ON strangr ‘stark, strong,’ Grk στραγγαλή ‘halter,’ στραγγαλιζω ‘strangle,’  στραγγαλόομαι ‘to be twisted or knotted up,’  στραγγός ‘twisted,’ MIr sreng ‘string, cord,’ ON strengr ‘rope, cord,’ OHG stranc ‘cord,’ Lat stringō ‘bind fast, string a bow, tighten,’ strangulō ‘strangle, throttle, suffocate, choke’ (presumably with a cord).  —Watkins (2011) 90; EIEC 574; IEW 1036-37; OLD 1828; LIV 604; Mallory and Adams (2006) 236.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 185 cites Afrasian *tak-al-, etc. ‘fix, fasten, drive in, plant, set up, establish, peg, stake, nail, post, build,’ Dravidian takai, etc. ‘stop, resist, deter, obstruct, forbid, subdue, enclose, bind, fasten, yoke, surrounding wall, fortress, palatial building, section of house, apartment,’ Proto-Uralic *takka-, etc. ‘fasten together, stick together, adhesive state of the snow, sticky thick mass, cling, get stuck, hang,’ Eskimo *taquq, etc. ‘braid, cheek, braid hair.’

5. Bomhard 189 cites Dravidian taḷḷu, etc. ‘push, shove, expel, reject, remove, lose, fall, thrust, press through,’ Proto-Kartvelian *tel-, etc. ‘press, tread down, crush, touch, trample,’ Uralic *talya-, etc. ‘trample, tread on, press, stamp, crush.’

Conclusion: The semantics are not particularly close in either of these roots. Lack of final consonant in root number 5 makes the connection to PIE uncertain.

Table 78:   *te(R)   ‘Colonize: build, cultivate, and control the earth’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*te-s, *te-ttø 1Establish, produce, hew, cut, fabricate, fashion, axe, craft, skill
*t-etø 2Cultivate soil, settle, dwell, linger, build on, work land, settlement, people a country
*t-eh1tø 3Gain control of, possess, gain power over, rule, kingdom, dominion
*tu̯ertr4Carve, cut, form, fashion, mold, shape, maker, creator

1. *te-s,  *te-t   ‘Establish, produce, hew, cut, fabricate, fashion, axe’

Lith tašýti ‘hew, trim,’ OCS tesati ‘hew,’ Skt tákṣati ‘fashions, creates, carpenters, cuts,’ Grk τέκτων ‘architect,’ τέχνη ‘art, craft, skill, technique,’ Skt tákṣan ‘carpenter,’ Hit taksanzi ‘undertake, prepare, cause, joint,’ OHG dehsa ‘axe.’ —LIV *tet- 638; IEW *teþ- 1058-59; Watkins (2011) 92; Mallory and Adams (2006) 220, 243, 283; Bomhard 205; EIEC 139.

2. *t-ei̯-     ‘Cultivate soil, settle a land, dwell in a place’

Ved kṣéti ‘dwells, lingers,’ GrkMyc ki-ti-je-si = /ktiensi/ ‘to build on, cultivate, or work land,’ Lat pōnō ‘put, place, sit down,’ Grk κτίσις ‘settlement,’ κτίζω ‘people a country and build houses and cities in it,’ Av šiti ‘settlement,’ Arm šēn ‘dwell, build on, farm, town.’ —LIV *tei- 643; IEW 626; Watkins (2011) 95; Mallory and Adams (2006) 223.

3. *t-eh1   Gain control of, gain power over, rule, kingdom

Skt kṣáyati ‘possess, rule over, govern, control,’ Av, OPers kšaθra ‘dominion, control, command,’ Grk κτάομαι ‘gain, acquire, earn, win.’ —IEW *kþē(i)- 626; Watkins (2011) 95; Mallory and Adams (2006) 269; EIEC 490.

4. *tu̯er    ‘Carve, cut, form, fashion, mold, shape’

YAv θβərəsaiti ‘carve, cut, form, fashion, shape,’ OAv θβarōždūm ‘have formed, have shaped,’ Skt tváṣṭar ‘maker or creator god,’ Grk  σάρξ ‘flesh, piece of flesh.’ —LIV 656; IEW 1102.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 205 cites Proto-Kartvelian *tik-, etc. ‘small tool or implement, a stick, a pick, toothpick, tooth,’ Uralic teke-, etc. ‘do, make, deed, act.’

