Linguistics Indo-European Etymology
by
Michiel de Vaan
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 April 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0096

Introduction

Etymology, defined as a branch of linguistics, investigates word histories. Latin etymologia was taken from Ancient Greek etumologíā. It consists of Greek étumo- (“true”) and -logíā (“study, investigation”) hence the literal meaning was “study of the truth [in words].” As a concrete noun, an etymology is the account of a specific word’s history. “History” by definition, primarily refers to the linguistic history of the word: When did it first appear in the language? Did it develop from previous words, or was it borrowed from another language? How did it arise, and by which phonological or morphological operations? How did it change in the course of time, between older and recent stages of the language? To which persons, objects, situations, or acts did and does the word refer? The last question shows that “history” also involves the extralinguistic aspects of meaning, prompting questions such as the following: In what ways did the technique of plowing change through time? When were oranges first imported into Europe? When did politeness distinctions in forms of address arise or disappear? As opposed to most other branches of linguistics, which focus on a specific level of linguistic description (e.g., phonetics, phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, or pragmatics) etymology takes into account all possible changes in the form and meaning of language. Philip Durkin, in the introduction to The Oxford Guide to Etymology (Durkin 2009), thus arrives at a more elaborate definition of etymology, which is “the application, at the level of an individual word, of methods and insights drawn from many different areas of historical linguistics, in order to produce a coherent account of that word’s history.” Etymology, then, is not a separate scientific discipline but rather an interdisciplinary practice. The Indo-European languages are among the most intensively studied languages in the world and have been for more than two hundred years. There is an enormous amount of specialist literature on etymological topics in one or more Indo-European languages. At irregular intervals, they are collected in etymological dictionaries; therefore, most of the references in this bibliography will be to such summarizing works. The emphasis will be on the more recent editions and other work relevant to the reconstruction of the Indo-European language family as a whole. Please note that the author was bound by the series guidelines to restrict the number of citations to ten per section. In some cases, therefore, references had to be suppressed for purely numerical reasons.

Etymology Textbooks

Specific textbooks on etymology overlap with textbooks on historical linguistics in general, except that etymology focuses on the changes at word level. Reliable guides on how to go about investigating etymologies are Hirt 1909 (mentioned as a “curiosum”), Seebold 1981 (which focuses on German) and Durkin 2009 (for English). Malkiel 1975 and Malkiel 1993 provide further food for thought.

Comparative Indo-European Linguistics

In order to judge etymologies on their merits, or to propose alternative solutions, one must be familiar with the foundations of Comparative Indo-European reconstruction. The main lines of the phonological and morphological development of the Indo-European languages can be found in Beekes 2011, Fortson 2010, and Meier-Brügger 2010, whereas Clackson 2007 presents a diverse selection of topics. Cowgill and Mayrhofer 1986 gives a detailed overview of the historical phonology. Earlier views of Indo-European linguistics can be found in Szemerényi 1996 and Meillet 1937.

  • Beekes, Robert. 2011. Comparative Indo-European linguistics. 2d ed. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    DOI: 10.1075/z.172Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Probably the most linguistic and least philological of the introductions. The most explicit attempt to reconstruct what PIE actually looked like.

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    • Clackson, James. 2007. Indo-European linguistics: An introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511808616Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      This is neither a textbook teaching how to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European linguistics, nor a comprehensive survey of PIE reconstruction. Rather, this is a balanced discussion of some of the main theoretical questions in the reconstruction of PIE.

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      • Cowgill, Warren, and Manfred Mayrhofer. 1986. Indogermanische Grammatik. Band I. 1/2. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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        Excellent survey of the attested Indo-European languages (by Cowgill) and a detailed discussion of many core topics of PIE phonology (by Mayrhofer).

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        • Fortson, Benjamin. 2010. Indo-European language and culture: An introduction. 2d ed. Oxford: Blackwell.

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          A textbook combining general chapters on the PIE linguistic system with chapters on the main branches (Indo-Iranian, Greek, Balto-Slavic, etc.), including text samples and exercises.

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          • Meier-Brügger, Michael. 2010. Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft. 9., durchgesehene und ergänzte Auflage. Unter Mitarbeit von Matthias Fritz und Manfred Mayrhofer. Berlin: de Gruyter.

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            A great guide to the recent bibliography on many disputed items of Indo-European reconstruction but not a helpful introduction to PIE. The eighth edition was translated into English and appeared as Indo-European linguistics (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2003). Especially difficult reading for beginners.

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            • Meillet, Antoine. 1937. Introduction à l’étude comparative des langues indo-européennes. 8th ed. Paris: Hachette.

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              Obviously outdated on many formal and philological issues and on some interpretations of language change. But this is still a clear introduction to comparative Indo-European linguistics. Reprinted in 1964 with Alabama U. Press, with a preface by George C. Buck.

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              • Szemerényi, Oswald. 1996. Introduction to Indo-European linguistics. Translated from Einführung in die vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft, 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                Classical, comprehensive introduction to the sounds and morphology of PIE. Now outdated in many respects.

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                Proto-Indo-European Lexicon

                Pokorny 1959 offers a comprehensive collection of Indo-European lookalikes but is now outdated. For the PIE primary verb stems, Rix, et al. 2001 can be used as an etymological dictionary, and for a selection of the nominal vocabulary, see Wodtko, et al. 2008. PIE particles and pronouns are reconstructed in Dunkel 2014. Gvozdanović 1992 is a collection of articles on the etymology of numerals in the main branches of Indo-European. Using the English lexicon as the main source of illustration, Watkins 2011 provides an impression of the long life of PIE lexemes. Thematic, comparative dictionaries are Delamarre 1984 and Mallory and Adams 2006, while Mallory and Adams 1997 is a full-scale encyclopedia.

                • Delamarre, Xavier. 1984. Le vocabulaire indo-européen: Lexique étymologique thématique. Paris: Maisonneuve.

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                  Thematically organized dictionary of reconstructed PIE words. The formal analysis of the words is prelaryngealistic, offering no improvement on Pokorny 1959.

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                  • Dunkel, George. 2014. Lexikon der indogermanischen Partikeln und Pronominalstämme. Band 1: Einleitung, Terminologie, Lautgesetze, Adverbialendungen, Nominalsuffixe, Anhänge und Indices, Band 2: Lexikon. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                    Extensively illustrated reconstruction of pronouns and particles in Proto-Indo-European.

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                    • Gvozdanović, Jadranka, ed. 1992. Indo-European Numerals. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter.

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                      A collection of articles by different authors on the linguistic history of the numerals of the main Indo-European branches.

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                      • Mallory, James P., and Douglas Q. Adams. 1997. Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture. London and Chicago: Dearborn.

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                        Combination of an archaeological, anthropological, and linguistic encyclopedia. Linguistic contributors include Philip Baldi, E. J. Barber, Robert Beekes, John Greppin, Martin Huld, Carol Justus, Edgar Polomé, and Joe Salmons.

