Wiktionary talk:About Proto-Indo-European

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This creative page needs to specify that all these entries need to start with "Appendix:Proto-Indo-European ". --Connel MacKenzie 20:47, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Copyvios all?[edit]

Looking at the sources being cited, perhaps we need a blanket prohibition against all this recent research. (Recent, meaning not before 1923.) Absolutely none of this can be free of copyright? --Connel MacKenzie 20:51, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Started vote for wholesale removal instead, at Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2006-12/PIE. --Connel MacKenzie 21:22, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Some of the English meanings are direct copies from Pokorny 1959. Compare:
*peḱ, pēḱ-, pōḱ- "to make pretty; to be joyful"
with [1]
all of the other info has to be either copyvio or original research. (IMNSHO) Robert Ullmann 21:28, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
There was research during the 1800's, but it seems to be considered outdated for various reasons by the modern proponents; even Pokorny is apparently outdated. It is a bit disturbing that this page advocates taking entries from it: "One main source for PIE entries will be Pokorny's 1959 dictionary, ..." which would be clear copyio. Robert Ullmann 21:40, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

by your logic, all material is either copyvio or original research, there is no middle ground left. Dbachmann 16:14, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Correct...for all P-I-E material. That is another reason there should be no P-I-E information anywhere on en.wiktionary.org. --Connel MacKenzie 03:12, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I've removed a suggestion to use Pokorny "as a main source". Most of it reconstructions are obsolete anyway. --Ivan Štambuk 16:50, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

There is no copyright in an idea[edit]

To clarify, using knowledge contained in a copyrighted work, without copying part of the work, is never an infringement. 05:28, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Others - kept[edit]

Kept. See archived discussion. 09:32, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Duplications of descendants on two proto-pages[edit]

As has been suggested here - This would leave only single-language descending families listed, and would miss the whole point of the ===Descendants==== section: to list all the ancient and modern descendants of a particular proto-word (or a root/word family), including borrowings. This would enable the creation of a giant, unparalleled semantic network that would ease the memorization of both etymologies and the meanings of words. If the descendants section grows too big (which I doubt, but which would be awesome if we get to that point!), collapsibility of the families at the first level of indentation could be implemented in javascript to ease the browsing. If the duplication by itself is the problem, it should be solved at the lower levels of inheritance, with entries of proto-languages using either labeled section transclusion to selectively map the content of the master descendant section to that of inheriting proto-language, or by plain periodic bot-synchronization. --Ivan Štambuk 13:26, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Redirect policy[edit]

I think redirects should be allowed for PIE, because there are common spellings of certain known PIE roots, such as *ekwos or *kmtom. This would also make it easier for people to find the actual PIE root, because not everyone knows how to spell h₁éḱwos or ḱm̥tóm on a keyboard. EliasAlucard / Discussion 04:54, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

As far as I know, such redirects are already allowed, and there are quite a few of them. —CodeCat 12:47, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

derived stems on separate pages[edit]

I don't agree with splitting of stems and derived terms on separate pages. For example on Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/dʰeh₁- we have four derivations, each of which is on a separate page. What is the point of ====Descendants==== section there anyway? To list unsorted terms that need to moved to the derived terms pages? It should also be noted that for most of the roots such derivations generally come with a big question mark because they are often postulated on the basis of very little evidence (e.g. reflexes in a single branch, usually Sanskrit or Greek which preserve PIE verbal system the best). This layout makes it very hard to navigate and observe the evidence in the daughter langauges.

My preferred layout would have the root listed under the ===Root=== section, and have all of the derivations listed either as as subsections. (e.g. for *dʰeh₁- we'd have ===Root=== and then ====*dʰédʰeh₁-==== or ====Present====), or just in a one big two-column table with derivations in the first column, and reflexes (which generally won't be many, a dozen tops) in another. Inflection would then come at the very end, after the evidence for particular stems has been presented. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 01:33, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

I have wondered about this as well. Most descendants don't clearly preserve the original primary verb inflection. Germanic and Slavic for example have almost only thematic verbs left. I think your solution may work well; alternatively we can list the verbs on the same page but under a ===Verb=== section. But we should keep secondary formations distinct as these were still clearly derived verbs. —CodeCat 01:43, 6 August 2013 (UTC)