Conclusion: The semantic parallels here are not particularly strong.

Table 79:   *t(R)ep    ‘Strike, beat, stamp’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*tep-tø p1Stroke, smear, beat, strike, whip, hammer
*trep-tr p2Trespass, tread (crush) grapes, tramp

1. *tep-     ‘Stroke, smear, beat, strike, whip, hammer’

Lith tepù ‘stroke, smear,’ OCS tepǫ ‘beat, strike, pound,’ ORus tepu ‘beat, strike, scourge, lash, whip,’ OCzech tepati ‘beat, strike, hammer,’ ON þōfi ‘to felt wool.’            —LIV 630; IEW 1056; ALEW 1260-61; Bomhard 192.

2. *trep-     ‘Trespass, tread (crush) grapes, tramp’

OPrus er-treppa ‘run over, trespass,’ Grk τραπέω ‘tread grapes,’ Lith trepénti ‘tramp.’     —LIV 650; IEW 1094; L&S 1811.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 192 cites Dravidian tappu, etc. ‘strike, kill, a blow, stroke, slap, attack, hit,’ Proto-Uralic *tappa-, etc. ‘hit, beat, strike, slay, kill, put to death, stamp, tread on, trample on, clap hands, kick.’

Conclusion: Strong semantic and phonetic parallels suggest that this root is cognate to the outside language forms cited.

Table 80:   *te(R)-      ‘Rotation: spin, bore, churn, throw pots, whisk, whirl’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*ter-h1t r 1Rub, turn, twist, bore, drill, pierce, thresh, grind, whirling motion
*ter-tr 2Circular motion: rotate, whirl, stir, agitate, churn, vortex, whirlwind
*ten-t n 3Stretch, spin, weave, twist, string (as spun fiber), musical tone from string under tension
*tel-h2t l 4Raise, lift, cause to rise into the air, uphold, turn, spin, endure, rise (of the stars)

1. *ter-h1–     ‘Rub, turn, twist, bore, drill, pierce, thresh, grind’

Grk τείρω ‘pierce by rubbing,’ τορεύς ‘a boring tool,’ τορνεύμα ‘whirling motion as of a lathe,’ τορνεύω ‘to turn round as a carpenter turns an auger,’ τρύπανον ‘a carpenter’s tool, a borer rotated by a thong,’ τρῦπα ‘a hole,’ OIr tarathar ‘instrument for drilling,’ Lat terō ‘wear down, rub, thresh, grind,’ trībulum ‘a threshing sledge,’ terebrā ‘borer,’ Lith trinù ‘rub,’ OCS rjǫ ‘rub,’ Alb tjerr ‘spin,’ Skt tārá ‘piercing,’ OE therscan ‘thresh,’ thráwan ‘turn, twist, throw pots on a potter’s wheel,’ thrǣd ‘thread’ (from Germanic *thrēdu ‘twisted yarn’), MidDutch drillen ‘to drill.’ —IEW 1071; Mallory and Adams (2006) 375-76; LIV 632; OLD 1927; Watkins (2011) 93; L&S 1830; Bomhard 196.

See Ozolins (2015:29) for an argument by Anttila (1969:154) that this root is *ter-h1 rather *terh1. I follow Anttila here.

2. *ter-     ‘Move in circular motion: whirl, stir, churn, vortex, whirlwind’

OE þweran ‘stir, churn, agitate,’ OHG dweran ‘turn about quickly,’ ON þvara ‘whisk,’ þyrla ‘turn, whirl or swirl around,’ OE dwēre ‘olive press,’ MNG dwarl ‘whirlpool, vortex, NHG dorlen ‘rotate.’ (With -b extension): Lat turbō ‘whirlwind, vortex, spinning motion, top (toy).’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 379; IEW 1100; LIV 655; EIEC 607.