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                        • Mallory, James P., and Douglas Q. Adams. 2006. The Oxford introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European world. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                          Combination of a brief introduction into PIE comparative linguistics and a thematic dictionary of reconstructed PIE vocabulary.

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                          • Pokorny, Julius. 1959. Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Munich: Francke.

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                            Largely achronic presentation of lookalikes, summarizing the pre-1950 scholarship. The materials must be regarded as a basis for further analysis rather than as established etymologies.

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                            • Rix, Helmut, Martin Kümmel, Thomas Zehnder, Reiner Lipp, and Brigitte Schirmer. 2001. Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben. Die Wurzeln und ihre Primärstammbildungen. 2., erweiterte und verbesserte Auflage bearbeitet von Martin Kümmel und Helmut Rix. Wiesbaden, Germany: Reichert.

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                              Mainstream analysis of the PIE verbal system and how it is reflected in word correspondences. Addenda and corrigenda available online.

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                              • Watkins, Calvert. 2011. The American Heritage dictionary of Indo-European roots. 3d ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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                                Dictionary listing Indo-European roots in alphabetical order and providing the English vocabulary derived from it. Much additional information on PIE culture.

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                                • Wodtko, Dagmar, Britta Irslinger, and Caroline Schneider. 2008. Nomina im Indogermanischen Lexikon. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                  Mainstream presentation of a selection of PIE nouns and adjectives, with extensive morphological analysis and references.

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                                  Comprehensive Bibliography

                                  Nowadays, online bibliographies such as LBO (Linguistic Bibliography Online), LLBA (Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts), and MLA (Modern Language Association International Bibliography), as well as more specialized, language- or topic-oriented bibliographies, are obvious places to start searching. Nonetheless, Heidermanns 2005 is a useful resource for quick insight into a subject.

                                  • Heidermanns, Frank. 2005. Bibliographie zur indogermanischen Wortforschung. Wortbildung, Etymologie, Onomasiologie und Lehnwortschichten der alten und modernen indogermanischen Sprachen in systematischen Publikationen ab 1800. Tübingen, Germany: Niemeyer.

                                    DOI: 10.1515/9783110929270Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    Thematically organized, selective, non-annotated bibliography of 28,000 entries. Lists all the standard works and is strong on German scholarship.

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                                    Indo-European Languages

                                    Most European languages belong to the Indo-European family; and from many of them, we have written texts from older phases. They range from only a few centuries old to c. 4,000 years old. The bibliography below is subdivided into the main sub-branches of the Indo-European family: Anatolian, Tocharian, Indo-Iranian, etc. For each branch, the most important etymological dictionaries are cited for the oldest attested phase (e.g., for Sanskrit in the case of the Indo-Iranian languages, for Gothic in the case of Germanic, etc.), as well as for the major modern languages (with the exception of the Romance languages, to which a separate bibliography will be devotedto). The main focus lies on those dictionaries that are relevant to the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European linguistics.

                                    Anatolian

                                    Explicitly etymological dictionaries only exist for Hittite, and they differ considerably in purpose. Tischler 1977– and Puhvel 1984– are works in progress, and Kloekhorst 2008 deals only with words with a (possible) Indo-European etymology. For the other Anatolian languages with a smaller text corpus, the main collections from which the material can be gleaned are as follows: Carruba 1970 for Palaic, Melchert 1993 for Cuneiform Luwian (with etymological notes), Hawkins 2000 for Hieroglyphic Luwian, Melchert 2004 (which also includes short etymological notes) for Lycian, and Gusmani 1964 for Lydian. A glossary of Carian is included in Adiego Lajara 2006: 348–441.

                                    • Adiego Lajara, José-Ignacio. 2006. The Carian language. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                      DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004152816.i-526Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      A handbook containing all the known sources for Carian (inscriptions from Caria and Egypt, glosses, names) with a linguistic analysis and a lexicon.

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                                      • Carruba, Onofrio. 1970. Das Palaische: Texte, Grammatik, Lexikon (= StBoT 2). Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz.

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                                        Edition containing the few known Palaic texts, a grammatical sketch of the language, and a dictionary of the words occurring in the texts. This work is, in many respects, seriously outdated; however, there is no single adequate replacement.

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                                        • Gusmani, Roberto. 1964. Lydisches Wörterbuch. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                          Besides being a synchronic dictionary of the Lydian words attested (with some etymological notes wherever possible), this book also contains a short historical grammar of the language, and a transcription of the extant Lydian inscriptions. Includes supplementary Volume 1 (1980), Volume 2 (1982), and Volume 3 (1986).

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                                          • Hawkins, John D. 2000. Corpus of hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions: Inscriptions of the Iron Age. Vol. 1. Berlin and New York: De Gruyter.

                                            DOI: 10.1515/9783110804201Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Extensive treatment of the context and content of the Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions, including also an index of the words discussed.

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                                            • Kloekhorst, Alwin. 2008. Etymological dictionary of the Hittite inherited lexicon. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                              Etymological dictionary of the PIE lexicon in Hittite. The dictionary is preceded by a two-hundred-page survey of Hittite historical phonology and topics in historical morphology, which serve as a framework for the etymological discussion. Many of the solutions are novel and remain under discussion.

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                                              • Melchert, H. Craig. 1993. Cuneiform Luvian lexicon. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press.

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                                                Exhaustive collection of all attested Cuneiform Luvian forms. Contains many (brief) etymological notes.

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                                                • Melchert, H. Craig. 2004. A dictionary of the Lycian language. Ann Arbor, MI, and New York: Beech Stave.

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                                                  Dictionary and concordance of the complete Lycian lexicon, with brief indications of the word meaning and selected etymological notes.

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                                                  • Puhvel, Jaan. 1984–. Hittite etymological dictionary. The Hague and Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                                    This etymological dictionary provides a lot of attestations for the words that are being discussed. The Proto-Anatolian and PIE etymology is discussed briefly. As of 2013, the letters A to P have been treated.

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                                                    • Tischler, Johann. 1977–. Hethitisches etymologisches Glossar. Innsbruck: Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft.

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                                                      The first part, AK (1977–1983), presents a bibliographical survey of the words to be etymologized. The second part, containing the volumes on LU (1990–present), with contributions by Günter Neumann and Erich Neu, has more philological information on the etyma. As of this writing, the final combined sixteenth and seventeenth volume has not yet appeared.

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                                                      Tocharian

                                                      For the Tocharian languages, there is as yet no complete etymological handbook. Adams 2013 is both a synchronic and an etymological dictionary of Tocharian B, whereas Carling 2009 deals with the first part of the Tocharian A lexicon in a synchronic way. Malzahn 2010 discusses the etymology of many Tocharian verbs.

                                                      • Adams, Douglas Q. 2013. A dictionary of Tocharian B. 2d ed. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi.

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                                                        Two-volume dictionary of Tocharian B (also termed “West Tocharian” or “Kuchean”), with a lot of philological information from the language itself. Provides the Proto-Tocharian and PIE etymology when known.

