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Indo-European Lexicon

PIE Etymon and IE Reflexes

Below we display: a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) etymon adapted from Pokorny, with our own English gloss; our Semantic Field assignment(s) for the etymon, linked to information about the field(s); an optional Comment; and Reflexes (derived words) in various Indo-European languages, organized by family/group in west-to-east order where Germanic is split into West/North/East families and English, our language of primary emphasis, is artificially separated from West Germanic. IE Reflexes appear most often as single words with any optional letter(s) enclosed in parentheses; but alternative full spellings are separated by '/' and "principal parts" appear in a standard order (e.g. masculine, feminine, and neuter forms) separated by commas.

Reflexes are annotated with: Part-of-Speech and/or other Grammatical feature(s); a short Gloss which, especially for modern English reflexes, may be confined to the oldest sense; and some Source citation(s) with 'LRC' always understood as editor. Keys to PoS/Gram feature abbreviations and Source codes appear below the reflexes; at the end are links to the previous/next etyma [in Pokorny's alphabetic order] that have reflexes.

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings may appreciate the source & meaning tips that pop up when the mouse pointer hovers over a non-obvious word or name that he coined from Indo-European (usually Old English or Old Norse) stock. But only reflexes of PIE etyma can be included, and these tend to concentrate in the vocabulary of Rohan and the Shire.

All reflex pages are currently under active construction; as time goes on, corrections may be made and/or more etyma & reflexes may be added.

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Pokorny Etymon: 2. nau- : nuu- : nu-   'death; corpse'

Semantic Fields: to Die; Dead; Death; Corpse, Body


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old English: ne(o)d/ni(e)d n.fem need, distress, necessity; (name for) N-rune W7/ASD
Middle English: ned n need W7
English: Nár prop.n dwarf in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
  Narvi prop.n dwarf in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
  narwhal n arctic cetacean AHD/W7
  need n obligation, necessary duty AHD/W7
  nudge vb.trans to touch/push gently AHD/W7
  nudnik n boring pest AHD
Old Frisian: ned n need, necessity ASD
Old Saxon: nod n need, necessity ASD
Old High German: not n need, distress W7
German: Narwal n.masc narwhal LRC
  Not n.fem need, emergency TLL
Yiddish: nudnik n boring pest LRC
Runic: *naudiz n need, necessity; (name for) N-rune LRC
Old Norse: Narfi prop.n Narfi (Voluspa dwarf) ICE
  nauð(r) n.fem harm, distress, poverty LRC
  náhvalr n narwhal, lit. corpse-whale W7
  Nár prop.n.masc Nar (Voluspa dwarf) TPE
  nár n.masc corpse, body, cadaver, dead man IEW/ICE
Icelandic: nauð n need, necessity ASD
Norwegian: narhval n narwhal W7
Danish: narhval n narwhal W7
Swedish: narval n narwhal W7
Gothic: nauþs n need, necessity ASD
Polish: nuda n boredom AHD


Key to Part-of-Speech/Grammatical feature abbreviations:

Abbrev. Meaning
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)

Key to information Source codes (always with 'LRC' as editor):

Code Citation
AHD=Calvert Watkins: The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 2nd ed. (2000)
ASD=Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller: An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (1898)
ICE=Richard Cleasby and Gudbrand Vigfusson: An Icelandic-English Dictionary (1874)
IEW=Julius Pokorny: Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (1959)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
TLL=Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language (1944)
TPE=Lee M. Hollander: The Poetic Edda (1962)
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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