3. *ten-     ‘Stretch, spin, weave, twist, thread, string, cord, rope, musical tone’

Skt tanyate ‘stretch a cord, bend a bow, spread, spin out, weave,’ NPers tanīðan ‘rotate, spin,’ Skt tánti ‘cord, musical string,’ tantu– ‘thread, cord, string, the warp in weaving,’ tántra ‘the warp on a loom,’ tāna ‘sound, musical note, thread,’ Grk τένος ‘bow string,’ τόνος ‘tension, sound, musical tone,’ Goth uf-þanjan ‘stretch out,’ ON þinull ‘rope,’ Latv tinu ‘plait, twist,’ tanis ‘spider, spider web.’ —LIV 626; IEW 1064-66; Mallory and Adams (2006) 299; OLD 1922; DELG 1053; Monier-Williams 435; NIL 690-91; Bomhard 190.

4. *tel-h2–     ‘Raising, lifting, turning’

Lat tollō ‘lift, cause to rise into the air,’ TochAB täl ‘uphold, raise,’ Grk τέλλω ‘come into being, accomplish, turn, to rise (of stars).’ —LIV 622; IEW 1060; Mallory and Adams (2006) 406; L&S 271, 1754, 1772; Bomhard 212; EIEC 352.

Liddell and Scott write of Greek τέλλω, “The sense rise is perhaps derived from that of revolve as used of stars.” That this is correct can be seen from the name, Anatolia, signifying Asia (or more particularly, Asia Minor), as the place (the East) where the stars “up-turn” (ανα=up, τέλλω=turn), or as we commonly say in English, “where the stars come up,” but the ancients were well-aware that the stars move in a circular motion, i.e. that they turn. Other attestations of this root have drifted into the metaphorical realm: Grk ταλάσσαι ‘bear, suffer,’ Goth þulan ‘bear, suffer, endure,’ etc., but evidence that the original sense of this root was, as suggested by Liddell and Scott, turning up, revolving, spinning, can be seen from the fact that a group of related Greek words indicate just that: ταλασήïος ‘of wool spinning,’ ταλασίουργέω ‘spin wool,’ ταλασίουργός ‘wool spinner.’

Another Greek word, Ἄτλας ‘the titan, Atlas,’ who is said (by Hesychius) to be the “axis of the earth,” is often ascribed to this root (ἀ- euphonic, and τλάς from *τλάω). Since “axis of the earth” is, by definition, “axis of rotation,” this supports the notion that this root ultimately shares the fundamental semantic value of revolve, rotate, as do the other roots in this resonant series. 

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 196 cites Dravidian tar̤ayuka, etc. ‘be worn out, rubbed, ground (as a knife), habituated, practiced, try, abrade, wear away, become thin, become wasted, become abraded by moving over a rough surface or by having something rubbed over it, be chafed, grazed.’

3. Bomhard 190 cites Proto-Afrasian *tan-, etc. ‘extend, spread, stretch out, endure, be long-lasting, be continuous, perpetual, steadfast, great and strong, solidly built,’ Dravidian taṇi, etc. ‘abound, be profuse, increase in size, grow fat, full, strong, developed, matured, rich, rise, shine, be well, progress, advance, thrive,’ Proto-Altaic *thāno-, etc. ‘stretch, pull, bent backwards, arched, become straight, stretch oneself, be stretched.’

4. Bomhard 212 cites Proto-Afrasian *tul-, etc. ‘lift, raise, pile up, stack in a heap, hill, mound, hang, mound, be exalted, lofty, elevation, rise, spread, long, outstretched, extended, high, tall,’

Conclusion: All three of these roots show credible connections to the outside language families, suggesting a separation into the resonant variants seen in PIE while still in mutual contact.

Table 81:   *(s)te(R)g     ‘Touch, stroke, touch gently, show affection for, be fond of’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*teh2( )  –      t h2 ()           1To touch, lay hands on, reach out and touch, lay hold of, stroke
*ter( )   –     t r ()         2To rub against, to rub a person down after a bath
*streg-(s)trg3Touch, stroke, rub, touch gently  
*streu̯g-(s)trg4Stroke, caress, fondle, hug, rub, rub down, wipe
*stel( )   (s)t l ()      5Stroke, rub smooth  
*sterg-(s)t rg6Show affection for, be fond of, love, watch over

1. *teh2( )   –      ‘To touch, lay hands on, reach out and touch’

Lat tangō ‘to touch, to touch in a sexual or erotic sense, lay hands on, reach out and touch,’ Grk τεταγών ‘hold on to, lay hold of,’ Goth tekan ‘to touch,’ OE  þaccian ‘touch lightly, stroke,’ TochB ceśäṃ ‘to touch.’ —LIV 616; IEW 1054; EIEC 595; OLD 1904-05; L&S 1779; Autenrieth 267; Balg 435; Bomhard 186; Mallory and Adams (2006) 336.