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                                                        • Carling, Gerd. 2009. Dictionary and Thesaurus of Tocharian A. Vol. 1, a-j. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz.

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                                                          First volume of a new and comprehensive dictionary of Tocharian A. Etymology not being the primary aim of this synchronic dictionary, the references to word origins are mainly restricted to identifiable loanwords and to the comparison with the lexicon of Tocharian B and the reconstruction of Proto-Tocharian. Written in collaboration with Georges-Jean Pinault and Werner Winter.

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                                                          • Malzahn, Melanie. 2010. The Tocharian verbal system. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                            DOI: 10.1163/9789004188440Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Voluminous monograph on the verbs of Tocharian. The first five hundred pages contain a synchronic analysis of the verbal systems of Tocharian A and B against the backdrop of the reconstruction of Proto-Tocharian. The other half of the book (pp. 517–1000) features an Index of Tocharian Verbal Forms, organized per stem, which includes many etymological discussions.

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                                                            Indo-Iranian

                                                            Vedic and Classical Sanskrit are etymologized in Mayrhofer 1986–2001. Turner 1966–1971 is a concise comparative dictionary of the Old, Middle, and Modern Indo-Aryan languages. For Old Iranian, Bartholomae 1904 is a synchronic (and in some respects outdated) dictionary of Avestan, which also offers many etymological observations. Schmitt 2014 is the updated version for Old Persian, also with many etymologies. Rastorgueva and Edel’man 2000– is the only etymological dictionary covering all stages of Iranian, but it is incomplete; at present, the letters A through K have been covered. Cheung 2007 deals with Iranian verbs. Abaev 1958–1995 is useful for comparative purposes but discusses only words occurring in Ossetic. There are over a dozen volumes of Iranisches Personennamenbuch (Schmitt, et al. 1979–), and they usually contain a lot of etymology. For modern Iranian languages, see Morgenstierne 2003 on Pashto, whereas Bailey 1979 offers many etymological explanations for the Middle Iranian Khotanese language.

                                                            • Abaev, Vladimir. 1958–1995. Istoriko-ètimologičeskij slovar’ osetinskogo jazyka. 5 vols. Moscow: Nauka.

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                                                              Elaborate dictionary of the Ossetic language, with many textual illustrations of the word meanings. The etymology covers the historical phonology and morphology of Ossetic itself but also casts a wide net to cover all Indo-European languages. The fifth volume is a 445-page index volume edited by E. N. Sčensnovič, A. V. Lušnikova, and L. R. Dodyxudoeva. Thanks to this volume, the dictionary can also be used as a comparative dictionary of Iranian languages (at least for words occurring in Ossetic) and is also useful for Caucasian linguistics.

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                                                              • Bailey, Harold. 1979. Dictionary of Khotan Saka. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                A synchronic, philological dictionary of the Middle Iranian Khotanese or Saka language that was spoken in modern Xinjiang, China. The book contains many etymological notes on the Iranian or Indo-European origin of the words, as well as detailed indices to find the cognate words.

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                                                                • Bartholomae, Christian. 1904. Altiranisches Wörterbuch. Strasbourg, France: Trübner.

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                                                                  Synchronic dictionary and thesaurus of the Avestan and Old Persian languages as they were known in 1904. Hence the presentation of the words (and in many instances their interpretations) are outdated. Still, this dictionary has not been superseded as far as Avestan is concerned.

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                                                                  • Cheung, Johnny. 2007. Etymological dictionary of the Iranian verb. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                    This is a novel work, uniting all possible evidence from Old, Middle, and Modern Iranian for the different verbs of Iranian. The presentation of the lexical material is cursory, but the etymologies are good.

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                                                                    • Mayrhofer, Manfred. 1986–2001. Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen. 3 vols. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                      The standard etymological dictionary for Vedic and Classical Sanskrit. Distinguishes clearly between the language-internal history of a word and the external (Indo-Iranian and Indo-European) etymology. Systematically includes Old Iranian material wherever relevant for Sanskrit.

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                                                                      • Morgenstierne, Georg. 2003. A New etymological vocabulary of Pashto. Wiesbaden, Germany: Reichert.

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                                                                        A reworked version of the first edition of this work by Morgenstierne in 1927. Compiled and edited from Morgenstierne’s paper by J. Elfenbein, D. N. MacKenzie, and N. Sims-Williams. Discussing both words inherited from Proto-Iranian and loanwords that entered Pashto at a later date.

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                                                                        • Rastorgueva, Vera S., and Džoj I. Edel’man. 2000–. Ètimologičeskij slovar’ iranskich jazykov. 4 vols. (A–K). Moscow: Vostočnaja literatura.

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                                                                          A comparative etymological dictionary of the Iranian languages, organized by Proto-Iranian lemmata. This is a rich collection of lexical material and a reliable listing of cognates. The reconstruction does not usually go beyond Proto-Iranian; for earlier reconstructed stages, the dictionary relies on outdated sources.

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                                                                          • Schmitt, Rüdiger. 2014. Wörterbuch der altpersischen Königsinschriften. Wiesbaden, Germany: Reichert.

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                                                                            The new standard work on the Old Persian lexicon. Combines a detailed synchronic analysis with etymology at the Indo-Iranian level. Includes reverse indices of transliterated and transcribed word forms and another one per morphological category.

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                                                                            • Schmitt, Rüdiger, Heiner Eichner, Bert G. Fragner, and Velizar Sadovski, eds. 1979–. Iranisches Personennamenbuch. Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften.

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                                                                              Series of separate volumes in Old, Middle, and Modern Iranian onomastic studies. An extensive series of monographs by different authors on the onomastic evidence found in the various Old, Middle, and Modern Iranian languages. Also encompasses the main Nebenüberlieferungen, such as in the minor Anatolian languages, Greek documents from Egypt, the Hebrew Bible, etc. In view of the restricted sources for Old Iranian, and the defective spelling of many Middle Iranian scripts, the onomastic evidence plays an important role in Iranian etymology.

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                                                                              • Turner, Ralph. 1966–1971. A comparative dictionary of the Indo-Aryan languages. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                The dictionary offers the entries in a reconstructed quasi-Sanskrit form and gives forms from many Indian languages, but it contains no further etymological explanations. Still, it is the place to begin research for the etymology of Middle and Modern Indo-Aryan words.

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                                                                                Armenian

                                                                                The basic etymological dictionary is Ačaṙyan 1971–1979, which is written in Armenian. Hübschmann 1897 is still often cited, mainly because hardly any newer comprehensive works have appeared; but see also Bailey and Schmitt 1986 on the Iranian influence on Armenian. Olsen 1999 is a study of nominal word formation from an Indo-European perspective. Martirosyan 2010 is the only English etymological dictionary of Armenian. It focuses on the Indo-European heritage of Armenian but also presents much dialectological detail.

                                                                                • Ačaṙyan, Hrač‘ya Hakobi. 1971–1979. Hayerēn armatakan baṙaran. 4 vols. 2d ed. Yerevan, Armenia: Yerevan Univ. Press.

