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May 19, 2019 17:26:20

are we all бра́тьями and сёстрами? etymological perspective

by @lucjah PATRON | 287 words | 41🔥 | 318💌


Current day streak: 41🔥
Total posts: 318💌
Total words: 89077 (356 pages 📄)

An attempt to explain the context of the following investigation took a whole post and a half (well, my attempt anyway), and might become a separate entity, so here I just go to the point. 

The English word brother [ˈbrəT͟Hər] and Russian брат* [brˈat] (as well actually as sister [ˈsi-stər] and сестра́ [sʲɪstrˈa]) sound almost identical. Pretty astonishing considering that English and Russian seem to be pretty far away from each other (let's have a look at other important words like: family [ˈfæməli] vs. семья [sʲɪmʲjˈæ], heart [hɑːt] vs. сердце [sʲˈert͡sᵻ] or happiness [ˈhæp.i.nəs] vs. счастье [ɕːˈæsʲtʲjə])

etymonline.com says that "brother" is a stable word across the Indo-European languages, hypothetically from PIE (Proto-Indo-European language) root *bhrater- 

Sanskrit bhrátár-, Old Persian brata, Greek phratér, Latin frater; Old Irish brathir, Welsh brawd, Lithuanian broterėlis, Old Prussian brati, Old Church Slavonic bratru, Czech bratr, Polish brat, Russian bratŭ, Kurdish bera; Old English broþor, Old Norse broðir, German Bruder, Gothic bróþar. Hungarian barát is from Slavic; Turkish birader is from Persian. (Impressive, right?!)

Even though there is a matter of accuracy in this whole endeavour of searching for the common language ancestry,

There are no objective criteria for the evaluation of different reconstruction systems yielding different proto-languages. Many researchers concerned with linguistic reconstruction agree that the traditional comparative method is an "intuitive undertaking".
The bias of the researchers regarding the accumulated implicit knowledge can also lead to erroneous assumptions and their generalisation. 

there is no doubt that в этом что-то есть...


Im sure it would be fascinating to investigate:

  • why we (I'm saying "we" as there is Polish mentioned there above!) share these particular words (I'm sure there are others)... or
  • how French fits into all of that (NOT mentioned there above! LOL)...

  • 1

    сястра @lucjah - this is [procrast] [fasc] inating :-)

    Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | May 19, 2019 09:36:31
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