2. *ter( )   –      ‘To rub against, to rub a person down after a bath, to wipe dry’

Lat tergō ‘rub, wipe dry, to rub a person down after a bath, to rub oneself down, to rub against, press.’ —LIV 632; IEW 1073; OLD 1924-25.

3. *streg     ‘Touch, stroke, rub, touch gently’

Lat stringō ‘to touch,’ OHG strīhhan ‘stroke, touch gently, rub,’ OCS strigǫ ‘shear, clip.’     —LIV 603; IEW 1028; OLD 1828.

LIV suggests that two separate roots have fallen together in Latin stringō. Besides the sense described here, the other signifies “twist together,” and forms part of the resonant series above (*te(R)k- ‘rotate’). See LIV 604, note 1 to 1.*strei̯g-.

4. *streu̯g-     ‘Stroke, caress, fondle, hug, rub, rub down, wipe off’

 ON strjúka ‘stroke, wipe off, smooth, hurry,’ OCS o-stružǫ ‘scrape off,’ NDutch stroken ‘stroke, caress, fondle, hug,’ Grk στρεύγομαι ‘exhausted, worn out, rub, rub down,’ OE stroccian ‘rub, rub down,’ Latv strūgains ‘rub.’ —LIV 605; IEW 1029; de Vries 554; DELG 1026.

5. *stel( )          ‘Stroke, rub smooth’

Hit istalakzi ‘stroke, rub smooth,’ istalkiyattari ‘is smoothed.’ —LIV 595.

6. *sterg-     ‘Show affection for, be fond of, love, watch over’

Grk στέργω ‘love, feel affection (between parents and children), be fond of, show affection for,’ OCS strěgǫ ‘guard, watch over.’ —LIV 598; IEW 1032; L&S 1639.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 186 cites Afrasian *-tak’, etc. ‘touch, push, strike, break,’ Dravidian tagalu, etc. ‘come into contact with, touch, hit, have sexual intercourse with, draw near, strike against, follow, pursue, be entangled, be caught, hurt, rub or graze in passing, give a very slight knock.’

Conclusion: These are quite plausible outside connections to the PIE root.


Table 82:   *(s)e(R)-      ‘Turn, spin’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*(s)er-(s)u̯ r 1Spin, turn, spindle, whirlwind, spindle whorl, string, coil of yarn, warp of loom,
*el- l 2Turn, turn around, circle, enclosure, roll, wind up, round, rotate
*u̯e, *u̯eis-  3Weave, twist, roll, plait, braid, wind, weave, whirlwind
*en- n 4Reel, winch, ring, circle, turn, twist, wind, spindle whorl

1. *(s)er-    ‘ Spin, turn, spindle, whirlwind, spindle whirl’

(From *er-bh): Rus dial. voróba ‘circular string, cord,’ voróby ‘coil of yarn,’ ON verpa ‘warp, to warp a loom for weaving,’ varp ‘the warp of a weaving, yarn used for warp in weaving, beating the loom,’ NE warp. With s-mobile (*ser-bh): Cymr chwerfu ‘whirl, whirlpool, vortex, rotate, revolve,’ chwerfan ‘whorl for a spindle,’ OHG sworbo ‘eddy, whirlpool, vortex,’ OSwed svarva ‘turn on a lathe,’ Latv svar̃pst ‘borer.’  (From *er-p):   Lith verpiù (Latv vērpt) ‘to spin,’ varpstė ‘spool, spindle,’ Latv verpeli ‘whirlwind.’    (From *er-t): Skt vartati ‘turn, rotate, roll,’ Av varət ‘rotate,’ vartáyati ‘to set in a turning motion,’ Lith vartana ‘the turning,’ vartula ‘round,’ vartulā ‘spindle whorl,’ OCS varti ‘rolling,’ Grk ἄ-ρρατος ‘not turnable,’ Lat vertō ‘revolve, turn, spin, churn,’ vortex ‘whirl, whirlpool, whirlwind,’ MIr fertas ‘spindle,’ Cymr gwerthyd ‘spindle,’ OCorn gurhthit ‘hand spindle with spindle whorl,’ OHG wurt ‘destiny’ (from the fates who are spinners), Russ-CSlav vrěteno ‘spindle.’ —LIV 691; IEW 1050, 1153-57; OLD 2042; EIEC 607; Mallory and Adams (2006) 378, 380 (*serbh).