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                                                                                  The primary etymological dictionary of Armenian, to be consulted mainly for the inner-Armenian history of words. Original edition published 1926–1935.

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                                                                                  • Bailey, Harold W., and Rüdiger Schmitt. 1986. “Iranian influences in Armenian.” In Encyclopaedia Iranica. Vol. II, Fasc. 4–5. Edited by Ehsan Yarshater, 445–465. London: Routledge & Kegan.

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                                                                                    A general state of the art of the problem, illustrated with a generous selection of examples of Iranian loanwords in Armenian and further references.

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                                                                                    • Hübschmann, Heinrich. 1897. Armenische Grammatik. 1. Theil: Armenische Etymologie. Leipzig, Germany: Breitkopf & Härtel.

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                                                                                      Extensive survey of the Iranian, Syriac, and Greek loanwords in Armenian, followed by a chapter with Armenian words inherited from PIE. Outdated in some formal aspects.

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                                                                                      • Martirosyan, Hrach K. 2010. Etymological dictionary of the Armenian inherited lexicon. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill.

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                                                                                        The dictionary is eclectic in its choice of etyma, the main criteria being that the words are in Old Armenian and/or offer interesting cross-dialectal comparative issues in Armenian. Many dialect forms are given, and the book also contains appendices on (selected aspects of) the historical grammar of Armenian and a section on anthropological and mythological evidence from etymologies.

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                                                                                        • Olsen, Birgit A. 1999. The noun in biblical Armenian: Origin and word-formation, with special emphasis on the Indo-European heritage. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.1515/9783110801989Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Thorough synchronic and diachronic analysis of the nouns of classical Armenian. The book treats them both top-down (asking which PIE noun suffixes are reflected in which Armenian words?) and bottom-up (which nominal suffixes does classical Armenian have?).

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                                                                                          Greek

                                                                                          Chantraine 2009 concentrates on the inner-Greek history of Greek words (histoire des mots) whereas Frisk 1960–1973 and Beekes 2010 focus on the origin of the words. The contributions of Blanc and de Lamberterie 1997– are included in Chantraine 2009 and continue to appear. Snell, et al. 1955–2010 comprehensively discusses the lexicon of Epic Greek and includes etymologies. Mycenaean Greek is not comprehensively included in any of these dictionaries; the only dictionary is Aura Jorro 1985–1993, which contains many etymological observations.

                                                                                          • Aura Jorro, Francisco. 1985–1993. Diccionario micénico. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.

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                                                                                            The only comprehensive dictionary of Mycenaean but now outdated due to many new interpretations and new finds (e.g., the tablets from Thebes).

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                                                                                            • Beekes, Robert. 2010. Etymological dictionary of Greek. 2 vols. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill.

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                                                                                              Most recent etymological dictionary of Greek. It focuses on the PIE inheritance in Greek, and on the possible Pre-Greek (and non-Indo-European) substratum layer in the Greek lexicon. The book contains a brief preface with Beekes’s analysis of the Pre-Greek layer. Written with the assistance of Lucien van Beek.

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                                                                                              • Blanc, Alain, and Charles de Lamberterie, eds. 1997–. Chronique d’étymologie grecque. 13 vols. Revue de Philologie, de littérature et d’histoire anciennes. Troisième série. Paris: Klincksieck.

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                                                                                                Set up to supplement Chantraine’s dictionary with new insights from primary sources (e.g., new Mycenaean texts, new alphabetic inscriptions) and from secondary literature (e.g., the analysis of Indo-European). Available online.

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                                                                                                • Chantraine, Pierre. 2009. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque: Histoire des mots. Paris: Klincksieck.

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                                                                                                  The main counterpart of Frisk 1960–1973 but concentrating on the semantic history of words within the Greek lexicon. Whereas this reworked edition appeared in 2009, the bulk of the book (until phaínō) was finished by Chantraine before 1974.

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                                                                                                  • Frisk, Hjalmar. 1960–1973. Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                    The main dictionary for accessing the mainstream view of Greek etymology in the 1960s and for retrieving references to earlier literature. Focuses on the formal history of words more than on semantics, as opposed to Chantraine 2009.

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                                                                                                    • Snell, Bruno, Hans Joachim Mette, Michael Meier-Brügger, et al., eds. 1955–2010. Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

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                                                                                                      A full-scale presentation of the lexical material of Epic Ancient Greek. The etymologies included were not the main thrust of the work, so they are rather restricted and usually rely on other authorities.

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                                                                                                      Albanian

                                                                                                      As of this writing there is no satisfactory etymological dictionary of Albanian. Meyer 1891 is outdated in many respects but remains a useful dictionary. Çabej 1976–2006 is selective but offers thorough discussions. Huld 1984 and Demiraj 1997 discuss only a subset of the (inherited) lexicon. Orel 1998 omits the most recent (Italian and Turkish) layers of loanwords and Old Albanian attestations, and his reconstructions are unreliable. Other relevant works for etymology are Matzinger 2006 and Schumacher and Matzinger 2013. For Albanian, the study of loanword layers is more important than for most of the older Indo-European languages. Separate works on the loan vocabulary in Albanian are Bonnet 1998 on Latin; Boretzky 1975–1976 is on Turkish loanwords, and Svane 1992 is on Slavic loanwords.

                                                                                                      • Bonnet, Guillaume. 1998. Les mots latins de l’albanais. Paris: Harmattan.

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                                                                                                        Problem-oriented monograph with three parts: one part each for vowels, consonants, and the lexicon. Discusses many Latin loanwords in Albanian.

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                                                                                                        • Boretzky, Norbert. 1975–1976. Der türkische Einfluß auf das Albanische. I: Phonologie und Morphologie der albanischen Turzismen; II: Wörterbuch der albanischen Turzismen. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz.

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                                                                                                          Dictionary plus linguistic analysis of the Turkish loanwords in Albanian.

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                                                                                                          • Çabej, Eqrem. 1976–2006. Studime etimologjike në fushë të shqipes. Tirana, Albania: Mihal Duri, Akademia e Shkencave.

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                                                                                                            Of the seven volumes of this work, only the first two were seen to press by the author, who died in 1980. From Volume 2 on, the work is organized alphabetically. The focus is on the internal word history rather than external etymology. The content of the seven volumes is as follows: Volume 1: general (1982); Volume 2: A–B (1976); Volume 3: C–D (1987); Volume 4: DH–J (1996); Volume 5: K–M (2006); Volume 6: N–RR (2002); and Volume 7: S–ZH (2006).

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                                                                                                            • Demiraj, Bardhyl. 1997. Albanische Etymologien. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

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                                                                                                              Not many words are discussed here, but the words that are included are discussed extensively, both in their internal word history and as to the possible Indo-European etymology. Abundant references are included, and the book also contains a brief historical phonology of Albanian.

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                                                                                                              • Huld, Martin. 1984. Basic Albanian etymologies. Columbus, OH: Slavica.

