PIE *də2p-
Gloss: ‘sacrifice’ (item 7 in Bjørn 2017)

(?)Hit. tappala– ‘person responsible for court cooking’; (?)Toch. A tāpā– ‘to eat’; Lat. daps; ON tafn; (?)Gr. δαπάνη ‘cost’; Arm. tawn ‘feast’.

While there is no consensus on an IE reconstruction for Hittite (cf. Tischler 1991: 114f., although probably formally possible, cf. Kimball 1999: 387f.), and the Tocharian connection is denied on phonological grounds (cf. LIV2: 104 fn.11), Kroonen suggests a derivation to the verbal root *də2p- ‘to slaughter’ for the Latin, Armenian, and Germanic forms, cf. Greek δάπτω (2013: 504). Note that there is no imperative other than convention preventing the reconstruction of a central vowel *-a-, especially if the item cannot be traced to ancient PIE.

External comparanda:
Semitic: *δabḥ- (Dolgopolsky 1987: 15, 1989: 5)

Orel & Stolbova connect the Semitic form to East Chadic and Lowland East Cushitic forms to produce the Afro-Asiatic reconstruction *ǯabaḥ– (1995:549). As a cultural term this item may well have travelled, and, despite voiced criticism (e.g. Diakonoff 1985: 124f.), IE scholars like Kroonen (2003: 504) consider the similarity plausible. The fact that a PIE verbal root has been deduced need not deter a loan from Semitic as is indicated by the various IE derivations that surely points to a native or nativized basic root, which may, indeed, have entered the language at an early stratum. More conspicuous does the unvoiced rendition of the Semitic sequence *-bḥ– in (P)IE appear, possibly attributable to intermediate languages. The lack of clear Anatolian and Tocharian cognates make a truly old transfer difficult to substantiate, yet the current indecisive nature of the Hittite form may turn to provide either evidence for a very old connection or a complete rejection hereof.

to drill

PIE *bherH
Gloss: ‘to drill’ (item 5 in Bjørn 2017)

Lat. forō; ON bora; (?)OLith. barti ‘to scold’; (?)OCS brati ‘fight’; (?)Ved. bhr̥ṇāti ‘to threaten, scold’

Notes: The Germanic and Italic forms are likely denominatives (Kroonen 2013: 85), although an iterative formation may similarly explain the o-grade (de Vaan 2008: 235f.). The rest of the set is disputed as from the same root (LIV2: 80), and none of the ancient branchings is attested.

External comparanda:
Semitic *brʔ ‘to work with a sharp instrument’ (Bomhard 1981: 403)
Uralic: *pura- ‘(to) drill’> e.g. Fin. pura ‘drill’, Proto-Samoyed *pȇrȇ– ‘id.’
Sumerian: bur(u(d)x) ‘breach, depth, hole; to perforate’
[Add: Kartvelian: G. burd- ‘bore, drill, perforate’]

As a ubiquitous verb not otherwise expected to be borrowed, an innovative technique could have helped spread the item. There is a semantic link in Uralic with the verb *pure– ‘to bite’ (UEW 405f.) which may be compared to the situation in IE, making an ancient connection more attractive. Further connections may also be found in the Turkic languages, cf. Turkish bur– ‘to drill’, as suggested by Rédei, who proposes onomatopoetic, and consequently chance, resemblance (UEW 405). Not included by Orel & Stolbova (1995), Semitic is seemingly isolated in Afro-Asiatic, although Bomhard suggests two Cushitic forms, both meaning ‘broken piece’ (2008-II: 64). Sahala actually prefers a Semitic origin for the Sumerian comparandum, explicitly Akkadian būrum ‘pit, well, cistern’ (2009: 5), but the semantic side is better matched by the general term. The meaning ‘well’ is secured for Semitic (cf. Tyloch 1975: 56f.).
[Add: The Georgian form seems to fit the picture, but I have yet to find a Kartvelian etymology. The situation would altogether benefit from a look at words for drilling in other parts of the world (to establish onomatopoeia) as well as the archaeological record regarding drilling technologies (for possible loanword scenarios).]


