Unknown PIE root

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Hi CodeCat, I was looking at articles about PIE and I came across the root *treh₁w- (to nourish), but I cannot find any derivatives of it. Do you have any insight? Also, in general, if I come across a root for which I cannot find any derivatives, where should I look?

01:32, 17 January 2013

If someone gives a root but doesn't give any descendants, I'm not sure there is much you can do. Not unless you can find words yourself, but that means having good knowledge of how the descendants developed, which may be very difficult.

01:35, 17 January 2013

I can't find Italic or Germanic reflexes. Would the Germanic derivative be something like **þrawaną?

01:50, 17 January 2013

It could be. The three grades would be *þrēw-, *þrōw- and *þraw-.

01:53, 17 January 2013

Could you make a guess of how the root would develop to end up in one of the modern Germanic languages?

05:45, 17 January 2013
  • þrēw- would end up in Dutch as *drauw-, in Old English as *þrāw- or *þrǣw-, in Old Norse as *þrá-. I don't know for *þrōw-. *þraw- would become *drooi- or similar in Dutch, Old English *þreaw-, Old Norse probably also *þrá-.
14:14, 17 January 2013

That's interesting. Can you spell in IPA approximately how *drooi- would be pronounced in Dutch? Also, is Old Norse "á" pronounced similarly to the same in Icelandic?

11:07, 18 January 2013

It would be phonemically /droːj/ although the o would often be pronounced more open in this combination. There are also many different ways to pronounce the r, I would say it as [dʀɔːj]. Old Norse á was long back a, [ɑː].

14:08, 18 January 2013

Do Dutch and German realize "r" dorsally because of French/Frankish influence? Proto-Germanic *r was similar to Proto-Indo-European *r, right?

17:07, 18 January 2013

Yes, it was. Dutch r is pronounced differently depending on speaker and region. There are quite a few varieties. The standard pronunciation is the historical one, as an alveolar trill. But there is also the uvular trill, uvular fricative, alveolar approximant (as in English), or a central vowel resembling a schwa or a more open schwa (as in German).

17:09, 18 January 2013
Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 19:29, 23 October 2017

I wonder whence the alveolar approximant derives. It's odd how Dutch and English are virtually the principal languages which feature it. It's also odd how here in America the respective vowels are rhotacized. The vowel you describe in German (I think [ɐ]) and the alveolar approximant in Dutch are what I thought were the realizations of /r/ at the end of the syllable (e.g. the "er" /(ə)ɹ/ in neder).

20:52, 18 January 2013

It's not that hard if you think about it. The alveolar trill has the same place of articulation. So if you articulate it a bit weaker by not letting the tongue fully close the air stream, you have an approximant. I think some dialects of Norwegian and Swedish also have approximants, and that kind of ties in with the retroflex assimilation that is found in many of those areas. If you imagine r and s falling together into a retroflex, there is almost automatically an approximant before the retroflex consonant.

It's actually easier conceptually for a trill to become an approximant, than it is for an alveolar consonant to become uvular. I'm not really sure where the uvular pronunciation comes from but there is a whole area in Europe that uses it, including areas of German, France, Danish and Swedish too.

21:18, 18 January 2013

That makes sense. I suppose the area using uvular trills got the phone from a common source. I've always assumed that Danish got it from German and its close relatives, and that languages like Pre-French used alveolar trills. Could it have possibly been from a non-Indo-European substratum (although it's a long shot)?

00:12, 19 January 2013