In linguistics, cognates, also called lexical cognates, are words that have a common etymological origin.Cognates are often inherited from a shared parent language, but they may also involve borrowings from some other language. For example, the English words dish , disk and desk and the German word Tisch ("table") are cognates because they all come from Latin discus , borrowed from Ancient Greek δίσκος(dískos), which relates to their flat surfaces. Cognates may have evolved similar, different or even opposite meanings, and although there are usually some similar sounds or letters in the words, they may appear to be dissimilar. Some words sound similar, but do not come from the same root; these are called false cognates, while some are truly cognate but differ in meaning; these are called false friends.
The word cognate derives from the Latin noun cognatus , which means "blood relative".
Cognates do not need to have the same meaning, which may have changed as the languages developed separately. For example English starve and Dutch sterven or German sterben ("to die") all derive from the same Proto-Germanic root, *sterbaną ("die"). Discus is from Greek δίσκος (from the verb δικεῖν "to throw"). A later and separate English reflex of discus, probably through medieval Latin desca, is desk (see OED s.v. desk).
Also, cognates do not need to have similar forms: English father , French père , and Armenian հայր (hayr) all descend directly from Proto-Indo-European *ph₂tḗr. An extreme case is Armenian երկու (erku) and English two , which descend from Proto-Indo-European *dwóh₁ (note that the sound change *dw > erk in Armenian is regular).
Examples of cognates in Indo-European languages are the words night (English), nicht (Scots), Nacht (German), nacht (Dutch, Frisian), nag (Afrikaans), Naach (Colognian), natt (Swedish, Norwegian), nat (Danish), nátt (Faroese), nótt (Icelandic), noc (Czech, Slovak, Polish), ночь, noch (Russian), ноќ, noć (Macedonian), нощ, nosht (Bulgarian), nishi (Bengali), ніч, nich (Ukrainian), ноч, noch/noč (Belarusian), noč (Slovene), noć (Serbo-Croatian), nakts (Latvian), naktis (Lithuanian), νύξ, nyx (Ancient Greek), νύχτα / nychta (Modern Greek), nakt- (Sanskrit), natë (Albanian), nos (Welsh, Cornish), noz (Breton), nox/nocte (Latin), nuit (French), noche (Spanish), nueche (Asturian), noite (Portuguese and Galician), notte (Italian), nit (Catalan), nuet/nit/nueit (Aragonese), nuèch / nuèit (Occitan) and noapte (Romanian), all meaning "night" and being derived from the Proto-Indo-European *nókʷts "night".
Another Indo-European example is star (English), starn (Scots), Stern (German), ster (Dutch and Afrikaans), stjer (Frisian) Schtähn (Colognian), stjärna (Swedish), stjerne (Norwegian and Danish), stjarna (Icelandic), stjørna (Faroese), stairno (Gothic), str- (Sanskrit), tara (Hindustani and Bengali), tera (Sylheti), tora (Assamese), setāre (Persian), stoorei (Pashto), estêre or stêrk (Kurdish), astgh (Armenian), ἀστήρ (astēr) (Greek or ἀστέρι/ἄστρο, asteri/astro in Modern Greek), astrum / stellă (Latin), astre / étoile (French), astro / stella (Italian), stea (Romanian and Venetian), estel (Catalan), astru / isteddu (Sardinian), estela (Occitan), estrella and astro (Spanish), estrella (Asturian and Leonese), estrela and astro (Portuguese and Galician), seren (Welsh), steren (Cornish) and sterenn (Breton), from the Proto-Indo-European *h₂stḗr "star".
The Arabic سلامsalām, the Hebrew שלוםshalom, the Assyrian Neo-Aramaic shlama and the Amharic selam ("peace") are also cognates, derived from the Proto-Semitic *šalām- "peace".