2. *el-     ‘Turn, roll, wind up, round, rotate’

Skt válati ‘turn, turn around,’ valaya ‘circle, round enclosure,’ Arm gelowm ‘turn,’ Lat uoluō ‘roll, turn,’ uolūtō ‘to impel forward by rolling, roll, form by rolling,’ Grk ειλύω ‘to turn, to wind,’ ON valr ‘round,’ MNG walen ‘turn, rotate, roll.’ —LIV 675; IEW 1140-42; EIEC 607; Monier-Williams 927; OLD 2101-02; Bomhard 792.

3. *e-, *e-s-     ‘Weave, twist, roll, plait, whirlwind’

Skt váyati ‘weave, plait, twist, braid,’ vāya ‘weaver, the weaving,’ vāyaka ‘weaver, one who sews,’ vyáyati ‘roll, roll up, wind, twist,’ Lat vieō ‘bend or twist into basketwork, plait, weave,’ Skt vḗṣṭatē ‘wind, twist around,’ Neth wier, OFris wīr, OE wār ‘algae, seaweed’ (from its tendency to twist itself around other seaweed strands to make a strong rope-like tangle), OCS vichrь ‘whirlwind.’ —Mallory and Adams (2006) 233; IEW 1120-21, 1133; OLD 2060; Moiner-Williams 1019; EIEC 571.

4. *en-      ‘Reel, winch, ring, circle, turn, twist, wind, spindle whorl’

*u̯en-g: OE wince ‘reel, windlass, winch,’ NE winch.  *u̯en-dh: Arm gind ‘ring, circle,’ Grk ἄθρας ‘wagon,’ Umbr pre-uendu ‘turn,’ Goth, OE, OSax windan, OHG wintan, ON vandr ‘wind, twine, reel, twist, coil,’ OHG wanda ‘turbo’ = “an object that spins or revolves, a spinning top, the whorl or fly-wheel of a spindle, whirlwind, whirlpool.” —Mallory and Adams (2006) 378-79; IEW 1148; LIV 681-82; OLD 1992; EIEC 607; Buck 98, 343; Bomhard 798.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 792 cites Proto-Afrasian *wal-, etc. ‘revolve, turn, turn around, turn back, wheel around, flee, turn towards,’ Dravidian vaḷai, etc. ‘surround, hover around, walk around, move about, circle, circumference, ring, bracelet, enclosing, wander about, be surrounded, encompassing,’ Chuk-Kamch *wæltə- ‘to twist face.’

4. Bomhard 798 cites Proto-Afrasian *wan-, etc. ‘bend, twist, be crooked, be twisted, press, oppress, deceive, trick, tread down, trample, cheat, delude, mistreat, vex, be faint, be weak, do wrong, commit a fault,’ Dravidian vaṅki, etc. ‘kind of armlet, hook, gold armlet of a curved shape, bend, yield, submissive, curl, vault, bow, reverence, curve, inclination, curve, crookedness,’ Uralic *waŋka, etc. ‘bent or curved, hook, lever for rolling logs, handle,’ Chuk-Kamch *wən- ‘bend.’

Conclusion: Both of these PIE roots show credible parallels in outside language families, suggesting that separation into the resonant variants occurred while still in contact with them.

Table 83:   *(s)e(R)-      ‘Wound, injure, sore, hurt’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*(s)er-(s)u̯ r 1Wound, pain, sore
*el(h2-3) l 2Wound, pain, scar, tear, strike
*en- n 3Wound, injure, hurt’
*eh2-, (*ā-) h2 4Wound, damage, sore

1. *(s)er-     ‘Wound, pain, sore’

OHG sweran ‘abscess, ulcer, pain, fester,’ Av xvara ‘wound, hurt, damage, injury,’ Alb varrë ‘wound, injury, sore,’ Skt vraa ‘wound, sore, ulcer, abscess,’ OCS rana ‘wound,’ Russ rana ‘wound.’ —LIV 613; IEW 1050; EIEC 650; Mallory and Adams (2006)198; Moiner-Williams 1042.