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                                                                                                                Concentrates on the Indo-European heritage in Albanian, though the PIE reconstructions are somewhat idiosyncratic. Includes a plethora of dialectal variants, as well as a synopsis on the main phonetic changes from PIE to Albanian and an essay on the relation of Albanian to the other Indo-European languages.

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                                                                                                                • Matzinger, Joachim. 2006. Der altalbanische Tekst Mbsuame e krështerë (Dottrina cristiana) des Lekë Matrënga von 1592: Eine Einführung in die albanische Sprachwissenschaft. Dettelbach, Germany: Röll.

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                                                                                                                  An annotated edition of the oldest Tosk text from 1592, preceded by a hundred pages of historical Albanian grammar.

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                                                                                                                  • Meyer, Gustav. 1891. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der albanesischen Sprache. Strasbourg, France: Trübner.

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                                                                                                                    The first etymological dictionary of the Albanian language, which can still be useful. The file is available online.

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                                                                                                                    • Orel, Vladimir. 1998. Albanian etymological dictionary. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                      An extensive collection of etymologies, both of inherited words and of borrowings. Many references to previous scholarship. There is some attention to internal word history. The Proto-Albanian and PIE reconstructions are not always comprehensible.

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                                                                                                                      • Schumacher, Stefan, and Joachim Matzinger. 2013. Die Verben des Altalbanischen. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz.

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                                                                                                                        Big monograph with exhaustive analysis of the verb forms in Old Albanian (16th–18th centuries) and their prehistory. The book includes a detailed historical phonology (70 pp.) and 150 pages of selected etymologies of Albanian primary verbs.

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                                                                                                                        • Svane, Gunnar. 1992. Slavische Lehnwörter im Albanischen. Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                          Linguistic analysis of the nearly one thousand Slavic loanwords in Albanian (and its dialects). Classified according to semantic groups, such as agriculture, material culture, plants, animals, etc., and according to the putative Slavic dialectal origin of the words.

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                                                                                                                          Latin and the Sabellic Languages

                                                                                                                          Walde and Hoffmann 1930–1954 is a dictionary about word origins, whereas Ernout and Meillet 1967 focuses on histoire des mots. Both are outdated on formal and comparative aspects. De Vaan 2008 includes evidence of the Sabellic languages but excludes loanwords from clearly identifiable donor languages (Greek, Etruscan, etc.). Blanc, et al. 2003– provides many valuable additions. Untermann 2000 is not an explicit etymological dictionary but can be used for tracing the Sabellic vocabulary. Weiss 2009 provides the historical grammar and also has many etymologies.

                                                                                                                          • Blanc, Alain, Jean-Paul Brachet, and Charles de Lamberterie, eds. 2003–. Chronique d’étymologie latine. Revue de Philologie, de littérature et d’histoire anciennes. Troisième série. Paris: Klincksieck.

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                                                                                                                            Selected etymological additions to Ernout and Meillet 1967, by several different (mainly French) authors. Aims to focus on word history but usually also includes the Indo-European side of things and a critical discussion of recent literature. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                            • de Vaan, Michiel. 2008. Etymological dictionary of Latin and the other Italic languages. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                              Purely descriptively, this book tries to include all Latin and Italic (Umbrian, Oscan, South Picene, etc.) words directly derived from PIE. It also includes some others that have probably been borrowed from the Mediterranean region (but from an unknown source). The etymological discussion focuses on the Proto-Italic and PIE history of the lexemes.

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                                                                                                                              • Ernout, Alfred, and Antoine Meillet. 1967. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine. 4th ed. Paris: Klincksieck.

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                                                                                                                                A good account of the inner-Latin word history, as well as semantic shifts and the relationship of a word to other Latin lexemes. The etymological discussion is often disappointingly short and agnostic, even where their contemporaries expressed clear opinions.

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                                                                                                                                • Untermann, Jürgen. 2000. Wörterbuch des Oskisch-Umbrischen. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                                                  Contains full references to earlier literature. The dictionary displays a great deal of skepticism toward the possibility of knowing the meaning and etymology of Sabellic words. Whereas the restraint as to the semantics is often laudable, the reluctance in etymologizing seems at times exaggerated.

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                                                                                                                                  • Walde, Alois, and Johann Baptist Hoffmann. 1930–1954. Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2 vols. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                                                    Provides a reliable indication of the first attestation of a Latin word in the Latin literature, followed by an exhaustive, well-referenced overview of earlier etymological proposals. Long lists of cognate forms in other Indo-European languages. But the actual etymology of a word is difficult to distill from the text and is usually stated without explanation.

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                                                                                                                                    • Weiss, Michael. 2009. Outline of the historical and comparative grammar of Latin. Ann Arbor, MI: Beechstave.

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                                                                                                                                      Combination of a historical grammar of Latin and an advanced introduction to comparative Indo-European linguistics, with an appendix on the development of Vulgar Latin and Proto-Romance. Provides a wealth of Latin etymological details.

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                                                                                                                                      Celtic

                                                                                                                                      The only etymological dictionary that embraces all of Celtic is Matasović 2009. Vendryes, et al. 1959– departs from the Old Irish lexicon and offers more philological details; it is unfinished, however. Deshayes 2003 on Breton is complete but does not go back before the Proto-Celtic period. Thomas 1950–2002 Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru is a synchronic dictionary of Welsh that includes brief etymological notes. Delamarre 2003 is on Gaulish, Wodtko 2000 is on Celtiberian, Falileyev 2000 is on Old Welsh, Fleuriot 1964 is on Old Breton, and Campanile 1974 discusses Old Cornish; and all of these texts discuss the vocabulary of the main Old Celtic languages. Schumacher 2004 is detailed but treats only (primary) verbs.

                                                                                                                                      • Campanile, Enrico. 1974. Profilo etimologico del cornico antico. Pisa, Italy: Pacini.

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                                                                                                                                        An etymological discussion of the almost one thousand glosses of the Vocabularium Cornicum, one of the oldest sources for the Cornish language from Cornwall. The vocabulary may date back to the early 12th century.

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                                                                                                                                        • Delamarre, Xavier. 2003. Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. 2d rev. ed. Paris: Errance.

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                                                                                                                                          Tries to incorporate as much of the lexical evidence from Gaulish as possible, from Gaulish inscriptions, onomastic evidence, loanwords in other languages, and glosses. Brief etymological analyses are also included. Appendices give the reading of the main Gaulish inscriptions and a survey of the Gaulish nominal endings.

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                                                                                                                                          • Deshayes, Albert. 2003. Dictionnaire étymologique du breton. Douarnenez, France: Chasse-Marée.

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                                                                                                                                            A relatively complete and reliable work. It does not contain detailed reconstructions at the Proto-Celtic level, let alone any Indo-European etymologies.

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                                                                                                                                            • Falileyev, Alexander. 2000. Etymological glossary of Old Welsh. Tübingen, Germany: Niemeyer.

