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



Starostin connects the Kartvelian root with controversial Proto-North Caucasian *ʕämćō (apple) and Proto-Indo-European *(s)h₂émlo- (apple) and derives the latter from North Caucasian.

Kroonen (2016) compares it more specifically with the Proto-Indo-European *(s)m̥h₂l- that he reconstructs as the ancestor of Ancient Greek μῆλον (mêlon), Latin mālum and Hittite 𒊭𒈠𒇻 (šam(a)lu-); he further notes that only a single metathesis is required to derive the Indo-European form from that in Kartvelian.[1]

Fenwick (2016) proposes rather a deformation from Early PK *sxmal- (compare *sxmar- in Proto-Kartvelian *sxmarṭl- (medlar)), by folk reanalysis as an active participle *m-sx-al- of Proto-Kartvelian *sx- (to grow, bear fruit); she further treats Early PK *sxmal- as a loan from Late Proto-Indo-European *(s)h₂émlo- (apple, tree fruit),[2] supposing the latter itself to be a metathesised variant of a more archaic *(s)méh₂lo-.[3]



  1. pear (fruit)



  1. ^ Kroonen, Guus (2016) “On the origin of Greek μῆλον, Latin mālum, Albanian mollë and Hittite šam(a)lu- ‘apple’”, in The Journal of Indo-European Studies[1], volume 44, pages 85-91
  2. ^ Fenwick, Rhona S. H. (2017) “An Indo-European origin of Kartvelian names for two maloid fruits”, in Iran and the Caucasus[2], volume 21, pages 310-323
  3. ^ Fenwick, Rhona S. H. (2016) “Descendants and ancestry of a Proto-Indo-European phytonym *meh₂l-”, in Journal of Indo-European Studies[3], volume 44, pages 441-456
  4. ^ Fähnrich, Heinz (2007) Kartwelisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch [Kartvelian Etymological Dictionary] (Handbuch der Orientalistik; VIII.18) (in German), Leiden, Boston: Brill, page 296
  5. ^ Penrixi (Fähnrich), Hainc, Sarǯvelaʒe, Zurab (2000) Kartvelur enata eṭimologiuri leksiḳoni [Etymological Dictionary of the Kartvelian Languages] (in Georgian), 2nd edition, Tbilisi: Tbilisi Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani State University Press, page 336
  6. ^ Klimov, G. A. (1998) Etymological Dictionary of the Kartvelian Languages (Trends in linguistics. Documentation; 16), New York, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, page 125

Further reading[edit]

  • Čikobava, Arnold (1938) Č̣anur-megrul-kartuli šedarebiti leksiḳoni [Laz–Megrel–Georgian Comparative Dictionary] (Works; IV) (in Georgian), Tbilisi: Arnold Chikobava Institute of Linguistics, published 2008, pages 132–133
  • Gudava, Ṭogo (1960) “O-s u-ši gadasvlis zogierti šemtxveva zanur (megrul-č̣anur) enaši [Some cases of transition of o into u in Zan (Mingrelian-Chan) language]”, in Sakartvelos ssr mecnierebata aḳademiis moambe (in Georgian), volume 25, number 1, Tbilisi, page 119―122
  • Starostin, S. A. (2005) “*msxal-”, in Kartvelian etymological database compiled on the basis of G. Klimov's and Fähnrich-Sarjveladze's etymological dictionaries of Kartvelian languages
  • Furnée, Edzard Johan (1979) Vorgriechisch-Kartvelisches: Studien zum ostmediterranen Substrat nebst einem Versuch zu einer neuen pelasgischen Theorie (in German), Editions Peeters, →ISBN, pages 45–46, connects with Ancient Greek ἰσχάς (iskhás)
  • Gamkrelidze, Th. V., Ivanov, V. V. (1995) Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. A Reconstruction and Historical Analysis of a Proto-Language and Proto-Culture. Part I: The Text (Trends in linguistics. Studies and monographs; 80), Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, page 799, reconstruct Proto-Kartvelian *(m̥)sx-al-; follow Furnée's derivation of Greek from this root