2. *el(h2-3)-     ‘Wound, pain, scar, tear, strike’

Grk άλων ‘painful, distressing, causing sorrow, causing pain,’ οὐλή ‘scar, wound,’  TochA wlatär ‘will die,’ Lat uolnus wound, injury, blow,’ vellō ‘pluck, tear,’ ON valr ‘corpse on the battlefield,’ OE wæl ‘battlefield,’ Hit walahzi ‘strike,’ OIr fuil ‘blood,’ fuili ‘bloody wounds,’ Welsh gweli ‘wound, blood.’ —LIV 679; IEW 1144-45; Watkins (2011) 101; L&S 465, 1066; Mallory and Adams (2006) 198; EIEC 150, 567, 650; Bomhard 786, 816.

3. *en-     ‘Wound, injure, hurt’

OE wund (< Germanic *wundaz) ‘wound,’ wen(n) ‘wen, cyst on scalp or face, a swelling,’ Goth wunds ‘wound, injure, hurt,’ ON und ‘wound.’ —Watkins (2011) 101; IEW 1108; de Vries 634; Mallory and Adams (2006) 280; Bomhard 799; EIEC 548-49.

4. *eh2  (*ā-)       ‘Wound, damage, sore’

Grk ἀάω ‘hurt, wound, damage,’ ἄτη ‘damage, blame, offense, guilt,’ οὐτάω ‘wound,’ Latv vâts ‘wound,’ Lith votìs ‘open sore.’ —IEW 1108; de Vries 634; L&S 1; Bomhard 783.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

2. Bomhard 816 cites Dravidian vel, etc. ‘conquer, overcome, destroy, victory, kill,’ Uralic welз-, etc. ‘strike, kill, slay, slaughter, put to death, butcher, massacre, catch.’

3. Bomhard 799 cites Dravidian vaṅki, etc. ‘dagger, knife, sword,’ Proto-Kartvelian *wn-, etc. ‘injure, harm, torment, suffer,’ Uralic *waŋз-, etc. ‘strike, cut, cut off, stab, hew, hammer, chop, slaughter, slash, gash, killing, blow, wound made by cutting.’

4. Bomhard 783 cites Proto-Afrasian *waħ-, etc. ‘strike, wound, hew, cut stone, reap, pluck, kill, quell, stab, sting, blade, knife, sword,’ Altaic *wā-, etc. ‘kill, slay.’

Conclusion: The parallels in the outside language families suggest that the resonant variants of PIE were created while still in contact with them.

Table 84:   *u̯e(R)    ‘See, look’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*u̯el- l 1See, appearance, seer, investigate, examine
*u̯er- r 2Beware, notice, see, guard, put one’s attention

1. *u̯el-     ‘See, appearance, seer, investigate’

OIr fil, feil ‘exists, seen,’ Cymr gwel ‘see,’ Lat uoltus ‘appearance,’ Goth wulþus ‘glory,’ Air fili, filed ‘seer,’ possibly OE wlītan ‘see,’ TochB yel ‘examine, investigate.’ —LIV 675; IEW 1136-37; EIEC 505; Mallory and Adams (2006) 326; Bomhard 821.

2. *u̯er-     ‘Beware, notice, see, guard, put one’s attention’

Lat vereor ‘honor, fear,’ NE ware and wary, Latv vērt ‘look, gaze, notice,’ Grk οῦρος ‘guard,’ οράω ‘see,’ Hit werite ‘put one’s attention,’ TochAB wär ‘smell.’ —LIV 685; IEW 1164; EIEC 417; Mallory and Adams (2006) 327; Bomhard 801.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 821 cites Proto-Afrasian *wil-, etc. ‘become bright, appear, come into view, appear suddenly, emerge into view, come out of hiding,’ Dravidian veḷ, etc. ‘white, pure, shining, bright, clear, whiten, dawn, be manifest, know, show itself clearly, kindle, scour.’

2. Bomhard 801 cites Afrasian wrš, etc. ‘spend the day, spend one’s time, be awake, guard, sentry, watch, vigil, watch-tower,’ Uralic *warз-, etc. ‘watch over, look after, tend, attend to, keep, guard, wait for, wait on.’