Cognates may often be less easily recognised than the above examples, and authorities sometimes differ in their interpretations of the evidence. The English word milk is clearly a cognate of German Milch , Dutch and Afrikaans melk , Russian молоко (moloko), Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian mleko / mlijeko . γάλακτος gálaktos (genitive singular of γάλα gála, "milk"), a relationship that is more evidently seen through the intermediate Latin lac "milk" as well as the English word lactic and other terms borrowed from Latin.On the other hand, French lait , Catalan llet, Italian latte, Romanian lapte , Spanish leche and leite (Portuguese and Galician) (all meaning "milk") are less-obvious cognates of Ancient Greek
Some cognates are semantic opposites. For instance, while the Hebrew word חוצפה chutzpah means "impudence", its Classical Arabic cognate حصافةḥaṣāfah means "sound judgment." Another example is English empathy "understanding of thoughts" and Greek εμπάθεια empátheia "malice".
Cognates within a single language, or doublets , may have meanings that are slightly or even totally different. For example, English ward and guard (<PIE *wer- , "to perceive, watch out for") are cognates, as are shirt (garment on top) and skirt (garment on bottom) (<PIE *sker- , "to cut"). In some cases, including this one, one cognate ("skirt") has an ultimate source in another language related to English,but the other one ("shirt") is native. That happened with many loanwords, such as skirt in this example, which was borrowed from Old Norse during the Danelaw.
Sometimes both doublets come from other languages, often the same one but at different times. For example, the word chief (meaning the leader of any group) comes from the Middle French chef ("head"), and its modern pronunciation preserves the Middle French consonant sound; the word chef (the leader of the cooks) was borrowed from the same source centuries later, but by then, the consonant had changed to a "sh" sound in French. Such word sets can also be called etymological twins, and they may come in groups of higher numbers, as with, for example, the words wain (native), waggon/wagon (Dutch), and vehicle (Latin) in English.
A word may also enter another language, develop a new form or meaning there, and be re-borrowed into the original language; that is called reborrowing. For example, the Greek word κίνημα (kínima, "movement") became French cinéma (compare American English movie) and then later returned to Greece as σινεμά (sinemá, "the art of film", "movie theater"). In Greek, κίνημα (kínima, "movement") and σινεμά (sinemá, "filmmaking, cinema") are now doublets.
A less obvious English-language doublet pair is grammar and glamour .
False cognates are words that people commonly believe are related (have a common origin), but that linguistic examination reveals are unrelated. For example, on the basis of superficial similarities, the Latin verb habēre and German haben, both meaning 'to have', appear to be cognates. However, because the words evolved from different roots, in this case, different Proto-Indo-European (PIE) roots, they cannot be cognate (see for example Grimm's law). German haben, like English have, comes from PIE *kh₂pyé- 'to grasp', and its real cognate in Latin is capere, 'to seize, grasp, capture'. Latin habēre, on the other hand, is from PIE *gʰabʰ, 'to give, to receive', and hence cognate with English give and German geben.
Likewise, English much and Spanish mucho look similar and have a similar meaning but are not cognates, as they evolved from different roots: much from Proto-Germanic *mikilaz < PIE *meǵ- and mucho from Latin multum < PIE *mel- . Instead, its real cognate is Spanish maño.
In linguistics, the comparative method is a technique for studying the development of languages by performing a feature-by-feature comparison of two or more languages with common descent from a shared ancestor and then extrapolating backwards to infer the properties of that ancestor. The comparative method may be contrasted with the method of internal reconstruction in which the internal development of a single language is inferred by the analysis of features within that language. Ordinarily, both methods are used together to reconstruct prehistoric phases of languages; to fill in gaps in the historical record of a language; to discover the development of phonological, morphological and other linguistic systems and to confirm or to refute hypothesised relationships between languages.
In linguistics, a false friend is either of a pair of words in different languages that look or sound similar, but differ significantly in meaning. An example is the English embarrassed and the Spanish embarazada, the word parents and the Portuguese parentes and Italian parenti, or the word bribe, which means 'suborn' in English, but crumb in French.
False cognates are pairs of words that seem to be cognates because of similar sounds and meaning, but have different etymologies; they can be within the same language or from different languages, even within the same family. For example, the English word dog and the Mbabaram word dog have exactly the same meaning and very similar pronunciations, but by complete coincidence. Likewise, English much and Spanish mucho came by their similar meanings via completely different Proto-Indo-European roots. This is different from false friends, which are similar-sounding words with different meanings, but which may in fact be etymologically related.