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                                                                                                                                              Combined treatment of the oldest remains of the Welsh language, including morphological information and references. The Proto-Celtic and PIE reconstructions are outdated (basically reproducing Pokorny 1959, cited under Proto-Indo-European Lexicon).

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                                                                                                                                              • Fleuriot, Léon. 1964. Dictionnaire des gloses en vieux breton. Paris: Klincksieck.

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                                                                                                                                                Exhaustive analysis of the Old Breton glosses. Reprinted as Volume 1 of Claude Evans & Léon Fleuriot’s A Dictionary of Old Breton: Dictionnaire du vieux breton. Historical and Comparative. 2 vols. (Toronto: Prepcorp, 1985).

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                                                                                                                                                • Matasović, Ranko. 2009. Etymological dictionary of Proto-Celtic. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                  Dictionary focusing on the Proto-Celtic and PIE etymology of Celtic words. A succinct list of the reflexes of each word in the main Celtic languages is provided, but there are no internal word histories. The reconstructions are explained only in a brief manner.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Schumacher, Stefan. 2004. Die keltischen Primärverben. Ein vergleichendes, etymologisches und morphologisches Lexikon. Innsbruck, Austria: Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft.

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                                                                                                                                                    Monograph aiming at the historical-comparative analysis of the primary verbs of the Celtic languages, and, in particular, at the verbal system of Proto-Celtic. It includes many etymologies of Celtic verbs inherited from Proto-Indo-European.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Thomas, R. J. 1950–2002. Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru. Cardiff, UK: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru.

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                                                                                                                                                      Translated as ‘Dictionary of the University of Wales’. As there is no etymological dictionary of Welsh yet, this synchronic dictionary (which is also a historical dictionary of the language) is the best alternative. Its short etymological notes are usually to the point.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Vendryes, Joseph, Édouard Bachellery, and Pierre-Yves Lambert. 1959–. Lexique étymologique de l’irlandais ancien. Dublin, Ireland: Institute for Advanced Studies.

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                                                                                                                                                        Detailed collection of Celtic etymologies but only for words that are attested in Old Irish. The focus is on word history rather than on the lingusitic reconstruction, which often remains inconclusive. To date, the letters A to D and M to U have been treated.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Wodtko, Dagmar. 2000. Wörterbuch der keltiberischen Inschriften. Wiesbaden, Germany: Reichert.

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                                                                                                                                                          Offers a meticulous philological and etymological analysis of the words attested in the Celtiberian inscriptions.

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                                                                                                                                                          Baltic

                                                                                                                                                          Fraenkel 1962–1965 and Smoczyński 2007 etymologize the lexicon of modern Lithuanian, whereas Hock, et al. 2015 comprehensively discusses the Old Lithuanian evidence. Karulis 2001 treats the lexicon of Latvian and Mažiulis 1988–1997 that of Old Prussian. Derksen 2015 is a comparative dictionary of all Baltic languages, with a focus on the common inherited lexicon.

                                                                                                                                                          • Derksen, Rick. 2015. Etymological dictionary of the Baltic inherited lexicon. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                            Counterpart of Derksen 2008 (cited under Slavic) for Slavic. The dictionary concentrates on the Baltic lexicon inherited from Balto-Slavic or Indo-European. The presentation of the linguistic data is succinct, the internal word history is absent, and the reconstructions are rarely fully explained. The book is consistent in its attention to the accentual properties of Latvian and Lithuanian words and features an introduction explaining the author’s main viewpoints on the history of the Baltic tone accents.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Fraenkel, Ernst. 1962–1965. Litauisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                                                                              This dictionary has been the standard etymological work for Lithuanian, as well as the Baltic languages, until the early 2000s. Although insufficient and outdated on the formal side of the reconstruction (Balto-Slavic, Indo-European), this is still a good source for Lithuanian etymology.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Hock, Wolfgang, Elvira-Julia Bukevičiūtė, and Rainer Fecht. 2015. Altlitauisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 3 vols. Hamburg: Baar.

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                                                                                                                                                                Comprehensive philological analysis of the Old Lithuanian text corpus, thus making it a historical dictionary of Lithuanian. At the same time, it contains the etymological explanation of the Old Lithuanian lexicon, from the inherited PIE stock to the most recent loanwords.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Karulis, Konstantīns. 2001. Latviešu etimologijas vārdnīca. 2d ed. Riga, Latvia: Avots.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Etymological dictionary of the Latvian language, written in Latvian. Includes the comparison with the other Baltic languages and the reconstruction, where applicable, of the relevant PIE words.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Mažiulis, Vytautas. 1988–1997. Prūsų kalbos etimologijos žodynas. Vilnius: Mokslas.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Etymological dictionary of the now-extinct Old Prussian language, which was spoken west of Lithuania. The dictionary, written in Lithuanian, discusses the attested Old Prussian words, including the complete attestations, and gives a historical-morphological analysis together with the Balto-Slavic and Indo-European etymology. The dictionary can now be searched online, and the online database continues to be updated with additional references.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Smoczyński, Wojciech. 2007. Słownik etymologiczny języka litewskiego. Vilnius, Lithuania: Vilnius Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Extensive treatment in Polish of the whole Lithuanian lexicon (clear internationalisms excluded), with much detail for internal semantic development but also including PIE etymology.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Slavic

                                                                                                                                                                      The Old Slavic stage has the most direct importance for Indo-European etymology. Trubačev, et al. 1974– and Derksen 2008 aim to etymologize all of Slavic, but the former is unfinished, while the latter is succinct in its presentation of the evidence. Matasović 2014 offers a recent discussion of nominal word formation. Sadnik and Aitzetmüller 1955 contains a concise etymological dictionary of Old Church Slavic, but Havlová, et al. 1989– is much more informative and up to date. Etymological dictionaries also exist for nearly all of the modern Slavic languages. Mentioned here are the ones most frequently used in Indo-European studies (which by no means implies that the unmentioned ones are less useful for certain questions): Vasmer 1953–1958 for Russian, Machek 1968 for Czech, Schuster-Šewc 1978–1996 for Sorbian, Skok 1971–1974 for Serbian and Croatian, and Snoj 2009 for Slovenian.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Derksen, Rick. 2008. Etymological dictionary of the Slavic inherited lexicon. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                        A dictionary concentrating on those Slavic words that must or may have been inherited from pre-Slavic layers (Balto-Slavic, PIE). The presentation of the linguistic data is succinct, internal word history is absent, and the reconstructions are rarely fully explained.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Havlová, Eva and Adolf Erhart (eds.). 1989–. Etymologický slovník jazyka starosloveňského. Prague: Akademia.

