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Q&A

General Q&A about specific languages, language in general, and linguistics.

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37%
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Why did linguists impute Proto-Italic *moini-, *moinos- "duty, obligation, task" 🡺 to PIE root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move"?

What semantic notions underlie Proto-Italic *moini-, *moinos- "duty, obligation, task," 🢂 with PIE root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move"? How do they semantically appertain each other? I quote from...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

28%
+0 −3
How did commeātus semantically shift from meaning "passage" 🢂 to "leave of absence"?

What semantic notions underlie meaning 1 ("The act of coming and going") 🡺 with 5 ("Leave of absence)? Please fill in the gaps, and show the steps, between meanings 1-4 and 5? The Oxford Latin Dict...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭

28%
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How did mittō (to send) semantically shift 🢂 in Vulgar Latin 🡺 to mean "put"?

Wiktionary allegates that, for the Latin mittō (“to send”), The semantic shift from "send" to "put" probably occurred in Vulgar Latin. What semantic notions underlie "send" and "put"? I can'...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

25%
+0 −4
What semantic notions underlie “to exchange” (PIE *meyth₂-) 🢂 “to give, bestow” 🡺 “to let go, send” (Proto-Italic *meitō)?

Wiktionary asservates May be for *mītō (with lengthening of the consonant; compare mitāt), from Proto-Italic *meitō, from Proto-Indo-European *meyth₂- (“to exchange”), an extension of the root...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭

40%
+2 −4
How did « re » + « partir » compound to 🡲 "repartee", which means "rejoinder"?

In French, « partir » means "to (de)part". What semantic notions underlie « re » + « partir » 🡺 with the 2020 AD English meaning of repartee (i.e. riposting))? (de)parting and replying don't see...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

37%
+1 −3
How did 'videlicet' (it's permissible to see) semantically shift 🢂 to signify 'to wit, namely'?

How did meaning 1 beneath semantically shift to 2? How does seeing or sight 🡲 semantically appertain to wit or knowledge? viz. 1530s, abbreviation of videlicet [2.] "that is to say, to wit, nam...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

22%
+0 −5
How did 'to wit' shift (from "to know") 🡺 to mean 'that is to say'?

Unquestionably, "wit" or "knowing" are concepts distinguishable from "saying". Thus how did 'that is to wit' shift 🢂 to denote 'that is to say; namely'? wit Both the noun wit [OE] and the verb...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by gmcgath‭

85%
+10 −0
Why "me too" and not "I too"?

I've been studying German lately, and came across something that sparked my curiosity: The way to say "me too" in German is "ich auch" - that is, "I too". A shallow glance at other Germanic languag...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Moshi‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

30%
+1 −5
How can "in terms of" alone encompass — and substitute — multiple prepositions "at, by, as, or for"?

in terms of. This phrase is commonly used as a substitute for a precise identification of relationship or as a substitute for such prepositions as at, by, as, or for. The phrase is correctly used...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by gmcgath‭

77%
+5 −0
Why is "djinn" the plural of "djinni"?

Most reliable sources say that the Arabic-derived "djinni" is a singular word and its plural is "djinn." (Or "jinni" and "jinn," if you prefer.) The dropping of a final letter or syllable to plural...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by gmcgath‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

60%
+7 −4
What's the difference between "in doing so" and "by doing so"?

As the title mentioned, what's the difference between these two terms? The question has troubled me for some time. Hope somebody can answer me. Thanks!

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by sinneddennis‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by gmcgath‭

81%
+7 −0
Where, here, and there: What is the origin, and can it be generalized?

I recently stumbled upon this wikipedia page and it got me thinking. Take a look at the following table (terms are lifted from the Wikipedia page) W (interrogative) H (proximal) T (medial)...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Moshi‭

75%
+4 −0
English dialects and he/she versus it

In normed Finnish language hän (he/she) refers to people, while se (it) refers to non-people. However, in spoken language, at least in many dialects, se is used also for people. (Both hän and se ar...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by tommi‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Lundin‭

28%
+0 −3
How does 'contango' semantically appertain to (1) 'continue'? (2) Or 'contain' as in Spanish 'contengo'?

I know that in Spanish, contengo is the first person singular conjugation of contener "to contain". I surmise that English transcribed the Spanish /e/ into an "a". Etymonline 1853, "charge made...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

66%
+4 −1
Why "sommaren är kommen" rather than "sommaren har kommit" in Swedish?

I have seen the phrase sommaren är kommen. What grammatical form is this and how is it correct? I thought it should rather be sommaren har kommit, for summer har arrived (literally: summer has co...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by gerrit‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Mithical‭

66%
+2 −0
What is ทำดีได้อย่าเด่นจะเป็นภัย in Thai?