Over the past year, I have encountered quite a few words that say they derive from PIE roots that contain either a turned e (ǝ) or a schwa (ə); for example, Special:WhatLinksHere/Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/wenǝ-, Special:WhatLinksHere/Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/wenə-. (I have AWB set to alert me to turned es because they are frequently misused in IPA transcriptions.) PIE mentions schwas, but this page's list of canonical symbols does not. Should it? If not, how should the pages that currently link to wenǝ-/wenə- be changed? - -sche (discuss) 02:53, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Schwas are an alternative notation for laryngeals that appear between consonants and therefore become "vocalised" in many descendant languages. So there are really three schwas to match the three types of laryngeal. The notation is a bit outdated though, and most modern sources just write the laryngeal. That's what our practice page reflects. —CodeCat 03:11, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
The pages that currently use wenǝ- or wenə- should be changed to use wenh₁- if fine is correct. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:24, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

PIE morphology template[edit]

In Wiktionary:About Latin and About Ancient Greek, I suggested creating categories for present tense forms created by nasal infix. Responses to my suggestion lead me to think that this suggestion should be handled here. Here's a proposal. How about there be a PIE root template that allows for showing the particular affixed, ablauted, or otherwise modified form of a PIE root that gives rise to a given Indo-European form? For instance, in the Etymology section of λαμβάνω (lambánō), this description could be added: the present stem λαμβάν- originates from *lh₂⟨n⟩gʷn̥-: zero-grade of *sleh₂gʷ- without s-mobile, with nasal infix *n, and with suffix *n̥. (I'm just guessing αν is n̥.)

In this case, the template would need to be able to remove the s-mobile, insert the nasal infix, remove the *e of ablaut, and add the suffix n̥. In other cases, it would need to replace the default *e of ablaut with *o or add a different suffix. Perhaps it could even include accent (although this might only be relevant in Ancient Greek, Germanic forms with Verner's Law operating, etc.). It would ideally also add categories based on the morphological and phonological changes (something like Latin forms with PIE nasal infix, Ancient Greek forms from PIE zero-grade, Latin forms with PIE s-mobile.).

Is this a crazy idea? Unfortunately I'm not that much of a PIE scholar or a template coder, so I cannot judge for sure whether this makes sense in either sphere, but I am interested in having words categorized by their origin from PIE forms with PIE morphological process x or y, and in having more detailed PIE etymologies, at least for a few words. — Eru·tuon 17:49, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Nobody has responded, so a simpler idea: a template with a bunch of morphological categories, like nasal infix, reduplicated present or perfect, and ablaut grade, that you could put before the root, and which would automatically categorize words as being derived from a particular category of PIE morphological form.

Let's say it was called {{ine-pro-morph}}. So, in δίδωμι (dídōmi):

From {{etyl|ine-pro|grc}} {{m|ine-pro||*de-deh₃-}}, {{ine-pro-morph|grc|redupl|pres}} of {{m|ine-pro|*deh₃-||to give}}.

resulting in

From Proto-Indo-European *de-deh₃-, reduplicated present of *deh₃- (to give).

and categorizing the word in Category:Ancient Greek reduplicated presents or something like that.

Any thoughts? I didn't get a response last time, probably because my idea was too fantastical. — Eru·tuon 07:24, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

I think it's fine to categorize Category:Ancient Greek reduplicated presents and the like, but not all Ancient Greek reduplicated (nasal-infix, ske/sko, etc.) presents necessarily come from PIE reduplicated (nasal-infix, ske/sko, etc.) presents. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:50, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Interesting. Meaning some of these morphological processes were still productive after the PIE period, perhaps in Proto-Hellenic? Is there a way to determine whether the forms originate in PIE or not? — Eru·tuon 19:54, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Not really. At best, it's unlikely that a form is of PIE date if it's only found in one branch. But if a form is found in many branches, it may mean that it came from PIE, but it may also mean that the derivation process was still productive in the individual branches and they innovated the same form in parallel. It's very hard to tell these cases apart. —CodeCat 20:05, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Okay, so I shouldn't keep assuming that Greek forms have PIE etyma... oh well. Probably have to change a few entries then. — Eru·tuon 20:32, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
If a certain present stem is attested in two branches, it's probably old; if it's attested in three or more, it almost certainly is. (I don't think anyone seriously doubts that *yewg- had a nasal infix present in PIE.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:32, 9 March 2016 (UTC)

Lemmatising PIE verbs[edit]

We currently have a lemma form for nouns and adjectives, but not for verbs. The reason is presumably that there is a wide variety of lemma forms in the PIE languages, so it's not possible to choose one that neatly reflects them all, except by using the basic stem. However, I am finding that omitting the verb ending leaves out important details that are not supplied by the stem alone, namely whether the verb took primary (present), secondary (default) or stative endings. PIE also had deponent verbs, and this would be shown with middle endings in the lemma. These details are often reconstructible, and I think they should be included. Note that this question applies primarily to derived terms listed under roots. We only have a few actual PIE verb entries anyway.