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                                                                                                                                                                          The dictionary has reached the word trъtъ in Volume 16 (in 2012). The book is in Czech, but the definitions are also provided in German. The lemmata provide grammatical information and list derivatives, followed by the etymology.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Machek, Václav. 1968. Etymologický slovník jazyka českého. 2d ed. Prague: Akademia.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Etymological dictionary of Czech that is especially strong on morphological analysis. Takes into account the internal history within Czech as well as the Proto-Slavic and Indo-European etymology of words.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Matasović, Ranko. 2014. Slavic nominal word-formation: Proto-Indo-European origins and historical development. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                                                                                              A work that aims to provide a handbook of Slavic word-formation in a Proto-Slavic and Indo-European context. The book contains a large number of Proto-Slavic etymologies, and the entries are given in their reconstructed, Proto-Slavic form.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Sadnik, Linda, and Rudolf Aitzetmüller. 1955. Handwörterbuch zu den altkirchenslavischen Texten. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                A double dictionary of the lexicon of Old Church Slavic, first in alphabetical order, with brief indications of the meaning and then a tergo. The third part (pp. 211–341) represents an etymological dictionary. The etymologies are kept short and the Slavic and Indo-European reconstructions are now completely outdated.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Schuster-Šewc, Heinz. 1978–1996. Historisch-etymologisches Wörterbuch der ober- und niedersorbischen Sprache. Bautzen, Germany: VEB Domowina.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Historical and dialectal dictionary of the Sorbian languages, which includes an etymological treatment.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Skok, Petar. 1971–1974. Etimologijski rječnik hrvatskoga ili srpskoga jezika. 4 vols. Zagreb, Croatia: Jugoslavenska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    This large dictionary by Skok, who died in 1956, was seen to the press by Mirko Deanović and Ljudevit Jonke in collaboration with Valentin Putanec. The book was basically printed unchanged according to Skok’s own manuscript. It is therefore outdated as far as references and formal etymology are concerned, but it contains a wealth of internal etymological observations and Serbian and Croatian dialectal data.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Snoj, Marko. 2009. Slovenski etimološki slovar. 2d ed. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Inštitut za slovenski jezik.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Etymological dictionary of Slovenian, dealing both with the internal etymology within Slovenian and the Slavic and Indo-European origins of the lexicon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Trubačev, Oleg N., V. A. Merkulova, and A. F. Žuravlev. 1974–. Ètimologičeskij slovar’ slavjanskich jazykov. 38 vols. Moscow: Nauka.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        A comparative dictionary of the Slavic languages, organized according to the reconstructed Proto-Slavic etyma. The etymological discussion itself is often rather short and does not go into many formal details.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Vasmer, Max. 1953–1958. Russisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          The most elaborate etymological dictionary of Russian, with word histories and comparative discussions. The reconstructions usually do not go beyond Proto-Slavic, and the formal relationship of words is generally not made explicit.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Old Germanic

                                                                                                                                                                                          Orel 2003 and Kroonen 2013 provide an etymological survey of the Proto-Germanic vocabulary. The former is a partly outdated compilation, whereas in the latter, a number of Proto-Germanic items is missing. Seebold 1970 treats the Proto-Germanic strong verbs, and Heidermanns 1993 treats the adjectives. For the individual Old Germanic languages, the most recent etymological dictionaries include Lehmann 1986 for Gothic, de Vries 1962 for Old Norse, Boutkan and Siebinga 2005 for Old Frisian (though only a restricted part of the Old Frisian lexicon is treated), and Lloyd, et al. 1988– for Old High German. Tiefenbach 2010, for the Old Saxon vocabulary, and Hofmann and Popkema 2008, for Old Frisian, are comprehensive synchronic dictionaries that can be used for etymological purposes.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Boutkan, Dirk, and Sjoerd Siebinga. 2005. Old Frisian etymological dictionary. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Dictionary of the Old Frisian vocabulary as found in the East Old Frisian manuscript Riustring 1, the oldest preserved manuscript of Old Frisian. Therefore the book discusses only a subset of the preserved lexicon. The etymology nearly exclusively focuses on the Germanic and Indo-European origins, and many lemmata show a bias toward a theory of substrate influence on Germanic, which is dismissed by most scholars.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • de Vries, Jan. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2d ed. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Etymologizes a large number of words and gives a wide variety of cognate forms from all Indo-European languages. Concentrates on the Germanic and Indo-European etymology and leaves word history within Old Norse largely aside.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Heidermanns, Frank. 1993. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der germanischen Primäradjektive. Berlin: de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1515/9783110871616Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                Analytical dictionary of the primary (non-derived) adjectives of Proto-Germanic, listing all the attested descendants in the Germanic languages. Includes an introduction on the formation types of Proto-Germanic adjectives and their PIE etymology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hofmann, Dietrich, and Anne T. Popkema. 2008. Altfriesisches Handwörterbuch. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Synchronic, comprehensive dictionary of the lexical evidence of Old Frisian. Does not explicitly treat etymology, but the detailed semantic and grammatical indications render it the best source for etymological study.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kroonen, Guus. 2013. Etymological dictionary of Proto-Germanic. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    The most recent etymological dictionary of Proto-Germanic, though not an exhaustive treatment of all reconstructible lexemes. Includes an introduction discussing the main sound changes between PIE and Proto-Germanic. Not all theoretical viewpoints here are mainstream.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lehmann, Winfred P. 1986. A Gothic etymological dictionary. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well-referenced etymological dictionary of the Gothic language. It cites the Bible passage where a word is attested but does not always provide the exact form in which the word occurs in the texts. The etymological discussion is restricted to the Proto-Germanic and PIE origins. The PIE reconstructions, however, rarely go beyond the state of the art of Pokorny 1959 (cited under Proto-Indo-European Lexicon).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lloyd, Albert, Otto Springer, and Rosemarie Lühr. 1988–. Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Althochdeutschen. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        An exhaustive study of the Old High German lexicon together with a tremendously detailed etymological discussion, which usually refers to the most recent publications in the field. The entries are written by a number of specialists besides the editors themselves. Until 2014, five volumes containing a through l have appeared.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Orel, Vladimir. 2003. A handbook of Germanic etymology. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          A combined etymological dictionary of the Germanic languages, organized alphabetically according to the Proto-Germanic etyma. Largely a compilation from existing etymological dictionaries and not up to date regarding the morphological reconstruction of Proto-Germanic and PIE. Still, this is a useful book for quickly finding cognate forms within Germanic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Seebold, Elmar. 1970. Vergleichendes und etymologisches Wörterbuch der germanischen starken Verben. The Hague: Mouton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1515/9783110821956Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Detailed study of the strong verbs of the Germanic languages. Includes a lot of etymologies of derivative verbal and nominal formations, too. Brief indications about the Indo-European etymology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Tiefenbach, Heinrich. 2010. Altsächsisches Handwörterbuch: A concise Old Saxon dictionary. Berlin: de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1515/9783110232349Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Up-to-date thesaurus of the lexical evidence from Old Saxon. Word translations are given in German and English and for the glosses, the Latin original. No etymologies are provided, but the morphological classification of nouns and verbs and the indication of vowel length in the headings of the entries do provide important etymological hints.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Modern North Germanic