What is ทำดีได้อย่าเด่นจะเป็นภัย in Thai? I find the structure of this sentence a bit odd. If I break it down: ทำ ดี ได้ This means "Doing good order" (the action of doing good in some contex...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user

28%
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How did 'in' + 'as' + 'much' (⟶ inasmuch) compound to mean "in an equal or like degree"?

I quote the OED 's etymology for the adverb inasmuch. originally 3 words in as much (in northern Middle English in als mikel), subsequently sometimes written as 2 words, in asmuch, and now (espe...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

28%
+0 −3
How did prae + scribere semantically shift from meaning "write before" ⟶ "a title or right acquired through long use or uninterrupted possession"?

I grok that prae- + scribere ⟶ praescribere literally meant write before. But what semantic notions underlie write before with a title or right acquired through long use or uninterrupted possession...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

71%
+3 −0
What does the letter do ৡ in Bangla?

There are 14 অ বর্গীয় (O borgiyo) letters in Bengali. But couldn't find out in book what they are. I know that there are 11 vowel letters in Bengali. But while looking for অ বর্গীয়, I just found th...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 2y ago by deleted user

28%
+0 −3
How did (the cross-linguistic univerbation) 'nothing/not/none/no + less' semantically shift to mean 'despite'?

Several West European languages, most spoken in 2022, feature cognate adverbs with the meaning of ''nevertheless' by univerbating "nothing/not/none/no" +"less". What semantic notions underlie...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

33%
+0 −2
How did 'ad-' + 'rogare' compound to mean 'to make great claims about oneself'?

What does the prefix ad- semantically mean here? How did the compounding of ad- + rogare yield 'to make great claims about oneself' and "to claim for oneself, assume"? What semantic n...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by dsr‭

86%
+11 −0
Why did the letter K survive in Latin, though it was rarely used?

In classical Latin, the letter C is pronounced like K. Hardly any words use the latter K; even imports from Greek turned kappa into C. A handful of words, such as "kalendae," held onto their K. In...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by gmcgath‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Moshi‭

33%
+0 −2
What semantic notions underlie the legal meaning of 'vest' — with its original meanings of 'robe', 'gown'? [duplicate]

How does the legal meaning of 'vest' (quoted first below) semantically appertain to its original lay meanings of 'robe', 'gown' (quoted second)? VESTING the satisfaction of all the requirements...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  closed as duplicate 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

44%
+2 −3
How did 'security' semantically shift to signify 'tradable financial asset'?

What semantic notions underlie the Latinate meanings of 'security' (quoting Etymonline first) mid-15c., "condition of being secure," from Latin securitas, from securus "free from care" (see secu...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by dsr‭

33%
+0 −2
How does the semantic notion of “in defiance of” signify “notwithstanding”?

The semantic notion of “in defiance of” feels unrelated to “notwithstanding”! What underlies or relates these semantic notions? This question appertains to all languages that founds this conjuncti...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

75%
+4 −0
Why did the Tironian et survive in Irish, when it died out everywhere else?

The Tironian et was a scribal abbreviation for the Latin word et; it was used for centuries across Europe, but finally died out and was replaced with & in almost all languages. The exception wa...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by TRiG‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

33%
+0 −2
What semantic notions underlie "pull, drag" (in tractō) 🡒 "negotiate, bargain" (in 'treat')?

Etymonline below blazons the sense of "negotiate, bargain" in treat. Please see the green line for the sense of "pull, drag" from tractō. I added the red lines beside 8(b) and 9, because these sen...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by PSTH‭

33%
+0 −2
What semantic notions underlie vērum's 2 superficially unrelated senses — "truly" vs. 'but; yet; however'?

How did the adverb vērum semantically shift from "truly" to mean 'but, yet, however'? These 2 senses look completely unrelated to me! Oxford Latin Dictionary (2012 2 ed), pp 2254-5.

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

50%
+1 −1
Modern English words originating in Norman

Where should I learn about words that came into Modern English most likely from Norman? Please example some words which most likely came to Modern English only from Norman (i.e. words which are li...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 2y ago by dsr‭

42%
+1 −2
Why does "counter" mean the area of a letter entirely, or partially, enclosed by a letter form or a symbol?

Etymonline's entries for the homonyms "counter" don't semantically appertain to its meaning in typography. How does "counter" in typography relate to the common lay English 2021 meanings of "co...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

50%
+1 −1
Why did linguists choose 'Patient' (noun) to denote this Thematic Role?

        THEMES and PATIENTS are rather similar, and not all linguists distinguish between these roles. A THEME typically moves from one location or one person to another, like the letter in (31...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Keelan‭

75%
+4 −0
Why is the word "maniac" considered such a strong insult in Hebrew?

