FRE/ ENG guar-, DUT/ GER wa(h)r-

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by ThomasK, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    That is an interesting root, but the meanings of the words 'evolved' from that root have diverged in very different ways:
    - Dutch: bewaren, to keep -- though the root also turns up in waarnemen (perceive), waarschuwen (warn, 'put on guard'...),
    - Swedish: bewara (?), to save (> to protect)
    - English: to guard, to protect
    - French: garder, to keep

    I suppose there is a similar root in other languages, etymological or semantic (a concept [...] rather), referring to keeping or holding. How did the meanings evolve there?

    EXTRA: I imagine onomasiology explores such connections, but any other branch of linguistics? Cognitive linguistics ?
     
  2. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I happened to come across (biblical) Hebrew shamar. It seems to have most of those meannings together.
     
  3. killerbee256 Senior Member

    American English
    You forgot the native English cognate beware which is close in meaning to waarschuwen
     
  4. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    You're right, i had concentrated on the differences and the present-day meanings too much...
     
  5. killerbee256 Senior Member

    American English
    There is also aware "be alert" is the same root as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  6. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I am not sure how closely related the Germanic roots *ward- (=to guard, to watch) > warden (EN), guard (EN), guarder (FR), Wärter (DE), warten (DE) and the other Germanic root war- (to be prudent/alert) > wary (EN), beware (EN), aware (EN), bewaren (NL), bewahren (DE), gewahr (DE) really are. But it is quite likely they are; at least with respect to a common PIE root (wer- = to cover). Since the semantic relationship is quite evident (relative to the very broad concept to cover), probably closer.

    Cf. etymonline; search for the different English head-words mentioned above.
     
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I had not realized there is even a (selmantic) link with covering. Somehow that seems to be a key term in civilisation - and therefore in culture. Thanks. I wonder whether there could be a link with Slavic.
     
  8. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    The origin of weary is unknown, I find at etymonline, but warden is related.
     
  9. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    We were taking about wary, not weary.
    Of course it is related to ward-, it is also the origin of guard. The question is whether and how it is also related to war-.
     

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