                                                                                                                                                                                                              For each major language, several etymological dictionaries exist. The following selection is determined by the usefulness that the dictionaries have for comparative Germanic etymology. For Danish, Nielsen 1989 is the more recent choice, whereas Falk and Torp 1910–1911 is an old classic. For modern Icelandic, Magnússon 1989 is the first place to look, and Jakobsen 1928–1932 offers an etymological outlook on Shetland Norn. For Norwegian, Bjorvand and Lindeman 2000 is the best modern dictionary, but it concentrates on the Indo-European and Proto-Germanic inheritance. For Swedish, Hellquist 1948 is the best option.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Bjorvand, Harald, and Frederik Lindeman. 2000. Våre Arveord: Etymologisk Ordbok. Oslo, Norway: Novus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                According to the preface (p. 7), this is “not an etymological dictionary in the traditional sense, but more a collection of articles on the inherited words of Norwegian.” Indeed, the dictionary offers principled discussion of the PIE etymology of Germanic words by two accomplished Indo-Europeanists but rather little on Norwegian word history.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Falk, Hjalmar, and Alf Torp. 1910–1911. Norwegisch-dänisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2d ed. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Combined etymological dictionary of Norwegian and Danish. This is a reworked version of the earlier Norwegian version, which had been intended for a more general audience. Therefore, it was lacking in references and discussion of alternative solutions but treated many more colloquial words and phrases than is usually the case in etymological dictionaries. In the German version, intended mainly for linguists, the translated original was enriched with a separate appendix referencing “disputed etymologies” or etymologies where their colleagues held a different view from the one presented by Falk and Torp 1910–1911.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hellquist, Elof. 1948. Svensk etymologisk ordbok. 3d ed. 2 vols. Lund, Sweden: Gleerup.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Large etymological dictionary of Swedish, containing both the internal word history in Swedish and external etymological history. Also etymologizes the more frequent personal names and place names.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jakobsen, Jakob. 1928–1932. An Etymological Dictionary of the Norn Language in Shetland. Edited by Anna Horsböl. 2 vols. London and Copenhagen: David Nutt, Vilhelm Prior.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Voluminous etymological dictionary of the Scandinavian language that developed on the Shetland Islands. The dictionary itself is preceded by a hundred pages on “The Norse Language in Shetland.”

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Magnússon, Ásgeir Blöndal. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík, Iceland: Orðabók Háskólans.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The most recent etymological dictionary of Modern Icelandic, which deals both with the internal word history in Icelandic and with the Germanic and Indo-European origins of words.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nielsen, Niels Åge. 1989. Ordenes Historie: Dansk etymologisk ordbog. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The most elaborate etymological dictionary of Modern Danish. It concentrates more on the inherited vocabulary of the language.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Modern West Germanic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For each major language, several etymological dictionaries exist. The following selection is determined by the usefulness that the dictionaries have for comparative Germanic etymology. For Afrikaans, van Wyk 2003 is a good, modern dictionary. For Dutch, Philippa, et al. 2003–2009 is the most elaborate dictionary, but it misses out on many words toward the end of the alphabet. Franck and van Wijk 1912–1936 is the best comparative dictionary, and de Vries 1971 represents the middle ground between both of them. The website Etymologiebank offers a unique collective view of all (except one) Dutch etymological dictionaries. For English, Barnhart and Steinmetz 1988 is the most useful dictionary for comparative purposes, but Onions 1979 also offers a reliable entrance to the field. No comprehensive Frisian etymological dictionary exists, but we now have Faltings 2010 for the adjectives and Sjölin 2006 for a quick survey of Continental North Frisian. Seebold 2011 is unsurpassed for Modern High German.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Barnhart, Robert, and Sol Steinmetz. 1988. The Barnhart dictionary of etymology. New York: Wilson.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The most elaborate of the extant etymological dictionaries of English. Meant to cater to a wider audience, its explanations on internal word history are more explicit than in some other dictionaries. But it also mentions most of the relevant Germanic cognates and reconstructions. Reprint from 2000 entitled, Chambers Dictionary of Etymology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • de Vries, Jan. 1971. Nederlands etymologisch woordenboek. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In scope and reliability, somewhere between Franck and van Wijk 1912–1936 and Philippa, et al. 2003–2009. More explicit on internal word histories and first date of attestation than Franck/van Wijk, de Vries is less ambitious when it comes to explicit reconstructions of prehistoric stages of the language.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Etymologiebank.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Searchable website gathering the entries for each Dutch word as found in the etymological dictionaries that appeared between 1912 and 2009. Presents them jointly per lexeme.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Faltings, Volkert. 2010. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der friesischen Adjektiva. Berlin: de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1515/9783110231366Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dictionary of all the adjectives reflected in the Frisian languages and dialects, organized per Proto-Germanic etymon. Many details on the nominal derivatives are provided. In form and content, the dictionary is clearly tributary to Heidermanns 1993 (cited under Indo-European Languages: Old Germanic) on the adjectives of Proto-Germanic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Franck, Johannes, and Nicolaas van Wijk. 1912–1936. Franck’s etymologisch woordenboek der Nederlandsche taal. 2d ed. The Hague: Nijhoff.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not the most recent of the etymological dictionaries of Dutch but the only one written by an Indo-Europeanist (van Wijk). Therefore this is often the most reliable dictionary when it comes to the comparative analysis of Germanic data. Also this is the most linguistic one of the Dutch etymological dictionaries. This is weaker on the language-internal history of words.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Onions, Charles T. 1979. The Oxford dictionary of English etymology. 8th ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Concise but packed with information. On the first century of attestation, changes in meaning in the course of English, the source of loanwords, and the Proto-Germanic reconstruction of inherited words.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Philippa, Marlies, Frans Debrabandere, and Arend Quak, eds. 2003–2009. Etymologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands. 4 vols. Amsterdam: Amsterdam Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The most recent, multiauthored enterprise. Balanced in its judgments (except for a bias toward unknown substrate explanations in the first part) and extensive in its presentation; however, toward the end of the alphabet, many dozens of current words have been omitted for lack of resources.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Seebold, Elmar. 2011. Kluge: Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 25th ed. Berlin and Boston: de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Throughout the years, this etymological dictionary of Modern High German (the first edition, by Friedrich Kluge, appeared in 1883) has undergone several metamorphoses. Seebold has turned it into an admirable combination of a crystal clear presentation of the inner-German word histories for a general audience, with a Proto-Germanic reconstruction and a reliable survey of the Indo-European cognates.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sjölin, Bo. 2006. Etymologisches Handwörterbuch des Festlandsnordfriesischen. Kiel: Christian-Albrechts-Universität.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Concise etymological dictionary of the Continental North Frisian dialects spoken in Germany. The etymological notes are usually restricted to indicating the source language of a word or the main cognate forms in other Germanic languages.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • van Wyk, Gerhard, ed. 2003. Etimologiewoordeboek van Afrikaans. Stellenbosch, Germany: WAT.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A good etymological dictionary for general use. Meant for laymen, it also contains a lot of relevant information for specialists. In its word explanations, it concentrates on the changes made in the last few centuries. A supplement appeared in 2007.

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