PIE *bhar-(s-)
Gloss: ‘barley’ (item 2 in Bjørn 2017)

Lat. fār; (?)OIr. bairgen ‘bread, loaf’; Goth. bariz-eins ‘of b.’; OCS brašĭno ‘food’, Rus. bor ‘millet’; Alb. bar ‘grass’; (?)Gr. Περσεφόνη ‘Persephone (? = the grain-slayer)’ (PN)

It is noteworthy that a bare stem may also exist in Celtic and Slavic (Russian bor ‘millet’) next to the somewhat more prolific extensions. The inclusion of the Greek deity is highly dubious (cf. Chantraine 1968: 889), and, even if accepted, would not introduce significant new evidence to the picture already painted by the more secure attestations. Lehmann proposes that the lexeme be internally derived from a verbal root (1986: 62), but the a-vocalism and the external comparanda treated immediately below demand that the possibility of foreign influence, at least, be entertained (cf. de Vaan 2008: 201f.).

External comparanda:
NE Caucasian: *bVrcị̌nV
NW Caucasian: possibly Adyghe ‘grain’, Abkhaz ‘id.’
Semitic: *barr-/burr- ‘cereal, wheat’

Some objections have been raised to the Semitic loan hypothesis, e.g. by Mallory & Adams who consider a borrowing ‘unlikely’ based on the morphology (1997: 51), while Diakonoff’s rejection of the claim, based on its putative isolation in Semitic (1985: 126f.), has become mute in light of the fact that Orel & Stolbova (1995: 56) connect it to an almost ubiquitous Afro-Asiatic root, *bar-/bur– ‘grain, cereal’, which certainly advocates for Semitic (or related) origins. Gamkrelidze & Ivanov insist that the IE branches representing the item were in direct contact with speakers of a Semitic proto-language (1995: 770), but, as several other instances suggest (e.g. *ghaid– ‘goat’, item 21), the proposition of an agricultural
substrate, possibly even related to Semitic (§ 2.5), blunts the urgency of the claim. Note, too, that the semantic shift from ‘wheat’ or ‘cereal’ speaks against direct contacts. Dolgopolsky introduces the Caucasian comparanda, and questions a Semitic provenance on the basis of its simpler stem that lacks the *-s (1989: 15f.), but, as shown above, a similar IE variant could represent the original state only secondarily derived. The North Caucasian comparanda seems to reflect a higher complexity than either of PIE and Semitic, possibly hinting at greater antiquity, but, more likely, a window to PIE phonetics may be encountered here, seeing that there is a decent argument in the proposition that the desinence *-inV in North East Caucasian reflects the PIE derivational suffix *-in-o-, cf. Slavic *boršĭno– ‘flour’, Latin farīna ‘id.’, and probably also Goth. barizeins ‘of barley’ (ibid., cf. also S. Starostin 2009: 91 and further Matasović 2012: 291). This comparison is also favorable due to identical semantics. A tentative history of the term can thus be schematized as Afro-Asiatic > Semitic & Old European substrate → middle or late PIE → North (East) Caucasian.


Several items meaning ‘goat’ have external comparanda, four are included here. See also Kroonen (2012: 245-247):

PIE *díg-
Gloss: ‘goat’ (item 15 in Bjørn 2017)

OHG ziga; Alb. dhi ‘fem. g.’; Gr. (Hes.) δίζα; Arm. tik ‘hide’; Ishkashimi (East Iranian) dec ‘goatskin bag’

Notes: The Greek form is problematic and requires either a glide to palatalize the velar, or, as has been suggested, the form in Hesychius, originally ascribed to Laconian, may rightfully be attributed to one of the lesser known IE Balkan languages, Thracian or Illyrian (Frisk 1960: 390ff.). All the data combined, this reconstruction still fails to paint the picture of a central PIE item, although proto-status certainly is possible.

External comparanda:
NE Caucasian: *tVqV > e.g. Ingush tɨqo
HU: Hurrian taɣə ‘man (male person)’
Kartvelian: *dqa > Georgian txa, Svan daq

The IE material does not seem to be particularly strong and lacks cognates in the decisive ancient branches. Proposed as a borrowing by Gamkrelidze & Ivanov (1995: 774) and Nichols (1997: 146), the exact nature of the reconstruction in Kartvelian is debated (cf. Fähnrich 2007: 125), but the Northeast Caucasian material does help establish the form in the region. The semantics of the Hurrian material questions its appurtenance, but a final rejection pends further illumination of the internal relationship. Ultimately, this item belongs in the very same category as the synonyms (items 21, 40, and 73, cf. § and be ascribed to a loan into the later strata of PIE.


