Coming out of the fog

This is a postscript to last week’s post on fog. To get my point across, as they say, let me begin with a few short remarks on word origins, according to the picture emerging from our best
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This is a postscript to last week’s post on fog. To get my point across, as they say, let me begin with a few short remarks on word origins, according to the picture emerging from our best dictionaries. My remarks pertain to Indo-European. We are told that once upon a time many roots existed, for example, digh-, ger-, and the like. They were allegedly endowed with certain meanings. Thus, digh– meant “nanny goat.” By contrast, there were presumably six different ger’s: “to gather,” “to grow old,” “curving, crooked,” “to cry hoarsely,” and “to awaken.” Those roots were abstracted from the words in various languages that are obviously or supposedly (sic) related. The units in question can be even shorter: for instance, leu– is said to coexist with its “extended” offspring or cousins leud-, leug-, leuk-, and leup-, among others. At some time, etymologists seem to have believed that such roots floated around before words. I think Skeat, if I understand him correctly, held this. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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