Etymology and surprising origins of words

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Published at : 19 Dec 2020
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Learn about etymology, the study of word origins and derivations in historical linguistics, and the influence of a Proto-Indoeuropean (PIE) language in the formation of modern languages in Europe, Russia, and Asia. Highlighted is how etymologists have come up with a theoretical model of the Proto-Indoeuropean language; how Modern English was influenced by the Proto-Germanic and Latin languages, both descendants of PIE; and how English continues to borrow words from other languages.

TO CLARIFY THE ORIGIN OF "WAR"
PIE *wers- "to confuse, mix up" ► Frankish *werra ► Old North French "werre (Old French "guerre," meaning dispute, war) ► late Old English wyrre, werre "large-scale military conflict." Cognates suggest the original sense was "to bring into confusion." There's much confusion in the history of the word in European languages because they borrowed it either from the Germanic or from the Latin root. Etymological trees can have many twisted and intersecting branches (which makes me glad I'm not an etymologist:)

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RELATED LINKS
Scientific American (2018). New Evidence Fuels Debate over the Origin of Modern Languages (web article):
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-evidence-fuels-debate-over-the-origin-of-modern-languages/

Business Insider (2015). "This animated map shows how European languages evolved" (web article and animated map): http://www.businessinsider.com/animated-map-displays-spread-european-language-europe-russia-asia-history-2015-3

Dictionary.com. "What Percentage of English Words are Derived from Latin?" (web article): http://dictionary.com/e/word-origins

Kutsui (Wikipedia User) "Countries where an Indo-European language is: a primary de facto national or official language a secondary official language officially recognized" (map): https://goo.gl/P8nxGV

Wikipedia. "Cot–caught merger" (web article about how the distinction in the vowel sounds of "cot" and "caught" is being lost in North American English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cot%E2%80%93caught_merger

Slate. "Languages that have contributed to English vocabulary over time" (web article) http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2014/03/10/etymology_languages_that_have_contributed_to_english_vocabulary_over_time.html

Ted.com. "20 words that once meant something very different" (web article illustrating semantic change): http://ideas.ted.com/20-words-that-once-meant-something-very-different/

Soho Press. "The Proto-Indo-European family" (web article briefly explaining how etymologists built the "family tree for Indo-European;" includes a chart showing the modern languages descending from Proto-Indoeuropean): https://sohopress.com/the-proto-indo-european-family/

Wikipedia. "Lists of English words by country or language of origin" (web page): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_English_words_by_country_or_language_of_origin

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#language #linguistics #etymology
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