PIE: *ghaid-o-
Gloss: ‘goat’ (item 21 in Bjørn 2017)

Lat. haetus ‘young g., kid’; Germ. *gait- > ON geit, Goth. gaits.

The connection of the Latin and Germanic forms seem beyond reproach, but remain isolated as a European regionalism. a-vocalism similarly makes a PIE origin of this item unlikely (Dolgopolsky 1987: 16).

External comparanda:
Afro-Asiatic: Semitic *gadi-̯ > Arab. jadyun, Heb. ge?ī
Afro-Asiatic: Berber aġăyd
NE Caucasian: Proto-Nakh *gāʒa, Lak gada ‘kid’

The Semitic and IE correspondence is difficult to ignore, but whereas Dolgopolsky considers it a direct loan from Proto-Semitic into PIE (1987: 14), Kroonen proposes a (likely extinct and unattested) third party origin for both, ultimately stemming from waves of early agriculturalists that first introduced the term to Semitic and later into European IE from an already present adstrate (2013: 163ff.).The dearth of proper PIE evidence affects both theories, but less detrimentally the latter. Nichols’ analysis of the NE Caucasian forms as old dialectal borrowings due to the internal inconsistencies (1997:129) seems to
corroborate the adstrate hypothesis; it is noteworthy, however, that Nikolayev & Starostin reconstructs a Proto-NC *gēʒ́wV that would remove the Caucasian item from comparison with PIE and Afro-Asiatic. It seems callous to posit the root for PIE proper and invites further inquiry into the ancient relations of European IE and its agricultural prehistory (cf. *h1ln̥bh– ‘lamb’, item 36, for a similar correspondence between Germanic and NE Caucasian).


PIE *h2e(i)ĝ-
Gloss: ‘goat’ (item 40 in Bjørn 2017)

Alternant 1: *h2eiĝ-
Attestations: Alb. dhi; Gr. αἲξ; Arm. aic; (?)Ved. eḍa– ‘kind of sheep’, Av. īzaena- ‘leathern’

The Vedic form requires analogy to fit the picture, but seems plausible (cf. Mayrhofer 1986: 264). Attestations only warrant reconstruction for late PIE.

Alternant 2: *h2eĝ-
Lith. ožýs; OCS azno ‘goat-skin’; Alb. edh; Ved. aja-, Av. aza-

The homophonous verbal root *h2eĝ- ‘to lead’ (item 43) has quite naturally been
suggested as the derivational base, but the likeness to (1) complicates this connection (cf. also Mallory & Adams 1997: 229). This form also brands cognates in Balto-Slavic, but still fails to secure the decisive old branches for ancient strata.

External comparanda:
North Caucasian: *Hējʒ́u (cf. *ʡējʒ́wē of NCED s.v. ‘goat, she-goat’)

The variant forms within (P)IE do suggest a foreign source, which, indeed, may
be found in North Caucasian, as suggested by S. Starostin (2009: 80 fn.8). This is certainly also suggested by the phonological compositions that are close to being superimposable, especially on reconstruction (1) with the diphtongue. The second reconstruction may under this paradigm be explained as either stemming from folk-etymological analogy with the homophonous verbal root *h2eĝ– ‘to lead’, or as the natural yet inconsequent treatment of a foreign sequence in (P)IE (cf. Matasović 2012: 290 fn.16). Further phonological confusion is encountered if PIE *h2egw-no- ‘lamb’ (item 45) is considered a derivative to the present form.


PIE *kaĝo-
Gloss: ‘goat’ (item 73 in Bjørn 2017)

Old Low German hōken; OCS koza; Alb. kedh, kec ‘kid’

Very limited distribution questions ancient PIE moorings for this item. Connections with PIE *h2e(i)ĝ- (item 40) are formally impossible (cf. Mallory & Adams 1997: 229). The reconstructed a-vocalism is noteworthy.

External comparanda:
NE Caucasian: *qoVcV > e.g. Lezgian ʁec

The Slavic forms may, according to Derksen, be borrowed from a Turkic language
relatively late (2008: 242), ostensibly within the first millennium CE. S. Starostin proposes this Northeast Caucasian connection (2009: 81), but the formal correspondence is not very attractive.