Grimm's law is a set of sound laws describing the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) stop consonants as they developed in Proto-Germanic in the 1st millennium BC. First systematically put forward by Jacob Grimm but first remarked upon by Rasmus Rask, it establishes a set of regular correspondences between early Germanic stops, fricatives, and the stop consonants of certain other centum Indo-European languages.
In linguistics and etymology, suppletion is traditionally understood as the use of one word as the inflected form of another word when the two words are not cognate. For those learning a language, suppletive forms will be seen as "irregular" or even "highly irregular".
In linguistics, the Indo-European ablaut is a system of apophony in the Proto-Indo-European language.
Metathesis is the transposition of sounds or syllables in a word or of words in a sentence. Most commonly, it refers to the interchange of two or more contiguous segments or syllables, known as adjacent metathesis or local metathesis:
The laryngeal theory is a widely accepted hypothesis in the historical linguistics of the Indo-European languages positing that:
The Thracian language is an extinct and poorly attested language, spoken in ancient times in Southeast Europe by the Thracians. The linguistic affinities of the Thracian language are poorly understood, but it is generally agreed that it was an Indo-European language with satem features.
Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family. Its proposed features have been derived by linguistic reconstruction from documented Indo-European languages. No direct record of Proto-Indo-European exists.
An isogloss, also called a heterogloss, is the geographic boundary of a certain linguistic feature, such as the pronunciation of a vowel, the meaning of a word, or the use of some morphological or syntactic feature. Major dialects are typically demarcated by bundles of isoglosses, such as the Benrath line that distinguishes High German from the other West Germanic languages and the La Spezia–Rimini Line that divides the Northern Italian languages from Central Italian dialects. However, an individual isogloss may or may not have any coterminus with a language border. For example, the front-rounding of /y/ cuts across France and Germany, while the /y/ is absent from Italian and Spanish words that are cognates with the /y/-containing French words.
Etymology is the study of the history of words. By extension, the etymology of a word means its origin and development throughout history.
The Greek language has contributed to the English vocabulary in five main ways:
The ruki sound law, also known as the ruki rule or iurk rule, is a historical sound change that took place in the satem branches of the Indo-European language family, namely in Balto-Slavic, Armenian, Indo-Iranian. According to this sound law, an original *s changed to *š after the consonants *r, *k, *g, *gʰ and the semi-vowels *w (*u̯) and *y (*i̯), as well as the syllabic allophones *r̻, *i, and *u:
The verb go is an irregular verb in the English language. It has a wide range of uses; its basic meaning is "to move from one place to another". Apart from the copular verb be, the verb go is the only English verb to have a suppletive past tense, namely went.
In etymology, two or more words in the same language are called doublets or etymological twins or twinlings when they have different phonological forms but the same etymological root. Often, but not always, the words entered the language through different routes. Given that the kinship between words that have the same root and the same meaning is fairly obvious, the term is mostly used to characterize pairs of words that have diverged at least somewhat in meaning. For example, English pyre and fire are doublets with merely associated meanings despite both descending ultimately from the same Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word *péh₂ur.
The prefix ped- in English and various other Western languages has multiple Latin and Ancient Greek roots, and multiple meanings. Ped- is a prefix in English and many other Western languages, often with divergent spellings, such as pet-, pie-, pei-, etc.
Sambahsa or Sambahsa-Mundialect is an international auxiliary language (IAL) devised by French linguist Olivier Simon. Among IALs it is categorized as a worldlang. It is based on the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) and has a relatively complex grammar. The language was first released on the Internet in July 2007; prior to that, the creator claims to have worked on it for eight years. According to one of the rare academic studies addressing recent auxiliary languages, "Sambahsa has an extensive vocabulary and a large amount of learning and reference material".
The Christian holiday Easter has several names. The names differ depending on languages, but most are derived from Greek and Latin "pascha". The modern English term Easter developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre, which itself developed prior to 899, originally referring to the name of the Anglo-Saxon goddess Ēostre.
early 14c., "lower part of a woman's dress," from Old Norse skyrta "shirt, a kind of kirtle"
Old English scyrte "skirt, tunic," from Proto-Germanic *skurtjon "a short garment"
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