The choice of lemma form is a bit more difficult, so I'd like to ask others for their opinions here. We should choose something that is used by PIE and at least some of the IE languages, so non-finite forms like infinitives are automatically out. That leaves only two contenders: 1st and 3rd person singular.

For the 1st person singular:

  1. Endings:
    • Active primary athematic *-mi, thematic *-oh₂.
    • Actuve secondary athematic *-m, thematic *-om.
    • Middle primary athematic *-h₂or (Sihler)/*-h₂er (Ringe, Fortson), thematic *-oh₂or/*-oh₂er.
    • Middle secondary athematic *-h₂o (Sihler)/*-h₂e (Ringe, Fortson), thematic *-oh₂o/*-oh₂e.
    • Stative *-h₂e
  2. Used by two big ancient IE languages, Latin and Greek, as well as by modern Greek. Also used by Bulgarian.
  3. Clearly distinguishes thematic from athematic verbs, at least in the active primary endings.
  4. Consensus on what the final vowel in the middle ending is?

For the 3rd person singular:

  1. Endings:
    • Active primary athematic *-ti, thematic *-eti.
    • Active secondary athematic *-t, thematic *-et.
    • Middle primary athematic *-(t)or, thematic *-etor.
    • Middle secondary athematic *-(t)o, thematic *-eto.
    • Stative *-e
  2. Used by two big ancient IE languages, Sanskrit and Avestan, though both are in the same branch and are a bit less well known to English Wiktionary editors. Also used by Old Irish, which is slightly more obscure, and by modern Macedonian.
  3. The most frequently used form of a verb, generally, and the only one that is present for even defective/impersonal verbs.
  4. Probably less likely to result in funny alternations like Szemerenyi's law, which might obscure the stem.
  5. If we decide to list the other alternant of athematic verbs, the 3rd person plural is an ideal candidate as it is well reconstructed. The 1st person plural is somewhat more murky terrain, at least to me.
  6. Should we use the middle endings with t or without? The t-less forms are very rare among IE languages, attested only in a few Sanskrit, Anatolian, Celtic and Tocharian verbs, but they appear to be the early PIE endings, replaced with forms with t within PIE itself already.

Which one do you think we should use?

CodeCat 21:10, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

I doubt that these forms actually existed as such in true PIE, due to some recent articles by Roland Pooth. However, I haven't read much about PIE and this is probably a minority view at the moment. Despite that I'm an Ancient Greek enthusiast, if a form has to be chosen, I'd support the third person singular, since reconstructions of that form seem to be less uncertain, and the active ones all contain t, which makes it more recognizable. — Eru·tuon 21:32, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
My preference is leaning towards the 3rd person forms as well. —CodeCat 15:05, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Passer-by from beer parlour here. I recently thought about this and I'm wondering: Why do we/dictionaries in general see the need to have the verb class reflected by the lemma for PGM/Latin but not any descending Germanic/Romanic languages? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 11:31, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
The Proto-Germanic lemma is the infinitive, the same as for all the descendants. So any information it gives about verb class is coincidental. And the Romance infinitive does reflect verb class in many languages. The Proto-Slavic infinitive doesn't reflect verb class entirely accurately, as Slavic verbs have at least two principal parts (present and infinitive). —CodeCat 15:43, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Order of formations in root entries[edit]

The ordering of the various formations in root entries is currently a bit haphazard, so I propose the following standard, based in part on what is already common practice:

  • Verb formations first, then nominals and other formations.
  • Derivations are listed in alphabetical order by the suffix. The grade of the root and suffixes are ignored (i.e. assume zero grade for ordering). Simple thematic nominal derivations are ordered as "o". Thus, *sth₂-tós comes between *stéh₂-tis ~ *sth₂-téy-s and *stéh₂-tus ~ *sth₂-téw-s.
  • Root verbs are listed before all other verbs, root nominals before all other nominals.
  • More derived formations after basic formations. Thus, a verb derived from a noun comes after that noun.

What do you think? —CodeCat 20:39, 3 May 2016 (UTC)