Cow / Bull

Two words with very plausible external relations denote the bovine species:

PIE *gwṓu
Gloss: ‘cow’ (item 30 in Bjørn 2017)

HLuw. wa/i-wa/i-(i); Toch. A ko, Toch. B keu; Umb. bum (acc.); OIr. bō; ON kýr; Latv. gùovs; OCS go-mĭno ‘threshing floor’; Alb. ka; Myc. qo-u-, Gr. βοῦς; Arm. kov; Ved. gáu-, Av. gāuš.

Albanian shows some irregularity in the exact type of velar (Mallory & Adams 1997: 134ff.), but does not question the PIE reconstruction. The phonetic complements in Hittite (GUD-us, GUD-un) do allow a continuation of this root, but cannot be known for certain (Gamkrelidze & Ivanov 1995: 483), but the Hieroglyphic Luwian attestation appears solidify evidence for the Anatolian branch (Melchert 2003: 195).

External comparanda:
Semitic: *ġi ‘to bellow’ (Schott 1936: 66f.)
Egyptian: gw ‘bull’ (Mallory & Adams 1997: 135)
Kartvelian: *pur (attestations see Klimov 1998: 206)
NW Caucasian: *č’:amə > e.g. Kabardian gwaw ‘bull’ (Nichols 1997: 143)
NE Caucasian: *ʒ ̣̌VW > e.g. Chechen-Ingush govr ‘horse’ (ibid.)
Sumerian: gu4 ~ gud ‘bull’

It is likely that the PIE root originally was generic only for the species (and not also for the gender), denoting both ‘cow’ and ‘bull’, i.e. ‘cattle’ (cf. Gamkrelidze & Ivanov 1995: 482), which is practically demanded by the external comparanda. According to Mallory & Adams the domestication of the cow began during the Neolithic revolution in the Middle East in the 7th millennium BC and had spread through Europe by the inception of the fourth (1997: 137). Considering the rather extensive list of proposed comparanda, the possibility of onomatopoetic homophony may justifiably be argued, but the ostensible motivation is elusive and perhaps best represented by the Semitic verbal connection proposed by Schott, but it is weak compared to all other comparanda that clearly relate a very narrow semantic value to each other; the only possible scenario that could comprise this root as viable would be as the primordial verbal root from which the term was originally derived. Against this notion, the Egyptian evidence stands comparatively stronger denoting the animal itself and seems strengthened by further Afro-Asiatic cognates in West Chadic *warar ‘vicious bull’ (Orel & Stolbova 1995: 527). These forms may gain further credibility through the similarly positive situation in Sumerian (cf. Sahala 2009: 7) that represents the earliest attestation and is perpetuated as Sumerograms in Hittite where it curiously eclipses a word that might ultimately be related. Further suggested borrowings include Old Chinese (Mallory & Adams 1997: 135), but especially noteworthy is the proposed connection to Altaic which includes a demonstrable semantic generalization that allows a shift to other quadrupeds, cf. as a link
Manchurian geo ‘mare; cow; female (of quadrupeds)’ and consequently Classical Mongol gegün ‘mare’ (Gamkrelidze & Ivanov 1995: 491f.), particularly relevant for the inclusion of the NE Caucasian comparandum suggested by Nichols (1997: 143). The NW Caucasian attestation, obviously semantically incompatible with its western neighbors, is formally interesting from a PIE point of view as it retains an initial labiovelar. Labiality is also the proposed recipient rendition of *gw– in Kartvelian, which necessitates either an early borrowing directly from PIE, a centum continuant, or a non-IE language with similar retention of the feature, e.g. NW Caucasian, but the proposed concordance poorly matches ‘to extinguish’ (item 110) where PIE *gw– yields Kartvelian *kw-, and is therefore quite improbable. All things considered the item may well be foreign in PIE, but it is of considerable age; it seems to significantly predate the spread of other agricultural terms, e.g. *(s)teuros ‘bull’ (item 118), but may, too, be connected with the same general wave of technological innovation, as widespread borrowings certainly suggest. The somewhat difficult Anatolian material could be secondarily introduced, but there is no imperative to favor such an interpretation.


