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This Proto-Indo-European entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



Connection with certain Indo-Iranian terms has been suggested:

  • Pashayi wālī (perhaps < Proto-Indic *abalikā-)
  • Sogdian ʾmʾnk (āmang?, apple), Munji [script needed] (āmenga), Yidgha [script needed] (amuno), Pashto [script needed] (maná, apple), Shughni мӯн (mūn), му̊н (mū̊n, apple), all < Proto-Iranian *amarnaka- ~ *amarnā-, possibly reflecting earlier *abarna/ā- (via assimilation in nasality from *b..n to *m..n), ultimately from PIE *h₂ebe/olne/eh₂-

There are several indications that the word for "apple" did not belong to the oldest layer of the Indo-European protolanguage:

  1. the word is limited to the West Indo-European languages
  2. it contains the phoneme */b/, which had marginal distribution in PIE
  3. it somewhat resembles the South European word for "apple" (PIE or pseudo-PIE *méh₂lom: Latin mālum, Ancient Greek μῆλον (mêlon)).

This all points that the word entered the Indo-European speech continuum some time after the dissolution of the parent language, most likely as a borrowing from Semitic, or from the same source as Semitic words such as Arabic [script needed] (ʼubullat-, arak, fruits; dried figs pressed in a mass) and Tigre [script needed] (ʼobäl, tamarisk).

Gamkrelidze and Ivanov argue that the Hittite cognate is [script needed] (šam(a)lu-, apple), which renders the original PIE form as *samlu (apple). The original cluster *-ml- remained as such in Anatolian but yielded *-bl- in the other IE languages with otherwise rare/non-existing phoneme */b/. Such a development is not attested anywhere else, however, and with the only sound that *h₂ébōl and [script needed] (šam(a)lu-, apple) have in common being */l/ the connection remains dubious. The Hittite word is furthermore identical to Hattic [script needed] (šawat, apple, apple tree) with the usual Hattic /t/ = Hittite /l/ correspondence, though it could easily be a borrowing from Hattic rather than vice versa.


Germanic stem variants *apal- and *apla- point to the originally archaic ablauting paradigm.


*h₂ébōl m

  1. apple


Athematic, amphikinetic
nominative *h₂ébōl
genitive *h₂blés
singular dual plural
nominative *h₂ébōl *h₂ébolh₁(e) *h₂éboles
vocative *h₂ébol *h₂ébolh₁(e) *h₂éboles
accusative *h₂ébolm̥ *h₂ébolh₁(e) *h₂éboln̥s
genitive *h₂blés *? *h₂blóHom
ablative *h₂blés *? *h₂bl̥mós
dative *h₂bléy *? *h₂bl̥mós
locative *h₂bél, *h₂béli *? *h₂bl̥sú
instrumental *h₂bléh₁ *? *h₂bl̥bʰí



  • Balto-Slavic: *āˀbōl
  • Celtic: *abalom (see there for further descendants)
  • Germanic: *aplaz (see there for further descendants)
  • Italic:
    • Oscan: Abella (the name of a city in Campania which Vergil calls malifera, i.e. "apple-bearing") - usually dismissed as a borrowing from a northern language though