Conclusion: These two PIE roots both show credible parallels in the outside language families. This suggests that they differentiated into the resonant variants while still in contact with them.

Table 85:   *u̯e(R)h1    ‘Want, choose, desire’
PIE RootInitialR1R2FinalRefSemantic Value
*u̯elh1 lh11Choose, wish, want, be willing, desire,
*u̯enH- nH2Wish, yearn, desire, love, lust, friend, wife, long for,
*u̯eh1)- h13Want, strive for, eager for, desirous of, liked, loved

1. *u̯elh1    ‘Choose, wish, want’

Ved vṇīté ‘choose,’ Goth wili ‘want,’ Lat uult ‘wish, want,’ OLith velmi ‘wish, want,’ OCS veljǫ ‘be willing, wish, want, desire,’ Umb veltu ‘shall choose,’ Grk λέώ ‘want, wish,’ NE will, Av var ‘choose, wish.’ —LIV 677; IEW 1140-43; Mallory and Adams (2006) 341.

2. *u̯enH-     ‘Wish, yearn, desire, love, lust’

ON vinr ‘friend,’ Av vantā ‘wife,’ Lat venus ‘lust,’ Skt vánas ‘longing, desire,’ vanī ‘wish, desire,’ vená ‘yearning, longing, anxious, loving,’ TochA wañi, TochB wīna ‘pleasure,’ and in a further derived form, OE wȳscan ‘wish,’ OHG wunsc ‘wish,’ NE wish. —LIV 682; IEW 1146-47; Mallory and Adams (2006) 341; Monier-Williams 917, 1018; EIEC 158; Bomhard 822.

3. *u̯ei̯(h1)–     ‘Want, chase, strive for, enjoy, eager for, desirous of, liked, loved’

Lat uīs ‘thou wantest,’ Lith vejù ‘chase, drive, pursue,’ Grk (ϝ)ίεμαι ‘strive,’ Skt véti ‘follow, strive, seek or take eagerly, enjoy, arouse, excite,’ vī ‘eager for, desirous of, fond of,’ vītá ‘desired, liked, loved, pleasant.’ —LIV 668; IEW 1123-24; Mallory and Adams (2006) 402; OLD 2068-69; Monier-Williams 1004; Bomhard 826.

Notes on possible outside root connections:

1. Bomhard 822 cites Proto-Afrasian *win-, etc. ‘be pleasant, joyful, rejoice, nice, comfortable, soft, gentle, good, clean,’ Dravidian vēṇṭu, etc. ‘want, desire, beg, entreat, request, be required, necessary, indispensable, petition, longings, sexual passion, amorous pleasure.’

5. Bomhard 826 cites Uralic *woye-, etc. ‘be able, have power or capability, strength, force, power, win, gain, conquer, beat, overcome, victory, triumph,’ Altaic *u(y)-, etc. ‘be able, have power or capability, endure.’

Conclusion: Outside language parallels to the two PIE roots here indicate probable genetic connections, suggesting contact with those language families during the time that the resonant variants were developed.


It is evident from these examples that pre-Proto-Indo-European used resonant variation as a kind of grammatical ablaut, as a morphological process to express nuance to ancient roots in the same way that modern languages use vowel modifications, as in the English series: sing, sang, sung, song. The resonants changed, but the fundamental semantic value of the primitive root remained relatively constant.

A further and more comprehensive evaluation of the PIE lexicon to determine the precise extent of this linguistic feature, and to classify roots according to their ancient affiliations, would accomplish two valuable objectives: First, it would push back in time the limits of our knowledge of IE word histories. And second, it would reveal the form of the language at a stage where meaningful comparisons with other language families could be more productive.

[1] Correspondance may be addressed to


[3] Rix, Helmut, et al., Lexicon der Indogermanischen Verben (LIV), 2nd edition (Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2001) 605.

[4] The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD), 4th edition (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000) s.v. “strew,” 1715.

[5] Oxford Latin Dictionary (OLD), P. G. W. Glare, ed., (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1982) s.v. “struō,” 1829-30.

[6] See *(s)dhe(R)- infra.

[7] Mallory, J. P., and D. Q. Adams, The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006) 292-93.

[8] AHD, s.v. “quick,” 1436.

Greek Inscription ca 762 inside the museum on Mount Nebo, Jordan.