PIE *(s)teuros
Gloss: ‘bull’ (item 118 in Bjørn 2017)

PIE (1) *steuros

Attestations: OHG stior; Av. staora– ‘large (domestic) animal (i.e. horse, ass, cow, camel)’

Notes: The suggested Avestan correlate to OHG stior may also derive from *steh2uro– ‘big’ (Kroonen 2013: 478), which would render the Germanic forms isolated.

PIE (2) *tauros

Attestations: (?)Lat. taurus; Gaul. tarvos; ON þjórr; OPrus. tauris ‘bison’; OCS turŭ ‘aurochs, bull’; Alb. ter; Gr. ταῦρος; Khot. ttura– ‘mountain goat’

Notes: Celtic shows metathesis, but fits otherwise unproblematically with the European cognates. Germanic has *-e- instead of *-a-, which has been explained as analogy to *steur-, but see the discussion immediately below for a different solution. [Add. Latin is expected to show metathesis of the sequence *auRV > aRvV, suggesting that it might be a relatelively late borrowing (Weiss 2009: 157).] The Khotanese item, however, stands out semantically, but fits with the Avestan continuation of PIE (1) *steur- if part of a Proto-Iranian shift as suggested by Bailey (1979: 132).

External comparanda:
Semitic: *tawr > Akk. šūru, Arab. tawr, Heb. šôr, etc. (Bomhard 1981: 416)
Semitic (alt.): Arab. ṭaraḳa ‘to impregnate (of camels)’ (Schott 1936: 78)
NE Caucasian: *stw– (Nichols 1997: 143)

Discussion: The very obvious correlation between the Semitic and IE forms certainly suggests them as related, obvious even to philologists (Levin 1995, cf. § 3.2.6). The nature of this relation, however, is disputed. Schott’s attempt at a connection with Arabic ṭaraḳa ‘to impregnate (of camels)’ to substantiate internal semitic derivation (1936: 78) is improbable, potentially even more so in light of Militarev & Kogan’s Afro-Asiatic reconstruction (2005:307ff.) that nonetheless requires some semantic leniency, covering both ‘elephant’ (Central Chadic) and ‘rhinoceros’ (Northern Omotic), but it is noteworthy that Orel & Stolbova do not include to form (1995), and Lipińsky seems to share this uncertainty of origin (1997: 561) [Add. This could shed new light on the Avestan comparandum, although it becomes chronologically strained.]. The two disparate PIE words, although clearly related, seem to have entered the language at two different stages; *steuros likely prior to *tauros, where the latter is phonetically less complex and also brands a-vocalism. Dolgopolsky initially considered the IE complex descendants of a single form borrowed directly from proto-Semitic into PIE (1987: 14), but later suggested only partial common heritage for Semitic and PIE that was subsequently confounded by a loan (1993: 244). Weak Indo-Iranian evidence, however, as well as a complete lack of Anatolian and Tocharian cognates, question the antiquity of the noun in PIE while the Semitic provenance itself may be inhibited by the questionable nature of the Afro-Asiatic evidence for the root. Alternatively, Kroonen suggests that the e-vocalism in Germanic *steur- and *teur– is a consequence of raising from an otherwise unidentified donor language (cf. Haarmann 1994: 269f. and the treatment of *ghaid-, item 21) that similarly shows up in Etruscan thevru– (2013: 540), and may additionally account for the Germanic forms with initial s- from a foreign spirant not found at the recipient stage of the language (2013: 478). Nichols’s suggestion of a NE Caucasian*stw– (1997: 143) is tantalizing as it seemingly reflects the sporadic s-forms in IE, but the root is not included by Nikolayev & Starostin (NCED) and has not been validated.


PIE *h1ék̂w-os
Gloss: ‘horse’ (item 32 in Bjørn 2017)

HLuw. azu(wa), Lyc. esbe-; Toch. A yuk, Toch. B yakwe; OLat. equos; Gaul. epo-; ON jór, Goth. aíhwa-; Lith. ašvíenis ‘stallion’; Myc. i-qo, Gr. ἳππος; Arm. ēš; Ved. áśva-, Av. aspa

