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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: (s)pel-   'to speak aloud, tell with emphasis'

Semantic Field: to Speak, Talk


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old English: god-spel(l) n.str.neut gospel W7
  lað-spell n.str.neut painful/grievous story, lit. ill-news ASD
  spell n.str.neut tale, speech, story GED
  spellian vb.wk to spell, speak, narrate GED
Middle English: gospel n gospel W7
  spell n tale, speech, story W7
  spellen vb to talk, speak, tell a story W7
English: gospel n lit. good news AHD/W7
  Láthspell prop.n Grima's epithet for Gandalf in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
  Morgul-spells evil sorcery in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
  spell, spelt vb.wk to read slowly (letter-by-letter) AHD/W7
  spell n incantation, words thought to have magical power AHD/W7
Old Saxon: god-spell n gospel ASD
  spel(l) n.str speech, story GED/ASD
Old Low German: spell n tale, story ASD
Old High German: got-spel n gospel ASD
  (got-)spellon vb.wk to speak, narrate GED
  spel(l) n.str speech, story GED/ASD
  spelza n spelt, corn ASD
Old Icelandic: spjall n.str speech, story GED
  spjalla vb.wk to speak, narrate GED
Icelandic: guð-spjall n gospel ASD
Gothic: *spill n myth GED
  spilla n.masc announcer GED
  spillon vb.wk.II to tell, relate LRC
Old French: espeller vb to tell, speak AHD
Latvian: pelt n slander GED
Greek: a-peiléô vb to boast, threaten GED
  a-peilê n.fem boast, threat GED
Armenian: ara-spel n fable GED
Tocharian B: pal- vb to praise GED
Tocharian A: päl- vb to praise GED


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

Abbrev. Meaning
II=class 2
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)
neut=neuter (gender)
pl=plural (number)
str=strong (inflection)
wk=weak (inflection)

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)
GED=Winfred P. Lehmann: A Gothic Etymological Dictionary (1986)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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