Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Indo-European Roots - Sources - LexiLine Journal 286

Reposted from LexiLine Journal 286.

>Hi, Andis - Following the Wipipedia link, I ran into this one on
>Root Words for Indo-European languages.


>Do any of these look Latvian to you?

>Ina Mitchell

Dear Ina,

Your Wikipedia link points to alleged Indo-European roots in Pokorny, who is regarded by mainstream linguists to be an important source, although Pokorny's 1959 Indogermanisches W├Ârterbuch is outdated.

A list of sources on (proto)Indo-European is found at the Indo-European Lexicon at the University of Texas Linguistics Research Center
where it is written:
"Our project goal is to produce a large, heavily indexed collection of Indo-European (IE) "reflex" words having their inferred etymological origins in the reconstructed ancestral language Proto-Indo-European (PIE)."
The best easily available source for current mainstream views of Indo-European roots is the section "Indo-European Roots" in the appendices of various American Heritage dictionaries.

An up-to-date list of Indo-European roots is found online in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, which is reproduced at

Important to read there for starters is the article "Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans" by Calvert Watkins at as well Indo-European Sound Correspondences and of course
The Indo-European Roots Index at

Many of these alleged Indo-European Roots are correct, many are incorrect, and I will be getting into a detailed discussion of them in coming e-mails.



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