Only the Slavic and Albanian branches miss this lexeme, and the horse can safely be ascribed to the earliest strata of PIE on internal evidence alone, despite Dolgopolsky’s attempt to discredit the inherent nature of the Anatolian forms (1993: 240). The root gives valuable insights to the intricacies of the velar series with the co-occurrence of the palatal *– with the labial element *-w-: While satəm languages retain the independence of the labial element, basically [+pal] + [+lab], the centum languages fuse the phonemes into one, [+vel, +lab], and subsequently follow the rules governing the inherited labiovelars. The Greek forms remain, although clearly related, problematic, probably reflecting some kind of dialectal borrowing (Beekes 2008: 597f.), although Sihler suggests that at least the geminate may be a regular outcome of the inherited palatal-labial cluster (1995: 159f.). Internal derivation has been proposed from a root ‘swift’ attractive due to a common Graeco-Aryan collocation, ‘swift horses’, Gr. ὠκέες ἳπποι, Ved. áśvāḥ āśávaḥ, but the connection is formally difficult (Mallory & Adams 1997: 273), if not impossible (Beekes 2008: 597f.).

External comparanda:
Kartvelian: e.g. Georgian ačua (children’s language)
North Caucasian: *ɦɨ[n]čwĭ
NW Caucasian: *cʷ̣̌́ ǝ > e.g. Abkhaz, Ubykh ačy (pl.)
NE Caucasian: Avar, Lak ču, Akhvakh ičwa, Andi iča, etc.
HU: Hur. eššǝ

The domestication of the horse represents a central pillar in Anthony‘s archaeological location of the PIE speakers on the Pontic Steppes (2007: 193-224), and intense and selective exploitation of the horse was widespread from around 4.500 BCE in the region from southern Ukraine through to Kazakhstan (Mallory & Adams 1997: 273ff.). It is thus noteworthy that Uralic did not borrow the PIE word. A common Proto-North Caucasian reconstruction has been posited, *ɦɨ[n]čwĭ, without convincing internal derivation, although the authors do not explicitly make the connection with PIE (NCED s.v. ‘horse’). Such a reconstruction, however, gives depth of time comparable to PIE, and invalidates Colarusso’s intricate and very idiosyncratic analysis of NW Caucasian and PIE with the aim of uniting the phyla in Proto-Pontic (2003: 41ff.). The Hurrian form is proposed as a loan from the satəm Mitanni-Aryan superstrate that brandished a particularly specialized equestrian vocabulary, especially owing to the assibilated geminate (Gamkrelidze & Ivanov 1995: 809). A similar origin has been suggested for Semitic, cf. Akkadian sisū and Ugarit ssw (despite confounding factors, cf. Militarev & Kogan 2005: 261ff.), Sumerian sí-sí (Sahala 2009: 10), some NE Caucasian languages (Dolgopolsky 1987: 19) as well as Abkhaz (Mallory & Adams 1997: 274), but these latter can just as well be explained from the bulk of Caucasian attestations treated below. According to Nikolayev & Starostin the sporadic Kartvelian forms can be ascribed to intra-Caucasian loan relations (NCED s.v. ‘horse’), and are thus considered secondary and beyond the scope of the present paper. The evidence presented by Dolgopolsky to substantiate the entry into Caucasian languages as an early Proto-Indo-Iranian loan rests solely with the palatal treatment of the internal velar in the Daghestanian dialects (1987: 19), but the argument is mute because palatals are reconstructed for PIE and there is no evidence to suggest that a proposed Proto-North Caucasian recipient language would not have treated them as such (§ Indeed, if horses were a trademark of ancient PIE culture (predating the split of Anatolian) with concomitant mercantile prowess, and the PIE speakers interacted intensely with the North Caucasian linguistic area at an early date, it is very likely that the ‘horse’ represented a sufficiently valuable item to be transferred from PIE and subsequently thrive in the Caucasus (cf. Matasović 2012: 291). Tantalizing both in the initial laryngeal PNC *ɦ– to mirror PIE *h1– and the internal sequence of palatalized velar plus labial glide, the only aberrant element in the North Caucasian stock is the nasal found in the Lezgian branch of NE Caucasian (reconstructed *ʡɨnšʷ [~ħ-], see NCED s.v. ‘horse’), but the circumstances are internally unclear. Alternative solutions, albeit less attractive, are chronological adjustments either (1) further back into prehistory and approaching Nostratic, or (2) later as a dialectal PIE loan, as suggested by Dolgopolsky (1987: 19).