When I first moved to Israel, one of the first things I was warned about was using the word "maniac". As an American, this is considered a very minor insult - minor enough for little kids to use wi...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Mithical‭

80%
+6 −0
Swedish verbs with the meaning of mixing

I do a research on Swedish verbs with the meaning of mixing something. I struggle with some of words. There are two words 'blanda' and 'röra' which are usually used with prepositions, like 'om', 'i...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Supermiledi‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Lundin‭

33%
+0 −2
Why does the Latin prefix 'in-' also mean the English 'to', when Latin 'ad-' already means 'to'?

I quote Etymonline on impute (v.): early 15c., from Old French imputer, emputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of ...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

40%
+0 −1
How can the Latin prefix 'in-' possibly befit imputare?

I quote Etymonline on impute (v.): early 15c., from Old French imputer, emputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of ...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

83%
+8 −0
Does Japanese have pronouns?

It is often said that Japanese doesn't really have a pronoun word class, such as in the Wikipedia article on Japanese Grammar: Although many grammars and textbooks mention pronouns (代名詞 daimeish...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by curiousdannii‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

50%
+1 −1
How does taking, buying, procuring (emō) semantically appertain to destruction, annihilation (perimō)?

As you can read below, emō meant to take, buy, gain, procure. But perimō meant to destroy and annihilate. Plainly, their meanings differ! So why was perimō formed from emō and compounded with per-?...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by PSTH‭

33%
+0 −2
How does "happening" appertain to "(be)falling"?

I don't understand why English and Latin (see the two quotations below) uses the notion of "(be)fall" to signify "happening". How are they related semantically? accident [14] Etymologically, an...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by PSTH‭

40%
+0 −1
How does saeculum ( “generation” or “lifetime") semantically relate to PIE root *se- "to sow"?

Why did historical linguists impute saeculum to PIE *se-? What semantic notions underlie them? All boldenings are mine. secular (adj) c. 1300, "living in the world, not belonging to a religious...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

57%
+2 −1
How did 'less than' semantically shift to mean 'if not'?

What semantic notions underlie less than and IF NOT? How did less than semantically shift to mean IF NOT in at least these 5 languages? Just edit this post if you pine to add other languages with t...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

40%
+0 −1
How does propitius (“favorable, well-disposed") semantically relate to PIE root *per- (1) "forward")?

Why did historical linguists impute propitius to PIE *per-1? What semantic notions underlie them? All boldenings are mine. propitiation (n.) late 14c., propiciacioun, "atonement, expiation," fr...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

60%
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Resources for a speaker of Modern Hebrew to learn Biblical Hebrew?

Re-asking a question I answered elsewhere: As a speaker of modern Hebrew I[1], I can tell that some things have changed since the Hebrew of the bible -- some words I think I know just don't make s...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

57%
+2 −1
How did 'consideration' shift to signify grounds and the act of deliberation, then inducer of a grant or promise?

        The name of Consideration appears only about the beginning of the sixteenth century, and we do not know by what steps it became a settled term of art. The word seems to have gone throug...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

50%
+0 −0
How did 'style' signify names of court cases?

Can you please expatiate on ohwilleke's answer? She asseverated My suspicion is that the Latin/French word for a writing instrument ends up being used for the act of using a writing instrument t...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

50%
+0 −0
How did 'unless' evolve to mean 'if not'?

[Etymonline:] mid-15c., earlier onlesse, from on lesse (than) "on a less condition (than); see less. The first syllable originally on, but the negative connotation and the lack of stress changed ...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭

50%
+0 −0
Is the etymology of 'amphigory' semantically related to the English idiom 'go round in circles'?

Any semantic relationship between amphigory amphigory (n.) "burlesque nonsense writing or verse," 1809, from French amphigouri (18c.), which is of unknown origin, perhaps itself a nonsense word...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭

50%
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How did 'equity' semantically broaden to mean 'common shares'?

I ask about its meaning merely for stocks here (not Equity = Assets — Liabilities). See Personal Finance For Canadians For Dummies (2018), p 217. Equity — not to be confused with equity in real ...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

66%
+2 −0
How did "bail" shift to signify "money deposited as a guarantee when released"?

I fail to understand this etymology for bail (n.1), particularly the first paragraph. [3.] "bond money, security given to obtain the release of a prisoner," late 15c., a sense that apparently de...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Ullallulloo‭

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How did 'equity' semantically shift to signify 'Assets — Liabilities'?

Here I ask merely ask about Equity = Assets — Liabilities here, not its meaning as stock. 1. Why was 'equity' was adopted to describe this difference? equity: In the real-estate world, this ter...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 2y ago by PSTH‭

60%
+1 −0
How did « histoire », in « histoire de/que », semantically shift to signify "in order to/that"?

This French StackExchange post merely paraprhased "histoire de/que" as afin de / afin que, meaning pour / pour que — all this can be translated as "in order to/that" in English. But nobody in fact...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Jirka Hanika‭